William Lane Craig and Frank Zindler
Debate Review: "Atheism vs. Christianity: Where Does the Evidence Point?"


William Lane Craig and Frank Zindler
Debate Title: "Atheism vs. Christianity: Where Does the Evidence Point?"
Place/Date Held:
Willowcreek Community Church, South Barrington, IL. June 1993 (recorded live on "Moody Radio").

Listen to the Craig vs. Zindler Debate


Opening Statement (Craig)

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After introductions by Chris Fabry / Pastor Donald Cole (via Moody Radio live), then Lee Strobel (moderator), Rob Sherman (introduces Zindler), Mark Middleberg (introduces Craig), we begin with Craig's 20-minute opening statement.

Craig defines "Christianity" as "...the view that God exists, and has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus Christ." Says we aren't debating fine points of doctrine (Is the Bible inerrant? or Did God use evolution?). Defines "atheism" as "God does not exist."

Defends two contentions: (1) "There's no good evidence that atheism is true" and (2) "There is good evidence that Christianity is true."

Craig says, after centuries of trying to disprove God, no atheist has been able to come up with a "convincing argument" for the non-existence of God.

Craig challenges Zindler: "What is the evidence that atheism is true?"

Craig makes five arguments or "lines of evidence" for God: Kalam Cosmological, Design or Fine-Tuning, Objective Morals, Resurrection of Jesus ("God raised Jesus from the dead" as "best explanation"), Religious Experience.

God as First Cause of the Universe

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Craig says, the Big Bang model requires that the universe began to exist, and was created out of nothing. There must have been a cause, which brought the universe into being. From the very nature of the case, this cause must be "an uncaused, changeless, timeless, and immaterial Being" which created the universe. "Isn't it incredible that the Big Bang theory thus points to exactly what the Christian has always believed. That 'In the Beginning, God...' created the universe."

Craig asks, "Which is more plausible, that the Christian is right, or that the universe just popped into being, uncaused, out of nothing?"

God as Intelligent Designer of the Cosmos

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God as Source of Objective Moral Values

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Craig asks, "If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist?" Craig says, the answer is No.

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God Reveals Himself in Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus

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God Can Be Immediately Known and Experienced

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Opening Statement (Zindler)

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First Rebuttal (Craig)

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First Rebuttal (Zindler)

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Second Rebuttal (Craig)

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Second Rebuttal (Zindler)

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Cross Examination

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Closing Statement (Craig)

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Evaluation

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Craig:

Zindler:

Winner: Craig.

End of Debate Review by PhilVaz


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