J. P. MORELAND and William Lane CRAIG, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Intervarsity Press 2003. pp. 653. $35.00 Hardcover ISBN 0830826947.
Reviewed by Biff ROCHA, University of Dayton, Dayton OH 45420

In Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig offer a comprehensive introduction to the study of philosophy from a Christian perspective. In their broad overview they seek to introduce readers to the principal divisions of philosophy, including: ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of religion. They write with their characteristic clarity and insightfulness. Their arguments are clearly outlined, and they present competing theories with fairness and accuracy.

A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. J. P. Moreland is currently the Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California and a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture. He has written, edited and contributed to over twenty books with publishers ranging from the academic presses of Oxford University Press, Routledge, and Wadsworth to the more Evangelical presses of Zondervan and InterVarsity Press. Among Dr. Moreland's books are Christianity and the Nature of Science, Scaling The Secular City, Does God Exist? (with Kai Nielsen) and Philosophical Naturalism: A Critical Analysis. He has also published more than fifty articles in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, American Philosophical Quarterly, MetaPhilosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Religious Studies and Faith and Philosophy.

A graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity Schools with M.A. degrees in Church History and the Philosophy of Religion, Dr. William Lane Craig earned his advanced degrees at University of Birmingham and the University of Munich. Dr. Craig is the Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in La Mirada, California. He has written or co-written more than twenty books, including: The Kalam Cosmological Argument, Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom, Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology and God, Time and Eternity. He has published articles in philosophical and theological journals such as The Journal of Philosophy, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Modern Theology and Religious Studies. Dr. Craig is also a fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.

This text is geared toward the new student of philosophy or Christianity who has a limited background in the issues at hand. For a very reasonable price, this is a good source of information best suited for graduate students or lay readers with rhetorical sophistication. Some of the articles can be quite advanced, employing a daunting vocabulary, but while this might make for a challenging read, it will only aid students in expanding their knowledge. Moreland and Craig's writing is concise, yet very thorough. The work is extremely well organized and chapters flow perfectly as each section complements the next. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview is one of the best introductory texts on philosophy written in quite a while. The textbook is comprised of six sections; the introduction discusses philosophy and the basics of argumentation and logic. The next segment, Epistemology, covers rationality, the problem of skepticism and rival theories of truth. Issues such as mind-body dualism, as well as human freewill vs. divine predestination, are addressed in the third chapter, Metaphysics. Philosophy of Science is the fourth chapter and has a nice summary of the scientific method as well as the integration of science and religion. Part five, Ethics, deals with the basic questions of morality, virtues and ethics and contains a comparison of relativism with absolutism. Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology is the last section covering arguments for the existence of God and the possibility of miracles.

This important new book is a guide intended for use as a textbook in courses on philosophy of religion. It aims to bring to the student the very best of explanations and arguments on important topics in the field. This text is a great reference tool emphasizing the Christian perspective; it offers some first rate introductions, explanations and provides the reader a list of suggested titles for further study. The only downfall, if you could call it that, is the fact that this text written from a decidedly Christian point of view. This should come as no surprise give both Dr. Moreland and Dr. Craig are known as contemporary Christian apologists. Someone who is looking for a text that is a collection of viewpoints or all inclusive in its approach may be disappointed with the authors' presentation. Yet in spite of its slant, it would make an outstanding primary text for an upper division undergraduate or graduate course in philosophy of religion. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview would be a valuable addition to the library of anyone who is interested in the subject of philosophy or Christianity.


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