On Excluding the Supernatural

Religious Studies 1 (2):141 - 150 (1966)
Various attempts have been made in recent years to present Christianity in such a way that no use is made of the traditional dichotomy between the ‘natural’ and the ‘supernatural’. Braithwaite, Hare, and van Buren, for instance, appear to have no use for the dichotomy; and I think that, without too much distortion, one can say the same of Bultmann, Tillich, and Robinson. I am not, however, concerned in this paper with the work of any one thinker as such, but rather with a general climate of opinion. What I want to do is to examine the grounds on which it might be argued that belief in the supernatural is discredited. The issue seems to me of special importance at the present time, since, if these grounds are inadequate, programmes of reform under the general heading ‘Christianity without the supernatural’lose much of their point; if, on the other hand, the grounds are compelling, then reform of some kind is forced upon us whatever the accompanying difficulties
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DOI 10.1017/S0034412500002420
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