Wednesday, September 24, 2008

William L. Craig, N.T. Wright, and John D. Crossan

(Bukit Mertajam hill, Malaysia. The photo is from HL Wang.)

I'm blogging from Bukit Mertajam, my hometown. Took a 10 hours ride all the way from the south through the Causeway, and to the north. Barely slept, of course.

I listened to 2 debates while on the journey: 1) 1995's William Lane Craig VS John Crossan, and 2) 2005's N.T Wright VS John Crossan. I've read both books which are transcription of the debates. And it was exciting to listen to their voices with all the affective tones.

Both debates belong to different level of engagement. The listener get the sense that Craig was all out to apologize, hence his presentation against Crossan is very polemical.

On the other hand, Wright was more like having a dialog Crossan rather than contentious. I don't mean that Wright wasn't forceful in delivering his points or aggressive in pinning Crossan's arguments down, he sounded rather less confrontational as compared to Craig.

I think that's what you'll get given the different orientation of both debates. 'Craig vs Crossan' was an outright anticipated fiery firing-line kind of style, while 'Wright vs Crossan' was a "point-counterpoint" forum, like an exhibition of 2 contradictory ideas.

Overall both Craig and Wright did responded to almost every objections raised by Crossan as much as the time afforded them. Crossan, on the other hand, was very consistent in both debates, which is about 10 years in between; he didn't respond to most of the raised objections. There are times he felt that the points raised by Craig and Wright are not a problem to him hence he felt there is no need to give any explanation. He often, twice to Wright, emphasize that it is his 'pre-critical' (pre-Enlightenment) reading of the gospels that led him to his conclusion.


Kar Yong said...

having a vacation back home? Enjoy...

I'm planning for a month's research leave at TTC in Nov. Hope this works out.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi KY,

Ya, I'm home. Thank you!

Hope to catch up with you when you are here.