Sunday, July 16, 2006

Vital stats

John W. Loftus

John majored in the "Philosophy of Religion" under Dr. William Lane Craig at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and graduated with a Th.M. in 1985. John's book Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains is now available. (You can also purchase it here through me in the New & Used link). John is the Debunking Christianity Blog creator.


Dr. William Lane Craig

Wheaton College—B. A. Communications, 1971; high honors
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School—M. A. Philosophy of Religion, 1975; summa cum laude
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School—M. A. Church History, 1975; summa cum laude
University of Birmingham, England—Ph.D. Philosophy, 1977
Universität München, Germany—D. Theol. Theology, 1984


Scholastic Honor Society—Wheaton College, 1971
Academic Achievement Award—Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1975
Research Grant—Andersen Foundation, 1975-77
Research Fellowship—Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, 1978-80
Best Articles of 1988— Philosopher's Annual II, 1988
McManis Lectureship—Wheaton College, 1994
Geneva Lecture Series—University of Iowa, 1994
Exemplary Papers Award—Templeton Foundation, 1995
Paley Lectures—University of Western Ontario, 1995
Easterwood Lecture—Southern Methodist Universit,y 1996
Carver-Barnes Lectures, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1996
Strauss Lectures—Lincoln Christian College and Seminary, 1996
Easterwood Lecture—Southern Methodist University, 1996
Carver-Barnes Lectures—Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1996
Strauss Lectures—Lincoln Christian College and Seminary, 1996
Exemplary Papers Award—Templeton Foundation, 1996
Exemplary Papers Award—Templeton Foundation, 1997
Ryan Lectures—Asbury College and Seminary, 1999
Templeton Lecture—Montana State University, 1999
Templeton Lecture—Malone College, 2000
Staley Lectures—Crown College, 2000
Saucy Lectures—Talbot School of Theology, 2001
Nelson Lectures—Samford University, 2001
Bonchek Series—Franklin and Marshall College, 2001
Physics and the God of Abraham—Gonzaga University, 2003
Lee Lectures—Louisiana State University, 2003
Weyerhauser Debate Series—University of Hawaii, 2003
Templeton Lecture—University of Colorado, 2004
Templeton Lecture—University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004
Stobb Lectures—Calvin College and Seminary, 2004
D. Litt.—Bethel College, 2005


American Philosophical Association (1977-)
American Academy of Religion (1978-)
Society of Biblical Literature (1978-)
Society of Christian Philosophers (1979-)
Executive Committee (1997-2000)
Evangelical Theological Society (1983-)
Evangelical Philosophical Society (1983-)
Vice President (1995-96)
President (1996-2005)
Science and Religion Forum (1990-)
Philosophy of Time Society (1992-)
President (1999-)


Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religion, 1980-1986, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Associate Professor of Religious Studies, 1986-1987, Westmont College
Visiting Researcher, 1987-1994, Université Catholique de Louvain
Research Professor of Philosophy, 1996- , Talbot School of Theology
Visiting Professor of Philosophy, 2003- , Wheaton College


From Minister to Honest Doubter: Why I Changed My Mind
by John W. Loftus Sales Rank:
Yesterday: #243,970 in Books

Why I Rejected Christianity: A Former Apologist Explains
by John W. Loftus Sales Rank:
Yesterday: #337,347 in Books


Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics
by William Lane Craig Sales Rank:
Yesterday: #29,943 in Books

Hard Questions, Real Answers
by William Lane Craig Sales Rank:
Yesterday: #38,520 in Books


  1. Comparing Loftus to Craig is like comparing Paully Shore to Socrates. Presuming that Loftus is like Paully Shore of course.

  2. Why do you continue to do this? And what's your point? I don't get it. What does it prove? I cannot compete with him in honors or in book sales, and I never will. So? Did I say that I can? He's published more books and been at this a whole lot longer with a sharper mind than I have in a culture that is overwhelmingly dominated by Christians who soak up apologetics books by the dozen. No wonder he's sold more books and received more honors than I have!

    BTW I have a whole lot more accomplishments than you listed here, but who cares about a full comparison anyway, right? Simply because you purposely failed to list my many accomplishments shows quite clearly that you're not interested in being objective in your dealings with me. You'll slant things against me. It's no different when you read the newspaper and claim that it's biased and not fully truthful in its presentation of the so-called "facts." So why should any of your readers from this point onward believe what you say about me? It's their's to decide. But you keep digging your own grave here. Fairness. Is that not a Christian quality? Then you lack it, even if all of my accomplishments still pale in comparison to Dr. Craig's accomplishments.

    What are your honors and educational experiences and how are your book sales going? Even your book would do better than any of mine because there are more potential Christian buyers of that book than want mine. But what does that prove?

    Again, What's your point here? I'd really like to know. Spell it out. Surely such a post has a point, otherwise you wrote something that's pointless.

  3. I actually wrote about Loftus using Craig's name to gain more popularity: here and here.

  4. I listed the "accomplishments" which you choose to list in your profile. The selection criteria are yours, not mine.

    As to my accomplishments, I'm a nobody.

    But I'm not the one who was comparing myself with someone else.

    The real question is what you intend to achieve by associating your name with Craig's.

    I'm merely taking my cue from you and extending the comparison.

  5. I am merely telling people the truth about my educational background, Steve. They can draw their own conclusions. I was one of Dr. Craig's students while he was at TEDS and I also now oppose his ideas, even if like you I am a "nobody" when compared to him. I was trained by the best and I disagree with him. That's all. I never compared myself to him, and I never will. That's my educational background. Am I not supposed to say what my background is, for any particular reason that you know of? Why not?

    So your post was based upon a faulty understanding? How often, one could wonder, do you have faulty understandings about me?

    Trying to embarrass someone based upon purposely misrepresenting him like you did here, is not as bad as the character assassination tactics by Walton and Holding in quoting people completely out of context, though.

    The real question is why Christians are so fearful of an honest dispassionate discussion of the ideas themselves that they have to resort to this kind of stuff. Do we do that with you at DC? Stick with the ideas. Your readers would rather see this.

  6. I have a difficult time seeing what the relevance is for one being a student of Bill's. Being the student of a particular professor tells one virtually nothing about the extent of another's relationship to that professor (e.g., you - John Loftus - could have been very chummy with Bill and went out for drinks after class or you could have had no further relationship than receiving a grade and saying "here" for attendance). I have many friends that have studied with some world-class philosophers and because of the degree being worked on and having them on their respective committees, as well as the philosophers being excellent educators and nice people, my friends turned out to be both very capable philosophers and good educators. On the other hand, I know some people that have taken courses with good philosophers, but for a variety of reasons, these people have not turned out to be very impressive. These students did not receive as much face-time and their relationship was much more formal (or even nonexistent) outside the classroom than my other friends experienced. So by the mere fact that you, John Loftus (if you're even reading this), were a student of Bill's, this leaves me with very little to infer about your studying with "the best," whatever that means. The "truth about [your] educational background" is far too thin as stated for one to reasonably conclude anything substantial. One could conclude that because you studied with Bill, you are therefore in a unique position to interact publically with his ideas in such a way that we should care about what you have to contribute to philosophy - that is, if we can call what you do a real contribution. Alternately, one could conclude that because you studied with *Bill* and still disagree with him with such confidence in your disagreement - though at the same time admitting to not match up with your philosophical acumen - is all the more reason to think you're not qualified to interact with him. So from what you've said, I'm not sure what to think about this. The best I can make of your claim to be a student of Bill's insofar as you want to tell us anything important is to take it as a marketing schema for attracting readers. But for the trained mind, not much follows.

  7. James Gibson, what if you're correct that it means nothing significant except as a marketing schema (I do not grant that this is all it says)? If so, so what? What's wrong with that? And if you're correct what does Steve's post have to do with this? BTW Half of my hours were under Craig--the most I could take given the number of other required classes I still had to take for the degree.

  8. How come B. Craig told me you worked at Winchells and brought him donuts every day?

    He said he never remembered you as a student, other than a student of the, how'd he put it, "deep fry machine." He said you really knew how to fry a donut.

  9. I wonder what the point of this was... Simply to set apples and oranges next to each other and go, oh, look, apples and oranges? Well, if that was it, purpose achieved.

  10. I want to be the apples. I like apples better than oranges. ;-)

  11. Hi John. In my view, there is nothing morally wrong with using Bill's name as a way of attracting readers if your own name and publisher's name can't pull them in. N. America is capitalist society and if doing something as little as using Bill's name helps you get the readers, fine. But you'd also have to realize that no professional philosopher is going to read any of that and therefore be persuaded to pick up your book. The relevance, as I pointed out, is slim to none.

    Initially, I thought I might have to speculate about what Steve Hay's reasons were for comparing your and Bill's respective CV's. But I apparently do not have to since in the comments, he says, "The real question is what you intend to achieve by associating your name with Craig's." From this, I believe Steve's intention in posting the respective CV's is probably to receive clarity on why you associate with Bill's name in the establishment of your own. You say there is a more fundamental question about ideas about which Christians are fearful. If Christians are fearful, I suppose many probably are, it nevertheless seems to me that the complaint about ideas is said tongue in cheek; after all, you're the one talking about names and who you studied under, as if that is supposed to tell us something significant about yourself. But why should we care about that anyway if we are to stick to ideas? In such case, whoever you are or whatever your educational background, it shouldn't matter. (I don't, by the way, agree that educational backgrounds are completely irrelevant; but the epistemic weight added by this consideration is often easily defeatable - thus it is important to consider most other things in conjunction with this).

    Last, I'm still puzzled about what to make of your claim to have studied with Bill Craig for half of your degree hours. I suppose this raises the probability that Bill knows you and you had significant interaction with him. But the probability doesn't rise very much. If you told me that you exchange Christmas cards each year, I'd be persuaded that you know him somewhat well. However, it is possible that you spent each of those hours in the back of the room and did not interact with him much at all. But even if you exchange Christmas cards, that still does not tell me much about yourself and why I should care to read your literature. And even if you spent your time in the front of the class like a good student, interacting at each point and staying after class, that too doesn't tell me about the content of those discussions. You could have been stomped-on each discussion and yet still disagreed with Bill. I don't know what is the case. One thing that is huge and not considered in this thread is your psychology at the time. You could have been infatuated with Bill and thus took it in and did not pay critical attention to the details - after all, "Bill could work it out." On the other hand, you could have been the deep skeptic at the time and went in with a grudge against anything he might say. You may have even thought, "Bill is an asshole" and been disposed to not want to accept his ideas. I have no idea what your psychology was. But your psychology might not have allowed you to take seriously Bill's ideas. Obviously, I don't know you and I won't speculate about what your psychology was. But my point goes to show that merely because you studied with Bill for even half of your hours, that still does not tell me about the relationship you have with him or why I should even take that into consideration. To that end, I think Steve would agree with this and say, "Precisely. That's the point of my post. What does saying one is a student of Craig's serve?"

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Gibson, you're the kind of guy who tries to impress us with how many distinctions he can make as if that was important. This is a non-issue, and yet you keep commenting on it, which tells me more about your level of understanding than the way you can parse distinctions out of thin air and judge former students capabilities by how close they were to said teacher (did we exchange christmas cards?).

    Go fish.

  14. Heh. I only commented on the irrelevance of your claims and you responded with questions. After answering those questions, I'm being told to go fish... but you've been taking the bait. So good call. I can catch bigger fish. And since I know those fish on a personal level (yes, we exchange cards and I'm in the position that I don't need to impress internet apologists that stand for or against Christianity), I'll take those fishs' opinions more seriously than anyone who's primary philosophical publication is a blog. But keep on contributing to philosophy in whatever little way you do. Best Wishes.