William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American analytic philosopher and Christian theologian. He holds faculty positions at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) and Houston Baptist University. Craig has developed and defended the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God. He also focused in his published work on a historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus. His research on divine aseity and Platonism culminated with his book God Over All. He has also debated the existence of God with public figures such as Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence M. Krauss and A. C. Grayling. Craig established and runs the online apologetics ministry ReasonableFaith.org.
William Lane Craig
|Born||August 23, 1949|
|Residence||Marietta, Georgia, US|
|Education||Wheaton College (B.A. 1971)|
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
(M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975)
University of Birmingham (Ph.D. 1977)
University of Munich (D.Theol. 1984)
|Reasonable Faith (1994)|
Jan Craig (m. 1972)
|Other academic advisors||Norman Geisler|
|Kalam Cosmological Argument|
Born August 23, 1949, in Peoria, Illinois, Craig is born to Mallory and Doris Craig. His father's work with the T. P. & W. railroad took the family to Keokuk, Iowa, until his transfer to the home office in East Peoria in 1960. While a student at East Peoria Community High School (1963–1967), Craig became a championship debater and public speaker, being named his senior year to the all-state debate team and winning the state championship in oratory. In September 1965, his junior year, he converted to Christianity, and after graduating from high school, attended Wheaton College, majoring in communications. Craig graduated in 1971 and the following year married his wife Jan, whom he met on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ. In 2014, he was named alumnus of the year by Wheaton.
In 1973 Craig entered the program in philosophy of religion at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School north of Chicago, where he studied under Norman Geisler. In 1975 Craig commenced doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Birmingham, England, writing on the Cosmological Argument under the direction of John Hick. He was awarded a doctorate in 1977. Out of this study came his first book, The Kalam Cosmological Argument (1979), a defense of the argument he first encountered in Hackett's work. Craig was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in 1978 from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to pursue research on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus under the direction of Wolfhart Pannenberg at the Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München in Germany. His studies in Munich under Pannenberg's supervision led to a second doctorate, this one in theology, awarded in 1984 with the publication of his doctoral thesis, The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus During the Deist Controversy (1985).
Craig joined the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1980, where he taught philosophy of religion for the next seven years. In 1982 Craig received an invitation to debate Kai Nielsen at the University of Calgary, Canada, on the question of God's existence, and has since then debated many philosophers, scientists, and biblical scholars 
After a one-year stint at Westmont College on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, Craig moved in 1987 with his wife and two young children back to Europe, where he pursued research for the next seven years as a visiting scholar at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Louvain) in Belgium. Out of that period of research issued seven books, among them God, Time, and Eternity (2001). In 1994, Craig joined the Department of Philosophy and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology in suburban Los Angeles as a Research Professor of Philosophy, a position he currently holds, and he went on to become a Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University in 2014. In 2016, Craig was named Alumnus of the Year by Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In 2017, Biola created a permanent faculty position and endowed chair, the William Lane Craig Endowed Chair in Philosophy, in honor of Craig's academic contributions.
Craig has worked extensively on a version of the Cosmological Argument called the Kalam Cosmological Argument. While the Kalam has a venerable history in medieval Islamic philosophy, Craig updated the argument to interact with contemporary scientific and philosophical developments. Craig's research resulted in renewed contemporary interest in the argument, and in cosmological arguments in general; the philosopher Quentin Smith states: "a count of the articles in the philosophy journals shows that more articles have been published about Craig's defence of the Kalam argument than have been published about any other philosopher's contemporary formulation of an argument for God's existence."
Craig formulates his Kalām Cosmological Argument in the following manner:
In his later literature, Craig sometimes uses a more modest version of the first premise, in order to bypass certain issues:
Philosophically, Craig uses two traditional arguments to show that time is finite: he argues that the existence of an actual infinite is metaphysically impossible, and that forming an actual infinite through successive addition is metaphysically impossible.
Granting the strict logical consistency of post-Cantorian, axiomatized infinite set theory, Craig concludes that the existence of an actually infinite number of things is metaphysically impossible due to the consequential absurdities that arise. Craig illustrates this point using the example of Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel. In Hilbert's hypothetical fully occupied hotel with infinitely many rooms, one can add an additional guest in room #1 by moving the guest in room #1 to room #2, the guest in room #2 into room #3, the guest in room #3 into room #4 and continue the shifting of rooms out to infinity. Craig points out that it is absurd to add an additional guest to a fully occupied hotel and the absurd result that the hotel has the same number of guests, infinity, both before and after adding the additional guest. Stating that the mathematical conventions stipulated to ensure the logical consistency of this type of transfinite arithmetic have no ontological force, Craig concludes that finitism is most plausibly true, which means that the series of past events in the universe must be finite, so it must have had a beginning.
Craig says that just as it is impossible, despite the proponents of "super-tasks", to count to infinity, so it is metaphysically impossible to count down from infinity. Craig says that an inversion of the story of Tristram Shandy is a counter-intuitive absurdity that could result from the formation of an actual infinite. Craig claims that if the universe were eternal, an infinite number of events would have occurred before the present moment, which he says is impossible.
Craig says that the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric Big Bang model predicts a cosmic singularity, which marks the origin of the universe in the finite past. Craig says that competing models which do not imply an origin of the universe have either proved to be untenable (such as the steady state model and vacuum fluctuation models) or implied the beginning of the universe they were designed to avoid (oscillating models, inflationary models, quantum gravity models). Craig says that the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem of 2003 requires that any universe which has on average been in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be eternal.
Craig believes that recent discoveries about the expansion of the universe and relativity theory support his view that thermodynamic properties of the universe show it is not eternal. Craig says that postulating a multiverse of worlds in varying thermodynamic states encounters the problem of Boltzmann brains—that it becomes highly probable for any observer that the universe is only an illusion of his own brain, a solipsistic conclusion Craig says no rational person would embrace.
Based on these arguments, Craig concludes that the premise that the universe began to exist is more plausible than not, and conjoined with premise 1, the beginning of the universe implies the existence of a cause. Craig claims that, due to its nature, the cause must be an uncaused, beginningless, changeless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being of enormous power, which he refers to as God.
According to Craig, the first question raises the issue of theological fatalism. He attempts to reduce this problem to the problem of logical fatalism, which holds that if it is true that E will happen, then E will happen necessarily. He challenges theological fatalists to show how the addition of God's knowing some future-tense statement to be true adds anything essential to the problem over and above that statement's being true.
Craig says that theological fatalists have misunderstood "temporal necessity", or the necessity of the past, and that the impossibility of backward causation does not imply that one cannot have a sort of counterfactual power over past events.
Craig surveyed the rejection of parallel fatalistic arguments in fields other than theology or philosophy of religion. He reviews discussions of backward causation,time travel, the special theory of relativity, precognition, and Newcomb's paradox to conclude that fatalistic reasoning has failed.
The second question arising from divine foreknowledge of future contingents concerns the means by which God knows such events. Craig says that the question presupposes a tensed or A-theory of time, for on a tenseless or B-theory of time there is no ontological distinction between past, present, and future, so that contingent events which are future relative to us are no more difficult for God to know than contingent events which are, relative to us, past or present. Distinguishing between perceptualist and conceptualist models of divine cognition, Craig says that models which construe God's foreknowledge of the future along perceptualist lines (God foresees what will happen) are difficult to reconcile with a tensed theory of time (though one might say that God perceives the present truth-values of future contingent propositions). He does not similarly challenge a conceptualist model which construes God's knowledge along the lines of innate ideas.
The doctrine of middle knowledge is one such conceptualist model of divine cognition which Craig has explored. Formulated by the Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina, the doctrine of middle knowledge holds that logically prior to his decree to create a world God knew what every possible creature he might create would freely do in any possible set of circumstances in which God might place him. On the basis of his knowledge of such counterfactuals of free will and his knowledge of his own decree to create certain creatures in certain circumstances, along with his own decision how he himself shall act, God automatically knows everything that will actually and contingently happen, without any perception of the world.
Craig has become a proponent of Molinism, supporting middle knowledge and also applying it to a wide range of theological issues, such as divine providence and predestination, biblical inspiration, perseverance of the saints, Christian particularism, and the problem of evil.
Craig's earlier work on the Kalam Cosmological Argument and on divine omniscience intersected significantly with the philosophy of time and the nature of divine eternity.
Craig examines arguments aimed at showing either that God is timeless or omnitemporal. He defends the coherence of a timeless and personal being, but says that the arguments for divine timelessness are unsound or inconclusive. By contrast, he gives two arguments in favor of divine temporality. First, he says that if a temporal world exists, then in virtue of his real relations to that world, God cannot remain untouched by its temporality. Craig says that given God's changing relations with the world he must change at least extrinsically, which is sufficient for his existing temporally. Second, Craig says that if a temporal world exists, then in virtue of his omniscience, God must know tensed facts about the world, such as what is happening now, which Craig argues is sufficient for his being temporally located. Craig argues that, since a temporal world does exist, it follows that God exists in time.
Craig says that there is one way of escape from these arguments, which is to accept a B-Theory of time. Craig concludes that one's theory of time is a watershed issue for one's doctrine of divine eternity.
In The Tensed Theory of Time (2000) Craig examines arguments for and against a tensed understanding of time, commonly called the A-Theory of time. In The Tenseless Theory of Time (2000), Craig conducts a similar review of arguments for a tenseless construct or B-Theory of time.
Elements of Craig's philosophy of time differentiates between time itself and our measures of it (a classical Newtonian theme), and includes an analysis of spatial "tenses" to the location of the "I-now", his defense of presentism, his analysis of McTaggart's paradox as an instance of the problem of temporary intrinsics, his defense of a neo-Lorentzian interpretation of special relativity, and his formulation of a tensed possible worlds semantics.
Craig presents a doctrine of divine eternity and God's relationship to time. Defending Leibniz's argument against God's enduring for infinite time prior to creating the universe, and appealing to the Kalam Cosmological Argument, Craig says that God exists timelessly and temporally since the moment of creation. Craig says that cosmic time, which registers the age of the universe, is the measure of God's time. The universe is, Craig concludes, God's clock.
Craig's two volumes The Historical Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus (1985) and Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus (3rd ed., 2002) are said by the Christian reviewers Gary Habermas and Christopher Price to be among the most thorough investigations of the event of Jesus' resurrection. In the former volume, Craig describes the history of the discussion, including David Hume's arguments against the identification of miracles. The latter volume is an exegetical study of the New Testament material pertinent to the resurrection.
Craig summarizes the relevant evidence under three major heads:
Craig's discussion of the evidence for each of these events includes a defense of the traditions of Jesus' burial by Joseph of Arimathea, a close exegesis of the Pauline doctrine of the resurrection body, and an investigation of pagan and Jewish notions of resurrection from the dead.
Craig argues that the best explanation of these three events is that God raised Jesus from the dead. He rejects alternative theories such as Gerd Lüdemann's hallucination hypothesis as lacking explanatory scope, explanatory power, and sufficient historical knowledge to support the psychoanalysis Lüdemann performs. Craig's historical case for the resurrection employs standard historical practices for weighing historical hypotheses concluding that the resurrection is a better match to the available historical data. Specifically, Craig argues, that if one does not begin with the unsupported assumption that there is no God, there is a higher probability of the resurrection hypothesis than of its negation. Craig also notes that a miraculous explanation of the evidence is increased when one locates the resurrection of Jesus in the context of Jesus' ministry and personal statements. This context, Craig argues, provides the interpretive key to the meaning of Jesus' resurrection as the divine vindication of the allegedly blasphemous statements for which Jesus was tried and executed.
Craig is currently focused on the challenge posed by platonism to divine aseity or self-existence. Craig rejects the view that God creates abstract objects and defends nominalistic perspectives on abstract objects. Stating that the Quine–Putnam indispensability thesis is the chief support of platonism, Craig criticizes Willard Van Orman Quine's naturalized epistemology and confirmational holism, and also rejects the metaontological criterion of ontological commitment.
Craig favors a neutral logic, according to which the formal quantifiers of first-order logic, as well as the informal quantifiers of ordinary language, are not ontologically committing. He also advocates a deflationary theory of reference, according to which referring is a speech act rather than a word-world relation, so that singular terms may be used in true sentences without commitment to corresponding objects in the world. If one stipulates that first-order quantifiers are being used as devices of ontological commitment, then Craig adverts to fictionalism, in particular pretense theory, according to which statements about abstract objects are expressions of make-believe, imagined to be true, though literally false.
Craig is a critic of metaphysical naturalism, New Atheism, and prosperity theology, as well as a defender of Reformed epistemology. He also states that being a confessing Christian is not compatible with practicing homosexuality. Craig maintains that the theory of evolution is compatible with Christianity. Craig has an agnostic position on the creation account. He is a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture and was a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design.
As a divine command theorist, Craig believes God had the moral right to command the killing of the Canaanites if they refused to leave their land, as depicted in the Book of Deuteronomy. This has led to some controversy. The prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has repeatedly refused to debate Craig, and has given what he calls Craig's defense of genocide as one of his reasons. Dawkins refusal was criticized by fellow atheist Daniel Came in 2011.
According to Nathan Schneider, "[many] professional philosophers know about him only vaguely, but in the field of philosophy of religion, [Craig's] books and articles are among the most cited". Sam Harris has described Craig as "the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists."
Some scholars, such as Wes Morriston of the University of Colorado Boulder, have challenged some of Craig's views, such as the Kalam Cosmological argument, the foundation of God for morality, the alleged genocide of the Canaanites, as well as Craig's views on actual infinites, his fine-tuning argument, and his arguments for the resurrection of Jesus.
Alvin Carl Plantinga (born 1932) is an American analytic philosopher who works primarily in the fields of philosophy of religion, epistemology (particularly on issues involving epistemic justification), and logic.
From 1963 to 1982, Plantinga taught at Calvin College before accepting an appointment as the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He later returned to Calvin College to become the inaugural holder of the Jellema Chair in Philosophy.A prominent Christian philosopher, Plantinga served as president of the Society of Christian Philosophers from 1983 to 1986. He has delivered the Gifford Lectures two times and was described by Time magazine as "America's leading orthodox Protestant philosopher of God". William Lane Craig wrote in his work Reasonable Faith that he considers Plantinga to be the greatest Christian philosopher alive. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2017.Some of Plantinga's most influential works including God and Other Minds (1967), The Nature of Necessity (1974), and a trilogy of books on epistemology, culminating in Warranted Christian Belief (2000) that was simplified in Knowledge and Christian Belief (2016).Apollinarism
Apollinarism or Apollinarianism is a Christological concept proposed by Apollinaris of Laodicea (died 390) that argues that Jesus had a normal human body but a divine mind instead of a regular human soul. It was deemed heretical in 381 and virtually died out within the following decades.Argument from morality
The argument from morality is an argument for the existence of God. Arguments from morality tend to be based on moral normativity or moral order. Arguments from moral normativity observe some aspect of morality and argue that God is the best or only explanation for this, concluding that God must exist. Arguments from moral order are based on the asserted need for moral order to exist in the universe. They claim that, for this moral order to exist, God must exist to support it. The argument from morality is noteworthy in that one cannot evaluate the soundness of the argument without attending to almost every important philosophical issue in meta-ethics.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant devised an argument from morality based on practical reason. Kant argued that the goal of humanity is to achieve perfect happiness and virtue (the summum bonum) and believed that an afterlife must exist in order for this to be possible, and that God must exist to provide this. In his book Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis argued that "conscience reveals to us a moral law whose source cannot be found in the natural world, thus pointing to a supernatural Lawgiver." Lewis argued that accepting the validity of human reason as a given must include accepting the validity of practical reason, which could not be valid without reference to a higher cosmic moral order which could not exist without a God to create and/or establish it. A related argument is from conscience; John Henry Newman argued that the conscience supports the claim that objective moral truths exist because it drives people to act morally even when it is not in their own interest. Newman argued that, because the conscience suggests the existence of objective moral truths, God must exist to give authority to these truths.
Contemporary defenders of the argument from morality are Graham Ward, Alister McGrath and William Lane Craig.Christian apologetics
Christian apologetics (Greek: ἀπολογία, "verbal defence, speech in defence") is a branch of Christian theology that defends Christianity against objections.Christian apologetics has taken many forms over the centuries, starting with Paul the Apostle in the early church and Patristic writers such as Origen, Augustine of Hippo, Justin Martyr and Tertullian, then continuing with writers such as Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham and Anselm of Canterbury during Scholasticism.
Blaise Pascal was an active Christian apologist before the Age of Enlightenment. In the modern period Christianity was defended through the efforts of many authors such as G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis, as well as G. E. M. Anscombe.
In contemporary times Christianity is defended through the work of figures such as Robert Barron, Richard Swinburne, J. P. Moreland, Ravi Zacharias, Rabi Maharaj, Robert Hutchinson, John Lennox, Doug Wilson, Lee Strobel, Francis Collins, Henry M. Morris, Hugh W. Nibley, Alister McGrath, Alvin Plantinga, Hugh Ross, Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, James White, David Wood, Dinesh D’Souza, David Bentley Hart, Nabeel Qureshi, William Lane Craig, Ray Comfort, and Roger Scruton.Christological argument
The Christological argument for the existence of God, which exists in several forms, holds that if certain claims about Jesus are valid, one should accept that God exists. There are three main threads; the argument from the wisdom of Jesus, the argument from the claims of Jesus as son of God and the argument from the resurrection.Cosmological argument
In natural theology and philosophy, a cosmological argument is an argument in which the existence of a unique being, generally seen as some kind of god, is deduced or inferred from facts or alleged facts concerning causation, change, motion, contingency, or finitude in respect of the universe as a whole or processes within it. It is traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, or the causal argument, and is more precisely a cosmogonical argument (about the origin). Whichever term is employed, there are three basic variants of the argument, each with subtle yet important distinctions: the arguments from in causa (causality), in esse (essentiality), and in fieri (becoming).
The basic premises of all of these are the concept of causality. The conclusion of these arguments is first cause, subsequently deemed to be God. The history of this argument goes back to Aristotle or earlier, was developed in Neoplatonism and early Christianity and later in medieval Islamic theology during the 9th to 12th centuries, and re-introduced to medieval Christian theology in the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas. The cosmological argument is closely related to the principle of sufficient reason as addressed by Gottfried Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, itself a modern exposition of the claim that "nothing comes from nothing" attributed to Parmenides.
Contemporary defenders of cosmological arguments include William Lane Craig, Robert Koons, Alexander Pruss, and William L. Rowe.Eddie Tabash
Edward Tabash is an American lawyer and political and social activist. He is an atheist, a proponent of the Establishment Clause. He chairs the Board of Directors for the Center for Inquiry. Tabash has represented the atheist position in debates against several world-renowned religious philosophers and apologists, including William Lane Craig, Peter van Inwagen, J.P. Moreland, Greg Bahnsen and Richard Swinburne.Evil God Challenge
The Evil God Challenge is a thought experiment. The challenge is to explain why an all-good god should be more likely than an all-evil god. Those who advance this challenge assert that, unless there is a satisfactory answer to the challenge, there is no reason to accept God is good or can provide moral guidance.Kalam cosmological argument
The Kalām cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God; named for the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism), it was popularized by William Lane Craig in his The Kalām Cosmological Argument (1979).
The argument is similar to the unmoved mover in Aristotelianism due to its basis in the nature of causality and argument against the possibility of an infinite regress. However, Aristotle himself did not believe in a temporally finite universe and his argument is concerned with simultaneously existing causes (meaning the age of the universe is irrelevant). The Kalām argument is named after the Arabic word for "speech" because Craig, arguing against the possibility of the existence of actual infinities in time, traced the idea to 11th-century Muslim Scholastic philosopher Al-Ghazali. The implication of the name is that God spoke (or, to be more precise, willed) the universe into existence.
Since Craig's original publication, the Kalam cosmological argument has elicited public debate between Craig and Graham Oppy, Adolf Grünbaum, J. L. Mackie and Quentin Smith, and has been used in Christian apologetics.
According to Michael Martin, the cosmological arguments presented by Craig, Bruce Reichenbach, and Richard Swinburne are "among the most sophisticated and well argued in contemporary theological philosophy", while also noting that, in reference to Craig's argument specifically, "there may have been trillions of personal agents involved in the creation".The Kalam argument's underpinning is the impossibility of an actual infinite and/or the traversing of infinite time, which is what distinguishes it from other cosmological arguments (as was mentioned) such as that of Thomas Aquinas, which rests on the impossibility of an essentially ordered infinite regress, and that of Leibniz and Clark, which uses the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Michael Tooley
Michael Tooley is an American philosopher. He has a BA from the University of Toronto and earned his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University in 1968. He taught at Stanford University and the Australian National University and since 1992 has taught at the University of Colorado Boulder.Tooley has worked on philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, causality and metaphysical naturalism, and has debated the existence of God with William Lane Craig. His paper "Abortion and Infanticide" has been controversial.Molinism
Molinism, named after 16th-century Spanish Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina, is a philosophical doctrine which attempts to reconcile the providence of God with human free will. William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga are prominent contemporary advocates of Molinism. Other Molinists include Dave Armstrong, Alfred Freddoso, Thomas Flint, and Kenneth Keathley. Molinism holds that God does initiate salvation and in his providence foreknows what and when his creatures would choose, in their free choice, to accept or reject his salvation made available to them in Jesus Christ.Omnibenevolence
Omnibenevolence (from Latin omni- meaning "all", bene- meaning "good" and volens meaning "willing") is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "unlimited or infinite benevolence". Some philosophers have argued that it is impossible, or at least improbable, for a deity to exhibit such a property alongside omniscience and omnipotence, as a result of the problem of evil. However, some philosophers, such as Alvin Plantinga, argue the plausibility of co-existence.
The word is primarily used as a technical term within academic literature on the philosophy of religion, mainly in context of the problem of evil and theodical responses to such, although even in said contexts the phrases "perfect goodness" and "moral perfection" are often preferred because of the difficulties in defining what exactly constitutes "infinite benevolence".Quentin Smith
Quentin Persifor Smith (born August 27, 1952, Rhinebeck, New York) is a professor emeritus of philosophy at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has worked in the philosophy of time, philosophy of language, philosophy of physics and philosophy of religion. Smith has published over 140 articles and of his published books, he has authored three, co-authored two, and co-authored and edited seven. He was an editor for Prometheus Books and was the chief editor for Philo from 2001 to 2007. He has debated William Lane Craig over the existence of God.Reasonable Faith (book)
Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics is a 1994 book by William Lane Craig. It began as a set of lectures for Craig's own class on apologetics.
In 2008, Craig released the third edition of Reasonable Faith, which featured mild revisions to the previous version.Reformed epistemology
In the philosophy of religion, Reformed epistemology is a school of philosophical thought concerning the nature of knowledge (epistemology) as it applies to religious beliefs. The central proposition of Reformed epistemology is that beliefs can be justified by more than evidence alone, contrary to the positions of evidentialism, which argues that while belief other than through evidence may be beneficial, it violates some epistemic duty. Central to Reformed epistemology is the proposition that belief in God may be "properly basic" and not need to be inferred from other truths to be rationally warranted. William Lane Craig describes Reformed epistemology as "One of the most significant developments in contemporary Religious Epistemology ... which directly assaults the evidentialist construal of rationality."Alvin Plantinga distinguishes between what he calls de facto from de jure objections to Christian belief. A de facto objection is one that attempts to show that Christian truth claims are false. In contrast, de jure objections attempt to undermine Christian belief even if it is, in fact, true. Plantinga argues that there are no successful objections to Christian belief apart from de facto (fact-based) objections.Reformed epistemology was so named because it represents a continuation of the 16th-century Reformed theology of John Calvin, who postulated a sensus divinitatis, an innate divine awareness of God's presence. More recent influences on reformed epistemology are found in philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff's Reason within the Bounds of Religion, published in 1976, and Plantinga's "Reason and Belief in God", published in 1983.
Although Plantinga's Reformed epistemology developed over three decades, it was not fully articulated until 1993 with the publication of two books in an eventual trilogy: Warrant: The Current Debate, and Warrant and Proper Function. The third in the series was Warranted Christian Belief, published in 2000. Other prominent defenders of Reformed epistemology include William Lane Craig, William Alston, and Michael C. Rea.Robert S. Dietz
Robert Sinclair Dietz (September 14, 1914 – May 19, 1995) was a scientist with the US Coast and Geodetic Survey. Dietz was a marine geologist, geophysicist and oceanographer who conducted pioneering research along with Harry Hammond Hess concerning seafloor spreading, published as early as 1960–1961. While at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography he observed the nature of the Emperor chain of seamounts that extended from the northwest end of the Hawaiian Island–Midway chain and speculated over lunch with Robert Fisher in 1953 that something must be carrying these old volcanic mountains northward like a conveyor belt.In later work he became interested in meteorite impacts, was the first to recognize the Sudbury Basin as an ancient impact event, and discovered a number of other impact craters. He championed the use of shatter cones as evidence for ancient impact structures. He received the Walter H. Bucher Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 1971, the Barringer Medal from the Meteoritical Society in 1985 and the Penrose Medal from the Geological Society of America in 1988.
Dietz was an outspoken critic of creationism, and was the faculty advisor of two student groups at Arizona State University in 1985, Americans Promoting Evolution Science (APES) and the Phoenix Skeptics. Dietz spoke on evolution and creationism at meetings of these groups, and debated creationist Walter Brown and Christian apologist William Lane Craig at Arizona State University.Ron Barrier
Ron Barrier is the former national spokesperson and media coordinator of American Atheists, and he frequently appears in U.S. media to present arguments from an atheist perspective. He has debated Christian apologist William Lane Craig over the existence of God.Barrier produces the cable TV program "The Atheist Viewpoint" in Staten Island, New York.The Kalām Cosmological Argument
The Kalām Cosmological Argument is a 1979 book by William Lane Craig, in which the author offers a contemporary defense of the Kalām cosmological argument and purports to establish the existence of God based upon the alleged metaphysical impossibility of an infinite regress of past events. According to Craig, given that an infinite temporal regress is metaphysically impossible and that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence. In a further analysis Craig discloses that this cause is a personal creator who changelessly and independently willed the beginning of the universe.Thomas Sherlock
Thomas Sherlock (1678 – 18 July 1761) was a British divine who served as a Church of England bishop for 33 years. He is also noted in church history as an important contributor to Christian apologetics.
|Concepts in religion|
|Conceptions of God|
|Existence of God|
|Problem of evil|
(by date active)