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Nick Mentioned on Dr. Craig's Podcast RE: Disagreement with Dr. Walton on Creation

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  • Nick Mentioned on Dr. Craig's Podcast RE: Disagreement with Dr. Walton on Creation

    So, just catching up on my Reasonable Faith podcasts at the gym, and I was surprised to hear Nick's name mentioned in the most recent episode (I think it came out Sunday). Apparently Dr. Craig critiqued (Old Testament professor) Dr. Walton's Cosmic Temple Inauguration theory in a recent Defender's class (Defender's is sort of like an advanced Sunday School class that Dr. Craig does that covers core Christian doctrine and theology).

    Nick, I guess, then did an interview with Dr. Walton on his audio blog, and they discussed Dr. Craig's critique.

    So in the latest Reasonable Faith podcast, Kevin Harris, and Dr. Craig took some time out to clarify some points about the critique that he didn't think Dr. Walton understood.

    I haven't listened to the Defender's podcast, or Nick's interview yet (going to do so after posting this), but I know (and in part, agree with) Dr. Walton's Cosmic Temple theory, and it sounds like there's just a lot of basic miscommunication going on between the both of them.

    Has this issue between the scholars already been discussed on this forum? I did a quick search, and didn't see anything.

  • #2
    Oh, here are the relevant links:

    Dr. Craig's Defender's Podcast: I believe the critique starts on episode 7.

    Nick's Audio Blog Interview

    The Latest Reasonable Faith Podcast

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    • #3
      One of many more such mentions to come, I'm sure. Nick already has well-deserved credibility and I expect as he grows his writing collection, he'll eventually also find himself referenced by authors like Strobel, much as Tekton has been.

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      • #4
        I was notified of this and it was an honor, especially to be mentioned as a friend.

        I really don't think Craig gave his opinion correctly. Walton and I both thought the same thing was being said as did other people. I also think Craig is off to say that Walton's interpretation is just absurd. I find it to be the most sensible one I have found.

        And I certainly hope JPH's prediction comes true.

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        • #5
          I don't think Craig misunderstood what Walton meant by function. At one point in the Defenders course he sorta clarified that what he believed Walton meant by function was something like God given purpose, which I took to mean in a more spiritual or symbolic way rather than a utilitarian way. Craig, also clarified that he did not mean to say that people and animals just sat around until given their function in his Reasonable Faith podcast. Maybe it was because I was already familiar with Craig's clarification in the Reasonable Faith podcast that i didn't see him saying anything strange in the Defenders course.

          I also don't think Craig was reading Aristotelian views into scripture or necessarily into Walton's interpretation of scripture. I think the only reason Craig used Aristotelian language for "function" is because he found it practical to do so. Its useful in making differentiation between types of function regardless of where it came from, especially when Walton himself uses the word function, and yet that word is not found in the narrative. But as you pointed out, being a philosopher, Craig is going to think in philosophical terms.

          I agree that Craig goes too far by calling Walton's interpretation absurd, but honestly, I think that Craig might have been fine with Dr. Walton's view if it weren't for the fact that Dr. Walton doesn't believe that Gen. 1:1 signifies any creative act. I think Craig would have been fine if Walton said that the rest of the narrative was not a creative act, but by discluding 1:1 from the equation, you're left with no scriptural reason to justify creatio ex nihilo (at least in this passage). And of course, the concept of creatio ex nihilo is the lynchpin to Craig's Kalam Cosmological argument. So I think he was miffed for that reason.

          People are probably sick of hearing me talk about it, but I think that OT Professor John Sailhamer's Historical Creationism theory could bridge the gap between Craig and Walton. As I understand Sailhamer's theory, he believes the Genesis narrative is both a creative function, and also a symbolic/spiritual function. Gen 1:1 is about the physical creation of the universe and everything in it (heaven and earth being a merism for the cosmos) at an indeterminant period, and that 2 onwards is primarily about God's preparation of the promised land (not the whole earth) for his covenant people. If I recall correctly, he even mentions Walton's cosmic temple view in his book Genesis Unbound. I'll have to look it up later to see if I'm remembering that correctly though.
          Last edited by Adrift; 12-16-2014, 12:09 PM.

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