WWU Lecture Review

On Thursday night the University inaugurated its first annual lecture series on Philosophy and Christianity.  The Speaker was Dr. Rae from Notre Dame and he gave a talk in response to the “Hiddenness of God” problem which Schellenberg articulated in the 1990’s.  The talk was refreshing as I was under the assumption that Dr. Rae would be defending Schellenberg’s thesis.  However, he did not defend but opposed the thesis and did a wonderful job of showing how God’s hiddenness is acceptable as part of God’s immense sovereignty and magnificence.  It is a human failing to demand that God show up when and how we want, instead of seeking God as he has revealed himself – through Word and liturgy.  This was the main thrust of the lecture.

My critique of his argument is more from a theological than a philosophical perspective. Dr. Rae failed to take the issue of sin seriously in his lecture, albeit that is understandable as part of a philosophical lecture.  But by failing to take the issue of sin seriously, the problem of God’s hiddenness is reduced to a philosophical question, without understanding that God’s “hiddenness” is the result of our sin, so the problem is really sin and not hiddenness which must be dealt with and when sin is conquered Christ is visible once again to humanity. Ultimately this plays out in the Revelation of St. John as sin is conquered and God is fully visible to all his people forevermore.  
I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture ad look forward to next year’s lecture by Alvin Plantinga.  Hope to see you there.
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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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