William Lane Craig's Statement on Doubt

I’ve been pondering this video posted by Randal Rauser in response to William Lane Craig’s statement on doubt. I’d appreciate your thoughts.
Briefly, Craig’s assertions and Rauser’s responses go like this:

  1. WLC: Faith rests on the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and nothing can over turn it RR: Actually, while the Holy Spirit could do this, evidence can and should undercut and rebut feelings.
  2. WLC: Satan engineers doubt to undercut our faith. It’s ok to live with some tension of unresolved doubt. RR: Too simplistic. Doubt exists for real reasons, and if we never questioned ourselves, we’d never learn anything (eg, one would never have changed from YEC to EC, and the Bereans would never have changed their interpretation of the Scripture to agree with Paul.
  3. WLC: Pursue selected doubts to the end to reassure you that Christianity is real. RR: That’s nice, but all such pursuits don’t result in confirming our conclusions. Nevertheless, to pursue a doubt is a sign of intellectual integrity.

I’m going to post my thoughts to Dr Craig below

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Here are my thoughts.

  1. With all due respect to Dr Craig, an internal prompting of the Holy Spirit has not helped prevent people from losing their faith. People do encounter doubts, whether when reading on the sciences or Biblical scholarship, that don’t resolve because of inner conviction. Many change or lose their faith.

  2. Dr Craig doesn’t apparently believe in his own argument. If we don’t take science or scholarship seriously, and all we need is an internal witness, why spend millions of dollars on his own ministry, “Reasonable Faith,” or on any other apologetics?

  3. Dr Craig’s reasoning worries me for carrying the same fallacy as Christian science or faith healing. It implies that those who change their minds or lose faith sinned by not having enough faith, or by not listening hard enough to that still, small voice.

  4. It’s possible that my own wonderful Christian parents prejudiced me in this direction, but like them, I think God cheers us on for using the brains He gave us to question things. I can’t imagine God blaming us for being unable to carry a faith against the reason He gave us. Greg Boyd in “Benefit of the Doubt” and Austin Fischer in “Faith in the Shadows” write very similarly to Randal Rauser, who I highly recommend.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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I haven’t watched the video yet, but this stood out to me as a similar critique I’ve had of YEC organizations, which proclaim that Jesus is the way and chide people for “following science,” yet also spend millions of dollars on their own version of “science,” implying that’s somehow necessary in order to keep our Christian faith.

This is a good point. Christian evangelists are always asking people to doubt and change their views, sometimes even people who already identify under the general umbrella of “Christian.”

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Nicely thought out, Randy. Laura, too.

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I think there is one thing wrong with the ‘chase your doubts to the end’. I don’t think most people do it. They give up and leave the faith. I almost did. But I stayed the course and within a week or 2 will have a book out on what God graciously showed me in March–that the doubts I was having that Christianity and science couldn’t be resolved was wrong. But it took 50 year of chasing the course; 50 years to within months of my death. Few have that tenacity.

I am more worried about a news report that Craig is going to throw Adam and Eve out of Christian theology. Sad thing about these big wigs is that they don’t listen to new ideas long enough to even know what is being said to them, what the evidence is. They think they are capable of making geological judgements, or they just think God wouldn’t have Adam and Eve as far back as I place him. the problem with such an approach is that it puts God in the box and the researcher in charge of God. “God, you can’t go further back than 800,000 years for Adam and Eve!!!” “No” “No, Don’t do it God, that is wrong”.

The move to remove Eden, Adam and Eve, is coming from Venema. Most people who look at Christianity without and Adam and Eve would doubt there is even a reason for the atonement. How do we chase that doubt to the end?

I’ve never understood that. Unless a person thinks they’re perfect and the only thing they need saving from is what their distant ancestors did, I can’t see why the atonement would fall based on whether one views Adam and Eve as individuals.

Personally, I think Adam is what his name means: humanity. So when I read his story, I’m looking in a mirror. I need saving because Adam… is me.

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And in that case, you are hardly “removing” Adam and Eve… if anything you are bringing them even more into everyday life, as you say.

This talk of “throwing out Adam and Eve” reminds me very much of Ken Ham’s common refrain of “throwing out the Bible” by merely interpreting the first chapter of Genesis differently than he does. I don’t see how false dichotomies like this help anyone’s faith over the long term, though I see how they can be very efficient at motivating others to choose a side.

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And it fits together more beautifully with Paul’s continued narrative of Christ being the “second Adam” and the necessity for us to find our life in Christ by putting to death our old identity. It seems to me that people who want to enlist Jesus and Paul as being partisan warriors on some ‘scientific’ quest of the modern origins wars are then probably missing a large (the main?) thrust of so many of Paul’s writings.

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Is there a link to the WLC statement on doubt? It would be great to read that first to be able to put the video you posted in context. Thanks!!

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I am not sure of a formal statement, but there is apparently a book, “Reasonable Faith,” in which he discusses this view (I have not read it.) Peaceful Science discussed his response to questions on this, per this transcript linked here. I would appreciate your thoughts.

I doubt William Lane Craig and all such Calvinist apologists.

Craig does Biblicism no credit as usual, as in his Kalam Cosmological Argument, the most referenced apologetic of all time I believe.

I long for a decent opposition to materialism, but there is none, but desire. Luckily I don’t long for opposition to generous orthodoxy which is as good as it gets and can ever get. Craig’s opposition to that has the same narrow wooden root of bitter fear, like Piper’s and all other damnationists. They have no concept of the greatness of God in His goodness. His big mindedness.

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Again, this gets back to the issue of does God lie? No one seems to be bothered by that question. I will try to put it into a more formalized form.

  1. The only person who could have told us what happened in Genesis 1 is God.

  2. Parts of Genesis 2 could only be conveyed by God because God is the speaker and parts of the story are experienced only by God.

  3. Jesus speaks of the flood as if it is real.

  4. God doesn’t lie. (Num 23:19 and Romans 3:4)

  5. Jesus and the father are one

  6. Jesus doesn’t believe the events of the flood but says he does–that sounds like a lie to me.

7 If science says that there is no way for the stories to be real stories, of real historical events, then God should know that they are not real historical events and not speak of them as real historical events.

8 If God lies, can I trust what he says about the path to salvation? I can’t! I find it as odd, Marshall that this doesn’t bother people as you find it odd that I can’t accept a prevaricating untrustworthy God.

It seems to me that looking in the mirror is an insufficient test of needing salvation, for what we do. Chimpanzees engage in both intentional adultery and intentional mass murder within their tribes. Do they need salvation because they are Pongidae? Why didn’t you get your humanity and humaniarian problems from our ancestors the Chimps, just via evolution?

https://www.livescience.com/1518-female-chimps-kill-infants.html

@gbob, please let us know as soon as your book is published. We need to review it. Thanks.

We’ve spun around that discussion many times, and I know your time to too valuable to waste on another loop. So how about I save us both some typing and just link to another place we’ve continued that loop, and then anyone interested can read my response, and your response to that, and so on for as long as they desire?

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No one’s bothered because it doesn’t rationally arise.

  1. The only person who could have told us what happened in Genesis 1 is God.

Not the story tellers?

  1. Parts of Genesis 2 could only be conveyed by God because God is the speaker and parts of the story are experienced only by God.

What about the story tellers?

  1. Jesus speaks of the flood as if it is real.

He assumed the sacred text. Like every one else in His culture. And then some.

  1. God doesn’t lie. (Num 23:19 and Romans 3:4)

Thank goodness for proof texts or we’d never know!

  1. Jesus and the father are one

Meaning what?

  1. Jesus doesn’t believe the events of the flood but says he does–that sounds like a lie to me.

Where does He say He doesn’t and then He does?

  1. If science says that there is no way for the stories to be real stories, of real historical events, then God should know that they are not real historical events and not speak of them as real historical events.

Ohhh, you mean from 5 that the pre-modern human Jesus knew what He knew pre-incarnate.

  1. If God lies, can I trust what he says about the path to salvation? I can’t! I find it as odd, Marshall that this doesn’t bother people as you find it odd that I can’t accept a prevaricating untrustworthy God.

I find it odder that the question can be asked.

Those who do not accept the words of Jesus as those which come directly from the Father will be judged by those words. If a person does not believe they are the very Word of God (which they are because they come from the Father and they are spoken by Jesus, WHO IS THE WORD THAT BECAME FLESH) they will still condemn them on the Day of Judgment.

Those who speak evil of Jesus are guilty of sin, though forgiveness can be found if they turn from their unbelief.
The wisdom of man is foolishness to God. The Word of God judges the thoughts and intents of the heart, who is able to stand against the Almighty and Jesus the Lord.

John 12:44Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 47 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

John 5:19-20"I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.

John 18:37"You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

Rev 19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

No doubt…

Hi all,

I’m Dan Morton, Glenn Morton’s son (oldest of his three!). Due to his health situation, which some of you may know about, he’s unable to respond or post now. We’re continuing to pray for his comfort.

I’m posting because he did finish the book and we helped him get it onto Kindle yesterday! I’m starting with a reply here, since this was his last post to Biologos, but I’ll post separately too.

Finishing this book was hugely important to him, and we’re grateful it’s complete! I know he feels exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to have written it, as he does for the chance to engage with this community.

If you are interested in reading it, here’s the link:
Eden Was Here: New Evidence for the Historicity of Genesis – Glenn Morton

While he may not be able to post, I’m certain he’d be honored to have you all consider his viewpoint and the evidence he presents.

Thank you and Best,
Dan.

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4 posts were merged into an existing topic: The Book is available – Eden Was Here: New Evidence for Historicity of Genesis

I moved several responses here over to the more dedicated thread you started, Dan, so that any responses people care to share can be more consolidated there, and … it deserves its own thread in its own right.

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