Search Results for: William Lane Craig

William Lane Craig and Gregory Boyd on the Atonement: Importance of Multifaceted Frameworks

In 2020, Baylor University Press released Atonement and the Death of Christ: An Exegetical, Historical, and Philosophical Explorationby William Lane Craig.

From the publisher’s description of Atonement and the Death of Christ:

Through his death on the cross, Christ atoned for sin and so reconciled people to God. New Testament authors drew upon a range of metaphors and motifs to describe this salvific act, and down through history Christian thinkers have tried to articulate various theories to explain the atonement. While Christ’s sacrifice serves as a central tenet of the Christian faith, the mechanism of atonement―exactly how Christ effects our salvation―remains controversial and ambiguous to many Christians.

In Atonement and the Death of Christ, William Lane Craig conducts an interdisciplinary investigation of this crucial Christian doctrine, drawing upon Old and New Testament studies, historical theology, and analytic philosophy. The study unfolds in three discrete parts: Craig first explores the biblical basis of atonement and unfolds the wide variety of motifs used to characterize this doctrine. Craig then highlights some of the principal alternative theories of the atonement offered by great Christian thinkers of the premodern era. Lastly, Craig’s exploration delves into a constructive and innovative engagement with philosophy of law, which allows an understanding of atonement that moves beyond mystery and into the coherent mechanism of penal substitution.

Along the way, Craig enters into conversation with contemporary systematic theories of atonement as he seeks to establish a position that is scripturally faithful and philosophically sound. The result is a multifaceted perspective that upholds the suffering of Christ as a substitutionary, representational, and redemptive act that satisfies divine justice. In addition, this carefully reasoned approach addresses the rich tapestry of Old Testament imagery upon which the first Christians drew to explain how the sinless Christ saved his people from the guilt of their sins.

Prior to Atonement and the Death of Christ, Craig published The Atonement (2018, part of the “Cambridge Elements” series).

In a recent exchange (for Unbelievable radio) with theologian and pastor Gregory Boyd, Craig defends his account of penal substitutionary atonement, and discusses Boyd’s objections in light of Boyd’s defense of a more Christus Victor view of the atonement.

Readers may also be interested in Craig’s 2019 article in Philosophia Christi, “Is Penal Substitutionary Atonement Unsatisfactory?

William Lane Craig on The Ben Shapiro Show

In a just released interview with Ben Shapiro, Bill Craig discusses multiple issues regarding Christianity and culture, cosmological, ontological, and moral arguments for God’s existence, the differences between the ‘hard sciences’ and philosophy, the problem of evil, and various moral issues shaping Western social-cultural contexts.
Bill Craig, President of and former President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, opens the interview discussing the state of Christianity in public life and how Enlightenment assumptions shape our public assumptions about what it means to be ‘religious’ today and how we understand authority, including religious authority.

Regarding interests among ‘secular universities’ for seriously discussing religious belief, Craig said, “In hard sciences, and in my discipline, philosophy, I think, frankly, there is a renaissance of theistic belief, and there is a virtual revolution going on in Anglo-American philosophy right now, where Christian philosophers represent a significant and respected voice in the philosophical community. So, I find there is tremendous interest on university campuses in these topics.”

On the unique claims of Jesus and His resurrection, Bill reasons this way:

Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is Yahweh’s public and unequivocal vindication of the man whom the Chief Priest had rejected as a blasphemer. It is the divine demonstration that these allegedly blasphemous claims are in fact true, that He was who he claimed to be. And, therefore, I follow Jesus in His conception of what it means to be the Messiah . . . The resurrection of Jesus is the resurrection of the man who claimed to be Messiah, Son of God, and Son of Man, and was crucified for those allegedly blasphemous claims. If God has raised this man from the dead, then he has unequivocally and publicly vindicated those allegedly blasphemous claims.

Regarding if the ‘God of reason’ alone is sufficient, why do we need revelation, whether at Sinai or in Jesus, Bill says that this can be best summarized in one word: ‘Atonement.’

The latter half of the discussion with Ben Shapiro addresses various moral issues, including the Bible and slavery, homosexuality, and Bill’s emphasis of how a moral argument for God’s existence is crucial to debating these issues publicly.

Reflecting on his Toronto dialogue last year with Jordan Peterson, Bill affirms that he agrees with Peterson on the existence of objective moral values and meaning in life, but points out that such values for Peterson don’t have a grounding, a metaphysical basis in his worldview. “I am still hopeful that he [Peterson] will come to embrace God as an objective, metaphysical reality who will provide a basis for such values and meaning in life.”

The interview with Shapiro closes with Bill talking about his own experience with encountering the love of God for him, and he spoke of the “wisdom and authenticity” of Jesus’ words and life as encountered in the gospels.

To learn about Bill Craig’s work, go to

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Eleonore Stump on the “Atonement” and William Lane Craig’s Reply to Stump

In 2018, Oxford University Press will publish Atonement by Eleonore Stump, as part of their Oxford Studies in Analytic Theology series. Eleonore Stump is the Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. She is also Honorary Professor at Wuhan University and at the Logos Institute, St Andrews, and a Professorial Fellow at Australian Catholic University.

From the publisher’s description of Atonement:

The doctrine of the atonement is the distinctive doctrine of Christianity. Over the course of many centuries of reflection, highly diverse interpretations of the doctrine have been proposed. In the context of this history of interpretation, Eleonore Stump considers the doctrine afresh with philosophical care. Whatever exactly the atonement is, it is supposed to include a solution to the problems of the human condition, especially its guilt and shame. Stump canvasses the major interpretations of the doctrine that attempt to explain this solution and argues that all of them have serious shortcomings. In their place, she argues for an interpretation that is both novel and yet traditional and that has significant advantages over other interpretations, including Anselm’s well-known account of the doctrine. In the process, she also discusses love, union, guilt, shame, forgiveness, retribution, punishment, shared attention, mind-reading, empathy, and various other issues in moral psychology and ethics.

Enjoy this interview with Stump about her book:
Here’s a multi-part series of clips from Stump where she articulates her view of the atonement
See also William Lane Craig’s critique of Stump’s critique of “penal substitutionary atonement theories”

William Lane Craig on “The Atonement”

In June 2018, Cambridge University Press released The Atonement by William Lane Craig, as part of its new “Elements in the Philosophy of Religion” series. William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology, a former President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and founder of

From the  abstract of The Atonement:

The Atonement offers in a concise compass an inter-disciplinary approach to the complex doctrine of the atonement, drawing upon biblical studies, church history, and analytic philosophy. Divided into three parts, the book first treats the biblical basis of the doctrine of the atonement, an aspect of the doctrine not often taken with sufficient seriousness by contemporary Christian philosophers writing on the subject. The second part highlights some of the principal alternative theories of the atonement offered in the pre-modern era, with a view to accurately expositing these often misunderstood theories. Finally part three, drawing upon insights from the philosophy of law, defends a multi-faceted atonement theory which features penal substitution as a central element. By employing distinctions found in legal thought often overlooked in philosophical treatments of atonement, the author seeks to offer a philosophically coherent account of Christ’s atonement that connects closely with the biblical doctrine of forensic justification.

Enjoy a free sample of the book provided by Cambridge University Press.

For an example of Craig’s recent presentations on the doctrine of the atonement, see this video clip of Craig’s address for the 2018 Toronto Christian Scholar Symposium:

William Lane Craig on “God and Abstract Objects”: The Coherence of Theism and Aseity

In 2017, Springer published God and Abstract Objects: The Coherence of Theism: Aseity by William Lane Craig. Craig is Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Houston Baptist University.

From the publisher’s description of God and Abstract Objects:

This book is an exploration and defense of the coherence of classical theism’s doctrine of divine aseity in the face of the challenge posed by Platonism with respect to abstract objects. A synoptic work in analytic philosophy of religion, the book engages discussions in philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and metaontology. It addresses absolute creationism, non-Platonic realism, fictionalism, neutralism, and alternative logics and semantics, among other topics. The book offers a helpful taxonomy of the wide range of options available to the classical theist for dealing with the challenge of Platonism. It probes in detail the diverse views on the reality of abstract objects and their compatibility with classical theism. It contains a most thorough discussion, rooted in careful exegesis, of the biblical and patristic basis of the doctrine of divine aseity. Finally, it challenges the influential Quinean metaontological theses concerning the way in which we make ontological commitments.

Philosophia Christi published articles on this topic, especially from the Winter 2011 issue, which can be purchased here.

William Lane Craig on Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism

In December 2016, Oxford University Press will release God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism, by philosopher (and former EPS president) William Lane Craig. From the publisher’s description:

God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism is a defense of God’s aseity and unique status as the Creator of all things apart from Himself in the face of the challenge posed by mathematical Platonism. After providing the biblical, theological, and philosophical basis for the traditional doctrine of divine aseity, William Lane Craig explains the challenge presented to that doctrine by the Indispensability Argument for Platonism, which postulates the existence of uncreated abstract objects. Craig provides detailed examination of a wide range of responses to that argument, both realist and anti-realist, with a view toward assessing the most promising options for the theist. A synoptic work in analytic philosophy of religion, this groundbreaking volume engages discussions in philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and metaontology.

Readers may also be interested in a “God and Abstract Objects” symposium in Philosophia Christi, vol. 13, no. 2 (Winter 2011). Besides Craig, contributors included: Paul Gould, Keith Yandell, and Richard Davis. And then in vol. 17, no. 2 (Winter 2015) of Philosophia Christi, Craig continued this discussion with respondents Peter van Inwagen and J.T. Bridges.

God and the Meaning of Life: Some Remarks on Toby Betenson’s Criticism of William Lane Craig

In a very recent essay, Toby Betenson reflects on some statements made by William Lane Craig about God, immortality, and the meaning of life.

As a Christian, Craig holds that God and immortality are essential to make life meaningful or not-futile. Betenson tries to demonstrate that Craig falls into contradiction—namely, Craig’s statements end up supporting the idea that life is futile if God exists.

This paper intends to further explore the way Betenson interprets Craig’s statements and develops his own thesis. The paper attempts to show that Betenson’s criticism fails, since its logic falls short and the reading of the Christian doctrines it implies is inadequate.

The full-text of this paper is availabel for FREE by clicking here.

William Lane Craig – Video from the Reasonable Faith Tour of England

Video of Bill Craig’s ‘Reasonable Faith’ Tour of England in 2011 (and 2007) is available free on-line at several venues including:

YouTube: The Reasonable Faith Tour (UK)

Bethinking: Audio & Video from the Reasonable Faith Tour

The tour took Craig from London to Southampton, Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester debating the existence of God with British atheists such as Peter Atkins, Arif Ahmed, Stephen Law and Peter Millican, as well as giving several lectures on diverse themes, including Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design.

See Frank Turek’s interview with Bill about the tour here.

Bobby Conway likewise interviewed Craig about the tour here.

I was privileged to partner with Bill in a debate at the Cambridge Union Society on the motion “This house believes God is not a delusion”; my blow by blow analysis of the debate, as well as the video, is available here.

William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens

On April 4th at Biola University, William Lane Craig debated Christopher Hitchens concerning the question, “Does God Exist?” The debate was moderated by columnist, law professor, and radio host Hugh Hewitt. Both Biola’s student body and the graduate program in Christian apologetics co-sponsored the debate.

Below is a basic overview of the web coverage. A helpful, summary transcript can also be found here.

Some regional and local college papers covered the debate, including the Whittier Daily, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star, the Daily Titan (Cal State Fullerton), and Biola’s Chimes.

Perhaps the best atheist response comes from the Common Sense Atheist blog.

And some of the best theistic blog coverage and analysis can be found from Doug Geivett (Biola philosopher), Melinda Penner (apologist), MaryJo Sharp (apologist), and the Evangelical Outpost (cultural commentary).