Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD
William Lane Craig is one of the foremost Christian apologists, enjoying tremendous following among the Protestant Christians in USA and UK.
William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American philosopher of religion, philosophical theologian, and Christian apologist. He works in the philosophy of religion, philosophy of time, and the defense of Christian theism. He revived interest in the Kalām cosmological argument with his 1979 publication of The Kalām Cosmological Argument, an argument for the existence of God with origins in medieval Islamic scholasticism. In theology, he has also defended Molinism and the belief that God is, since Creation, subject to time.
Craig has authored or edited over 30 books, including The Cosmological Argument from Plato to Leibniz(1980), Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology (with Quentin Smith, 1993).
In the debate presented below between him and an atheist Stephen Law, from 2011, he presents three arguments for the existence of God:
1. Cosmological argument.
2. Objective moral values suggest that God exists.
3. Resurrection of Jesus and miracles and exorcisms performed by him.
Now, if the third argument can be diffused and turned on its head then rest of the debate can serve all forms of Monotheism, including Islam. William Lane Craig acknowledges this in the opening statement before the enunciation of his third argument.
In some of my articles, I have argued against his presentation of resurrection of Jesus. If we use this debate along with those articles, William Lane Craig’s scholarship, genius and life long devotion to Christian apologetics, can conveniently be recruited in service of Islam.
Abrahamic faiths map
Such an exercise of recruiting Christian apologists for Islam, can also help build intellectual and academic bridges between different Abrahamic faiths.
His claim that Jesus performed exorcism, in the face of present day allopathy, neurology and psychiatry, only serves to show us that Christianity is a collection of some medieval traditions and is in need of light of Islam, to make it contemporary and suitable for our times.
In this debate and others, Craig argues that theism is a better explanation for human history and cumulative human experience than atheism and I agree. But, the limitation here is that he is taking into account, the historic Jesus, the history of early Christianity and devotion of early Christians to their religion but conveniently ignoring the historic Muhammad, may peace be on him, the devotion of early Muslims, the early history of Islam, Muslim heritage and contributions to medieval Europe and personal experiences of 1.6 billion Muslims.
For the Muslims the Quran, literal word of God, as revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, is a powerful argument for the good and personal God of Islam. For the Muslims belonging to Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, revelations to the Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, become enforcement to their understanding of the Gracious and the Merciful God of Islam.
Additional reading to argue against resurrection of Jesus and the question of suffering