Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
William Lane Craig
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Perfect as a textbook yet excellent for lay readers, this updated edition builds a positive case for Christianity by applying the latest thought to core theological themes.
J. Gresham Machen once said, "False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel"-which makes apologetics that much more important. Wanting to engage not just academics and pastors but Christian laypeople and seekers, William Lane Craig has revised and updated key sections in this third edition of his classic text to reflect the latest work in astrophysics, philosophy, probability calculus, the arguments for the existence of God, and Reformed epistemology.
His approach-that of positive apologetics-gives careful attention to crucial questions and concerns, including: the relationship of faith and reason, the existence of God, the problems of historical knowledge and miracles, the personal claims of Christ, and the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus. He shows that there is good reason to think Christianity is true. As Craig says, "If you have a sound and persuasive case for Christianity, you don't have to become an expert in comparative religions and Christian cults. A positive justification of the Christian faith automatically overwhelms all competing world views lacking an equally strong case."
I note that in his ﬁfteen pages devoted to the ontological argument in The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins only ridicules but does not refute the argument (Dawkins, The God Delusion, 80–95). 184 De Deo Since we’re talking about possible worlds, the various conjuncts which a possible world comprises must be capable of being true both individually and together. For example, the proposition The Prime Minister is a prime number is not even possibly true, for numbers are abstract objects which could
arises: How do we know that the purported miracles or fulﬁlled prophecies ever took place? The medieval thinkers, lacking the historical method, could not answer this question. They developed a philosophical framework in which the signs of credibility conﬁrmed the truths of faith, but they had no way of proving the signs themselves. About the only argument was Augustine’s indirect proof from the miracle of the church. Thus, Thomas declares, Now such a wondrous conversion of the world to the
How Do I Know Christianity Is True? 39 sible information would not be at all or would be only incompletely explicable.”21 Since the Christian faith is based on a real past event, and since there is no way to know the past other than by historical-critical research, it follows that the object of Christian faith cannot remain untouched by the results of such research. On the one hand, a kerygmatic Christ utterly unrelated to the real, historical Jesus would be “pure myth”; and on the other hand,
they all be replaced? . . . It surely seems a very long shot.” Ernan McMullin, “Anthropic Explanation in Cosmology,” paper delivered at the conference “God and Physical Cosmology,” University of Notre Dame, January 30–February 1, 2003. 162 De Deo more would have prevented a life-permitting universe, yet all seem perfectly possible physically. The person who maintains that the universe must be life-permitting is taking a radical line which requires strong proof. But there is none; this
Apologetics. I. Title. BT1103.C74 2008 239—dc22 2007051433 VP 16 9 15 8 14 7 13 6 12 5 11 4 10 3 09 2 08 1 For Jan, my love “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (Prov. 31:29) Contents Table of Figures 9 Preface to the Third Edition Introduction 15 11 Part One: De Fide 1 How Do I Know Christianity Is True? 29 Part Two: De Homine 2 The Absurdity of Life without God 65 Part Three: De Deo 3 The Existence of God (1) 4 The Existence of God (2) 93 157