The shadow of David Hume, the eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher, has loomed large against all efforts to prove the existence of God from evidence in the natural world. Indeed from Hume's day to ours, the vast majority of philosophical attacks against the rationality of theism have borne an unmistakable Humean aroma. The last forty years, however, have been marked by a resurgence in Christian theism among philosophers, and the time has come for a thorough reassessment of the case for natural theology. James F. Sennett and Douglas Groothuis have assembled a distinguished team of philosophers to engage the task: Terence Penelhum, Todd M. Furman, Keith Yandell, Garrett J. DeWeese, Joshua Rasmussen, James D. Madden, Robin Collins, Paul Copan, Victor Reppert, J. P. Moreland and R. Douglas Geivett. Together this team makes vigorous individual and cumulative arguments that set Hume's attacks in fresh perspective and that offer new insights into the value of teleological, cosmological and ontological arguments for God's existence.
This collection of fourteen essays provides a focused challenge to Hume's legacy in natural theology. Given the renewed interest in questions raised for Christian thought by science, and the proliferation of efforts among theologians to either defend or deny explanatory systems like intelligent design, this philosophic endeavor is an important one. (Charlene P. E. Burns, Teaching Theology and Religion, September 2008)
About the Author
James F. Sennett (M.Div. in Old Testament, Lincoln Christian Seminary; Ph.D. in philosophy, University of Nebraska) has taught at Lincoln Christian College and Seminary, Northwestern College, Pacific Lutheran University, Palm Beach Atlantic College, and McNeese State University. He is author of Modality, Probability, and Rationality: A Critical Examination of Alvin Plantinga's Philosophy. And he is editor of The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader. His articles have appeared in such professional journals as Philosophia Christi, Faith and Philosophy, Journal of Philosophical Review, Cross Currents, Religious Studies and International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
Douglas R. Groothuis (PhD, Philosophy, University of Oregon) is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. He has also been a visiting professor or adjunct faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary (Colorado Springs extension), Metropolitan State College of Denver, Westminster Theological Seminary (California campus), University of Oregon, New College Berkeley and Seattle Pacific University. His articles have been published in professional journals such as Religious Studies, Sophia, Theory and Research in Education, Philosophia Christi, Themelios, Think: A Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, Christian Scholar's Review, Inquiry and Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has written several books, including Truth Decay, In Defense of Natural Theology (coeditor), Unmasking the New Age, Jesus in an Age of Controversy, Deceived by the Light, The Soul in Cyberspace, and, in the Wadsworth Philosophers Series, On Pascal and On Jesus.