How Should I Earnestly Contend for the Faith? Part 6

The fifth and final method presented in Five Views on Apologetics is Reformed epistemology, as presented by Kelly James Clark. Currently, he serves as Senior Research Fellow at the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. Previously, he was Professor of Philosophy at Gordon College and Calvin College, and has held visiting appointments at Oxford, St. Andrews, and Notre Dame.

Reformed epistemologists are not in favor of fideism, but are skeptical of the power of evidence to persuade unbelievers. Neither are they opposed to evidences for the truth of Christianity, but point out that most Christians did not come to believe through evidential arguments. Reformed epistemology holds that a rational belief in God can be maintained without arguments or evidence. Reformed epistemologists have a strong conviction that God has given all people an awareness of himself.

It is hard to imagine that God would make rational belief as difficult as those who demand evidence contend. I encourage anyone who thinks that evidence is required for rational belief in God to study very carefully the theistic arguments, their refutations and counter-refutations, and their increasing subtlety yet decreasing charm. Adequate assessment of these arguments would require a lengthy and tortuous tour through the history of philosophy and may require the honing of one’s logical and metaphysical skills beyond the capacity of most of us. Why put that sort of barrier between us and God? John Calvin believed that God has provided us with a sense of the divine.
– Kelly James Clark, from Chapter Five: Reformed Epistemology Apologetics, Five Views on Apologetics