Monday, June 05, 2006

Bill Craig responds to Ehrman

My, this is really condescending. Robert Miller isn't
just Bart Ehrman's publisher! I knew Robert from
previous projects and was contacting him for advice
about the series of books in natural theology JP
Moreland and I are proposing, and HE brought up the
debate, having heard of it from, I think, Ehrman.
Since Ehrman skotched the project--which Charles
Anderton of Holy Cross broached to Ehrman and me--, I
haven't spoken about it again to Robert.

As for the objections, I'm glad the transcript is
available so that folks can form their own opinions!

Do, you have Ehrman's email? I want to write him
directly about this.

Bill

VR: Well, I hope they get the misunderstandings ironed out. As for what Craig was responding to, see here. I'm sorry. Even on the best reading, Ehrman comes across shockingly arrogant.

13 comments:

steve said...

Given Ehrman's catastrophic performance, it comes as no mystery why he doesn't wish this debate to see the light of day.

Ironically, he's become a self-fulfilling prophecy of his own conspiracy theory. He's the one who's trying to cover up the incriminating evidence!

Ehrman usually plays to safe venues, where he can wow the know-nothing interviewer or audience.

This time he stuck his neck out and got it lopped off.

Steven Carr said...

Arrogant?

Did Ehrman prepare slides *before* the debate entitled 'Craigs's Egrigious Error" and "Craigs's Blunder.'?

Tim said...

"Even on the best reading, Ehrman comes across shockingly arrogant."

Huh? I see no arrogance in what Mr. Ehrman wrote. The transcript of the debate pretty much backs up what he wrote in his email.
I thought Mr. Craig's mathematical demonstration of the probability of God's existence was quite bizarre.
No wonder that Mr. Ehrman doesn't want his name linked to such nonsense.
Not to mention all the dodging of questions Mr. Craig did. Can an historian who believes that Ceaser's "Gallic War" was inerrantly inspired by god be trusted to give an objective critique of the historical validity of that work?
t.

fishface said...

Carr: No he didn't. obviously arrogance led to laziness and he didn't even bother to prepare them.

Tim: Nothing wrong with a bit of calculus if you're trying to be rigorous. You're obviously unfamiliar with the literature. And anyone can play the "biased" card - can someone who doesn't believe that the gallic War is divinely inspired ever be expected to pronounce that it is? Not without changing his beliefs. But why can't the believer then also come to change his?

Tim said...

fishface,
The debate wasn't about whether or not the bible is inerrant, but whether or not there is historical evidence for the resurrection.
One can certainly doubt the inerrancy of the bible or the Gallic War and still find some evidence in them for an historical event. Can one who doesn't doubt the inerrancy of either book ever be trusted to demonstrate that those books contain some serious errors or falsehoods? I don't think so.
If Mr. Craig has changed his beliefs and is no longer an inerrantist, he should say so.
t.

Tim said...

This is from the doctrinal statement of Mr. Craig's school:

"The Bible, consisting of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, a supernaturally given revelation from God Himself, concerning Himself, His being, nature, character, will and purposes; and concerning man, his nature, need and duty and destiny. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are without error or misstatement in their moral and spiritual teaching and record of historical facts. They are without error or defect of any kind."

t.

Anonymous said...

Tim said: "I thought Mr. Craig's mathematical demonstration of the probability of God's existence was quite bizarre."

1. What on earth are you talking about? There is no such thing in Craig's entire presentation. In the Ehrman debate, Craig never argues (mathematically or otherwise) for the probability of God's existence. The mathematics that Craig employs is simply used to show that Ehrman fails to take into account all the data when gaging the probability for the resurrection (Indeed, Ehrman makes statements about probability, but doesn't seem to know anything about probability theory--rendering his entire position suspect). Ehrman, just like you, seems confused at Craig's first rebuttal and doesn't understand what Craig is saying (which is hardly Craig's fault)--and it is Ehrman who makes the bizarre comment that he thinks Craig is arguing for the existence of God. It it hard to imagine where you and Ehrman even come up with that idea.

2. There is absolutely nothing "bizarre" with utilizing mathematics for gaging probability. In fact, this approach is standard fare in the philosophy of religion and in analytic philosophy (and perhaps is the only way to talk about probability without reducing the discussion to completely subjective interpretations). You seem completely ignorant of this.

John W. Loftus said...

It sure seems to me like Craig is still the master debater. I really liked Ehrman's opening statement, but I think Craig forced him to "play his game" rather than develop his own strategy. While I agree with Ehrman, it just seems to me that in order to debate the resurrection someone needs to spend so much time giving the audience a foundation to one's argument that he can't effectively argue against the resurrection in a 2 hour debate, especially against Craig, who does it all of the time.

John W. Loftus said...

I commented on Craig's first rebuttal here. See what you think.

steve said...

I offered my own evaluation of the debate, which differs just a wee bit from Loftus:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/06/handicapping-debate.html

steve said...

My colleague has also posted an evaluation of the debate:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/06/craigehrman-debate.html

J. J. said...

I know you've linked to the transcript in an earlier post, but here is the link for anyone who hasn't read all the dangerous idea posts on this topic: Is There Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus? A Debate between William Lane Craig and Bart D. Ehrman. Maybe a summary blog entry touching on each post is in order?

Jonesy said...

,Ehrman, just like you, seems confused at Craig's first rebuttal and doesn't understand what Craig is saying (which is hardly Craig's fault)--and it is Ehrman who makes the bizarre comment that he thinks Craig is arguing for the existence of God. It it hard to imagine where you and Ehrman even come up with that idea.

Craig did base his argument on the existence of God, who according to his theory raised Jesus from the dead. From the transcript:

"But I see no reason whatsoever to think that it is improbable that God raised Jesus from the dead. In order to show that that hypothesis is improbable, you’d have to show that God's existence is improbable."

According to Craig, the resurrection is possible if God is not improbable. Therefore Craig's argument depends on God being probable.

Another problem is that if the resurrection happened, God may not have been involved at all. Ehrman is right that Craig is making a theological conclusion when he says God raised Jesus from the dead.