William Lane Craig


William Lane Craig

Infobox Philosopher
region = Western Philosophy
era = 21st-century philosophy
color = #B0C4DE
name = William Lane Craig


image_size = 150px
birth = birth date and age|1949|8|23
Peoria, Illinois
death =
school_tradition = Christian philosophy
main_interests = Philosophy of religion, Natural theology, Philosophy of time
notable_ideas = Kalam cosmological argument
influences =
influenced = J. P. Moreland, Francis Beckwith

William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American philosopher, theologian, New Testament historian, and Christian apologist. He is an author and lecturer on issues related to the philosophy of religion, the historical Jesus, the coherence of the Christian worldview, and natural theology. He is married with children, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La Mirada, California.

Early life, education and career

Craig was born in Peoria, Illinois, grew up in Keokuk, Iowa and was raised in a non-religious family which included a father who was a railroad executive and World War II veteran, his mother, a homemaker, an older sister and younger brother.

Craig became a Christian at the age of sixteen, and his vocation and academic studies have reflected his commitment to Christian beliefs within the evangelical tradition. In theological commitments he holds to a Middle Knowledge/Molinist view of the role of human will in conversion. He has had friendly connections with parachurch ministries such as Campus Crusade for Christ and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

In his undergraduate studies, Craig was influenced by the writings of Francis Schaeffer, Edward John Carnell, and [http://www.stuarthackett.com/ Stuart Hackett] , the latter of whom Craig studied under.

Craig's tertiary education commenced at Wheaton College, Illinois where he graduated in 1971 with a B.A. degree in communications. [http://www.reasonablefaith.org Reasonable Faith] ] He then proceeded to graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, where he graduated with two M.A. degrees in 1974 and 1975, one in the philosophy of religion and the other in church history.

In 1977 Craig earned a doctorate in philosophy under John Hick at the University of Birmingham, England, and in 1984 a doctorate in theology under Wolfhart Pannenberg at the University of Munich. During his doctoral studies, he was a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.

From 1980-86 he was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He also briefly held the position of associate professor of Religious Studies at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California in 1986. Between 1987-1994 Craig pursued further research at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Since 1994 he has been a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California.

As a philosopher, Craig has defended Christian theism, both at the popular level and in academic publications. He is often credited with reviving the Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God, which argues for a first cause from the finitude of past events and the origin of the cosmos. His work on the compatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom has made him one of the most important contemporary defenders of Molinism, with its doctrine of middle knowledge. In the philosophy of time, he has vigorously defended the tensed or A-Theory of time and a Neo-Lorentzian interpretation of the Theory of Relativity, involving a privileged frame of reference and relations of absolute simultaneity.

He is also a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture which is the hub of the intelligent design movement.fact|date=May 2008 In the course of the public and political controversy over intelligent design Craig has written on the philosophical and cosmological aspects of the fine tuning of the universe for intelligent life. His work in philosophy has influenced other Christian philosophers, notably Francis Beckwith and J. P. Moreland.

As a New Testament scholar, Craig has published widely on the historicity of the resurrection accounts of Jesus. Like N.T. Wright and Gary Habermas, Craig has argued that the bodily resurrection of Jesus best explains what can be gleaned from the historical Jesus’ self-understanding, his death and burial, the posthumous apparitions of Jesus, and the origin of the early Christian movement.

Craig has edited, authored, or co-authored over thirty books and over a hundred articles in professional journals. [http://www.reasonablefaith.org] He is a frequent public speaker and debater on university campuses and he occasionally appears in the national news media. He has engaged many prominent academic atheists and liberal theologians in public dialogue. Some of these debates have been subsequently published as books; these include:

*"Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?" Debate with John Dominic Crossan (ISBN 0-8010-2175-8)
*"Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?" Debate with Gerd Lüdemann (ISBN 0-8308-1569-4)
*"Does God exist?" Debate with Antony Flew (ISBN 0-7546-3190-7)
*"God?" Debate with Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ISBN 0-19-516599-3)

In March 2006, Craig and New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman engaged in a debate entitled "Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?" on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross, with Craig arguing in the affirmative and Ehrman arguing in opposition to the affirmative. In one rebuttal, Craig used Bayes' Theorem to counter Ehrman's argument against miracles. A transcript of the debate is posted at www.reasonablefaith.org.

In the July 2008 issue of "Christianity Today", Craig wrote a cover article, titled " [http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/july/13.22.html God is Not Dead Yet] ." In the article, Craig celebrates the success of natural theology to deliver arguments for the existence of God. " [New atheism] is blissfully ignorant of the revolution that has taken place in Anglo-American philosophy," claims Craig. "It reflects the scientism of a bygone generation rather than the contemporary intellectual scene."

Craig has been critical of liberal theology, metaphysical naturalism, logical positivism, moral relativism, and the ideas put forth by the Jesus Seminar. He has defended the middle knowledge view of divine providence and is also notable for his work in the philosophy of time. He is a founding member and has served as president of the Philosophy of Time Society.

Bibliography

*"Apologetics: An Introduction" (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984).
*"Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus" (Lewiston, New York/Queenston, Ontario: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989).
* "The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus," in "Gospel Perspectives: Studies of History and Tradition in the Four Gospels", Vol. 1, R.T.France and David Wenham, eds. (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1980), pp. 47-74.
*"Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz" (London: MacMillan/New York: Barnes and Noble, 1980).
* and Paul Copan, "Craftsman or Creator? An Examination of the Mormon Doctrine of Creation and a Defense of "Creatio ex nihilo"," in "The New Mormon Challenge", Francis J. Beckwith, Carl Mosser and Paul Owen, eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), pp. 95-152.
* and Paul Copan,"Creation out of Nothing: Its Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration" (Leicester: Apollos/Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004).
* with Gregory Boyd, et al., "Divine Foreknowledge: 4 Views", James K. Beilby and Paul R. Eddy, eds. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001).
*"Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom" (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1991).
* and Antony Flew, "Does God Exist: The Craig-Flew Debate", Stan W. Wallace, ed. (Aldershot/Burlington: Ashgate, 2003).
* "The Empty Tomb of Jesus," in "Gospel Perspectives: Studies of History and Tradition in the Four Gospels", Vol. 2, R.T. France and David Wenham, eds. (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1981), pp. 173-200.
*"The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe"(San Bernadino: Here's Life, 1979).
* "Classical Apologetics" in "Five Views on Apologetics", Steven B. Cowan, ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000), pp. 26-55.
* "Did Jesus Rise from the Dead?" in "Jesus Under Fire", Michael J. Wilkins and J. P. Moreland, eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), pp. 141-176.
* and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong,"God? A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist" (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
* "God, Time and Eternity: The Coherence of Theism II" (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001).
* with Paul Helm, et al), "God Under Fire", Douglas S. Huffman and Eric L. Johnson, eds. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002).
*"Hard Questions, Real Answers" (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2003).
* "The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus During the Deist Controversy" (Lewiston, New York/Queenston, Ontario: Edwin Mellen Press, 1985).
* and Gerd Ludemann, "Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment? A Debate Between William Lane Craig and Gerd Ludemann", Paul Copan and Ronald K. Tacelli, eds. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000).
*"The Kalam Cosmological Argument"(London: MacMillan/New York: Barnes and Noble, 1979).
* "Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection" (Ann Arbor: Servant, 1988).
* and Mark S. McLeod, eds. "The Logic of Rational Theism: Exploratory Essays" (Lewiston, New York/Queenston, Ontario: Edwin Mellen Press, 1990).
* "Middle Knowledge, A Calvinist-Arminian Rapprochement?" in "The Grace of God, The Will of Man", Clark H. Pinnock, ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989), pp. 141-164.
* and J. P. Moreland, eds. "Naturalism: A Critical Analysis (Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Philosophy)"(London/New York: Routledge, 2000).
* "No Easy Answers: Finding Hope in Doubt, Failure and Unanswered Prayer" (Chicago: Moody Press, 1990).
*"The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge & Human Freedom"(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987).
* and J. P. Moreland, "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview" (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003).
* ed., "Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide"(Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2001/New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2002).
*"The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez: The Coherence of Theism: Omniscience" (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988).
* "The Problem of Miracles: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective," in "Gospel Perspectives: The Miracles of Jesus", Vol. 6, David Wenham and Craig L. Blomberg, eds. (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1986), pp. 9-48.
*"Reasonable Faith, 3rd edition: Christian Truth and Apologetics" (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008).
*"The Son Rises: Historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus" (Chicago: Moody Press, 1981).
* "The Tensed Theory of Time: A Critical Examination" (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2000).
*"The Tenseless Theory of Time - A Critical Examination" (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2000).
* and Quentin Smith,"Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology" (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993).
*"Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time" (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001).
* ed., "Time and The Metaphysics of Relativity" (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2001).
* and Francis J. Beckwith and J. P. Moreland, eds., "To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview: Essays in Honor of Norman Geisler"(Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004).
* and John Dominic Crossan, "Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate Between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan", Paul Copan, ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998).

References

External links

* [http://www.reasonablefaith.org Reasonable Faith] , William Lane Craig's website featuring articles, transcripts of debates, audio-visual resources, an online newsletter and discussion forum.
* [http://www.reasonablefaithtools.com Web companion to Craig's Reasonable Faith]
* [http://www.holycross.edu/departments/crec/website/resurrdebate.htm Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus?] A debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman
* [http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/doctrine/evidenceforjesus.html The Evidence for Jesus] by William Lane Craig
* [http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/tomb2.html The Historicity of the Empty Tomb of Jesus] by William L. Craig
* [http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/tomb1.html The Disciples' Inspection of the Empty Tomb] by William L. Craig
* [http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/guard.html The Guard at the Tomb] by William L. Craig
* [http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/bodily.html The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus] by William L. Craig
* [http://www.theopedia.com/William_Lane_Craig William Lane Craig] (Theopedia; with audio resources)
* [http://www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action=viewAsset&id=726 An atheist response to Kalam Cosmological Argument]
* [http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theism/christianity/craig.html Secular Web response to William Lane Craig] - with debates and articles
* [http://www.biola.edu/academics/scs/apologetics/wlcstore/ William Lane Craig's Online Store] , with nearly 200 of Craig's books, articles, transcripts, CDs and DVDs from his public lectures and debates.
* [http://www.myspace.com/williamlanecraig William Lane Craig] on MySpace.


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