Revisiting the 'Reformed Objection' to Natural Theology

Michael Sudduth

Abstract

In the present paper I address two significant and prevalent errors concerning opposition to natural theology within the Reformed theological tradition. First, contrary to Alvin Plantinga, I argue that the idea of properly basic theistic belief has not motivated or otherwise grounded opposition to natural theology within the Reformed tradition. There is, in fact, a Reformed endorsement of natural theology grounded in the notion that theistic belief can be properly basic. Secondly, I argue that late nineteenth- and twentieth-century Reformed criticisms of natural theology do not constitute an objection to natural theology as such but rather an objection to natural theology construed in a particular way. I explore the nature of this objection and its compatibility with an alternative understanding of natural theology. 

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