To him, it is life’s most important question.
How does one know and prove what is true in Christianity?
Because of the importance of this issue, Dr. Brian Morley has taken many months to bring to completion a book of about 350 pages entitled “Mapping Apologetics: Comparing Contemporary Options” that will be released in early 2015.
Morley has been a biblical studies professor at The Master’s College (TMC) since 1989, long enough to have children of former students in his classes. He enjoys teaching Philosophy and many other courses that help students think through tough questions within the Christian faith.
“I’ve always been interested in the question of how do we know what’s true in religion,” Morley says. “Most people just assume a certain way to prove what is true, but there’s a big legitimate debate among Christians as to what the best method is. The evangelical churches are divided about how to do this.”
In a nutshell, Morley tells what his book is about.
“It is a comparison of approaches to how we figure out what is true,” Morley says. “It’s not saying, ‘Here’s what is true,’ and arguing for it, but rather it answers the prior question of how we are going to find out what’s true in religion.”
Only three other books have been written regarding this topic, the most recent one being published 15 years ago.
“Mapping Apologetics” lays out the views within Christianity and lets the reader think for himself. Is it a leap of faith? Is it faith above evidence? Or experience alone?
The nine methodologies are included under the following titles: Fideism, Presuppositionalsim, Reformed Epistemology, Experientialism Pragmatism, Veridicalism, Combinationalsim, Classical Apologetics, Evidentialism, and Rationalism. Despite their looks, these words become palatable when broken down and analyzed.
The audience for this book is not just the scholar or seminary student, but anyone interested in apologetics. Rather than a “faceless mass,” Morley writes to a specific reader, eliminating confusing words and clarifying technical terms.
“[Writing a book] is a big process. It’s fun and I like doing it, but it’s hard work,” Morley says
The first draft went to the editors in Nov. 2013. After long nights, rewriting, and editing, the book is on schedule to print in early January and it should come out in February.
A task like writing a book may seem daunting, but Morley gives encouragement to his students.
“Students generally have a very limited view of what is possible with their lives,” Morley says.
“You come up with a better [method] and in future years I’ll put your name on the board and we’ll talk about your view.”
In the future, Morley would like to see the book used as a textbook in a classroom setting.
Despite being tedious project, Morley is very happy with the book. So are his students.
“I’m thrilled that Dr. Morley is writing a book,” says Elizabeth Lawrence, a sophomore liberal studies major at TMC and student of Morley. “He gave us an excerpt of it to read in class, and just from that I can tell it’s going to be relevant and well thought out. It will be exciting to see what kind of an impact his book has.”
To get a preview of the concepts in his book, students should sign up to take philosophy, apologetics, or apologetic methods from Morley. For others interested, stay tuned for the release of “Mapping Apologetics: Comparing Contemporary Options” in 2015.
By Katy Olewiler