Lesser mortals like me can’t claim to fully understand everything Alvin Plantinga writes in books like Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism. What we can do is pick up some high-protein food for thought, and possibly, along the way, improve our thinking habits in some potent ways. I read the book primarily as an audiobook, but also in the hardcover form.
First, some context. Plantinga is an analytical philosopher. He writes from a Christian worldview, but—at least in this book—isn’t really doing apologetics for Christianity or for creation doctrine, except maybe indirectly.
Rather, the book is focused on a single two-part question—and the author’s focus throughout is laser sharp. The question is this: Is there really any substantial conflict between science and “theistic religion,” and is there instead substantial conflict between science and naturalism?
Much of the time, Plantinga refers to Christian theism in particular, but he occasionally points out that most of what he is attempting to show applies to other theistic religions as well. His thesis is stated in the Preface:
There is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism. (ix)
Plantinga sums up what he means by naturalism. Also from the Preface:
"Jonathan Morrow of the Impact 360 Institute explains why he believes Gen Z can’t seem to commit to a Christian worldview. He lists two main reasons: the fear of being seen as judgmental and all that it encompasses, and what he calls the 'crisis of knowledge.' ... the belief that we can only glean knowledge from the hard sciences." - Christianity Today
Agnostic Marcelo Gleiser "famously blasted scientists who do not consider religious beliefs when they explain the universe’s origins. He terms such attitudes as 'arrogant.'" - WRN
"Jeanson entered Harvard with a burning desire to find a cure for cancer. He emerged with a determination to push back against evolution and help people struggling with science-religion tension find their way back to Biblical truth. Here are edited excerpts of our interview." - World
"The Discovery Institute, which emphasizes intelligent design and doesn’t say how long it took, has Education Days: Some 312 students and educators attended one in Seattle last year, and this year’s schedule includes Richmond and Dallas." - World