Reasonble Faith
Dear Friends of Reasonable Faith,
I don’t think anyone anticipated that the Ukrainian people would still be holding off the mighty Russian army over a month after the invasion! Despite terrible losses, they have stalwartly stood firm in defense of their homeland. Now people are daring to speak even of the Ukrainians’ winning this war! We need to continue to pray earnestly for our political and military leaders, that they will be courageous and wise in supplying to the Ukrainian military the means of pushing back the Russian invaders and bringing the war to a just conclusion.
Speaking Engagements
This past month I had the extraordinary opportunity to do an online podcast with our Reasonable Faith volunteers in Ukraine itself. We anticipated that they would want cancel this interview in light of the duress of war, but, no, they were eager to go ahead! The interview was simultaneously translated into Ukrainian as I slowly spoke, and the English was muted so that viewers heard me speaking only Ukrainian. Some of the people were in Ukraine, whereas others were in countries like Hungary and Germany. The questions were sometimes so poignant that I felt utterly inadequate to answer them! For example, they asked me to give them practical steps for being a Christian in a time of war—me, who lives in safety and security and has never even known the experience of war! Another question concerned how to do apologetics during wartime. Who is adequate to answer such questions? Nevertheless, I did the very best I could to encourage them and strengthen them and assure them of our prayers for courage and endurance through this trial.
This past month Jan and I took a noteworthy trip to Houston to speak at the Lanier Theological Library. The Library was founded by Mark Lanier, a Christian attorney who has won literally billions of dollars for his clients prosecuting firms like Johnson & Johnson for medical malpractice in knowingly selling cancer-causing talcum powder. He has used his wealth to assemble a prodigious, private library on his estate that serves as a research center and resource for visiting scholars in biblical studies. One of the activities of the Library is their lectureship series, which brings prominent theologians to give a lecture and participate in a panel discussion. David Aycock, my editor at Baylor University Press for my book Atonement and the Death of Christ, worked with the Library director David Capes to invite me to give a lecture on the atonement two years ago, but the pandemic delayed things until now.
My lecture was on “In Defense of Penal substitution.” Since the philosophy of law is the field of philosophy in which theories of punishment are most thoroughly treated, my lecture was filled with legal reasoning and peppered with examples of court decisions illustrating my points. As you can imagine, Mark Lanier, who emceed the event, absolutely loved it and couldn’t resist giving some more illustrations of his own and told the audience that theologians need to familiarize themselves with the law, as I had done. To the surprise of our hosts, not only was the chapel in which I spoke (a sixth century Byzantine recreation!) packed out, but so were two overflow rooms in the Lanier Library, where people were watching on closed circuit television.
Lanier Theological Library
The panel discussion featured three other theologians, Jeannine Brown (Bethel), George Kalantzis (Wheaton), and Roger Olson (Baylor), along with moderator Mark Lanier, who jumped into the discussion with both feet. Jan and I figured he must enjoy the sort of courtroom debate that goes on between prosecutors and defense attorneys! So it was a fun and stimulating discussion, which members of the audience said they really enjoyed.
Jeannine Brown (Bethel)
George Kalantzis (Wheaton)
Roger Olson (Baylor)
Mark Lanier
On our last day I was interviewed by Mark in his large Sunday School class at Champion Forest Baptist Church. This was a very personal interview with lots of stories from Jan and my life together in ministry, as the Lord has led us over the years. Videos of all three of these events will be posted on You Tube.
We also had some wonderful times of networking during our visit. For example, the local Reasonable Faith chapter leaders wanted to get together, so we invited them to join us for breakfast. To our surprise all seven of them were Coptic Christians! They told us that the Reasonable Faith chapter is, in fact, at a Coptic church in Houston. Jan and I were just amazed. On trips to Australia and Austria we’ve been previously approached by priests and parishioners from Coptic churches who are using our Reasonable Faith materials to evangelize and disciple people. What a marvelous illustration of the appeal of “mere Christianity,” as C.S. Lewis called it! During our visit we also met other people with whom strategic networking may be possible in the future. So it was a really valuable trip in many ways!
This past month I recorded more podcasts with Kevin Harris and continued to teach my weekly Defenders class. I also did a podcast interview with our very gifted Latin American Reasonable Faith chapter directors on the moral argument for God’s existence. These fellows are really smart and ask penetrating questions!
Systematic Philosophical Theology
I’m now studying the doctrine of the Trinity. I want to recommend heartily William Hasker’s Metaphysics and the Tri-Personal God (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). This book is truly a gem, the best book on the Trinity that I have seen. Hasker does a great job of handling philosophical challenges, history of doctrine, and the biblical basis of the Trinity in this well-rounded book.

Rather than wait until I’ve read on all aspects of the doctrine, I decided that it would be easier to take it step by step, beginning with the biblical material. I want to show that although the New Testament authors are firmly committed to Jewish monotheism, nevertheless they believed that there are three distinct persons who equally deserve to be called “God,” namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A full-orbed discussion of the deity of Christ alone would be a book-length undertaking and belongs properly in Christology, or the doctrine of Christ, rather than in the doctrine of God. So to keep things manageable, I’ve decided to focus on New Testament passages (about eight of them) where Christ is explicitly referred to as “God” (theos in the Greek). Then I’ll explore what it means to call Christ “God” in light of the early Christian practice of worshipping Jesus along with God the Father. Once again, I’m learning so much as I study these fascinating biblical passages and work through the tangle of exegetical questions that they raise.
For Christ and His Kingdom,
Bill and Jan

Dear Dr. Craig,

I listened very carefully to the podcast "Is Reasonable Faith too Advanced for Churches" - June 21, 2021 as Randal Rauser and I went to University (Trinity Western University, in BC, Canada) together and were inseparable best friends. We actually took our first apologetics class together and some of my fondest memories were Radal checking out videos of your debates from the library and watching them in his ap
artment. Our very first textbook was "Reasonable Faith" which I know was a total eye-opener for me and him. You were a total inspiration to both of us. Since then we have both moved on - but I am quite convinced that your work led Randal into the world of apologetics. That, unfortunately didn't come through in the talk Randal gave so I just wanted you to know that. From my side, coming into contact with Reasonable Faith and your videos has been SUPER helpful to me being strong in my faith. I have never been flustered when people ask me - even in a negative way - and knowing what I know from your works has helped me immensely. I once volunteered to teach High School Sunday School with a bunch of "too cool and smart for you" types. I made some lesson plans based on "On Guard" - bought a copy for every one of my students - and I remember to this day the light turning on on this young man's face when he reconciled the Kalam argument, the Big Bang and his childhood faith which was being challenged. I later learned he was super smart and was pursuing science - got accepted in a very prestigious school. I don't know what happened to him, but I am sure the Lord used On Guard, your arguments to help him stand firm in his faith too! God bless and thank you so much for your ministry. I really enjoy listening to the podcast and Defender classes. Lastly, Kevin and all the other people who are supporting you do a wonderful job.

Thank you and God bless you all too!

-Brad (from Japan)

Reasonble Faith
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