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Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul Paperback – June 1, 1997
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"J.P. Moreland exemplifies the Christian mind as it ought to be-tough and analytic, but also generous and caring. Christians who want to develop their minds in the service of Christ couldn't find a better teacher, or a better book for the task." -- -Phillip E. Johnson, author of Darwin on Trial
"This is more than just another Christian book. It is the wake-up call that the church needs today. God gave us minds for a reason. It is crucial that we become like Christ in the way we think. If we heed J.P.'s words, we can counter the culture in which we live, work, think, and minister." ---Josh McDowell, Josh McDowell Ministries --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
From the Publisher
An invaluable book aiding the concerned Christian in the battle for the Christian intellect, Love Your God With All Your Mind offers a no-holds-barred approach to fixing what's gone wrong in the Church. The author brilliantly identifies the reasons for the loss of the Christian intellect and how the Christian mind has been lost to the ever-growing popularity of anti-intellectualism.
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Moreland (with input from Dallas Willard) addresses these questions and outlines reasons for this lack and even distrust of intellectual engagement and the shift to belief as merely a heart (or feeling) option of belief. He also presents his case for being able to give an intellectual defense of the faith and reminds readers that for hundreds of years a primary reason that the faith spread was because of the feasibility of the faith in conjunction with the adherent's living in obedience and demonstrating the delicious fruits of their faith. Along the way he takes brief moments to share some instances of his using some philosophic arguing to defend the faith and gives an extremely brief primer on logic and argument there from. Lastly he discusses how the organization of believers especially within churches can structure their fellowship to stimulate and develop minds toward the goals of intellectual defense and accountability.
The presentation of the material may feel a little thin to some readers looking for a heavily in-depth and structured defense of the faith but that isn't the purpose of the book. Others who may be reading this material and aren't already students of philosophy may find the task a little daunting. But the book is written more almost as a treatise on the need to get back to intellectual profundity and engagement within the larger Christian culture. This is a good book for Christian leaders and active church members who wish to take seriously the call for developing their minds in active service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
[For those interested the book is broken down as follows: Part 1: Why the mind matters in Christianity; Chapter 1: How we lost the Christian mind and why we must recover it; C2: Sketching a biblical portrait of the life of the mind; C3: The mind's role in spiritual transformation; Part 2: How to develop a mature Christian mind; C4: Harassing the hobgoblins of the Christian mind; C5: Clearing the cobwebs from my mental attic; Part 3: What a mature Christian mind looks like; C6: Evangelism and the Christian mind; C7: Apologetic reasoning and the Christian mind; C8: Worship, Fellowship, and the Christian mind; C9: Vocation and an integrated Christian worldview; Part 4: Guaranteeing a future for the Christian mind; C10: Recapturing the intellectual life in the Church; Appendix I: Intellectual resources; Appendix II: Sources for integration. PLEASE ALSO NOTE that there is an updated version of this book with at least more content and perhaps some significant structural editing but some of the content has been removed.] One thing that I would love to see is Moreland debate the likes of a Penn Jillette, someone who is an avowed atheist and delights in challenging and belittling supposedly Christian people's faiths in public forums such as on television. And I'd love to see it on TV. Now that would be something.
According to J.P. Moreland, both the Scriptures and church history make it clear that something has gone terribly wrong with our modern understanding of the value of reason and intellectual development, both for individual discipleship and for the life of the church. There is precious little emphasis on developing the mind in western Christianity. Our churches are filled with Christians whose minds are going to waste. As individuals, this is costing us a deeper and richer Christian faith; it has also contributed to the subsequent marginalization of the church. Moreland maintains there are a number of consequences, including a weakening of world missions, the emergence of an irrelevant gospel, and the decline of the Christian voice in our culture. If we cannot articulate the reasons for our faith, then why should anyone want to join us in our irrelevance? Yet we live in a post-modern world when our ability to articulate the Christian worldview is more critical than ever.
Author J. P. Moreland is convinced that the anti-intellectualism that is so prevalent in our Western culture has infected the church as well. Because our lives are not transformed by our emotions, he encourages evangelicals to develop Christ-like minds. He identifies the main problems that contribute to the problem and proposes some possible solutions. We need more rigorous discipline to be thinking Christians who live in a manner consistent with Christ's command to "Love the Lord your God with all your mind." We must be a studying, learning community that values the life of the mind and uses that intellect to further God's kingdom through evangelism, apologetics, worship and vocation. The result will be a deeper, richer Christian faith.
The book is divided into four parts. Part one describes how we lost the Christian Mind and constructs a compelling case for why we must recover it, concentrating on the mind's role in spiritual transformation. Moreland addresses specific hindrances to building and utilizing a Christian mind and suggests several habits for overcoming these obstacles. In part two he instructs us on how to develop a mature Christian Mind. Part three describes what a mature Christian mind looks like. The fourth and final part of the book proposes several solutions for recapturing the intellectual life of the church. He also provides the reader with two extensive appendices.
Love Your God with all Your Mind presents an incisive assessment of one of the western, evangelical church's biggest problems: anti-intellectualism mixed with fideism. J.P. Moreland's book diagnoses the problem and offers sound, sagacious, biblical suggestions for effecting change in this area. It is an outstanding and thought-provoking book that should probably be read by all evangelical Christians. At a minimum, it should be read by all evangelical pastors, teachers, and elders. Some might complain that Moreland places some unrealistic expectations upon churches. However it is essential that churches and pastors take the lead in solving this problem, since the very people who most need to read this book are least likely to do so. It is high time we address the intellectual stagnation and theological complacency that is rampant in our churches.