Where Have Christian Academics Been Hiding?
Q: Dear Dr. Craig,
About two years ago I watched your debate with Michael Payton in which you made the startling remark that in the past half century a revolution had taken place regarding Christian philosophy in the Anglo-Saxon realm. At that time I thought that this was just some disingenuous rhetorical trick to try to fool the ignorant public into thinking Christianity was an acceptable point of view in academia, but at that time I thought minds like Richard Dawkins were enlightened thinkers, since no one in church I asked the questions he proposes was able to satisfactorily answer them, and I was simply unaware that such a revolution had actually taken place. At that time, I hadn’t even heard of thinkers like Plantinga, Swinburne and yourselves. After having studied some philosophy, I’ve come to see what you mean by this revolution, but if I hadn’t come across videos of John Lennox and your debate with Christopher Hitchens, I probably would never have known about these answers to difficult questions that these great Christian thinkers have provided and have become a vehement agnostic/atheist myself now. Thanks to your work, I’ve grown more confident in my faith and proclaiming it to others then I could ever have imagined two years ago.
My question is this: what is your explanation for this gap between the academic world and popular thinking? And especially, why haven’t these answers reached the churches? Why do so many people lose their faith, because they think no one can answer their questions, while there is a wealth of philosophy and theology available to them, but just floating in an academic vacuum? And as young academic students, who do know that there are these answers: what could we do to help Christ’s cause in this?
Thank you for everything you do and please, as long as you breathe, don’t ever stop with your apologetic ministry!
Dr. Craig Answers: I enjoy talking to popular audiences about the renaissance of Christian philosophy over the past generation, Hidde, because it so often comes as a surprise to people. I find that Christian laymen are still generally unaware of the intellectual members of the body of Christ, almost as if they did not exist. Why “this gap between the academic world and popular thinking?” I think there are many factors contributing to this gap…
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