Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nonfiction Review: J.P. Moreland's The Soul

J.P. Moreland's "The Soul" sets out a fascinating new method for defending the Christian faith: the idea of the conscious, mental, possibly disembodied soul. The book is for high-academic intellectuals, however. While chapter wrap-ups and key definitions are very helpful, there are some concepts and arguments presented that become caught up in jargon and difficult to comprehend, even upon multiple reads. Moreland's long chapters cover physicalism vs. dualism, the biblical teaching on the soul and afterlife (including a rather abrupt conclusion to the book that discusses heaven and hell), and the relationship between science and the soul. The treatment is thorough, but leaves the reader to make many of the connections and conclusions, herself. Moreland discusses near death experiences, the disembodied soul, and the relationship between the brain and the soul, but could delve more deeply into these subjects, while other subjects require him to warn the reader that she may wish to skip an entire section due to its difficulty (which I did, indeed, skip, after much due effort). It's not all painful to read - some sections make more sense than others. There is a saying that nothing worthwhile comes without effort, and perhaps that applies here, but a more practical and understandable approach in addition to philosophical approaches (which at times just seem silly) would be much appreciated.

*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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