• Hart and Plantinga On Our Knowledge of God

      Hart, Hendrik; Huisman, John; Institute for Christian Studies (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-08)
      The thesis explores and takes a stand with respect to the differences between the religious epistemologies of Alvin Plantinga and Hendrik Hart. For Plantinga, direct rational knowledge of God "in Himself" is possible because it is grounded in the experience of our rational faculties. For Hart, direct rational knowledge of God's nature is impossible because God transcends the created order and, therefore, the limits of rational understanding. Our knowledge of God, as a consequence, can only be faith knowledge that is decidedly indirect and metaphoric in nature. Plantinga believes that such views are Kantian in inspiration and that they turn our knowledge of God into nothing more than rationally incoherent "disguised nonsense." The thesis shows that Plantinga's own philosophical theology fails to meet the rational standards he sets for religious knowledge, his critique of Kantian religious epistemologies fails to apply to Hart's position, and that he himself allows for indirect knowledge of God in certain instances. The thesis concludes by noting if our knowledge of God can be indirect in some instances without also being rationally incoherent disguised nonsense, then perhaps Hart is not wrong for regarding it to be indirect in all instances.