William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens Reviews

Christopher Hitchens
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Joe Gorra at the EPS Blog reports:

On April 4th at Biola University, William Lane Craig debated Christopher Hitchens concerning the question, “Does God Exist?” The debate was moderated by columnist, law professor, and radio host Hugh Hewitt. Both Biola’s student body and the graduate program in Christian apologetics co-sponsored the debate.
Below is a basic overview of the web coverage. A helpful, summary transcript can also be found here.
Some regional and local college papers covered the debate, including the Whittier Daily, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star, the Daily Titan (Cal State Fullerton), and Biola’s Chimes.
Perhaps the best atheist response comes from the Common Sense Atheist blog.
And some of the best theistic blog coverage and analysis can be found from Doug Geivett (Biola philosopher), Melinda Penner (apologist), MaryJo Sharp (apologist), and the Evangelical Outpost (cultural commentary).

I haven’t read all of these, but Doug Geivett’s recap is very informative in terms of the arguments and responses and his commentary is incisive.

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3 thoughts on “William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens Reviews

  1. Hi Chase,

    You’re right, Dr. Geivett makes some good observations about the debate. As far as I can see, Hitchens is good at scoring points rhetorically (he’s a good polemicist, as Geivett mentions), but he’s not a philosopher and wasn’t prepared to deal with Craig’s arguments. It’s sad that he’s battling cancer now. I hope he’ll see the light before it’s too late.

  2. Was a great debate. Both sides brought great points. Love what Biola prof Doug Geivett had to say about the debate,

    [T]his debate exposed a difference in preparation on the part of these two debaters. This is far more significant than it might seem at first. William Lane Craig has debated this topic dozens of times, without wavering from the same basic pattern of argument. He presents the same arguments in the same form, and presses his opponents in the same way for arguments in defense of their own worldviews. He’s consistent. He’s predictable. One might think that this is a liability, that it’s too risky to face a new opponent who has so much opportunity to review Craig’s specific strategy. But tonight’s debate proves otherwise. Hitchens can have no excuse for dropping arguments when he knows – or should know – exactly what to expect. Suppose one replies that William Craig is a more experienced debater and a trained philosopher, while Christopher Hitchens is a journalist working outside the Academy. That simply won’t do as a defense of Hitchens. First, Hitchens is no stranger to debate. Second, he is clearly a skillful polemicist. Third – and most important – Hitchens published a book, god Is Not Great, in which he makes bold claims against religion in general and Christianity in particular. With his book, he threw down the challenge. To his credit, he rose to meet a skillful challenger. But did he rise to the occasion? Did he acquit himself well? At one point he acknowledged that some of his objections to the designer argument were “layman’s” objections. His book, I believe, is also the work of a layman. It appears to have been written for popular consumption and without concern for accountability to Christians whose lives are dedicated to the defense of the Gospel.

  3. Pingback: Honorable Mention « Doug Geivett’s Blog

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