Recently, a friend of mine forwarded a link to an article on the apologist William Lane Craig. Apologetics is the peculiar, oftentimes misunderstood name, given for the defense of Christianity. It does not suggest that a person is apologizing for their faith, but rather they are explaining its reasonableness. The word comes from the Greek ἀπολογία, which is to “speak in defense.” Craig may not be a household name, but he is one of the most respected apologists today and is rapidly influencing the shape of philosophical debate. As the atheist Sam Harris put it, Craig is, “the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists.” William Lane Craig is a formidable champion for the faith.
Nathan Schneider’s article details the incredible capacity of Craig:
“Any given debate about the existence of God or some related topic reveals the tremendous intellectual labor Craig has undertaken to that end. In addition to his two master’s degrees and philosophy Ph.D. under Hick, he spent the early 1980s acquiring a further doctorate in theology at the University of Munich, where he studied the reliability of the source texts about the resurrection of Jesus. He has published more than 100 articles in philosophy and theology journals. The result is a person (verging on machine) who cannot only hold his own against fellow analytic philosophers on matters such as the possibility of an infinite regress and the nature of time, but who can also spar with physicists on the first milliseconds of the universe and with biblical scholars on the provenance of particular passages in New Testament Greek.
Schneider also describes Craig’s impressive debating technique:
“In the opening statement he pummels the opponent with five or so concise arguments—for instance, the origins of the universe, the basis of morality, the testimony of religious experience, and perhaps an addendum of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Over the course of the rebuttals he makes sure to respond to every point that the opponent has brought up, which usually sends the opponent off on a series of tangents. Then, at the end, he reminds the audience how many of his arguments stated at the outset the opponent couldn’t manage to address, much less refute. He declares himself and his message the winner. Onlookers can’t help agreeing.”
As our world grows increasingly combative towards our Christian worldview, it is encouraging to know that God has raised up persuasive voices like that of William Lane Craig. Men and women, like he, are speaking clearly in defense of our faith. We would do well to listen to what they say and pray that others might hear as well.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)
To read Nathan Schneider’s complete article click HERE.