A Defense for the Tenability of the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Apologetics has assumed an enormous role in the ministry of evangelism in the twenty-first century. However, many still assess apologetics as an invalid enterprise. Some reject any attempt to prove God’s existence. Such would consider apologetic theories to be untenable or invalid. Such a one may be unaware as to the accurate data denoted in the data accessed by philosophers and apologists alike.

Among the more popular apologetics arguments today is the Kalam cosmological argument, an argument that has been theorized and popularized by philosopher William Lane Craig. The argument holds three premises that are as follows: “1) Whatever begins to exist has a cause. 2) The universe began to exist. 3) Therefore, the universe has a cause.”[1] The Kalam argument is succinct and pertinent to building a defensible case for the existence of God. But, is the Kalam argument tenable? If the Kalam cosmological argument can be shown to be a valid and tenable argument, then one could also suggest that apologetics in general is a valid enterprise for use in modern-day evangelism and discipleship.

The intention of this paper will be to demonstrate that the Kalam cosmological argument is a beneficial tool to utilize in order to explicitly defend the existence of God. This paper will accomplish this by evaluating the history of the argument. In addition, the paper will analyze each premise of the argument evaluating recent scientific data and theological understandings from Scripture. If each premise of the so-called argument is sound, then it can be acknowledged that the Kalam cosmological argument is tenable, and is viable for use by the philosopher and apologist. Finally, the paper will investigate and assess the implications of the theory to the modern church.

History of the Kalam Argument

 The Kalam argument possesses roots in the greater realm of apologetic argumentation termed cosmological arguments. Cosmological theories seek to defend the existence of God by arguing for the necessity of a first cause contributing to the universe’s existence. Geisler demonstrates that there are two forms of cosmological theories: “the horizontal or kalam cosmological argument and the vertical. The horizontal cosmological argument reasons back to a Cause of the beginning of the universe. The vertical cosmological argument reasons from the being of the universe as it now exists.”[2] Cosmological theories are rooted in the works of Plato and Aristotle. It was Aristotle that argued for a first cause. In fact, Aristotle wrote that “We should always look for the most basic cause in every case…What I mean is that a man builds because he is a builder, and a builder builds in virtue of the fact that he possesses skill at building.”[3] Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas would then adapt Aristotle’s first cause argument to form his five ways, which be began to argue that the “first and more manifest way is the argument from motion…nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality…Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”[4] Slightly before the time of Aquinas, Islamic theologian Al-Ghazali first assembled the initial form of the Kalam cosmological argument. Al-Ghazali’s form of the argument is as follows: “Every being which begins has a cause for its beginning; now the world is a being which begins; therefore, it possesses a cause for its beginning.”[5] Unfortunately, cosmological theories would come under attack in later centuries. Romero and Perez document that “The Cosmological Argument came under serious assault in the eighteenth century, first by David Hume and then by Immanuel Kant. In the twentieth century, Bertrand Russell, John Mackie, Michael Martin, Adolf Grünbaum, and many others have criticized different aspects of the argument.”[6] In recent years, Christian apologetics has undergone a revival of sorts. Gary Habermas, Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, and many others have led the way in demonstrating that Christianity is both reasonable and rational. William Lane Craig is one such philosopher who modified and popularized the Kalam argument for the modern culture. The validity and tenability of any such apologetic argumentation must be evaluated for the argument to hold validity; such will be the intent of this paper as it evaluates Craig’s adaptation of the Kalam argument.

Tenability of Kalam’s First Premise: The Causal Nature of All Created Things

 Recalling the second premise, the Kalam argument posits that “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.”[7] The theory promotes the idea that beings and entities that have an origin hold a cause behind their origin. The theory avoids a counter rebuttal that would ask, “Then who made God,” because God is understood to be infinite. Whereas the theory assigns that all things that have an origin hold a cause; God is understood to be infinite and holds no origin, thus God is causeless and infinite. This is the understanding of Thomas Aquinas also. Aquinas denotes that “it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.”[8] Thus, the Kalam argument implicitly argues that God’s existence is a necessity due to the demand for a first cause. As one could deduce, some grant objections to such a concept due to philosophical objections.

Much of the objections to the first premise either indicate a misinterpretation of the premise or a rejection of the causal principle. Daniel Dennett inquires, “What caused God?”[9] However, one must accept the fact that there must be an initial starting point. Whereas Dennett argues against the self-existence of God, Immanuel Kant argues that “the cosmological argument does not actually reach the existence of a necessary being…, but only the concept of such a being.”[10] However, if the concept of a being is posed, then the necessity for such a being’s existence is also postulated. Consider that the one reading this paper has most likely never met this writer’s parents. This writer could state that one named Dennis is the writer’s father. However, using the logic of Kant, one could state that Dennis is only a concept of a person that could exist. But this writer does exist, thus it necessitates the fact that a father must exist due to biology and the causal relationship of all individuals to a biological father. Thus, Dennis is not only a concept but a reality. The concept of God and the existence of God are likewise mandated by the necessity of a first eternal cause to all things.

Some may challenge such a concept with quantum physics as a route around the causal nature of all things. While this issue will be addressed in the following section in greater detail, let it be said at this time that the so-called concept that entities can exist with no cause by the use of quantum physics fails. Robert Spitzner argues concerning God’s involvement in the arena of quantum physics that

When an absolutely simple reality unifies restricted realities, it is distinct from them in virtue of the restricted realities’ boundaries. Nevertheless, it can unify them because it is simpler than they are (i.e., does not have excluding boundaries). Therefore, an absolutely simple reality can interact with any restricted reality.[11]

Thus, whatever qualities quarks, bosons, and the like hold, they would still require an initial cause for their existence.

One must also ask whether the Kalam argument holds biblical merit. If one is using the Kalam argument to postulate the biblical God’s existence, then it must involve a biblical understanding of God’s involvement with creation. Thereby in this paragraph, it must be considered whether the Bible indicates that God is the primary cause to all things. The Bible does support such a notion. The Bible begins by projecting that “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). In the Gospel of John, one locates the notion that “All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created” (John 1:3). Paul denotes of Christ that “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-16). Thereby, the Kalam argument is reinforced due to the biblical support found for the first premise.

As this section has posited, God is the necessary cause for all things. The first premise allows one to argue for the necessity of God’s existence due to the fact that there is a causal relation to all created things. Whereas, just as one’s existence is contingent upon the necessity of the existence of parents, the existence of any created thing is contingently based upon the necessity of God’s existence. As Spitzer denotes, “the denial of the existence of God…would entail the denial of one’s own existence, or arguing a most fundamental ontological contradiction or an intrinsic contradiction.”[12] Whereby the first premise of the Kalam argument was demonstrated to be a valid and tenable statement, the paper will now proceed in evaluating the second premise’s validity and tenability in the forthcoming section.

Tenability of the Kalam’s Second Premise: The Beginning of the Universe

 The second premise of the Kalam argument denotes that “The universe began to exist.”[13] That the universe began finds nearly unanimous agreement by both theist and non-theist alike. Atheist physicist Lawrence Krauss concedes this point in stating that the “discovery that the universe is not static, but rather expanding, has profound philosophical and religious significance because it suggested that our universe had a beginning.”[14] Frank Turek and Norman Geisler write postulate that there are at least five ways that one can know that the universe had a beginning in an acronym known as “SURGE…S—Second Law of Thermodynamics…U—The Universe is Expanding…R—Radiation from the Big Bang…G—Great Galaxy Seeds…E—Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.”[15] The five attributes found in the universe, argue Geisler and Turek, sustain the theory that the universe had a beginning. Whereas it is nearly unanimously accepted that the universe had a beginning even among skeptics, one might theorize that the second premise would be solidly accepted among academia. Yet, such a notion could not be accepted as opponents posit that the beginning of the universe phenomenon does not automatically indicate that the universe originated with God.

Opponents of the Kalam argument theorize that the universe needs no reason for its existence. Or, as Craighead postulates that “the universe simply came into being from nothing. Let us call this the “Poof Theory” of the universe: the universe simply “poofed” into being. Nothing preceded it, nothing caused or produced it. At one instant it did not exist, and at the next instant it did—no cause, no reason, just POOF!”[16] Physicists and theorists argue that quantum physics dictates that no absolute beginning, or singularity, is necessary. Craig explains, “Sometimes it is said that quantum physics furnishes an exception…, since on the sub-atomic level events are said to be uncaused. In the same way, certain theories of cosmic origins are interpreted as showing that the whole universe could have sprung into being out of the sub-atomic vacuum or even out of nothingness.”[17] While such an argument rejects premise 1, nonetheless it is often used against premise 2 as it is argued that the universe really did not really originate from physical nothingness, but from exterior material universes. One of the more popular models is the “Cyclic Ekpryotic Scenario, we are asked to envision two three-dimensional membranes…existing in a five-dimensional space-time…One of these branes is our universe. These two branes are said to be in an eternal cycle in which they approach each other, collide, and retreat again from each other.”[18] From the outset, the philosopher can stress that the existence of said branes and the functionality of such so-called branes are contingent upon the necessity of something to bring them about. Multiverses and branes do not solve the problem. Such theories only push the issue back a step or two.

In reality, quantum physics answer nothing pertaining to the necessity of God’s existence nor do the demerit the fortitude of the Kalam argument. Peter J. Bussey notes that,

The central point here is that if a new physical state occurs through a quantum process, this is to be causally attributed to the prior circumstance that made it finitely probable. In this way, a chain of physical causes is still implied, and can be traced back to the beginning of the universe as before, and the latter still requires a non-temporal First Cause according to the Kalam argument.[19]

Thus, a beginning point is still required for the universe and all physical things. To reinforce this position, one must understand that there cannot be what is termed an infinite regress of past events. Craig and Sinclair postulate,

Because the series of past events is an actual infinite, all the absurdities attending the existence of an actual infinity apply to it…Since an actual infinite cannot exist and an infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite, we may conclude that an infinite temporal regress of past events cannot exist. Therefore, since the temporal regress of events is finite, the universe began to exist.[20]

Craig and Sinclair’s thesis is further corroborated by a theorem published by three cosmologists named Arvind Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin, thereby termed the Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theroem (or BVG, for short). The BVG theorem “predicts a boundary to past time in any universe where the average rate of Hubble expansion is greater than zero (Hav>0). This result is practically independent of the physics of any hypothetical universe, and applies to quantum cosmology, higher dimension cosmologies, multiverses, and bouncing universes.”[21] Regardless of whether the physicist prefers their universe to be bouncy, wiggly, or oscillating, all material universes demand a first cause. Such a theorem is a boon for Aquinas and the Kalam argument and a detriment to Krauss and Hawking.

As with the first premise, the second needs to be complemented with the biblical text to ensure that the argument correlates with the information posited for the God of the Bible. The Bible stresses that the universe is finite and that God is infinite. Geisler argues that in “most biblical references, there is no doubt that the word creation refers to the origination of the universe.”[22] The psalmist declares that for God “the heavens are Yours; the earth is also Yours. The world and everything in it—You founded them” (Psalm 89:11). Isaiah infers that the universe had its origins in God by proclaiming “Look up and see: who created these? He brings out the starry host by number; He calls them all by name. Because of His great power and strength, not one of them is missing” (Isaiah 40:26). Also, Isaiah denotes that “This is what God, Yahweh, says—who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and life to those who walk on it” (Isaiah 42:5). While the Bible is not intended to be a scientific textbook, nonetheless the Kalam argument concurs with the Bible in that the universe, and everything in it, had a beginning.

The second premise of the Kalam argument holds scientifically, logically, and biblically. Thus far, this paper has argued that the first and second premises of the Kalam argument are both tenable and valid. Yet, one final premise must be evaluated before the Kalam argument can be verified as a tenable argument in its completed form.

Tenability of the Kalam’s Final Premise: The Causal Nature of the Universe

 The conclusion of the Kalam argument is found in the third and final premise; that is, “Therefore, the universe has a cause.”[23] Worded in an alternate fashion; the universe has a purpose. The third premise implies that the causal nature of the universe holds a purpose. So to this end, it must be asked; does this universe demonstrate attributes of design or that of a random mistake? Whereas this final premise is accurately drawn from the authenticity of the first two premises of the Kalam argument, one may be inclined to leave this premise standing alone, being the reasonable conclusion stemming from the first two premises. However, the philosopher may reasonably desire to investigate whether the third premise holds any merit in and of itself. This paper will do just that by investigating the merit in holding that the universe holds purpose by design.

Adversaries of the notion that the universe had a causal purpose will be inclined to dismiss such a thought due to philosophical issues involved. For instance, Lawrence Krauss wryly stated that “You can choose to view the Big Bang as suggestive of a creator if you feel the need or instead argue that the mathematics of general relativity explain the evolution of the universe right back to its beginning without the intervention of any deity.”[24] Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow also argue that “Because there is such a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”[25] But, does the presence of mathematics and physical laws solve the problem? Could not one also submit that mathematics and physical laws hold a reason for its existence? If one claimed that these materials always have existed and there is no way around such a notion, then why investigate the origins of the universe in the first place? It is apparent that Hawking, Mlodinow, and Krauss present the answer to the origins of the universe before asking the question of truly how it all ultimately initiated. John Lennox rightly denotes that materialist philosophies held by those like Hawking and Krauss hold “an inadequate concept both of God and of philosophy…by asking us to choose between God and the laws of physics…Physical laws on their own cannot create anything: they are merely a (mathematical) description of what normally happens under certain given conditions.”[26] Here, Lennox excels in his argument. The laws of physics and mathematics are built upon information. The fact that laws of physics and mathematics operate according to an orderly plan scream forth the existence of a higher intelligence, thereby we call “God.”

Aristotle brings clarity to this issue when demonstrating that the “experienced know the ‘that’ but not the ‘because,’ whereas the skilled have a grasp of the ‘because,’ the cause…For the skilled can, whereas the merely experienced cannot, teach.”[27] While something as bold as claiming that Hawking and Krauss are not fit to teach is most certainly not being promoted in this paper. Nevertheless, it is certainly suggested that materialist naturalism is invalid and flawed to its core. For one to suggest that mathematics and physics ignorantly choose to animate everything that exists is to implicitly promote intelligence. Yet, intelligence is transmitted onto said laws and mathematics. But, mathematics and physics must be the result of intelligence as they are non-conscious things. Therefore, mathematics and physics must have exceeded from intelligence. That mathematics and physics hold a purpose plays right into the paradigm of the Kalam argument.

Purpose can also be found in the universe when one observes the orderly working of the universe. In fact, one could accurately postulate that since life exists and life holds value (hence the presence of moral laws), then life holds great purpose. Could this not be the purpose for the existence of this universe; to bring forth life? It would appear so. If anything in the universe holds a purpose, then one could postulate that the universe itself exists as a cause to bring forth such an end. Life holds intrinsic value. Therefore, the universe must have a purpose. Thus, the final element of the Kalam argument is valid in that the universe has a cause, or purpose.

Does Scripture denote that the universe holds purpose? Again, the Kalam argument rests in the arms of the Scripture’s authority. The universe has a purpose in demonstrating the glory of God. David said that “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky proclaims the work of His hands” (Psalm 19:1). When Jesus was confronted with accusations from those who desired that His followers would keep quiet, Jesus denoted, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:40)! While this statement was clearly metaphorical, one can implicitly observe that the case made by Jesus that creation exists for the glory of God.

The universe holds a purpose in the creation of life. God told Jeremiah, “I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). If God foreknew individuals before such a one is born, then it is reasonable to deduce that God foreknew all that would come into being before God created the universe. Thus, the universe would also hold a causal purpose in producing the means to create life. Thus, the third premise of the Kalam argument holds Scriptural warrant.

The third premise, like the first and second, is valid. As the paper has suggested, the Kalam argument is tenable and sound scientifically, philosophically, and biblically. Nonetheless, one must inquire as to the implications of such an argument for the modern church.

Implications of the Kalam Argument for the Modern Church

 The Kalam cosmological argument holds at least three implications for the modern church. Firstly, the Kalam argument implies that belief in God is reasonable and rational. While there are many individuals who reject the theological implications of the beginning of the universe, the Kalam argument demonstrates that a Christian can rationally believe in God. Also, because one is brilliant and an atheist does not conclude that the person is accurate in their concept. For intelligent people “often reject Christianity because they don’t want it to be true, because it is no longer fashionable or because it commands obedience, repentance and humility.”[28] Thus, the modern Christian can confer that his or her faith is a reasonable and rational faith.

Secondly, the Kalam argument demonstrates that the Christian can employ reason in his or her belief system. Some would reject that science and faith are compatible. Some might claim that reason is an alternative to faith. Such should not be the case. In fact, faith and reason should converge because one’s trust (faith) is placed upon an objective truth (the Triune God). J. P. Moreland puts it well in that “biblically, faith is a power or skill to act in accordance with the nature of the kingdom of God, a trust in what we have reason to believe is true.”[29] While the Kalam argument does not demonstrate the rationality of God, the argument does set precedence in demonstrating the reason behind believing in God.

Finally, the Kalam argument demonstrates the need for Christians to evaluate scientific interpretations. Some may hear the words of those like Krauss and Hawking and be inclined to trust their scientific interpretations over anything else, including the Bible. But such should not be the case. The Kalam argument reveals the rationality of belief in God, but it also, by contrast, demonstrates the bias held by non-Christians in their attempts to refute the argument. Such knowledge infers that the Christian should not be as imposed to comply with secular scientific interpretations without diligent evaluation of the data.


 This paper has demonstrated that the Kalam cosmological argument is both tenable and viable scientifically, philosophically, and biblically. The paper evaluated the history of the argument noting the significance that Aristotle, Aquinas, Al-Ghazadi, Thomas Aquinas, and more recently William Lane Craig played in the final construction of the Kalam argument. In addition, the paper evaluated the three premises of the argument demonstrating that each premise holds according to the teachings of Scripture, and recent scientific findings. Finally, the paper presented three implications that the Kalam argument holds for the modern church. Apologetic theories and arguments, comparable the Kalam argument, do not conclusively imply the existence of God scientifically. Nonetheless, such theories demonstrate that God’s existence is most probable at the least, or a necessity at best. Cosmological theories are necessary and viable for the modern Christian and philosopher to construct a compelling case for God’s existence.

Note: This work represents the academic work of Pastor Brian Chilton. The contents of this article have been submitted to the author’s university. Any attempt to improperly use the information found within this article for academic papers without proper citation may result in charges of plagiarism.

Copyright. Pastor Brian Chilton. 2014


Al-Ghazali. Kitab al-Iqtisad fi’l-I’tiqad. In S. de Beaurrecueil. “Gazzali et S. Thomas d’Aquin: Essai sur la prevue de l’existence de Dieu propose dans l’Iqtisad et sa comparaison avec les ‘voies’ Thomiste.” Bulletin de l’Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale 46 (1947): 203. In William Lane Craig. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Edition. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008.

All Scripture, unless otherwise noted, comes from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009.

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologicae. Translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province. In Summa of the Summa. Edited and Annotated by Peter Kreeft. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990.

Aristotle. Physics. In Aristotle: Physics. Oxford World’s Classics. Translated by Robin Waterfield. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Aristotle. The Metaphysics. Translated by Hugh Lawson-Tancred. New York: Penguin, 2004.

Bussey, Peter J. “God as first cause: a review of the Kalam argument.” Science And Christian Belief 25, 1 (April 1, 2013): 17-35. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost. Accessed August 29, 2014.

Caputo, John. “Kant’s Refutation of the Cosmological Argument.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 42, 4 (December 1, 1974): 686-691. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. EBSCOhost. Accessed August 29, 2014.

Craig, William Lane, and James D. Sinclair. “The Kalam Cosmological Argument.” In The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Edited by William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.

________________. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Ed. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008.

Craighead, Houston A. “Quantum Physics, Big Bang Cosmologies, and God: An Argument from Contingency.” Perspectives In Religious Studies 22, 2 (June 1, 1995): 149-163. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost. Accessed August 29, 2014.

Dennett, Daniel. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. New York: Viking, 2006. In William Lane Craig. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Ed. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008.

Geisler, Norman L. Baker Academic Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1999.

_______________, and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton: Crossway, 2004.

Hawking, Stephen and Leonard Mlodinow. A Brief History of Time. London: Bantam Press, 2010. In John Lennox. Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Mark. Oxford: Lion, 2011.

Krauss, Lawrence. A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing. New York: Free Press, 2012.

Kreeft, Peter, and Ronald K. Tacelli. Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Questions to Crucial Questions. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1994.

Lennox, John. Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Mark. Oxford: Lion, 2011.

Moreland, J. P. Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, Revised and Update. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2012.

Romero, Gustavo E., and Daniela Perez. “New remarks on the cosmological argument.” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72, 2 (October 1, 2012): 103-113. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost. Accessed August 29, 2014.

Spitzer, Robert J. New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy. Grand Rapids, Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans, 2010.


[1] William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd ed (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 111.

[2] Norman L. Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 160.

[3] Aristotle, Physics II.195b21, in Aristotle: Physics, Oxford World’s Classics, Robin Waterfield, trans (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 41

[4] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologicae I.2.3., in Summa of the Summa, Translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province, Peter Kreeft, ed (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1990), 65.

[5] Al-Ghazali, Kitab al-Iqtisad fi’l-I’tiqad, cited in S. de Beaurrecueil, “Gazzali et S. Thomas d’Aquin: Essai sur la prevue de l’existence de Dieu propose dans l’Iqtisad et sa comparaison avec les ‘voies’ Thomiste,” Bulletin de l’Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale 46 (1947): 203, in William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Ed (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 96.


[6] Gustavo E. Romero and Daniela Perez, “New Remarks on the Cosmological Argument,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 72, 2 (October 1, 2012): 104.

[7] Craig, Reasonable Faith, 111.

[8] Aquinas I.2.3., 65.


[9] Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (New York: Viking, 2006), 242, in William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Ed (Wheaton: Crossway, 2008), 114.

[10] John Caputo, “Kant’s Refutation of the Cosmological Argument,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 42, 4 (December 1, 1974): 688.

[11] Robert J. Spitzer, New Proofs for the Existence of God: Contributions of Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2010), 127.


[12] Ibid, 143.

[13] Craig, Reasonable Faith, 111.

[14] Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing (New York: Free Press, 2012), 4.

[15] Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Wheaton: Crossway, 2004), 76-83.

[16] Houston A. Craighead, “Quantum Physics, Big Bang Cosmologies, and God: An Argument from Contingency,” Perspectives In Religious Studies 22, 2 (June 1, 1995): 150.

[17] Craig, Reasonable Faith, 114.

[18] Ibid, 138.

[19] Peter J. Bussey, “God as First Cause: A Review of the Kalam Argument,” Science And Christian Belief 25, 1 (April 1, 2013): 20.

[20] William Lane Craig and James D. Sinclair, “The Kalam Cosmological Argument,” in The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. William Lane Craig and J. P. Moreland, ed (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 116-117.

[21] Spitzer, 31.

[22] Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, 165.

[23] Craig, 111.

[24] Krauss, 6.

[25] Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, A Brief History of Time (London: Bantam Press, 2010), 180, in John Lennox, Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Mark (Oxford: Lion, 2011), 31.

[26] John Lennox, Gunning for God: Why the New Atheists are Missing the Mark (Oxford: Lion, 2011), 32-33.

[27] Aristotle, The Metaphysics, Book Alpha.981a-981b, Hugh Lawson-Tancred, trans (New York: Penguin, 2004), 5.

[28] Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics: Hundreds of Answers to Crucial Questions (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 1994), 42.

[29] J. P. Moreland, Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul, Revised and Updated (Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2012), 19.


13 thoughts on “A Defense for the Tenability of the Kalam Cosmological Argument”

  1. Dear Brian,

    This is one the most well written, concise articles on Kalam that I’ve come across, Brian. I plan on summarizing it as part of my personal Apologetic studies, in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying philosophical aspects.

    God Bless your continued ministry.

    Yours in Christ,


  2. Hi Brian, Good stuff. However, you talk about premise 3 – Therefore the Universe has a cause. I may well be wrong and am willing to stand corrected, but this is not a premise in the Kalam, but the CONCLUSION. Because everything that begins to exist has a cause, and the universe began to exist we CONCLUDE that the universe has a cause behind its existence. While you wonderfully explain the universe’s purpose as premise 3, it is a conclusion whereby we conclude to the causality of the universe because of the truth of the first two premises – the universe began to exist because someone CAUSED it – the conclusion is about something or someone causing the universe, rather than what is the purpose of the universe itself.

    1. Hi Kezza,

      Thank you for your comment. You are correct in saying that the third line is the conclusion of the argument. However, I have heard philosophers, including William Lane Craig, refer to the third line of the argument (i.e., conclusion) as premise 3. Thus, this is why I refer to the third line as premise 3.

      In addition, I also agree with you in that the conclusion refers to the causation of the universe by a personal Intellect. However, such an argument also implies that the universe itself has a purpose. For instance, I can infer from the words that you wrote that your comment is not some random event, but rather the comment comes from an intelligent person. From that inference, I can deduce that your comment had purpose behind it. This is what was meant by claiming that the universe had purpose.



      1. Thanks for straightening me out on that, Brian. Much appreciated. I was really loving your article up to the premise 3 bit, where I then became confused about it all. However, I did love it overall, but particularly your handling of premise 1 and 2. I’m personally studying the Kalam argument now and reading as widely as I can, and your article is one that I have saved as being eminently readable and clear.

      2. Thanks Kezza! I appreciate your kind words. The Kalam argument is fantastic in its approach and in its simplicity. Do you have a copy of William Lane Craig’s “Reasonable Faith”? “Reasonable Faith” and “On Guard” both handle the Kalam argument very well.

      3. Reasonable Faith is somewhere in the middle of a 5 page long (currently) Apologetic book list that my salary is slowly eating its way through. However, I’m not working through it in any particular order. Maybe I’ll get those next time. 🙂 I’m currently working through an essay by my philosopher son about the Kalam that he wrote in 2010 from a very interesting perspective. He is an avowed atheist, but he wrote defending the Kalam against some of the attacks being made against it.

      4. Wow! That is interesting. If you had to begin with one, I would say start with On Guard. On Guard provides the essentials of Reasonable Faith. Reasonable Faith, though, is a must have. Just curious, why does your son hold to atheism?

      5. All three sons do, and the answer to why is lengthy and beyond the scope of a Blog Comments post. Happy to get into that if you email privately sometime. I’m presuming you have access to the email addresses of those who post to your blog. I’ll add On Guard to my book list as it isn’t already on there with Reasonable Faith.

      6. Will do – off to work right now though to earn some money for the next book. On Guard is available locally – just checked it out online – so it may be on its way to me before the end of the day – or very soon. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

      7. Hi Brian. Have messaged you via FB but as we aren’t ‘friends’ the message might not show up in your regular messages. You might find it tucked away in an obscure message box.

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