JP Moreland is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology. He is nationally known for being an American philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist. Moreland has wrote: Kingdom Triangle: Recover the Christian Mind, Renovate the Soul, Restore the Spirit’s Power.
However in the past few years Moreland has been wanting a bigger Kingdom perspective and he accidentally got introduced to the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, JP Moreland is a member at Anaheim Vineyard who strongly believes we are co-labors with God who have the power of the Holy Spirit do arrange signs and wonders.
I am not a philosopher, and I tried my best to hang with the philosophical jargon.
Moreland’s Thesis in Kingdom Triangle:
The triangular kingdom perspective includes: 1) Christians who are thinkers, 2) Christians who care about the soul, and 3) Christians who are spirit lead and empowered.
We need to be intentional in our soul care. Our souls are made up of the: heart, head, and Spirit. Our souls require spiritual attention while genetics require scientific attention. Our souls contain the DNA to understanding humanity, not genetics. Essentially science does not necessary overwrite the spiritual. As pastors we need a balanced perspective of science and soul. Moreland argues that we need to put soul talk in public discourse. It is essential we see the world through both science and soul.
In our postmodern context scientists carry the authority and determine what is true/fact. Although a scientist cannot really tell you how to live a right and moral life. They can really tell you what they are finding in their laboratories. Truth is relative to community. Truth is defined in a context of believers. Relativism is not individually, but communally based. The community needs to express the knowledge on how to live in that particular context.
Moreland advocates for three world views:
1) Naturalism- This is the physical world. Scientists are the card carrying people, not theologians or philosophers. Scientist provide us with hard and concrete evidence. They are more concern with the implications of germs, rather than the direct impact of demons. The problem is that the scientific reality is not a spiritual reality. Apparently, the natural world cannot play a role into the supernatural. There is no belief or facts outside of physics and chemistry.
2) PostModernism– needs a truth/reality that is relative to community. Moreland labels this as “community relativism”. Naturalism and postmodernism have created culture anxiety. This anxiety is a direct effect from the fast pace of life, moral relativism, and isolation community. We are always going from one thing to the next. We are attached to our cell phones. Our morality is based off of our self gratification. If it feels good now, then this may be true for me right now. But at the end of the day, no one will really know what is true. So I will develop a moral system based off of self satisfying behaviors. Morality is relative to one’s experience.
Postmodernism themes are communicated through the arts and entertainment. Naturalism themes are communicated through the university and media.
3) Christianity has the Bible. The Bible gives us a source to knowledge. So we can take the Bible as a knowledge of reality. Moreland makes clear that knowledge and truth are two different entities and therefore we handle them differently. We can have knowledge with certainty, while being uncertain. We can know without knowing. We as Christian apologist should not play the prove it game. However we can play the game of I have the knowledge to make your life, a freedom based life. Moreland has really moved away from what is true and move to what is reality and what is knowledge in that reality. He is convinced that postmodern people want knowledge in how to rightly live in this real world–day to day.
Moreland strongly believes that a broader Kingdom perspective means we as co-workers with God help restore humanity through the power and authority of the Holy Spirit. The American church needs to demonstrate what the Acts church accomplished without wanting money or a television network or looking phony. Yes, it is true that when the Spirit manifest itself comes weirdness. But through that weirdness comes healing, restoration, redemption, and freedom. Instead of saying: Thus Sayth it The Lord, say I am sensing that the Lord may be doing this ___________.