This is an electronic copy of the entire
Review of the Book: The Intellectuals Speak Out about God
Gary Habermas, Liberty University
Published in the Fundamentalist Journal, 4 no 7 Jl-Ag 1985, p 42-43.
Review: THE INTELLECTUALS SPEAK OUT
edited by Roy Abraham Varghese
Reviewed by Gary R. Habermas, professor of apologetics and philosophy, liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia.
This book, subtitled "A Handbook for the Christian Student in a Secular Society," presents essays by 25 contemporary scholars, chiefly in the fields of science and philosophy. Virtually all of these scholars are dedicated to the general theme that atheism and related views are outmoded and incorrect. The chapters are largely interviews arranged
in three major parts—the Sciences, Philosophy, and Apologetics/Theology. These sections follow introductory comments by Dom Bede Griffiths, President Ronald Reagan, Cardinal Joseph Rat-zinger, and J. Stanley Oakes, Jr.
The variety of writers include some who would term themselves orthodox Christians, others who are much more moderate, and some who would not call themselves Christians in any sense. In spite of this mixture, most of the scholars strongly assert that naturalism, positivism, and atheism in general are disproved as well as being increasingly unpopular options among intellectuals.
Many of the persons in this volume have national or international reputations, which quite naturally increases the interest in such a project. Scientists include Robert Jastrow, Chandra Wickramasinghe, Henry Margenau, and Sir John Eccles. Philosophers such as Alvin Plantinga and William Alston, theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg, and New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce are examples of the high level of scholarship.
The book gives the general impression that the various scholars are both announcing a return among numerous intellectuals to some sort of theistic worldview and that they are providing further impetus to this movement themselves. As Alvin Plantinga states in answer to a question on this subject, "I think there is a definite shift towards theism" (p. 165).
There appear to be at least two reasons for such a change in attitude. Several scholars point out evidence that strongly indicates a theistic worldview, such as an increasing realization of the truthfulness of theistic argumentation of various sorts and historical evidence for Jesus' Resurrection from the dead.
Second, there appears to be a strong conviction on the part of numerous scholars that the various forms of naturalism and positivism are both disproven and sterile. In fact, sometimes the dismissal of these atheistic options is rather brisk in nature (pp. 31-32; 35; 4445).
Although this book is a significant one, a few items detract from its total effort. The four introductory essays, occupying 19 pages of text, at times seem inappropriate. Also, there is some unevenness among the chapters themselves as they are a collection of interviews with the respective scholars, six essays, and three reprints of previously published articles.
Nevertheless, the book succeeds in its stated goal of providing a handbook for the Christian student. This volume is highly recommended for the reader who desires to study modern intellectual trends with regard to the general subjects of theism (including God's existence), the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, origins research, and the trustworthiness of the New Testament. Most of the volume is presented in a very readable manner which usually moves along quickly in a question-and-answer format. Roy Varghese is to be commended for his effort in conducting interviews and editing the material for publication. The work succeeds in its effort to provide Christians with a handbook of world renowned scholars who espouse theism, several of which changed from nontheistic positions due to the weight of the evidence.
This subject should also cause the Christian to do some serious thinking about apologetics. If a worldview shift may be occurring today, Christian apologists should be in the forefront of the discussions and not let such a trend move in just any direction.
(Regnery Gateway, 1984, 366pp.)
Gary R. Habermas,
"Review: The Intellectuals Speak Out About God."
Fundamentalist Journal, v4. n7 (1985): [page range
Habermas, Gary R. "Review: The Intellectuals Speak Out
Fundamentalist Journal, v4. n7 (1985): 42-43.