Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Should a Christian adopt methodological naturalism?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

School/Research organisations

Abstract

It has become standard practice for scientists to avoid the possibility of references to God by adopting methodological naturalism: a method that requires scientists to assume that the natural world is all that exists. In this essay, I critique the Christian commitment this method, arguing that a Christian’s practices should always reflect her belief that the universe is created and sustained by the triune God. This leads me to contend that the Christian should adopt a theologically humble approach to the sciences (instead of methodological naturalism), with which she humbly acknowledges that special divine action is not discernible by empirical science. To further my critique, I consider three ways in which the practice of methodological naturalism can be particularly problematic for Christianity.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-725
JournalZygon
Volume52
Issue number3
Early online date18 Aug 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christianity, Creation, Faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Methodological naturalism, Naturalism, Alvin Plantinga, Theology

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Not Knowing Creation

    Torrance, A. B. 2018 Knowing Creation: Perspectives from Theology, Philosophy, and Science. A. T. & McCall, T. (eds.). Zondervan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  2. Karl Barth and the Natural Sciences

    Torrance, A. B. 2018 Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Karl Barth. Hunsinger, G. & Johnson, K. (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. Christ and the Created Order

    Torrance, A. B. & McCall Jr, T. H. 2018 Christ and the Created Order: Perspectives from Theology, Philosophy, and Science. Torrance, A. & McCall, T. (eds.). Zondervan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  4. Knowing Creation

    Torrance, A. B. & McCall Jr, T. H. 2018 Knowing Creation: Perspectives from Theology, Philosophy, and Science. Torrance, A. & McCall, T. (eds.). Zondervan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Related by journal

  1. Dancing around the casual joint: challenging the theological turn in divine action theories

    Ritchie, S. L. Jun 2017 In : Zygon. 52, 2, p. 361-379 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. IS THERE A DISTINCTIVE HUMAN NATURE? APPROACHING THE QUESTION FROM A CHRISTIAN EPISTEMIC BASE

    Torrance, A. J. Dec 2012 In : Zygon. 47, 4, p. 903-917 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 249239983