In my recent book, A New Kind of Apologist, I was able to interview my friend and colleague J.P. Moreland. He is the distinguished professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and the author or coauthor of thirty books, including The Kingdom Triangle.
As you may know, Dr. Moreland is one of the most influential and insightful Christian philosophers today. His writings and teachings have had a tremendous influence on my life, and the life of many others. In particular, his work on the soul is important for both Christian living and apologetics.
SEAN MCDOWELL: How has apologetics changed since you began?
J.P. MORELAND: When I started, most people believed in God and historical apologetics, and questions about people who never hear the gospel were front and center. Now, the question of God needs to be defended, issues of science and Christianity, and topics about pluralism and relativism regarding worldviews and religions are important. Also, people don’t believe in truth, so that needs to be defended and clarified.
MCDOWELL: What big issues do you think apologists should be focusing on?
MORELAND: I think we need to focus on the idea that Christianity is a source of knowledge of reality and not just a set of mere true beliefs. Also, we need to defeat scientism and show that there are other ways of knowing besides the hard sciences. Several ethical issues have come up, especially homosexuality and gay marriage.
MCDOWELL: What advice would you give apologists?
MORELAND: Two things. First, continue to cultivate a gentle approach to people. Read Dallas Willard’s new book The Allure of Gentleness. Part of this requires the development of emotional intimacy with God. Second, apologetics is cross-country not a hundred-meter dash. Stay at it. Slowly, keep reading and growing. Never settle for where you are currently.