Moving on from natural theology
In this chapter, the author challenges the idea that two sources of knowledge of God can be kept rigidly apart, and argues for the vital necessity of ‘ramified natural theology,’ which concerns the evaluation of evidence for the particularities of the Christian faith and which was the subject of a special issue of the journal Philosophia Christi. Given, as outlined, that the results of natural theology are limited, one major reason for going further and applying the same kind of reasoning to the particularities of the Christian faith is the phenomenon of religious pluralism. Distinguishing between these latter claims also requires a rational approach and this is the territory of 'ramified natural theology.' For Pannenberg, evaluating the historical evidence is essential since it constitutes 'publicly checkable evidence.' Although he does not use this expression, Pannenberg is thus engaged in what is now termed ramified natural theology.