Natural Signs and Knowledge of God: A New Look at Theistic Arguments

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Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Christian Theology. Knowledge and Christian Belief. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. Publication date December 15, Language English.

Moral Arguments for the Existence of God

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Over the years these arguments have been formulated and reformulated, and Evans briefly surveys the variety of forms that such arguments take. But at the heart of each one, he avers, is one or more theistic natural sign s. Cosmological arguments tend to have some intuitive force because they appeal directly or indirectly to this sense of cosmic wonder—a force that may be present even if the argument is ultimately judged by some to be a failure as an argument. Other theistic natural signs are similarly embodied in the teleological and moral arguments.

These signs point to a God who cares about and values human beings, to whom we are morally accountable, and who is himself a personal being.

Natural Signs and Knowledge of God

Whether or not the various theistic proofs based on these natural signs succeed, the signs are there, and they have an epistemic force of their own. And though he does not discuss any others at length, Evans notes that there may be and likely are many other theistic natural signs, including signs that have never been formulated into theistic proofs, like certain experiences of gratitude.

In his concluding chapter Evans asks whether theistic natural signs can provide genuine evidence for the existence of God. In either case, the theist can claim that theistic natural signs provide at least prima facie justification for belief in God. If Evans is right, this is an enormous advantage for his view.

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Evans argues that some things, like the fine-tuning of the universe, cannot be theistic natural signs in his sense because they are not widely accessible in such a way that people around the world and throughout history have access to them. Evans has made a genuine and valuable contribution to the philosophy of religion and religious epistemology.

He has managed to pull together some important insights from natural theology on the one hand, and views more along the lines of reformed epistemology on the other. Apologetics is a ministry of Defenders Media, c 3 a non-profit organization.

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