William Lane Craig is the most well-known Christian apologist in the world. He is most famous for his public debates with both popular and academic critics of Christianity and for his apologetic writings. Because Dr. Craig is not reformed nor presuppositional in his apologetic, he is often criticized by reformed people for having a weak theology, and for not caring to base his theology and philosophy on the Scriptures.
I used to think this was the case, but I recently started listening to Dr. Craig’s Defenders 3 class; a Sunday School class which Dr. Craig regularly teaches. I’ve now listened to the first 30 lectures. In my opinion, the class has strengths and weaknesses, but the two overwhelming strengths of this class are (1) Dr. Craig’s clear concise presentation of traditional theology derived from Scripture and (2) his consideration of the philosophical implications of this theology.
Dr. Craig says many things with which I disagree, but his clarity and his ability to understand and field logical objections to the traditional doctrines of theology is unparalleled. He does not use big words which he can’t explain. He does not gloss over troubling aspects of God’s character. He does not leave his students wondering about points of theology which seem to contradict each other. Dr. Craig plainly and interestingly conveys traditional systematic theology so that I, the listener, can see what he thinks and why he thinks it, and then I can more easily make my own decision on what to believe. Unfortunately, I’ve read far too many theology books and listened to way too many lectures where the author dodges the elephants in the room, refrains from defining terms, and leaves the audience confused, frustrated, or even mad at God.
I’m not endorsing the non-reformed aspects of Dr. Craig’s theology. In fact, part of the reason I am listening to this class is so that I know the defensible perspectives which compete against my theology so that I can better defend it. I don’t endorse Dr. Craig’s view on Middle Knowledge and Free Will, but I definitely endorse understanding his Middle Knowledge perspective so as to be able to clearly articulate the reformed distinctives. Anyway, let me know if you enjoy Defenders 3 and stay tuned for posts analyzing and criticizing Craig’s lectures.