Should a Christian adopt methodological naturalism?

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Abstract

It has become standard practice for scientists to avoid the possibility of references to God by adopting methodological naturalism: a method that requires scientists to assume that the natural world is all that exists. In this essay, I critique the Christian commitment this method, arguing that a Christian’s practices should always reflect her belief that the universe is created and sustained by the triune God. This leads me to contend that the Christian should adopt a theologically humble approach to the sciences (instead of methodological naturalism), with which she humbly acknowledges that special divine action is not discernible by empirical science. To further my critique, I consider three ways in which the practice of methodological naturalism can be particularly problematic for Christianity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-725
JournalZygon
Volume52
Issue number3
Early online date18 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017

Keywords

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Christianity
  • Creation
  • Faith
  • Holy Spirit
  • Jesus Christ
  • Methodological naturalism
  • Naturalism
  • Alvin Plantinga
  • Theology

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