The Fatal Flaw In William Lane Craig's Psychic Epistemology

William Lane Craig has said, "Communicating my understanding of the proper basicality of certain Christian beliefs grounded by the Spirit’s witness has proven to be extraordinarily difficult." Source. Craig also said, "What we know is that people make up their minds for all sorts of non-rational reasons unrelated to the evidence." Source.

Craig should listen to himself. Complexity is needed when obfuscation is the goal. Craig should pay heed to the author of Colossians who wrote: “See that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy" (2:8)!! Brilliance in the servitude of obfuscations, special pleadings, red herrings, and non-sequiturs has nothing to do with an honest search for truth.

Let's take a look at Craig's podcast on Religious Experience: Subjective or Objective?:
It is very important to understand that the witness of the Holy Spirit is not just a subjective religious experience. It is a witness which God himself bears with our spirit. It produces an awareness of the truths of the Gospel, assurance of salvation, conviction of sin, things of this sort.

It is the claim that you can know that God exists and that Christianity is true wholly apart from arguments simply through the inner testimony of God to your heart. So don’t think of this as an argument from religious experience. Rather, it is the claim that for the person to whom God bears witness by means of this spiritual testimony, such a person can know with confidence that Christianity is true because of the witness that God bears to him.

The fundamental, ground level way in which I know my faith is true is through this inner self-authenticating witness of God’s Spirit which assures me that I am a child of God. That entails, of course, then, that God exists and the great truths of the Gospel are correct.
This reveals a fatal problem for Craig's psychic epistemology (and it's psychic all the way down). Can an intelligent non-deluded educated person say believers "can know that God exists and that Christianity is true wholly apart from arguments simply through the inner testimony of God to your heart"? No. No one who understands the Christian debates about their god, and about the various Christianities, can say this and be considered an intelligent non-deluded educated person.

The fatal flaw is knowing which god Craig is talking about, which Christianity, and which denomination. Every doctrine within Christian theology has been debated and fought over. Does he not know that 8 million Christians killed each other during the French Wars of Religion, and the Thirty Years War, over the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and who was the legitimate authority to administer it?
The "Restoration Movement" is the "TRUE" Church!
I think all Christians should read up on these important doctrinal debates, found in the series of three -four -five views books produced by Christian publishers, like Zondervan Counterpoint books, and InterVarsity Press Spectrum Series Books. They are very instructive. In some of them liberals are involved like the late John Hick, a pluralist, in Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World. Are liberals and pluralists Christians? Is their way of salvation a legitimate way to salvation?

Here are a few of these books:

What About Those Who Have Never Heard? Three Views on the Destiny of the Unevangelized
In Search of the Soul: Four Views of the Mind-Body Problem
Divine Foreknowledge: Four Views
Four Views on Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom
God & Time: Four Views
Psychology & Christianity: Four Views
Women in Ministry: Four Views
Divorce and Remarriage: Four Christian Views
Theologians and Philosophers Examine Four Approaches to War
How Jewish Is Christianity? Two Views on the Messianic Movement
Three Views on the Rapture
Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond
Three Views on Creation and Evolution
Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism
Are Miraculous Gifts for Today: Four Views
Show Them No Mercy: Four Views on God and Canaanite Genocide
Understanding Four Views on Baptism
Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World
Four Views on the Book of Revelation
Four Views on Eternal Security
Four Views on Hell
Five Views of Law and Gospel
Five Views on Sanctification
Five Views on Apologetics
Exploring the Worship Spectrum: Six Views

Let's just look at the belief in a virgin birthed god, which was a stumbling block to William Lane Craig's conversion. According to a 1998 poll of 7,441 Protestant clergy in the United States, the following ministers said they didn’t believe in the virgin birth:

American Lutherans, 19 percent
American Baptists, 34 percent
Episcopalians, 44 percent
Presbyterians, 49 percent
Methodists, 60 percent

In another poll surveying 103 Roman Catholic priests, Anglican priests, and Protestant ministers in the United Kingdom, “25 percent didn’t believe in the virgin birth,” while a “2004 survey of ministers in the Church of Scotland found 37 percent don’t accept the virgin account. Source.

So which view of how Jesus came into the world is the (holy) Spirit Guide's version of Christianity? Which God and which Christianity is Craig's Spirit Guide attesting to? We don't have to ask him. We know. He teaches a weekly Sunday School class at his home church, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia. It's a conservative Baptist church. So guess what? His Spirit Guide confirms his conservative Baptist Church's Creedal Statement of Faith. It's what he means by "Christianity" even though there ain't no such thing as Christianity, only Christianities. What Craig ends up saying is that his church is the true church and that he knows this despite any argument and any evidence to the contrary. A more deluded belief cannot be found!

Believers like Craig simply create their own religion, their own gospel, and their own God in their own image. A major psychological study has proven this very point! Craig's Spirit Guide is therefore justifying the faiths of others who identify as Christians but have different theologies, ones that Craig would deny are legitimate versions of Christianity. If Craig's Spirit Guide is really doing this he/she/it is justifying conflicting Christianities, along with the 8 million Christians who killed each other during the French Wars of Religion, and the Thirty Years War. The best explanation is that Craig's Spirit Guide ends up being identical with his own inner subjective feelings, despite all his obfuscations. He is just too deluded to realize it.


John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 12 critically acclaimed books, including The Case against Miracles, God and Horrendous Suffering, and Varieties of Jesus Mythicism. Please support DC by sharing our posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon. Thank you so much!