For those of us who seek to be followers of Jesus Christ, the central demand of the New Testament should dominate our lives—the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. That gospel tells us that Jesus of Nazareth was the incarnate Son of God who died on the cross to atone for the sins of the world and rose bodily from the dead. This message is to be presented to people primarily because it is true and not because it works, though the practical benefits of knowing Christ are certainly important. If we follow the New Testament example, we are to present the gospel as a rational message to be believed and we are to defend it against objections.
— J. P. Moreland, from Scaling the Secular City, p. 249
As G. K. Chesterton once bemoaned, once people stop believing in God, the problem is not that they will believe nothing; rather, the problem is that they will believe anything.
— J. P. Moreland, from Love Your God With All Your Mind, kindle location 303
Underlying the decline of civility (in our culture) is a loss of an ability to think carefully about what really matters most in life.
— J. P. Moreland, from Menace of Mindless Christianity at 2:06
Worship is not under the control of human beings, nor is the form it takes up to their whims. Rather, worship is a response to a God who initiates toward His people, gives them life, and shows Himself active on their behalf.
— J. P. Moreland, from Love Your God With All Your Mind, kindle location 1922
I don’t know if you recall, but at the end of World War II there were the Nuremberg trials where they tried the German war criminals. The Nazi war criminals, to their defense, advanced a version of moral relativism [that is] called legal positivism [which] is roughly the idea that there is nothing that is really right or wrong—that right or wrong is solely what people believe in a culture. The war criminals said: Continue reading
Today, we share the gospel primarily as a means of addressing felt needs. We give testimonies of changed lives and say to people that if they want to become better parents or overcome depression or loneliness, then Christ is the answer for them. As true as this may be, such an approach to evangelism is inadequate for two reasons. First, it does not reach people who may be out of touch with their feelings. Consequently, if men in our culture are in general less in touch with their feelings than women, this approach will not reach men effectively. Second, it invites the response, “Sorry, but I don’t have a need” Have you ever wondered why no one responded to the apostle Paul in this manner? If you look at his evangelistic approach in Acts 17-20, the answer becomes obvious. He based his preaching on the fact that the gospel is true and reasonable to believe. He reasoned with and tried to persuade people intelligently to accept Christ. Continue reading
Traditional interpretations of morality (based on biblical guidelines and nature) are considered passé. Today’s translation: Morality is relative.
The definition of the good life has changed. From Old Testament times until this century, the good life was understood to mean a life of intellectual and moral virtue. Happiness was understood as a life of virtue, and the successful person was one who knew how to live life well according to the creative design of God. Today’s translation: The good life means material success and public notoriety. Continue reading
When Nietzsche said “God is dead,” he didn’t mean the Supreme Being had died. When Nietzsche said “God is dead,” what he meant was that the power centers of Western culture had turned secular. When he said “God is dead,” he meant religion was no longer relevant to the political world or to the educational systems of Europe.
— J. P. Moreland, from Assessing the Crisis of Our Age Part 1 at 30:52
If we don’t have good answers for others, then why would we have good answers for ourselves?
— J. P. Moreland and Mark Matlock, from Smart Faith, p. 16