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Bill Craig’s Visit

May 30th, 2008 by Matt

I need to apologize to my readers for blogging infrequently at present. I am extremely busy, with marking papers, setting exams, part time jobs, getting another paper published, and generally running a family of 6. I would like to share one project I have been working on over the last few months.

Regular readers will note that occasionally I refer to the work of William Lane Craig. Craig is a Philosopher/Theologian of some caliber. He is currently a Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He holds a PhD from University of Birmingham (England) and a D.Theol from the University of Munich (Germany). William Lane Craig has authored or edited over thirty books including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity in addition he has written over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology. He was President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society from 1996-2005 and is currently President of the Philosophy of Time Society. He also is one of the few professional Christian Philosophers at this level who also interacts at a more popular level. Craig also is a very proficient debater, he has debated every major skeptic and atheist in the US and UK including Michael Tooley and Anthony Flew.

Any way a few months ago I heard that Craig was visiting New Zealand at a conference at Victoria University; several other really good Christian Philosophers were also at this conference. Trenton Merrick’s Thomas Flint, Peter Van Inwagen to name a few. Had the date not coincided with my 10th anniversary and my daughters 8th birthday I would have planned to attend. Nethertheless I let Craig’s presence in NZ slip to some acquaintances of mine in Palmerston North. Before I knew it they were organizing a nationwide speaking tour for him.

Not to be pushed out, and letting Massey take all the thunder. I lobbied for Craig to visit Auckland and speak at the college where I speak part time. I also contacted the New Zealand Association of Rationalist Humanists (NZARH) and suggested that we stage a debate at Auckland Uni. My initial suggestion was to pit Craig against Lloyd Geering, but left it to them to decide who would be the most appropriate person to represent their position.

My lobbying has come to fruition, On June the 16th and 17th William Lane Craig will visit Auckland. He will give a public lecture at BCNZ on the evening of the 16th (in LR1) at 7:00 pm where he will critique the arguments put forward in favour of atheism by zoologist Richard Dawkins. On Tuesday 17th of June 2008 at 7:00 pm he will square off against Bill Cooke from NZARH at the Owen G Glenn building (Lecture Theatre OGGB5) in a public debate at Auckland University. The moot is ‘Is God a Delusion? John Bishop the HOD at Auckland’s Philosophy department has generously agreed to moderate this debate. Auckland’s Philosophy department have also suggested he present a paper to their department but I have yet to hear back from them about this yet.

Anyway, if my readers enjoy my blogs then they will probably find both these events quite interesting. I suspect we will also have an interesting audience at these events given some of the differing people who have told me they are interested in attending.

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