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Articles by William Lane Craig



  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane 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 Lane 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 Lane 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 Lane 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 ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I have been deeply troubled by a possible objection to the Kalam Cosmological argument which I believe is one of the strongest arguments for theism. In what sense can God be thought to exist as a timeless entity? Doesn't the notion of existence itself imply time. I'm not convinced that it is possible for something to "exist" without or outside time. Should anyone on the other side bring up this objection, I think it would be very hard to refute. I would like to hear how you would answer this objection ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I have some questions on the issue of eternity and God. I understand that you hold to the view of God as timeless "before" creation and in time ever since ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I must say I feel completely defeated and I could use your help and insight. I had a discussion over God's existence tonight and totally botched it!! I feel I did a dis-service to the reasonableness of the Christian worldview. I've been studying apologetics for quite some time. I felt I knew the material pretty well. Now I'm not so sure. Dr. Craig, I know you're one of the great Christian debaters. When you were younger, did you ever feel you completely botched a debate and felt like a failure? That is how I feel right now!! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Good Morning Dr Craig, Thank you so much for having answered my last e-mail in your reasonable faith podcast of 11-08-2015. I listened it in the bus to work, and was really surprised and glad to tears. Thank you. I've read with a great interest your Q&A #52, about personal productivity, and it has raised more questions to me (as I begin to write myself and find a way to worship by writing): Do you pray during your work, Augustine style? How do you pray for your writings in general? How do you do your devotions? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I have a question regarding the chronology of the atonement. I know that, in one sense, the atonement encompasses all of Jesus' life in that it involves the imputation of his righteousness to us and not only our sin to him, and therefore we can say that everything from his birth, the silent years of his life, his baptism, temptation, etc. are all a part of the atonement. On the other hand, the bible seems to focus specifically on the death of Jesus on the cross ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    I am a medical student from Norway, and first I want to say that I am very grateful for your work as it has meant a great deal to both my interest in philosophy and my faith. Last week there was a small debate in Oslo about the Kalaam cosmological argument in which an atheist philosopher claimed that it may be possible that something began to exist out of nothing because that statement did not involve a contradiction and hence was logically possible. In watching your debates and reading some of your work I understand you to agree that it is logically possible, but that since it goes against both our intuition and experience it is in some other way impossible or at least an irrational view to hold ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Hello Dr. Craig, I would first like to say thank you so much for being such an amazing resource for answers and perspectives on difficult questions. I have listened to you for years and have learned so much from your work. I would like to explain, that I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus and that he died for my sins on the Cross. However, I must admit that I have not delved into scripture wholeheartedly. I was so deeply affected by the Gospels that they struck a note with me. I believe in Jesus because I can completely relate to the message. It makes total sense for me. Man is depraved, we need a saviour, that saviour is God, God came to live as one of us to show us the only way to live and consequently died, all so that we may turn from our own self righteousness and follow him. Jesus set the standard as has never been matched or could not be matched by man or gods. My problem lies further back in the timeline ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, How do we know that the red letters in the New Testament are what Jesus actually claimed and taught? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, I have been following your "Join Me In My Study" video series on the doctrine of the atonement. In the second and third videos, you distinguish between two functions of the Levitical sacrifices: propitiation and expiation. I see a potential conceptual problem here and would love to get your thoughts on it. It seems that expiation renders propitiation superfluous. If expiation entails that Israel's sin is expunged, why the need for propitation? God's wrath will not be triggered by the sins of the people, because their sins have been wiped away. A similar problem may arise in the opposite direction, also. If propitiation occurs, why the need for expiation? God is appeased by the propitiatory sacrifices despite the uncleansed sins of the people ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Are Souls/spirits dependent on God for existence or not? I am currently an atheist who is looking for reasons to believe that God exists. I was once a Christian but became an atheist by rationalisation when I realised that I believed simply because I was raised to believe. I have since become horrified by the implications of the atheistic explanation of life's origin (particularly mindless spontaneous generation), not to mention what it says about human destiny. I find the concept of God inspiring and want to believe that God exists but continuously encounter obstacles from numerous sources ranging from atheistic materialism to biblical and doctrinal difficulties. If something is true then it should make sense. Herewith one of those difficulties. My understanding of spiritual death and hell is that it is the natural consequence of choosing separation from God who is the source of spiritual life. I base this on the fact that the bible states that "the wages of sin is death" and other places in the bible where Jesus indicates that he (God) is the source of life. However hell as consequence, which for some reason cannot be changed after death, (rather than punishment) only seems just and makes sense to me if the soul is indestructible and able to exist independently of God. Yet my conceptual understanding of God is that He is the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient being who sustains the existence of everything. If he stopped sustaining it would not exist. If that is true then how can anything continue to exist if it is actually separated from omnipotent God? Where can anything be that an omnipresent God is not? Does this not mean that God is actively sustaining the souls of the damned purely so that they can suffer? For eternity? Or can even omnipotent God not destroy a soul? Neither really make sense to me. This is therefore one of the (unfortunately many)things that makes me doubt that the bible is true as much as I want it to be true ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, First and foremost thank you for the work you've done. I'm young and I've barely scratched the surface of Christian apologetics and the enormous body of literature thereof, but your contributions to the field have made a huge difference in my life. I'm thankful God has blessed the Christian community with you and I hope you stay active for many more years to come. My question is this: Does God Have a Plan? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig, Thank you for your ministry. The content on your website and mobile app is an incredible resource. I absolutely love it and can't seem to get enough! I have a question, Dr. Craig. An atheist with whom I'm in dialog with claims that you reject General Relativity (GR). I hadn't ever heard this so I asked what caused him to believe this, he says that because you interpret special relativity in neo-Lorentzian fashion that this interpretation does not allow a pathway to GR and thus no theory of gravitation. Additionally, he says that it is impossible to have a derivation of GR without using the principles of Einsteinian SR. From reading some of your work, it is clear that you prefer the Lorentzian approach to SR due to your commitment to the A-Theory of time. What I'm not able to figure out is whether the assertion is true that GR needs to be rejected as a result. Would you mind clarifying this? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Hello Dr. Craig, I was recently reading your "Love and Justice in The Trinity" question response. Specifically you state: "My argument is that it's not enough to think of love as a mere dispositional property, the disposition to love if some other person were to exist. Being loving is not merely the disposition to give oneself away to another if that other existed. Being loving involves actually giving oneself away to another. So this disposition cannot lie merely latent in God and never be actualized." So thinking about mercy, if being loving requires one to have an object which is being loved, then could it be argued that if God is merciful he would require an object to which such mercy is shown? What would be your response to such an objection Dr. Craig? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dear Dr. Craig I've recently had my worldview shattered and pretty much torn apart by the natural arguments for the existence of God, the Kalam Cosmological argument, the Teleological argument, the Ontological argument, and a few others which you present in outstanding accuracy and clarity. Being 17 years old, as any other teenager I thought I had everything figured out, I had responses ready for every argument that could've threatened my atheist belief ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    ... In reading to try and find some answers, it happened that most of the resources on Penal Substitution are written from a reformed perspective, and my question is over your views on the extent of the atonement ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    As I am transcribing your latest Defenders lectures on the problem of evil, I was hoping someone would ask the question, but I don't think it has been asked. So, maybe you can attend to it next week? Instead of arguing that "even though some evils look gratuitous, they really aren't" (i.e. we can't discern what greater-good will come out of any evil - this greater-good could occur centuries later in another country), why not come up with an argument that says, yes, gratuitous evil does exist (since it seems more obvious than not that it does exist), but that that somehow doesn't refute God's existence? Specifically, have you read Kirk MacGregor's response to the problem of evil and what are your thoughts? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dr Craig First and foremost, I would like to thank you for the significant impact that your ministry has had in the life of my family. My wife and I have been encouraged to share our faith with confidence knowing that we can provide a rational response to many of the objections that Christians face. I have been a Christian for a majority of my life. However, my new found interest in apologetics has highlighted my considerable lack of knowledge with respect to the basics of the faith that I attempt to defend. As a result, I have started to study theology. The question I have for you arises from my recent study on the atonement. Howard Marshall's Aspects of the Atonement (2007), was very helpful, and provided a solid defence of penal substitution. However, I have since developed doubts regarding this atonement metaphor ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    I would like to ask a clarifying question, and also ask you to consider some implications of your view on the Trinity. For reference sake, here is the view to which I'm referring: "Suppose, then, that God is a soul which is endowed with three complete sets of rational cognitive faculties, each sufficient for personhood. Then God, though one soul, would not be one person but three, for God would have three centers of self-consciousness, intentionality, and volition, as Social Trinitarians maintain. God would clearly not be three discrete souls because the cognitive faculties in question are all faculties belonging to just one soul, one immaterial substance. God would therefore be one being which supports three persons, just as our individual beings each support one person." ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Beloved Dr. Craig, Atheists argue that you commit a Fallacy of Equivocation when you talk about Something and Nothing. When you say "if the universe could come into being from nothing, then why is it that only universes can pop into being out of nothing? Why not bicycles and Beethoven and root beer? What makes nothingness so discriminatory? If universes could pop into being out of nothing, then anything and everything should pop into being out of nothing. Since it doesn't, that suggests that things that come into being have causes." Here, when you talk about the origins of the universe you are referring to absolutely nothing (no space, no time, no vacuum, no voids). But when you ask "Why not bicycles and Beethoven and root beer?" you are referring to the space-time in which we live. This is a fallacy of equivocation! ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    Dr. Craig, I am glad to hear that your next line of research is targeting the atonement. I have also been looking into this subject and am trying to find some answers concerning one aspect of the substitution theory, namely, Christ taking on our punishment or God's wrath. I have to believe this entails more than just physical death since our punishment without the covering of Jesus' righteousness is an eternity in the lake of fire. Does this mean that while Jesus suffered a horrific physical death on the cross that he also suffered this same eternity of God's wrath for each person that has ever lived or ever will live? Otherwise, there have been many martyrs that have suffered horrific deaths, so what would make Christ's death any more harder to handle than theirs, regarding God's wrath, if only the physical aspect was meant? ...

  • The Good Book Blog

    William Lane Craig — 

    First of all I would like to say thanks for the great job you are doing and for the big influence you have upon people's lives both spiritually and intellectually. My question isn't really mine, actually I found it in one of the reasonable faith forums, and I think it's a very good question that intrigues me since it was raised in your debate with Kevin Scharp. I would like to look at your take on the divine psychology objection proposed by Scharp more closely. Here's the question as it was presented in the forum: “Dr. Craig recently debated Dr. Kevin Scharp on the Veritas Forum. One very interesting objection that Dr. Scharp raised to the fine tuning argument is that it appeals to divine psychology to support the premise that design is more probable than chance and necessity ...