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The Dishonesty Objection: Is Christian Faith Less Intellectually Honest than Science?
Mark P. W. McEwan (Author)
Paul Chamberlain (Thesis supervisor)
Archie Spencer (Second reader)
Arnold Sikkema (Third reader)
Trinity Western University GSTS (Degree granting institution)
In light of modern science, Christianity is accused of being intellectually dishonest. Unlike science, the skeptic claims, the Christian faith is closed to outside correction, embracing self-defence over self-criticism, employing non-falsifiable claims, and claiming final certainty beyond what any evidence could justify. This thesis answers the skeptic who makes this dishonesty objection from science by comparing science and Christianity. Science self-critically attends to nature, and theology self-critically attends to revelation. Neither can proceed if it becomes skeptical about its own ‘object’ of knowledge. The dishonesty objection tolerates from science what it considers dishonest from Christianity because it excludes in advance the possibility of revealed, authoritative, and transformative theological knowledge as Christian thinkers understand it. This objection thereby insists on guaranteeing theological knowledge to ourselves, by ourselves—on our own terms; this demand is a “pretension ... against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5, NIV).