David Theroux–Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Independent Institute, President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California, as well as longtime friend of the C.S. Lewis Foundation–has recently written a piece for The Beacon, chronicling the influence and importance of Alvin Plantinga, one of Christianity’s foremost and formidable philosophers. Plantinga is perhaps most known for his Free Will Defense in response to the problem of evil, as well as his “evolutionary argument against naturalism,” in which he argues that naturalism is inherently self-refuting (fans of C.S. Lewis may recognize an earlier iteration of this argument put to paper by a certain Oxford don in the 1940s–Plantinga himself references Lewis’s argument in Miracles as an “ancestor” to his, in his new book Where the Conflict Really Lies).
Here is a short excerpt:
“The world-renowned philosopher Alvin C. Plantinga has recently received the prestigious Nicholas Rescher Prize for Contributions to Systematic Philosophy, awarded by the University of Pittsburgh’s Departments of Philosophy, History and Philosophy of Science, and the Center for the History and Philosophy of Science. Plantinga is widely known for his work in the philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics and Christian apologetics, and he has revolutionized scholarly interest in Christian theism, shown naturalism/atheism to be self-refuting and incoherent, and set the new standards for the defense of free will, individual agency, consciousness, rational inference, science, objective truth and morality, and more. As a result, Plantinga has both directly influenced the entire field of philosophy and has mentored and inspired new generations of top scholars who are critiquing the reductionism, relativism, materialism, collectivism, scientism, positivism, determinism, and de-humanization of the modern era. In short, Plantinga has devastated the prevailing view in Western elites that human beings are merely “matter in motion” (i.e., purposeless, accidental, robotic products of a closed, natural world ruled solely by physical laws and that truth, reason, morality, and God are illusions).”