Packing up to head back to Phoenix (via Frankfurt and Chicago) and ran across some recent William Lane Craig comments that truly amazed me. Right before identifying Jimmy Dunn as one of his favorite NT historians (that alone says a lot—Dunn’s work is simply acidic to believing Christianity, and is based upon a thoroughly non-Christian mindset when it comes to matters of inspiration and Scripture), Craig said this, “I don’t really have any favorite theologians, at least systematic theologians, for I find most of them to lack the philosophical training to do really good systematics.” This kind of “philosopher’s arrogance” is common for Craig. He was once heard telling a group of young men at a conference, “If you want to do good apologetics, you have to stop reading so much theology and start reading more philosophy.” This kind of inversion of the biblical norm (it is the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom, not the fear of Plato, and before Adam did philosophy, Adam heard from God—revelation precedes, conditions, and grounds, man’s thought, not the other way around) is standard fare for Craig and his disciples. As one who just recently had a Muslim apologist here in South Africa use Craig’s many mis-steps in theology against me (citing both his Cerberus and Avatar examples—both mind-numbing errors of theology propounded by Craig), I have been reminded once again of how important the saying is, “Theology matters.” But for Craig to deride the tremendous works that have been provided for not being “philosophical” enough is just beyond the bounds, as if theology is determined by philosophical training! Amazing.
Then more recently Craig seemed to promote a view of God’s love that is “unconditional.” What does that mean? Since his material is so thin on biblical argumentation, we can’t tell, but not once in his discussion did he address the rather obvious biblical fact that God’s love, like man’s love, is capable of differing objects, differing purposes, and differing results. Can God have redemptive love in Craig’s view? We can’t tell, though, I must confess, when you really think through the implications and results of Molinism, you are left with a deity that is far more computer and “possible universe considering prowess” than you are with a God about whom discussions of love are even relevant. So maybe that doesn’t come into the philosophical thought process. But in any case, his comments again were marked by the massive imbalance created by starting with philosophy and only then considering theology.