Monday, January 05, 2009

Some Of My Early Philosophical Mentors

One of the many blessings God has given me was to have had Bill Craig as my first philosohical mentor. That was in 1971. I'd just become a follower of Jesus while at Northern Illinois University. Bill was one of the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ at NIU, of which I was now a part.

Shortly after I'd given my life over to Christ I changed my undergrad major from music theory to philosophy. Philosophy, to me, was where the big questions of life were being asked. That's where I wanted to park my soul. NIU's philosophy department was amazing. I was deeply influenced by studying with Michael Gelven, E.W. Van Steenburgh, and Harold I. Brown. Thanks to these people for being such excellent teachers. In fact, I was so influenced by Gelven's ability to impart knowledge (he could actually teach!) that my teaching today still owes much to him.

Bill Craig was very interested in what I was learning. He and I and others talked a lot about philosophical ideas as they especially related to our faith in Jesus. True philosophy is done around a cup of coffee, and much valuable philosophizing was my portion in those early years. When I see how God has used Bill's sheer brilliance to argue for the reasonableness of theism and Christianity I am thankful for how he influenced me years ago and set me off on a course that's lasted a lifetime.