Wednesday, July 28, 2010

William Lane Craig's List of Go-To Christian Scholars

I'll be checking this list over the summer as time permits.

List and descriptions are William Lane Craig's from "So Many Atheists, So Little Time!"

Alvin Plantinga (University of Notre Dame),
Peter van Inwagen (University of Notre Dame),
The late William Alston (University of Syracuse),
Richard Swinburne (Oxford University),
Robert Adams (University of North Carolina),
Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers University);

Francisco Ayala (highly decorated evolutionary biologist),
Allan Sandage (world’s most famous astronomer),
Christopher Isham (called Britain’s greatest quantum cosmologist),
George Ellis (once described to me by a colleague as the person who knows more about cosmology than any man alive),
Francis Collins (head of the human genome project);

Historical Jesus scholars: 
John Meier (author of a multi-volume study of the historical Jesus),
N. T. Wright (another writer of prodigious works on Jesus),
James D. G. Dunn (highly regarded scholar at the University of Durham),
Craig Evans (first class Canadian [sic] historical Jesus scholar).

I would add one Christian philosopher to the list: William Lane Craig.

I know of about half of these guys, and have had the pleasure of meeting Bill Craig and Craig Evans.


The Armchair Theologian said...

Historical Jesus scholars?


I recently heard the Evans vs. Ehrman debate where Evans said that from the entire text of all four gospels, we can be confident of 9 "Historical Facts" about Jesus.

Out of everything written in the scripture, Evans says we can be relatively confident of ONLY the following:

1. Jesus was baptized by John the baptist.

2. Jesus was a Galilean who preached and healed.

3. Jesus called disciples and spoke of their being twelve.

4. Jesus confined his activity to Israel.

5. Jesus engaged in a controversy about the temple.

6. Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem by the Roman authorities.

7. After his death, Jesus' followers continued as an identifiable movement.

8. Jesus instituted the Lord's supper.

9. Jesus ate with and associated with tax collectors and sinners.

So, we cannot be confident that he said he was God, let alone WAS God.

We cannot be confident the he predicted his resurrection, let alone that it actually happened.

We cannot be confident of any of his recorded teaching outside his speaking of having 12 disciples.

We cannot be confident about the location of a single one of his miracles, let alone that any of them actually happened.

The list goes on and on.

Brother, I don't recommend historical Jesus "scholars" to anyone, because the whole operation has nothing to do with history, Jesus, or scholarship.

It is an exercise in accademic hubris and is a blatant attack against the truth of the word of God.

The Christ of scripture IS the Christ of History IS the Christ of Faith.

RkBall said...

Craig Evans may have been speaking of facts which historians, secular included, agree on based on secular historical methods, i.e., faith excluded.

I'm surprised he didn't include the historical evidences for the resurrection that e.g, Gary Habermas and Mike Licona present.

The key word is "historical" -- which is not to be equated with "actual", but with facts based on agreed historical methods.

In the case of the NT, historians come at it with acute skepticism.

If this were just a single account of the day in the life of Joe Schmoe, with no contentious religious truths being presented, historians would acknowledge it as a tremendous historical find of great historical importance and accept it at face value.

RkBall said...

"Brother, I don't recommend historical Jesus "scholars" to anyone, because the whole operation has nothing to do with history, Jesus, or scholarship."

I think you are confusing the word "history" with "what actually happened". History, in the context cited, is a reconstruction of what actually happened not using the eye of faith, or the presumption of the truthfulness of Scripture, or the witness of the Holy Spirit, but with the historical methods used by historians.

RkBall said...

Take Mohammed, where he is said to have travelled on a flying horse by night to Mecca (or whatever the claim is.)

Would you see anything wrong with historians challenging the historicity of this story?

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"