Ten Years of Reasonable Faith! What’s Next

Ten Years of Reasonable Faith! What's Next

Transcript Ten Years of Reasonable Faith! What's Next?

KEVIN HARRIS: Welcome to Reasonable Faith with Dr. William Lane Craig. I'm Kevin Harris. What an honor it has been for me to be a part of Reasonable Faith for most of the past ten years. We've got somewhat of an anniversary going on here at Reasonable Faith – ten years of Reasonable Faith! We're going to be reflecting on the last ten years – some of the more interesting parts of that as well as looking forward – the next ten years. What would you like to hear? What would you like to see from Reasonable Faith? And what are some of Dr. Craig's plans as we continue?

We are going to be back in the studio together very shortly. I want to tell you about some of the topics that we've been following and some of the topics that we are considering for podcasts. So many of you have sent these to us. You've sent us these suggestions, either on our Facebook page or through the website. We pay attention to that, and we try to deal with some of the latest topics that are out there in science and philosophy and culture –some of the things that we'll be talking about.

We'll get Dr. Craig's thoughts on the upcoming election – even take a look at some of the debates. When we get Dr. Craig back in the studio we will know who the next President of the United States is. We want to get Dr. Craig to give some of his comments and counsel on where we go from here.

Dr. Craig has been listed in the top 50 philosophers. We want to talk about that as well.

And really importantly we want to talk about the multiverse because it seems to have come roaring back. We've been deluged with questions on this and articles from some cosmologists and some of our atheist friends who are not willing to let the whole multiverse thing go. Well, is there new evidence? Why is this still hanging on? And what does it do for philosophy and consideration for the existence of God and particularly the kalam cosmological argument.

It is not only the ten-year anniversary of Reasonable Faith, but it's the ten-year anniversary of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. I have several articles that compile what that book has done – the impact that that book has made on culture and on people's lives. The ten-year anniversary of The God Delusion – we'll look at that.

There's some new information on hot black holes and the arrow of time – something Dr. Craig always likes to talk about.

A new book is out by Dr. Sean Carroll. He talks about what he embraces as “poetic naturalism.” What does he mean by that? We'll take a look.

Also some social trends. We just got information that religion in the United States alone is worth more than Apple and Google combined. Just when you think that there's a decline in religion, look at that.

Dr. Craig has been doing a series on the atonement that I will tell you about here in just a moment if you're not aware of it. We will look at the Seventh Day Adventist view of the atonement that I received in my email the other day.

And also an article on how the Christian masculinity movement is ruining men. What is the Christian masculinity movement and how is it ruining men? And what is Dr. Craig's take on being a Christian man?

It has been about a year since the death of my son, Tanner. Many of you from all over the world have written to me and prayed for me and my family as we have dealt with this. One year later, what are some of my reflections on where God has brought me and what we have learned? We will be talking about that as well.

There's a new book out on the kalam cosmological argument. Every once in a while a new book or a new article or a new work comes out on the kalam and claims to have debunked it. Is that the case? We shall see.

What are some of the upcoming events and debates Dr. Craig will be taking part in in 2017? We've got information on that as well.

Today I want to continue this podcast by giving you a sneak preview – giving you a taste – of what Dr. Craig has been doing from his study. You have an opportunity to join him in his study via video as he's been looking at the atonement.[1] Dr. Craig has turned his research guns on the atonement. There are many layers to the atonement. I want to give you a taste of that right now. You can join Dr. Craig in his study on this study of the atonement when you go to ReasonableFaith.org.

Here's Dr. Craig.[2]

DR. CRAIG: In discussing the doctrine of the atonement, theologians are fond of emphasizing the diversity of the metaphors and motifs that the New Testament uses in describing the death of Christ for our sins. But while this is true, it seems to me that there is one motif that predominates above all others – and that is the motif of Christ’s death as a sacrificial offering to God for our sins.

The book of Hebrews, for example, is devoted entirely to an extended meditation on the death of Christ as a sacrifice for our sins and on Christ as the high priest who offers himself as the final and ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Paul also speaks of Christ’s death in terms of a sacrificial offering to God and calls Christ our paschal lamb.

Was this motif of Christ’s death as a sacrifice to God a sort of rationalization of the fact that Jesus the Messiah had been crucified and some sense needed to be made ex post facto out of his death? Not at all! Because this motif is rooted in the teaching and conception of Jesus himself. At his Last Supper, Jesus, in celebrating the Passover, picked Passover time as the time when he would be delivered up to death. He provoked the events that led up to his death. As he celebrated the Last Supper – the Passover – with the disciples, he used the words, “This is the new covenant in my blood,” recalling the words of the Mosaic covenant in Leviticus when the Mosaic covenant was instituted in blood. So Jesus himself thought of his impending death as a sacrificial offering to God which would be made at the time of the Passover feast.

The New Testament writers and Jesus himself saw Jesus' death in light of the Old Testament sacrifices, including the Passover sacrifice and the daily sacrifices prescribed in the tabernacle and then later in the temple in the book of Leviticus as well as the Day of Atonement sacrifice.

These sacrifices served principally two functions. First, they served to appease or placate God's wrath. It was dangerous having a holy God living in your midst. His wrath could break out at sin at any moment and destroy the people. So one of the functions of the sacrifices was to placate or appease God's wrath to protect the people from his holiness. We see this, for example, in the Passover sacrifice where the blood of the sacrifice on the doorsteps of the Israelite people protected them from the wrath of God and the judgment of God that swept over Egypt. The Passover lamb's blood was like a storm cellar in the midst of the tornado of God's judgment that swept over Egypt. Then in the Levitical sacrifices as well. One of the functions of these sacrifices was to appease God's wrath so that the people, though unclean and sinful, could live with a holy God in their very midst. This function of sacrifice is called propitiation by theologians. God's wrath is propitiated or appeased by the sacrifices.

But the sacrifices also did something else very significant. They served to cleanse the people of sin and uncleanness before God so that he could live in their midst. They were a way of removing the sins and the uncleanness of the people. This is called expiation – sin is taken away or removed.

So these sacrifices served two functions: they propitiated God's wrath and they expiated sin. Jesus' death similarly is described in this way by the New Testament authors. They saw Jesus' death as both propitiatory of God's wrath and judgment, and also as expiatory of our sin before God.[3]

[1] To view these videos, go to the Reasonable Faith YouTube playlist titled “Join Me In My Study: The Atonement” at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3gdeV4Rk9EcS5D1nqnZODRORjWlH5dKc (accessed October 31, 2016)

[2] 5:00

[3] Total Running Time: 9:57 (Copyright © 2016 William Lane Craig)