Sunday, October 16, 2005

"In Defense of Natural Theology"

In the last two decades or so, some of the best contemporary philosophers have rehabilitated natural theology in the philosophical world. In that spirit, InterVarsity Press has recently released a scholarly volume edited by James F. Sennett and Douglas Groothuis entitled, In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post–Humean Assessment. The general thesis of the book is that Hume’s attack on natural theology is far weaker than is often imagined. We believe we have assembled a stellar group of philosophers for this task—one of whom argues for Hume. We included a Humean voice (who is not post-Humean!) in same way that In Defense of Miracles (edited by R. Douglas Geivett and Gary R. Habermas, InterVarsity Press, 1996) included a pro-Hume chapter by Anthony Flew.

After the Introduction, written by Sennett and Groothuis, the book is divided into two parts.

Part One Hume on Natural Theology

2. “Hume’s Criticisms of Natural Theology” by Terrence Penelhum.

3. “In Praise of Hume” by Todd Furman. This is the lone chapter that defends Hume.

4. “David Hume on Meaning, Verification, and Natural Theology” by Keith Yandell.

5. “Hume’s Stopper and the Natural Theology Project” by James Sennett.

Part Two: Hume and the Arguments:

6. “Metaphysical Implications of Cosmological Arguments: Exorcising the Ghost of Hume,” by Douglas Groothuis.

7. “Hume and the Kalam Cosmological Argument,” by Garrett DeWeese and Joshua Rasmussen.

8. “Giving the Devil His Due,” by James Madden.

9. “Hume, Fine-Tuning, and the ‘Who Designed God’ Objection,” by Robin Collins.

10. “Hume and the Moral Argument,” by Paul Copan.

11. “David Hume, Experiential Evidence and Belief in God” by Keith Yandell.

12. “The Argument from Reason and Hume’s Legacy,” by Victor Reppert.

13. “Hume and the Argument from Consciousness,” by J.P. Moreland.

13. “David Hume and a Cumulative Case Argument,” by R. Douglas Geivett.

James and I hope that this volume will significantly advance the cause of natural theology in the world of ideas. It is suitable for classes in philosophy of religion, theology, and apologetics--or for light bedtime reading.


Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


The publisher makes that call. They are reluctant to print hardcovers because they are so much more expensive.

Jeff said...

Robert Morey is currently writing a book refuting natural theology. This is all the information I have.

Kenny Pearce said...

The recent (Oct. 2004 - they are a little behind in publication) edition of the journal Faith and Philosophy also focuses on natural theology, and has papers from about 7 (I don't have the journal in front of me) Christian philosophers, and a paper by Richard Swinburne responding to just about all of them. The Del Ratzsch paper is particularly highly reccomended. Unfortunately, it is not online...