On The Legitimacy of Natural Theology

One of the features of Themelios, the online theological journal, is that it always offers a feast of book reviews. With almost sixty books surveyed, the latest issue is no different. One book that readers with a stake in either natural theology or Reformed epistemology may find interesting is Michael Sudduth’s The Reformed Objection to Natural Theology. James Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary, reviews:

“Sudduth presents a meticulously researched and compellingly argued case for the historical pedigree and philosophical legitimacy of Reformed natural theology. His articulation and defense of the dogmatic model is especially valuable for dispelling prevalent misconceptions about the role of natural theology. I daresay that most readers will find their own views challenged at some point. Those looking for a triumphant defense of classical apologetics in the Princeton mold may find themselves disappointed by the modesty of Sudduth’s conclusions. They may feel that those forms of natural theology that emerge unscathed from the Reformed objections (the cogent ones, at least) are thin gruel, offering little of value for positive apologetics with unbelievers. Even so, they shouldn’t underestimate the value of his defense of theistic arguments, for the criticisms he refutes are found as often in the mouths of atheists as believers. On the other side of the field, presuppositionalists may deem the book’s conclusions too generous, but they will be forced nonetheless to reevaluate some of the foundations on which their own fort has been built. Whatever the case, no reader will fail to appreciate the clarity and force of the book’s argumentation, the precision of its analysis, and the invaluable contribution it makes to contemporary discussions of natural theology—not only among the Reformed, but across the spectrum of Christian thought.”

Read the whole thing here.

For additional discussion of the book, both Paul Manata and Paul Helm have also written reviews. The Reformed Objection to Natural Theology is available from Amazon.


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