Kingdom Triangle Discussion

Friday, December 21, 2007

Moreland on Kingdom Triangle at NPC 2007

Check-out this succinct and thoughtful ten minute interview with JP at the 2007 National Pastor's Conference

Friday, December 7, 2007

Blog responses to ETS Paper and Kingdom Triangle (updated)

There have been some interesting blog comments about JP's ETS paper and Kingdom Triangle. Helpful examples include posts by
  1. John Mark Reynolds at Biola University (here)
  2. Frank Beckwith at Baylor University (here),
  3. Melinda Penner and Brett Kunkle at Stand to Reason (here and here), and
  4. C. Michael Patton at Converse with Scholars (here).
  5. Paul Copan at Palm Beach Atlantic University and President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (here)
JP cannot - and nor does he want to - offer responses to all criticisms of his ETS paper or the main ideas presented in Kingdom Triangle.

He has, however, offered a general response to his ETS paper (here) and previously offered a response to some of the main criticisms against Kingdom Triangle (here).

JP welcomes discussion and even criticism of his views. But there is an interesting factor to note with the online responses to JP. If they are critical of the ETS paper or the Kingdom Triangle thesis, there is a remarkable, qualitative difference of tone, texture, and substance to such remarks if they come from people who are personally acquainted with JP and his heart vs. those that accuse - if not slander - him from a relational distance. This phenomenon is not accidental. It reveals not only the heart and mind of what people disagree about, but it is also evidence of how they present both their heart and mind in disagreement.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Moreland's Response to CT Blog

Here is JP's response to the CT Blog and its comments concerning his ETS paper, "How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What Can Be Done About It":

My paper was read at an academic conference for an audience of professors. Thus, precision was a premium. It was not intended for a lay audience because lay folk have a tendency---and this is not meant to be harsh—of running with ideas beyond the context in which they were originally given. A professorial friend of mine preached at a church I used to attend and argued that, while he was totally against condom distribution in the public schools, nevertheless, a widely used argument by Evangelicals was a bad argument, and he showed why. After the service, I personally heard several parishioners criticize him for promoting condom distribution in the schools!

While I am sure it was well intended, the CT editor’s summary of my paper is generally fair (though the use of “bibliolatry” in the title is a bit sensationalistic—I used it once in my paper and clarified it’s meaning by the over-commitment claim), but it is still a summary, and as such, did not and could not provide the needed context for understanding my paper. What followed was a large number (but by no means all) of misleading, irrelevant and tangential comments that had little and, often, nothing to do with my paper.

In the paper, I make clear that no one could be over-committed to the Bible (the inerrant Word of God) in loving, promoting and seeking to obey it. By over-commitment, I mean specifically that too many Evangelicals do not believe we can have extra-biblical knowledge or justified beliefs about God, morality, and other important, related matters: e.g., the existence of God and some of his attributes; the nature of the moral law and some of the absolutes that constitute it; the nature of the human soul and its functional relationships to the brain, parenting, defense mechanisms, childhood development, etc.; the reality of demons and important information about how they work in a specific culture along with important and effective ways to deal with them; and God’s guidance and speaking though impressions, circumstances, prophetic words, words of knowledge and wisdom, dreams, and so forth. In all these cases, information that is contrary to scripture is to be rejected, but extra-biblical truth and the knowledge thereof is very, very important.

We are harming people terribly, we are embarrassing the cause of Christ, and we are failing to help people appropriate and wisely use these sources of information when we are over-committed to the Bible in and only in the precise sense I define in the paper. It is time for us to mature as a community in this way and overcome the secularist socialization that lead to our over-commitment, a position that I claim in the paper cannot be justified biblically or theologically. Does anyone seriously think that non-Christians who have never seen a Bible have no knowledge of God or the moral law? That folk in Brazil have no knowledge of how demons work even though they have never seen a Bible? That God never speaks to people and guides them in ways that carry an appropriate degree of authority in their lives (under scripture and to the degree they are justified in believing it was God who was guiding them)? Are there abuses in all these areas? Of course, but that was not part of my talk which was, after all, a mere 40 minutes including Q & A!! Besides, the proper response to abuse is not Ostrich-like denial of the reality of these areas of knowledge, but rather, wise and mature usage. Am I becoming a Catholic? I am a Protestant Evangelical of the Third Wave sort, and I have no inclination whatever to change my views on that. Finally, my paper should not be faulted for not addressing things for which I had no time or which I was simply not addressing. Nor should people fault me for a lack of clarity or charge me with “having plenty of explaining to do” when my paper is, in fact, quite clear within the limited scope of my intentions. And please do not attribute to me views or implication that I do not hold or draw.

I am posting a version of my paper on the website for my book: I would also recommend reading my book Kingdom Triangle (Zondervan; just released about 6 months ago) for additional discussion and bibliography about how to avoid abuses in employing the sorts of extra-biblical knowledge I mention in the paper.


JP Moreland

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What can be Done about It

J.P. Moreland argues that sola scriptura involves a commitment to the final authority of the inerrant word of God in all matters, but not to the idea that it is the sole source of moral and theologically relevant knowledge. Just as an archeological dig could discover more information about an ancient city described in the Bible--though we would not accept alleged discoveries that contradicted scripture--so there are three areas where extra-biblical knowledge is available--knowledge of God and morality in the creation, knowledge of the soul and demons by interacting with and studying them, and knowledge of God's will though guidance in various ways.

Kingdom Triangle is relevant to this paper’s conclusion in three basic ways: First, it provides a commendable balance between a recovery of the Christian mind, renovation of the soul, and a restoration of the Spirit’s power so that an over-emphasis on an extra-biblical source of knowledge is discouraged. Second, it explains what knowledge is and what it is not. Moreover, it answers questions about how one would approach extra-biblical knowledge. Third, it gives more detail about the demonic and God’s guidance and speaking.

Read the entire paper here.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

CT Blog on Moreland's ETS paper

An interesting discussion is developing over at the Christianity Today blog concerning JP's ETS paper. Ted Olsen, Managing Editor of Christianity Today, offers an eye-witness account of the paper's presentation in his recent blog post, "Postcard from San Diego: Fighting 'Bibliolatry' at the Evangelical Theological Society."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Kingdom Triangle 60% Off!

JP will be doing a one-hour signing of Kingdom Triangle at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society:

Thursday, November 15th from 10:30 am to 11:30 am.

Kingdom Triangle
will be on sale for 60% off the cover price (total: $8) both on Wednesday and Thursday.

Buy Kingdom Triangle in bulk! Now is the time. Great Christmas gifts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

JP Moreland and Lee Strobel

Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World

Thursday, November 15, 7 pm

College Avenue Baptist Church

San Diego, California

Cost: FREE!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Moreland's Paper to Stir the Most Discussion

This year, JP is giving a number of papers at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and the Evangelical Philosophical Society's (EPS) annual meeting. In the past, he has even been a plenary speaker at the ETS annual meeting.

The acting President of the ETS, Hassell Bullock (Wheaton College), did interview in Christianity Today, and was asked, "Which papers do you expect will stir the most discussion?" One of the papers he listed was JP's, titled, "Teaching Them to Obey: How Evangelicals Became Overcommitted to the Bible and What We Should Do About It"

Friday, November 9, 2007

Boyd Luter on Kingdom Triangle

Boyd Luter, on his Agree to Disagree Agreeably blog, has devoted four major posts to Kingdom Triangle.

Consider his seasoned and timely interaction of Kingdom Triangle on October 24th, October 29th, October 31st (note JP's comment on the blog), and lastly, November 5th.

In Boyd's final post, he not only offers wise advice about how to maximize the impact of Kingdom Triangle, but concludes the following about JP and his timely book:

... after carefully reading Kingdom Triangle, I cannot help but think in terms of comparison and contrast to the latter ministry efforts of the late Francis Schaeffer. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to me that Kingdom Triangle is parallel in certain ways to Schaeffer’s A Christian Manifesto, notably in the probing cultural critique it provides roughly a generation after Schaeffer’s piercing and passionate appeal.

However, there is also a huge difference between the two authors and their two timely volumes. Schaeffer’s appeal was for evangelicals to proceed to reclaim the culture from the standpoint of having the proper view of truth and the gospel. Moreland rightly says the church not only possesses the truth and the gospel, but also the power of the Spirit.

As I close, it is worth asking: Was Francis Schaeffer’s challenge in A Christian Manifesto largely greeted by yawns because the evangelical church had become so worldly and comfortable, or because it had become so fleshly (i.e., out of touch with the Holy Spirit)? My answer is “Yes”–it was worldly and comfortable, without a doubt; but it was, and has largely remained, under the control of the flesh, not the Spirit.

Like Francis Schaeffer before him, J.P. Moreland has laid out why our culture is philosophically bankrupt and religiously confused. But, unlike Schaeffer, he has offered not just a clarion call to get off our collective spiritual rear ends, but also a power source that can sustain any individual and corporate transformation that must take place.

I salute this Spirit-led calculated risk of one of evangelicalism’s great minds and hearts (thank you, J.P.!). He has spoken the truth in love, knowing full well that, since those who short-sightedly cling to the fleshly status quo cannot adequately answer his powerful message, they will (and already do) savagely attack the messenger. Why has he done so, then? Because he is trusting the Lord to use his Spirit-led message to awaken many others who will choose to walk in faith, in the power of the Spirit, seeking to be spiritual transformation agents in the spheres of influence where the Lord has placed them. May the Lord multiply their–our–tribe!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moreland on Haven Today

JP Moreland was joined with Gary Habermas on Haven Today to do a three part series on "Heaven and Hell ... and Everything in Between."

Listen to part one (10/18), two (10/19) and three (10/22).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Rise of the Intellectual Charismatics

JP has been interviewed on Converse with Scholars a couple of times. C. Michael Patton, the host of the online program, recently blogged a rather candid post on the Parchment and Pen theology blog, titled, "The Rise of the Intellectual Charismatics."

The post is worth your notice, along with the dozens of interactive comments, including Moreland's comment toward the beginning.

While I find many of the biblical and theological arguments of cessationism compelling, I would be the first to admit that the primary reason I remain a cessationist is because I have never experienced any miracles, signs, or wonders and I have never seen or heard of a legitimate prophet. If someone were to ask me if I believe that God is still speaking through prophets and giving the gift of healing, I would confess my tentative cessationist beliefs. I have never seen nor heard of a prophet or divine healer, but this does not mean that God is not or cannot work in such a way today.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Moreland at Evangelical Homiletics Society

La Mirada, CA - October 11-12 - JP gave a plenary address at the annual national meeting of the Evangelical Homiletics Society. The meeting brings together professors of homiletics from seminaries around the country. J. P. spoke on two legs of the Kingdom Triangle--the craft of apologetical preaching and the role of bearing witness to the supernatural aspects of the kingdom as a way of growing faith in a congregation. Several professors had already read the book and were very enthusiastic about it. The reception was exciting and, according to Moreland, "is another indication of the hunger for authentic Kingdom power that is combined with biblical/theological reflection and balance."

The message of the Kingdom Triangle is getting attention and a warm reception.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

JP Responds to Kingdom Triangle Questions

Kingdom Triangle has received considerable attention and enthusiastic reception since its release this last spring. The book's list of endorsers reads like a Who's Who across the Evangelical spectrum. J. P. himself states that this is his most important book to date. As he had hoped, Kingdom Triangle has engendered much dialog. From across the web and when he has done Q&A sessions, he has garnered the top eight questions about/criticisms of Kingdom Triangle along with brief responses.

Q1. When you say "restore the Spirit's power" does this mean that if culture is to be transformed its going to be because of us, since we are "restoring the Spirit's power?" In what sense are we to "restore" the Spirit's power? How does God's sovereignty figure into this strategy?

JP: God is sovereign and does whatever He pleases. However, He usually works as a co-laborer with us. This means that there are certain divinely ordained means—prayer, reading the word, fasting, evangelism, etc.—that provided the grounds for God to act with us in the usual case (God sometimes acts in spite of these). So by “restore the Spirit’s power” I mean we are to re-dedicate ourselves to doing what God has commanded us to do, to doing what is according to our and the Kingdom’s nature, to provide co-labor with the Spirit.

Q2. Do you endorse a postmillennial reconstructionist viewpoint? Dominion theology or restorationism? One gets this impression by your call to "restore the Spirit's power?" If not, why not. Moreover, you act as though American evangelicals should run the world for God (The "we" in the book seems to mostly be Christians in America). Do you hope for an Americanized Christiandom where conservative family values run the world?

JP: I am not a reconstructionist in any sense of the term. The church and the state have different divinely appointed spheres of authority. My language in KT is about being the church as best we can, not directly about the state or political issues (though, of course, being a Kingdom-triangle Christian will impact the broader culture by out thought and lives). We have the resources in the Bible, the Kingdom, and the Spirit to become individuals and communities that lead the way as to how to live a life pleasing to God and conducive the ideal (divinely designed) human flourishing. In the book I indicate with considerable joy how the body of Christ outside North America is taking the lead worldwide. I speak to American Christians primarily because I understand our history and cannot write with authority about the history of Christianity in other countries, and because it is largely American Christians who purchase Zondervan books. Thus, I address those most likely to read my writings.

Q3. In KT, why do you only mention typical American "social ills" (e.g., pornography, abortion, homosexuality) and not other social-spiritual problems (e.g., poverty globalization, unbridled capitalism, racism, ethnic cleansing/genocide, Christian persecution, and the growth of neo-paganism,)?

JP: There is one main reason for my selective references here: I believe that the sexual issues are more towards the core of the worldview shift since that shift has brought about a rejection of non-empirical knowledge and truth and, in its place, the absolutization of satisfaction of physical desire. It isn’t that the sexual issues are more important, ethically speaking. It’s that, ideationally speaking, I take them to be more closely related to the ideational thematic of the first four chapters of Kingdom Triangle.

Q4. You claim that the solution to the "cultural crisis" is really the "Christian worldview"? But isn't the solution not a worldview but the triune God? Please explain.

JP: This question is a red herring. No one who is a Christian could believe anything other than the fact that it is God Himself who is the solution to humanities ills. That is obvious. My book is written to thoughtful Christians, not baby converts, who don’t need to have the obvious pointed out to them. I assumed in writing KT at the level I did a certain level of maturity on the part of my readership. It is hard enough to get everything you want to say in the publisher’s page limits. It would be impossible to say what you want to say if you had to constantly note things too obvious to require mention. Moreover, for our part, we are not God. God is God and will do what He is going to do. However, grasping, embracing and practicing the teachings of the Bible (and more generally, a Christian worldview) is, in fact, something we can do. In this sense, a Christian worldview (grasping, embracing, and so forth) IS the solution for doing our part. Finally, one part of the Christian worldview is the very teaching underlying this question—that it is God Himself who is our hope. By making the Christian worldview front and center, we are actually pointed in a direction beyond that worldview (to God).

Q5. You frequently refer back to the 1800s as an opportune time for Christians interfacing with culture. Are you nostalgic for the past and uncomfortable about the present and future? Please explain.

JP: I have no nostalgia for the past, and I am both comfortable with and uncomfortable with the present and future. I see much for which to give thanks currently and much that is wrong and needs to be changed. I sense the same regarding the future. My mention of the 1800s is in KT because the information I communicate is historically true. It is during that period that the church, the structures of the culture (e.g., colleges), and the general population were more influenced by Holy Scripture. It is a simple fact that we have been secularized since then. It is also a simple fact that the church’s failure to deal with the leadership opportunities before it is a major factor in the subsequent secularization. We need to learn from this failure and not repeat it.

Q6. In KT and Lost Virtue of Happiness, it appears that you encourage some a form of non-rational "affective meditation" in our hearts that sounds like New Age meditation. Is this true? If not, why not?

JP: This is the worst objection possible and, to be honest, it is embarrassing that our Evangelical community is a place in which this sort of item could be raised. Four points: 1) The objection violates the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. The logically valid modus ponens goes: If P, then Q. P. Therefore, Q. (If it is raining then it is wet. It’s raining. Therefore, it’s wet.) Affirming the consequent goes: If P, then Q. Q. Therefore, P. (If it is raining then it is wet. It’s wet. Therefore, it’s raining.) By way of application: If one is a Buddhist (New Ager, etc.), then one does x (eats food, breathes oxygen, uses visual imagery, breathing techniques, affective meditation in the heart area, etc.). One does x. Therefore, one is a Buddhist (or is practicing Buddhism). Some things are true and helpful in spite of the fact that Buddhists et. al. employ them. 2) Paul’s teaching about meat sacrificed to idols instructs us in two things. First, even though this meat was sacrificed to an idol, indeed, according to Paul, to a demon, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the meat or with eating it. Second, it is the symbolic association with the pagan religious practices that are at issue. If the meat (or eating it) is disassociated with those practices, Paul does not condemn eating it. If some practice x (that is not intrinsically evil such as temple prostitution) is disassociated from the religious associations, there is nothing wrong with x (unless it is otherwise evil). 3) I am among those who take the body and its role in spiritual formation seriously. Accordingly, I believe that the soul stores emotions, habits, etc. in different areas of the body. The term “heart” has many different meanings, but when it is used for the deepest affective, intuitive aspect of the person, I ask “Why was a term associated with the physical heart used to express this aspect.” I think it is because that bodily part is the locus of where the soul stores affective states. And just as the self uses the eyes to see and the ears to hear, I believe the self uses the heart to be aware intuitively of various things. Thus, in these contexts, “heart” is more than an arbitrary figure of speech. It is a figure of speech with a literal component referring to a body part that is relevant to the figure. 4) My use of the heartmath technique of meditation is taken from medical science (and my understanding of biblical anthropology just expressed) not from New Age religion. The medical community is reaching a consensus that heartmath exercises are essential to a healthy emotional life in certain circumstances.

Q7. You seem to emphasize a subjective, almost alway emotional "experiential Christianity," which relies on personal revelation directly from God, and would consequently minimize the normative authority of scripture as the Word of God in a person's life. Is personal revelation or the Word of God the final arbitrator of what is true? Please explain.

JP: The inerrant, written Word of God is our ultimate authority by which all practices and beliefs are to be judged. But God leads, guides, speaks in various ways in addition to this. Experience is crucial for a healthy Christian life (the love of God, conviction of sin, and so on), and it is a strawman to imply that one cannot be concerned to grow in this way without being an extreme subjectivist. No one who has read my writing for twenty years or so would think that I am in favor of the latter.

Q8. I know you say that Christians cannot be possessed but can be demonized. But isn't it also likely that the so-called "demonized Christian" was never a Christian? Or, perhaps they are a Christian, but simply behaving sinfully. Can you offer examples from first-hand experience of what it looks like for Christians to be demonized? Have you ever been demonized? In short, how do you discern what is demonization vs. sinful behavior?

JP: Many leading Evangelical experts on demonology (Clint Arnold, C. Fred Dickenson) hold that Christians can be demonized. Even if they are wrong, there are too many first-rate conservative scholars who hold to this to believe the view is dangerous or harmful. At the end of the day, it is irrelevant anyway. The important thing is that we Christians can be deeply harassed by demons, they play a much bigger role in our problems that we Western Christians usually think, and it is time for us to align ourselves with our brothers and sisters throughout most of the world outside North America and Europe and re-adopt a biblical worldview on this matter. I give references in Kingdom Triangle for further study on this.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Calling all Moreland Book Reviewers!

Do you have a blog or website that has at least 10,000 hits to date?

Do you like to read and review books by JP Moreland?

Would you like to receive a FREE copy of KINGDOM TRIANGLE?

We welcome at least 300 word online reviews about KINGDOM TRIANGLE, which you would be willing to place on your blog or website.

E-mail to share your interest and to receive further details!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Noteworthy Discussion on the Web

- Paul Kuritz, Professor of Theatre at Bates College, heard about Kingdom Triangle through Don Williams' bookclub and decided to review KT and interview JP on his blog.

- Tom Gilson, a strategic planner for Campus Crusade for Christ, has an extended review at
"Recovering the Christian mind, renovating the soul, seeing again the Spirit's power: in a world grown thin, Kingdom Triangle offers real substance. I expect that twice through this book will not be enough for me--I'll back in it again before much time goes by."
- Interesting reviews on
"I highly recommend KINGDOM TRIANGLE to anyone sensing that something is lacking in modern American churches and who wish a new perspective on how to renovate their own hearts individually and the church corporately. In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that its thesis was the primarily topic in a sermon I recently preached as a guest speaker."
- Dan Story

"This book profoundly disturbed me. It brought to light many things within myself that I had known but managed to never directly addressed.

I am a avid fan of J.P. Moreland, and as such there was not much in this book that I was not already familiar with, including many of the examples. Around pg 130 or so the stuff that distinguishes this book as different from his others crops up. There is one page in that book that I find to be worth the price of the book alone. And that is in distinguishing between what one says they believe and on the surface claims to believe, with what they actually believe. It helped me to realize that for all practical purposes I had been living like a functional deist.

I don't know what to do with some of the latter chapters and it will require a lot of reflection, but I think this is also one of the books greatest strengths, in putting something in front of virtually everyone that will challenge them to analyze themselves, and where they are at with God."
- D. Westfall

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Moreland Interviewed on Seize the Day

- August 2 - JP was interviewed on Sirius' Catholic Channel program "Seize the Day."

This was a unique opportunity to talk about Kingdom Triangle beyond a typical Evangelical Protestant audience.

"I can't imagine the interview going any better," said JP.

"We avoided discussing areas of difference between Catholics and us Evangelicals, and for the purposes of the show, focused on the three legs of the triangle. It was a wonderful time and I am sure it will open avenues for Kingdom Triangle into the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox branches of the church."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What is Christianity?

In Kingdom Triangle, JP repeatedly makes the point that Christianity is fundamentally a "knowledge tradition" and not a "faith tradition" (see page 230 of the index, under "faith" and "knowledge tradition," for further references).

Why do you think JP makes this distinction?
What difference does it make?
Do you tend to live your life as though Christianity is a faith tradition or a knowledge tradition?

We invite comments to this post.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Moreland Interviewed on Stand to Reason

Southern California - July 22 - JP did an hour long radio interview with Stand to Reason's President & Founder Greg Koukl.

The entire hour was devoted to highlighting the unique importance of Kingdom Triangle.

JP said:

"As always, Koukl did a masterful job of directing the interview towards the central themes of the topic. We spent a good bit of time on the worldview issues surrounding the impact of naturalism and postmodernism and the acceptance of non-empirical knowledge and we talked about how to recover the idea that Christianity is not only true, but it can be known to be true. This subject is the focus of three chapters in Kingdom Triangle and, to my knowledge, the salient points are not available currently in other books, including my own. It was important for Koukl to focus on this as he did. We went on to talk about spiritual formation and Kingdom power in ways that respond to mis-informed criticism of Evangelical appropriation of these matters."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Moreland Speaks at National Worship Conference

Anaheim, CA - July 19-20 - JP was a plenary and workshop speaker at the Anahaim Vineyard's annual "In His Presence" worship conference.

JP did over three hours of training on worldview analysis and the nature of truth and knowledge.

Several hundred people were in attendance at the conference.

"Two things stood out to me about the time," said JP.

"First, believers from the Third Wave and Charismatic/Pentecostal branches of the church are open to and hungry for the life of the mind. Too often, however, those who value the intellectual life ridicule or are antagonistic towards folks in these branches. This has to stop. We can have principled disagreements but don't need to get nasty. Moreover, those outside these branches who value the life of the mind can minister to these believers if they will reach out to them in spite of difference theologically. Second, People are not used to seeing Christian intellectuals who are also interested in and actually practice spiritual formation and ministering out of the supernatural aspects of the Kingdom. Several told me that it was refreshing and, indeed, paradigm-altering to see a book - Kingdom Triangle - that breaks stereotypes and embraces all three legs of the triangle.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Update: Moreland Unpacks the Crisis of our Age

July 17-18 - JP was asked to return to Summit Ministries, where he spoke to several hundred students from around the country, including an informal Q&A with Dr. Frank Beckwith from Baylor University.

Several copies of Kingdom Triangle were sold and students expressed great interest in its themes.

- Previously -
Manitoba Springs, CO, June 11-12 - JP Moreland spoke four times to around 200 high school and college students from all over the country.

His lectures covered important themes more fully developed in the first four chapters of Kingdom Triangle. In particular, JP taught the students about the importance of worldview thinking, of understanding the inner logic of and being able to respond to the worldviews of scientific naturalism and postmodernism all the while offering a case for the nature of knowledge, truth, and objective reason.

In one of the sessions, JP held an hour long Q&A with over 70 students.

The event was sponsored by Dr. David Noebel's Summit Ministries, a worldview training center just outside of Colorado Springs, CO.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Moreland Speaks to International Students & Scholars

Kansas City, MO - July 12-14 - JP joined several colleagues to speak at a conference for international students and scholars called, "Truth Under Deconstruction: Presenting Christ in a Relativistic World."

The event was sponsored by the International Institute for Christian Studies.

Several hundred were in attendance, coming from around the U.S. and Europe.

JP spoke on Christian exclusivism, on the nature of truth, presuppositions and worldview. Among other things, he called specific attention to the three themes of
Kingdom Triangle.

"The entire conference was very warm, intelligent, and exciting," said JP.

The bookstore at the conference sold out of all the copies of Kingdom Triangle in about thirty minutes.

When JP spoke about his own personal acquaintance with supernatural manifestations of the Kingdom of God, this was received with thoughtful discussion and the mutual sharing of stories of what has been seen of God's work abroad.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Unconventional Manner of Kingdom Triangle Living

JP says that the three elements of the Kingdom Triangle were central to Jesus' ministry in the Gospels, in Acts, and in the first four centuries of the church. In light of the important interrelationship of these elements, JP asks,
"Why can't one be intellectually careful, emotionally together, and comfortable with a life of intimacy with God and a vibrant inner life, and one who is learning to be naturally supernatural?" (page 196)
How do you respond? How does this quote rub you? (The comments feature is enabled on this blog post).

Do you or your church experience a tension, perhaps a hindrance, when attempting to integrate all three elements of the Kingdom Triangle?

Why do we sometimes profess in our theology or live our life (individually or corporately) as though the three elements identified in the Kingdom Triangle are somehow against each other?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Moreland Speaks at The River

Tustin, CA - Sunday, June 24 - JP spoke at an exciting and innovative church called The River.

Pastored by Collin Cumbee, The River is a growing Vineyard church in Tustin, California, and it is already a fellowship of believers that practices all three legs of the Kingdom Triangle.

The service went very well and JP stayed for an outdoor lunch with parishioners. "The constant feedback I got," says Moreland, "is that people were moved and encouraged by the idea of striving for a balance of all three legs. This was a new idea to them and seemed to be helpful. "

A number of people purchased books to send to pastors and lay leaders in other parts of the country.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Moreland Introduces Alpha

Pasadena, CA - June 22 - JP opened up the Alpha Training Workshop at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena, California.

The workshop was for lay and pastoral leaders from churches all over Southern California (a few attended from other states) who facilitate evangelistic efforts in their churches.

Alpha's philosophy of ministry and evangelism is at the heart of the main themes in the Kingdom Triangle, and Workshop coordinator Marti Clark invited JP because of his reputation in evangelism and, more importantly, because she believes that Kingdom Triangle has put into book form what Alpha is all about. Moreland introduced the conference to the three legs of the triangle and was very warmly received.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wilberforce Forum Leader Reviews Moreland

T.M Moore, an author, editor, and dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum, offers a handsome review of Kingdom Triangle. Moore advises the following:
"If you only read one book by a philosopher this summer, read Kingdom Triangle. You’ll be impressed by J.P.’s grasp of the issues, the sweep of his critique of contemporary thought, and the laser-like focus of his recommendations. You’ll also be amazed to hear a philosopher speaking so personally, clearly, and boldly about the practical way out of our contemporary intellectual, moral, and spiritual morass."
And also here ...
"Moreland is his usual straight-up-get-a-life self in calling the followers of Christ to stop making excuses for insipidity in the spiritual life and roll up their sleeves and get to work on the disciplines needed to renew our souls."
"When J.P. and I were in college together, I suppose he would have been right above me in my list of guys least likely to do anything really too serious in Christian work. His life is proof that God can change anyone who has a willing heart. What a delight it is to see him standing forth as an accomplished voice of reason, spirit, and truth against the fleeing darkness of radical unbelief. J.P. Moreland has much to teach us, and Kingdom Triangle is as good a place to begin going to school with him as any he has written yet."

Moreland Interview on Converse with Scholars!

June 21, 2007 - J. P. had the joy of speaking and taking questions for an hour and forty-five minutes on a live podcast of "Converse with Scholars."

Converse with Scholars is a live, on-line classroom that serves as a part of Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. During the podcast, host Michael Patton and students logged-on from around the country listened to Dr. Moreland and had the chance to interact with him. Moreland has high praise for this ministry and considers it a real honor to be able to stand behind Patton and his cohorts.

"The questions were all excellent," says Moreland. Since many of the students were new to Kingdom Triangle's emphasis on the power of the Spirit and Kingdom, Moreland thought it was especially fruitful to have a warm, honest dialogue about this third leg.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Christian School Board Member Supplies Kingdom Triangle to Faculty and Staff

Costa Mesa, CA - June 15 - Paul Wolfe, a long-standing board member of the prestigious Mariner's Christian School, purchased several copies of Kingdom Triangle for the school's entire faculty and staff.

Wolfe stated that "the worldview analysis, the treatment of the nature of knowledge, and the wholistic view of Christian discipleship is something that is of great importance for Christian education."

He hopes his example will encourage board members of other Christian schools to do the same.

Similarily, Ken Smitherman, President of the Association of Christian Schools International, said the following about Kingdom Triangle:

"[Moreland] takes the reader on a journey to pursue a life that is well lived, consisting of virtue and character, and one that manifests wisdom, kindness, and goodness."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Distinguishing Classical Happiness from Contemporary Happiness

Pomona, CA, June 10 - JP spoke at all three services at Pomona First Baptist Church, which included a total crowd of at least 1500 people.

JP talked about the difference between "classical" sense of happiness (flourishing in a life of character and virtue) vs. the "contemporary" sense of happiness (seeking pleasurable satisfaction). He showed that for many people the classical sense has collapsed into the contemporary sense because "people have stopped living for a larger purpose and are obsessed with personal satisfaction." Moreover, "Pleasure has replaced purpose, a flat stomach is preferred to character and meaning."

As he shows in Kingdom Triangle (especially, chapter 1, 4, and 6), JP argues that the way of Jesus is the way of true happiness, in the classical sense. Jesus' way is an invitation into what it means to truly live; to truly experience what it means to be alive.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Kingdom Triangle at the Mars Hill Forum

Carlsbad, CA, June 8 - The North Coast Calvary Chapel featured JP and his Kingdom Triangle at this year's "Mars Hill Forum."

JP did a snapshot look at the meaning and importance of Kingdom Triangle. According to JP, "the atmosphere was very exciting ... The Mars Hill folks are to be thanked for their faithfulness over the years."

Nearly 150 copies of Kingdom Triangle were sold to an audience of about 250. It was observed that many people purchased copies to send to influential Christian leaders in other parts of the country. Nancy, an event coordinator, made the following observation:

"For many years, JP has been known for his commitment to restoring clear thinking and the importance of the mind to evangelical Christianity - so he has a lot of credibility when he speaks of the other legs of the triangle. First of all, its clear that he's thought these issues through carefully. Second, anyone who's been interested in apologetics and clear thinking (or encounters such people) has to take care to keep a tender heart and emotional balance. In this regard, JP's insights and exhortations are much appreciated. Third, I think Christians appreciate a way to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Body today that doesn't leave behind clear thinking and is not superstitious or sensational."

Well said! The evening ended with a Q&A time. For nearly an hour afterwards, people talked with JP and got their books autographed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Several Thousand Hear JP at Rock Harbor

Costa Mesa, CA, June 2, 3, 4 - During the course of a three day speaking engagement, JP addressed something like 5,000 people at Rock Harbor. JP spoke Saturday evening, then at two services on Sunday morning, and concluded on Monday evening.

He spoke about the three legs of Kingdom Triangle as a way forward towards individual and church maturity in the postmodern world. "My heart for Rock Harbor is that they would mature as a light in the world and be a vibrant church for years to come," said JP.

The event concluded on Monday night with a well-attended Q&A with JP and teaching pastor Mike Erre, encouraging people to be honest and open with their questions and doubts.

"The time was shockingly wonderful. I love the dear folks at Rock Harbor and have the utmost respect for Mike Erre and the other staff--they are all so dear to me. I had rich interaction with dozens and dozens of folks, and I believe the Lord Jesus was pleased with the time. I am encouraged that we sold 800 copies of Kingdom Triangle because this is sure to impact the church and spread from there to other churches."

* To book JP for future speaking engagements, contact

Monday, June 4, 2007

JP Interview with Zondervan Mobile

Zondervan Mobile, which has 10,000-plus subscribers, did a"weekly author interview" with JP. See here.

Q: How and why are these "essential ingredients" of the Kingdom Triangle necessary and interrelated?

In the book of Acts and the first four centuries of the church before she became too "successful" and too "organized," the three legs of the Kingdom Triangle were the central aspects to church planting, evangelism, spiritual growth, and discipleship. And it's extremely important that all three are valued, wisely practiced, sought, and taught as part of the church's self-identity. If we have a recovery of the Christian mind and of theology as a source of knowledge and not merely true belief without the cultivation of an inner tenderness and an affective, mystical spiritual life, we become arrogant, we live in our heads, and we try to control things too much. If we have inner-life spiritual disciplines and formation without Kingdom power, it can degenerate into a Christianized self-help program. If we have Kingdom power without the life of the mind, it can become anti-intellectual, extremist, and harmful.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"I want to foment a revolution!"

La Mirada, CA, May 29 - Over 500 people attended the Southern California "pre-release" of Kingdom Triangle at Biola University. "I want to foment a revolution in evangelical thought and life," JP declared.

Over 400 copies of the book were sold at the event. Several people purchased multiple copies for group study and to give as graduation and Father's Day gifts. JP stressed the importance of not merely reading Kingdom Triangle, but actually studying it, arguing over its ideas, and strategically finding ways and means to implement its ideas into our individual lives and churches. The end-of-chapter study questions aid in this endeavor.

Kingdom Triangle is not just a manifesto to the church, but it reveals the sort of values and priorities that will occupy JP Moreland for the rest of his life. For example, he intends to spend the rest of his life calling the church to "recover her confidence that she is in possession of spiritual and ethical knowledge about reality." He stressed that we should read scripture and study theology because it actually gives us knowledge about reality and not merely the means to form privately held true beliefs. Moreland also intends to spend the rest of his life encouraging us to pay attention to the formation of our heart in cooperation with the Spirit's work "so that we don't become people who are content to live in our heads" while our souls and relationships remain unformed or even malformed. Finally, yet importantly for JP, "restoring the Spirit's power" to our individual lives and our gathering as the church is absolutely essential if we are to meaningfully live in the fullness of God's Kingdom.

"Each year, I ask myself this question: How much of my life and ministry last year required the existence of the Christian God to explain it? How much would have happened if God did not exist? Here's the point: Life in the Kingdom - corporately in our churches and individually - is a supernatural collaborating with God in which we both matter. I matter because God wants to use me and you. But I should also expect and look for where the Kingdom is breaking out around and in my life and I should expect that the effects produced by my life and efforts should not be explainable solely by my talent."

The evening ended with a brief time for Q&A and a book signing. But as people were leaving the event, some people were receiving healing prayer and encouragement from some of JP's closest friends who fellowship at his home church, the Anaheim Vineyard. In one sense, offering opportunity to receive prayer at a "book release" event is unconventional. But then again, JP's Kingdom Triangle is not a conventional book about the "cultural crisis" or the solution to that crisis. Giving people opportunity to be encouraged in prayer complimented the heart of the event, which was about casting a vision of the Kingdom that includes a confident expectation of God to "show-up and demonstrate his power and presence in our midst."

The 5/29 event was hosted by the Christian Apologetics Program at Biola University. JP acknowledged that they are a first-rank source for maturing and being equipped as a disciple in the Kingdom. They also have the largest collection of JP Moreland audio. For a listing of their audio collection, contact

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"The Decade's Most Important Book"

Matt Anderson, a notable blogger at Mere Orthodoxy, declares Kingdom Triangle to be "the decade's most important book."

Ultimately, the vision for Christianity that Dr. Moreland outlines–a vision, he points out, which is not original to him–demands that each of us grow in our areas of weakness. We are, I think, better at some legs of the triangle than others. But Dr. Moreland challenges us to recognize that having one or two of the legs is not enough if we wish to be robust and effective proponents of the Gospel. We must recover all three if we wish to rescue the Church from cultural impotence, and discover the sort of dramatic lifestyles for which we were created.

If you buy and read one book in this decade, make it this one. If you buy one book for your pastor this decade, make it this one. If you buy one book for your small group leader, make it this one.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Welcome to the Kingdom Triangle Discussions


Here we will post thoughts and excerpts from the book along with interesting asides. Visit often.