Sunday, July 5, 2009

Another Book and Another Blog

A few months back I made mention of J.P. Moreland's newest book, The God Question. I ended up making time for it much sooner than I expected to and just finished it last night. I confirm and multiply the force of everything I said here. This is the book to start with if you've not dabbled much in apologetics or Christian philosophy before now. I remember giving a friend J.P.'s Scaling the Secular City as a gift, like 15 years ago, or so, and he still hasn't read it. He says it's too much for him. If The God Question was out back then, I would've given it instead.

Interestingly, when I was about half way through the book, I came across Doug Groothuis' brand new blog (which is actually the blog for Denver Seminary's Christian Thought division—but only Groothuis has posted, so far). I was checking out Ph.D. programs (which they, unfortunately, don't have) when I found the blog and I didn't exit until I'd read everything there. Groothuis, like Moreland, is as sharp as a Ginsu, offering perceptive insights on some of today's most pressing issues. Add this to your bookmarks and read it when you can. Groothuis writes at a pace more like mine so, don't expect floods of material. But when he does post, expect nothing but the best. One of his posts, fortunately, is a review of Moreland's, The God Question. Thus, instead of writing a bunch myself, I can just link that review and be done. Thanks Professor Groothuis, I think I'll go take a nap.

But before my snooze, I'll leave you—as has become a veritable custom when I've read a book that qualifies—with the review entry for my annotated bibliography of Christian apologetics for The God Question.

"J.P. Moreland, The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers: 2009).

It would not be outrageous to guess that if a first-rate Christian philosopher—one who has spent two-thirds of his life propounding the deepest aspects of Christianity in professional and academic settings—attempted to present the basics of those aspects to an audience unfamiliar with them, that confusion and misunderstanding would result. Not so with Moreland’s, The God Question. Moreland speaks primarily and directly to the skeptic of Christianity and, secondarily, those believers who have not been introduced to some of the basic issues in Christian philosophy and spirituality. What he’s said in thousands of pages of technical work in the past on arguments for the existence of God, the historical reliability of the New Testament and how to live a life of genuine spirituality and happiness, he says here in just 200 pages of conversational prose. And not only is he able to communicate these complex issues clearly, he does so winsomely, with passionate conviction and genuine concern for those who do not yet know God. This is a book to give to anyone who is interested in the rationality, coherence and meaning of a vibrant life as a disciple of Jesus but who isn’t yet able to plunge into the intellectual deep end of the Christian faith. Reading this book will move that person toward those deep waters, armed with many of the devices necessary for staying afloat as they get there."

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