PDF | Book reviewed in this article: Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief. the extended A/C model shows how full‐blooded Christian belief (not just theistic belief) can have warrant. After dealing with objections to the A/C model in Ch. Alvin Plantinga is well-known as one of the most important Christian philosophers of our day. Many attribute to his influence the fact that many.

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The idea that religious belief is some sort of illness or irrational stance, is not uncommon in Western Europe. The philosopher of religion, Alvin Plantinga, in his book Warranted Christian Belief advances a detailed account of the rationality of religious, and especially Christian, theistic belief.

In the book he explains:. He explores the bekief, is Christian chrisfian intellectually acceptable? He is not addressing the question of whether it is true or false, but whether it is reasonable, or rational to hold.

First, he asks whether in principle it is possible to have knowledge of God. If knowledge of God is not possible then beliefs in God would be unreasonable.

If God is part of the noumenal realm, rather than the phenomenal realm, and if we can only access the phenomenal realm, then how can it be possible to perceive God? If God is not a finite reality then nothing in our experience can be identified as God.

Warranted Christian Belief

If nothing in our experience can be identified as God then God refers to nothing. However Christians give accounts of perceiving God, in ways such as those recorded in the Bible — through the burning bush to Moses. In addition, if God is infinitely powerful, omnipotent, then why would he not be able to manifest himself in our experience? It seems unreasonable to place on such a God the inability to make himself felt in some way.


However, this rejects that which Christians claim, and plantinva effectively redefines God in to something Christians do not hold to believe in the most part.

This is a rehashing of secularity. In other words this is not an argument against a Christian theistic belief but an argument for an alternative belief about religion. Plantinga then turns to the question and examines the idea of justification. What, exactly, is the question? What are Christians accused of lacking?

He suggests this criticism arises out of an idea called foundationalism. He explores the idea that theism is rationally acceptable only if there are good arguments for it.

Warranted Christian Belief – Paperback – Alvin Plantinga – Oxford University Press

He suggests that this treats religion like a scientific hypothesis, but questions whether that is reasonable. He suggests that this lays down a standard that the very bdlief itself cannot meet. Foundationalism itself fails to alvon its own standard used here to reject religion.

In fact it plantinag to the rejection of most of our beliefs, not just theistic ones. Not much, if any. These things, according to classical foundationalism, are not properly basic; they must be believed on the evidential basis of propositions that are self-evident or evident to the senses. There are many beliefs which we rely on that in fact cannot be provided with good arguments that make them scientifically proven.


The existence of external objects are difficult to separate from our perception. Memories are hardly scientifically proven and yet we believe them and rely on them. In short, the standard that people make when critics suggest Christian theism unreasonable, is so high than many everyday beliefs would also fail the test.

Finally, Plantinga explores the idea of warrant.

He considers those who argue that religious belief is wish fulfillment Freudor some sort of dysfunction Marx. He notes that both begin their arguments from a position that claim theism is false.

This is not argued, merely stated or asserted as a given. He continues to explore classic arguments against Christian belief which he calls defeaters and makes counter-cases.

He believes none of these make serous challenges to the warrant Christian belief can enjoy, if it is true. The crucial difference here is not that he is arguing Christian beliefs are true, but that they are warranted if true. For more read a detailed review of the book: Alvin Plantinga A C Grayling: In the book he explains: