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Tough-Minded Christianity: Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery Paperback – March 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William A. Dembski is research professor in Philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. A mathematician and philosopher, he is also a senior fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. Dembski has appeared in discussions about intelligent design on the BBC, NPR, PBS, CNN, FOX News, ABC Nightline and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Thomas Schirrmacher is rector of the Martin Bucer Seminar, a theological seminary seated in Bonn, Germany with several campuses throughout Europe. An expert in ethics, world religions, and international development, he is also president of Giving Hands, an international relief organization. Schirrmacher has authored and edited more than seventy books translated into fourteen languages.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: B&H Academic (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805447830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805447835
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A mathematician and philosopher, William A. Dembski is Research Professor in Philosophy at Southwestern Seminary in Ft. Worth, where he directs its Center for Cultural Engagement. He is also a senior fellow with Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture in Seattle. Previously he was the Carl F. H. Henry Professor of Theology and Science at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, where he founded its Center for Theology and Science. Before that he was Associate Research Professor in the Conceptual Foundations of Science at Baylor University, where he headed the first intelligent design think-tank at a major research university: The Michael Polanyi Center.

Dr. Dembski has taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT, in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where he earned a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy, he also received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.

Dr. Dembski has published articles in mathematics, engineering, philosophy, and theology journals and is the author/editor of more than a dozen books. In The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities (Cambridge University Press, 1998), he examines the design argument in a post-Darwinian context and analyzes the connections linking chance, probability, and intelligent causation. The sequel to The Design Inference appeared with Rowman & Littlefield in 2002 and critiques Darwinian and other naturalistic accounts of evolution. It is titled No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence. Dr. Dembski has edited several influential anthologies, including Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing (ISI, 2004) and Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge University Press, 2004, co-edited with Michael Ruse). His newest book, The End of Christianity, differs markedly from his others, attempting to understand how the Fall of humanity can be real in light of modern science.

As interest in intelligent design has grown in the wider culture, Dr. Dembski has assumed the role of public intellectual. In addition to lecturing around the world at colleges and universities, he is frequently interviewed on the radio and television. His work has been cited in numerous newspaper and magazine articles, including three front page stories in the New York Times as well as the August 15, 2005 Time magazine cover story on intelligent design. He has appeared on the BBC, NPR (Diane Rehm, etc.), PBS (Inside the Law with Jack Ford; Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson), CSPAN2, CNN, Fox News, ABC Nightline, and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

[Photo by Laszlo Bencze]

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
JW Montgomery is a lost gem in Christianity, likely because he is of a another intellectual level from most. Astounding can only begin to describe a career filled with books on numerous subjects as well as doctorate degrees to back them up, and then his debate history with major players such as Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Thomas Altizer, and recent ones with likes of major Muslim apologist, and then his legal case history winning major human rights issues.

44 contributors to this volume are organized into six groupings: Christian Worldview; Nature of Nature; Doctrinal Integrity; Defending the Faith; Law, Ethics, Society; Tribute. What surprised me somewhat is the non-Lutheran contribution here, with there only being four that I could identify, allowing that some of the laypeople might be as well.

Having read at least two in each of these categories, I can relate that they are superb for the most part. They are captivating, whether or not your view concurs with that being offered. A few words about several of these which put forward interesting points.

At the top of the list would be Angus Menuge's excellent essay: "The Transcendent Incarnate." Here he argues that where one starts his apology is vital. Most would start at the top, while Montgomery starts at the bottom, with Christ incarnate. This has many advantages to the Christian defender, since it goes right at the point of the superiority of the Christian God over other contenders, and balances firmly on the historicity of the Biblical documents for eyewitness evidence. This flows well, he argues, in areas of not only theology, but human rights and ethics.
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Format: Paperback
The year is far from over, but I still feel justified in saying that Tough-Minded Christianity will most likely be the best collection of Christian essays released this year. I have read numerous collections from Beyond Opinion, (Thomas Nelson), Passionate Conviction (B&H), To Everyone An Answer (IVP), Why I Am A Christian (Baker) but this collection (768 pgs/ 43 Essays) deliver a much broader scope of quality essays. Its numerous sections includes: (1.) The Christian World View (2.) The Nature of Nature (3.) Doctrinal Integrity (4.) Defending the Faith (5.) Laws, Ethics Society (6.) Tribute. It hard to find fault with such an excellent collection expect to say that it might not appeal to someone that want an anthology that has a narrower focus. For example if someone wanted an anthology dealing with the New Atheists like B&H upcoming title Contending with Christianity's Critics. A book of that nature would appeal to them more since this book had only have eight essays (119 pgs in total) specifically on that subject, 15 if you include the Christian Worldview section. While To Everyone an Answer (a apologetics anthology) has 18 essays on that specific apologetics topics and 2 on Ethics, Law, Society.

Why such a broad scope? Because the book is in honor of John Warwick Montgomery, and he is a man of intense scope. He has more PhD's and Graduate degrees than I have fingers, in essence he has a hand in about every field and the book reflects on his contributions and has essays in the fields in which he has worked. As for the clincher, the quality of the essays? Names such as J. I. Packer, Dembski, Yamauchi, I. Howard Marshall, Geisler, Habermas and Lutzer should signal there is quality and editors such as Dembski and Schirrmacher ensured the final product was coherent and enjoyable.
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The book is strong in the tradition of John Warwick Montgomery--well written essays by top notch conservative Christian scholars. J.I. Packer's analysis of pluralism and Dembski's article on "Evolution As Alchemy" are standouts in this collection of outstanding writing.
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