(Book: On Guard, by William Lane Craig. Chapter 1: “What is apologetics?”)
Today we begin our look at On Guard, by Dr. William Lane Craig. Dr. Craig, as we saw last week, is widely regarded as being “among the very best defenders of Christianity in this generation.” A man well-trained in the subject matter, with double doctorates (in theology and philosophy), Dr. Craig is well situated to give Christianity the very best defense it can possibly receive from mortal men. And that, in fact, is precisely the goal he intends to accomplish in On Guard.
That makes this book particularly well-suited for our discussion, because we can address Dr. Craig’s arguments with the confidence that they reflect genuine and authoritative Christian positions. But this book is much more than that. As I’ve mentioned before, God does not show up in real life, and therefore there is nothing that can be known about Him by direct observation. In His absence, it’s up to men like Dr. Craig to review and organize and update the doctrines men have written down in the past: things men have said about God and speculated about God and attributed to God. The teachings of men, in short, are the source of our knowledge about God (or at least the Christian one).
What Dr. Craig does, like other notable theologians and apologists over the years, is to take the arguments men have made in the past, and improve them by trying to make them more coherent, as well as incorporating new material (like the Big Bang theory) that earlier theologians were unaware of. In other words, in God’s absence, Dr. Craig is not only an expert witness about Christian theology, he is one of the sources of modern Christian faith. Through his great training and advanced intellect, he’s not just defending Christianity, he’s playing a significant role in creating it.
Let’s get started, shall we?