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Responding to William Lane Craig’s Attack on Biblical Inerrancy

A reader asks about Peter’s three denials of Christ

Published: 16 January 2021 (GMT+10)

Daniel C. writes in response to William Lane Craig on creation and anthropology:

Bible-on-a-table

I am disappointed with the article. The secular world is taking up more and more ground and Christians need to stick together despite our differences. You may disagree with sindonologists, with Christian philosophers such as Craig and Zacharias, with preachers such as Billy Graham, with folks whose interpretation of the Word of God differs from yours on some point, and with many others who are defending the Christian faith. For crying outloud, none of us are perfect, but in many ways these folks are called to preach Christ! Stop attacking our brothers in Christ and move your guns towards the secular world instead.

Paul Price, CMI–US, responds:

Dear Daniel,

Thanks for reading our article and taking the time to write in. I must admit I find your response confusing. It seems like it would have been much better for you to address this concern to Dr Craig, and not to us. You say the secular world is taking more and more ground. We agree! The evolutionary worldview is what has enabled that takeover. You say we need to stick together as Christians. We agree! Compromisers like Drs Craig and Swamidass are the ones guilty of caving in to the secular claims and introducing new false doctrines into the church. You say we need to move our guns toward the secular world, but how can we actually do that if we, the church, are not united in standing against secularism? The Bible is not compatible with evolution. Those who seek to force a compromise are the ones guilty of being divisive.

Ryan S. asks:

I got this is my email and decided to read it [see link in footnotes]1.

I don’t agree with this. If scripture is wrong on the small things, then there is no reason to think it’s right on the big things. I have read your article on the smallest seed so that is not a problem, but Peter’s denials seem to be a big problem and the only article I could find was this one [see footnotes]2 and it basically says it’s not reconcilable which I don’t believe.

Please help, thank you.

Paul Price responds:

Ryan, you are right not to accept what Dr Craig is saying in that article. His decline into a denial of the traditional doctrine of biblical inerrancy (by redefining it in terms of what the Bible allegedly intends to ‘teach’, as opposed to what it actually says) has been documented for many years now.3

It is very interesting that Dr Craig has chosen to highlight only the most seemingly absurd4 of the possible resolutions of this apparent conflict (i.e. the “six denials” approach). Someone of his intellectual caliber is certainly capable of a more honest appraisal, but it appears he was only interested in making his own rhetorical point, not in getting to the truth of the matter!

The article by Chong was very helpful (it did a lot of my work for me, since he catalogued all the alleged inconsistencies to which Craig was referring). I did not, however, find that his conclusions were in any way supported by his data. He incorrectly stated that the Chicago Statements were a “relaxed” form of inerrancy … relaxed compared to what? He didn’t seem to understand the intent of his quotation from the Chicago Statements, which said “seeming discrepancies”, not actual ones!

This is a very good case-in-point to demonstrate one of the features of reliable independent eyewitness testimony that I wrote about previously: oftentimes, owing to differences in personality, vantage point, etc., independent eyewitnesses to the same events will give accounts that contain apparent contradictions. These can usually be resolved by examining the unique vantage point and circumstances of each eyewitness. To prove an actual contradiction, one must prove that there exists no way in which all the accounts could be accurate at the same time. Critics like Craig never manage to shoulder this burden of proof, however. They merely sling mud at the text by declaring that the differing versions of the story cannot be reconciled.

The Rooster Crows

First, let’s deal with the issue of the rooster. The alleged contradiction is that the gospel of Mark records that Jesus said Peter would deny Him before the rooster crows twice, whereas the other gospels record only that he said, “before the rooster crows” (no indication of “twice”).

This is not a contradiction, even on the face of it. There are couple of possible reconciliations here. One gospel (Mark) gives more detail than the other two, while the other two don’t specify a number of times. Since Mark is believed to be Peter’s gospel (Mark was acting as a scribe for Peter), it would make sense that Mark’s gospel would have the greater detail. Having one version that gives a specific number of times while the others are more vague, simply saying that the rooster would crow, is simply not a contradiction. This is a common pattern in many of the alleged contradictions in the Gospels. They boil down to differing amounts of detail, or different details.

Another way to look at this is that the phrase “before the rooster crows” could be understood as an idiom meaning “before daybreak”.5 But then why does Mark say “twice”? It could be that this word is an early scribal error, and there is some evidence for this in that the word “twice” is missing from some manuscripts of Mark, and appears in different places in others.6

“I do not know the man.”

The apparent difference in accounts between the identity of Peter’s accusers seems at first more daunting to reconcile. But again, we find that these accounts can make sense together when we do a little bit of detective-style critical thinking.

As Chong documented (Ref 2), we do see some differences in exactly whom Peter was addressing, exactly what Peter said, and exactly what his accuser said. When you look at the whole picture, though, what we have is a great piece of evidence that these really are independent eyewitness testimonies of real events! They display a phenomenon my brother J.W. Price—whose advice has been useful in the preparation of this response—has termed ‘Incidental Coherence’, meaning they are like pieces of a puzzle that give a coherent picture when put together.7

For the differences in these accounts to amount to contradictions, what we would need is for these three denials to be isolated incidents where one, and only one, person came and said one specific thing to Peter (and for these details not to match). But that’s not what we find. In fact, we find the opposite: Peter was not alone with only one person at any point in the three denials. All gospels agree the first accuser was a servant girl, but Matthew 26:70 says that Peter denied Jesus “before them all,” implying that there were multiple people present besides just the servant girl.

With the second denial, the picture is a bit fuzzier, depending upon the account. Luke implies Peter spoke to a man, because Peter says, “Man” in his response to the person. John doesn’t specify, but implies there is a group of people present who confronted Peter. Mark mentions that the same servant girl came again to Peter the second time. Matthew says that another servant girl approached Peter for the second denial.

In the third denial, Matthew and Mark both agree that Peter denied Jesus to a group of people standing around. Luke mentions “another man”, while John specifies it was the servant of the High Priest.

A total picture emerges from the pieces

When taken together, all four gospels present a coherent picture of what happened. Peter was waiting outside the door while John went in with Jesus to the courtyard of the High Priest, where there was a group of people standing and warming themselves by a fire.

John then went out and had a servant girl (who was keeping watch) let Peter into the courtyard. Once inside, probably after peering at him as he warmed himself by the fire, this girl accused Peter of being one of Jesus’ followers. Peter denied it before them all, and he moved away from the fire and into the entryway of the courtyard.

After some time, the crowd, which included both the original servant girl and another girl, approached him there, and he denied it before all of them, which entailed responding to both girls and another unnamed man.

Then, after about an hour, a crowd again approached Peter, this time including the High Priest’s servant. Mark and Luke tell us that the crowd accused Peter on account of Peter’s being a Galilean, but we don’t know how they knew that. This leaves an open question. Thankfully, Matthew comes to the rescue with Matt 20:73. He doesn’t mention the word “Galilean”, but he tells us that the crowd noticed Peter’s accent (which must have betrayed the fact that he was from Galilee). This is ‘incidental coherence’—one or more accounts give info that leaves a question in the mind of the reader, but another independent account just so happens to supply the answer we needed. We would not expect this kind of thing if these accounts were 1) fabricated as part of a conspiracy or 2) legendary. And lastly, we know from John 18:26 that the High Priest’s servant also recognized Peter from having seen him with Jesus earlier in the Garden of Gethsemane.

So after all this, I ask, what is the contradiction here? All of our Gospels interlock to give us a complete picture of three separate “denials” (not defined as individual utterances by Peter, but rather three separate incidents where Peter was approached and accused by multiple people at once). After the third incident, we know from all accounts that a rooster did literally crow, which brought to Peter’s mind what Jesus had foretold. Whether or not a rooster crowed after the second denial, as we find in (some) manuscripts of Mark, is an open question, which makes basically no difference to the story either way.

As you can see, some critical thinking was able to resolve this apparent conflict without much trouble. Why, then, do educated critics like Dr Craig miss this? Why are they so ready to abandon one of the most essential doctrines of the Christian faith—inerrancy—when they haven’t even done a proper evaluation to begin with? Craig seizes on this as an opportunity to declare,

Thus, the phenomena of Scripture require us, quite reasonably, to construe scriptural inerrancy in terms of Scripture’s truthfulness in all that it teaches, and we learn inductively what Scripture teaches by an examination of Scripture itself. Such an examination reveals that various facts of science, history, and so forth may not belong to the teaching of Scripture, as do doctrinal truths.1

But this “phenomenon of Scripture” teaches us the opposite: when carefully analyzed, the Gospel accounts turn out to be truthful and independent eyewitness testimonies, which give a coherent picture of the events that transpired. If various “facts of science, history, and so forth” don’t belong to the teaching of Scripture, then who decides? Apparently, men like Dr Craig feel qualified to decide for us what Scripture teaches. I’m going to let the Bible speak for itself.

Thanks for writing in!
Paul

References and notes

  1. Craig, W, #709 Is Biblical Inerrancy Defensible?, reasonablefaith.org, 22 November 2020. Return to text.
  2. Chong, E., On the Gospel Accounts of Peter’s Denials of Christ, engr.colostate.edu, 25 July 2003. Return to text.
  3. Farnell, F. (General editor) et al, Vital Issues in the Inerrancy Debate, Wipf & Stock, 2016. Return to text.
  4. I say “seemingly absurd” because I have not actually read the book that propounds this theory. Return to text.
  5. What is the significance of the rooster crowing in regards to Peter denying Jesus three times?, gotquestions.org, accessed 9 December 2020. Return to text.
  6. Geisler, N., and Howe, T., The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2008, pp. 359-360. Return to text.
  7. For a very good video explanation of incidental coherence, see: youtube.com/watch?v=vHz6Tadvk1s Return to text.

Helpful Resources

How Did We Get Our Bible?
by Lita Cosner, Gary Bates
US $3.50
Soft Cover
Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Richard L.
Let us pray for WLC, for spiritual warfare is also involved. I mourn the loss of the early WLC, who once mentioned a negative Christian-college experience. Some profs delighted in raising biblical-interpretation challenges but made no effort to solve them. He hated that. (We applaud, so far.) He resolved to do better. And, partially, he did so (while never completely successfully). Sadly, he is increasingly drifting further from that honorable standard.

My first encounter with his writings was an excerpt that claimed that 4 church fathers were old-earthers. I did research and found that one gave confusing but sometimes YEC (Young-earth creation) signals, one increasingly went YEC, and 2 were staunchly YEC. How could he produce such erroneous content, especially as he is a first-class researcher? Did he self-deceive, as well? The answer has to be yes.

He seems to be Col.2:8 captured. The involved "capture" word (re Thayer) involves warfare-intensity capture, unto potentially lifetime slavery. Here, it occurs intellectually, by sincerely-held false obligation to "hollow deception" truth claims, ones that he wrongly perceives to be proven. He needs to be rescued by 1 Thess. 5;21's "But test all things, hold fast the good". He needs to double-check his impressions and find the wrong ones. Until then, his misinformed conscience is blocking him from discovering truth--and he goes increasingly astray in trying to make his defective theology work.

At least 7 Items to test: overt truth claims, impressions, labels, the actual line delineating proven from unproven (wrong), likewise for necessary vs unnecessary controversy. In addition, actual clarity of bible text. (Capture needs to make clear corrective truth unclear.) Finally, church history, showing corrective truth.
Sarah B.
As someone who raises chickens, it's very common for roosters (cocks) to crow sporadically through the night. You learn to sleep through it. Either way, the book, "Who Moved the Stone", goes into a lot of detail about the gospel accounts from the point of view of a lawyer (the author) cross-examining eyewitnesses. He found the differences as compelling evidence for the veracity of the Bible.
Daniel C.
Thank you for responding to my original post. Let me start by saying that I appreciate your ministry which I first discovered with your March 1985 issue of the “Creation Ex Nihilo”. You work is splendid and honoring to our Lord.

I confess, though, that your response is not really what I expected from you. After all, I responded to your post, yet you are now suggesting I should have written to Dr Craig instead.

I believe the Lord has gifted various members of His church for specific ministries. I find it odd that you would comment on William Lane Craig’s work, I am not aware that you have any professional philosophers on your staff.. WLC is a philosopher, not a scientist, and as such he may not be entirely familiar with the creation science work and should be forgiven for that. We need to give him credit for what he does to advance the gospel. In the meantime, the secular world, including my 35-year-old son who recently kissed Christianity goodbye and now professes to be an atheist, is laughing at Christians fighting each other. Let's put our differences down and face the real enemy.

Once again, thank you for your ministry. Your expertise lies in creation science and that is appreciated.
Paul Price
I'm glad you appreciate our ministry, but I am saddened to read in your response that you don't seem to have learned anything from what we've written concerning the dangerous false teachings of Dr. Craig. He should not be "forgiven" for making egregious errors in both basic biblical interpretation and in his understanding of creation science, since he has undertaken to publicly comment on these areas himself.

I also find your reliance on formal credentials to be another major red flag. What matters is not ultimately what formal credentials someone possesses, but the strength of their arguments and the weight of their evidences. I'm sorry to hear about your son. You say he's laughing at Christians for fighting with each other. Again, you should be directing your criticism to those who deny the basic teachings of Jesus and the rest of the New Testament. Biblical inerrancy is not a small matter or a side issue. People like Dr Craig who deny inerrancy have strayed so far from the teachings of Jesus and the apostles as to be in real danger of promoting a different gospel altogether. It certainly won't win over any atheists to our side if we compromise on our doctrines for the sake of unity. That kind of 'unity' is an abomination to God.
Colin A.
This reminds me of a group from the Philippines that call themselves The Church of Christ. They deny Jesus is the second part of the Trinity and is the only begotten Son of God The Father. They either don't know about The Athanasian Creed or deny it. I don't know how or if they obtain salvation. They mostly have huge spectacular building similar to the Mormons. This is where the only comparison is like the Mormons.
Robert W.
Years ago back in the 90's I saw a preacher in Atlanta give one of the best examples I've ever seen regarding eyewitness testimony and the Gospels. The Atlanta Braves had just won the World Series and several church members had gone to the decisive game 6. He had three or four of them isolated behind stage and then called them up one by one to describe the drama filled last inning. They were all super excited to tell their story! They were all there but their stories all contained subtle differences. Some left out key details in their telling and some emphasized some actions over others, an almost exact analogy to the gospels. In the end, they all said the Braves won!
Christopher H.
To Paul Price,
I said in my above comment "When the Holy Books were first written, they were perfect." I did not say the original texts had errors. I said they were muddied with time. Yet you seem to insist the NKJV or whatever version you use is infallible. So which Bible version today is a perfect translation from the original languages? The KJV? Which KJV? I have the 1976 version and it has typos. But I don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The KJV NT was translated entirely from Greek. Matthew was originally written in Hebrew. Mark in Aramaic. Luke in Latin. Do you think Paul's letter to the Hebrews was written in Greek? Or the letter to the Romans? Wouldn't he have used Hebrew for Hebrews and Latin for Romans? Is the Peshitta translated from Greek or Hebrew? Think about it. Was Maccabees originally written in Hebrew? Or in the language of their hated enemy? Yet the 1611 KJV translated Maccabees from the Greek translation. The KJV is indeed a translation of translations. It is not infallible. We don't have the original texts anymore. There are whole Books missing from the Bible. (The Book of Iddo). God preserved that which was most important for salvation. Any messenger can make a mistake unless that messenger is directly under the influence of the Holy Spirit. William Tyndale was not a prophet. He made mistakes. Just like other translators do today. Maybe we will find the original NT in a cave somewhere and it will clear up the cock crowing conundrum. Until then we have to work with the imperfect translations we have.
Paul Price
No, I did not say any translations are infallible. I said the original manuscripts were (which for the NT, is all Greek). Yes, I do believe Paul wrote in Greek because Greek was the lingua franca of that time period in the Roman Empire (not Latin). You need to spend some more time studying and less time lecturing others on what you don't understand yourself. Again, I suggest you start with that short booklet I linked you to.
Christopher H.
In my humble opinion, we need to realize that the Bible we have today is a translation of translations that has been copied for thousands of years by hand. It's amazing it isn't filled with scribal errors. Little issues like Peter's denial are really a vain attempt by unbelievers to discredit the entire Bible, so they can live in sin. The Bible was written by men, and one woman(Deborah), but people are not infallible. God is. When the Holy Books were first written, they were perfect. But time had muddied the waters. Compare the Hebrew Gospels in the Vatican with the Aramaic Peshitta and the Greek versions. It's like the Septuagint and the Leningrad Codex. There are differences, but are they really contradictions? Or translation errors? Or scribal errors? These are eyewitness accounts of real events, written by real, yet fallible, people. Any messenger can make a mistake. That doesn't discredit the One who sent the messenger.
Paul Price
You've got some serious misunderstandings of both biblical inspiration and translation. The Bible we have today is not a translation of a translation (except in the minority of places where the OT defers to the Septuagint reading, which in any case was verified by NT revelation). Bible translators go back to the original languages. Inspiration means that the 'messengers' (Bible authors) were not fallible when they were recording the Bible, because the Holy Spirit was inspiring them. That's why we say that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. I suggest you read How Did We Get Our Bible?
Aaron D.
Since I have produced a harmony of the gospels in which the four gospels are brought together into a single account (it's called "One Christ One Gospel") I had to deal with this and many other issues. And I also resolved it in the manner you did, as three distinct incidents that involved more than three accusers. This solution is so simple and straightforward it is frankly disingenuous for anyone to treat the portrayal of Peter's denials as some great problem that proves the gospels are wrong about what happened, let alone to claim they depict six different denials. But this is a very common tactic, to assert that any variation in details given in the Bible are contradictions even if they aren't contradictory at all.
Pieter D.
In many action oriented sports such as rugby we find that the referee can call for ultra slow-motion replays from different angles in order for an specialist referee to make decision. Sometimes it takes a number of replays up to 5 different angles to make a decision. Even then many supporters will criticise the referee got getting it wrong.

All that the slightly different versions show is independent versions rather than coordinated stories. This does not reflect negatively on the facts, it in fact confirms the truth of the account given.
James V.
Follow-up:
Taken from an article published by the Apologetics Press online, which says, in part:
"In a similar way, no one should assume that, because three of the gospel writers mentioned one crowing while Mark mentioned two crowings, a contradiction therefore exists. Realistically, there were two 'rooster crowings.' However, it was the second one (the only one Matthew, Luke, and John mentioned) that was the main' crowing (like the fourth buzzer is the 'main' buzzer at a football game). In the first century, roosters were accustomed to crowing at least twice during the night. The first crowing (which only Mark mentioned—14:68) usually occurred between twelve and one o’clock. Relatively few people ever heard or acknowledged this crowing (Fausset’s Bible Dictionary). Likely, Peter never heard it; else surely his slumbering conscience would have awakened.
The second crowing took place not long before daybreak—likely around three o’clock (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary). . . It was this latter crowing that commonly was called 'the cockcrowing.' Why? Because it was at this time of night (just before daybreak) that roosters crowed the loudest, and their 'shrill clarion' was useful in summoning laborers to work (McClintock and Strong, 1968, 2:398). This crowing of the roosters served as an alarm clock to the ancient world."
Paul Price
Thanks for your contributions here--I do think this explanation is preferable to the suggestion of possible scribal error.
James V.
Follow-Up:
I am no cock-crowing expert myself (haha). Without doing research into the cock-crowing habits in the land of Israel (or even the necessity of such research), it is clear from our Lord's statements themselves, as recorded in the inspired Gospel of Mark, that the cock did in fact crow twice at different points in time (Mark 14:68 and 14:72).

The cock-crowing twice is affirmed in Mark 14:30, 14:68, and 14:72. No need, therefore, to appeal to possible textual issues or scribal errors to explain the apparent difficulty in reconciling the independent, inspired Gospel accounts.

The other Gospels simply refer in a general way to the 2nd/last cock-crow of the night.

Thank you for hearing me out, brother.
Margaret P.
Years ago I heard that there were no rooster (birds) allowed in Jerusalem by law, as it was densely populated.
'Rooster' was a nick-name given to the men who either woke the town's people up or called people to prayer at the temple. Don't know if this is true but it makes no difference to the validity of the story.
Paul Price
Seems like there are more mutually-contradictory explanations for this than I can keep track of. Again, none of the commentators I've read have said anything of this kind.
James V.
Follow-up:
"Watch therefore, for ye do not know when the master of the house comes: evening, or midnight, or cock-crow [this is the 3rd watch of the night, which is the first cock-crow referred to in Mark 14:68], or morning [this is the 4th watch, before which time the 2nd cock-crow occurred, as referred to in Mark 14:72]." (Mark 13:35)

While the cock-crowing is used in an illustrative manner by our Lord in Mark 13:35, it is still literal and not metaphorical.

The solution noted by W.E. Vine (no mean scholar, by the way) works rather perfectly. Unfortunately, I cannot account for what other commentators fail to take into account.
Paul Price
Thanks for sharing, I was definitely unaware of this, as are apparently the vast majority of Christian commentators on this supposed contradiction. I don't live around roosters myself. Is it the case that they just naturally crow one time between midnight and 3 am, and again at daybreak? So in that way its both literal and symbolic simultaneously?
James V.
"There were two 'cock-crowings,' one after midnight, the other before dawn. In these watches the Jews followed the Roman method of dividing the night. The first 'cock-crowing' was at the third watch of the night. That is the one mentioned in Mark 13:35. Mark mentions both; see 14:30. The latter, the second, is that referred to in the other Gospels and is mentioned especially as 'the cock-crowing.' " (W.E. Vine, VINE’S COMPLETE EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT WORDS)
Paul Price
That's interesting. If that's true, I'm surprised none of the other commentators I've read dealing with this even mentioned that idea. I'm not entirely sure if it works as an explanation, though, because Mark seems to indicate a literal cock-crowing, not just a metaphorical one.
Bill P.
If I may. Jesus Himself gave us "the litmus test" for who is a true Christian. After The Passover Meal on HIS way to the garden to pray to His Father HE turned to those there and said "Love one another as I have loved you, this is how the world will know that you belong to me".
We were warned 2000 yrs. ago that these where the "Last Days". I'm not dogmatic about this, but IMO if 2000 yrs. ago were the "Last Days" them we must now be in the last hours or even the last minutes.
Jesus Himself warned many times "let no one deceive you etc.". Letters written by HIS followers also warned us. Many are cunning, deceiving many w/false fables, even eventually denying Jesus Christ Himself.
I'm old now. One of the lessons I've is that lies start out small, BUT, as time goes on the small lies become absurd. Recent history has proven this. Look at what Hitler, Stalin, and Mao did. They started w/a small lie, and their small lie became more absurd and deceived many. As a result many were destroyed. Look at what's happening today !!
Yet what they did was nothing compared to what the evil one did in the garden when he deceived EVE. He started out w/a small lie and then turned it into a larger lie deceiving both Adam and Eve into believing that they could become gods. We see today the result of this first sin, and have added more than our fair share of sin to this original sin.
I'm not judging Craig for only GOD knows what his motivation is for compromising The Word of God. I have however come across those who once believed ALL of The Word of God is True and now hear them w/my own ears saying "well GOD really didn't mean what HE said here or there in Scripture". The lies get bigger and it's heartbreaking to watch as many who once believed now chase after fables.
Will B.
In his latest newsletter Bill Craig responds to a question from someone who lavishes praise on him even calling Craig his ‘inspiration.’ And maybe that’s the key to getting him to respond to questions posed by Bible-believing creationists with a view different to the wonderful Bill.

It must be said that Craig does have some pretty good arguments which he uses when debating with atheists. But for some very strange reason Bill, in common with many, if not most, theistic evolutionists seems to have a special distaste for those of us who actually have the nerve to believe that when Jesus spoke of man being created “in the beginning” that’s precisely what He meant i.e. in the ‘beginning’ and not at the end of billions of years.

For a fact, I’ve tried to engage with Bill Craig on at least three occasions in relation to his views expressed in his Reasonable Faith newsletter and it may be that my absence of personal praise is a factor in his non-responses – or maybe he’s just simply stumped for answers to questions which are based on hard facts and evidence which support the young-earth position.

Lest anyone thinks I’m in thrall to CMI it’s worthwhile mentioning that there are certain matters of a doctrinal nature which Jonathan Sarfati expresses which I disagree with for very good reasons and have challenged.

The bottom line is this. IF someone can show me just one example where Jesus Christ compromised His view to accommodate the feelings of others I too will compromise. But until that time I will stick to my position that compromising with Truth is pleasure to the Enemy.
S H.
I think there is Biblical precedent for confronting wrong belief. Jesus did this and Paul did this. I'm not here to defend CMI but I don't think they have been 'attacking' other Christians but simply expressing disagreement from a Biblical perspective. Disagreement does not automatically mean hate or attacking others - that's the kind of worldview the world has. Instead we are encouraged to provoke one another, for iron to sharpen iron and to encourage through confronting sometimes. 2 Tim 3.16 does speak about the Bible (rightly interpreted, of course) being there for 'conviction' and 'correction' (Amplified). This is what true 'love' does. I completely agree that we as Christians should stop some of the petty arguments and major on the fundamentals of our faith. But where beliefs undermine the fundamentals surely it's a good thing to lovingly question. Very often we can get this balance wrong, agreed. But the other side of the coin is also worth exploring, namely do we have the humility and wisdom to accept and consider what others say when they rightly challenge us in character or in beliefs, especially about the Word of God.
Egil W.
CMI is a Ministry reaching far and and wide, Reasonble Faith (Craig’s ministry) reaches far and wide.
How can it be that there seem to be zero direct inter-action between the two ministries?
(I’m not about some accusing-game here. I hate that, and should so wish for open, honest and direct communication.)
I’m, by now,- what would be called a committed ‘young earth creationist’ - (i’e. i take the cumulative evidences to point to a lost paradise and young earth).
But I’m in that generation which have learned that communication is easy, available and almost-universal.
How is it possible that CMI and Reasonable Faith (Craig’s Ministry) appears to have achieved zero direct contact, zero direct interchange of arguments and positions?

This is not meant in any way as an accusation towards anyone; just an utterance of surprise that, in the info-inter-connected world we live, there seems to be a lack of an exchange of pertinent arguments directly given between the parties of different persuasions (again, I’m a convinced YEC) towards each other.

Is it so difficult to communicate, that no direct (<-) dialogue between CMI and R.F. could happen?

Just wondering,
Kind regards,
E.W.
Remo W.
Paul Price had some good responses here. I've noticed that when people want someone else to compromise, *they* don't budge. The ones who believe the Bible are expected to do this. The ones who are angry that creationists won't give up ground are calling the creationists 'divisive'.

The detective work comparison is good. I think CMI have seen shows like CSI where bits and pieces have to be assembled to build a case. You've talked about people who have abandoned the faith and we see that it often starts small. Craig has ridiculed creationists before and even told an atheist that he is smarter than they are. WLC is leaving biblical inerrancy and I wouldn't be surprised to read that he became another N.T. Wright or even a Charles Templeton.
Richard L.
Thank you, Paul! But please leave the appeal to scribal error as a rarely-used counsel of last resort.

Re the number of rooster calls, one radio preacher--years ago, I cannot give exact attribution--says that the transition at 3 AM from the 3rd to the 4th watch of the night, for night guards, was called "cocks-crow". (At such a transition, the newcomer has to shout out something equivalent to "so-and-so-time, and all's well", to show that he is not murdered or has not deserted his post... an audible call-out.) So it is easily possible that Peter heard cocks-crow twice, once from the guard shout-out, and once from a real rooster. Such would be a divine-providential reinforcement of a reminder to Peter that he had denied Christ 3 times... exactly as prophesied. Other gospels easily focus only on the animal's sound. While this cannot be strictly proven, neither can it be unproven... and it is a reasonable and coherent step of faith.

(Another danger to look out for is noting high points of correlation between apparently separate events and trying to force-fit the 2 accounts together... and then declaring a contradiction. Sometimes they refer to one event, described from differing points of view. [as above] But, sometimes, Jesus can be recycling key points in a later separate event. Some top experts have confounded and conflated the Parable of the Minas and the Parable of the Talents, this way, though they are in widely separate locations. [At least 15 subtle differences, as well as many correlations] Likewise, for the pre-death anointings of Jesus, explicitly 4 days apart, with the first being of the feet and the 2nd of Jesus' head. There is still perfume oil intact, after the first. The alabaster container is shattered, in the 2nd. No conflict if no conflation.
Paul S.
It isn't the litmus test of a true Christian, but if someone defends evo after 2 years of being saved, they will wind up in denial of Jesus. You cannot have both - you are either moving away from sin, or towards it.
It certainly should be part of a test of who is to be in leadership.
Paul S.
Craig will end up denying Jesus.
All evos either do that or repent. At best they are goats not sheep, at worst wolves not sheep.
It is The litmus test.
Paul Price
No, accepting the right view of Genesis is not a litmus test for your being a true Christian. We can certainly hope Craig will never deny Jesus outright. However it is true that many have fallen on the slippery slope from compromise into total unbelief, and many who claim to be Christians are leading others astray.

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