John Warwick Montgomery

John Warwick Montgomery

John Warwick Montgomery was born October 18, 1931 in Warsaw, New York. In 2007 he was named "Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought" at Patrick Henry College. [cite news
last = Halbrook
first = David
title = Renowned Apologist John Warwick Montgomery Joins PHC Faculty
publisher = Patrick Henry College
date = July 31, 2007
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-04
] He continues to work as a barrister. He specialises in religious freedom cases in international Human Rights law.

He is chiefly noted for his major contributions as a writer, lecturer and public debater in the field of Christian apologetics. He maintains his activities in apologetics by serving as the director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights, Strasbourg, France.

From 1997–2007 he was Distinguished Professor of Law and Vice-President for Academic Affairs, UK and Europe, Trinity College and Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana, USA, an institution that specialises in distance education. He is the editor of the theological e-zine ["Global Journal of Classical Theology".]


Montgomery traces his ancestry back to Comte Roger de Montgomery who accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 in the invasion of England. Montgomery's more immediate branch of the family hailed from County Antrim in Ireland. His parents were Maurice Warwick Montgomery (owned a retail feed company) and Harriet (Smith) Montgomery. He has one sibling, a sister. Montgomery has been twice married. His first wife is deceased. He married Lanalee de Kant in 1988. He has three children from the first marriage, and he also has an adopted son.


Montgomery is a scholarly maverick who has 11 earned degrees in multiple disciplines: philosophy, librarianship, theology, and law. His degrees include: the A.B. with distinction in Philosophy (Cornell University; Phi Beta Kappa), B.L.S. and M.A. (University of California, Berkeley), B.D. and S.T.M. (Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio), LL.B. (La Salle Extension University), M. Phil. in Law (University of Essex, England), Ph.D. (University of Chicago), Th.D Doctorat d'Universite (University of Strasbourg), LLM and LLD in canon law (Cardiff University). He also holds an honorary doctorate awarded in 1999 by the Institute for Religion and Law, Moscow.


Montgomery became a Christian in 1949 as an undergraduate student majoring in the classics and philosophy at Cornell University. Upon graduation Montgomery then began studies in librarianship through the University of California, followed on by two degrees in theology, and ordination as a Lutheran clergyman. His M.A. thesis in library science was published by the University of California as "A Seventeenth Century View of European Libraries". In 1959–60 he served on the faculty of theology as principal librarian in the Divinity school's library at the University of Chicago, whilst simultaneously undertaking doctoral studies in bibliographical history.

He then served as Chairman of the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, where he began to develop a reputation as a Christian apologist. Some of his earliest apologetic lectures in defending the historical reliability of the gospel records were presented at the University of British Columbia and were subsequently popularised in his book "History and Christianity".

Whilst teaching in Canada, Montgomery commenced doctoral studies in theology through the University of Strasbourg, France, and then lived in Strasbourg 1963–64. His doctoral dissertation, which was on the life and career of the Lutheran pastor Johannes Valentinus Andreae and his alleged connections with Rosicrucianism, was subsequently published as "Cross and Crucible". Montgomery regards this particular text as his most important piece of scholarship.

After completing his Th.D (1964), Montgomery assumed a post as professor of church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois (1964–74). It was during the 1960s that he emerged as a significant spokesman for Protestant Evangelicals, writing as a regular columnist in the flagship periodical "Christianity Today" (1965–83).

He injected himself into the theological controversies of his denomination the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod concerning Biblical inerrancy and higher criticism. On the wider church scene he wrote against the death-of-God theology, and publicly debated one of its proponents Thomas J. J. Altizer at the University of Chicago in 1967. He was also critical of Karl Barth, Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann. He summed up much of his opposition to Liberal Christianity and radical theologies in works such as "Crisis in Lutheran Theology", "The Suicide of Christian Theology" and "God's Inerrant Word".

His role as an apologist for the Christian faith extended to debates with the American atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair (1967), situation ethicist Joseph Fletcher (1971), Australian atheist Mark Plummer (1986), humanist George A. Wells (1993), and Jesus Seminar scholar Gerd Ludemann.

During the 1970s Montgomery began training in the law with the twin aims of reintegrating Christian foundations into jurisprudence, and to integrate insights from legal theory and doctrines of proof relevant to furthering Christian evidentialist apologetics. To that end Montgomery established in 1980 The Simon Greenleaf School of Law in California, which is now part of Trinity International University. Montgomery resigned his post as Greenleaf Law School Dean and Professor in 1989. In 1991 he relocated to London, England where he became a Barrister-at-Law, wrote widely on apologetics, defended international cases of religious freedom, and taught at the University of Bedfordshire.

Montgomery's apologetic work has generally centred on establishing the divinity of Christ by assessing the historical and legal evidences for the resurrection. Much of this work has influenced popular apologists like Josh McDowell, Don Stewart, Francis J. Beckwith, Ross Clifford, Terry Miethe, Gary Habermas, Craig Parton, Rod Rosenbladt, Loren Wilkinson, Kerry McRoberts and Elliot Miller. He is an advocate of evidentialist apologetics. He offers a distinctly Christian philosophy of history in his books "The Shape of the Past" and "Where Is History Going?"

He has also advocated the development of literary apologetics concerning subjective sensitivity to myths and symbols found in religious phenomenology, the occult and in folklore (see his "Myth, Allegory and Gospel", "The Transcendent Holmes"). The late Walter Martin regarded Montgomery as "a genius".

Montgomery's interests in the occult has also yielded his studies on early Rosicrucianism ("Cross and Crucible"), demonic phenomena ("Demon Possession"), and analytic considerations of the occult as a spiritual search for truth ("Principalities and Powers"). In the 1980s he spent eight years as a Sunday evening radio broadcaster in California, and from 1988–92 a television presenter of "Christianity on Trial".

In his legal career Montgomery has, in addition to teaching law, practiced law in California, been admitted to the English bar as a barrister, is also licensed in France, taken higher degrees in ecclesiastical law at Cardiff University, and served as Director of Studies for the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg (1979–81). He has written on legal-moral problems such as cryonics, stem-cell research, euthanasia, abortion and divorce, as well as arguing for a transcendental perspective in international human rights and jurisprudence. He has successfully represented clients in religious liberty cases before the Court of Appeals (1986) in Athens, Greece, and the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg (1997 and 2001).

Avocational interests

Over a twenty year period Montgomery acted as an educational tour guide taking small parties to important sites in Reformation history in western, central and eastern Europe, and to sites of biblical importance in Israel and the Mediterranean. He happened to be leading a tour party from Australia and landed in Fiji (1987) at the time of the military coup, and again was in Beijing the day prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre (1989).

He was also involved in several ascents on Mount Ararat in Turkey in the early 1970s. A naturalized citizen of England, Montgomery resides there and also spends the summer living in Strasbourg, and regularly visits North America to attend the annual Evangelical Theological Society conventions.

According to his home page [] , his politics are of an independent leaning. His other avocational interests include travel, music, gastronomy and vinology, antique Citroën autos (owns a 1925 C-3, a 1926 B-14, a 1955 11-B traction avant, and two DS-21s), bookcollecting (Latin theological and jurisprudential works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, writings by and about Samuel Johnson and John Donne, cuisine, modern philosophy, history of occultism, historical bibliography, myths and legends), Sherlock Holmes, Apple Macintosh computing.

Literary output

Montgomery is author of over one hundred scholarly journal articles and more than fifty books in English, French, Spanish and German. Articles and essays have appeared in periodicals such as "Bibliotheca Sacra", "Christian Century", "Concordia Theological Quarterly", "Ecclesiastical Law Journal", "Eternity", "Fides et Historia", "Interpretation", "Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation", "Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society", "Law and Justice", "Library Quarterly", "Modern Reformation", "Muslim World", "New Oxford Review", "Religion in Life", "Religious Education", "Simon Greenleaf Law Review".

External links

* [ Montgomery's home web page]
* [ The Jury Returns: A Juridical Defense of Christianity — An excerpt from Evidence for Faith Chapter 6, Part 2 — John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ "Defending the Hope That Is In Us: Apologetics for the 21st Century" by John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ Why Has God Incarnate Suddenly Become Mythical? by John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ Science, Theology and the Miraculous by John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ "The Theologian's Craft", "Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation", 18/3 (September 1966), pp. 65-77.]
* [ A Critique of Chinese Religious Options by John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ "Legislating Morality" Modern Reformation 1, 4 (1992) by John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ "Greek Opposition to Evangelism" by John Warwick Montgomery presented at the CESNUR 2000 Conference, Riga, Latvia]
* [ "Law in a Box" — various audio-lectures on law, jurisprudence and human rights by John Warwick Montgomery]
* [ "Computer Origins and the Defense of the Faith," "Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith", 56/3 (September 2004) pp 189-203.]
* [ "Jesus in the Dictionary" "New Oxford Review", January-February 1994]
* [ "There Goes Hell & The Second Coming" "New Oxford Review", March 1994]
* [ "Dracula or Jesus" "New Oxford Review" April 1994]
* [ "On the Reliability of the Four Gospels" "New Oxford Review", May 1994]
* [ "Philosophy Revisited" "New Oxford Review", June 1994]
* [ "Back to the Sixties?" "New Oxford Review", July-August 1994]
* [ "Jesus & The Bell Curve" "New Oxford Review", January-February 1995]
* [ "Christianity's Unique Intellectual Opportunity" "New Oxford Review", March 1995]

Critical Analyses of Montgomery's Work

* Greg Bahnsen, [ "A Critique of the Evidentialist Apologetical Method of John Warwick Montgomery"] (Covenant Media Foundation, 1974).

* Kenneth D. Boa and Robert M. Bowman, "Faith Has Its Reasons: An Integrative Approach to Defending Christianity" (NAV Press, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2001). ISBN 1-57683-143-4

* "John Warwick Montgomery's Apologetic" Special Issue of [ "Global Journal of Classical Theology" Volume 3, number 1 2002]

* Ross Clifford, "John Warwick Montgomery's Legal Apologetic: An Apologetic for all Seasons" (Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft [Culture and Science Publishers] , Bonn, Germany, 2004). ISBN 3938116005

* David R. Liefeld, "Lutheran Orthodoxy and Evangelical Ecumenicity in the Writings of John Warwick Montgomery," "Westminster Theological Journal" 50 (1988) pp. 103–126.

Note: A festschrift concerning Montgomery's interdisciplinary work and honoring his 75th birthday is being edited by William Dembski and Thomas Schirrmacher for joint publication in 2008 by B & H Publishing, Nashville and Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft (Culture and Science Publishers), Bonn, Germany.

Biographical Sources

* "Contemporary Authors", New Revision Series, Vol. 25, pp 327–329.
* "International Who's Who" 1989-90, 53rd edition, p. 1037.
* "Who's Who in America" 1988-89, 45th edition, p. 2189.

Note: Montgomery is currently composing his autobiography, and additional biographical data is available from [ Montgomery's home web page] .

Bibliography of Montgomery's Books

* John Warwick Montgomery manuscript collection established at Syracuse University Library, 1970, but this archive has now been transferred to Southeastern Baptist Seminary.

* Will Moore, "Bibliography of Dr John Warwick Montgomery's Writings," 3d edition (Edmonton, Alberta: [ Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy] , 2003).

* John Warwick Montgomery, "The Altizer-Montgomery Dialogue" (Chicago: InterVarsity Press, 1967).

* "Christ Our Advocate: Studies in Polemical Theology, Jurisprudence and Canon Law" (Bonn, Germany: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft/Culture and Science Publishers, 2002). ISBN 3-932829-40-9

*(ed.) "Christianity for the Tough-Minded" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1973). ISBN 0-87123-079-8

* and C. E. B. Cranfield & David Kilgour, "Christians in the Public Square: Law, Gospel & Public Policy" (Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy, 1996). ISBN 1-896363-05-9

* "Chytraeus on Sacrifice: A Reformation Treatise in Biblical Theology" (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1962). ISBN 0-570-03747-6

* "Crisis in Lutheran Theology", 2 Vols., 2nd edition (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1973).

* "Cross and Crucible: Johann Valentin Andreae (1586–1654) Phoenix of the Theologians" (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1974). ISBN 90 247 5054 7

* "Damned Through the Church" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1970). ISBN 0-87123-090-9

*(ed.) "Demon Possession" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1975). ISBN 0-87123-102-6

* "Ecumenicity, Evangelicals and Rome" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969).

*(ed.) "Evidence for Faith: Deciding the God Question" (Dallas: Probe Ministries, 1991). ISBN 0-945241-15-1

*"Faith Founded On Fact: Essays in Evidential Apologetics" (Nashville & New York: Thomas Nelson, 1978). ISBN 0-8407-5641-0

* "Giant in Chains: China Today and Tomorrow" (Milton Keynes, UK: Word, 1994). ISBN 0-85009-550-6

* (ed). "God's Inerrant Word" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1974). ISBN 0-87123-179-4

* "Heraldic Aspects of the German Reformation" (Bonn, Germany: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft/Culture and Science Publishers, 2003). ISBN 3932829832

* "History, Law and Christianity" (Edmonton, Alberta: Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy, 2003). A revised and expanded version of "History and Christianity" (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1971).

* "How Do We Know There Is A God?" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1973). ISBN 0-87123-221-9

* "Human Rights and Human Dignity" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986). ISBN 0-310-28571-2

* "In Defense of Martin Luther" (Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing, 1970).

* (ed). "International Scholars Directory" (Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1975).

* "The 'Is God Dead?' Controversy" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1966).

* (ed). "Jurisprudence: A Book of Readings" (Strasbourg: International Scholarly Publishers, 1974).

* "The Law Above the Law" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, Minnesota, 1975). ISBN 0-87123-329-0

* "Law and Gospel: A Study in Jurisprudence" (Oak Park, Illinois: Christian Legal Society, 1978).

* "The Marxist Approach to Human Rights: Analysis and Critique" in "The Simon Greenleaf Law Review" 3 (1983-84).

* (ed.) "Myth, Allegory and Gospel" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellwoship, 1974). ISBN 0-87123-358-4

* "Principalities and Powers" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1973). ISBN 0-87123-470-x

* "The Quest for Noah's Ark" 2nd edition (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1974). ISBN 0-87123-477-7

* "The Repression of Evangelism in Greece: European Litigation vis-à-vis a Closed Religious Establishment" (Lanham, New York & Oxford: University Press of America, 2001). ISBN 07618-1956-8

* "A Seventeenth-Century View of European Libraries: Lomeier's De bibliothecis, Chapter X" (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1962).

* "The Shape of the Past" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1962; rev. ed. 1975).ISBN 0-87123-535-8

* "The Shaping of America" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1976). ISBN 0-87123-227-8

* "The Slaughter of the Innocents" (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1981). ISBN 0-89107-216-0

* "Situation Ethics: True or False" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1972). ISBN 0-87123-525-0

* "The Suicide of Christian Theology" (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1970). ISBN 0-87123-521-8

* "The Transcendent Holmes" (Ashcroft, British Columbia: Calabash Press, 2000). ISBN 1553100131

* "Tractatus Logico-Theologicus" (Bonn, Germany: Verlag für Kultur und Wissenschaft/Culture and Science Publishers, 2003). ISBN 3-932829-80-8

* "Where is History Going?" (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969).

Note: Many of Montgomery's books and taped lectures are available from the [ Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy] .


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