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[194] Plantinga Challenge

Alvin Plantinga, winner of the renowned Templeton Prize for 2017, is a role model for every Christian scholar.

Plantinga made his mark by advocating for the presence of religious belief into what had become, by the 1950’s, the hostile field of philosophy. Over time he changed the view of the discipline with respect to its relationship with religion, showing how religious belief can contribute to the solution of philosophical problems.

Christian colleges need to hold Plantinga up as the ideal of Christian scholarship. Many would be happy to confer an honorary doctorate on the 84-year-old icon.

But that is not the point here. These institutions should empower the example of Plantinga by encouraging, supporting, and funding efforts by faculty to integrate Christian thinking into their disciplines.

How does Christianity fit into sociology? If nothing else, it advocates that humans are essentially self-interested, giving rise to Conflict Theory and other explanations as to the nature of society. And what of psychology? Faith is often found congruent with mental health.

From meager beginnings like these, able Christian thinkers—and there are many of them—could make a strong case for the intellectual integrity of Christian notions in otherwise secular disciplines. I am certain Professor Plantinga would prefer that to an honorary doctorate. DC

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