- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0736924884
- ISBN-13: 978-0736924887
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,042,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning Paperback – January 1, 2009
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―David Neff, editor in chief and vice-president, Christianity Today Media Group
―Craig J. Hazen, PhD, professor of comparative religion, Biola University, author of Five Sacred Crossings
―Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College
About the Author
J.P. Moreland is distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. His many writings include Kingdom Triangle. Dr. Moreland served ten years with Campus Crusade for Christ, planted two churches, and has spoken on more than 200 college campuses and in hundreds of churches.
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The table of contents are as follows:
Part 1: Why Can't We Be Happy?
1. Why Can't I Be Happy?
2. Hope for a Culture of Bored and Empty Selves
Part 2: Is There a Real Solution to Our Dilemma?
3. The Question of God, Part 1
4. The Question of God, Part 2
5. The Luminous Nazarene
6. My Own Journey as Jesus' Apprentice
Part 3: How Can the Solution Help Me Change?
7. Rethinking the Whole Thing
8. Two Essentials for Getting Good at Life
9. Avoiding the Jaws of Defeat
10. How to Unclog Your Spiritual Arteries and Develop the Heart
to Work for God
Part 4: Is This Life All There Is?
11. From Here to Eternity
Brief Summary of the Contents
In Part 1, Moreland argues that our pursuit of the American Dream doesn't make people happy. The Baby Boomer generation is 10 times more depressed than earlier generations because they lived only for themselves and not for a cause larger than themselves -- they need to live for a good purpose in life.
In Part 2 Moreland investigates evidence that makes it reasonable to believe in the Creator:
The Kalaam Cosmological argument and support from astronomy, the Design argument (drawing examples from the complexity and fine-tuned eye and molecule, and from biology), the Moral Argument (e.g. building a case for an absolute moral law).
In Part 3, Moreland builds the case for believing in God through examining the claims of Jesus Christ and the support for the Resurrection. At the beginning of Part 3, Moreland offers 3 criteria for choosing a religion:
1) Does the depiction of the Supreme Being in a given religion harmonize with what we already know about God from creation?
2) Does that religion provide the most profound diagnosis of the human condition and the most adequate solution to that diagnosis?
3) Does the best explanation of both the origin and continued history of the religion include supernatural activity?
Moreland goes on to give his own personal journey of how he came to believe in God through the Christian faith, and how that impacted his life.
In Part 3, Moreland gives the practical relevance of believing in the God that the Bible describes through trusting in the Gospel:
A. The Gospel of the Kingdom
Our purpose is to join the kingdom program as set forth in the Gospel
a) We need to be apprentices of Christ
b) We need to love God
c) We need to obey His commands
B. The Gospel of Justification by Faith
a) We need to trust Christ for He appeased God's wrath in His substitutionary atonement on the cross
b) Through Christ, we receive forgiveness of sins
C. Two Essentials for Getting Good at Life
1) Follow Christ by getting good at denying ourselves, count the cost,
and following Him
2) Practice disciplines that will help us be a disciple
a) Practice biblical self-talk
b) Recognize your core-identity in Christ & your mission
c) Be absorbed in developing your character and a heart for God
D. Avoiding the Jaws of Defeat -- Moreland gives practical suggestions on how we can deal with the flesh, the world, and the devil. One of the very practical sections deal with how believers can rightly interact with the world and with non-believers, and how believers can deal with doubt.
He talks about the spiritual disciplines that can help us conquer the flesh, and how we can wage spiritual warfare against the devil & demons.
E. How to Unclog Spiritual Arteries -- we need to be engaged in God-centered worship and we need to pray. Moreland offers practical suggestions on how to worship and pray.
Part 4 Is This Life All There Is?
Moreland examines the afterlife and builds a case for believing in the biblical teaching of the afterlife. He talks about heaven and hell, and refutes common objections for believing in the hell described in the Bible.
This is a pretty lengthy summary, but I wanted you readers to see how helpful this book is. I highly recommend this book as an apologetics and evangelistic tool, not only to give to your intellectual agnostic or atheist friend, but also as a very helpful guide for equipping yourself. I will definitely use this class for my teaching and ministry. Very highly recommended!!
The book is clearly intended for skeptics. The author begins with a plea to proceed with both an open mind and an open heart to consider his argument. He proceeds to offer a fine exposition of the bankruptcy of the atheist/materialist and postmodernist worldviews. In Part 2, Moreland discusses the evidence for belief in theism (generally) and Christianity (specifically). It's typical apologetic fare within this section, but solid material nonetheless.
It was Part 3 that blew me away. I began reading this book "for someone else." I was quickly reminded that my belief in God is more than a cerebral exercise of logic. It truly is an invitation to a life of meaning. Like a great coach, Moreland encouraged and rebuked me to reexamine some attitudes that have invaded my heart. He has inspired me rethink some things concerning my calling and purpose that the Lord has set before me.
The book concludes with a good theology of heaven and hell. I've heard friends and family make the claim, "How could a good and loving God send people to hell?" It's a fair question and I think Moreland offers one of the most succinct responses I have ever seen.
So, who is this book for? I'm not going to begin tagging some of my friends and family who I think would benefit from reading this book. But, if you've read this far, then something in the title of the book caught your attention and you owe it to yourself to read it. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
Also...PASTORS, YOUTH PASTORS, and anyone else who interacts with the ultimate questions of life that point toward God (so, that's pretty much ALL OF YOU), would benefit from this book. Enjoy!
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