Who even reads modern Christian philosophers?
If you have read the best-selling atheist books of the last decade it's pretty hard to find many [if any] who interact with
the top Christian philosophers of our time. Read Dawkins, Harris,
Hitchens and [even] Dennett and look for how much they interact with the
likes of Alvin Plantinga, Robert Adams, Marilyn McCord Adams, Robert Merrihew Adams, Robert Audi, William
Alston, George Mavrodes, Richard Swinburne, Keith Ward, John
Cottingham, Eleonore Stump, Peter van Inwagen, Nicholas Wolterstorff
etc. etc. The silence is deafening!
The atheist and naturalist philosopher Quentin Smith has gone
even further than this, however, and claimed that most naturalist
philosophers have failed to read contemporary philosophers of religion
well enough to properly engage with it [in "The Metaphysics of Naturalism" Philo: A Journal of Philosophy vol.4, no. 2, p.196] saying:
"... the great majority of naturalist philosophers react by publicly ignoring the increasing desecularizing of philosophy (while privately disparaging theism, without really knowing anything about contemporary analytic philosophy of religion) and proceeding to work in their own area of specialization as if theism, the view of approximately one-quarter or one-third of their field, did not exist."
What an interesting phrase Smith uses where he says "the increasing desecularization of philosophy"!
One of these Christian philosophers has noted, in his recent book 'Where the conflict really lies: science, religion and naturalism' that this does not stop such naturalists from speaking on such matters:
"True, he [Dennett] doesn't know anything about contemporary analytic philosophy of religion, but that doesn't stop him from making public declarations on the subject."
Alvin Plantinga, p.49.
How disappointing that the one professional philosopher of the four 'horsemen' of atheism should be found in complete ignorance of the very field of study he so often takes it upon himself to lecture on to the public!
We have known for a long time that the work of the New Atheists has not been scholarly enough [see Thomas Nagel's review of Sam Harris's 'The Moral Landscape' as an example] but now it appears there are concerns about the scholarly rigour of, well in Smith's words, "the great majority of naturalist philosophers"!
Interesting times indeed.