Calvin, Plantinga, and the Natural Knowledge of God

Faith and Philosophy 15 (1):92-103 (1998)
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In this paper I present a critical response to several claims made by John Beversluis on the closely allied topics of natural knowledge of God and the noetic effects of sin in relation to the work of John Calvin and Alvin Plantinga. I challenge Beversluis’ claim that Plantinga has misconstrued Calvin’s position on the sensus divinitatis and that he has weakened Calvin’s doctrine of the noetic effects of sin. Moreover, I develop a coherent case for the sense in which Calvin maintains that fallen humans do and do not have a natural knowledge of God. My conclusion rebuts Beversluis’ claim that Calvin denies any natural knowledge of God for fallen human persons and defends Plantinga’s philosophical account of Calvin’s sensus divinitatis.



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Michael Sudduth
San Francisco State University

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Reason and Belief in God.Alvin Plantinga - 1983 - In Alvin Plantinga & Nicholas Wolterstorff (eds.), Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 16-93.
The prospects for natural theology.Alvin Plantinga - 1991 - Philosophical Perspectives 5:287-315.

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