Humanism with space for God

Ronald Osborn integrates a biblical perspective with humanistic values.

Philosophical naturalism assumes that everything can be explained by natural law. In its accounts of the human, God is expendable, as is all other mystery.

Not only is this view of things mistaken, says Ronald E. Osborn, it is a moral disaster. Osborn covers ground familiar to students of the Enlighten­ment, but he does so with such clarity, depth, candor, and feistiness as to repulse the sense of the commonplace and intensify the urgency of the message—both for the wider society and for the church itself.

As Osborn shows, the stakes are high in debates about God and the human person. Without the conviction of transcendence, can we foster and sustain commitment to the sanctity of every individual: high or low, favored or despised, rich or poor? Osborn gives good reasons for doubt. And if the debate cannot be resolved by argument alone—if no proofs decide the outcome—then must the case from the side of faith depend on “living witnesses” as its most compelling evidence? Osborn an­swers yes. Thus, philosophical naturalism is as much a test of Christian discipleship as it is of Christian intellect.