Guest / Limited Access /

Alvin Plantinga is among the preeminent philosophers of his generation. After a long career, chiefly at Calvin College and the University of Notre Dame (where he is emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy), Plantinga has formally retired, but he hasn't been idle. In his new book, Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism (Oxford University Press), he sheds light on a subject that is often obscured by posturing and superficial polemics. John Wilson, editor of Books & Culture, spoke with Plantinga about the underlying harmony between scientific and religious accounts of reality.

Most of your book is taken up with the proposition that there's superficial conflict but deep concord between theistic religion and science.

In certain areas, the right word would be alleged conflict. For example, I argue that there's no real conflict between evolutionary theory—that is, the scientific theory of evolution apart from any naturalistic spin—and what C. S. Lewis called "mere Christianity." There's no real conflict, even though conflict has been alleged by people on the Right as well as on the Left. Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and a host of others claim that there is outright conflict between evolutionary theory and belief in such a person as God, who has created and designed the living world. At the other end, there are Christian thinkers, too—like Phillip Johnson—who think there is irreconcilable conflict between the scientific theory of evolution and Christian belief.

But I don't think there is. What current scientific evolutionary theory says is that the living world has come to be via a certain process of natural selection operating on some form of genetic variation. And it's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Be Not Afraid
Facing fear with faith.
RecommendedAre We Distracting Ourselves to Death?
Are We Distracting Ourselves to Death?
How technology-driven "hyperreality" hijacks our attention and makes us numb to real-life dangers.
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickThe Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice
The Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice
The murder of Willie Kimani can rally the global Body of Christ for an end to impunity.
Christianity Today
Q & A: Alvin Plantinga on Conflict Resolution with Science
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.