Christian philosophy, as illustrated at the May gathering, does not mean a triumphalist or party-line parade of boisterous assertions; it means instead careful, analytical, refined, and penetrating philosophical inquiry where Christian questions, Christian frameworks, Christian dogma, and Christian attitudes are simply taken for granted as part of the enterprise. Moreover, although I’m quite sure I did not catch the nuances of what was happening in many of the sessions, some of the best of them seemed to involve unbelievers challenging various points defended by Plantinga and other believers, or believing philosophers taking on various points in Plantinga’s version of Christian philosophy. The sessions, in other words, exhibited a remarkable intellectual openness as well as a remarkable transparency of Christian concern.
For a historian witnessing such an event, it was inevitable that thoughts would go to how such maturity in Christian philosophy had come about and what that maturity represented. Those thoughts, in turn, led on to broader considerations of what scholars in other intellectual domains might gain from observing what has happened in philosophy.