Contingency in Classical Creation: Problems with Plantinga’s Free-Will Defense

by Volume 1 - Issue 1 Spring 2005

Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defense is a milestone in Christian apologetics. It introduced much-needed precision into the discussion of the Problem of Evil. It helped to show how rich a Christian’s philosophical options are, and to increase respect for Christian theology in general. It is perhaps the most persua- sive response to the Problem of Evil from a classical Christian perspective. In these senses it is a practical success. However, as I show below, it fails in its main theoret- ical goal: Plantinga does not deliver the argument he promises, and there are a num- ber of reasons why it seems no such argument can be available to him.

Benjamin Huff, Ph.D.

Benjamin Huff, Ph.D.

Professor, Randolph-Macon College

Benjamin Huff was born in northern Virginia but has traveled extensively, living in Saudi Arabia for seven years and Japan for two years. He has taught in the Philosophy Department at Randolph-Macon College since September 2006. His research interests include Ethics (especially Virtue Ethics), Confucianism, Comparative (East-West) Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, and Philosophy of Religion. He teaches a number of courses in these and other areas in ethics (theoretical and applied) and the history of philosophy. His long-term research project is to develop a contemporary eudaimonist ethical theory, incorporating insights from ancient Greek and Confucian ethical thought.