Plantinga’s “exclusivism” might better be called religious exceptionalism — the silly idea that, of the class of abstractions purporting to describe reality, the ones described as “religious” should be exempted from common standards of evidence and consistency.
What Plantinga calls “withholding belief” is better known as “admitting ignorance,” and it’s the beginning of knowledge, not the end of it.
But what annoys me most about this kind of philosophical apologetics is the transparent effort to to fix one variable (the truth of Christianity) while bending every other concern (consistency, logic) to fit. Sure, you can put together a jigsaw puzzle by whittling the pieces until they go where you want them to. But the result isn’t pretty, and it doesn’t make much sense.
Followed by cipher:
“You pays your money and you takes your choice, realizing that you, like anyone else, can be desperately wrong.”
And it would never, ever occur to him that it is unreasonable and lacking in compassion for his Invisible Friend to place us in such a position in the first place – especially as the stakes are supposedly so high.