The Evidence for God
I watched a video in which Dr. William Lane Craig gave a lecture at Imperial College in London, England. The lecture occurred sometime between October 17th-26thof 2011 when he was touring England. The lecture is called The Evidence for God.
After being introduced by a student, Dr. Craig begins with a premise; “Is the material world all there is?” Dr. Craig then stated that he will give seven aspects of the world that testify for God. The first is the Contingence Argument in which he asks, “Why does anything exist at all?” He then states that everything that exists has an explanation; they either exists by their own nature or have an external cause. The universe exists; therefore, it has an explanation which must be greater than the universe itself. This argues for a transcendent mind. Second, the Cosmological Argument: Whatever begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist; therefore, the universe has a cause. The cause must be causeless, timeless, changeless, immaterial and personal. Third, the Teleological Argument: The universe is fine tuned to a degree that is incomprehensible. This fine-tuning is necessary for intelligent life. He states that there are but three explanations: necessity, chance, and design. He states that the most plausible of these three are design. Fourth, the Moral Argument: If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist; objective moral values do exist; therefore, God exist. Fifth, the Ontological Argument: God is the maximally greatest possible being. It is possible that a maximally great being exist; if it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world; if a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world; therefore, a maximally great being exists; therefore, God exist. Sixth, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: He gives three facts for Christ resurrection, then gives a hypothesis. If Christ rose from the dead, God raised him from the dead; therefore, since Christ is risen, God exist. Seventh, The Immediate Experience of God: Beliefs that are grounded do not need argument; the Scriptures are appropriately grounded; therefore, it is rational to believe that God exist.
In this lecture Dr. Craig did a good job of summarizing seven apologetic arguments for the existence of God. The explanations that he gave were not simple but brief and to the point. This lecture was given mostly to undergraduate students in a classroom setting. I was able to understand the premises for each argument in the way that he presented them in this lecture; therefore, I believe that the lecture was a good one because the students should have been able to understand them.
The lecture left me wondering if the arguments had an effect on the student’s worldview, specifically on their view of a Supreme being responsible for all that exist. One of the worries that I have had when focusing on natural theology was addressed by Dr. Craig in this lecture. I do believe that there is validity in arguing from natural theology for the existence of God, but I also believe that it is incomplete without personal experience. Therefore, I really appreciate Dr. Craig’s final argument which is not an argument for God’s existence at all but a claim that people know God apart from arguments. To that regard I would like to point out that though natural theology might cause one to know that there is a God; it is solely through special revelation found in Scripture alone, confirmed in our hearts and minds by the Holy Spirit that lead us to truly know the person of God.