James Porter Moreland (b. 1948), more commonly known as J. P. Moreland, is a philosopher, theologian, and Christian apologist, and the current Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology located in California (1). He leaves behind a lengthy study career which ultimately earned him four degrees. He has a B.S. in chemistry (University of Missouri), a Th.M. in theology (Dallas Theological Seminary), a M.A. in philosophy (University of California-Riverside), and a Ph.D. in philosophy (University of Southern California).
Moreland has been named in the list of 50 most influential philosophers, and has received many awards and honors (2). Some these include being awarded fellowship for Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry, University of Colorado (1970), the Rollin Thomas Chafer Award in Christian Apologetics, Dallas Seminary (1978-79), Academic Excellence Award, International School of Theology (1982-83), and others. He was also voted a Member of the Executive Committee for the Society of Christian Philosophers (1997–99).
Moreland’s efforts extend beyond his professional philosophical academic. He has a passion for evangelism and the church, and has as a result co-planted three churches during his life. He has spoken and debated on more than 175 college campuses around America, served on the Campus Crusade for Christ for 10 years, and also worked as a bioethicist for PersonaCare Nursing Homes for eight years. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Center on Culture and Civil Society at the Independent Institute.
Moreland specializes in chemistry, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and Christian philosophy. Some of his work has been published in journals such as Metaphilosophy and the American Philosophical Quarterly. Moreland defends several views which include the existence of supernatural and supernatural entities such as angels and demons,, libertarian free will, life after death, and substance dualism. In respect to his notable debates, he has engaged atheist philosopher Clancy Martin (over the existence of God) and atheist lawyer and activist Eddie Tabash (over the existence of the supernatural).
Moreland has penned a number of works. These include, but are not limited to, Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity (1987) which provides both a rational defense of and arguments in favour of Christian theism, the existence of God, the deity of Jesus and his resurrection. Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul (1997) looks at the importance of developing the mind, the role it plays in spiritual transformation, and how it can be used to further God’s kingdom through evangelism, apologetics, worship, and vocation. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (authored with William Lane Craig, 2003) looks at the major questions that philosophy addresses, and offers a comprehensive introduction to philosophy from a Christian perspective. This includes an engagement with the disciplines such as epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of science, ethics and philosophy of religion. Consciousness and the Existence of God: A Theistic Argument (2009) argues that the existence of finite, irreducible consciousness provides evidence for the existence of God, and examines and critiques several rival approaches explaining the origin of consciousness. The God Question: An Invitation to a Life of Meaning (2009) provides some of Moreland’s own testimonies and anecdotes, invites people to consider the gospel, and outlines beginner apologetic arguments for the existence of God.
Moreland runs his own website here.
1. jpmoreland.com. About J.P. Moreland. Available.
2. jpmoreland.com. Dr. J.P. Moreland. Available.