Christianity and the Problem of Hiddenness: A Critique of Defence from the Incarnation

Keywords: hiddenness, incarnation, atheism, existence of God, John Schellenberg


The argument from hiddenness developed by John L. Schellenberg is one of the most discussed philosophical arguments for atheism. It assumes that there is a conflict between the existence of a perfectly loving God and the existence of nonresistant nonbelief. In his recent book titled Hiddenness and the Incarnation. A Theistic Response to John L. Schellenberg’s Argument for Divine Nonexistence (2020), Marek Dobrzeniecki presents a novel defence against the hiddenness argument, employing the Christian doctrine of the incarnation of the Son of God. In my paper, I argue that this defence fails. It is based on an incorrect claim that the Incarnation makes God hidden to humans. This allows one to formulate a new problem of hiddenness, related to the fact that there are nonresistant human beings who do not accept the divinity of Christ. The problem of hiddenness as described by Schellenberg forms an essential part of this new problem.


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