"...I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me..." [Deuteronomy 5:8-10]

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

William Lane Craig - "Middle Knowledge" And Salvation Through Christ
William Lane Craig is often quoted by Fundamentalists as Christianity's "Greatest Living Apologist". I've just been reading his "A Middle Knowledge Perspective on the Exclusivity of Salvation Through Christ". In it, Craig attempts to argue that salvation being through Christ alone is not contradictory with the idea of an all-loving God. His conclusion is simply ludicrous:

"I think that a middle knowledge perspective on the problem of the exclusivity of the Christian religion can be quite fruitful. Since all persons are in sin, all are in need of salvation. Since Christ is God's unique expiatory sacrifice for sin, salvation is only through Christ. Since Jesus and his work are historical in character, many persons as a result of historical and geographical accident will not be sufficiently well-informed concerning him and thus unable to respond to him in faith. Such persons who are not sufficiently well-informed about Christ's person and work will be judged on the basis of their response to general revelation and the light that they do have. Perhaps some will be saved through such a response; but on the basis of Scripture we must say that such "anonymous Christians" are relatively rare. Those who are judged and condemned on the basis of their failure to respond to the light of general revelation cannot legitimately complain of unfairness for their not also receiving the light of special revelation, since such persons would not have responded to special revelation had they received it. For God in His providence has so arranged the world that anyone who would receive Christ has the opportunity to do so. Since God loves all persons and desires the salvation of all, He supplies sufficient grace for salvation to every individual, and nobody who would receive Christ if he were to hear the gospel will be denied that opportunity. As Molina puts it, our salvation is in our own hands."
In other words, if we asume that Christianity and everything Craig assumes about Christianity is true, then it is a fair and and reasonable for God to punish non-believers. But challenge any one of Craig's assumptions, and his argument collapses.

Given that non-Fundamentalist theistic philosophers (like Kant, Kierkegaard and Plantiga) have been unable to say that a belief in the Christian God is unreasonable, Craig presents nothing more than an empty bag of tricks.

No wonder Fundamentalists only read Fundamentalist apologetics. When one looks elsewhere, their "reasoning" vanishes in a puff of smoke.

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