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Showing 1-10 of 98 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 159 reviews
on November 1, 2015
Moreland's thesis is simple: Christianity and thus Christian belief is (A) cogent, (B) aligns itself with historical and observable truth, and (C) imminently intellectually and reasonably defensible and as such Christians need to be able to present their faith intellectually in purposeful and structured reasons to those who would challenge that faith. (In short, a definition of I Peter 3:15.) Why, then, has contemporary Christianity and the vast throng of so-called Christians in today's western Church shied away from and given up on public and interpersonal espousals of a reasoned defense? Why have Christians shrunk away from intellectual and philosophical arguments for the faith.

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.
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on November 20, 2012
The subtitle of this book hits it straight, "The role of reason in the life of the soul." Any Christian who wants to do a detailed analysis of their faith needs to read this book. JP Moreland does an excellent job exploring the mind of Christianity. He challenges fellow Christians to really understand what they believe - and be able to defend that faith with solid reasoning and logic. This book is no leap of faith. It is similar in some ways to Lee Strobel's works and compliments them but dives much deeper. This book is not for the faint of heart (or mind in this case) - I had to re-read some sections to make sure I really followed where JP was going but the journey is well worth it. The well read Christian will want to have this book in their library - top shelf stuff.
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on July 16, 2013
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied, "Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Jesus made it clear that we are to love God with our intellect. The apostle Paul made it clear in Romans 2 that spiritual transformation occurs by a renewing of our minds.

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.
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on January 28, 2014
The church is on the margins of the American culture. In Love Your God With All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland teaches Christians their minority role in culture is a recent consequence of the church’s intellectually lazy disposition over the last century. He argues this change took place because Christians sought to avoid the deep, grueling work of their intellectual lives: “We have seen that the church was attacked intellectually in the latter half of the nineteenth century and was not adequately prepared to respond to this attack in kind. Instead, with notable exceptions, the church withdrew from the world of ideas and the intellectual life and was thereby marginalized.” In times past, the church was the cornerstone of culture. As such, most of our laws reflected the moral imperatives that are taught in scripture because scripture teaches there can be no moral imperatives without a redemptive indicative. As we all know, this has changed drastically in the last decade. The laws that now govern our nation are reflecting an entirely new moral code.

Throughout this book, Moreland inspires the church attender who feels nudged by the Spirit to pursue the depths of truth for the glory of God to consider taking the intellectual side of their faith to a new level. Doing so will enrich one’s understanding of God and will increasingly influence culture. Moreland encourages his reader, “Trust and hope in God help build confidence that truth is a valuable thing to have because it is ultimately good. A confident mind is a mind free to follow the truth wherever it leads, without the distracting fear and anxiety that come from the attitude that maybe we’re better off not knowing the truth.”
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on April 14, 2013
J.P. Moreland addresses the problems of the common anti-intellectual attitude among evangelical Christians, of whom he numbers himself. Several of the chapters address the need to develop the mind, adding biblical passages to show God does not call for `blind' faith. The separation and antinomy of faith and reason is a mistake, according to Moreland. He attributes historical causes -- the legacy of the Pilgrims and Puritans waning, and evangelical withdrawal in face of the philosophy of Hume and Kant, the German higher criticism of the Bible, and Darwinian evolution. He then goes into two prevalent oppositions to Christian evangelicalism today: naturalism and postmodernism. Naturalism, also called materialism by other critics, is the belief that the only truth is that which can be observed in the physical world by the senses. Postmodernism is the belief that "there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, knowledge, value, reason, and so forth. All these are social constructions...." Moreland points out that neither system allows for the truths of ethics or theology, and few would admit there are no ethical truths. He also answers naturalism by writing of the evidence for a divine creator by scientific theory, and the evidence for Christ's divinity from history.

I thought the chapter that introduces logic was very useful, and more understandable than most texts on the subject, including Moreland's work with William Craig Lane, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. The chapter on logic is not comprehensive, but very good for identifying what makes for logical arguments and what makes for fallacies.

The chapter on possible changes for the contemporary Church will be considered controversial for some, especially his suggestion that a church be led by elders, (as in the early Church), and not one senior pastor. The prescriptions are important because they emphasize the need for the Church to equip its members for ministry. These can be summed up by one of his statements: the Church should consider herself an educational institution.
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on October 22, 2008
J.P. Moreland's Love Your God with All Your Mind calls evangelical Christians to cultivate the intellect as an act of worship to God. Moreland decries the anti-intellectualism prevalent in the current evangelical climate and encourages Christians to begin actively developing a Christian worldview that can engage and challenge the current philosophies dominating the scientific and academic world.

Love Your God with All Your Mind focuses on three major areas of Christian practice. Moreland begins by exposing the anti-intellectualism of the Church today and the areas in which Christians have deserted intellectual engagement.

Moreland does not leave us with the simple challenge to begin developing a Christian mind; he also shows us what that mature mind looks like. Love Your God describes how a surge of intellectualism will bolster evangelism (providing a basis for serious apologetics [131]), and give Christians the proper ammunition to answer skepticism, scientism and relativism (141-142, 146-148, 150-152).

A third theme running through Moreland's book focuses on the cultivation of the mind as an act of spiritual devotion. Moreland reminds the reader of the Old Testament's teaching about wisdom and knowledge - qualities that come from those devoted to using their minds as the primary vehicle for making contact with God (66-67).

Love Your God with All Your Mind exposes the ways that evangelicalism today falls short of the biblical mandate to cultivate the mind as an act of worship. Moreland offers several solutions, one of which is centered in his emphasis on seeing all of life as integrated. The split between the "sacred" and the "secular" (27-29) is perhaps the most damaging implication of Christianity's anti-intellectual inclination. Moreland correctly perceives that this separation between sacred and secular has served to silence Christian voices in areas of "secular" knowledge. Faith is relegated to the upper sphere of feelings and sentiment with no more authority than someone's personal opinion, whereas facts are seen as "secular," scientific, and not subject to religious critique.

The division between sacred and secular is exacerbated by evangelicalism's emphasis on full-time ministry as the "sacred" calling from God and the subsequent failure to understand secular vocations as also fulfilling divine calling (174-176). In recent years, evangelicals have tried to address this issue. Several books geared to making Christians aware of their religious duties at work have appeared on bookshelves and have sold moderately well. Unfortunately, the biblical understanding of "vocation" has not made its way into the pulpit, so when pastors do address issues of work and occupation, they spend most of their time emphasizing how Christians can do "sacred" activities within their secular fields (evangelism, promoting honesty, starting Bible studies, etc.) rather than teaching them to accomplish their vocations for the glory of God.

Love Your God contains three suggestions that I hope to apply in future ministry. First, I have begun to see all my reading and study as an act of worship (166-169), not just my seminary or devotional reading. Because of this, I have begun the practice of praying after every chapter of every book I read, thanking God for whatever insights I have learned from the book. This includes non-Christian books as well. Secondly, I hope to emphasize in my preaching and teaching that all vocations are a calling from God and are not "secular" or cut off from sacred mandate (177-181). Finally, I believe that worship services should not center only on feelings and sentimental impulse, but on the proper preaching of God's Word and the doctrines contained therein (158-159). Worship is not successful because it provokes feelings of ecstasy in the worshiper, but because it leaves us with a correct picture of our transcendent, personal God.

Love Your God also leaves me with several questions. How do we convince our churches of the need for intellectual engagement? More specifically, how do we stir up in our people a love for study and reflection? How does the Church's existence help or hinder the apologetic nature of our evangelistic efforts? How can we compete with the onslaught of entertainment choices in our efforts to cultivate the Christian mind? Should we use entertainment as a springboard to further discussion?

J.P. Moreland's Love Your God with All Your Mind is a thought-provoking book that deserves to be read by all evangelical Christians. Moreland rightly perceives the damage done to the Church by today's anti-intellectual climate and he offers sound, biblical suggestions for overcoming this barrier to greater Christian influence.
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on June 30, 2015
A very cogent tome. I enjoyed the emphasis on the tying together the general knowledge in the world with the revelation God gives in Scripture. This is a consistent thread in the book for good reason. As the text emphasizes, we take in a lot of facts but God's thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. So, we need to think His thoughts after Him and this takes a methodical effort as Moreland describes well. Only two things missing for me to give it 5 stars. One, is the absence of Francis Schaeffer's texts in the recommended reading appendices and perhaps, in the text as a reference as well. Same also for Herbert Schlossberg's Idols for Destruction. Hard to see why they were not included since they do exactly what the author recommends. I think if we read books that show us how it is done (as these 2 texts do) this is a help to fulfilling the book's title of loving God with our mind.
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on May 29, 2007
This book is a wonderful book. I will admit that a lot of the information contained within is available in other sources, lectures of his on the Veritas forum, other books meant to be a wake up call for Christians to use their mind (A mind for God by White). So a major decision on wether to purcase this is wether or not you already feel sufficiently awake yet.

This book is directed towards your average lay person, so it's handy to give to someone to express the case for a more intellectual pursuit of God. It also has a chapter where he discusses the nature of the Soul and the Spirit which to me was the reason for buying this book.

I would like to comment to some of the negative comments about this book in reviews. First of all this book is one in a series upon the Christian life, if you felt this book left you cold and didn't cover other areas of the Christian life that's because it has the support of the other books in the series to lean on and can just focus on the one issue.

Secondly, though those arguments wouldn't necessarily work on Phd who debates those issues, most Christians don't run in those circles and don't need that level of argumentation. It's not as though that's even in the ballpark of what J.P. has to offer, if you want higher level apologetics I can't recommend Scaling the Secular City enough (believe me I've tried).
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on July 16, 2016
An older, somewhat dated text (based on the author's referencing answering machines and tape ministry, this was written before the widespread integration of the Internet and smart phones), but a well-developed argument for the Christian mandate to learn to think and argue rationally and coherently. Moreland equips the reader with enough logical tools to get started and interested then provides an extensive list of references for learning more (again, dated as evidenced by references to organizations with addresses and phone numbers, but few with web sites). This is a good book to get one "fired-up" about the importance of intellectualism in the Christian life.
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on February 24, 2015
This book is quite relevant for Christians trying to understand the world of today. So many churches have decided to be guided by Humanists rather than the Bible and the Bible is not just a guide for life, but God's Directive! J.P Moreland states in clear terms what is expected of us if we are to live the Christian life. I recommend this book! Having shared it with my fellow Bible students, the comments from some were that it was difficult to understand and some of you may find this to be the case. If you do decide to order this book, I suggest that you ask God to open the eyes of your heart for understanding, and you will have very little difficulty knowing what is being presented to you!
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