(Photo: Reasonable Faith/Michael Lepien)
A video of a Christian apologist who "Eastwooded" atheist author Richard Dawkins in response to Dawkins' refusal to debate him over the existence of God will soon be posted to YouTube.
The video features Dr. William Lane Craig, a research professor of Philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, delivering remarks at Contending with Christianity's Critics Conference held at Watermark Community Church in Dallas on Sept. 29.
During his remarks, Craig places an empty chair opposite his podium and has a dialogue with it, a la Clint Eastwood's much talked about speech at the 2012 GOP Convention.
People have challenged Dawkins to a one-on-one debate with Craig, who oversees reasonablefaith.org, over the existence of God. Dawkins has refused on multiple occasions.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Craig stated that he felt that the major reason why Dawkins refuses to accept the challenge is his opposition to debating philosophers.
"I have been told by people in a position to know, that Dawkins refuses to debate philosophers. I think that when he speaks with philosophers he realizes that he is out of his depth," said Craig.
The video, which is slightly over 42 minutes long, shows Craig dialoguing with the empty chair representing Dawkins. Craig goes into issues surrounding the cosmological, moral, teleological, and ontological arguments for God's existence. He used various statements from Dawkins' work as a foil for his rebuttals.
"There are two kinds of people in the world my friend. Those who show up and those who get 'Eastwooded,'" says Craig to his absent opposition.
Although Dawkins has refused to debate Craig, other notable atheist public figures such as Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens have done so in the past.
Last October, in response to calls by many for Dawkins to debate Craig, Dawkins wrote a piece for the British publication the Guardian that appeared on his website explaining his refusal to do so.
"I took pleasure in refusing again, which threw him and his followers into a frenzy of blogging, tweeting and YouTubed accusations of cowardice. To this I would only say … that I turn down hundreds of more worthy invitations every year," wrote Dawkins.
"I have publicly engaged an archbishop of York, two archbishops of Canterbury, many bishops and the chief rabbi, and I'm looking forward to my imminent, doubtless civilised encounter with the present archbishop of Canterbury."
The posting of the video of Craig "Eastwooding" Dawkins comes as the atheist author is in the process of an American tour for his book The Magic of Reality.
"It is an opportunity for me to meet those of you who are active in a movement who are fighting to return to the traditional secular values set forth by America's founding fathers," reads a statement on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science website.
"I am a guest in your land but, coming from a country that lacks a written constitution, I envy you yours as the first and noblest secular constitution in the world, and I would like to play my part in helping to preserve its ideals."
Although Dawkins and Craig have yet to debate each other one-on-one, both men were part of a 2010 panel debate held at the Complejo Cultural Universitario in Pueblo, Mexico. Titled "Does the Universe have a purpose?" the flashy event also featured Matt Ridley, Michael Shermer, Rabbi David Wolpe and Douglas Geivett.