A Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig

Craig was for many years a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he taught apologetics. This book is a product of those classes and, as such, is a weightier apologetic work than many would desire. But for those up to the task A Reasonable Faith offers a gold mine of information.

Craig defines apologetics as “a theological discipline that tries to answer the question, what rational defense can be given for the Christian faith?” By this definition Craig certainly delivers as he gives a rational defense for faith, man, God, creation, Scripture and Christ. The book sketches the historical development and discussion concerning each of these topics as well as recent arguments. For example, the old “Jesus is either a liar, lunatic or Lord” was cutting edge two hundred years ago. But since 1835 the battle shifted to legend, i.e., are the events found in the Gospels myths or real? Craig gives us ample evidence to show they were real.

I thoroughly appreciate Craig’s exposure of the bankruptcy of all philosophical systems which reject God. Equally helpful for our postmodern age is his chapter five on historical knowledge. In light of Richard Rorty’s mantra “truth is what my peers will let me get away with saying,” it is most helpful to read a well thought out defense concerning the evidence of historical reliability.

There are a couple of areas in which I would take exception. First, Craig accepts the Big Bang theory of creation (pp. 101-118). Also, in the chapter on the historical reliability of the New Testament (which was actually written by Craig Blomberg), there is support for Q (p. 223) and for the concept that the Gospel writers often gave the gist of what Jesus said, not His exact words (p. 207). I realize that both ideas are well entrenched in evangelical scholarship today. But I do not agree with either of these sentiments and believe they weaken the understanding of biblical inerrancy. With these exceptions, I found A Reasonable Faith an excellent volume on evidential apologetics.