Evangelical Philosophical SocietyArticle Reprint

Gethsemane Epistemology, Pneumatic Evidence, and Divine Agape?: Reply to Aaron Preston

by Paul K. Moser

Philosophers have spent considerable time and effort trying to specify how humans can use speculative reason and other questionable theoretical resources to secure knowledge of God’s reality (or the lack thereof). Perhaps the supporters of the arguments of natural theology merit the prize for unmatched efforts on this front, but the payoff of their seemingly endless efforts seems dubious at best.

I contend that the latter efforts get things backwards. If a worship-worthy God exists, the main question is not about how humans can use speculative reason and other doubtful theoretical resources to secure knowledge of God’s reality. Instead, the key question is just this: how does God introduce and identify himself to cooperative humans, who have inadequate resources for finding God on their own.

This essay develops this lesson in reply to Aaron Preston’s proposal to maintain some kind of spectator evidence in natural theology. Christ-shaped philosophy, as I understand it, calls for a Gethsemane-oriented epistemology, but does not need the arguments of traditional natural theology.

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