In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-Humean Assessment, Edited by James F. Sennett and Douglas Groothuis

In Defense of Natural Theology

A Post-Humean Assessment

Edited by James F. Sennett and Douglas Groothuis

In Defense of Natural Theology
  • Length: 336 pages
  • Published: October 04, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2767
  • ISBN: 9780830827671

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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


1. Introduction
Part One: Hume on Natural Theology
2. Hume's Criticisms of Natural Theology
3. In Praise of Hume: What's Right About Hume's Attacks on Natural Theology
4. David Hume on Meaning, Verification and Natural Theology
5. Hume's Stopper and the Natural Theology Project
Part Two: Hume and the Arguments
6. Metaphysical Implications of Cosmological Arguments: Exorcising the Ghost of Hume
7. Hume and the Kalam Cosmological Argument
8. Giving the Devil His Due: Teleological Arguments After Hume
9. Hume, Fine-Tuning and the "Who Designed God?" Objection
10. Hume and the Moral Argument
11. David Hume, Experiential Evidence and Belief in God
12. The Argument from Reason and Hume's Legacy
13. Hume and the Argument from Consciousness
14. David Hume and a Cumulative Case Argument


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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 Groothuis

Douglas Groothuis (PhD, University of Oregon) is professor of philosophy at Denver Seminary. He is the author of numerous books, including Christian Apologetics, Fire in the Streets, Philosophy in Seven Sentences, Unmasking the New Age, Truth Decay, On Pascal, On Jesus, and Walking Through Twilight. He has written for scholarly journals such as Religious Studies, Sophia, Research in Philosophy and Technology, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and Philosophia Christi, as well as for numerous popular magazines.