Kingdom Triangle Discussion

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Moreland on the Success of our 2009

Anaheim, CA -- JP Moreland recently spoke at his home church, Vineyard Anaheim, concerning what it means for our lives to be successful in 2009:

My message at Vineyard Anaheim centered on the need to focus on change for one's life in 2009 or else inertia, drift, habit will keep one from growing. And I claimed that, as legitimate as the normal topics for New Year's resolutions are (e.g., getting in shape, getting more education), there are two other deeply related biblical goals for the next year from Phil 3:12-15: Growing in the ability to be intimate with God (and by extension, friends and loved ones) and developing strength of character.

These goals are really expressions of all three legs of the Kingdom Triangle which, I continue to emphasize, as an approach to life itself.

You can listen here or download here the complete audio of JP's talk.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Experience Kingdom Triangle in San Diego California

Mark the Date!

An Invitation to Transformation

San Diego, CA -- February 13-14, 2009
Town & Country Resort

Come join J.P. Moreland, R.T. Kendall and John Paul Jackson to learn how your life, your church, and your outreach can grow in a Kingdom-soaked vision and empowerment of life as it is meant to be lived.

Register Now: $40 for the early-bird discount! (Expires 12/30/08)

Going to NPC 09’? Why not extend your stay in sunny southern California and be refreshed by an experience aimed to transform and not just inform!

Download our brochure and spread the word.

Kingdom Triangle … It’s more than a book … it’s a way of life!

Kingdom Triangle in A Unique Devotional

Zondervan (the publisher of Kingdom Triangle) recently released a unique devotional titled, A Faith and Culture Devotional: Daily Readings in Art, Science, and Life.

JP contributed a selection from Kingdom Triangle about "The Modern University" (pp. 68-77).

The Faith and Culture Devotional is edited by Kelly Monroe Kullberg (Founder and Director of Projects, The Veritas Forum) and Lael Arrington (co-host of "The Things that Matter Most" radio show).

Kullberg and Arrington have culled together a masterful list of influencers to speak to area of Bible and theology, history, philosophy, science, literature, arts, and contemporary culture.

Browse the devotional here and make sure to purchase your copy in time for Christmas!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moreland at the 2009 National Pastors Convention

JP Moreland will again speak at the 2009 National Pastors Convention in San Diego, CA.

His topics and their descriptions are as follows:

Signs, Wonders and the Kingdom Triangle

We will clarify the relationship between a proper expectation of the miraculous, the current nature of the Kingdom, and the debate about so-called miraculous gifts. We will also explore practical steps towards seeking God for more of His Spirit's miraculous presence.

Spiritual Formation and the Kingdom Triangle.

We will clarify the nature of general revelation, especially natural moral law, explain its relationship to spiritual formation and the Kingdom of God, and provide practical suggestions for practicing certain spiritual, discipleship exercises.

On Friday evening of the 13th and most of Saturday the 14th, join JP at his Kingdom Triangle conference also at the Town & Country Resort.

Download a PDF brochure:

Register Now for the Early-Bird Special!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Church Elders Discuss Kingdom Triangle

The blogger at MetroPuritan (a college pastor in Iowa) talks about how he and his fellow elders read and discussed Kingdom Triangle and it's relevancy for their church:

We met yesterday. The discussion centered around the supernatural workings of the Spirit and how that looks in our church.

Let me just say, if you're a person who has to have closure- you'd be frustrated by our meetings.

We floundered around for awhile, then never really landed the plane. There were passionate discussions followed by a resolve to keep seeking God for all he wants to do in our church.

So if you're looking for a "as a result of this meeting, we are going to..." I think the closest thing I can say is "...pray with more faith."

It's so refreshing to hear how other leaders are taking Kingdom Triangle seriously for their life and their church.

In another post, the college pastor provides a helpful review of Kingdom Triangle and says, "the last 60 pages are truly prophetic for the American church. I think I would consider these 'must read' pages from Moreland, one of the great Christian thinkers of our time"

In relationship to the elder meeting, the blogger and a friend decided to do something fun with the book ... (read here)!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Moreland Responds to Bill Maher's Religulous

JP Moreland responds to Bill Maher's "Religulous" film:

Religulous presents faith as completely opposed to reason-that faith is believing any silly thing you want. But a biblical view of faith is that faith is actually based on knowledge and reason; it's not opposed to it ... Ultimately Maher-who calls himself a proponent of doubt-is a bit too skeptical for his own good. If you're too skeptical, then you'll be sure that you won't believe something that's false, but you will also fail to believe things that are true, things that might help you.

Kingdom Triangle demonstrates that you can be both thoughtful and emotionally alive without being weird.

Maher's film is in many ways a tale of got-ya moments where religious people (especially Christians) are caught acting "irrational."

But as Kingdom Triangle demonstrates, Christianity is way more nuanced about "head" and "heart" than Maher lets on.

Moreover, as JP demonstrates in Kingdom Triangle Christianity is fundamentally a "knowledge tradition" and not a privatized "faith tradition."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kingdom Triangle at New Life Church

On Sunday August 31st, JP Moreland spoke at three services at New Song Church in Irvine, CA.

JP's talks specifically emphasized the "second leg" of the Kingdom Triangle with it's emphasis on internal spiritual formation.

Of his time at New Song Church, JP said,
It was a wonderful time! People are hungry for authentic spiritual living and, based on feedback from the church staff, the message was quite impactful. We sold about 100 copies of Kingdom Triangle people were very enthusiastic about reading the book. Before the second service, I met a person who had already read Kingdom Triangle and enjoyed it immensely.

It is so very sad to me to see part of the church reject the experiential, more "mystical" aspect of our walk with the Lord Jesus, thinking that they are biblical and doing the right thing. All they are actually doing (though I believe they are well-intentioned, but, of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions) is robbing themselves of their God-given invitation to a tender, intimate walk with God. I have even seen it argued, that because Henri Nouwen was uncomfortable with the claim that Jesus was the only way, that anyone who loves his spiritual writings and promotes some of those teachings is hurting people and promoting heresy.

This sort of "argument" would not last a day when Christians were more aware of why they believed what they believed. If a person teaches about a-k, and is wrong about, say, b, it does not follow that the person was wrong about d, e and f. I seldom agree with every thing anyone teaches, including Nouwen, but there are treasures in his thought that have enriched millions to walk more faithfully with God.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kingdom Triangle & In Search of a Confident Faith

JP Moreland teams-up with Klaus Issler in a new book that helps to expand the work of Kingdom Triangle.

In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God
was born out of the desire to correct gross misunderstandings of the nature of faith, to explain why there is such an arrangement between us and God/His Word, and provide specific, practical guidelines for developing/strengthening one's faith in the months ahead. The book gives a readable, accessible, solid biblical and philosophical treatment of faith, and it focuses on dealing with generalized doubt, specific doubts, emotional hindrances, the supernatural, and guidance.

In Search of a Confident Faith intersects with Kingdom Triangle in two ways. First, it has an an emphasis on God's special intervention in our lives as an aid to growth in God-confidence, and it thereby applies and expands Kingdom Triangle. Second, its emphasis on the role of the intellect in cultivating God-confidence is an expansion of the Kingdom-Triangle emphasis on the life of the mind.

Moreland says, "Klaus and I are very expectant about this book and, as far as we can tell, there is nothing like it out there. So it should be a fresh, refreshing read for our brothers and sisters."

More about the book and about Klaus Issler can be found at

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jolly Blogger on Kingdom Triangle

David Wayne's Jollyblogger consider's Moreland's discussion on the "empty self" in Kingdom Triangle and detects it's further significance for discerning "spiritual narcissists."

Read David's post here.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kingdom Triangle Featured at Bobby Sparks Blog

We are grateful for Bobby Sparks to share an excerpt of Kingdom Traingle at his blog.

He an excellent example of someone who is thoroughly evangelical and smart to recognize the indwelling power and presence of the Spirit in our midst.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

College Student Blogger Gets Kingdom Triangle

Curtis, a college student blogger (here), understands the significance of JP's Kingdom Triangle:
Good book. Especially encouraging to hear from man with his mind to be really implore his readers (who tend to come from more cessassionist backgrounds) to search out the supernatural especially with regards to the greater gifts...

It's also especially helpful to bring balance because sometimes peoples' pendulum's on these things goes too far one way or the other. I know mine did when first exposed the more spiritual side of things coming from my background where we did not talk about the Holy Spirit..

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Moreland Addresses Kingdom Triangle Themes to Apologetics Students

La Mirada, CA - Every year, graduate students in apologetics come from around the country in order to congregate at Biola University. These graduate students do not fit your typical profile: many of them are full-time career professionals with families, often established in their life vocations, but wanting to enrich their life by graduate work in Christian apologetics.

With these students, JP lectured on the meaning and importance of the reality of the Kingdom of God for apologetics work:

I defined the Kingdom as the realm within which God's will is carried out (the laws of nature and the hearts of those yielded to the King). I argued that the purpose of history is to bring honor to God by the progressive formation of a voluntary community of people, under the King, who exhibit the relations that obtain among the members of the Trinity and who co-labor with God forever to produce goodness, truth and beauty. I claimed that this is the meaning of our own individual lives. I then drew out the power aspect of the Kingdom and talked about healing prayer. Many came to me with the report that they had already read Kingdom Triangle with great benefit. Several students got copies. I am observing that the book is having precisely the sort of transformational influence on readers I had hoped.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Recommended Summer Reading

For what remains of summer, here are three important book recommendations:

Monday, June 30, 2008

Christian Scholar's Review Showcases Kingdom Triangle

The latest issue of the Christian Scholar's Review (Summer 2008) has a very long and favorable review (pp 505-510) of Kingdom Triangle.

CSR is widely read among Christian professors and scholars in the North American context. "[It] is the forum for Christian intellectuals to discuss their ideas in community with one another," says JP.

The review is by Dr. Gabriela Sabau, who is Professor with the Economics/Environmental Studies department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College.

Sabau spends nearly three pages providing a very helpful summary of Moreland's thoughts in Kingdom Triangle and does a commendable job of paying attention to his intention and care throughout the book.

"[Christian Scholar's Review] is very select in the books they review," says Moreland. "The simple fact that Kingdom Triangle is reviewed in this journal indicates that the book is being taken seriously as a substantive contribution to Christian thought."

Moreover, JP says,
It is my hope and prayer that more Council for Christian College and University professors will take seriously the need to take our religion as a knowledge tradition and not just a faith tradition, a point central to me thesis in Kingdom Triangle. More generally, I offered the book to my Evangelical community in hopes that it would foment a conversation about the central ideas I offer in the book. This review is part of an answer to my prayers.
Sabau concludes her review this way:
Moreland writes with insight and passion about a very difficult subject which is dear to his heart. He knows that before Christians in the Western traditional churches can become efficient at proclaiming and extending the influence of he Kingdom, they must put their inner house in order. This is what he has done, and this book is evidence that he is living and acting through the power of the Holy Spirit. I urge everyone to read this book. It has greatly helped me regain the vision of human life caught up in the divine conspiracy constituted by the progressive spread of the Kingdom of God. It has encouraged me to believe that God can use any of His children for His purposes when He recognizes His son in their minds and hearts (510).

Friday, June 20, 2008

San Jose Blogger Plugs Kingdom Triangle Website

Ryan, at his Illuminate blog, has a great plug for

Concerning JP's talks on how the culture plays with our mind (part 1 and 2 here), he says,

For those of you headed to college, those who want to be thoughtful followers of Jesus, and those who want to engage culture in a constructive way, this is a very helpful subject.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pneuma Informer Reviews Kingdom Triangle

The Pneuma Informer, a publication of The Pneuma Foundation, generously reviewed Kingdom Triangle.

You can read the entire review here:

The review is an example of someone taking seriously all three legs of the "Kingdom Triangle."

Kingdom Triangle is a biblically grounded vision of Christian discipleship, uniting J.P Moreland's concern for the Christian mind with his pursuit of the spiritual disciplines, and calling for the whole Church to rediscover the power of the Holy Spirit ... Kingdom Triangle is a book for both the heart and the mind, the fruit of many years of thoughtful ministry, apologetic engagement and philosophical reflection, articulated with passion and erudition. It is not always easy reading. But then, why should it be? We have been lazy and simple for too long. If we are really going to exemplify the mind and character and power of Jesus Christ, enter the Kingdom Triangle and take our place in the Grand Drama—where the stakes are so high, and the rewards are eternal—it will demand our best efforts. But that's what we were created for.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

JP Moreland and Lee Strobel Share the Stage

On Tuesday, May 27th, JP Moreland and Lee Strobel will share the stage at Biola University for a launch of Lee Strobel's DVD The Case for Christ, for which JP was interviewed in the course of the documentary's production.

Moreland says,
Measured by his impact for Christ, Lee Strobel is on a very short list of the most influential apologists for Christianity in this generation. His works are having an impact all around the world and they regularly exhibit the sort of quality and relevance that characterizes classics. Over the years I have had the privilege of working with Lee on several projects, and I particularly enjoyed filming for the Case for Christ DVD. It is vintage Strobel, and a powerful voice for the faith.
If you are in the Southern California area, come to Biola University's gymnasium at 7:00 pm.

Event Details and RSVP:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mark Yarhouse (Regent University) Interacts with Kingdom Triangle

Mark Yarhouse, a core faculty in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology at Regent University, interacts with Kingdom Triangle at his blog, Limning the Psyche.

Read part 1 and then part 2 here.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Moreland on the Spirit's Guidance

At his home church - the Anaheim Vineyard - JP recently gave a Sunday night talk on "The Guidance of the Holy Spirit."
The material I covered is not in Kingdom Triangle, but it is an application of the third leg to the Christian life. I began by showing from scripture that while God sometimes has a very specific will for us in detailed circumstances, there are other times when God wants to know what we want to do and He promises to go with us in those endeavors. I talked about how the Spirit sometimes speaks/leads by placing thoughts in our minds (see Nehemiah 2:12) and I shared the phenomenology as to how I have made progress in discerning those occasions in my own life. I also shared how I discern words of knowledge or wisdom when I am ministering to others. It was really fun. What meant the most to me was the fact that ordinary people like me and the congregation at large can actually make progress in this sort of intimate relationship with God.
You can either listen online or download JP's talk here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

How the Culture Plays with our Mind

JP led a seminar at the Armenian Christian Fellowship of Orange County concerning "How the Culture Plays with our Mind: Finding Truth in a Babble of Voices."

Download part 1 and part 2.

Of the event, Moreland remarked,
I covered the first half of Kingdom Triangle, obviously in summary fashion. People were deeply encouraged to receive categories and other information for understanding exactly where the culture is at this moment, why it is that way, and how it got there. I applied some insights to the way the race for the Presidency is being conducted, and people were genuinely disgusted about what has happened to the public discourse in our country. There was extensive time for Q & A, and it was clear from the level of the questions that folks were following the discussion very well. It was gratifying to see once again just how wide the applicability of Kingdom Triangle really is. The believers were motivated to be more intent on paying attention to the way the current of ideas moves in the culture and, hopefully, they will be better equipped to do just that.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Kingdom Triangle Confirmed, Muslims are Leaving Islam in Droves

Throughout much of Kingdom Triangle, J.P. discusses the global advancement of Christianity abroad, especially in non-Western countries. Latest reports confirm this reality, which Kingdom Triangle explains in view of the power and presence of the Spirit and the Kingdom of God being in our midst.

Last year both CBN and Christianity Today wrote about such events. Recently Joel C. Rosenberg, a NY Times best-selling novelist, wrote about this at his blog and is planning to produce a new non-fiction book and documentary, titled, Inside the Revolution (Easter 2009).
In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Aljazeera satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity." Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year," the cleric confirmed, adding, "a tragedy has happened."

One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims throughout the Middle East and even in the United States are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus. They are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus.
Moreover, just this last week, Andrew Walden, Editor of the Hawai 'i Free Press, HI, blogged and documented about how "Muslims [are] Leaving Islam in Droves."

In light of such ongoing reports, J.P. Moreland responds,

In well-documented, recent news reports, the movement of the Kingdom of God among Muslims, especially in the Mideast, is simply staggering. I can well remember the day when a missions agency would hope to lead three or four Muslims to Christ in a year. Now they lead thousands/year! And the reports from those agencies is that miracles, healings, prophetic visions and dreams are at the very heart of what is happening. As I pointed out in Kingdom Triangle, this outbreak has nothing to do essentially with spiritual gifts, and the evidence is bearing that out. Missions agencies that are non-Charismatic and Charismatic are reporting the same things regarding signs and wonders, according to Dallas Willard and others. This is a Kingdom and ministry-of-Jesus issue. The new converts need biblical training and spiritual formation teaching to guarantee they mature in Christ. But I am deeply encouraged that the motiffs I identify in Kingdom Triangle are, in fact, at the center of God's heart for the world. And that includes the church in America.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Denver Journal Publishes Review of Kingdom Triangle

Douglas Groothuis, a respected Professor of Philosophy at Denver Seminary, has published an extensive review of Kingdom Triangle in the recent Denver Seminary Journal.

Click here or here to read the entire review.
If read, pondered, preached, taught, and applied, the teachings of Kingdom Triangle could spark revival, reformation, and reform in the church, as well as in the world at large. This is a triangle that Christians must not ignore.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

KT Cited in a WORLD Magazine Article

In the March 22, 2008 issue of WORLD magazine, Moreland's Kingdom Triangle and his co-authored book (with colleague Tim Muehlhoff) The God Conversation (IVP) are mentioned in the "Apologetics Old and New" article.

Speaking of Kingdom Triangle, the article concludes:
It is only within this [Kingdom Triangle] matrix, Moreland argues, that Christian apologetics will have any value toward the kingdom not made with hands. Triangle is a provocative, inspiring, and challenging book, one that, like the other three, brings the old into the new. Whether it and the others succeed is up to the reader—no, the Spirit—to decide.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Comments from CT Judges on Kingdom Triangle

We have received permission to post comments by the CT judges on what they thought of JP's Kingdom Triangle. Here are some of their comments:

"An absolutely necessary message and challenge to believers - adults and students, leaders and followers ... Has the potential to erupt in a long-awaited, much prayed for expression of unity among the followers of Christ in our country."

"[Shows] intelligence, comprehensive reading ... It will be a good seminary text, written by a good scholar."

"Moreland's arguments are interesting and challenging."

Kingdom Triangle Book Award: Zondervan Responds

Responding to Kingdom Triangle's winning of a 2008 Christianity Today Book Award, Paul E. Engle, Zondervan Vice President and Publisher, Church, Academic and Reference Resources, had this to say,
Zondervan is grateful for the peer recognition given to J.P. Moreland through this Christianity Today award for Kingdom Triangle. It affirms our belief that this is a significant book that makes an important contribution to the ongoing evangelical conversation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Moreland responds to CT Book Award

We asked JP to reflect upon his journey with Kingdom Triangle in light of yesterday's award announcement from Christianity Today:
In the thirty-six months prior to writing Kingdom Triangle, I had around ten prophetic words of knowledge from trusted people from five different states all saying the same thing to me, and part of what they said was that God wanted me to write a book that would bring Charismatic, Third Wave and non-Charismatics together around a broad, unified approach to the Christian life that included Kingdom Power. Well, Kingdom Triangle is that book. As I have said before, I believe it is my most important book to date and I have never felt God's leading in writing a book more than with Kingdom Triangle. The 2008 Christianity Today Book Award for Kingdom Triangle in the category of spirituality is, from my perspective, an evidence of "the effect being greater than the human cause and, thus, requiring God's activity to explain." I am convinced that God is honoring the book because he is pleased with its intent and message. I am humbled to say the least.

Kingdom Triangle Wins Christianity Today Book Award

We are proud to announce that JP Moreland's Kingdom Triangle has been awarded the 2008 Christianity Today Book Award in the category of Spirituality.

According to the online posting,
This year, 49 publishers nominated 359 titles published in 2007. CT editors selected the top books in each category, and then panels of judges — one panel per category — voted. In the end, we chose 10 winners and gave 11 awards of merit to the books that best shed light on people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jamie's story

Last year, Jamie Gillentine, one of the pastors at the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship (where JP is a member), had a severe diving accident.

Listen to (or download) the talk about his journey and how God brings healing and uses the compassion of the church. (You can also get this talk through the "Vineyard Anaheim" channel in iTunes; search for the "Beautiful News" track).

You may also be encouraged by this video that illustrates the process of his recovery.

Jamie embodies the ideals of the Kingdom Triangle.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Moreland Speaks to 600+ Pastors

San Diego, CA - JP Moreland spoke at three major sessions at the 2008 National Pastor's Convention.

He did two 90 minute sessions on Kingdom Triangle related themes (e.g., "The mind, the heart, and the Power of the Holy Spirit" and "Sex and Secularism: Why Islam may win the West") to a total audience of about 400 pastors. JP says,
I worked through my worldview analysis and then on the the three legs of the triangle and I was deeply moved at the incredible responsiveness to the book and it's message (they sold out of KT and had to order more). This was a rare opportunity to minister to pastors and to give them hope and practical suggestions for greater impact.
To an audience of at least another 200 pastors, JP contributed to a panel discussion with Greg Boyd, Roger Olsen, and Richard Twiss concerning "Theological Trends Facing the Church." JP says,
It was a really fun time; sometimes passionate about our difference and always cordial. I liked these guys a lot and, while we have differences to be sure, there was also much about which we agreed.
Audio of JP's session can be purchased here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

What is Knowledge?

JP discusses here the importance of "What is knowledge?" and its significance to the Christian experience.
Do we the disciples of Jesus possess through Scripture and other means a reliable source of knowledge of reality or do we not? We have seen that this is an important question. The possession of knowledge—especially religious and moral knowledge—is essential for a life of flourishing. To answer this question we must, first, answer another question: What exactly is knowledge and what does it mean to say Christian teaching provides it?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Moreland Speaking on STR Cruise

Join JP Moreland and other notables on Stand to Reason's Alaskan Cruise:

August 2-9, 2008

JP will be speaking on the importance of the life of the Christian mind.

Check-out their informative brochure.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Is American Christianity Turning Charismatic?"

The Barna Group recently released a report about the sociological character of Charismatic and Pentecostal churches in the U.S.

Since JP's Kingdom Triangle attempts to show the interrelated significance of a Christianity that fuses Spirit-empowerment with thinking Christianly along with cultivating an inner life through Christian spiritual disciplines, we thought JP would have something to say about this report.

Here are his comments:
Barna's study on the growth of "Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity" is interesting on several fronts. If his data and interpretation are valid and sound, then it underscores the importance for non-Pentecostals and Charismatics to pay attention to this growing trend and assess its strengths and weaknesses.

But there seems to be several missing or omitted elements from Barna's "reflection":

First, Barna seems to mostly present an emotive and cultural interpretation of charismatic expression and experience when he writes, "the freedom of emotional and spiritual expression typical of charismatic assemblies parallels the cultural trend toward personal expression, accepting diverse emotions and allowing people to interpret their experiences in ways that make sense to them." Granted, this may be true as far as obvious sociological reflection goes, but charismatics also have diverse theological reasons and evidences for cultivating the emotionality of their individual and corporate expression. Namely, Charismatics and Pentecostals expectantly confide in God with the understanding that he is alive, active, and not impotent in his world. In short, they actually believe that the presence of God is real and not imaginary; he's always active at work in mission and not impotent or indifferent to the responsiveness of his creation.

Second, Barna's research and reflection does not seem to take into consideration the growing association of what Peter Wagner has called "third wave" churches, such as the Vineyards and the Calvary Chapels. If these are taken into consideration, then their categorization is not obvious or clear in this Barna report. These movements have been, I think, the historical catalyst for change and bridge-building, if you will, between traditional evangelicals and Charismatics/Pentecostals.

Third, "third wavers," especially of the Vineyard sort, increasing make the case, theologically and practically in corporate church experience, that it is the nature and significance of the in-breaking of the kingdom of God and the ministry of Jesus and NOT whether "sign gifts" are for today, as the differentiating reason for why we can continue to expect God to bring healings, prophetic words, deliverances, etc in our midst.

Why does God do these things? Because they are signs - and not the only ones, either - of God, the presence and power of his Kingdom, and the ministry of Jesus actually our midst. If you gathered for church or in a small group with the expectation that God is in our midst, that he is alive and actually desires to interactively communicate His heart, administer his ministry, and bless us in order to make us a blessing to others, pray tell, how could your emotions and affections, let alone your mind and will, not be stirred and compelled? But this explanation, in content and tone, is omitted in Barna's research and reflection as a viable theological explanation for informing and forming so-called "Charismatic/Pentecostal experience."

Fourth, there is a growing number of church movements (e.g., Sam Storms, and other Charismatic and theologically Reformed folks), who would consider themselves "evangelical" but also charismatic. Indeed, this is, perhaps, the real news about the growth of Charismatic and Pentecostal Christianity in the U.S.: its been hugely influential in areas of theology, teaching, worship, music, and overall ecclesial practice among evangelicals, who continue to remain evangelical but with an eagerness to interactively know the living God and practice his presence.

I'm encouraged by what appears to be the genuine growth of Charismatics and Pentecostals in the U.S. Their growth also signals the importance of helping them, and all of us, develop our inner lives in the discipline of Christian formation so that the life of our minds are skilled in virtue, theological knowledge and wisdom, which I demonstrably discuss in Kingdom Triangle (see chapters 4-7).

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

KT New Year's Resolutions

If you were to read and apply JP's Kingdom Triangle in 2008, here's what he would encourage as five key resolutions in light of the themes and values of Kingdom Triangle:
  1. I urge people to read the suggested works on pages 200-201 and encourage others to read them.
  2. I will make it my aim to learn about and grow in the supernatural aspects of the Kingdom. I will do this by selecting some of the suggestions from pages 181-187 and doing them.
  3. I will make it my aim to grow in my inner life, especially my emotional warmth. I will ask a loved one or close friend how they experience me, to give me feedback about my emotional distance, coldness and so forth, and together with him/her (or them), I will seek to grow in this area.
  4. I will seek to spread the things in Kingdom Triangle with which I agree. I will form a study group using the book and seek to influence others.
  5. I resolve to spend an afternoon listing my strengths and weaknesses in each leg of the triangle, and identify which leg is my weakness. I will try to find ways to grow in that area and to balance that area with the other two.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Knowledge of Christ in Today's World

A few years ago, JP Moreland and the Eidos Christian Center produced an eight lecture CD set with Dallas Willard titled, "Knowledge of Christ in Today's World."

You can listen to a sample here and then the entire CD set can be purchased through the Masters in Apologetics program at Biola University. Follow this link to purchase.

Its a superb summary of Willard's ideas (for Willard newbies), but its also very meaty teaching that wisely demonstrates the importance of the Christian knowledge tradition and its ability to diagnose the culture, which JP further develops in Kingdom Triangle.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Moreland on Foster's Celebration of Discipline

The Denver Post recently had an article that showed the historical and ecclesiastical significance of Richard Foster and his now thirty-year celebrated Celebration of Discipline.
The second leg of the Kingdom Triangle is the cultivation of a tender heart, a spiritually mature inner life, a life of character and wisdom. Spiritual disciplines, while not exhausting the tools God has given us to develop these traits, represent a time-tested set of exercises unto godliness. But the Western church lost touch with spiritual disciplines, especially the Protestant branch of the church. Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline is the single, most important book in the last century for restoring these disciplines. It's impact for Christ has been immeasurable.

Some people have rejected Foster's book for extremely harmful and superficial reasons, e.g., his suggestion that we employ visualization is therefore New Age. But this claim violates the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent: If one is a New Age person, then one uses visualization, one uses visualization (Foster), thus one is New Age. New Age folk each, drive cars, and do lots of things that believers do, but that does not make a believer a New Age practitioner. Likewise, there can be more than one reason for using, say, visualization (not to mention more than one way to practice it and more than one meaning to attach to it and more than one way to specify the goal for its employment).

At the end of the day, Foster's book has brough countless believers into a deeper walk with God, and along the way, helped many not to wear their emotional underwear too tightly.