Hugh Ross’s Extra-Dimensional Deity: A Review Article -- By: William Lane Craig

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 42:2 (Jun 1999)
Article: Hugh Ross’s Extra-Dimensional Deity: A Review Article
Author: William Lane Craig

Hugh Ross’s Extra-Dimensional Deity:
A Review Article

William Lane Craig*

Hugh Ross is evangelicalism’s most important scientific apologist. An astronomer by training, Dr. Ross is the founder and president of Reasons to Believe, an organization devoted both to evangelism within the broader context of scientific apologetics and to the task of healing the cultural rift among Christians between science and religion. He has vigorously defended scientifically the cosmological and teleological arguments for a Creator and Designer of the universe and has championed progressive creationism over against naturalistic accounts of biological evolution on the one hand and so-called “young earth” creationism on the other. Though a tireless promoter of Reasons to Believe, one measure of Dr. Ross’s humility is his unsolicited promotion of the materials of other authors, including this reviewer, in the organization’s catalogue. It has been my privilege to share the platform with Dr. Ross in a number of university and church outreaches, and I enthusiastically support his work.

I offer these accolades lest this review of Dr. Ross’s most recent book Beyond the Cosmos strike some as excessively critical. But I am convinced that Dr. Ross’s attempts to invest the (possible) extra-dimensionality of the universe with profound theological significance is misguided and that a corrective is in order. In his book Dr. Ross advises that “careful scholarship, meticulously reviewed, offers a vital safeguard” against heresy (p. 58). I wholeheartedly concur, and I have been mystified by evangelicals’ apparently uncritical acquiescence to some of the positions advocated by Dr. Ross in this book. For I believe that the errors in Beyond the Cosmos are many and that some of them, at least, are serious.

Dr. Ross’s basic tenet in Beyond the Cosmos is that certain physicists’ suggestion that in addition to the four familiar spatio-temporal dimensions there exist six (compacted) spatial dimensions carries with it enormous theological freight, shedding dramatic new light on doctrines of the Trinity, the incarnation, predestination, perseverance, the problem of evil, and so forth. Such extra-dimensional theories, in Dr. Ross’s view, suggest that God also exists extra-dimensionally, which affords him access to our four-dimensional realm in ways unanticipated by human beings.

Now in one sense it is a commonplace of traditional theology that God exists extra-dimensionally in that he transcends both time and space, and

* William Craig is research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and lives at 1805 Danforth Drive, Marietta, GA 30062–5554.

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