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Tough-Minded Christianity: Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery Paperback – March 1, 2009
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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. This fine statement at the end: "Starting at the bottom, although it requires an arduous evidential apologetic, promises to deliver more accurate, objective, and universal answers. Perhaps not only theologians but also Christian philosophers, historians, ethicists, and human rights activists could benefit from laying the foundation before building the roof."
I. Howard Marshall's contribution on importance of the resurrection in justification is thought provoking. Dallas Miller's analysis of JWM's debate career is insightful, especially the opening sharing of JWM's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes fame to a gathered religious profs conference. Equally enlightening is Christine Schirrmacher's contribution on Muslim Immigration to Europe and its Challenges, where she points out the difficulties in this part of the world of assimilating Muslim immigrants into European culture, and the resultant challenges to running two political control groups and two ethical groups. Robert Rogers, a Calvinistic Baptist, attempts to run Lutheranism in the Calvinistic TULIP formula. Wonder how JWM reacts to this, but for this Lutheran, he misses the mark on numerous points, especially omitting the center of theology of the cross and incarnational/sacramental emphasis of Luther. Lutheran Craig Parton provides a fine essayal tribute to his mentor as an evangelical, evidentialist and confession Lutheran apologist.
This fine work with prominent names will provide more excellent reading in support of a rich life's contribution by Montgomery. Many will fine this an inspiring read which will vector them off into JWM's writings as well as many others.
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. Even names that others may not be familiar with such as Peter Zoller-Greer deliver superb essays that fascinate the mind such as The Scully Experiment in his essay, "LOGIC, QUANTUM PHYSICS, RELATIVISM, AND INFINITY". If you are getting one anthology this year get TOUGH-MINDED CHRISTIANITY it is a solid, diverse mix of quality Christian Essay honoring a fascinating man and exploring interesting and relevant topics today. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!