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The Historical Jesus as a Defense for the Christian Faith

by Jaime Garispe '11

On January 11, William Lane Craig, Ph.D., a current research professor at the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, presented at APU as the kickoff speaker in the Spring 2011 Science, Faith, and Culture lecture series hosted by APU's Center for Research in Science (CRIS). More than 100 students and faculty members gathered in Munson Chapel to hear Craig speak about the historical Jesus in his lecture: Historical Texts, Historical Savior: Answering Bart Ehrman’s Critique of the Historical Jesus.

Craig said, “I spoke recently at a major Canadian university on the existence of God. After my talk, one slightly irate co-ed wrote on her comment card, ‘I was with you until you got to the stuff about Jesus. God is not the Christian God!’”

Craig went on to explain that, “This attitude is all too typical today. Most people are happy to agree that God exists; but in our pluralistic society it has become politically incorrect to claim that God has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus. What justification can Christians offer, in contrast to Hindus, Jews, and Muslims, for thinking that the Christian God is real?” He then presented counterarguments to help Christians understand and explain to unbelievers the reality of the Christian God. Ultimately, Craig provided “a solid rock on which Christians can take their stand for God’s decisive self-revelation in Jesus.”

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Craig received his undergraduate education from Wheaton College and graduate education from Trinity Evangelical Divinity Schools. He has authored or edited more than thirty books, and his participation in discussions of Christian apologetic nature has earned him a name amongst the top scholars in historical Jesus studies and the philosophy of religion.

“Dr. Craig's lecture was thoughtful, incisive, and extremely well-reasoned,” said Director of the Center for Research in Science, Leslie Wickman, Ph.D. “The audience was thoroughly engaged as Dr. Craig persuasively argued for the historicity of Jesus as presented in the gospel accounts.”

The Center for Research in Science hosts leading field scholars to discuss the prevailing issues of science and theology with the purpose of equipping students and the general community to use science to defend their faith. View a schedule of upcoming lecturers for the Spring 2011 Science, Faith, and Culture lecture series.

“Most people are happy to agree that God exists; but in our pluralistic society it has become politically incorrect to claim that God has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus.”