The Kalam Cosmological Argument: Bibliography

by Luke Muehlhauser on May 13, 2009 in Kalam Argument,Resources

I am currently mapping William Lane Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, along with all its supporting arguments, counter-arguments, counter-counter-arguments, and so on.

This page serves as an under-construction bibliography of academic books, chapters, and journal articles written about the points defended in Craig’s version of the Kalam since he introduced it in 1979.

Please comment with additions or corrections. If you can send me a PDF of a missing article, send it to:

lukeprog [at] gmail [dot] com

Given chronologically since 1979 instead of alphabetically:

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

danielg May 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm

I hate to ask, but will you be giving the Ontologic, Moral, and Teliological arguments the same treatment?  Is the teliological just part of the Cosmologic anyway?  I am still just coming up to speed on these various arguments.


lukeprog May 13, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I’m not sure how many arguments I will map, but I will certainly be writing about all these arguments eventually.


Taranu May 14, 2009 at 2:35 am
lukeprog May 14, 2009 at 6:14 am


This is a list only for academic publications, but thanks.


Sabio May 14, 2009 at 6:49 am

Wonderful site !  Thank you for all your hard work — I love reading your posts.  Questions:
1) I would love to get some Mapping software — I went to one of your links and for a >$400 package (ouch!) and didn’t see a “student/hobbiest” package.  Also, *shuffles feet*, I have a Mac (*proudly grins*).  Any thoughts?  As I read today, “Mapping is simple, but it ain’t easy” — so it takes practice and I would enjoy trying.
2) I am engaging a few Atheists on the issue of how aggressive and how offensive atheists are.  I think the argument is unproductive because it is tangled and could use some argument mapping — I’d love to try it.  OR, maybe you’d like to look at it.  Many sites have this long-term debate, but here is one of late.


Rups900 May 14, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Great job Luke, I think these need to be added:

Ostler, Blake. The Doctrine of Creation Ex Nihilo: A Response to Copan and Craig. Part 3: Do Kalam Infinity Arguments Apply to an Infinite Past? in Reviews of The New Morman Challange, 2003. Available here:

Dever, Josh. Worlds Apart: On the possibility of An Actual Infinity in The Taiwanese Journal For Philosophy and History of Science, 10, 1998.

Sotnak, Eric. The Kalam Cosmological Argument and the Possibility of an Actually Infinite Future in Philo, 2, 2 1999. Available at the Internet Infidels here:


lukeprog May 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm


Perfect. Thanks for the additions.


Pete May 15, 2009 at 12:36 am

I would recommend the article on Cosmological Arguments in the Stanford Encyclopedia (by Bruce Reichenbach). It has a rather long section on the Kalam Argument, and the Stanford Encyclopedia is always a good place to start … Link:


Rups900 May 15, 2009 at 4:42 am


I’ve emailed you some more stuff so let me know if it doesn’t come through.


lukeprog May 15, 2009 at 6:08 am


I think I’m going to avoid summary articles for now, and focus on original research. But we’ll see…

Thanks for the link.


Facilis May 15, 2009 at 8:06 am

You should add
Jp Moreland on Kalam


lukeprog May 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm


Done. Thanks.


Facilis May 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Maverick Philosopher has a reply he published to Quentin Smith’s “self-caused” argument here
(but that may be going a bit too far out)


Taranu May 17, 2009 at 4:19 am

When Craig explains how the Cause of the Universe must be, he points out that numbers and minds are transcendent.  Doesn’t this mean that the Cosmological Argument enters the domain of  Cognitive Science and should be approached from this perspective as well? I would really like to see how strong is the case for the existence of disembodied minds.
If you would like to add arguments from Cognitive Science to the mapping of the argument, I would suggest Steven Pinker’s book How the mind works. I particularly like the last chapter where he points out some of the problems with disembodied minds like spirits, angels, demons, gods.

Now leaving aside the part with disembodied minds, what about numbers?
Since I heard Craig saying that numbers are transcended I wondered what he is referring to. Is he talking about transcendental numbers? I didn’t find anything on the Internet that points out  such a thing. The definition of a transcendental number is:  a number (possibly a complex number) that is not algebraic, that is, not a solution of a non-constant polynomial equation with rational coefficients (Wiki). Now I’m not exactly the smartest mathematician you will ever hear of :D  but I don’t see what this has to do with the transcendent. Maybe you or someone whom reads this can help me with the issue even if it’s not important when it comes to the Cosmological Argument.


lukeprog May 17, 2009 at 7:34 am


Yes, the plausibility of disembodied minds could also bear on the question; good point!

I’m not sure what Craig means by saying that numbers are ‘transcendent’, but he seems to have taken a particular metaphysical view of the ontology of numbers. He’s talking about the problem of universals. The KCA may also be vulnerable from this angle.


Rups900 June 10, 2009 at 6:19 am

Hey Luke, you’ll want to add
Graham Oppy, “Craig, Mackie, and the Kalam Cosmological Argument,” Religious Studies 27 (1991): 189-97
(Sorry I can’t get it).
Also Mackie is above an earlier Craig article.


lukeprog June 10, 2009 at 7:13 am

Thanks, Rups900.


Impious September 2, 2009 at 5:49 am

I could be mistaken but I think that when you talk about Craig’s referring to ‘transcendental’ numbers and minds you mean his argument for a personal cause of the of the universe?

Whatever cause we find for the universe beginning to exist has to be non-physical, (as the physical does not yet exist), atemporal (as time does not exist), and able to act freely in the sense that it must be able to act without any external factor causing it to do so. To quote Craig:

“…the personhood of the cause of the universe is implied by its timelessness and immateriality, since the only entities we know of which can possess such properties are either minds or abstract objects, and abstract objects do not stand in causal relations.” -Craig, W. L., Naturalism and Cosmology in Naturalism A Critical Analysis, ed. Craig and Moreland, Routledge 2000, p.235 (which is missing from the above list I think)

Numbers are arguably examples of abstract objects as they can exist apart from a material or temporal universe, and in this sense, I suppose, they are transcendental.

I hope that helps, and thanks very much Luke for compiling this excellent list of resources on the topic!


Jørn Poulsen December 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Hi all.

I’ve been following a variety of these argument for a while, and decided to put together a quick summary:

The two URLs are the same document, just in different formats.

Hopefully, this can add some fuel to the general (mis)understandings these arguments are riddled with.



matt December 31, 2009 at 7:28 am

hey luke, i think you might not have caught this one, too:


Morgan-LynnGriggs Lamberth January 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Up my alley! Yes, wouldn’t the potential infinite be the actual/ Doesn’t Craig himself advert to that as he states that one can ever add to numbers but never get to the infinite: he self-refutes!
He is just another obfuscator, no more credible than Prof. Irwin Corey.


Feldmm1 March 24, 2010 at 9:24 am

A link for “In Defense of the Kalam Cosmological Argument” can be found at


lukeprog March 24, 2010 at 12:18 pm




Feldmm1 March 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Also, I don’t know if the following counts as a type of publication that you would put on your bibliography, but you can also add a link to what Craig writes at


Feldmm1 March 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Actually, it probably would not, since it is a talk, but Craig responds to lots of things, such as Smith’s arguments against the logical possibility of a divine cause. In fact, the reason I found it was because I was looking for something that responded to Smith.


mojo.rhythm August 29, 2010 at 9:13 pm


Will there be forthcoming articles in your Kalam series about Quentin Smith’s Kalam argument for a self-caused universe?


lukeprog August 29, 2010 at 9:58 pm


Not sure yet.


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