William Lane Craig: Avoiding More Debate Opponents?

Recently Craig refused to debate me again. But not just me this time. He also refused to debate Robert Price, Hector Avalos, and Richard Carrier, three other contributors to the anthology to be released in April called The Christian Delusion. Maybe he ought to refuse to debate everyone who contributed to that book, right? Here's the story:
We at UB Freethinkers have learned first-hand that renowned Christian theologian William Lane Craig is brave enough to debate anyone — that he gets to choose.

For months now, we at UB Freethinkers — in cooperation with the Center for Inquiry and our friends at UB’s Intervarsity Christian Fellowship — have been planning an Easter-time Veritas Forum debate between a pair of heavy hitting experts that we could each bring in. The topic: Whether Jesus of Nazareth truly rose from the grave.

With such an important motion being forwarded, we were thrilled to learn that our Christian friends were able to secure the famous theologian William Lane Craig, a professor of philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology at BIOLA University, and one of western Christianity’s most frequently touted apologists.

Unfortunately for us, our first choice, biblical scholar R. Joseph Hoffmann, was unavailable. Not to worry, so we thought, since there are a great number of very capable individuals whom we could choose from. Little did we know that when dealing with Dr. Craig, apparently the choice wasn’t ours alone. Time and again over the past months, Dr. Craig has taken it upon himself to refuse participating alongside the following opponents we’ve proposed:

Robert Price

Hector Avalos

Richard Carrier

John W. Loftus

The idea that someone would get to choose their opponent in a debate seemed very odd to us here at UB Freethinkers. Such an attitude was especially surprising coming from someone like Dr. Craig, whose reputation among Christians as an eloquent and confident debater precedes him.

After this much time, the situation has simply become absurd. If we’re unable to find an available opponent that receives Dr. Craig’s blessing, the entire event could fall through. It’s becoming a tremendous strain upon us, and upon our Christian friends who have been working diligently to plan this event.

More-so, given the nature and importance of an open and intellectually rigorous debate, to quietly submit that one side can choose a preferred opponent would be dishonest to everyone in attendance. As such, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to broach Dr. Craig’s rather selective intellectual courage in this matter.

At the moment, we may have finally found an acceptable (and spectacular) opponent for Dr. Craig — should they be available. Yet, when dealing with a Christian intellectual of his supposed caliber and experience, the difficulty of getting to this point has been rather disheartening. Perhaps Dr. Craig has very good reasons for avoiding certain opponents. We would love to hear them.

Link
Not to reveal anyone's name or the university but I recently heard that Bill refused to debate me in a different venue, citing the fact that I had not yet established myself enough as a debater.

Now wait just a minute, okay? None of his reasons for refusing to debate me so far make any sense. Take this last one for instance. How many people has he debated who met that requirement? How many of them had previously established themselves as debaters? Not many of them. That I can say for sure. But he singles me out, again.

Perhaps he just wants to watch me debate to see my weaknesses? Perhaps he wants to see how I argue so he can be prepared to counter my objections? Perhaps he's worried? Who knows, right? He did say that the person he fears debating the most would be a former student of his. That would be me!

No wonder I watched with some irony Dawkins refusal to debate him.

This is nothing personal with me. I like Bill. I really do. It's just that he has some questions to answer, don't you think?

Bill, you called Dawkins a coward for not debating you.

Okay, coward.

----------

Update:

UB Freethinkers responds to a post on Dr. Craig's forum:
Dr. Craig agreed in advance last winter to come here for this Easter-time event and represent Intervarsity. In the meantime, we at UBFT have been a bit more limited than usual when searching for someone available to represent our side, since this debate specifically requires a historian and biblical scholar (it’s on the historicity of the resurrection) instead of just any old religious critic or blasphemer.

Honestly, we’re a podunk freethought student group simply looking to hold an event with our Christian friends at Intervarsity. If Dr. Craig was intent on avoiding certain people, he should have proposed a list of undesirables (and/or desirables) when IV contacted him last spring. Instead, we at UBFT and CFI have been going back and forth with him (through IV) for almost a year now, proposing names as we secure them, only to have them denied.

Dr. Craig is supposed to be the definitive lion of Christian apologetics. If he’s going to commit to a debate, one would expect he’d also be willing and able to show up — Kalam in tow — and dance around the most experienced person we can find, whoever the hell they might be.

If not, don’t offer in the first place.

56 comments:

Jonathan said...

Question:

1)If Craig is #1 in the debate circuit who is #2, #3, #4, etc?

2)Are "Christians" putting all their "eggs in one basket" regarding Craig in defending Christianity?

3)Has anyone ever converted to Christianity after watching a debate with Craig?

4) Has anything ever been resolved threw a debate with Craig? It seems in the end both sides claim victory of a sorts.

5)Finally if Christians support my right not to be a Christian then doesn't it make such debates with Craig moot? It appears I win my rights in default.

Thanks!

Bud said...

@Jonathan,

"Having the right" to be a Christian, atheist, or whatever one chooses simply means one has the right to be wrong, the right to make up one's own mind, and the right to disagree with others concerning what the truth is. I don't see how having such a right makes debates moot, since we are able to have debates *because* we have such rights.

Debates in general may sway a few people who are "on the fence," but generally debates only serve as an entertaining way to hear the arguments of both sides and the responses of each side to the other side's arguments. The problem with debates is that one's rhetorical skills are always a factor, thus the "winner" of a debate isn't necessarily the person with the best arguments.

Anonymous said...

Help me out here: if a boxer fights an opponent, and beats him handily, can he be accused of "handpicking" if he refuses to fight the same opponent again and again? Sounds absurd to me. And, if we add to this the fact that this boxer seeks out and fights the best opponents out there, isn't the charge that much more ridiculous? Now, Craig regularly faces the toughest opponents he can find (Ehrman, Dacey, Crossan, Hitchens, etc.), and he has already debated, and defeated, Price, Avalos and Carrier. Why not give someone else a shot? Personally, I'm all for Craig giving John that shot, but I understand that he (Craig) has some personal reasons for not wanting to do so. But that aside, I don't think you can sensibly accuse a man who has already debated both the best of the best and the potential opponents your proposing with handpicking his opponents!

Joshua Jung said...

Eric,

If the boxer has been accused of using dirty tactics, and refuses to fight those who claim to have figured this out, this starts to smell fishy.

Wouldn't you say?

Thomas Farrell said...

Given that many prominent atheists refuse to debate some or all creationists, I think that it's unfair to criticize the creationists for refusing to debate some or all atheists. Yes, we understand their arguments don't have a leg to stand on, but let's not have a double standard here.

Mike D said...

I'll bet he's got a great reason, something like, "It would look better on their resume than on mine".

K said...

The problem with debating creationists is not that it's creationism versus atheism, but that creationists use the debates and the celebrity of those debating to push non-science as if it were on a par with science. That's the problem, the creationists aren't looking for scientific legitimacy, just the appearance of scientific legitimacy - and scientists have every right to refuse to go up against those who operate in perpetual dishonesty.

Though it would be odd to see creationism take on atheism given the category error of them. Atheism is not the opposite of creationism, evolution is. And evolution is not atheism. The place to battle for science is in academia, at conferences and through the peer review system where learned people can examine and critique whatever claims are put forward. A public debate does no such thing, it puts it in front of a layman audience who for the most part don't know better and are unable to distinguish between science and pseudoscience.

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric, so what you're proposing is that Bill rejected us because he wanted to debate others who were better than us? Okay, I guess. Did he beat Avalos, Price, and Carrier? If so, the point is whether he would do so again. Remember, they now have more debate experience and may have learned better how to debate him. Debate experience. That's what he's looking for, right?

And unlike Dawkins or Hitchens I do know something about philosophy, theology and apologetics, so in some ways I am much better prepared to debate him than they are, wouldn't you agree?

In any case, the point of the link I provided is that Craig pretty much DID hand pick his opponent. These guys chose one person after another to debate him and he rejected them in turn. Even the Christian organization was frustrated over this process, is what they claim.

Now you're likening it to a reigning boxer who can choose his opponents? I suppose he can. It's just that this Free Thinking organization is shining a spotlight on this fact and letting people judge for themselves. And what I'm doing here is calling him out.

In any case if Bill can reject who he wants to debate I can call attention to his reasons for doing so, putting pressure on him. That's what challengers do, and I am a challenger.

What do YOU think of his stated reasons for not debating me? Will they hold up, especially as word of them leaks out into the public?

One thing you've acknowledged is that you'd like to see us debate each other. Many would. That's the point. Thanks so much. That's all I ask for, people who say they'd like to see it.

There's an evangelical university right now that would hold such a debate who has asked to host it. That's an evangelical university, mind you. What, is he too busy or something? What's the problem. THAT'S what I'd like to know.

Cheers.

Mike D said...

Why does anyone care about giving that tool an audience anyway?

Besides, all his arguments were debunked in the span of a few minutes here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wV_REEdvxo

Jonathan MS Pearce said...

@Jonathan

i am fairly sure that anthony flew has cited his debate with craig as being responsible for him strarting to move from atheism to agnosticism.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Bill's other stated reason for not debating me is that he doesn't want to turn me in "Mr. Anti-Christian Apologist." That's interesting since he never said that about anyone else. Again, why single me out? And why is he afraid of turning me into "Mr. Anti-Christian Apologist" when he was not afraid of doing that with anyone else he's debated? Surely he should be able to trounce me and put me back into the ranks of other debunked debunkers, right? If he thinks he can do that then why doesn't he?

I'm getting the impression he's just afraid of me. That's what I think.

AIGBusted said...

Why is it such a big deal that Craig refused to debate the others (Carrier, Avalos, Price)? Craig has debated them before... and, I have to admit, he won.

Anonymous said...

AIGBusted, because of the frustration he caused both organizations. All they wanted to do was host a debate, and he agreed to debate. Do you know how time consuming it is to approach people to get approval one after another only to have them turned down?

J Curtis said...

Speaking of "avoiding debate opponents", I mentioned on a previous thread the "turn-tail-and-run" tactics of PZ Myers in reference to his refusal to debate Vox Day twice. Both on the subject of the existance of gods and on ND/TENS. You would think that Myers would have LEAPT at the opportunity to play the part of the "big hero for science".

J Curtis said...

AIG, thank you for your honesty. Craig (and I would argue Day as well), have probably forgotten more about logical argumentation than most of us could ever learn.

Chuck said...

My dconversion began when I read some of WLC's debates. It was sealed when he argued against the critical-historical method in estimating the historicity of the resurrection vs. Ehrman. His manipulative and controlling rhetoric that skeptics "must" answer his questions is annoying. And his trust in the inner witness of the holy spirit seems like wishful thinking. WLC was recommended to me by a fan of his as an example that Christians can be reasonable (especially around the ID debate) and I walked away shaking my head insulted by the man's seeming arrogance, presumption and pedantry.

I did become a fan of Ehrman however and have really loved his books.

Steven Carr said...

Craig not only demands to be able to blackball potential debating opponents, but he also demands that the subject be one he wants, and not his opponent.

For example, Craig flatly refused to debate Carrier on the historical reliability of the Gospels, and forced Carrier to debate on a different subject.

Chuck said...

My experience in estimating WLC's character places him firmly in the passive-aggressive-control-freak category all evangelical Christians devolve to.

K said...

I remember one of those times Vox Day tried to "debate" PZ, he claimed to have the ultimate argument for God. So when people asked him to produce it, he just said he hadn't written it down yet.

Yep, he could have put his arguments out for all to see, but he wanted to have a public debate with PZ instead. "Looks good on your resume, not mine" comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Eric, so what you're proposing is that Bill rejected us because he wanted to debate others who were better than us?"

Not at all. With respect to Carrier, Avalos and Price, a different opponent would be better in the sense of being, well, different (since Craig as debated and defeated these men already), but not necessarily better in the sense of being a more formidable opponent. With respect to you, John, as I said in my earlier post, that's the debate I would want to see. And I'd certainly rather see that debate than another debate with Price, Carrier or Avalos.

"Did he beat Avalos, Price, and Carrier? If so, the point is whether he would do so again."

Sure, that's always in question, but I thought the point was whether he's handpicking opponents. Again, since he's already debated all of them -- and far better opponents, like Ehrman and Dacey -- and won, I don't see how anyone can make this charge.

"And unlike Dawkins or Hitchens I do know something about philosophy, theology and apologetics, so in some ways I am much better prepared to debate him than they are, wouldn't you agree?"

One hundred percent.

"In any case, the point of the link I provided is that Craig pretty much DID hand pick his opponent. These guys chose one person after another to debate him and he rejected them in turn."

Well, let's say there's hand picking and there's hand picking. He's obviously not hand picking them in the truly pejorative sense, i.e. in the sense of avoiding difficult challengers, because he's already debated them -- and everyone else (well, almost everyone else!).

"In any case if Bill can reject who he wants to debate I can call attention to his reasons for doing so, putting pressure on him. That's what challengers do, and I am a challenger."

Oh absolutely, put pressure on him. That's fine. But the 'pressure' must be premised on sensible claims, and as I see it, given Craig's debate history, the claim that he's hand picking opponents (in the pejorative sense) is not tenable.

"What do YOU think of his stated reasons for not debating me? Will they hold up, especially as word of them leaks out into the public?"

It's hard for me to comment here, because his reasons are so personal and I don't know the man. He certainly seems sincere to me, and I know that you consider him to be a good man and a friend. So, while I in a sense understand his reasons, I also think he should respect your choice to follow the path you're on and treat you as he would any other potential challenger. But, as I said, I don't know Craig, and his reasons are so personal that I have a difficult time evaluating them.
All I know is that I would like to see the debate happen. I think it would be both informative and entertaining for all.

Good luck!

danielg said...

Regardless of whatever excuses wlc has used to not debate you, he refuses to debate former students. That sounds reasonable enough, even if we don't like it.

Has he debated any other former students of his?

Me, I would like to see any good fracas, but he's not being a coward or jerk, he may just be acting strategically.

Regarding Carrier, to me he is the atheist version of Dinesh D'Sousa - all his fans think he's great, but those of us on the other side find him annoying - he's more of a complainer than a debater, imo.

J Curtis said...

I remember one of those times Vox Day tried to "debate" PZ, he claimed to have the ultimate argument for God. So when people asked him to produce it, he just said he hadn't written it down yet.

I believe his reasoning was something along the lines of "why show my best cards if I don't have to?"

I know he had his publisher try to set something up with Hitchens however Hitchens demands a large fee before he'll show up. Hitchens' arguments usually boil down to little more than criticisms of religion anyway though. Even atheist blogs admitted that Craig wiped the floor with Hitchins when they debated at Biola U. last year. Link

Gandolf said...

JD Curtis said... "I believe his reasoning was something along the lines of "why show my best cards if I don't have to?"

It doesnt seem like PZ Myers really finds Vox Days ideas to be something for any cause of great concern.

P.Z Myers it seems isnt afraid to discuss Vox Day

http://www.google.com/cse?cx=017254414699180528062%3Auyrcvn__yd0&q=vox+day+site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fscienceblogs.com%2Fpharyngula%2F&sa=Search

JD .. it seems Vox even recieved a personal open invitation to debate matters.

See here -> Quote:"Posted by: Kel, OM | November 22, 2009 2:07 AM

Why doesn't Vox Day come on here and embarrass PZed on his own turf? "

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/11/kkms
_always_quick_to_defend_th.php

Personally i think some folks can be classed to be more as professional debaters types..Their experience in debating, can allow them to have some sort of advantage with debating,and even seem to allow those professional at debating to sometimes seem to be proving what might be actually quite false....They have mastered a certain game plan!, with controlling debates thats more what it about, often even confusing discussions that are almost always based around certain debate "guide line rules" of debate and "time limits" etc.

My opinion is PZ Myers might simply be more interested in concentrating on continuing doing what he does best.

District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...

John I'm sorry but Craig would sweep the floor with you too.

You make some interesting points at times, but Craig is outta your league and one trick ponies like Hitchens are only vulture food too as has been proven...

Even Avalos was tongue tied and made NO points at all except for those in his mind and he's miles ahead of you.

You seem to think that you'd fair better because of your philosophical training, but that would make Craig even more comfortable. Your rhetoric, good, but facts, proof, and arguments...heck no!

Save yourself the embarrassment.

Unknown said...

Interesting posts you have, though I think Christianity is dead and will be redeemed and brought to fruition and perfection through Thelema. Check out my blog at http://christianityisdead.wordpress.com/ if you will. Love is the law, love under will. ;)

Anonymous said...

For those of you who have commented here I updated my original post. Check back.

Chuck said...

WLC and Christian Apologetics have helped me feel comfortable with being an agnostic.

Piratefish said...

I hope he responds the same way as Michael J Fox did in Back To The Future when asked the question, "are you chicken?". :)

DM said...

go debate this, you little coward *john loftus*

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/canadian-culture/89170-atheism-dead-forever-canadian-did.html

K said...

I believe his reasoning was something along the lines of "why show my best cards if I don't have to?"
Which really does seem evasive. He's more than willing to pull out the argument on air where someone has to immediately react to it, as opposed to putting it down where people can read and contemplate it? Surely if he has the knock-down argument against atheism or the ultimate argument for theism, then the best thing to do is to put it in a means to get it out to the public.

Mike is Wright said...

Hi John, i tried using one of the arguments from your book on theologyweb and im not show how to deal with some of there stupid responses.

On page 124 of why i became an atheist you claim the bible must be wrong "where a star could point down to a specific home" Where does the bible say a star pointed down to a specific home and which translation is that?

You also claim on page 126 that ancient people didnt "know how babies are born." how did they repodice if they didnt know how babies are born?

These are really nitpicking things (i dont think the theology web crew are brave enough to attack the main arguments) however assume youll be able to blow there objections out of the water.

DM said...

go debate this, you little lying coward *john loftus*

http://forums.canadiancontent.net/canadian-culture/89170-atheism-dead-forever-canadian-did.html


see we gotta deal with little shits like kel who start to appear...

Daniel said...

I think John makes too much of Craig not wanting to debate him. Examine the Lucas text, would Anakin (Darth Vader) have gone before the Republic to debate either Obi Wan or Luke on the mertis of the Dark Side? No! It was come over to the Dark Side or die! "Either you are for me or against me."

The same goes for the side of light.

Why you seem less interested in the Lucas text or the Tolkien text (did Saruman want to debate Gandalf?), you seem obsessed with 2000 year old texts.

Anonymous said...

Mike is Wright, my advice is to stay off that forum. It's filled with too many idiots. I don't go there much anymore.

steph said...

I thought maybe he was wearing out, tired, or perhaps 'bored' (I've heard that somewhere else ;-) ) - but he's only sixty. How's his health? He's a 'research professor' so he's got ample time ... he's debated Hector before but he's debated others more than once and experience can't be an issue - he's debated first time debaters too. What's his schedule for the year? But he had already agreed to this debate. Choosing his opponents seems odd. Maybe just a sign of pompous self assured distinguished Oxbridgianism... ;-)

No critical scholars today believe in the literal truth of the star of Bethlehem or indeed the birth narratives. The point of historical critical research is to demonstrate the New Testament to distinguish between early historical tradition, developed tradition and storytelling.

And babies - they knew the fundamentals, sex makes babies but like Christians still do today, would pray for fertility and conception, healthy child and a boy.

steph said...

agh - that should be The point of historical critical research is to distinguish between storytelling, early historical and later developed traditions in the NT. :-)

Anonymous said...

Part of the reason Craig wins and one of the reasons I think very lowly of him is this.

He oversells his case.

Now there is nothing wrong with being a master debater, it is just most people are not master debators.
In a debate it is often more how you say then something then what you say.

He is the academic equilivent of a used car salesman

Correct me if I am wrong but isnt a appeal to a consensus a fallacy.

If not, isn't also true that a great portion of the scholarship that Craig uses as a consensus stuff written for Christians by Christians if you catch my drift.

Most people are more worryied about evidence then being a master debator.

He is convincing in a debate but because he is a prodigy at public speaking.

On a personal note, I think Craig is full of hot air. Because he is already committed to his view no matter what.

I also dont find his arguements convincing but that is besides the point.

Jeff L. said...

I too am not so sure how loftus would actually do in the debate with wlc. John, how many public debates have you been in? I think you make a lot of solid arguments but so does carrier, price and avalos. All whom are VERY frustrating to watch debate.

Anonymous said...

"2)Are "Christians" putting all their "eggs in one basket" regarding Craig in defending Christianity?"

I never even heard of him before Dawkins refused to debate him. And I don't see the point of debating God's existence. Seems stupid. You either believe he exists or you don't. Its not something that can really be proven one way or another, and even if you could prove the existence of a god, it doesn't prove that everything you believe ABOUT him is true.

steph said...

beowulf: The debate is whether or not Jesus of Nazareth rose from the grave is the topic not the plausibility of god's existence. This debate has more point because it be shown (provided the right historical arguments are used and Craig doesn't debate with a Jesus myther) that Jesus rising from the grave is historically implausible and stories created from belief.

normajean said...

John, this is getting really old. And perhaps this is looking a bit too much like a sporting event and Craig, for that reason, isn't interested. Back off... That might increase your chances.

stamati anagnostou said...

yeah, i'm going to agree. love you john, but things are getting a tad megalomaniacal.

elderchild said...

DISCLAIMER: The following is written concerning the religious systems of this wicked world, not individuals. Recorded for revelation, not condemnation, in hopes there would be those who would "see" and "hear", for all who do so will take heed unto The Call of The Only True G-D and "Come out of her, MY people".......

"The Way of Truth is evil spoken of" because of pagan "catholicism" and her harlot pagan "christian" daughters ;-(

Their "imag"ined "jesus christ" is not The Messiah! It was some five hundred years ago that they named one head of their three-headed pagan "god", "jesus", during a time that has been called the "reformation". Prior to that time there was no "j" sound in the english language.......period.......

And the pagan "christian" name of 'jesus' is the transliteration of The Messiah's G-D given Hebrew birth name from the pagan catholic latin word 'iesus' not the pagan greek word 'iesous' which is recorded in all the greek transcripts from which religious "biblical" translations were made.......

And the "reformation", the time during which the english 'j' sound was "imag"ined, was an aptly named time! For it was a time when "catholicism" birthed her harlot "christian" daughters ;-( Her "christian" daughters are of her substance ;-( Her substance was merely "reformed" so that her "christian" daughters might appear a bit differently outwardly, yet inwardly they remained liken unto their pagan harlot mother ;-(

"christianity" is but the byproduct of the fornicative relationship pagan "catholicism" has always had with "the god of this world", he who is "the father of lies", he who is "the angel of light", "d"evil spirit that rules over this wicked world ;-(

All religious systems, muslin, jewish, buddhist, catholic, christian ,,etc,, are Anti-Messiah!

Religious systems of this world, all alike they are,
Those they clone have fought, killed and died, both near and far ;-(

And then once a week, or multiple times a day they may pray,
Yet as hypocrites they begin each new day ;-(

Days that are filled with deceit and lies,
For in a "religious system" Truth can not abide ;-(

And so the fruit of death is born of religion's way,
Because life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play ;-(

Simply, Faith will not create a system of religion!

The Messiah testified of a "wicked world", and of His disciples being "in, not of, this world".

John exhorted those who believed "to love not the world or it's things" for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one"!

And James testified, "whoever is a friend of this world is the enemy of G-D(Father, Great Spirit, Creator,,)"!

(coninued)

elderchild said...

And "the god of this world", "the father of lies", "d"evil, is the author of all religious systems and has his way with those who are "of this world" because they follow their own "vain "imag"inations" ;-( And so it is that mankind's "imag"ination is destroying and perverting Creation ;-(

And Our Father(Creator) has promised that HE "will destroy those who are destroying and perverting HIS Creation(earth, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, .etc.)"!

Hope is there would be those who take heed unto The Only True G-D's Call to "Come out of her, MY people"!

All who take heed unto The Only True G-D's Call will exit "the broadway to destruction" and they will follow The Messiah on "The Way to The Truth of The Life"! They no longer will have their portion with the "catholic/christian" LIE or any other religious system of this world.

The Messiah testified, "whoever lives and believes in Me(His Teachings and Life example) shall never die."

And then The Messiah questioned, "Do you believe this?" YES!

And you? Do you believe? Or do you believe in death?

If you believe in death, while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!

For Miracles Do Happen! Thanks Be To "Our Father(Creator)"!

Hope is that there would be those who "come out" of the "strong delusion" that is the religious systems of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one".

Hope is that there would be those who believe in and receive of The Life. Hope is that there would be those who would "experience The Messiah and The Power(The Holy, Set Apart, Great Spirit) that raised Him from among the dead".

Hope is you will, or have experienced The Miracle that is "receiving a love of The Truth", for all who have "received a love of The Truth" will have:

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one"(1JN5:19) indeed and Truth....... francis

elderchild said...

And "the god of this world", "the father of lies", "d"evil, is the author of all religious systems and has his way with those who are "of this world" because they follow their own "vain "imag"inations" ;-( And so it is that mankind's "imag"ination is destroying and perverting Creation ;-(

And Our Father(Creator) has promised that HE "will destroy those who are destroying and perverting HIS Creation(earth, air, water, vegetation, creatures, Light, Truth, Life, Love, Peace, .etc.)"!

Hope is there would be those who take heed unto The Only True G-D's Call to "Come out of her, MY people"!

All who take heed unto The Only True G-D's Call will exit "the broadway to destruction" and they will follow The Messiah on "The Way to The Truth of The Life"! They no longer will have their portion with the "catholic/christian" LIE or any other religious system of this world.

The Messiah testified, "whoever lives and believes in Me(His Teachings and Life example) shall never die."

And then The Messiah questioned, "Do you believe this?" YES!

And you? Do you believe? Or do you believe in death?

If you believe in death, while there is breath(spirit) there is hope!

For Miracles Do Happen! Thanks Be To "Our Father(Creator)"!

Hope is that there would be those who "come out" of the "strong delusion" that is the religious systems of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one".

Hope is that there would be those who believe in and receive of The Life. Hope is that there would be those who would "experience The Messiah and The Power(The Holy, Set Apart, Great Spirit) that raised Him from among the dead".

Hope is you will, or have experienced The Miracle that is "receiving a love of The Truth", for all who have "received a love of The Truth" will have:

Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(religion) that is of this wicked world, for "the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one"(1JN5:19) indeed and Truth....... francis

Steven Carr said...

Steph is quite correct that the correct historical arguments can be used to show that it is implausible that Jesus rose from the dead.

For over 30 years, Christians never even mentioned an empty tomb, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, Judas, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Salome, the other Mary etc etc.

How can these resurrection stories be plausible when not even Christians ever claimed even to have seen any of those people, let alone have evidence of their involvement in the death and burial of Jesus?

Samphire said...

If we assume that there was a resurrection of a physical and immortal body (how's that for oxymoronic dissonance?) then the witness to the ascension was inevitable to get rid of the bones. If the resurrection is true then so must be the ascension.

So my thought experiment for WLC is: "If you could have strapped yourself to Jesus using one of those double harnesses skydivers use to take novices jumping out of airplanes what would he have experienced as he rose up with Jesus through the conveniently-placed cloud?"

If WLC truly believes in a bodily resurrection then, obsessed with philosophical logic as he is, he must have some rational response to the question.

Doubtless the undefined word "glorified" would appear often in the answer as a cop-out.

Daniel said...

Granted the Jesus' ascending to heaven sounds strange. But consider the famous Flatland scenario, a two dimmensional world that can not conceive of three dimmensions. When a sphere intersects Flatland, all they see is a circle which has an increasing and decreasing diameter.

But imagine the world to come is in part a fifth dimmensional world. Then we would see Jesus moving through the dimmensions x, y, z and also time, but it would appear to us he is flying out to space, when in fact he is simply moving to another dimmension, which is not quite the Christian concept (Heaven is a state, not a place). But is worth thinking about that maybe we ourselves are living in flatland and unable to conceive at the moment anything else out there. See for example, http://www.warpedpassages.com

Samphire said...

Good point, Daniel, but not what I asked which was what would the 3-dimensional WLC see as he clung to your 3+-dimensional Jesus during the ascension?

Anonymous said...

A debate on his birth would be more fruitful in light of Matthew 11:11 and John 6:51 where Jesus himself denies being born. Jesus himself never denies being resurrected.

Anonymous said...

Get up a debate with a Catholic and a modern Marcionite, and let them debate over whether he was born at all.

Steven Carr said...

I see Daniel is clinging to the multiverse that Craig pours so much scorn on.

And I'm a bit worried about the idea that clouds are portals to another dimension.

What is the point of airport security scanners, if the plane is going to disappear into another dimension as soon as it goes into a cloud?

Daniel said...

Stephen, I have no idea what Craig thinks of other dimmensions. I have only seen a few debates of his and read an article or two, enough to know I wouldn't want to cling to Craigism too much.

Other dimmensions make sense in physics, and I merely used that hypothesis analogically.

But because gravity seems to bleed into a fifth dimmensions and sub-atomic particles pop in and out of somewhere, has nothing to do with whether an aeroplane could do so.

My point was other dimmensions might make sense of the post-resurrection appearances.

So your aeroplane analogy is just a bit childish.

Steven Carr said...

So Daniel defends stories of Jesus flying off into the sky and disappearing into a cloud on his way to Heaven by calling other things 'childish'.

It would be interesting to see how early Christians converted non-believers.

Peter 'Jesus of Nazareth rose from the grave'.

Bystander 'Great. When can I meet him?'

Peter 'You can't. He flew off into the sky.'

Bystander 'Really?'

Peter 'Yes, he disappeared into another dimension, but he really did rise from the grave, although you can't see him. He's gone to Heaven.'

Bystander 'This sounds very suspicious. He rose from the dead, and went to where all the dead people go anyway?'

Peter 'You get free bread and wine every Sunday.'

Bystander 'Can I get baptised now, or do I have to fill in a form first?'

gleaner63 said...

Mr. Loftus,

Respectfully, in light of what another poster has asked here, how do you think you would fare against Dr. Craig? I believe that you are a very intelligent person and Dr. Norman Geisler gives your book a very high rating, but it seems to me that Dr. Craig's credentials far exceed yours. Also, if you could choose the topic of the debate, what would it be?

Steven Carr said...

Craig refuses to debate on many topics.

There is no question of Craig's opponents having much choice.