Last weekend Marion and I drove to Atlanta to visit our son and daughter-in-law. On the long drive down we listened to William Lane Craig’s podcasts, specifically his Defenders series.
Dr. Craig is one of the premier voices in contemporary Christianity and is quite likely the strongest debater to oppose atheists around the globe. Whether you agree with his views or not, he cannot be dismissed offhand. He has published scores of books, teaches in seminaries, is routinely interviewed in national and international media, and has debated many of the world’s most popular atheists. So it’s somewhat surprising that with all he has got going on he has made a sacrificial time commitment to teach a Sunday school class.
Marion and I popped over to Marietta to sit in on the class and were welcomed by everyone in attendance, particularly by Jan Craig, who is a vital part of her husband’s ministry. We had a warm discussion after the class about how Reasonable Faith functions. It really is remarkable how much they are able to accomplish. The time and financial demands are enormous, so please pray for them and their ministry.
Dr. Craig’s material, including the entire Defenders series, is available at ReasonableFaith.org. The audio files are loaded within a day or so of the class, and the videos are loaded about a month later. There is a large catalog already available online.
If you’ve tried listening to Dr. Craig’s podcasts before, you may have come across some very heady philosophy. After all, he is a professional philosopher. But these Sunday school classes are disentangled—aimed at a target audience of intelligent Bible students, not the academic intelligentsia.
Dr. Craig has been producing his current Defenders series since 2009. This series on Christian doctrine and apologetics has become an epic work. The material is quite refreshing. He presents both sides of opposing doctrinal views fairly and respectfully, without sidestepping his positions. Those of us who have studied under Dick Woodward will find Dr. Craig’s Defenders series to be the perfect complement to Dick’s Mini Bible College series. Dick used to say his goal was to, “Put the cookies on the bottom shelf,” and he was masterful at doing so. If you have studied the Mini Bible College, you might think of the Defenders series as graduate school.
Did I ever imagine I would be interested in Christian doctrine? Nope, never—not many people are, really. But the more I read and study, the more I realize how vitally important sound doctrine and theology are to biblical understanding. Dr. Craig’s Defenders series is not some esoteric exercise for eggheads and theologians, but a profound labor of love that puts the Christian faith within reach of those who are willing to study and think.
If we want to share the Christian faith we must first understand what that faith really is—and we have to be prepared to defend it. The apostle Peter exhorted us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Doctrine and apologetics…a powerful combination.
HT: Jan and William Lane Craig