William Lane Craig

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William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949, age 74) is a renowned Christian scholar, philosopher, and Christian apologist. He currently holds the position of Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology in La Miranda, California.

Born on August 23, 1949, at age sixteen W. L. Craig pledged his life to Jesus Christ. Thus began a career, indeed a calling, dedicated to the Gospel. Craig completed a B. A. at Wheaton College in 1971, and two M. A. degrees at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1974 and 1975 (in the philosophy of religion and church history), and a Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham (England) in 1977. Craig also received a D. Theol. from the University of Munich in 1984, where he studied under the famous Wolfhart Pannenberg.

Craig is known for his Christian apologetics, specifically concerning the Resurrection, the existence of God, and theocentric ethics. Craig's case for the existence of God usually involves five central arguments:

  • the cosmological argument, which includes Craig's specially-developed Kalam argument
  • the argument from fine-tuning
  • the moral argument
  • the argument from the historicity of the Resurrection
  • the argument from personal experience

Craig has won all or nearly all of his debates with atheists and is one of the most impressive debaters currently alive, a fact which even atheists attest to.[1]

Craig opposes the doctrine of annihilationism, claiming that "a person can exist forever and yet be spiritually dead" and citing 2 Thessalonians' description of "eternal description." However, the phrase used in 2 Thesslaonians 1:9 directly counters Craig's argument due to "destruction" holding synonymity with death rather than eternal torment. His argument of an inherent eternally existing nature of humans is contrary to Scripture describing the fate of the lost as death (Romans 6:23 ) and destruction (Matthew 10:28 ), which Seventh-day Adventists have pointed out.[2]

Detailed Breakdown of each of Dr. Craig's Five Principal Arguments

Dr. Craig typically delineates his argument in simple but irrefutable syllogisms, consisting of a Major Premise, a Minor Premise, and a Conclusion.

Kalam Cosmological Argument

Major: Whatever begins to exist has a Cause.

Minor: The Universe began to exist.

Conclusion: Therefore, the Universe has a Cause. [3]

Atheist Luke Muehlhauser about William Lane Craig's debates with atheists

See also: Atheism vs. Christianity debates and Atheism debates

The atheist Luke Muehlhauser wrote about Craig:

William Lane Craig is a prolific Christian philosopher, apologist, author, and public debater. He is the best debater – on any topic – that I’ve ever heard. As far as I can tell, he has won nearly all his debates with atheists. When debating him, atheists have consistently failed to put forward solid arguments, and consistently failed to point out the flaws in Craig’s arguments.

I’m not the only one who thinks Craig has won nearly all his debates. For some atheists, it is rather maddening.

Craig is a skilled debater, an encyclopedia of facts and quotes, and a careful rhetorician. If you make a logical mistake, Craig knows exactly how to skewer you for it (and for this, I respect him). He holds prepared and persuasive responses to everything an atheist might say, and atheists usually fail to clearly point out the logical flaws in what Craig has to say. Also, Craig does a great job of summarizing the points and counterpoints that have been raised during a debate, and presents them in a way to show he has decisively won. His opponents are never that organized or clear.

This is especially embarrassing for atheists because Craig’s arguments and debates are easily available, and he uses the same arguments all the time.[4]

The atheist Sam Harris quipped about William Lane Craig that he was "The one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists".[5][6]

William Lane Craig is Reported to Have Called Richard Dawkins a Coward

See also: Richard Dawkins and William Lane Craig and Atheism and cowardice

Dr. William Lane Craig is one of Christianity's leading defenders and many individuals over the years have attempted to arrange a debate between Dr. Craig and Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins has offered various ruses on why he will not debate William Lane Craig, which Dr. Craig supporters have shown were inconsistent and merely a dodge to avoid debating one of Christianity's strongest advocates.[7][8]

Christian apologist Dr. Victor Reppert is the author of C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason.[9] In 2007, Dr. Reppert wrote:

Bill Craig sent me a newsletter in which he will be debating twice in the UK on "Is God a Delusion" but will not be debating Dawkins himself. Now that would be the debate to see! Having seen this, I wrote him saying "Oh drat! no debate with Dawkins!" He responded:

The coward! He said, "I've never heard of William Craig. A debate with him might look good on his resume, but it wouldn't look good on mine!"


There was public pressure for the prominent evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins to debate the Christian philosopher of science and Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig.[10][11] For example, currently there is a petition for Richard Dawkins debate William Lane Craig.[10] YouTube recently featured a video which incorporates an audio excerpt of Craig stating that he would like to debate Dawkins and also features Dr. Craig commenting on Dawkins refusal to debate him.[11]

As far as Dawkins and his comfort level around professional philosophers, the atheist philosopher Massimo Pigliucci wrote:

Interestingly, over lunch during one of those days, I experienced Dawkins in what is a rather uncharacteristically humble mood: he confided at our table that he felt a bit intimidated, being surrounded by so many professional philosophers (he wasn’t talking about me, I assure you, but more likely of Dan Dennett and Alex Rosenberg, among others). It was interesting to see that rather unexpected (from his public appearances) side of him.[12]

Comment by Oxford atheist Daniel Came

See also: Atheism Quotes

In a letter to fellow atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins which was subsequently quoted by The Daily Telegraph, Dr. Daniel Came wrote concerning Dawkins' refusal to debate the Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig:

"The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part."[13]

William Lane Craig debates

William Lane Craig debates:

See also

External links