June 2010

As a follow-up to the previous post, "Out of Nothing", here is a short 5 minute video where William Lane Craig addresses the question "Could the Universe Have Simply Popped into Being?" via Lee Strobel's site. It provides a more succinct reply to the question than the videos I linked to in my previous post. [HT: TruthBomb]

Click the "more" link to view (the embedded video unfortunately auto-plays so I had to add the extra step to avoid it playing every time people came to the site).


I was searching the web for a particular William Lane Craig quote this morning when I came across an article on a philosophy of religion website discussing the Kalam Cosmological Argument as defended by WLC. The author seemed to be giving a decent summary of the argument, but I was astounded when I read the following:

The problem here is that God is not required to provide reasons as to why anything is here. In fact, modern cosmology is grounded precisely in the notion that everything came from nothing, and that prior to the singularity which caused our present universe to come into existence, there literally was nothing (no-thing) there. So science provides a perfectly adequate naturalist account of the origins of the universe, which does not requires us to posit the existence of anything prior to it being here in order to justify why it now does. [emphasis mine]

To quote Homer Simpson, "Well I guess everything is wrapped up in a nice little package!" First of all, what does it mean to say "prior to the singularity"? Second, how did the singularity cause our universe to come into existence? Is not the singularity the universe? Third, and most critically, how can we make sense of the idea that the singularity suddenly came into existence out of nothing (the author even clarifies "no-thing") with no cause whatsoever? Such a thing seems utterly ridiculous. I can't even begin to make sense of this "explanation".

If someone wants to say "we just don't know what caused the universe to exist, but I don't think it was God," at least I can understand that, even though I disagree. But to say it began to exist, uncaused, out of literally no-thing, and posit that is "a perfectly adequate naturalist account" … puh-lease.

For videos of WLC explaining the Kalam cosmological argument, visit here: William Lane Craig & the Cosmological Argument (the videos were recorded at Saddleback Church and his presentation is at a lay-level, there is also a link near the bottom of the post to WLC's more academic presentation at a university) UPDATE: Here is a shorter video by Craig on the same subject.

[HT: TheJude3Project]

1. What author do you own the most books by? Lee Strobel.

2. What book do you own the most copies of? "The Artful Dodger" by Alan Scholes (old used copy & new copy self-published by the author)

3. What book have you read the most times in your life? "Finding Faith" by Brian McLaren.

4. Favorite book as a ten year old? I liked "Sideways Stories from Wayside School" (I bought a copy of it recently :))

5. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.

6. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? Besides my own 😉 "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig.

7. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? The two that come to mind are "Fear and Trembling" by Søren Kierkegaard and "God, Freedom, and Evil" by Alvin Plantinga (for very different reasons!)

8. What is your favorite book? I have a tough time choosing favorites. I'll say "Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel, because it was the first Christian book I read, before I was a Christian.

9. What is your favorite play? I don't really watch plays …

10. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? Dan Brown? 😀

11. What is your desert island book? The Bible … the only book deep enough to read for a lifetime

12. And … what are you reading right now? "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan and "The Gospel for Muslims" by Thabiti Anyabwile … next on my list/shelf is "The Normal Christian Life" by Watchman Nee and "The Trellis and the Vine" by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne.