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Articles by William Craig



  • 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 ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Could God Have Pardoned Sin without Punishment?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I have asked about the atonement in a previous submission. Please forgive this final, multipart question, which can stand alone. Here is the question. Even if it is legitimate for God to use vicarious liability and punishment in saving us--legitimate because these are established elements of Western law--why would God prefer vicarious liability to pardoning, which is also a recognized part of Western law? What advantage, from a legal philosophical view, does vicarious liability/punishment have over pardoning? Could God have chosen the legal option of pardon if He wished, rather than substitutionary atonement? What purpose is there in Jesus suffering, if absolution can be gained otherwise? Or is there some other moral, aesthetic, personal consideration that makes penal substitution preferable? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    Do the Laws of Logic Provide Evidence for God?

    Weekly Q & A with Dr. William Lane Craig

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I cannot thank you enough for your philosophical and theological work. Your work and Reasonable Faith is a constant encouragement and motivation to me as a Christian. In a unit on German philosophy (in a specific section on Leipniz), I recently had my German 3 class translate, discuss and respond to your argument, "Gott ist die beste Erklärung warum überhaupt etwas existiert," from your debate with Ansgar Beckermann. Your argument provoked a reaction and interest I was not expecting. Here is my question: Why do you not employ the laws of logic as evidence for the existence of God? It seems to me that God (a necessarily existing mind) is the best explanation for the laws of logic in a similar way that he (a necessary personal being of moral perfection) is the best explanation for certain necessary moral truths. Am I mistaken about logic as evidence for the existence of God? Is there a reason the laws of logic should not be used in an argument similar to your argument from objective moral values and duties? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Hello sir, I'm pursuing MA in Philosophy (Mysore University, India) and have completed Bachelor of Divinity (Serampore University). I just got into trouble with Hindu Monistic views after attending some lectures, and I don't know who to enquire other than you. Is Christian a Dualist? For us, Creation and Creator are totally different and so the existence of evil. When we reach the pearly gates, we will still be human beings not Divine Being. But for Hindu, when a person is liberated, he/she becomes one with God. So their ultimate reality is One. What about us? Is our ultimate reality One or two? Or? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, my question has two parts. First, would agree that if the body of Christ were to be found that this would give good reason to think Christianity is false? Assuming of course that we could know that the body was in fact Christ's body. This seems to be a reasonable proposition in my view. Now, the question I'm wrestling with is this: you examine and refute a number of natural explanations for resurrection of Christ and the facts surrounding this event. However, if it should so happen that archaeologists find Christ's body tomorrow morning, then one of those natural explanations for the resurrection of Christ would have to be true! Yet you have ardently maintained that they could not possibly be true. Is this at all problematic philosophically? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Hello Dr. Craig, Today I stumbled upon a few online articles that reported that the stone the Jesus was laid upon after his burial was found. This stone was released from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. National Geographic reported that they can now uncover more information about Jesus' death and burial. Then I saw a linked article that said that they bible is "wrong" about Jesus' death and burial. How well established are the biblical facts of Jesus' death and burial? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, Thank you for your work in philosophy and apologetics. I’ve learned much from you. I’m glad to know that you are currently studying the doctrine of the atonement! It seems to me that no single theory has yet been articulated which is sufficient to address all aspects of the atonement. For example, the Penal Substitution Theory (PST) seems necessary but not sufficient for a complete atonement theory. PST explains (1) Christ’s death in the place of sinful humans, and (2) the satisfaction of the demand for justice. But PST doesn’t sufficiently address the life, work, and teaching of Christ, nor does it sufficiently address the importance of sanctification as a part of atonement. Moreover, since PST holds that Christ bore the punishment we deserve for our sin, the punishment we would have suffered had Christ not volunteered in our place, PST seems to suggest that the justly deserved punishment for sin is not mere death; rather, it is death by crucifixion ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, thank you for all that you do to help us understand the God of the Bible in face of the difficult issues we all face. As a follower of Christ, I am troubled by some passages in Scripture which seem to indicate that God not only allows evil (the treatment of which you have addressed many times) but even more troubling, that God actually CAUSES evil. I am referring to the accounts both in the OT and NT: from the hardening of Pharaoh's heart in Genesis, to John 13:27b when Jesus tells Judas "What you do, do quickly" (seems to be no choice in the matter for poor Judas), to the account in Revelation 17:15 - 17 - in particular, the first part of vs 16-17: "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. FOR GOD HAS PUT IT IN THEIR HEARTS (my emphasis) to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled." Does "it" in that verse refer to all the horrific things they do - hating, making desolate, eating flesh, burning with fire? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, As a former New Atheist and student of philosophy in United Kingdom, I have found your arguments for a creative intelligent mind behind the origin of the universe rather fascinating and compelling. Though, I have several insoluble dilemmas which I wonder if you could unpick and make sense of. First of all, you invoke the KCA as your initial premise for belief in God (a God who created something rather than nothing). You're argument I believe to be valid, but listening to your debate with Dr. Lawrence Krauss, you said some interesting things which in-turn could provide a problem for the KCA and indeed the argument you use from Leibniz. Your answer to the question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?", was essentially the KCA, or in other words, God is the explanation for this question ...