This is an electronic copy of the entire article.
Review of the Book: The Intellectuals Speak Out about God
Gary Habermas, Liberty University
Publication Date 1985
Comments Published in the Fundamentalist Journal, 4 no 7 Jl-Ag
1985, p 42-43.
Review: THE INTELLECTUALS SPEAK OUT ABOUT GOD
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
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
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"
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 cited].
Habermas, Gary R. "Review: The Intellectuals Speak
Out About God." Fundamentalist Journal, v4.
n7 (1985): 42-43.