What happens when you mix a lie with the truth? Do you wind up with a true statement, or a false statement? That’s easy. You get a false statement. For example:
The ark was a huge boat that was 450 feet long. (True – Gen 6:15)
The ark could fly. (False)
The ark was a huge boat that was 450 feet long that could fly. (False)
The final statement is clearly false. Unequivocally false. Either the entire statement is true, or it is false. This mixing of the truth with lies is a favorite tactic of Satan. He used it way back in the garden of Eden on Eve:
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Notice his mixing of truths and lies:
- “You will not surely die” – a bold faced lie contradicting God’s statement in Gen 2.17
- For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened – True
- “And you will be like God knowing good and evil” – This is a lie.
They were already like God, being made in his image (Gen 1:26); and eating the fruit did not give them the wisdom to discern good from evil as God can like Eve expected. Rather they knew evil not as God does – aware of evil, but separate from it, remaining a holy being. No, Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit knew evil because they had become evil (Matt 7.11) by disobeying God. And with that knowledge came shame and a loss of innocence.
The Doctrine of Demons
So Satan did what Satan does: He mixes lies with the truth. The result: a doctrine of demons. (1 Tim 4.1) That’s what the accuser likes to do: weave a story that you want to hear and seems close enough to the truth that unless you’re carefully following the word of God, you won’t know you’ve fallen into error until it’s too late.
What happens when you base your apologetics on lie? What happens when you base your apologetics on the fairytale that is the big bang theory? You wind up with a fairytale apologetic that has all the features of the doctrine of demons including a siren-call-like appeal that Satan himself would be proud of. (Hath God really said he created the heavens and the earth in seven days?) This is the error William Lane Craig has fallen into. I have warned previously that basing your apologetics on a fairy tale like the big bang – was “ill-advised” and doing such was equivalent to proclaiming the doctrine of demons. Perhaps some think that wording and warning is a bit too strong. But clearly it was not because we can see Dr. Craig is now tempted to stray further from the path of truth because of his embrace of this doctrine of demons known as the Big Bang.
In a recent post to his Reasonable Faith website, Dr. Craig tackles a question on how he will deal with Adam and Eve without taking sides on the young earth vs. old earth question. A questioner named Joe asks:
I am excited about your decision to tackle the Genesis account of Adam and Eve. I will attempt to ask my question without getting into Young Earth vs Old Earth. Basically, my question is how will you answer any questions about Adam and Eve without taking such a position?
Dr. Craig minces no words. He acknowledges his apologetics is based on the the big bang theory, and as such he is required to accept a 13.7 billion year old universe. Thus he acknowledges:
My defense of the kalām cosmological argument on the basis of Big Bang cosmology presupposes that the universe is more than 13 billion years old.
Since he has swallowed the big bang theory hook, line and sinker, he is forced to conclude:
Indeed, I think that YEC [Young Earth Creationism] as a scientific hypothesis is quite hopeless.
So already we see the damage that accepting this doctrine of demons has done. Craig can’t even seriously consider the science behind Young Earth Creation because of his faith in the big bang theory. His acceptance of the long ages the big bang requires has blinded him to the problems of both the big bang and evolution to the point that he doesn’t believe that evolution contradicts the bible at all. To the question, “is it possible to believe in both God and evolution?” (the YEC position is absolutely not) Craig has answered,
“I think the answer is clearly yes and I’ve defended this view in an article
called “Naturalism and Intelligent Design” which appears in the volume Intelligent Design edited by Robert Stewart.”
And now, since he’s allowed himself to listen to the whispers of Satan he is now even ready to question the authority of scripture and question if the the Bible teaches scientific error. And if so, follow that down the path that concludes the Bible teaches error:
I want to approach the text with an open mind, despite the terrifying prospect that YEC might actually be correct as a hermeneutical hypothesis. In that case, we would face some very hard choices. Given YEC’s failure as a scientific hypothesis, we should have to conclude that the Bible teaches scientific error and therefore revise our doctrine of inspiration to accommodate this fact. That is a route one would prefer not to take.
Notice how believing in long ages has left Craig blind to any other option. He seems willing to accept that the Bible intends for you to understand that the earth is young from teachings like Gen 1 and following; and that the universe was created recently. But that teaching -he thinks – is merely hermeneutics. That’s what you are to understand the point of the text is. Craig is unable and unwilling to accept that not only is that the point of the Biblical text, but that the Biblical text is correct in that assertion. Craig is so married to his big bang/evolution long ages that he is ready to deny a clear teaching of scripture and thereby discard one of the foundations of the faith – biblical inerrancy.
The doctrine of Biblical inerrancy states that the Bible is without error in the original autographs, and is correct in everything that it affirms. Craig appears willing to discard the “correct in everything that it affirms” portion since if he’s honest with his study of the text, he will have to conclude that the bible clearly teaches and asserts a young creation. This is in direct contradiction to the Big Bang (bb) theory which is Craig’s favorite evidence for defending his preferred proof of God – the kalām cosmological argument. Thus his dilemma: believe that scripture is without error and thus the entire universe is about 6,000 years old (and the bb theory is wrong), or cling to man’s fallible theories and a 13.7 billion year old creation (and jettison your faith in biblical inerrancy). Craig appears to be leaning toward believing man’s fallible theories and discarding a foundation of the faith – the inerrancy of the scriptures.
Biblical inerrancy goes hand in hand with Biblical Authority. Biblical authority asserts that the Bible, being the inerrant word of God, is the final authority in all matters concerning the faith, proper living and conduct. If you undermine the inerrancy of the scriptures, you also undermine the authority of the scriptures. After all, why would anyone follow a teaching they believe to be in error? Thus if Craig doesn’t want to further erode confidence in Biblical authority and Biblical claims, he needs to reject his embrace of the big bang and long ages. But I fear he’s been married to long ages for too long to do so.
None should take my strong words as an attack on Craig, but rather an attempt to turn him from the direction he’s clearly headed in. As a former student of his while in seminary, I don’t want to see my former prof. slip further into error. Thus my goal is not to sit in judgment of Craig. Rather, I’d like to see him hold fast to the faith once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3) and uphold the traditional view of scripture – that it is without error in all that it affirms. Thus what Dr. Craig needs to do is what former atheist Anthony Flew did: change his mind and note the error of his ways.  If he wants to be true to the faith, he needs to correct the record by acknowledging that his many books and years of using the big bang as his prima facie evidence of the second proposition in his center piece apologetic – the kalām cosmological argument – was the wrong approach. I outline an approach to proving the universe (space time and matter) had a beginning using Einstein’s concept of space-time and without reference to the Big Bang in my article on Leibniz’ Cosmological argument. That’s one approach. No doubt there are others. Surely Dr. Craig with his extensive background in apologetics can come up with a better argument than one that depends on a fairytale science theory that Satan is proud to whisper to a doubting generation. (Did God really say…)
The tragic irony in all of this is Craig is so wedded and welded to the Big Bang he appears not to have considered two key reasons why as a Christian, he should not accept big bang/ evolutionary long ages. Those two reasons are:
1. The Big Bang isn’t even good science
There are many problems with the big bang theory itself. Do a search on Big Bang problems, and you’ll find list after list of evidences contradicting the big bang theory. A number of scientists say it isn’t even science. I agree, but for my purposes let me just leave it at it’s not good science (certainly not what you want to base your apologetics on), and I’ve posted 10 of the most recognized and serious Big Bang problems in a sidebar to demonstrate why.
In addition to problems with the theory itself, many scientists, including secular ones, have problems with it. In fact in an open letter to the scientific community published in New Scientist on May 22, 2004, a number of scientists openly declared some of the most obvious problems with the big bang theory; and pointed out an even bigger problem: big bang adherents refusing to act like scientists and examine the evidence against the theory. Craig is behaving as one of them – refusing to see the problems – though he is a theologian, not a scientist. You’ll find that open letter here.
2. The Big Bang is contrary to the teaching of the Lord
More important is this next reason. In answering a question on divorce, Jesus in passing clarifies a number of things. Jesus introduced his teaching with:
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’
In this gender confused age, Jesus affirmed there are only two genders – male and female. More importantly he affirmed a critical truth about the creation: that humans were created at the beginning of creation. That is in contrast to Big Bang and evolutionary teaching where humans don’t appear until the end. Let me put that into perspective.
In discussing the evolution defying sudden appearance of complex life forms evident at what is called the Cambrian Explosion, Dr. Marcus Ross lays out the secular age of the earth – 4.5 billion years – within the bounds of a football field. At the zero yard line at one end is the secular estimate of the beginning of earth about 4.5 billion years ago. On the other end of the field 100 yards away – is the present 21st century. In this illustration the “beginning” of creation would be at the 0 yard line. The Cambrian explosion happened – according to secular estimates – 541 million years ago. On the football field, you’d have go past midfield all the way down to the 12 yard line to get to the Cambrian explosion. (You’ve traversed 88 of the 100 yards to get there.) Note according to evolutionary theory no versions of man existed at this point. No Homo Habilis (2.4 – 1.4 million years ago), no Homo Erectus (1.8 million years ago), no modern man – Homo sapiens (200-300,00 years ago – to today). To get to modern man – homo sapiens, you’d have to go another 5 yards. You’ve now traversed 93 of the 100 yards – 93% of the history of just earth – to get to modern man.
Note this illustration does not include the 9 billion years needed to form the stars and and planets first, and then to allow man to evolve (supposedly) once earth exists. If you include the formation of the universe (which the Genesis account does) using the big bang origin estimate (13.7 billion years), modern man does not appear until you’ve traversed more than 99 yards and are sitting on the 1 inch line on the other side of the field. So of the 300 foot football field, you’ve traversed 299 feet and 11 (of 12) inches to reach modern man in an evolutionary/big bang time scale. I ask you: does that sound like the “beginning” of creation?
Clearly both the evolutionary account and Jesus’ account of the creation of man cannot be correct. They are diametrically opposed in their chronology. Surely Dr. Craig with his extensive study of the big bang theory is aware of this. The big bang also has insurmountable problems with the order of creation as cosmologist Dr. John Hartnett has pointed out. That alone is reason enough to reject it apart from Chronology.
So where does this leave us? Or more precisely, where will Dr. Craig land on these issues? Will he be willing to:
- Deny biblical inerrancy
- Deny Jesus’ teaching on the creation of man
- Deny the Genesis account of the creation
In order to side with:
- The fallible theories of man
- The failed big bang theory
- His ill-advised defense of the kalām Cosmological argument via the Big Bang?
I can only hope and pray that like the prodigal son he’ll come to his senses (Luke 15.17) and return to a Biblical view point. Because of the great influence he has, if he does not, he has the potential to lead many people astray – particularly the young and impressionable. A rejection of Biblical authority by rejecting Biblical inerrancy can cause untold damage to the kingdom by allowing some to think – if this is in error, what else is in error? Indeed, studies are showing college age teens and young adults are already thinking that way. And I suspect many more would take Jefferson’s approach and simply cut out sections of the Bible they don’t like if they see well respected apologists like William Lane Craig denying the bible is true in all that it affirms. In effect, not only would he would be re-enforcing them in their error, he would be leading the way. Craig minced no words in his long age beliefs and Jesus likewise minced no words in voicing his displeasure over those who would cause particularly the “little ones” to sin.
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
A graphic warning clearly intended to help those with influence over the “little ones” to stay on the constricted (strait) and narrow path. (Matt 7.13) Leading the “little ones” astray by teaching them a doctrine of demons no doubt qualifies as one of the sins in view that is worthy of the millstone.
Duane Caldwell | December 16, 2018 | Printer friendly version
1. Reasonable Faith, “#605 Hermeneutical vs Scientific Young Earth Creationism”, Q&A answered by William Lane Craig, November 18, 2018, https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/hermeneutical-vs-scientific-young-earth-creationism/
2. Craig, Reasonable Faith, #605
3. Craig, Reasonable Faith, #605
4. Ref from Craig’s Youtube Channel “DrCraigVideos”, “Is evolution compatible with God’s existence” posted 12/20,2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1lBK7ye0VU
The Book he references where he published his defense is
“Intelligent Design:William A. Dembski & Michael Ruse in Dialogue”, Robert B. Stewart, editor
His article is “Naturalism and Intelligent Design” (William Lane Craig), chapter 3, p. 58
5. Craig, Reasonable Faith, #605
6. These two points – that the Bible is inerrant in the original autograph and correct in all it affirms are specifically stated in the widely recognized, landmark definition: The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, Articles 10, 11, and 12.
For your reference, I’ve posted the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy here and Article 12 (pertaining to science as noted.)
7. Note – stating both that the bible is “without error” and “correct in all it affirms” may seem like a tautology, but it is not. Each phrase is affirming a different aspect of this foundational truth. The Bible reports on many things – including erroneous statements and lies. Such reports are accurate, and thus there is no error in reporting such errors. However the Bible does not affirm such errors and lies – it merely reports when such are used. While the Bible may report many things, it only asserts and affirms what is true. As an example of the difference consider what the Apostle Paul reports in his letter to Titus: that there were some Jews in Crete who said “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” Paul’s report of what they said is true and accurate. (Titus 1.13) The statement itself is not – and thus the Bible does not affirm it. In fact the apostle is appalled anyone would say such a thing (Titus 1.12-13) and sees it as a reason to be disqualified from teaching.
8. The Kalam Cosmological Argument -a proof of the existence of God:
Premise 1: Everything that begins to exist has a creator.
Premise 2: The universe began to exist
Conclusion: The universe has a creator
If you accept the two premises, the conclusion follows naturally and is irrefutable. Most do not deny Premise 1. Thus most attack this at premise 2 – the universe began to exist, and thus that’s where Craig thinks he has a trump card with the Big Bang theory, since the Big Bang states the universe began to exist from a singularity between 13.5 and 14 billion years ago. The problem is, the big bang as a theory has failed, (see sidebar here) and rather than update his apologetics, Craig insists on using the failed big bang theory to bolster his apologetics.
9. Anthony Flew, a notorious atheist changed his mind and acknowledged God exists. To tell the world why he changed his mind, Flew wrote:
“There Is no A God” subtitled “How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind.”
New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2007
10.Claiming Cosmology (which includes the Big Bang) is not science:
James Gunn of Princeton University, co-founder of the Sloan survey [currently the biggest large-scale survey of millions of galaxies – JH]
[in Evolution’s Achilles’ Heel, Edited by Robert Carter, Ph.D, Powder Springs GA: 2014, p. 218]
Also Jonathan Sarfati and John Hartnett
[in Evolution’s Achilles’ Heel, Documentary DVD, Creation Ministries International, 2014]
In fact in the documentary, Dr. Hartnett states:
“Cosmology is not experimental science. In fact I would go so far as to say Cosmology is not even science. It’s a philosophy, it’s a religion, a worldview, it’s a belief system. It’s not science at all.”
time mark: 1:20:45
11. Football field Illustration (with age of the earth in view) referenced from “Evolution’s Achilles Heel“, Creation Ministries Int’l documentary, 2014
12. Dr. John Hartnett lists the many conflicts in the order of creation between the biblical account and the big bag account. See:
“The big bang is not a Reason not a Reason to believe”, Creation Ministries Int’l, 20 May, 2014, https://creation.com/big-bang-not-a-reason
13. Ken Ham points out that many college age teens and young adults have left the faith because of the hypocrisy of teaching things like – it’s okay to believe in millions of years when the bible clearly teaches a young earth.
Ken Ham – “The Relevance of Genesis (Part 1) – Ken Ham Foundation Series” Answers in Genesis YouTube Channel, Jul 31, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM9-qjjqQ64, time ref: 20:30 – 21:35
The book he references covers responses from the young adults surveyed:
Ken Ham and Britt Beemer with Todd Hillard, “Already Gone – Why your kids will quit church and what you can do to stop it“, Green Forest AR: Masterbooks, 2009, pp. 107-115
14. Who does Jesus have in mind here? Is it just little children? Or could he have young Christians in mind too? Many commentators go with the latter – Jesus has in mind young believers, not just young children. (e.g. D.A Carson, “Matthew” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 1984; Also the Wycliffe Bible commentary, 1964)
All images used by permission
Big Bang Fairytale composite by Duane Caldwell
“Beautiful Fairy Silhouette” © Khaz | fotolia by Adobe – used by permission
Big Bang Expansion – Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
It is exceedingly saddening to see the negative progression in Dr. Craig’s thinking here. He has made it clear that his ultimate authority is not Scripture, and that should be enough to make any Christian raise an eyebrow. The fact that Craig is willing to question biblical inerrancy *before* being willing to question secular scientific consensus is just astonishing. It is clear he has such disdain for the young earth/biblical creation viewpoint that he is unwilling to even consider (as you pointed out) the best arguments coming from them. He, like most other old earthers, does not engage with young… Read more »
You’ve highlighted another key point: his ultimate authority is not Scripture. Which is most unfortunate for one who wants to defend the God of Scripture. As I said in the article we can only hope and pray he comes to his senses.
Hello Brother Duane, As always, your articles are superb. This latest one, Fairytale Apologetics, the Doctrine of Demons and Biblical Inerrancy, just angers me to no end. It is of great concern that the youngsters get on the wrong track. As I’ve mentioned before, my next door neighbor, who is 51 share Dr. Craig’s and Hugh Ross’s views and she is a Earth Science teacher! So the problem has been going on for some time.I certainly am thankful that God has shown me and you the plain Truth. Do those people believe God wrote this for educated people or men… Read more »
I agree, God wrote clearly so all could understand. There is nothing hard to understand about how long God took to complete the creation. The problem comes because some people have a problem with God, so in their attempts to deny Him, they work hard to deny what he’s clearly done and clearly said. Unfortunately many Christians who should know better follow those trying to deny God, instead of following God and what he’s clearly said.