J.P. Moreland on the Current Culture and the Challenges in the Church

This past weekend, I had the privilege of seeing J. P. Moreland speak at the Ratio Christi Symposium. He is distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Southen California, and a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary. Published works include Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview, with W. L. Craig (2003), Philosophy Made Slightly Less Difficult, with G. DeWeese (2005), Christianity and the Nature of Science (1989), Love God with All Your Mind (1997), Scaling the Secular City (1987), Universals (2001), Naturalism: A Critical Analysis, with W. L. Craig (2000), The Creation Hypothesis (1994), and Jesus Under Fire, with M. Wilkins (1995).

He mentioned some very important points in his talk:

Here were a few highlights: 

1. Christians need to start using cognitive language and not just faith language.
Christians need to use terms relating to knowledge, evidence, reason, learning and thought, in addition to language about a tender heart and about faith. The Bible uses the word “knowledge” more than it does the word “faith”. Christians must become comfortable with the idea of ourselves as a community of thoughtful and learned people. A Christian can be learned without being snooty or arrogant. If knowledge “puffs up”, the solution is not IGNORANCE. The solution is HUMILITY.

2. Christians are obsessed with compassion. Unfortunately, they aren’t doing a great job of integrating both compassion and truth. What sets people free? Truth or compassion? Or both?

3. Christian pastors and leaders very rarely address the top issues of the day from the pulpit. Thus, we rarely hear a message about worldview integration. One example might be the integration between politics and faith.

4. While Moreland has addressed the issues of scientific naturalism elsewhere, he mentioned another worldview that seems to be gaining ground is Cultural Marxism/Postmodernism. Within this worldview, many people who yell the loudest and use powerful rhetoric assume they can end up winning the arguments. So much for actual truth and substance!

If you want to see more about Dr. Moreland, go to his website here.