Review: Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (2nd edition)

34129493Together with the disciplines of biblical and theological studies, philosophical studies are widely recognized as an indispensable model for constructing a Christian worldview. There have been several influential works that have historically shaped the philosophical conversation, but few contemporary works have been more influential than Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig. Now a newly revised and updated second edition of this book continues its legacy of widespread use and acclaimed reviews.

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview is divided into six major sections: (1) Introduction, (2) Epistemology, (3) Metaphysics, (4) Philosophy of Science, (5) Ethics, and (6) Philosophy of Religion and Philosophically of Theology. Each section contains a number of important and useful chapters for constructing a Christian worldview. Throughout the book, the reader will discover a number of charts and diagrams to help illustrate the philosophical concepts being discussed. Keywords are also bolded to help readers recognize their importance in context, and each chapter ends with a summary and a checklist of terms and concepts.

Moreland and Craig close the volume with a “Suggestions for Further Reading” bibliography with specific sections for each chapter. While these have been updated and thoroughly revised, it would have been useful to see them at the end of the chapters rather than a separate chapter at the end of the volume. Additionally, what is interestingly missing from this volume, in my opinion, is the inclusion of chapter summary questions and a glossary of the terms and concepts used throughout the book. Still, the revisions and updates to this volume, while not overcoming these specific shortcomings, provide readers with substantial revision and added material and chapters—including a new chapter on the doctrine of the atonement and updated evidence related to the Kalam Cosmological argument and the Teleological argument for cosmic fine-tuning.

I’ve said this before and I will say it again, I’m admittedly not one with a very deep interest in philosophy. I recognize its importance and enjoy its various discussions, but I tend to spend more time in the arena of biblical studies and other related disciplines than philosophy. That said, I found this second edition of Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview to be equally as accessible and clear in presentation throughout as the former edition, even complex areas of epistemology and metaphysics that are detailed in nature are accessible to interested thinkers. Still, it should also be noted that this is certainly a college-level (possibly even a graduate-level) philosophy textbook and it does anticipate the reader is at least vaguely familiar with its material.

Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (second edition) by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig is still a first-rate, one-stop reference work worth occupying the shelf space of any serious student of philosophy, theology, or apologetics. Moreland and Craig do a superb job guiding the reader through the subject matter. It’s not a resource that everyone will enjoy. But, for those who will, Moreland and Craig have provided a treasure-trove of philosophical riches that will effectively establish a foundation for the Christian worldview. It comes highly recommended even for owners of the first edition!

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