Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity

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Beliefs are not anymore "things I believe in" but I tend to accept only "justified beliefs". This book is advisable to all the people that once have asked themselves: " Moreland is currently a professor of philosophy at Biola University California and has written several books about apologetics or philosophy.

When he wrote this present book, he was teaching at Liberty University Virginia. Moreland tackles certain issues in a thorough way. He uses a scholastic style, clearly laying down all the arguments and counterarguments so that his conclusions seem inescapable. The book certainly does not read fluently, but it has the great advantage of revealing in depth the logic of the arguments.

A Defense of Christianity

In addition to this: there is a general overview of the whole book at the beginning each chapter is even preceded by an overview of its contents, of the argumentation and a general conclusion at the end of the book summarizes the different arguments. Moreland's aim is to make Christianity credible with several "positive " arguments that support it and by answering some minor objections he does not deal with one of the major objections, the problem of evil.

His arguments are not tight together, and for a coherent, integrated case one will have to resort to the classical apologetics "masterpiece" by Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics Grand Rapids: Baker, Moreland's contribution is to present very well some arguments that are not so common Kalam cosmological argument, mental argument , to give a fresh, updated version of more common arguments teleological, moral, resurrection , to interact with the distortions of the natural sciences, and address some issues that are often neglected visibility of God, projection, etc.


The first four chapters contain each an argument supporting the existence of God. However, all these arguments could be as well used to argue for the existence of several gods. Moreland mentions too briefly, in two lines p. And even if each argument would get only one god, how do we know that each leads to the same God, not to several different "finite" gods? Moreland should have treated these issues in a metadiscussion about his different theistic arguments. To get the full-blown theistic God, one needs Aquinas' existential cosmological argument as used for example by Geisler in his Christian Apologetics and his Philosophy of Religion.

Such an argument is however too abstract for those who have no knowledge of philosophy, whereas the arguments Moreland uses will have more appeal to the mainline culture that is presently still dominated by the natural, technical sciences. The first argument exposed by Moreland is Craig's recent version of the Kalam cosmological argument; Moreland answers some critics and misunderstandings about it.

It requires some mathematical notions, making it difficult for some readers who then will have to read it a few times. It is extremely powerful, It leads to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning caused by a or: some timeless, spaceless, immutable, free and personal agent s. The second argument is the well known design teleological argument, which shows that there is some intelligence and thus a person or several persons who designed the universe.

Moreland exposes the different kinds of design that can be used, as well as the different formulations of the argument, and refute some criticisms, such as Hume's or those based on macro-evolutionary hypotheses, or those against the probability form of the design argument. The third argument is the argument of mind or mental argument where he shows the inadequacy of the physicalist reductionists accounts of the mind, and strongly argues for the existence of the soul.

He then shows that emergent views cannot account for the origin of our finite minds, and concludes hastily that the best explanation is that of a fundamental, divine Mind. He powerfully shows that nihilism absence of morality is unacceptable and that only "cosmic purpose" can ground the meaning required for morality.

He identifies cosmic purpose with Biblical Christian theism, but it could also be identified with other forms of theism, and even with polytheism. This is not cogent, but acceptable given that the other "species" of theism are currently philosophically inexistent, as well as polytheism. The second half of the book is less homogeneous. A first chapter argues for the historicity of the New Testament: much of this is found in many apologetics books.

Particularly interesting are Moreland's answers to certain objections, and his treatment of marks of historicity. The following chapter establishes the facts of the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances and some key-features of the early church and shows that the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the only acceptable explanation for these facts.

Those postmoderns with a relativist a priori against the possibility of historical knowledge or those liberal theologians with a deist priori against the possibility of miracles will not accept this conclusion, but Moreland is rather addressing those more common readers who are more influenced by the materialism still dominating the natural sciences at the end of the twentieth century, and these may have not the a priori of the deist against miracles, this a priori being mostly based in the believed fixity of Newton's "laws of mechanics": they know that Newton's "laws" were shown to be not true and no "laws" at all but only some approximate description that are not valid in certain cases where relativist mechanics Einstein have to be applied, and that in turn relativist mechanics is supplanted in other cases by quantum mechanics.

The a priori of the modern mind against miracles has more to do with the supposed inexistence of God, and this should have been removed with the first chapters of the book which argue for God's existence. Moreland does not discuss these issues, so that his book is more a very helpful and up-to-date rejoinder of the complete, integrated case made by Norman Geisler in Christian Apologetics Grand Rapids: Baker, Moreland ends the chapter by refuting the idea of Hellenestic influences on the resurrection stories.

A seventh chapter deals with the relation between "science" and Christianity. I find it a pity to see a Christian philosopher follow the Kantian, positivist reduction of the word "science" which means "knowledge", and used to be applied to all organized, methodic bodies of knowledge, such as theology, history, etc. Moreland probably wants to avoid confusing the general readers with a discussion that is not essential to the point he wants to make, namely removing the idea that knowledge can only come from the natural sciences. He first exposes the different philosophical interpretations of natural physical, etc.

He then briefly shows that the view that all truth come from the natural sciences is self-refuting. He also exposes the philosophical presuppositions of the natural sciences and discusses how to integrate the natural and theological sciences, ilustratres this with the case of origins creation vs. The last chapter deals with four different issues. Was Christianity built on clever conceptions of the church, or on the character and actions of an actual person? These and similar questions have come under scrutiny by a forum of biblical scholars called the Jesus Seminar.

Their conclusions have been widely publicized in magazines.

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It examines the authenticity of the words, actions, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus, and presents compelling evidence for the traditional teachings. Designed to stop secularists in their tracks, it is the kind of seminal work that serious defenders of the faith cannot afford to ignore. After laying a foundation in the Christian views of God, man, salvation, the world, and knowledge, Van Til explores the roles of authority, reason, and theistic proof, while contrasting Roman Catholic, Arminian, and Reformed methods of defending the faith.

Here John M. Frame clarifies the relationships of reason, proofs, and evidences to faith, biblical authority, and the lordship of Christ. He offers a fresh look at probability arguments and gives special attention to the problem of evil. Particularly helpful are his extensive use of Scripture and his presentation of specific lines of argument.

A model dialogue in the concluding chapter shows how the various lines of argument work in a conversation with a nonbeliever. Main Menu. Acts 29 - A diverse, global family of church-planting churches. Connect on social:.

Purchase Christianity On Trial by Vincent Caroll In this book, Carroll and Shiflett dispassionately and systematically dissect the charges against Christianity—specifically that it has justified racism and misogyny, encouraged ignorance, and promoted the despoliation of the environment and even genocide. Moreland Here Moreland provides an intellectual defense for the basic truths of the Christian faith.

Purchase Mere Christianity by C. Lewis The most popular of C.

Critique of Moreland's Scaling The Secular City

Purchase Classical Apologetics by Robert Charles Sproul, et al Must a person accept Christianity on faith alone, or is there a reasoned defense for being a Christian? The authors of this book hold that Christianity is eminently reasonable. The primacy of the mind in the Christian faith can be affirmed without denying the importance of the heart. This book embraces reason without rationalism, personal love without personalism, faith without fideism is our capacity to love Him. The book is divided into three parts. Section I is a prolegomenon dealing with the problems and methods of apologetics.