Faith and Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 1, January 1998

Michael Czapkay Sudduth
Pages 92-103

Calvin, Plantinga, and the Natural Knowledge of God
A Response to Beversluis

In this paper I present a critical response to several claims made by John Beversluis on the closely allied topics of natural knowledge of God and the noetic effects of sin in relation to the work of John Calvin and Alvin Plantinga. I challenge Beversluis’ claim that Plantinga has misconstrued Calvin’s position on the sensus divinitatis and that he has weakened Calvin’s doctrine of the noetic effects of sin. Moreover, I develop a coherent case for the sense in which Calvin maintains that fallen humans do and do not have a natural knowledge of God. My conclusion rebuts Beversluis’ claim that Calvin denies any natural knowledge of God for fallen human persons and defends Plantinga’s philosophical account of Calvin’s sensus divinitatis.