I’ve been reading Plantinga’s new book on faith and science and reading Francis Beckwith’s posts on faith and reason in the courts. Both authors are tracking the fact that it is commonly held by so-called experts on religion that religion has nothing whatever to do with reason, including common sense, logic, norms of evidence, and science. Religion is outside of reason and not subject to reason. This is apparently the official view of society and shapes the presuppositions of politics, media, academia, and the courts.

This, in spite of the major work accomplished in the last decades on religious rationality and epistemology. Even religious experts seem not to be acquainted with it in their preparation. In fact, reason fits positively with religious perspectives while remaining an intractable problem for materialist ones. See: http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2012/faith-reason-and-secular-hegemony-cont.html

This means that Christians cannot count on an existing literacy about religion and reason, and that the must take it on themselves to make the case for religious reasoning. That has to be on our apologetic “to do” list.

And this certainly reflects on the impact that Karl Barth has had on religious studies. Barth’s view had become “the best thing going” for a “conservative” version of religion among religious studies. But Barth’s view, even especially compared to other sympathetic thinkers like Emil Brunner, strongly required that faith be wholey other than reason. Now we have to fight this trend, both for the sake defending the faith and religious freedom.

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