Philosophy Articles

  • Virtue Ethics Turns 60

    The Revolution Gets a Senior Discount

    David A. Horner — 

    Has virtue ethics become old and creaky? Irrelevant? Its energy spent or dwindling?

  • David A. Horner — 

    A popular analogy purporting to illustrate the truth of religious pluralism tells of four blind men who discover an elephant. Since the men have...

  • David A. Horner — 

    Tolerance has become the only absolute virtue in our society: Thou shalt be tolerant (and, of course, thou shalt not tolerate anyone who isn't)....

  • Steven L. Porter — 

    Recently I was in discussion with a friend who was concerned about the tendency of some Christians to spiritualize death and dying by appeal to the afterlife. To “spiritualize” death and dying is to utilize spiritual beliefs to avoid dealing with unwanted feelings over the loss of a loved one. “I just try to think of how happy she is with Jesus.” “When we see him again in heaven it will seem like no time has passed.” “I am just glad she’s finally at rest in Jesus’ arms.” To spiritualize death and dying in these and other ways is a defense mechanism. It is a way to defend against experiencing some painful part of reality as it actually is ...

  • Greg Ganssle — 

    One summer, I drove from my parent’s home in New Jersey to where I was working in Minnesota. Somewhere in Indiana, I saw the all too familiar flashing lights of a state trooper. I was speeding, and I knew it. I was going sixty-eight in a fifty-five zone. I had a pit in my stomach. I hated the fact that I was caught. Not only does the speeding ticket cost money, but my ego took a hit as well. I was resentful. I don’t like being in the wrong. More than that, I hate being held accountable when I am wrong ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Why does the Bible use so many metaphors and analogies to describe the Spirit’s activities and our relationship to those activities? Why not employ concrete language to teach us what we need to know about the Holy Spirit and our relationship to him? ...

  • William Lane 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? ...

  • William Lane 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? ...

  • Thaddeus John Williams — 

    In our day, wherever it is found, the fruits of intellectual inquiry grow from the conviction that there is such a thing as truth out there to discover. Take an axe to the existence of truth and you no longer have education, you have propaganda. Ideologies that deny the very possibility of truth can be found in many (thankfully, not all) fields of education. In the quip of postmodern philosopher, Richard Rorty, truth is simply a matter of whatever your colleagues will let you get away with saying. With no truth to seek and discover, we are left with only social constructs to endlessly dream up and deconstruct. In the words of one lamenting Harvard graduate, “The freedom of our day is the freedom to devote ourselves to any values we please, on the mere condition that we do not believe them to be true." When the very idea of truth is considered so out-of-fashion, schools gradually turn from the pursuit of knowledge to the business of data transfer, indoctrination, and diploma-printing ...

  • 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? ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    In recent years, I have been helped in my study of the Bible by employing an informal distinction between “biblical necessities” and “theological explanations.” Of all the classes I teach at Talbot/Biola, this distinction has been most helpful to students taking a class I teach called Pauline Theology: Romans. Since some of my students have benefitted from this distinction, I thought you might appreciate reading about it today. A biblical necessity is a truth that you find yourself compelled to affirm after a careful reading of Scripture that pays attention to the appropriate literary, historical, and canonical contexts. You may not know how to explain all the what-abouts of the subject, but you cannot get around the fact that this particular teaching seems clearly supported by Scripture. The thing that you must affirm after a careful and contextual reading of Scripture is a biblical necessity ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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? ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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!! ...

  • 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? ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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 ...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    The meaning of regeneration features in one of the ongoing disagreements between dispensational theology and covenant theology when we compare the experience of salvation before and after Pentecost. Covenant theology typically reasons that regeneration is necessary for saving faith (as in effectual calling and grace), so anyone experiencing saving faith was regenerate (e.g., Abraham, other OT saints). This reasoning is part of the assertions about the continuity of the people of God, the continuity of experience of salvation, and the combination of Israel with the church across history (resulting in the church’s replacement of Israel) ...

  • John E. McKinley — 

    Regeneration (gennao anothen, “born again” or, “born from above”) is most clearly stated in John 1:12-13 and 3:3-8. While Nicodemus thinks Jesus is talking about a second birth (“He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” John 3:4, all quotations are from nasb), the alternate possible meaning of birth from above is better since the source of the birth of God that makes one a child of God is more important than the idea of simply being alive again. Perhaps best is to hold both ideas of enlivening spiritual renewal and birth from God (as the new source for one’s existence) ...

  • William Lane Craig — 

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

  • John E. McKinley — 

    Regeneration seems to be one of those topics that theologians argue about while non-experts give little thought to it. Since this is a biblical topic that appears in nearly every book of the New Testament, we should consider this major theme closely and repeatedly. Regeneration is implicated not only in the term “born again,” but also in the many references to Christians as children of God, sons of God, the new self, new creation, having been made alive, and the new Christian familial identity as brothers and sisters to each other. I offer three controversial theses about regeneration to provoke consideration of this important doctrine ...