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The Kalam Cosmological Argument Paperback – May 24, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (May 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157910438X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579104382
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am the Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. With my wife Jan, we have two grown children.

At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, I first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded my life to Christ. I pursued undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 I taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time we started our family. In 1987 we moved to Brussels, Belgium, where I pursued research at the University of Louvain until assuming my position at Talbot in 1994.

I have authored or edited over thirty books, including The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology, including Philosophia Christi, The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science.

My CV can be read here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=curriculum_vitae

Publication list: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer?pagename=publications_main

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Neal Winkler on June 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
In the Kalam Cosmological Argument, PhD and ThD William Lane Craig sets forth what I think is the single most convincing argument for the existence of G-d. Dr. Craig divides his book into three parts.
In part one, Dr. Craig gives a historical account of the Kalam argument. He first talks about the history of Arabic philosophy and it's relation to the Kalam argument. After this, Dr. Craig explains the Kalam models used by three Arabic theologians. They are, in order: al-Kindi, Saadia, and al-Ghazali. Some of thier aruments are, of course, a bit outdated and crude, but not all.
In the second part of The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Craig gives a modern defense. He formulates the argument as so:
1.)Everything that begins to exist has a cause of it's existence
2.)The universe began to exist
3.)Therefore, the universe has a cause
Since the second premis of the argument is obviously the most important, Dr. Craig defends this first in two ways. First, with two philosophical arguments, and second, with empirical evidence. In regards to the former, Dr. Craig argues that an actual infinite composed of definte and distinct finite members cannot exist in reality. He does this by showing the various paradoxes and absurdities that arise in inifite set theory (which may be fine for the realm of mathmatics but the results for the real world are too unbeliveable). He also gives "real life" examples such as Hilberts Hotel and Tristram Shandy. Since actual infinites cannot exist in reality, Dr. Craig reasons that an actual infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite and therefore an actual infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist. He then gives a second argument that has two do with actual infinites and time.
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Bruce H on June 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
The other reviews here are quite comprehensive, so it will be difficult to add something new. However, I will try.
I have seen Craig in debate numerous times, read one of his other books ("Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics) and he is the best intellectually respectable defenders of Christianity alive today. Comparing his debates to this book shows that Craig has a wide range and knows how to argue at a level appropriate to his audience. Craig can talk to the interested public and academic philosophers alike. This book definitely falls into the second category (Craig did his first Ph. D on it) and it is aimed at those who want a comprehensive defense of this one particular argument for God's existence.
The book is divided into two main sections. A historical review of the argument as it was originally presented by various Islamic philosophers about a thousand years ago starts the book. I found most of the arguments here comprehensible because Craig had the foresight to put the arguments into a chart, so that you can visually see the progression of the ideas. For most readers, this material will be completely new. Islamic philosophers are rarely covered in first year university and courses on such topics are few and far between.
The second section is the modern defense of the kalam cosmological argument. Craig arguments are of two types; philosophical (using mathematics as his evidence) and scientific or empirical (using astronomy and physics as his evidence). The mathematics arguments are extremely difficult to follow and I think most readers will only understand parts of it.
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Jim Slagle (jimmy@uswest.net) on December 5, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Craig reviews the most significant contributions of history to the Kalam cosmological argument by presenting and analyzing the works by al-Kindi (a Muslim from the 9th century), Saadia (a 10th century Jew)and al-Ghazali (the well-known Muslim philosopher from the 11th century). He then goes into an in-depth analysis of the philosophical evidence that the universe had a beginning, by demonstrating the impossibility of the existence of an actual infinite amount using infinite set theory (which is over my head) and the apparent confirmation of these conclusions from astrophysics. This makes up the fundamental part of Craig's argument. He then goes on to briefly defend the law of causality as "a priori because it is universal and necessary, being a precondition of thought itself," and then draws the conclusion that the universe has a cause. He briefly comments on the nature of this cause as being non-mechanistic, and therefore a personal agent capable of choice (I would have liked a more thorough discussion of this point). Finally, in two appendices, Craig defends the kalam argument against two possible objections: Zeno's paradoxes and the "infinity machines" some philosophers have suggested, and Kant's first antimony. Overall this is an incredibly in-depth argument, and a lot of it was beyond me. Craig's arguments and conclusions appeared well thought out and convincing, especially when contrasted with the popular objections to the cosmological argument one finds on the web. I have done some additional studying on this subject and have not found any arguments which repudiate Craig's conclusions, although this doesn't necessarily mean that none exist. It seems rational to conclude that an uncaused first cause does exist, and that this cause is more like a mind than it is like anything else we know.
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