When I returned home I spoke with Brad once more on the phone and he graciously offered to send me a copy of Moreland’s book and strongly encourage me to read it. While waiting on the book to arrive I discovered that there are two different editions of the book available and that there is significant difference between the two. Chapters seven, eight, and nine of the first edition were replaced with three different chapters in the second edition. The book that arrived was the second edition and thus the one under consideration in this review. I have not yet read the first edition, so I will reserve comment on it for another time.
Determining I would write a review of the book once I had finished reading it, I sat down with a pen and highlighter in hand and began reading. Once I had completed reading each chapter I would go back and rate the chapter on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) so that I could remember how I felt about it at the time I read it. The following list contains the titles of each chapter along with the rating I assigned each:
- How we lost the Christian Mind and Why We Must Recover it – 8
- Sketching a Biblical Portrait of the Life of the Mind – 6
- The Mind’s Role in Spiritual Transformation- 7
- Harassing the Hobgoblins of the Christian Mind – 9
- Clearing the Cobwebs from Our Mental Attics – 8
- Evangelism and the Christian Mind - 9
- The Question of God (Part 1) – 8
- The Question of God (Part 2) – 8
- The Evidence of Jesus – 10
- Recapturing the Intellectual Life in the Church - 9
The above index gives a feel for what lies within the contents of the book. Moreland has three objectives that he achieves (in my opinion) in his writing:
- To identify a gaping need among “Christians”: the need to study their bible and prepare to intelligently discuss their beliefs with the world.
- To challenge “Christians” to do the difficult work necessary to achieve a greater understanding and defense of scripture.
- To introduce “Christians” to the topic of apologetics and build a desire within them to go on to further studies.
After reading the first chapter I found myself captivated and anxious to continue on through the book, but because of other commitments I was unable to pick it back up for several days. When I finally got back to reading it I found the second chapter a bit heavy and somewhat uninteresting, yet I determined to go forward with the book a few days later. The first half of the third chapter was much like the second (to me), yet when I reached the second half it picked back up and peaked my interest as it had in the beginning. I sat down a couple mornings later and after reading the fourth chapter I determined that I would not rest until I had completed the book. Some seven hours later I found myself finished and taking pride in my accomplishment. The reward was definitely worth the work and the challenge worth accepting. As I perused the 107 pages that contained highlighting, I determined to recommend it to others and challenge them to work through the material as well.
The only word I can think of to describe Love Your God With All Your Mind is “challenging”. The book was a bit of a challenge to read and definitely left challenges in my mind. Moreland targeted adults and college students as his audience and intentionally wrote in a challenging manner for the sake of giving the reader a taste of what it takes to grow spiritually. Written on a college level, the content can be assimilated but not in a casual or flippant manner. While challenging the reader to think and study it requires its readers to do both. My recommendation for most people would be to read a chapter a day and not try to take on too much at one time. Another recommendation would be to challenge several others to read through the book with you, to set a reading schedule for the group, and meet together to discuss the material.
Moreland’s introduction to the defense of a belief in God and assessing the evidence for Christ is itself worth the price of the book. In chapter seven he introduces several arguments from logic that prove the existence of God, and in chapter eight he argues from a standpoint of design, complexity, specific complexity, and biological information as well as introducing the moral argument. Chapter nine provides the clearest and most exhaustive single introduction I have ever read to the historical evidence for Jesus. The arguments provided are logical, compelling, and practical in nature.
The three items the reader should be aware of stem from Moreland’s Calvinistic and denominational background. First, he argues from 1 Corinthians 2:14 that the Christian has advantages over the sinner because he has the Holy Spirit guiding him from within, when the passage is actually contrasting the abilities of an inspired man (the Spiritual Man) over that of an uninspired man (Natural Man). Secondly, he references direct spiritual guidance separate and apart from the Word, and the existence of modern day miracles while recognizing that such is hard to explain or prove to someone.
My other issue with Moreland is that he is politically inclined and encourages others to get involved in politics in the hopes of protecting “Christendom” and advancing the cause of the “church”. Moreland’s concept of the church is far different from that of the bible, and he fails to understand the distinction scripture draws between church and state in Romans 13.
With these three caveats in mind, I would highly recommend the book to every adult, congregational teacher, and college student (and even some high school students) who have the ability to read at a collegiate level. Again, this is not a breeze of a read, but it is well worth the effort.