Alvin Plantinga, John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, is one of the greatest and most influential philosophers of the 20th century.

The following videos (about 25 minutes altogether) are of Simon Smart (Centre for Public Christianity) interviewing Plantinga. They talk about reasons for belief in God, the arguments of Richard Dawkins, and personal faith. “Plantinga provides a summary of his evolutionary argument against Naturalism, as well as giving a personal reflection on the highs and lows of a life of faith.”


Part I: Reasons for God (6:16)

“Plantinga explains why he believes there is a God, and gives us a summary of his argument that says naturalism cannot be rationally believed.”


Part II: Where Richard Dawkins Goes Wrong (4:14)

“Plantinga suggests that Richard Dawkins is not only weak in argumentation, but that his conception of human nature is unlovely and dispiriting.”


Part III: Sure Faith Without Proof (4:35)

“Why faith makes sense even though we can’t ‘prove’ its worth and truth.”


Part IV: Is God Good? (7:28)

“In the final part of the interview, Plantinga responds to the criticism that the God of Old Testament is a moral monster. He also goes on to describe the hardest aspects of being a believer and the ways he has experienced God in his life.”


Those prepared to read some serious analytic philosophy may want to begin with The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader. Plantinga’s influential trilogy on epistemology, published by Oxford University Press, is comprised of the following volumes:

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12 thoughts on “An Interview with Alvin Plantinga”

  1. David says:

    Thanks so much for posting these videos of the wonderfully lucid Alvin Plantinga.

    1. Tony says:

      I would like to echo David. Thanks, Justin.

  2. Brian Current says:

    Fine Tuning is definitely a problem for atheists. For further reading on the “multiple universes” idea that Plantinga refers to in Part II, see A Universe Built For Us by Tim Folger, Discover magazine, December 2008. ”Our universe is perfectly tailored for life. That may be the work of God or the result of our universe being one of many. …The idea is controversial. Critics say it doesn’t even qualify as a scientific theory because the existence of other universes cannot be proved or disproved. Advocates argue that, like it or not, the multiverse may well be the only viable non­religious explanation for what is often called the “fine-tuning problem”—the baffling observation that the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.”

  3. Scott C says:

    I enjoyed the candor and the down-to-earth way that Plantinga conversed on these subjects. That is remarkable for a man who may be one of the greatest intellectual giants of our day. I wish he would capture his thoughts on these questions in a book for the average reader who is unable to wade through the dense language of philosophy.

  4. Warrant and Proper Function is one of my favorite books, and I haven’t even read it all! So many of his ideas are so pregnant with substance that it has taken me awhile to fully digest them. Such a good (and funny) writer too. Also a Molinist!

  5. Man of Spin says:

    A hook-up for all those thus interested…

    You can read the first two titles in Plantinga’s Trilogy on-line for FREE… and you can now download the third, “Warranted Christian Belief,” for FREE!

    Go here for details…

    http://christiannews.co.nz/2009/alvin-plantingas-warrant-trilogy-all-online-for-free/

  6. David Smith says:

    I appreciate his openness in dealing with relitive experiences, i.e. feelings, emotions, etc.

    Many scholars are embarrassed to discuss these issues.

  7. Evan says:

    That was encouraging.

  8. Kip' says:

    Justin,

    Thanks for putting up this videos. Lots of helpful stuff but a bit disappointed by the last one on God’s goodness. Why no mention of God’s action in OT as a demonstration of his good and perfect justice (Deut 32:4, Romans 9)? I may be totally miseading or mishearing the comments but if all the focus when asked about the ‘horrors’ of the OT is to say God is a a God of love but no fleshing out of what this love looks like then we could easily alienate the nonbelievers because existentially the destruction of the amalekites doesn’t feel like a loving thing.

    Kip’ Chelashaw, London.

  9. Luke says:

    Concerning Plantinga on Dawkins: You don’t have to be an atheist to see that Dawkins’ central argument fails miserably. I’m an atheist and I regularly rebut Dawkins on my blog. See, for example, my article Richard Dawkins and Naive Atheism.

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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