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Smart Faith by J.P. Moreland and Mark Matlock

Smart Faith
Loving God with all your mind
by J.P. Moreland and Mark Matlock
Download Chapter One

The smart stuff:

  1. Good writing style.
    Easily communicates ideas without dumbing things down. Interesting and fresh; thoughts that don’t just sound good but actually make sense.
  2. Tackles a topic that matters.
    What we believe dictates how we live life. So if we believe in Jesus, we’d better make sure it’s not just a teary-eyed emotion triggered by Christian love songs, but something we can understand clearly and explain to others.
  3. Teaches you to think.
    Makes a good case for intellect and shows you how to regain it. Equips you to confidently talk about your faith, answer questions, handle debates. I like the brain-weightlifting exercises at the end of each chapter.

The not-so-smart stuff:

  1. That cover? Seriously?
    As if the title isn’t enough to chase away any reader from this generation. For me, it looks like a design cop-out.
  2. He said, he said.
    Two authors, one book–always an awkward read for me. I’m not comfortable with “I (Mark)…” and “I (J.P.)…” but you get used to it.
  3. Too American in context.
    Talks to the American Christian; contains a background on Western religious history. Helpful, but misses some of the nuances of my non-Western faith experience. When will a Filipino/Asian write about good stuff like this?

All in all, this is a great book–but here I am, stuck halfway through, skipping chapters, interest waning. It just makes the case for why I need this book! I’ve lost the discipline to stretch my mind with concepts that take more concentration and less instant gratification.