Posted by: gcarkner | January 15, 2013

Featured Philosophy Scholar

William Lane Craig, Philosopher/Apologist

One of the top 50 Scholars of Faith

Visiting UBC March 6, 12:00 noon, Norm Theatre in Student Union Building (SUB)

Topic: Does a Fine-tuned Universe point to a Cosmic Designer?

*Dr Craig’s UBC talk at UBC on YouTube*:

Next Event of this Type


Craig also at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington on April 11-12

Topic: Can We be Good without God?

William Lane Craig



YouTube: 1.Craig

2. Fine Tuning:

William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949[1]) is an American analytic philosopher, philosophical theologian, and Christian apologist.[2] He is known for his work in the philosophy of religion, philosophy of time, and the defense of Christian theism.[3] He is notable for reviving interest in the Kalām cosmological argument with his 1979 publication of The Kalām Cosmological Argument, an argument for the existence of God with origins in medieval Islamic scholasticism.[2][4] In theology, he has also defended Molinism and the belief that God is, since Creation, subject to time.[2][5][6]

Craig has authored or edited over 30 books, including The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz (1980), Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith, 1993), Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J.P. Moreland, 2003) and Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (3d edition, 2008).

Philosophy of Religion

Craig’s primary contribution to philosophy of religion is his revival of the Kalām cosmological argument. In The Kalām Cosmological Argument, he formulates the argument in the following manner:

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence.[8]

He defends the second premise by arguing that actual infinities and the formation of an actual infinite through continual addition are metaphysically impossible. Although he recognizes that axiomatized infinite set theory is logically consistent he maintains that the existence of actual infinities in the real world would lead to absurdities. For example, David Hilbert‘s famous “Hilbert’s Hotel” thought experiment demonstrates how a fully occupied hotel would still be able to accommodate an infinite number of guests. Craig modifies the thought experiment by introducing operations such as subtraction and shows that subtracting identical quantities from identical quantities would have non-identical remainders.[9] Since we have no evidence of such things in the actual world, Craig maintains that actual infinities are, for all intents and purposes, metaphysically impossible. Craig also argues that the thermodynamic properties of the universe and its expansion provide more evidence in support of premise two.[10]

Craig also develops an a posteriori argument against actual infinities which rests on the A-theory of time. He gives Bertrand Russell‘s example of Tristam Shandy, who writes his autobiography so slowly that it takes him one year to write down the events of one day. A similar temporal sequence would have occurred in an eternal universe. No matter how long it takes, an eternal universe would still not be ‘actually infinite’ and must have begun to exist.

Craig has also contributed to the problem of divine foreknowledge (the compatibility of God’s omniscience with human freedom). He analyzes current discussions of time travel, retrocausality, special relativity, and Newcomb’s Paradox and brings them to bear on theological fatalism (most often supported by strongly Augustinian theologies, particularly Calvinism).[11] Rejecting fatalism[12] he defends the middle knowledge view (also known as Molinism).[13] According to this solution, prior to actualizing a possible world, God knows everything that does or will happen as well as how free creatures would act if placed in any particular circumstance. Craig considers that this also provides the answer to the question of how God foreknows future contingents.[14]


Craig’s work as a New Testament historian focuses on a defense of central Christian doctrines, specifically Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.[20] In books such as The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus, he reviews the historical debate and provides a critical analysis of David Hume‘s arguments against testimony of miracles, examines New Testament material dealing with the resurrection, and concludes that the resurrection is the most plausible explanation of the historical data.[21][22] Craig uses the Shroud of Turin as part of his case.[20] He has also written a number of popular introductions to Christian apologetics[20] including Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics which was described by Evangelical apologist Robert M. Bowman, Jr. (writing with Kenneth D. Boa) as “one of the best recent textbook introductions to the subject of apologetics.”[23] Catholic Cardinal Avery Dulles has described his Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J.P. Moreland, 2003) as “monumental,” but pointed out that Catholics will not necessarily agree with it.[20]


  1. The Kalām Cosmological Argument. London: MacMillan. 1979. ISBN 1-57910-438-X / ISBN 978-1-57910-438-2
  2. The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz. London: MacMillan. 1980. ISBN 1-57910-787-7 / ISBN 978-1-57910-787-1
  3. The Son Rises: Historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Chicago: Moody Press. 1981. ISBN 978-1-57910-464-1 / ISBN 978-1-57910-464-1
  4. Apologetics: An Introduction. Chicago: Moody Press. 1984. ISBN 0-8024-0405-7
  5. The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus during the Deist Controversy. Toronto: Edwin Mellen. 1985. ISBN 0-88946-811-7
  6. The Only Wise God: The Compatibility of Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom. Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse. 1987. ISBN 1-57910-316-2 / ISBN 978-1-57910-316-3
  7. The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge and Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez. Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1988. ISBN 90-04-08516-5 / ISBN 978-90-04-08516-9
  8. Knowing the Truth About the Resurrection. Ann Arbor: Servant. 1988. ISBN 0-89283-384-X / ISBN 978-0-89283-384-9
  9. Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus. Toronto: Edwin Mellen Press. 1989. ISBN 0889466165/ ISBN 978-0-88946-616-6
  10. Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom: The Coherence of Theism I: Omniscience. Leiden: E.J. Brill. 1990. ISBN 90-04-09250-1 / ISBN 978-90-04-09250-1
  11. No Easy Answers. Chicago: Moody Press. 1990. ISBN 0-8024-2283-7 / ISBN 978-0-8024-2283-5
  12. Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith). Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993. ISBN 978-0-19-826383-8
  13. The Tensed Theory of Time: A Critical Examination. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-6634-4 / ISBN 978-0-7923-6634-8
  14. Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Debate Between William Lane Craig and John Dominic Crossan. Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse. 1998.
  15. God, Are You There?. Atlanta: RZIM. 1999. ISBN 1-930107-00-5 / ISBN 978-1-930107-00-7
  16. The Tenseless Theory of Time: A Critical Examination. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2000. ISBN 978-0-7923-6635-5 / ISBN 978-0-7923-6635-5
  17. God, Time and Eternity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2001. ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3 / ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3
  18. Time and The Metaphysics of Relativity. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2001. ISBN 0-7923-6668-9
  19. Time and Eternity: Exploring God’s Relationship to Time. Wheaton: Crossway. 2001. ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3 / ISBN 978-1-58134-241-3
  20. What Does God Know? Atlanta: RZIM. 2002. ISBN 978-1-930107-05-2
  21. Hard Questions, Real Answers. Wheaton: Crossway Books. 2003. ISBN 978-1-58134-487-5 / ISBN 978-1-58134-487-5
  22. God?: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist(with Walter Sinnot-Armstrong). New York: Oxford University Press. 2003.
  23. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (with J.P. Moreland). Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. 2003.
  24. Creation out of Nothing: A Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration (with Paul Copan). Grand Rapids: Baker Bookhouse. 2004. ISBN 0-8010-2733-0
  25. Reasonable Faith. Wheaton: Crossway. 1994. rev. 3rd ed. 2008. ISBN 0-89107-764-2 / ISBN 978-0-89107-764-0
  26. Einstein, relativity and absolute simultaneity. London New York: Routledge. 2008. ISBN 0-415-59166-X.
  27. On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook. 2010. ISBN 1-4347-6488-5 / ISBN 978-1-4347-6488-1

 Bill Craig is the featured speaker at the Apologetics Canada Conference, March 1 & 2 in Abbotsford, BC


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