Jerry Johnston Interviews Philosopher Richard Swinburne09 June 2017
The unreported good news: the past 50 years have been an incredibly fruitful period in the philosophy of religion. Now, established theists teach in many of the most renown universities of the world. The catalyst of the movement — Richard Swinburne, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. Over the last 50 years, Swinburne has been an influential proponent of philosophical arguments for the existence of God. Swinburne made a dramatic impact on Antony Flew who set the agenda for modern atheism with his 1950 essay, “Theology and Falsification.” Antony Flew shocked the academic world when he renounced the atheism he had both embraced and espoused and became a believer in God as Creator. He then wrote, “There Is A God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.”
Cristie Johnston and I had two interesting days in England … one filming with Richard Dawkins and the next day filming with Richard Swinburne. Swinburne wrote the classic book, “The Existence of God” in 1979. He told me every questioning believer should read his popular book, “Is There A God?” (1996) He has a remarkable intellect and received us warmly in his home.
Yes, there has been a revolution in Christian philosophy. William Lane Craig reminded me of the many philosophers in the world who have deep faith: Dean Zimmerman at Rutger’s University, the late William Alston who taught at Syracuse University, and the notable Alvin Plantinga at the University of Notre Dame who recently was awarded the 2017 Templeton Prize, among many others.
Swinburne emphasis to me was on the necessity of critical thinking. We left his home deeply impacted.