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Articles by William Craig



  • The Good Book Blog

    Jesus’ God

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... A former Muslim (now Christian) friend once remarked to me, “Muslim evangelism is a crash course in Christian doctrine.” Your question, Abdullah, so well illustrates that remark. You have opened the door to discussion of some very profound doctrines about God and Christ. To begin with, you are quite right in inferring that if any human being regards someone as God, he must also regard that person as his Creator, since God is the Creator of all that exists apart from Himself. Since Christians regard Jesus as God, they also explicitly acknowledge him as the Creator (see Gospel of John 1.1-3; Colossians 1.15-17; Hebrews 1.1-3) ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Brute Facts and the Argument from Contingent Beings

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... Your question, Austin, is about (1), which I call “a modest version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason” which “circumvents the typical objections to strong versions of that principle.” Leibniz’s own formulation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason in his treatise The Monadology was very strong: "no fact can be real or existent, no statement true, unless there be a sufficient reason why it is so and not otherwise." Notice that for Leibniz every fact, every true statement, must have an explanation. That entails that there are no brute facts, that is, facts without explanation. By contrast, as I explain in Reasonable Faith, my more modest formulation of the Principle “merely requires any existing thing to have an explanation of its existence. This premiss is compatible with there being brute facts about the world” (p. 107). My version of the Principle denies that there are beings which exist without any explanation. That’s all I need for the argument to go through ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    How Can Christ’s Death Satisfy Divine Justice?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... For those who don’t remember, Lance Ito was the judge in the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. Simpson was actually acquitted, but you’re asking why, had he been found guilty, some other person might not have borne his sentence for him, given that Christ bore our sentence of death for us. I want to be very precise about your question, Tomislav. Your question is not about the morality of penal substitution. Rather your question is about the satisfaction of justice. How can the demands of retributive justice be met by punishing a substitute in one case but not the other? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Worshiping a God Who Might Damn Your Children

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... There are actually two different questions here which are being run together, the first a psychological question (“How can you love and worship a God who you believe would do that to your children?”) and the second a philosophical question (“How can you think that is a fair and reasonable thing for anyone or anything to do?”). The psychological question is nothing more than an emotionally loaded red herring. It is just an inquiry about one’s personal psychological state. It is a request for an autobiographical report about one’s subjective condition. As such, its answer will be person-relative and have nothing to do with objective truth ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Millennial Skepticism and Despair

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I am writing to you not as one academic to another, like most of the posters on Reasonable Faith, but as a concerned parent and Christ-follower seeking ways to reach disillusioned and disheartened millennials; my young adult son, in particular. Whatever one's political leanings, I think most thinking individuals can agree on the rampant corruption and degeneration of our modern civilization today, and I believe this is where much of the disillusionment and hopeless feeling of young adults comes in ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    How Can Space Be Flat but Finite?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    We have established using philosophical arguments the impossibility of an actual infinite (I'm referring to an infinite set of objects, not an Infinite God which is not impossible), but I have read again and again that "the majority and best supported by the data hypothesis in physics is that the universe is flat and spatially infinite". Does this mean our philosophy was wrong, or does it mean that physicists have got necessarily something wrong, since their conclusion is against clear and distinct philosophical facts? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    What is God's Purpose in Life?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Hi Dr. Craig, I appreciate your work for the kingdom of Christ. You have been of great influence in my life as a Christian. I recently came across this piece by an unknown skeptic that was reviewing a book by Stewart Goetz ( The Purpose Of Life: A Theistic Perspective) "The first question that seems fitting when discussing the purpose of life from a theistic perspective is: what is the purpose of God's life? If our being/life is somehow derived from God's being/life, then any relevant discussion of human purpose must be contingent upon God's purpose. But since purpose necessarily entails an initial directive, a beginning-less being cannot have a purpose. A being that has no origin or beginning cannot exist for anything. Since it would follow that this supposed being's actions must derive from the nature of its existence, it would be hard to logically defend the existence of purposeful actions resulting from a being that must be categorically devoid of purpose. " I'm completely puzzle by this. Does God exist for something? Can it be said that if God had remain in eternity without creating he would be living a purposeless life? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Why Bother?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    I am a very open minded person and consider all possibilities. I am open to the possibility of a God and an afterlife. I am also open to the possibility that this God could be one who demands and expects that I obey and serve him or that I would be condemned to a horrible afterlife. I have been doing some open-minded research on the subject of life after death. As of right now, it doesn't matter what anyone says to me or what claims other people present to me in regards to God's character, if he is real or not, or if I am a blind sinner or not. The reason why it doesn't matter to me is because, like I said, I am very open minded right now and am open to alternative explanations of the things people offer up here. I am a very wise open minded individual and I do not jump to any given conclusion based upon some things I read online or a holy book such as the Bible. There is so much more to look into and have an open mind to. Even things that sound very compelling cannot be trusted since there are plenty of things out there that sound compelling, but are actually not ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Does God Love the Devil?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Greetings Dr Craig, I am a Muslim, from the westernmost parts of Africa. I have been following your work for years, watching practically all your debates, reading some of your articles and much of the weekly Q&A section. Even though I am not a Christian, you have helped me greatly in my own pursuit of truth, to identify much more with the issues that Christians face today, and in learning to appreciate the Christian tradition in philosophical and theological thought ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    What Could God Not Have Commanded?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    ... Before I address your question, David, let’s make sure that we state accurately the view I have defended. God’s freedom to issue commands to do certain things that would be immoral in the absence of a divine command is not rooted in God’s having morally sufficient reasons for so commanding. Rather it is rooted in the idea that the source of moral obligation is divine commands, and since God doesn’t issue commands to himself, he therefore has no moral obligations ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I am a great admirer of yours despite being a non-religious theist myself. For the sake of full disclosure, I have never been able to bring myself to take atheism seriously and am convinced on purely philosophical grounds that the atheist worldview is consigned to logical absurdity. That said, I have never been able to bring myself to subscribe wholeheartedly to any one religion either, and this for a variety different reasons depending on the religion under discussion. However, since you are a Christian I will limit myself to the principal reason why I cannot bring myself to accept Christianity, to which I have yet to receive a satisfying response. I figure if I won't get a compelling answer from Dr. William Lane Craig, then most likely no such answer is available at least for now ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Teaching Philosophy in a Public High School

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, First off let me say that I have been a longtime supporter and reader of your work. I have been encouraged and strengthened to give a reason for the hope within by listening to and reading your books, articles, debates, classes, and lectures. Thank you for all you do! Now, let me build to my question with a brief overview. I am a public school teacher and a youth minister at my church and love doing both. With my youth group I spend a tremendous amount of time inculcating the necessity for loving God with the whole being – heart, soul, MIND, and strength. I really want to ground my students the reality of their Faith – that it is more than feeling but is testable, rational and livable! I also teach them apologetics (I am presently going through the NT’s reliability, Jesus’ resurrection...ect.) and Christian doctrine (of which your Defender’s classes have been a huge asset! *PS – Please make a Christian theology book one day when you get the time!!) ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I have been enjoying your videos and podcasts about your study of the atonement. I have to admit though, that as of right now I don't accept penal substitution. Though I grew up with this view, I now hold a combination of the recapitulation and satisfaction theories. To briefly summarize for the readers, the recapitulation theory teaches that Jesus became like us and did what we should have done, so that in him, we might become like him and do what he did. This is perhaps the oldest theory of the atonement and is the basis for many later theories. The satisfaction theory of St. Anselm adds that Jesus's self sacrificial obedience served as restitution for our sins, or as Anselm calls it, satisfaction. In my opinion, these theories together are more Biblical and intellectually satisfying than penal substitution ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Using a Daily Devotional Book

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I have noticed something that troubles me while surveying common devotional books and guides that many Christians rely on in their daily lives. I have noticed that a common template for your average devotional tends to quote a Bible passage but then follows it with a well-meaning anecdote, or inspirational messages that are vaguely relevant to the quoted passage, or sometimes even trite aphorisms re-packaged with Christian overtones ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Dialogue on the Kalām Cosmological Argument

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Very rarely do I engage in online conversations with someone, but when a Facebook follower named Bob voiced an objection to the kalām cosmological argument (KCA), my curiosity was piqued by his cryptic remark. So I asked him to explain himself, and thus began a dialogue on the merits of his objection. I sincerely wanted to help Bob see his missteps and state his objection more carefully. To no avail, it seems! I think Bob’s objection is a mare’s nest of confusions; he thinks I need some lessons in logic! With his permission, I’m posting our dialogue so that you can decide for yourselves ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Hi Dr. Craig, For about the last decade I've studied the question of the existence of God. I was raised in a Christian family and became interested philosophically in the existence of God in my mid-teens. I have read several of you books and many articles, as well as watching numerous lectures and debates. I have considerable respect for you work, mainly because it is meticulous - in contrast to most discussion of the subject that is readily available on the internet. I regard your defence of the kalam argument to be one of the best defences of God's existence I have read. I would describe myself as a 'philosophical theist' ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Did God Overlook China?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I'm originally from China and have lived in the U.S. for 17 years. Through a Christian friend, I've been introduced to your books and debates online. I've been going to church for two years now, getting very close to becoming a Christian. Your work has been instrumental in helping my "engineeringly" wired brain making sense of god, slowly but steadily building up my faith. For that, I'm very grateful and want to give my immense gratitude and appreciation ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    How Can We Be Commanded to Believe in God?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, Thank you for your work in theology. I am grateful for your broad contributions to discussions about theology and religion in public life. Your philosophical and theological ventures are welcoming, thoughtful and substantive. My question concerns a remark you made in a recent podcast. You mentioned that God commands us to believe in Him. God commanding us believe in Him seems problematic. It is notably articulated by Hasdai Crescas ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Resurrections prior to the World’s End?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Fact 4, Point 2 in your opening statement of the debate with Bart Ehrman: you state that Jewish views of the afterlife precluded having a glorified existence prior to the general resurrection. Yet, the accounts of the Transfiguration of Jesus, three disciples saw Moses and Elijah. Elijah, according to the account in Kings, never died, but Moses is recorded as having died at the end of Deuteronomy. Whether or not he was actually raised and glorified in the same sense they came to believe Jesus was, could they not have believed that to be the case? Apparitions of the dead (Samuel to Saul and the medium at En-dor) were not unknown in the OT ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    “What if—?” Questions

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig I have been a fan of your work for about 2 or 3 years now. I used to be an atheist until one of my Christian friends directed me to your website and now I would consider myself to be struggling with atheism/scientism and Christianity. The last few days an idea has shaken up my worldview and my trust that philosophy can prove the existence of God. I think I can best sum up the idea as such ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Royally Bad Objections to the Kalām Cosmological Argument

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I can't tell you how much of a blessing your work has been to me. You have been a great inspiration to me, and I consider you a fine example of what a Christian scholar should be. I have been listening to a series of lectures entitled "The Big Questions of Philosophy" published by The Great Courses in which Professor David K. Johnson of King's College attempts to answer philosophically some of life's biggest questions. Because of the growing popularity of these lectures (especially now that they have been made very affordable through Audible), I thought it might be beneficial to get your thoughts. Professor Johnson demonstrates a deep familiarity with Christian apologetics. So much so that the lectures could almost have been entitled, "An Unbelievers Guide to Christian Apologetics." That may be a little bit of an exaggeration but not by too much. He singles out Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, and yourself. I hope one day you might have time to produce a podcast debunking his claims in general, but for now I wanted to ask you about something in which he mentions you by name specifically ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Recommended Resources

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I became a believer last year after one of your books helped remove an obstacle to my faith. I’ve studied the Bible on and off for roughly 10 years, but I now have a renewed sense of urgency and desire for diving deeper into scripture and theology. But I don’t know where to start with theology (apart from Defenders). I was raised in a non-religious family and have little background knowledge on the different denominations and theological schools of thought in Christendom. The huge number of theology books available make it seem impossible to know what to choose. Do you have any suggestions for systematic theology texts (and anything else you might think helpful)? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    The “Mind-Boggling” Trinity

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I would consider myself agnostic but have a question regarding the probability of God as accepted by the majority of the Christian community: Aren't the odds of a triune god beyond astronomical? To accept that there is an omnipotent, eternal being is difficult enough, but three separate beings that possess this nature? The term "mind boggling" doesn't even begin to describe the unlikelihood ... Thanks! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    The Historical Paul

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig. Dr. Craig, ... Recently I was witnessing to a friend of mine who is an atheist and he had a friend with him who is a religious studies major. As we got into the historicity of Jesus and His resurrection I argued for the origins of the church and the subsequent conversions of James the brother of Jesus and Saul of Tarsus. I was a little thrown off by the response of the religious studies major who stated "Hardly any scholar believes Paul actually existed. It is believed it was a pseudonym for a number of anonymous church members to get their beliefs into church doctrine" ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Why Are Hedonists Worthy of Moral Condemnation?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    This is the weekly Q & A blog post by our Research Professor in Philosophy, Dr. William Lane Craig. I am a hedonist who lives to be happy and to enjoy his life. I have no desire whatsoever to live for anyone or to serve anybody. That would include God himself. My own personal moral standard would say that there is nothing wrong about this and there shouldn't be any punishment. Even my own kind family and other kind people in my life agree ...