‘the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists.’ Sam Harris, author
A few weeks ago I gave my penny’s worth on the The Da Vinci Code novel by Dan Brown, and the manufactured controversy surrounding it. This in turn led to a renewed interest in Biblical apologetics for myself, which in turn led to me discovering the works of a leading philosopher and theologian named William Lane Craig. Nothing unusual here, until I started to learn what an effective debater the man is. I thoroughly recommend his website Reasonable Faith if you are interested in theological debates, particularly regarding questions of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ nature.
I’m no expert on today’s leading atheists, but two names did stand out for me in my findings: the late Christopher Hitchens (brother of Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens) and Richard Dawkins, bestselling author of The God Delusion. Surely two men that could put forwards an airtight argument for a case against the existence of God? And yet both men were well and truly humbled by Craig! ‘Frankly Craig spanked Hitchens like a foolish child.’ is how one atheist blogger described a debate the two men had at Biola University in 2009. And Dawkins (possibly fearing the same fate?) refused to debate Craig altogether in 2011! Invitations from both the Cambridge Debating Society, Oxford Christian Union and other groups were all turned down by a supposed atheistic champion of logic. You would have thought he would jump at the opportunity of destroying one of the worlds foremost Christian apologists in front of an audience at such renowned institutions! Imagine how that sort of publicity could have boosted his book sales…
Richard Dawkins gave six main reasons why he would not debate Craig, the gist of them being that Craig wasn’t qualified to debate him as he wasn’t a senior church figure, Craig was a professional debater (so…?) and it would not look good on Dawkins CV. Really?!? Debating one of the worlds best debaters, who happens to be a renowned academic in both philosophy and theology, and winning wouldn’t look good? Not if you lost I suppose… From a man who aggressively attacks Christian belief at any opportunity, and has made excellent money from doing so, this stank of cowardice and hypocrisy. More than one critic of Christian belief has refused to debate Craig, with any number of excuses. In contrast Craig always seeks to debate the strongest opponents available.
Now I am extremely careful about taking on board anything that anyone says about the Bible and their personal interpretation of it, regardless of who they are – even Craig. I need to compare carefully what they say, to what is written, and examine their motives and position as best as is possible. I can only follow what is written, never a person.
William Lane Craig’s stand for the truth of the Bible though is absolutely admirable. The skill with which he puts forwards the arguments for the existence of God, and the clear way he explains the logic of a Christian reality, and equally, the inconsistency of atheism is brilliant! In an age where we are overloaded with information and celebrity we can often be manipulated into believing what we are told, like ‘good little children’. We believe that if a book is a bestseller it is because it holds substantial information, and is therefore based on solid facts, written after extensive research. A ground breaking must-read! If it is criticised it is all the more proof that the findings are correct, or why else would certain groups want to withhold this revelatory knowledge from the public? This is simply rubbish.
Nobody ever thinks to read into the other side of the argument. Craig takes both sides of the argument, and with respect, but devastatingly focused logic destroys the fallacies that purport to disclaim our faith. It is good to have people like this in our corner.