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image of Philosophia Reformata

Much of Alvin Plantinga’s Where the Conflict Really Lies(2011) will contain few surprises for those who have been following his work over the past decades. This —I hasten to add — is nothing against the book. The fact alone that his ideas on various topics, which have appeared scattered throughout the literature, are now actualized, applied to the debate about the (alleged) conflict between science and religion, and organized into an overarching argument with a single focus makes this book worthwhile. Moreover, I see this book making significant progress on two opposite ends of the spectrum of views about science and religion. On the one end, we find the so-called new atheists and other conflict-mongers. Compared to the overheated rhetoric that oozes from their writings, this book is a breath of fresh air. Plantinga cuts right to the chase and soberly exposes the bare bones of the new atheists’ arguments. It immediately becomes clear how embarrassingly bare these bones really are. On the other end of the spectrum are theologians and scientists who envisage harmony and concord between science and religion.


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