The New Theist, William Lane Craig – The Chronicle Review 3


An interesting long piece from the CHE: The New Theist – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

I like what the opening reveals about Richard Dawkins and his view of the role of the press.

When, during a conversation in a swank hotel lobby in Manhattan, I mentioned to Richard Dawkins that I was working on a story about William Lane Craig, the muscles in his face clenched.

“Why are you publicizing him?” Dawkins demanded, twice. The best-selling “New Atheist” professor went on to assure me that I shouldn’t bother, that he’d met Craig in Mexico—they opposed each other in a prime-time, three-on-three debate staged in a boxing ring—and found him “very unimpressive.”

“I mean, whose side are you on?” Dawkins said. “Are you religious?”

Read the whole piece, it is very interesting and well written. It is a little disappointing in that rather than really focus upon his arguments, the author picks up the fundamental question from those who disagree with Craig and their effort to undermine his success, which is whether he is “winning” his debates because he is right or because he is clever.

This line of questioning—about whether William Lane Craig is merely persuasive or actually correct, an honest philosopher or a snake-oil evangelist—arises every time another one of his bouts hits the Internet. Anyone can see that he is good, but is he for real?

The author does comment a few times on the relatively few women engaged in this Christian movement into philosophy and apologetics. I have two questions. The first is, why is that? I see now theological reason for women to be excluded here. But my second is, how many women, in terms of percentage, are enrolled in any philosophy graduate program? While it is likely higher than that of Biola, I bet it is not very high. That too would be troubling. (According to this article, only 21 percent of full time faculty in philosophy are women.)

 

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3 thoughts on “The New Theist, William Lane Craig – The Chronicle Review

  • Peter Bekins

    I found that article very interesting as well and would have liked a few more pages. The Dawkins quote was telling, but on the other side I also couldn’t help wondering how much money Craig’s “ministry” is bringing in and whether it has tax exempt status. As to the issue of women, the denominations in which these types of apologetics are popular are almost all patriarchal (complementarian if you prefer). I would be surprised if that wasn’t the main factor (i.e. I think Craig would be viewed as having a teaching ministry).