Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 146:582 (Apr 1989)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. By J. P. Moreland. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987. 256 pp. Paper, $12.95.

J. P. Moreland, apologetics and philosophy teacher at the Liberty University School of Religion and alumnus of Dallas Theological Seminary, has authored, unquestionably, the finest apologetics textbook published in the last half of this decade. Positive features of this book include its clear communication and synthesis of concepts and options. It succeeds as a basic introduction to Christian philosophical thinking.

Moreland’s stated audience is the Christian believer at an intermediate level of philosophical sophistication whose faith needs to be strengthened. The book may also be of benefit to the interested nonbeliever as reflected in the subtitle.

Section I (chaps. 1–4) discusses proofs for the existence of a personal God from the perspective of the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, and the anthropological argument (i.e., the argument from the mind). Then it posits the existence of a personal God as the answer to the questions of life.

Section II (chaps. 5–6) delves into the authenticity and reliability of the New Testament and the historicity of the resurrection of Christ. Moreland plows some productive ground in the latter chapter including the witness of women, the early date of Acts, and the pre-Pauline tradition of 1 Corinthians 15 (dated three to eight years after Jesus’ death).

Section III (chaps. 7–8) interacts with some contemporary philosophical problems. Moreland presents a perceptive essay on an evangelical philosophy of science which includes theological and exegetical aspects of the creation-evolution issue. Philosophical, theological, and historical problems with macroevolution are noted in establishing the truth of the Bible’s view of origins. The last chapter, “Four Final Issues,” deals with the visibility of God problem; God as psychological projection; the epistemology of religious experience; and the necessity of objective morality.

It is difficult to critique a book that expresses positions compatible with those of the reviewer. However, a few evaluative comments are appropriate.

Moreland does not suitably answer the objection of some quantum theorists that there are noncaused events at the subatomic level (pp. 38-39). In this reviewer’s opinion, Moreland could have used his “additive property” argument to explain the feature of macrolevel events containing microlevel events, thereby permitting the extrapolative jump from the microlevel to the macrolevel or vi...

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