I have been saying for many years that William Lane Craig, the so-called Christian philosopher and famous apologist, is really a menace to the Faith he claims to defend. He advocates for a number of doctrinal views that are – to be blunt – heretical. He defends Molinism, the counter-Reformation system that was created to safe guard libertarian free-will against the clear Scriptural doctrine of God’s monergistic sovereignty in salvation. He touches the eternal nature of God by having Him exist in time, bound chronologically along with His creation. And he is a self-proclaimed “Neo-Apollinarian” (which is really just classic Apollinarianism), the ancient heresy that denies the full humanity of Jesus Christ.
Recently, Craig published an article at First Things arguing for his view of the “historical” Adam. His “historical” Adam “plausibly lived sometime between around 1 million years ago to 750,000 years ago,” or so he concludes. That is an imaginary, fantasy Adam that never existed except in the fevered minds of Bible rejecting Socinians who re-read the Genesis narrative according to deep-time, evolutionary constructs.
But his denial of the real, historical Adam that is recorded in the pages of Scripture, isn’t the worst part of the article. It’s a hot mess of heretical nonsense that declares among other things, the denial of original sin, the Mosaic authorship of Genesis, and the innerancy of Scripture. There have been a few quick responses to his overall take on Adam, but I wanted to highlight the overlooked heretical notions Craig presents in his article.
His Rejection of the Historicity of the Genesis Record. Craig states that Genesis 1-11 “functions as mytho-history,” a description he borrows from Thorkild Jacobsen, a Danish Assyriologist who was recognized as a world expert in the ancient Near East. Jacobsen is an unbeliever who rejects the inspiration of Scripture, so I understand why he would make such a claim. One wouldn’t, however, expect a famous Christian philosopher/apologist to believe such nonsense. But Craig has always been a man-pleaser, seeking ways to save face before the academic and intellectual ceiling-gazing, chin-rubbing, pipe-smoking intellegensia. Labeling Genesis mytho-history prevents those weird portions of Genesis from embarrassing him before his academy friends. That’s why he derisively scoffs at such events like Eve being created from Adam’s rib, or a talking snake in the garden, or Adam’s offspring living to 900 plus years describing those stories and characters as “fantastic.” Those are just fables; and he wants everyone to understand that he knows it is plain silly to take any of them as real, literal history.
But Jesus took them as real, literal history. So did the inspired prophets and apostles who often reference the events in Genesis 1-11 as real history. None of them ever considered those first eleven chapters as mytho-history. Especially Jesus, the Son of God, the incarnate second Person of the Trinity who was, you know, THE CREATOR! He was there. He created everything. He is clear to his audience in his teaching that Adam and Eve were real, historic people who lived recently in time, not a million years ago. Craig’s mytho-history endangers the integrity of not only Genesis, but all of Scripture, making the Lord Jesus and all the inspired writers of Scripture teach as truth, what were really myths, which means they are mistaken as to the reality of the world and in essence passing along lies and errors in the pages of our Bible.
A true apologist for the Christian faith should want to instill confidence in the integrity of God’s holy Word, not placate worldly notions of Darwinian SCIENCE! by sowing doubt in God’s Word among believers.
He Denies the Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch. At places within his article, Craig speaks of the “Pentateuchal author.” If readers are not paying attention, they’ll miss the subtle significance of those words: Craig doesn’t believe Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible that has been historically attributed to him. But again, Jesus and the prophets and apostles ALL said Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, when they would cite from those texts and proclaim that “Moses said such and such.” There is no doubt that both Scripture and church history affirm the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch. Yet Craig adopts the secular worldly view of some unknown writer or writers who are lost to ancient history who authored the first five books.
His View of Adam Ultimately Denies Adam’s Sin and Christ’s Saving Work. Christ is called the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), and His work on the cross imputes His righteousness to His people like Adam’s fall imputes his sin and guilt to all of humanity (Romans 5:12-14, 1 Corinthians 15:22). That’s the core message of the Gospel. However, the historical Jesus imputing His righteousness to guilty sinners does not work with a non-historical, mythical Adam who, according to Craig, couldn’t possibly have lived in a utopian garden, disobeying God by eating from a magical tree after his wife was tricked by a talking snake. That is just ridiculous. He wants us to believe that Adam lived a million years ago and did something that is undefined and left to the mysterious of prehistoric history that caused sin to have come to all of humanity and placing them under God’s wrath. The ramifications of his position directly strikes at the heart of the Christian faith and the Gospel message. And he is supposed to be the world renowned apologist?
Craig is teaching heresy plain and simple. What is worse is that he has become a scoffer and mocker of the faith. During an interview with Sean McDowell he discussed his forthcoming book that will apparently develop his rejection of Genesis and Adam in more detail. Craig contemptuously sneers at the idea that Genesis can be taken as a literal, historical record and ridicules those who would do so. He sounds like the many “ex-vangelical” atheists who are scattered across the internet posting their scornful remarks against God. This is not a recent development. He has always rejected the biblical history of Genesis 1-11. He hates creationists who affirm a young universe and God’s miraculous creation of the universe, the world, and all that is contained in it in 6 24-hour days. He is an individual who should be marked and avoided as a false teacher, and not held up and praised as a famous apologist. Christians should not affirm anything that he does, because he is working to tear down the very Faith he is claiming to defend.
I would recommend these resources as a refutation to Craig’s view of Genesis,
Contrary to Craig’s ridiculing assertions, all of those works are written by solid, scholarly men who all affirm and believe in a real, historical Adam as recorded in the pages of Scripture, who disobeyed God by falling into sin after eating the real, edible fruit of a literal, historical tree.