Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Assessing Craig's legacy

How should we assess William Lane Craig's legacy? Of course, he's still going strong, but I'll lay down some markers. 
I think we should assess Craig's legacy the way we'd assess Aquinas. I'm not suggesting that Craig is in the same league as Aquinas, who was one of the great intellects of human history. But they have something in common. Both men were fairly encyclopedic thinkers. 
I assume that in his role as a Christian apologist, Craig has felt the need to develop a systematic position over a wide range of issues which impinge on Christian apologetics. That way he's covered all his bases. 
As such, Craig won't have a direct successor. He has a fairly unique skill set. He doesn't really have a method that can be mastered and emulated. The closest thing he has to a method is his minimal facts approach, but that's just one facet of his prolific output. 
Rather, he has his idiosyncratic position on a daunting range of topics. That takes great mental diligence and talent. Most Christian philosophers and apologists are more specialized, or else they sacrifice depth for breadth. 
This, in turn, means that in assessing Craig's contribution to Christian theology, philosophy, and apologetics, it's not an up or down vote. Rather, it's a question of sifting through his many varied positions. He will be good on some issues, dubious on others. 

1 comment:

  1. That's why I say that Craig is my favorite Arminian. I appreciate the intellectual weight behind some of his positions (his work with the Kalam Cosmological Argument, for example) and yet wonder how he can miss the simplest errors of his other positions. The ones where I agree with him, many articulate atheists have no answer for him. The ones where I don't agree with him (Molinism, for one), even simple Christians like myself can point out the flaws in his arguments.