I must admit that I had not heard too much of William Lane Craig prior to the reading of this volume which comprises mainly of a question-response format. The book is compiled of questions from a wide variety of worldviews and backgrounds addressed to Dr. Craig on a huge array of issues. One question might be from a person trying to understand what was meant by a certain section of Craig’s books and the next one might come from a person relating a story of how they lost faith during a freshman semester of philosophy 101. It is evident from the opening question that Dr. Craig is at the top of his game and deeply researched in a number of disciplines.
The questions are arranged into six sections. Part One opens A Reasonable Response: Answers to the Tough Questions on God, Christianity, and the Bible with questions regarding epistemology and how one can know and believe anything. We delve into topics like Logic and the authority of the Scriptures. Part Two seeks to answer questions about God such as; Is Trinity Monotheism Orthodox and What does it mean to define “God”? Part Three moves to the “big questions” of life. We find people asking Is Life Absurd without God and Is Science Self-Refuting? Part Four takes a bit of a turn toward the future where questions of the afterlife arise. Dr. Craig responds to the Problem of Evil and the realities of Sovereignty, Hell, and Salvation. Part Five turns to Jesus and questions on his Deity, Resurrection, Historicity, and what it means to have a relationship with him. Part Six closes out this volume with some answers about social issues, living in a postmodern culture, and preparing for marriage.
Joseph Gorra, who I believe compiled the Q&A text in a systematic fashion, has some very helpful sections at the opening and the closing of this book. He gives the readers suggestions on how to use the book for small group settings and fostering places for civil discourse. He also peppers each section with Insight sidebars which not only give the reader further insight into the questions but also help to orient the readers to the information in a more understandable way.
To give the reader an idea what to expect from the book, here is an example question found on page 148.
“I want to say that I am in favor of the Kalam cosmological argument. But, I was wondering what is your opinion of the cosmological argument from contingent being?”
The questions, such as this one, range from the strictly philosophical to the practical and theological questions raised on an ever day basis from normal non-trained Christians. I appreciate the arguments given from Dr. Craig but they can often be too weighty for the average reader. At the outset of each section Gorra provides a list of reading that will assist the reader in better grasping the overall content of each section. While that is extremely helpful, while reading this book I wish I had more of those basic resources by my side. The other side of this text that I found rather disconcerting was the sparse use of Scripture throughout the sections. I understand that the questions are directed toward a philosophical answer and I’m not sure how we can connect the Kalam cosmological argument to the word of God but I think there could have been a better striving to connect readers to the infallible Word than to leave them with abstract theories.
A Reasonable Response Dr. William Lane Craig/Moody Publishers, 2013 Review Copy Courtesy of Moody Publishers