Ken Ham Responds to William Lane Craig at Peaceful Science

Did William Lane Craig really say this?

Recently I posted about apologist William Lane Craig’s statements* about Genesis because of his blatant compromise with evolution/millions of years and his seeming mocking at the idea Adam was made directly from dust and Eve directly from his side. On January 27, Craig was interviewed on a podcast to respond to what I had stated about his compromising position on Genesis. At the end of the hour-long podcast (“William Lane Craig: What Is His Response?”), Craig was asked two hypothetical questions.

I include a transcript of how Craig answered and I would challenge every Christian to check what this Christian leader says concerning Christ with what the Bible says about Jesus, including while he was here on earth before his death and resurrection. E.g.: “that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2–3); “When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, ‘Why do you question in your hearts?’” (Luke 5:22); “But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Come and stand here.’ And he rose and stood there" Luke 6:8; “Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand’" (Matthew 12:25).

Final question part 1:

Host (@swamidass): The final question, and this is the one I thought was really good, and it was fun…if you could get into a time machine and travel back to Jesus in Jerusalem and ask him, “is evolution true or not?” what do you think he would say?

Craig: Well, I feel quite certain he would say, “what do you mean? Explain it to me! I’ve never heard of it!” And then you would have to lay out for him the theory. We must not think of the incarnation as Superman disguised as Clark Kent.

Host: So this gets back to some of @Andrew_Loke’s stuff and the hidden and the “kryptic” incarnation that Jesus actually laid aside some things. He laid aside some things when he became, you know, you know, a human amongst us.

Craig: Yeah, that’s right and there’s no reason to think that Jesus would have been able to answer questions…about…

Host: So you explain it further. So let’s take the thought experiment further, you explain it to him. What do you think he would say then?

Craig: Oh! Well, um, I hope he would say, “well I guess I don’t see any conflict between that and what Moses teaches in Genesis.”

Final question part 2:

Host: Yeah, okay so here’s another question then, let’s say we get to heaven—we’re not going back in time we’re going forward in time…so you can kind of give us like what your bet is on this and we find out together. You ask Jesus, “is evolution truly…did you make things through a process, a providentially governed common descent?” What do you think he will say?

Craig: I’m not sure he would be committed to common descent past the Cambrian explosion. Um, but I think that he would say that a great, great deal of the biological lifeforms that we observe today are related by common descent.

Host: What about human common descent, do we share common ancestors, with the great apes?..Of course, this is all highly speculative, right? We don’t know.

Craig: When you say, “What would Jesus say?," what you’re really asking is what does the evidence indicate? Because that’s what we’re trying to surmise…I suspect the truth is someplace close to what I suggest in this book about “Human Origins.”

The reason I included this transcript of Craig’s answers is because he does impact a lot of people with what he teaches. And I challenge every Christian to judge what any Christian leader is teaching (including all of us at
Answers in Genesis
) against the absolute authority of God’s Word. That’s what we should always do. I personally believe that Craig’s compromise of Genesis with evolutionary ideas undermines the authority of God’s Word and has negatively impacted many people in the church.

Ken Ham’s post: Ken Ham - Did William Lane Craig really say this?... | Facebook

See the video to which Ken Ham is responding here: William Lane Craig: What is Your Response to Ken Ham?

Here is one of WLC’s past statements on the incarnation and omniscience:

1 Like

Well @patrick, it’s happening. This counts as first mention of me by Ken Ham! This a great moment to mention @Andrew_Loke’s book too:

3 Likes

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Yes, there are things the incarnate, pre-resurrection Jesus did not know. This is orthodox Christianity.

7 Likes

Thank you for mentioning my book!

1 Like

Yes, that is orthodox Christianity. But this would not be the only way Ken Ham seems unfamiliar with orthodoxy.

2 Likes

Having come from a background like Ken Ham’s, I had thought Craig’s views on Jesus’ knowledge very strange, and certainly borderline heretical (at least!), but now that you mention that verse, it does seem to make a lot more sense.

2 Likes

Scripture also teaches that Jesus “grew in knowledge” (Luke 2:52).

How is that possible if Jesus in his preressurected-incarnate form is consciously omniscient? Well it isn’t. @Andrew_Loke’s book revives an old idea to explain this: the kyrptic incarnation. The key thing though is that this question arises directly from the text and theologians have been engaging it for thousands of years.

WLCs position is certainly no heretical, and is probably the dominant belief through church history. @Andrew_Loke though is a bonified expert on this topic, and could probably clarify more.

@jongarvey @dga471 and @structureoftruth might also have information to add.

3 Likes

I’d like to see a rap battle between WLC and Ken Ham. Ken has kind of made it that way responding via social media. Ugh.

4 Likes

What does he suggest in that book?

See here:

Remember though, he doesn’t rule out interbreeding, so his view doesn’t require a bottleneck.

I remember that we covered this quote in church or in catechism but I don’t think we covered these aspects of Christology well - are there theological terms used besides just talking about the incarnation? I suspect many didn’t learn it in church because I went through the comments and many people were saying Jesus has to be omniscient. One commenter wrote that Jesus laid aside some things but he had knowledge of creation because of John 1. I have a lot of questions now, so the book may be an interesting read. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve listened to him some, but never noticed anything I disagreed with regarding this. Just because he has said Jesus is not omniscient? I’m curious what you thought was strange at the he time.

@swamidass I was uncomfortable with those questions about what would Jesus say and I wondered if there would be criticism especially on that. It was the part of the interview I liked the least. Somehow it seems at least a little bit crass to put ourselves in the mind of God or Jesus. Maybe as if we were gods? Of course, we should have a right understanding of Christology. Just still contemplating on why they bothered me. I don’t have a problem with aspects of Jesus’ divine nature being hidden.

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing honestly here.

The fact that Jesus, Creator of All Things, actually became fully human is supposed to make us uncomfortable. If it isn’t comfortable, we may not be fully grasping the paradox of the claim that he was fully man and fully God. It is a very normal reaction to be bothered by this.

So, as I understand it, that is how @Andrew_Loke thinks about it. To paraphrase him (badly I’m sure), the incarnate Jesus was still omniscient subconsciously, but not omniscient consciously. The idea is that he chose not to access knowledge that was available to him. In that way, his omniscience was hidden, and in that way his experience as a human was like ours, without conscious knowledge of everything.

3 Likes

No that’s not it really, even though I mentioned God. Your response helped me clarify my thoughts. Even in his human nature, Jesus was sinless. It’s the idea of taking on his sinless nature and the wisdom of his divine nature in what aspects aren’t hidden as we have to think about how he thinks I think is what bothered me. That’s weighty. It’s different than being asked what truth is because we know ourselves to be sinners and just answer to the best of our ability. I suppose it’d be similar to what an actor who plays Jesus has to do to portray him. One of the reasons I also am somewhat uncomfortable with Jesus films.

Interesting.

2 Likes

I find it extremely unlikely that pre-resurrection Jesus wouldn’t have known what evolutionary theory was if he was asked (even if it did not exist during his time on earth). Jesus was able to see far into the future, as far as our time, even giving prophecies as to what events would characterize the start of his coming. Its just unlikely he wouldn’t know about evolutionary theory, especially if said theory would create a serious divide in the Christian community.

This is true, but its unlikely he wouldn’t have known about evolutionary theory since it utilizes common descent to explain the origin of man (he died for) from ape-like ancestors.

Then that isn’t a single-couple origin of humanity. Would you not agree that it’s biologically absurd to speak of a “first human couple”, just as it’s absurd to speak of a first chicken? (It may not be theologically absurd, given an odd definition of “human”.)

1 Like

To expand on Craig’s answer to your question: if one time-traveled back to c. 29 AD Palestine to ask Jesus about evolutionary theory prior to his death and resurrection, we can say a couple things:

  • Jesus in his divine nature, as omniscient, would have known all about evolutionary theory. (And the way this manifests in Loke’s model is that Jesus’ subconscious consisted in both a normal embodied human subconscious, and a divine subconscious containing all his omniscient knowledge.)
  • Jesus in his human nature would have not known anything about evolutionary theory, but would have been able to access the knowledge from his divine subconscious if he chose to do so. (An encounter with a time-traveling questioner may well be an instance where it would have been appropriate for him to access said knowledge; that’s up to him. :stuck_out_tongue: )

I don’t know if Craig holds to the specifics of Loke’s model of the incarnation, but is really a refinement of how Craig himself suggests we can understand the incarnation in, e.g., his Defenders class, and as far as I know Craig would agree with those two main points. So when Craig answers that Jesus would need to evolutionary theory explained to him, he is answering on the assumption that Jesus is choosing not to access his divine knowledge on the subject. And I’m sure that’s what Craig would say if he wanted to clarify things further. All the YECs following Ham in calling Craig a “compromiser” and practically accusing him of denying the deity of Christ (I’ve seen some pretty over-the-top dramatic comments on Facebook, lol) fail to understand his position properly.

5 Likes

I see what you are saying.

I context, I did state that this was purely speculative and that we don’t really know. My answer, in the end, also took things in a different direction.

2 Likes

Great explanation.

They also fail to understand that this isn’t even a controversial position. It certainly is not caused by WLC’s views on evolution either.

1 Like

Ken Ham is here? Or is the title unclear?