Sing with me:
Brave Sir Grayling ran away
Bravely, ran away…away…
When danger reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled
Yes, brave Sir Grayling turned about
And gallantly he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Sir Grayling
He is packing it in and packing it up
And sneaking away and buggering off
And chickening out and pissing off home,
Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge.
For years, ‘New Atheist’ Professors Anthony Grayling and Richard Dawkins have made money and gained publicity out of God. But now, the courage of their convictions seems to be running dry: they have both refused to debate one of the world’s leading defenders of the Christian Faith, Professor William Lane Craig.
While Professor Dawkins has set himself up as the ‘scourge’ of the Church, Professor Grayling has offered his latest attack on Christianity by publishing The Good Book – a secular bible in the year the Church celebrates the 400th anniversary of the translation of the King James Bible.
While Dawkins and Grayling have refused to debate the existence of God, Grayling has also refused to debate the foundations of the morality on which his ‘Good Book’ rests. These point-blank refusals to engage in public discussions with Professor Craig will undermine their credibility, not only among Christians but also amongst fellow academics.
Professor Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, California, is arguably the world’s foremost defender of historic Christianity. He has debated with many top academics and leading atheists across the world, including Peter Atkins, Daniel Dennett, Anthony Flew, Christopher Hitchens, Lewis Wolpert and, most recently, Sam Harris.
Craig visited the UK in 2007 and received national media coverage for his debate at Westminster Central Hall with Professor Lewis Wolpert, chaired by Radio 4’s Today presenter, John Humphrys. This debate has now been seen by thousands of people on YouTube. Professor Craig, who has two Ph.Ds, has written over thirty books and published some 200 academic papers. He is returning to the UK from 17-26 October in a tour sponsored by the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, Damaris Trust and Premier Christian Radio.
Having been invited to debate Craig, Professor Grayling replied:
“I am not interested in debating Professor Craig, though if he would like to co-opt me for the publicity for his tour – I would be happy to debate him on the question of the existence of fairies and water-nymphs. But as for the very uninteresting matter of whether there is just one god or goddess and that it can be debated despite the claim that it is transcendently ineffable and unknowable – that is an empty prospect, hence my declining the invitation.”
Justin Brierley, who presents Premier Radio’s highly-rated discussion programme, Unbelievable?, comments:
“It looks insulting and worryingly narrow minded when an invitation to defend such views against a top-flight Christian academic such as Dr. Craig is dismissed in these terms. Grayling is seen as a key proponent of rationalism and atheism in the UK. It will therefore come as a surprise to many that he is so unwilling to defend the rational grounds for atheism against a major opponent.”
Brian Auten of Apologetics 315 tweeted this, earlier:
If you would like the see how well atheists do in debates with Craig, you can watch this:
William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens:
No wonder Grayling and Dawkins are soiling their knickers at the thought of facing him. It’s easy to impress your students when you are grading their papers AFTER they’ve paid their tuition. But a formal debate in a neutral venue would not be safe.