William Lane Craig
|Born|| August 23, 1949
East Peoria, Illinois
|Main interests||Philosophy of religion
Philosophy of time
William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American Christian apologist and philosophical theologian. He works in the philosophy of religion, philosophy of time, and the defense of Christian theism. He revived interest in the Kalām cosmological argument with his 1979 publication of The Kalām Cosmological Argument, an argument for the existence of God with origins in medieval Islamic scholasticism. In theology, he has also defended Molinism and the belief that God is, since Creation, subject to time.
Craig has authored or edited over 30 books, including The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz (1980), Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith, 1993), Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J.P. Moreland, 2003), Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (2008), and The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology (with J.P. Moreland, 2009).
Craig graduated from East Peoria Community High School in 1967 before attending Wheaton College, Illinois, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications in 1971 and two summa cum laude master's degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, in 1975, in philosophy of religion and ecclesiastical history and in the History of Christian Thought. He earned a Ph.D. in philosophy under John Hick at the University of Birmingham, England, in 1977 and a D.Theol. under Wolfhart Pannenberg at the University of Munich, in the former West Germany, in 1984.
From 1980 to 1986 he was an assistant professor of philosophy at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He briefly held the position of associate professor of religious studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, from 1986 to 1987. From 1987 to 1994 Craig pursued further research at the University of Louvain, Belgium. Since 1996 he has held the position of research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La Mirada, California.
Philosophy of religion
- Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
- The universe began to exist.
- Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.
He defends the second premise by arguing that actual infinities and the formation of an actual infinite through continual addition are metaphysically impossible. Although he recognizes that axiomatized infinite set theory is logically consistent he maintains that the existence of actual infinities in the real world would lead to absurdities. For example, David Hilbert's famous "Hilbert's Hotel" thought experiment demonstrates how a fully occupied hotel would still be able to accommodate an infinite number of guests. Craig modifies the thought experiment by introducing operations such as subtraction and shows that subtracting identical quantities from identical quantities would have non-identical remainders. Since we have no evidence of such things in the actual world, Craig maintains that actual infinities are, for all intents and purposes, metaphysically impossible. Craig also argues that the thermodynamic properties of the universe and its expansion provide more evidence in support of premise two.
Craig also develops an a posteriori argument against actual infinities which rests on the A-theory of time. He gives Bertrand Russell's example of Tristam Shandy, who writes his autobiography so slowly that it takes him one year to write down the events of one day. A similar temporal sequence would have occurred in an eternal universe. No matter how long it takes, an eternal universe would still not be 'actually infinite' and must have begun to exist.
Craig has also contributed to the problem of divine foreknowledge (the compatibility of God's omniscience with human freedom). He analyzes current discussions of time travel, retrocausality, special relativity, and Newcomb's Paradox and brings them to bear on theological fatalism (most often supported by strongly Augustinian theologies, particularly Calvinism).[page needed] Rejecting fatalism he defends the middle knowledge view (also known as Molinism). According to this solution, before actualizing a possible world, God knows everything that does or will happen as well as how free creatures would act if placed in any particular circumstance. Craig considers that this also provides the answer to the question of how God foreknows future contingents.
Philosophy of time
Craig is a presentist and defends the A-series of time. He rejects J. M. E. McTaggart's famous argument against it, describing it as "an engaging and recalcitrant brain teaser that no one takes seriously," but also argues against hybrid A-B theorists because they are all refuted by McTaggart's paradox. He argues that McTaggart's objection does not succeed as it employs an incoherent combination of a B-theoretical ontology with A-theoretical temporal becoming.[page needed] According to Craig, if one adopts a neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity, the A-theory can be reconciled with the theory of relativity.
In terms of God's relationship to time, Craig argues that God must exist in time if he is to be regarded as a causal agent. He rejects the view that God could exist timelessly with creation as he did sans creation on the grounds that nothing outside time could have temporal interactions with the world. Critics such as Paul Helm maintain that Craig’s objections against divine timelessness is itself incoherent because "There can be no temporal 'and then' for a timelessly eternal God." Craig responds to this charge by arguing that God's timeless and temporal phases are not related to each other as "earlier" and "later."
Craig's work as a New Testament historian focuses on a defense of central Christian doctrines, specifically Jesus' resurrection from the dead. In books such as The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus, he reviews the historical debate and provides a critical analysis of David Hume's arguments against testimony of miracles, examines New Testament material dealing with the resurrection, and concludes that the resurrection is the most plausible explanation of the historical data.[page needed] Craig uses the Shroud of Turin as part of his case. He has also written a number of popular introductions to Christian apologetics including Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics which was described by Evangelical apologist Robert M. Bowman, Jr. (writing with Kenneth D. Boa) as "one of the best recent textbook introductions to the subject of apologetics." Catholic Cardinal Avery Dulles has described his Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J.P. Moreland, 2003) as "monumental," but pointed out that Catholics will not necessarily agree with it.
Craig is a critic of metaphysical naturalism, New Atheism, and homosexuality as well as a defender of Reformed epistemology. Craig maintains that the theory of evolution is compatible with Christianity.[page needed] Although he does not fully endorse intelligent design, and is opposed to Young Earth creationism, he thinks that intelligent design may be a viable alternative to evolution. He is a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture and was a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design (ISCID).
As a Divine Command Theorist, William Lane Craig's controversial defense of the divine command to slaughter the Canaanite people attracted criticism from Richard Dawkins, Colin Howson, Greta Christina, and others.
Craig has publicly debated atheist activists and philosophers, Muslim apologists, liberal Christian theologians and certain critical biblical scholars, including Hector Avalos, Richard Carrier, Paul Kurtz, Robert M. Price, Shelly Kagan, Bart Ehrman, Antony Flew, A. C. Grayling, Michael Tooley, Andrew Copson, Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, Alex Rosenberg, Massimo Pigliucci, Lewis Wolpert, Victor Stenger, Peter Atkins, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Christopher Hitchens, Frank Zindler, Gerd Lüdemann,John Shelby Spong, Michael Schmidt-Salomon, Shabir Ally, Jamal Badawi, Arif Ahmed and Keith Parsons. His debates with Antony Flew, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Paul Kurtz, Gerd Lüdemann, and John Dominic Crossan have been published in book form.
In 2011, Craig and Richard Dawkins were invited by The British Humanist Association, the Cambridge Union Society, The Oxford Christian Union and Premier Radio to a debate over the existence of God, but Dawkins refused the invitation, accusing Craig of self-promotion. The two later debated in Mexico with four other atheist and theist scholars.
- "Curriculum vitae". Reasonable Faith. William Lane Craig. Retrieved 2012-05-25.
- VanArragon, Raymond J. (2010). Key Terms in Philosophy of Religion. Continuum. p. 127. ISBN 1-4411-3867-6.
- "William Lane Craig, PhD". Web Author Profiles. Evangelical Philosophical Society. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- Smith, Quentin (2007). "Kalam Cosmological Arguments for Atheism". In Martin, Michael. The Cambridge companion to atheism. Cambridge University Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-521-84270-9.
- Keathley, Kenneth (2010). Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach. B&H. p. 6. ISBN 0-8054-3198-5.
- De Weese, Garrett J. (2004). God and the Nature of Time. Ashgate. p. 215. ISBN 0-7546-3519-8.
- "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Talbot School of Theology. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- Craig 1979.
- Craig oulines this argument and seven others for the existance of God in Philosophy Now magazine, December 2013
- Oppy, Graham (1995). "Inverse Operations With Transfinite Numbers And The Kalam Cosmological Argument". International Philosophical Quarterly 35 (2): 219–221. Retrieved 6/10/2011.
- Reichenbach, Bruce (2010). "Cosmological Argument". In Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- Craig 1991.
- Viney, Donald Wayne (Spring 1989). "Does Omniscience Imply Foreknowledge? Craig on Hartshorneby". Process Studies (Center for Process Studies) 18 (1): 30–37. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Zagzebski, Linda (Fall 2011). "Foreknowledge and Free Will". In Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Participants: Craig, William Lane". Closer to Truth. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Oaklander, L. Nathan (2002). "Presentism, Ontology and Temporal Experience". In Craig Callender. Time, reality & experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 73–90. ISBN 978-0-521-52967-9.
- Craig 2000.
- Balashov, Yuri; Janssen, Michel (2003). "Presentism and Relativity". British Jnl. for the Philosophy of Sci. (Oxford University Press) 54 (2): 327–346. doi:10.1093/bjps/54.2.327. Retrieved 06/10/2011.
- Helm, Paul (2010). "Eternity". In Edward N. Zalta. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
- Helm, Paul (2011). Eternal God: a study of God without time (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 220ff. ISBN 978-0-19-959038-4.
- Dulles, Avery (2005). A History of Apologetics (2nd ed.). Ignatius Press. pp. 360, 363. ISBN 0-89870-933-4.
- Craig 1989.
- Schimmel, Solomon (2008). The Tenacity of Unreasonable Beliefs: Fundamentalism and the Fear of Truth. Oxford University Press. pp. 116–117. ISBN 0‐19‐518826‐8.
- Boa, Kenneth D.; Bowman, Robert M. Jr. (2006). Faith Has Its Reasons: Integrative Approaches to Defending the Christian Faith (2nd ed.). InterVarsity Press. p. 64. ISBN 0-8308-5648-X.
- Craig, William Lane; Moreland, James Porter (2000). Naturalism: A Critical Analysis. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-23524-2.
- Copan, Paul; Craig, William Lane (2009). Contending with Christianity's Critics: Answering New Atheists & Other Objectors. B&H. ISBN 978-0-8054-4936-5.
- William Lane Craig, Hard Questions, Real Answers (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2003), 129-144. A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality. Christian Homosexuals?. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith, 3rd ed. (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2008), 87.
- "Religious Epistemology MP3 Audio by William Lane Craig". Apologetics 315. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- Stewart, Robert B. (2007). Intelligent Design: William A. Dembski and Michael Ruse in Dialogue (revised ed.). Fortress Press. ISBN 0-8006-6218-0.
- "William Lane Craig on Evolution and Intelligent Design". You tube. Google. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- "Doctrine of Creation". Reasonable faith. Retrieved 02/05/2013.
- "William Lane Craig vs. Francisco J. Ayala – Is Intelligent Design Viable?". Apologetics 315. November 5, 2009. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- "William Lane Craig". Discovery Institute. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- "Society Fellows". International Society for Complexity, Information and Design. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- The Slaughter of the Canaanites Re-visited, Reasonable faith.
- Dawkins, Richard, "Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig", The Guardian (UK).
- Howson, Colin (2011), Objecting to God, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, p. 11.
- One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up
- Thom Stark, Human Faces of God (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2011), 103.
- John W. Loftus, Why I became an atheist: a former preacher rejects Christianity (Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2008), 39.
- Does God Exist?; 50th Anniversary Debate in honor of the Copleston-Russell 1948 BBC Debate, Madison: University of Wisconsin, archived from the original on 2003 Dec 2 .
- Flew, Antony; Varghese, Roy Abraham. There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. HarperOne. ISBN 978-0-06-133530-3.
- Boa, Kenneth D.; Bowman, Robert M. Jr. (2005). Faith Has Its Reasons: Integrative Approaches to Defending the Christian Faith (2nd ed.). InterVarsity Press. p. 64. ISBN 0‐83085648‐X.
- "Unbelievable? William Lane Craig vs AC Grayling debate on God & Evil". Premier Christian Radio. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Smith, Anika. "William Lane Craig Debates Lawrence Krauss Tonight, Takes on Sam Harris Next Week". Evolution News and Views. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- "The Great Debate". Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- "Two Philosophers Debate the Existence of God". Oregon State University. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "De Deo: The existence of God". Reasonable Faith. Retrieved 10/09/2011.
- Craig & Sinnott-Armstrong 2004.
- Jones, Nelson (20 May 2011). "Why Dawkins disappoints". New Statesman. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Craig et al. 2000.
- "William Lane Craig Debates List". Reasonable faith. Retrieved 3/5/2012.
- "William Lane Craig’s Debates (Reviews)". Common sense Atheism. Retrieved 4/6/2013.
- Craig, Flew & Wallace 2003.
- Groothuis, Douglas (2011). Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Faith. InterVarsity Press. p. 243. ISBN 0‐83083‐935‐6.
- Copan, Paul (1999). Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan. Baker Academic. p. 192. ISBN 0-80102-175-8.
- Ross, Tim (14 May 2011). "Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God". The Daily Telegraph (London, UK: TMG). ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- Craig, William Lane (1979), The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Library of philosophy and religion, Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-333-24809-6.
- ——— (1979), The Kalām Cosmological Argument, London: MacMillan, ISBN 978-1-57910-438-2.
- ——— (1980), The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz, London: MacMillan, ISBN 978-1-57910-787-1.
- ——— (1981), The Son Rises: Historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus, Chicago: Moody Press, ISBN 978-1-57910-464-1.
- ——— (1991), Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom: The Coherence of Theism: Omniscience, Brill, ISBN 978-90-04-09250-1.
- Apologetics: An Introduction. Chicago: Moody Press. 1984. ISBN 0-8024-0405-7
- The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus during the Deist Controversy. Toronto: Edwin Mellen. 1985. ISBN 0-88946-811-7
- The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse. 1987. ISBN 1-57910-316-2 / ISBN 978-1-57910-316-3
- The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez. Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1988. ISBN 90-04-08516-5 / ISBN 978-90-04-08516-9
- Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection. Ann Arbor: Servant. 1988. ISBN 0-89283-384-X / ISBN 978-0-89283-384-9
- Craig, William Lane (1989), Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, Studies in the Bible and early Christianity 16, Toronto: Edwin Mellen Press, ISBN 978-0-88946-616-6
- Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom: The Coherence of Theism I: Omniscience. Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1990. ISBN 90-04-09250-1 / ISBN 978-90-04-09250-1
- No Easy Answers. Chicago: Moody Press. 1990. ISBN 0-8024-2283-7 / ISBN 978-0-8024-2283-5
- Craig, William Lane (1991). Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom: The Coherence of Theism: Omniscience. ISBN 978-90-04-09250-1. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
- Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith). Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993. ISBN 978-0-19-826383-8
- The Tensed Theory of Time: A Critical Examination. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-6634-4 / ISBN 978-0-7923-6634-8
- Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate Between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan. Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse. 1998.
- God, Are You There?. Atlanta: RZIM. 1999. ISBN 1-930107-00-5 / ISBN 978-1-930107-00-7
- Craig, William Lane; Lüdemann, Gerd; Copan, Paul; Tacelli, Ronald Keith (2000). Jesus' Resurrection: Fact Or Figment? a Debate Between William Lane Craig & Gerd Lüdemann. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0‐83081‐569‐4.
- ——— (2000). The tensed theory of time: a critical examination. Springer. ISBN 978-0-7923-6634-8.
- ——— (2000), The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination, Dordrecht: Kluwer, ISBN 978-0-7923-6635-5.
- God, Time and Eternity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2001. ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3 / ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3
- Time and The Metaphysics of Relativity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2001. ISBN 0-7923-6668-9
- Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time. Wheaton: Crossway. 2001. ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3 / ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3
- What Does God Know? Atlanta: RZIM. 2002. ISBN 978-1-930107-05-2
- Hard Questions, Real Answers. Wheaton: Crossway Books. 2003. ISBN 978-1-58134-487-5 / ISBN 978-1-58134-487-5
- Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J.P. Moreland). Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 2003.
- Craig, William Lane; Flew, Antony; Wallace, Stan W. (2003), Does God Exist?: The Craig-Flew Debate, Ashgate, ISBN 0‐75463190‐7.
- ———; Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter (2004). God?: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0‐19‐516599‐3.
- Creation out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration (with Paul Copan). Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse. 2004. ISBN 0-8010-2733-0
- Reasonable Faith. Wheaton: Crossway. 1994. rev. 3rd ed. 2008. ISBN 0-89107-764-2 / ISBN 978-0-89107-764-0
- Einstein, relativity and absolute simultaneity. London New York: Routledge. 2008. ISBN 0-415-59166-X.
- On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook. 2010. ISBN 1-4347-6488-5 / ISBN 978-1-4347-6488-1
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- Reasonable Faith William Lane Craig's personal website
- Faculty webpage
- Comprehensive Debate list
- Interviews from the program Closer to Truth
- Works by or about William Lane Craig in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Audio files at bethinking.org