Note: This is an updated version of the original post. I put in the second quote by Craig after watching the rest of the 2 hour debate.
Evangelical philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig held a debate with historian and New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman on the historical probability of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first of a 12 part video of this debate can be found here. In his debate with Ehrman, Craig revealed his thoughts about the validity of personal spiritual experience as a method for obtaining truth (approx. 1:30 of video 1):
Of course, ever since my conversion I believed in the resurrection on the basis of my personal experience and I still think that this experiential approach to the resurrection is a perfectly valid way to know that Christ is risen, it’s the way that most Christians today know that Jesus is risen and alive.
Later, towards the end of an extensive debate, (approx. 4:10 of video 11) Craig says the following:
In short I don’t think that there’s any good reason for thinking that the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is not best explained by the resurrection, and I want to conclude now just by saying something about that other avenue to a knowledge of the resurrection, that experiential approach. You see, if Christ is really risen from the dead as the evidence indicates then that means that Jesus is not just some ancient figure in history or a picture on a stained glass window. It means that he is alive today and can be known experientially.
For me Christianity ceased to be just a religion or a code to live by when I gave my life to Christ and experienced a spiritual rebirth in my own life. God became a living reality to me. The light went on where before there was only darkness and God became an experiential reality, along with an overwhelming joy and peace and meaning that he imparted to my life, and I would simply say to you that if your looking for that sort of meaning and purpose in life then look not only at the historical evidence but also pick up the New Testament and begin to read it and ask yourself whether or not this could be the truth. I believe that it can change your life in the same way that it’s changed mine.
I’m sure that Craig has much more to say on the topic, and this by no means is meant to be taken out of a wider context in which he might prefer to place these words. Nonetheless, this represents his basic opinion of the matter which he expressed in an academic debate.
Why is this noteworthy? A common attack leveled against the LDS approach to God is that our reliance on the personal experience with God as the foundation for our faith is not a valid approach to truth. Here we have a very prominent non-LDS Christian apologist stating otherwise.
The debate may rage on, but this at least counts for something.