The concept of «warrant» of the christian belief in Alvin Plantinga`S theistic philosophy

  • Mariia Filatova Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Keywords: A/C model, truth, cognitive abilities perception of God, internal instigation of Holy Spirit, rationality, reformed epistemology, argument


The study focuses on the concept of warranted Christian belief, which was introduced by A. Plantinga. The purpose of the research is to consider the warrant as a property of the Christian belief, moreover through which it can become knowledge. The study scrutinizes the possibility of accepting faith without theistic arguments. The author analyzes A. Plantinga's classification of a warrant, for example, deontologism, coherentism and reliabilism. The author gives a general characteristic of warranted belief, moreover, the study stresses that belief has a warrant for a person if it is produced by cognitive faculties functioning properly, if a belief is formed in an appropriate epistemic environment, if cognitive faculties are operating according to a design plan reliably aimed at truth, if a person has no defeaters for that belief. The article emphasizes that if A. Plantinga's A/C model is true, then theistic belief is truly warranted, consequently a warrant of theistic belief depends on the proof of the existence of God. The author of the research contends that beliefs can have different degrees of the warrant, and if this degree becomes sufficient, belief becomes knowledge. Moreover, the author points out that one of the basic beliefs admitted by A. Plantinga is belief in God. The study analyzes four types of human interaction with God: internal instigation of the Holy Spirit, perception of God (sensus divinitatis), Holy Scripture, and faith. The main function of the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit is to inspire a human to have faith in God. Moreover, the author emphasizes that Christian beliefs, acquired by the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit, are not only warranted but have sufficient justification to be knowledge. The complex action of the perception of God and internal instigation of the Holy Spirit provide reliable, properly basic beliefs that are referred to the truth written in the Holy Gospel. As a result, the author comes to the conclusion that there are no convincing arguments for the Christian belief for those who have not accepted it. In the conclusion, the author points out that forming an A/C model, A. Plantinga creates a double problem, on the one hand, his goal is to warrant the truth of the theistic belief, and he performs his task, but, on the other hand, he tries to demonstrate warrant of the Christian belief, and presents the same opportunity to representatives of other theistic religions. Thus, instead of arguing with atheism, A. Plantinga turns to a discussion with non-Christian theistic religions.


Baldwin, E. (2006). Could the Extended Aquinas/Calvin Model Defeat Basic Christian Belief? Philosophia Christi, 8(2), 383–399.

Beilby, J. (2007). Plantinga’s Model of Warranted Christian Belief. In D.-P. Baker (Ed.), Alvin Plantinga (pp. 125-165). Cambridge University Press.

Bogardus, T., & Urban, M. (2017). How to Tell Whether Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God. Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 34 (2), 176–200. doi:10.5840/faithphil201741178

Clark, K. J. (1994). Rational Faith: Catholic Responses to Reformed Epistemology. Analytic Philosophy, 35(4), 283–285.

Fales, E. (2003). Alvin Plantinga`s Warranted Christian Belief. Nous, 37 (2), 353–370. doi:10.1111/1468-0068.00443

Faria, D. (2016). Mackie vs Plantinga on the warrant of theistic belief without arguments. Scientia et Fides, 4 (1), 1–24. doi:

Howard-Snyder, D. (2016). Does Faith Entail Belief? Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 33 (2), 142–162. doi: 10.5840/faithphil201633059

Jenkin, R. (2015). Warranted Christian belief, Bootstrapping, and Easy Knowledge. Retrieved from

Koons, J. R. (2011). Plantinga on Properly Basic Belief in God: Lessons from the Epistemology of Perception. The Philosophical Quarterly, 61 (245), 839–850.

Lamont, J. R. T. (2001). Plantinga on Belief. The Thomist: A Speculative Quarterly Review, 65 (4), 593–611. 10.1353/tho.2001.0040

Mascord, K. А. (2007). Alvin Plantinga and Christian Apologetics. Paternoster Theological Monographs: Wipf and Stock.

Moon, A. (2017). Plantinga’s Religious Epistemology, Skeptical Theism, and Debunking Arguments. Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 34 (4), 449–470. doi: 10.5840/faithphil2017102688

Oliphint, K. S. (2001). Epistemology and Christian Belief. Westminster Theological Journal, 63, 151–182.

Penner, M. A. (2018). Cognitive Science of Religion, Atheism, and Theism. Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 35 (1), 105–131. doi:10.5840/faithphil201811795:

Plantinga, A. (1990). God and Other Minds. A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God. Cornell University Press.

Plantinga, A. (2001). Internalism, Externalism, Defeaters and Arguments for Christian Belief. Philosophia Christi, 3 (2), 379–400.

Plantinga, A. (1993). Warrant and Proper Function. Oxford University Press.

Plantinga, A. (1993). Warrant: The Current Debate. Oxford University Press.

Plantinga, A. (2000). Warranted Christian Belief. Oxford University Press.

Shaw, K. J. (2019). A Plea for the Theist in the Street: a Defense of Liberalism in the Epistemology of Religious Experience. Faith and Philosophy: Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers, 36 (1), 102–128. doi:10.5840/faithphil2019117118

Swinburne, R. (2001). Plantinga on Warrant. Religious Studies, 37 (2), 203–214. doi:10.1017/S0034412501005601

Tilley, T. W. (1990). Reformed Epistemology and Religious Fundamentalism: How Basic are Our Basic Beliefs? Modern Theology, 6 (3), 237–257.

Zagzebski, L. (2002). Plantinga’s Warranted Christian Belief and the Aquinas/Calvin Model. Philosophical Books, 43, 117–123.

How to Cite
Filatova , M. (2020). The concept of «warrant» of the christian belief in Alvin Plantinga`S theistic philosophy . Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 23(4), 108-117.