Review of *Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview*

Time and a second reading, along with various shifts in worldview, can fundamentally alter one’s perception of an author.  My first experience with Moreland and Craig, Moreland in particular, was *Love your God with all Your Mind.*  Despite the title’s fluffy, evangelicalish devotional appeal, LYGWALM actually was very rigorous and probably did more for getting my intellectual life started than anything else.

I decided to read everything by Moreland (and Craig).  Since *Philosophical Foundations of a Christian Worldview* had just come out in 2003, I felt it would be a good text to read.

When I got it though, I experienced several let-downs.  It was waay over my head.  And the parts I did understand I had to reject:  Molinism and the classical arguments for the existence of God.  I was a committed Calvinist at this time).  I didn’t put it away, though.  I began studying ethics and Moreland/Craig’s section on ethics, emphasizing the roles of normative, situational, and personal ethics, was outstanding.

About 6 years later I began rethinking many of Augustinianism’s claims and read the Greek Fathers.  I saw that Moreland/Craig were wrestling with the exact same philosophical issues that the Greek Fathers were (though they were not as successful as the Fathers).

The Book’s Value:
They show the philosophical difficulties with all of Western philosophy (and theology).  I suppose one may label Augustine as the Father of Western Theology (and much of Western philosophy at that).  Unfortunately, being Evangelicals and not fully epistemologically self-conscious, Moreland/Craig rarely offer satisfactory alternatives.  Therefore, I suggest that we read Moreland/Craig similar to the way we read Plato:  very good but only “almost there.”

The Book’s Highpoints:
1.  Excellent, if somewhat intellectually painful, chapter on how to do logic.  Be warned, this is very, very hard to read.

2.  Gives a good discussion on whether knowledge is really “justified, true belief.”

3.  Introduces the reader to the categories of time, substance, and space.

4.  Very good internal critique of Scient(ISM)’s presuppositions.  Completely defangs modern science.

5. Excellent discussion on the nature of ethical reasoning.

6.  Good critique of the Western doctrine of Absolute Divine Simplicity.

Cons of the Book:
1.  This book is simply too hard and inaccessible for most people.

2.  I admit–I now see that their proofs for the existence of God are logically compatible.  I reject the presuppositional critique of the Five ways.  However, who has actually been convinced by this reasoning?

3.  The chapter on Molinism is very interesting and I agree with their critiques of Calvinian determinism.  However, I am not sure Molinism isn’t itself another variant of Augustinian determinism.

As a reference resource, this book is outstanding.  However, to fully understand what they are saying, one needs to read upper-level philosophy and theology for about a year (I had to study for three or four years) to really understand what they are saying.