By: J.P. Moreland
NAV Press / 1997 / Paperback
J.P. Moreland is concerned for the evangelical community. He feels that it is currently being held captive by a thoroughly modern understanding of Christianity which has diminished our ability to positively affect change in our culture. In other words, we are no longer salty, and cannot (do not) function as the salt of the earth. What does Jesus say about salt that has lost its flavor? It is good for nothing and must be thrown out (actually, Jesus, in his ever mild manner, says to throw it out and trample it underfoot).
Just what is it that makes us the salt of the earth? Moreland makes a convincing argument that our intellectual capabilities are a large part of that saltiness. The modern understanding of Christianity that has made us flavorless? A strong and deeply held conviction that Christianity is supposed to be anti-intellectual (supra-rational). Thus, Moreland examines how pervasive anti-intellectualism was in Christianity during the twentieth century, and he argues that we need to recover true Christian intellect and rationality to once again become salt in this world.
Moreland asks several very important questions regarding the relationship of intellect (mind) and faith. Those questions include: Why should the mind matter in Christianity? How can one develop a mature Christian mind? What does a mature Christian mind look like? How can we guarantee a future for the Christian mind? The answers are, obviously, well-thought out and well-reasoned. They are also informative, and the overall effect is a practical, rational book which teaches us to re-elevate reason to its proper status in the Christian life. After all, Jesus did summarize the law by telling us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind.
A most read for any Christian today. Powerful in that it brings the reader to the basics of the message of Christ, love Him with evrything you have, and of course, the mind is the first! I was so impressed I will give copies to two pastors and my brothers.
One of my favorite books! This book alone helped pave my budding interest in Truth and Apologetics. Moreland will challenge the great mass of church-goers to evaluate how engaged their minds are, in every area of their lives. Here you will see with clarity that as followers of Christ, made in his image - we have a mind that must subject all things to reason and logic. We are called to be actively engaged in worship and Spiritual growth, and this book will explain why and where we as a whole, fall short of "loving God with our minds". Being a Christian is not about feeling a certain way, but truly about thinking a certain way. Moreland with words of grace with eloquently knock against your mind to see if there might be anyone home to reason with him. Are you ready to leave the milk and sink your teeth into a little meat?
When I first read this book several years ago, it fundamentally changed my view of my life and my goals. For the first time i felt free to explore the world as I had always believe God intended. I credit this book with helping me to work out a well-reasoned faith with the subsequent development of an intellectual certainty about the reality of God's existence. This certainty has allowed me to bring my belief about God into all aspects of my life without fear. The secular/sacred dicotomy in which I had always lived vanished; freeing me to life only one life. Dr. Moreland is truly my hero and this is the work of his that began an amazingly wonderful journey for me.
When I use this book in graduate classes, I nickname it "Love God with Your Brain." The switch of brain for mind jolts people, making them stop, then think. God created us with a physical brain and a metaphysical mind and, as Moreland rightly urges, we must engage both. His subtitle explains the real focus of his work: "The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul." Too often, we disconnect mind and soul, brain and spirituality, reason and sanctification. Moreland urges us back to the historical Christian path of loving God with our heart, soul, mind, and spirit. My only wish regarding "Love God with Your Mind" would be that Moreland did not at times seemingly pit mind against soul, reason against passion, intellect against emotion. I understand how hard it is not to seem somewhat overbalanced in a book where you are countering the post-modern imbalance. However, true spirituality has always been about religious affections and renewed thinking. Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming "Beyond the Suffering: The Story of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction."
Moreland does a remarkable job of demonstrating the necessity of forming a strong Christian mind. If this book does not whet your appetite for building a stronger foundation in the area of apologetics, it is quite possible that nothing will.
The previous reviewer about how the book is "hard to put down" except for the section on logic misses the point of the section and the book. It is as if he says, "Except for the part that forms the basis of your defense against the Christian faith, the defense of the Christian faith is interesting." How foolish! Obviously, he misses Moreland's point. It is precisely against this type of anti-intellectual mentality that Moreland writes. Do not make the same mistake.
What a fabulous book! A good primer for anyone interested in learning more about apologetics. Moreland reminds us that the study of the defense of the faith has been sorely neglected in today’s church. Aside from the short portion of the book on logical thinking, this is a hard book to put down. If you’re considering reading this, I strongly encourage you to follow through—you won’t be sorry!
This is a "meat and potatoes" book. It will stimulate your walk with God and challenge you to jump start your mind in many areas. We, as Christians, have forgotten the beauty of a hungry mind and the danger of not feeding it.