Catholics and William Lane Craig

Hello everyone. William Lane Craig over the past couple of years has become somewhat of a hero of mine. I often say the man is a genius because of his intellect on topics of Philosophy, Theology, Science, etc. His arguments are always sound and he defends Christianity better than anyone I have seen in this century.

Some interesting things about WLC:

He doesn’t argue with Catholics. He loves them and respects them in every way.

He debates the highest Philosophical intellects and Atheists have been quoted as saying he’s not to be taken lightly.

The amount of evidence he gives for the historical accuracy of Jesus Christ and His resurrection is incredible.

So I have a few questions for Catholics about WLC:

  1. Do you listen to his arguments and would you be willing to use them even though he’s not a Catholic?

  2. Is there a Philosophical intellectual equivalent to WLC alive today? (Catholic or Protestant. But it would be neat to know some Catholics.)

  3. Why do you think he’s not a Catholic with such an in depth knowledge of Christianity, Philosophy, Theology, Science, etc?

Also, it was this video that inspired me to make this post. Man I love this guy, he’s so good at explaining things.

Well, Ive not heard of him until you’ve done so:o

As a Catholic Im basically interested in learning the Apostolic faith and practicing it. Does WLG follow Apostolic faith?

If not, I would be more comfortable to hear Fr. Mitch Pacwa defend Christianity.


Luke 9:49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”

Catholic Answers’ own Trent Horn.
Edward Feser
Father Robert Spitzer
Peter Kreeft

He is still learning :smiley:

BTW - Patrick Madrid holds WLC in very high esteem. :thumbsup:

You should check him out then. They’re only a month apart in age!

We are all very much with each other.

Thank you. Any specific debates that I should look into by any of these men? I’m not looking for Catholic vs Protestant but rather strong morality debates, Philosophical and Apologetic debates on the OT and whatnot.

That’s what J. R. R. Tolkien thought about C.S Lewis!


I have and do.

  1. Is there a Philosophical intellectual equivalent to WLC alive today? (Catholic or Protestant. But it would be neat to know some Catholics.)

One name that comes to mind is Peter Kreeft. But for theological horsepower, it’s my understanding that you would be hard-pressed to find better than Benedict XVI. You can read his writings (or those of John Paul II), online at

  1. Why do you think he’s not a Catholic with such an in depth knowledge of Christianity, Philosophy, Theology, Science, etc?

God has planted a few good apologists within Protestant churches to draw some of the fire away from us. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ve heard the name but can’t think of anything he’s written off the top of my head. I am sure I ran across him when I was reverting back to the church and deciding if Catholicism was truly everything it says it is.

I don’t have a problem reading non-Catholic authors. One of my favorite Christian authors is CS Lewis. The key, with any author, is discernment. There are a great many Catholic apologists alive today that one can go to though not to mention there’s no reason to ignore those now apart of the Church Triumphant.

As far as why someone with his background is not Catholic; I’d hope it’s for the same reason anyone should be anything, truth. Not to say that truth is subjective but people come to different conclusion based on the evidence. I am convinced of the truth of Jesus Christ and that He built the Catholic Church. Id hope WLC would say something similar, obviously without the Catholic Church part :wink:

God bless

You’ve lucked out in knowing how I think:p

Similar ages and mutual respect is very important to me when listening to non-Catholics. Thanks I will take the offer. :cool:



I’ve only heard Trent Horn in Live Radio, and he is really down to earth and very charitable in his approach - but still very very smart.

For Trent Horn - his podcasts from Catholic Answers Live are available for free - just look for the Atheist podcasts.

Father Robert Spitzer books: 1) Ten Universal Principles; 2) New Proofs for the Existence of God. (He probably has more but I’ve only read those 2).

Edward Feser
- His Blog


I’ve watched at least ten debates with him and each time, I feel like his logic makes no sense whatsoever and that he doesn’t listen/respond to what the other debater is saying/asking at all.
He totally frustrates me!!!
And when he’s debating biologist Dawkins or theoretical physicist Krauss, his knowledge of science seems woefully lacking–far from “genius” level.
I also find some of his information on Christianity and the New Testament factually incorrect and at odds with dozens of other New Testament scholars/experts.
You don’t find that at all?

Oh, well. To each her own!


I have deep respect of WLC, he is a wise philosopher.

But I would much rather listen and watch
Patrick Madrid
Fr Mitch Pacwa ,SJ
Fr Robert Spitzer ,SJ
Fr Donald Calloway, MIC
Fr. Nicanor Austriaco ,OP, PhD
Michael Cumbie
Fr Robert Barron ,S.T.D.
Scott Hahn, PhD
Fr Andrew Apostoli, CFR
Fr Andrew Pinsent
Fr John Muir
Fr Mark Mary, MFVA
Franklin J. Dailey, M.D.

I watched a debate with Craig and Christopher Hitchens awhile back. He’s a smart guy and held his own.

Also I find your last comment, “Why do you think he’s not a Catholic with such an in depth knowledge of Christianity, Philosophy, Theology, Science, etc” truly arrogant and bizarre…as if you have to be a Catholic to be learned and knowledgeable in those fields???

If I remember correctly he stated in an interview that he has problems with the Catholic understanding of Justification. He has also stated that although he knows that the Catholic Church does not endorse the worship of statues and condemns idolatry, that churches should not have statues because the “danger of popular abuse of statues for idolatrous worship is acute” and the masses may be misled.

Patrick Coffin has a CD set called “How to talk to Atheists” he interview Craig for an hour.

It is fine to study Craig, I have his Reasonable Faith book and saw him debate Hitchens at BIOLA. I believe that debate is on YouTube.

I too sometimes struggle with why some really smart theologians are not Catholic, but each individual has their own reasons. Our upbringing and comfort zones play a huge role in that (right dronald :wink: ). Also, the protestant teaching that it’s about the individual relationship with God makes them view church as a gathering of like minded people and not so much that church has much value other than education. That is deeply ingrained in many practically, even though theologically they may say it is more, Protestants hold the true church to generally always crosses party lines (denominations) including Catholics, so to most Protestants you just pick the tradition you like best…church shop .

William Lane Craig on Catholicism.

I appreciate William Lane Craig for the simple reason he is reaching out to people in order to convince them of the reasonable nature of Christianity. Emphasis on reasonable, christianity doesn’t have to be 100% proven but it does and should be more plausible than its alternatives. Obviously I dissagree with his specific evangelical beliefs.

I’ve seen a few of his debates with atheists and found his logic to be clear and sound.

In the Mexico debate it was Dawkins who completely misunderstood and misrepresented Craig, as entertainingly presented here…

Richard Dawkins Straw Mans William Lane Craig AND Fails Elementary Logic

I’ve seen the whole debate, and am prepared to say that this five minute extract is a fair extract.

To the OP, we have discussed WLC and his philosophy in CAF before, and mostly favourably :slight_smile:

William Lane Craig mentioned in CAF

Watching a W.L. Craig debate on YouTube was my first real foray into apologetics and it actually led me to eventually find this forum. Since his debates focus on the existence of God and don’t get into the differences between Christian religions I have no problem listening to him at all. I find his arguments very rational and logical, although at times a little hard to follow. I’ve listened to him time and again. Another favourite of mine is John Lennox, an Irish apologist, not Catholic. Here’s one of my favourite debates of his against Richard Dawkins. His unassuming manner and gentle Irish wit let’s him sneak up and whip his opponents before they’re even aware of it. Funnily enough, after 2 debates Dawkins refuses to go against him again. Again, Lennox argues mainly for the existence of God, rather than a particular religion. Both Craig and Lennox give good arguments against Islam as well. I also enjoy anything Peter Kreeft has done, mainly for his story-telling. He’s very compelling, but I haven’t heard many debates from him. I’ve recently been listening to Trent Horn and Patrick Madrid, and I always enjoy listening to Jimmy Akin and Tim Staples on Catholic Answers radio.

As to your question about why Craig, with his background and training, is not a Catholic, I’ve often wondered that myself. I know what he says, but I can’t help thinking that if he spent a little more time actually learning about Catholicism he would change his mind.

I think WLC does a fantastic job at debating and defending the Christian position from the stand point of reason. The reason I do not follow him much is because he rejects some basic positions held by St. Thomas Aquinas in philosophy. And I think that if one abandons those basic principles, one really cannot mount a truely intellectual defense for the existence of God, in the philosophical sense.

Also, I do not regard the Kalam argument as an effective argument because it is good only if one accepts a unique beginning of the universe. The arguments presented by Thomas Aquinas, on the other hand, are valid for either an eternal or a finite universe.

There are at least four Catholic philosophers/theologians on the debating circuit who are very effective, Dr. Peter Kreeft, Dr. Edward Feser, Dr. Anthony Rizzi, and Fr. Robert Spitzer. You can google them and see what you think. But I will say that WLC is more active on the circuit than any of these.


WLC is not really in the absolute top league of philosophical theologians. He’s good, but not great. I’d say the best two around today (despite their differences) are Alvin Plantinga (Reformed) and Richard Swinburne (Eastern Orthodox, Church of England until the mid 1990s).

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