Friday, August 27, 2010

William Lane Craig vs. Yusuf Ismail Debate: Identifying Jesus Is He Man or both Man and God? MP3 Audio

This is William Lane Craig‘s 2010 debate with Yusuf Ismail held in Cape Town, South Africa on the topic: Identifying Jesus: Is He Man or both Man and God? The debate is lively; you can read WLC’s comments about it in his newsletter here. The videos are on Youtube here. But for those who like audio, see below. Also added to the WLC Audio debate feed.

Debate MP3 Audio here. (2hr)



  1. winteryknight August 27, 2010

    Brian! That is an amazing find! Thank you for posting it!

    By the way, there is also an after-action report on the debate from Craig. I link to the MP3 file and discuss the main point of it here:

  2. Drew August 27, 2010

    Just as it takes a masterful supervillain to to show off the full power of the superhero, the eloquent speaking style and scholarship of Yusuf Ismail show you why Dr. Craig is the king of debate.

    It was a delight to watch Ismail spend 30 minutes to construct arguments against Christianity, and then see Dr. Craig demolish all of them in 3 minutes!

  3. Russell August 27, 2010

    Thanks Brian! I've been wanting to hear this.

    Craig spoke about the debate in a recent Reasonable Faith Podcast. The link is below

  4. Russell August 27, 2010

    I guess that link won't work. It can be found on the podcast page on

  5. Ultra Seven August 27, 2010

    I was SO incredibly angry while listening to this debate. I was thinking about this quote:

    “In Jewish usage the term Son of… did not generally imply any subordination, but rather equality and identity of nature. Thus Bar Kokba, who led the Jewish revolt 135-132 B.C. in the reign of Hadrian, was called by a name which means ‘Son of the Star.’ It was supposed that he took this name to identify himself as the very Star predicted in Numbers 24:17. The name ‘Son of Encouragement’ (Acts 4:36) doubtless means, ‘The Encourager.’ ‘Sons of Thunder’ (Mark 3:17) probably means ‘Thunderous Men.’

    "‘Son of man,’ especially as applied to Christ in Daniel 7:13 and constantly in the New Testament, essentially means ‘The Representative Man.’ Thus for Christ to say, ‘I am the Son of God’ (John 10:36) was understood by His contemporaries as identifying Himself as God, equal with the Father, in an unqualified sense”

    – J. Oliver Buswell, A Systematic Theology of the Christian Religion [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962], 1:105

    I WISH more Christian apologists quit assuming we all know what we're talking about and define our terms!!

  6. Davitor August 27, 2010

    I am happy to note in this debate that Dr Craig uses the illustration of the Jake Sully's character in the movie Avatar. This same illustration has also been used to point to the fact we can all claim our connection and divinity to God which shows Dr Craig has been listening in on Unity.

  7. ConfrontingCulture August 27, 2010

    Thanks for sharing this! I could not help to notice how Mr. Ismail's eloquent debating skills worked against him during the whole debate as he went off on pointless tangents that had nothing to do with the debate at hand. Mr. Ismail shared so much information that an unexperienced audience (such as myself) would be forced to shut down at one point and either take him as the superior intellectual debater, or as one flaunting misrepresented data to try forcing the audience into submission. I chose the latter. It would have been good to see the moderator keep Mr. Ismail on track but he didn't. Furthermore, the moderator made no comment about the ranting that went on while Mr. Ismail "threw red meat to Muslims" as Dr. Criag put it. Unfortunately, Dr. Craig had to point it out.

    Overall the debate was great and I enjoyed watching it.


  8. Russell August 28, 2010


    Are you divine now?

  9. bossmanham August 28, 2010

    This same illustration has also been used to point to the fact we can all claim our connection and divinity to God which shows Dr Craig has been listening in on Unity.

    Could you expound on how one person who acquires another nature can be stretched to encompass billions of people being one being?

  10. bossmanham August 28, 2010

    On the debate, Craig is truly at the top of his game. I can't believe how adamant Ismail was about the comma Johanneum, as if that's what the church has ever based its belief in the Trinity on. The guy has some rhetorical skills, but those a good case do not make.

  11. bossmanham August 28, 2010

    Sorry about this, Brian, lol, but I noticed a potential blunder in my first comment. I should have said "Could you expound on how one person who acquires another nature can be stretched to encompass billions of beings being one being?".

  12. Davitor August 29, 2010

    Hi Russell, that is totally dependent on the definition you place on divine. If for example I perceive the behavioral path that every atom and molecule follow in divine order then I am certain I meet this criterion.

  13. Davitor August 29, 2010

    bossmanham, at one point I was having a discussion with a person on the cohesive logic of the Trinity… I mean how can 1+1+1=1 and I was told that this could simply be understood as 1x1x1=1. Well that same logic can be applied to every atom in the universe. 1x1x1x1x1… to infinity where we are all one with God.

  14. pds August 30, 2010

    Ismail must of hit a new record in terms of misinformation, red herrings and scoring cheap rhetorical points. He didn't even understanded what decontextualisation ment! And what was the big song and dance about squares and circles?? Or the KJV? He even brought up Pagan myths, just to prove he was completly clueless.

    On a serious note: its a real shame that he was cheered on by ignorant Muslims, who as Dr Craig pointed out "should be ashamed of themselves". However, WLC responded like a master, cutting through Ismail's "arguments", even when Ismail lost his cool a little and got down right dirty. Fun debate, but very frustrating to listen too.


  15. Russell August 30, 2010

    Hi Davitor,

    How would you define divinity?

    The example your provided gives me the impression that you could apply divinity to anything. If this is the case, what separates divinity from humanity?

  16. kenneth August 31, 2010

    Hi Russell, yes the definition can be applied loosely to the transcendental powers of God, but the problem comes to were your mind believes these power would end so as to allow other powers or influences "that are not divine" to begin. So now the problem that materializes is where does this divinity end? Can something happen that is not within God's plan? if your answer is no, then i can argue that everything is divine.
    But as to answer your last question I would say the only thing that separates divinity from humanity is your mind or so you believe. But as to my belief nothing separates us from the divinity or love of God.

  17. Davitor August 31, 2010

    Hi Russell, that was me, I was signed in with my son's Google Account.

  18. Russell September 1, 2010

    Hi Davitor,

    Thanks for the clarification. I was caught a bit off guard.

    Pertaining to your question, does this mean that evil is divine? I would argue that God is love and that evil is a choice in response to our ability to love. Therefore, I would not apply evil to God's divinity.

  19. Davitor September 1, 2010

    Oh no… the problem of evil… Russell the only way that I have been able to describe evil to myself most especially is that evil is the lack of love. I often describe it with the example of darkness and light. What is most interesting about this comparison is that in some way they both need each other for identity. Darkness need light for if all were darkness we would not recognize light, and visa versa if we were all light we would not have any colors or shadows or contrast for that matter for all would be light indistinguishable by any color. One of the interesting aspect in science that parallels this example is that of Olbers' paradox or as the "dark night sky paradox. It's as if darkness has its purpose and I guess evil does in some peculiar way. But please do not take this to mean in any way that I justify evil, for I follow what my teacher Jesus said and that is "I am the light".

  20. bossmanham September 2, 2010

    Davitor, the doctrine of the Trinity doesn't postulate that there are three beings and one being, or three persons and one person, but three persons in one being. That is why I amended my comment. There's nothing incoherent about God as one being who is tri-personal.

  21. Davitor September 2, 2010

    Yes bossmanham and if there is nothing incoherent about God as one being who is tri-personal then why not quad-personal, quint-personal, and so on to infinity? Why do you limit God to only 3? And please try not to limit your answer to ancient pre-medieval understandings…

  22. RealChristian September 6, 2010

    Greetings to all

    I really think that this was one of the toughest debates for Dr. Craig. Ismail is a slick performer and during the Q & A session seemed to think better on his feet than Craig. Whilst I disagree with his arguments, I think that Craig could have put on a better performance. Most of the statements made by Ismail were unchallenged. I would have liked to have seen Craig respond to his analysis of the Greektext of John 1:1 and other issues like his quote on James Dunn which Craig never responded to…

  23. Russell September 6, 2010

    Hi Davitor,

    I don't mean to cut into your discussion with bossmanham, but I'm curious what you use to justify the idea that God could be quad-personal, quint-personal,etc. I think, Biblically speaking, tri-personal makes sense. We see instances of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Where do you find these other instances of "personal"?

  24. Davitor September 9, 2010

    Russell by the same logic that you use to vision God being more than one.

  25. Russell September 11, 2010


    My logic is based off seeing 3 persons outlined in the Bible. Who else are you seeing?

  26. Bonga Mazibuko September 26, 2010

    Personally I still believe Dr Craig could have done better. Especially in squashing the notion that it's the Catholic Councils which created notion of a divine Jesus.

    Not too bad though .

    South Afcica

  27. Joe A July 17, 2017

    In his final speech before the Q&A, Craig noted Ismail's red herrings he brought up. To be fair, Craig was the first to throw red herrings into the debate. The topic was whether Jesus was God and man or just a man, but in his opening speech, Craig touched on the crucifixion, resurrection and Infancy Gospel of Thomas. These matters were irrelevant to the topic, so Ismail should have called him out on this.