John Warwick Montgomery

John Warwick Montgomery

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John Warwick Montgomery is a noted lawyer, professor, Lutheran theologian, and prolific author living in France. He was born October 18, 1931, in Warsaw, New York
Warsaw, New York
Warsaw, New York is the name of two locations in Wyoming County, New York:*Warsaw , New York*Warsaw , New York...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. In 2007 he was named "Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought" at Patrick Henry College
Patrick Henry College
Patrick Henry College is a private, independent college with Evangelical Christian basis that focuses on teaching classical liberal arts and government, located in Purcellville, Virginia, United States The first college in the United States founded specifically for Christian home-schooled...

. He continues to work as a barrister
A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

 specializing in religious freedom cases in international Human Rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...


He is chiefly noted for his major contributions as a writer, lecturer and public debater in the field of Christian apologetics
Christian apologetics
Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and expose the perceived flaws of other world views...


Since 2007 he is Emeritus Professor at University of Bedfordshire
University of Bedfordshire
The University of Bedfordshire is based in Luton and Bedford, the two largest towns in the English county of Bedfordshire. The university was created by the merger of the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University on 1 August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, where from 1995–2007 he held a full professorship in law and humanities. He is the director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, and 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
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. His other titles include Baron of Kiltartan and Lord of Morris, and Comte de St-Germain de Montgommery. Montgomery's more immediate branch of the family hailed from County Antrim
County Antrim
County Antrim is one of six counties that form Northern Ireland, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. Adjoined to the north-east shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,844 km², with a population of approximately 616,000...

 in Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. His parents were Maurice Warwick Montgomery (owned a retail feed company) and Harriet (Smith) Montgomery. His one sibling, a sister, died in 2008. Montgomery has been twice married. His first wife is deceased. He married Lanalee de Kant, a professional harpist, in 1988. They have an adopted son, Jean-Marie, and two grandchildren, Sarah and William.


Montgomery is a scholarly maverick who has 11 earned degrees in multiple disciplines: philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, librarianship, theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

, and law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

. His degrees include: the A.B. with distinction in Philosophy (Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

; Phi Beta Kappa), B.L.S. and M.A. (University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley , is a teaching and research university established in 1868 and located in Berkeley, California, USA...

), B.D. and S.T.M. (Wittenberg University
Wittenberg University
Wittenberg University is a private four-year liberal arts college in Springfield, Ohio serving 2,000 full-time students representing 37 states and approximately 30 foreign countries...

, Springfield, Ohio
Springfield, Ohio
Springfield is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Clark County. The municipality is located in southwestern Ohio and is situated on the Mad River, Buck Creek and Beaver Creek, approximately west of Columbus and northeast of Dayton. Springfield is home to Wittenberg...

), LL.B. (La Salle Extension University
La Salle Extension University
La Salle Extension University , also styled as LaSalle Extension University, was a nationally accredited private university based in Chicago, Illinois. Although the school offered resident educational programs in classes and seminars their primary mode of delivery was by way of distance learning...

), M. Phil. in Law (University of Essex
University of Essex
The University of Essex is a British campus university whose original and largest campus is near the town of Colchester, England. Established in 1963 and receiving its Royal Charter in 1965...

, England), Ph.D. (University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

), Th.D. Doctorat d'Universite (University of Strasbourg
University of Strasbourg
The University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, Alsace, France, is the largest university in France, with about 43,000 students and over 4,000 researchers....

), LLM and LLD in canon law (Cardiff University
Cardiff University
Cardiff University is a leading research university located in the Cathays Park area of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It received its Royal charter in 1883 and is a member of the Russell Group of Universities. The university is consistently recognised as providing high quality research-based...

). He also holds an honorary doctorate awarded in 1999 by the Institute for Religion and Law, Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...



Montgomery became a Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 in 1949 as an undergraduate student majoring in the classics and philosophy at Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

. Upon graduation Montgomery then began studies in librarianship through the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

, 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
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, whilst simultaneously undertaking doctoral studies in bibliographical history.

He then served as Chairman of the Department of History at Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University is a university located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. It also has campuses in Brantford, Ontario, Kitchener, Ontario and Toronto, Ontario and a future proposed campus in Milton, Ontario. It is named in honour of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the seventh Prime Minister of Canada....

, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, 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
University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a public research university. UBC’s two main campuses are situated in Vancouver and in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley...

 and the lectures were subsequently published in his book History and Christianity.

On receiving a Canada Council Senior Research Fellowship, Montgomery commenced doctoral studies in theology at the University of Strasbourg, France. His doctoral dissertation, which was on the life and career of the Lutheran pastor Johannes Valentinus Andreae
Johannes Valentinus Andreae
Johannes Valentinus Andreae , a.k.a. Johannes Valentinus Andreä or Johann Valentin Andreae, was a German theologian, who claimed to be the author of the Chymische Hochzeit Christiani Rosencreutz anno 1459 one of the three founding works of...

 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
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Trinity Evangelical Divinity School is an evangelical Christian seminary located in Deerfield, Illinois. TEDS is one of the largest seminaries in the world, enrolling more than 1,200 graduate students in professional and academic programs, including more than 150 in its PhD programs...

 in Deerfield, Illinois
Deerfield, Illinois
Deerfield is a village in Lake County, Illinois, United States and is located approximately 25 miles north of Chicago, Illinois. A portion of the village is in Cook County, Illinois, United States...

 (1964–74). It was during the 1960s that he emerged as a significant spokesman for Protestant Evangelicals
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

, writing as a regular columnist in the flagship periodical Christianity Today
Christianity Today
Christianity Today is an Evangelical Christian periodical based in Carol Stream, Illinois. It is the flagship publication of its parent company Christianity Today International, claiming circulation figures of 140,000 and readership of 290,000...


He injected himself into the theological controversies of his denomination the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod concerning Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, that "Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact." Some equate inerrancy with infallibility; others do not.Conservative Christians generally believe that...

 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
Thomas J. J. Altizer
Thomas Jonathan Jackson Altizer is a radical theologian who incorporated Friedrich Nietzsche's conception of the "death of God" into his teachings.- Education :...

 at the University of Chicago in 1967. He was also critical of Karl Barth
Karl Barth
Karl Barth was a Swiss Reformed theologian whom critics hold to be among the most important Christian thinkers of the 20th century; Pope Pius XII described him as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas...

, Paul Tillich
Paul Tillich
Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century...

 and Rudolf Bultmann
Rudolf Bultmann
Rudolf Karl Bultmann was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg...

. He summed up much of his opposition to Liberal Christianity
Liberal Christianity
Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century and onward...

 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
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was an American atheist activist and founder of the organization American Atheists and its president from 1963 to 1986. One of her sons, Jon Garth Murray, was the president of the organization from 1986 to 1995, while she remained de facto president during these nine years....

 (1967), situation ethicist Joseph Fletcher
Joseph Fletcher
Joseph Fletcher was an American professor who founded the theory of situational ethics in the 1960s, and was a pioneer in the field of bioethics. Fletcher was a leading academic involved in the topics of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, eugenics, and cloning. Ordained as an Episcopal priest, he...

 (1971), Australian atheist Mark Plummer (1986), humanist
Secular humanism
Secular Humanism, alternatively known as Humanism , is a secular philosophy that embraces human reason, ethics, justice, and the search for human fulfillment...

 George A. Wells (1993), and Jesus Seminar
Jesus Seminar
The Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 critical scholars and laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk under the auspices of the Westar Institute....

 scholar Gerd Ludemann
Gerd Lüdemann
Gerd Lüdemann , is a German New Testament scholar. He taught this subject from 1983 to 1999 at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Göttingen. Since 1999 he has taught there with a special status as Chair of History and Literature of Early Christianity...


During the 1970s Montgomery began training in the law with the twin aims of reintegrating Christian foundations into jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

, 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
Trinity International University
Trinity International University is an evangelical Christian institution of higher education headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois. It comprises an undergraduate college, a graduate school, a theological seminary , and a law school--together with nearly 3,000 students...

. Montgomery resigned his post as Greenleaf Law School Dean and Professor in 1989. In 1991 he relocated to London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, where he became a Barrister-at-Law, wrote widely on apologetics, defended international cases of religious freedom, and taught at the University of Bedfordshire
University of Bedfordshire
The University of Bedfordshire is based in Luton and Bedford, the two largest towns in the English county of Bedfordshire. The university was created by the merger of the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University on 1 August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council...

. In 2009, Montgomery passed the French bar examinations and became an avocat à la Cour, barreau de Paris; he is a member of the Paris law firm of Noual Hadjaje Duval.

Montgomery's apologetic work has generally centred on establishing the divinity of Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

 by assessing the historical and legal evidences for the resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

. Much of this work has influenced popular apologists like Josh McDowell
Josh McDowell
Joslin "Josh" McDowell is a Christian apologist, evangelist, and writer. He is within the Evangelical tradition of Protestant Christianity, and is the author or co-author of some 77 books. His best-known book is Evidence That Demands a Verdict, which was ranked 13th in Christianity Today's list of...

, Don Stewart, Francis J. Beckwith
Francis J. Beckwith
Francis J. "Frank" Beckwith is an American Christian philosopher, scholar, debater, and lecturer. Beckwith advocates in the areas of social ethics, legal philosophy, philosophy of religion, intelligent design and the Christian countercult movement. Currently, he is the associate director of the J.M...

, Ross Clifford
Ross Clifford
Ross Clifford is an Australian Baptist theologian, political commentator, radio personality and author. A former lawyer who later joined the ministry, Clifford became a campaigner on moral issues while a suburban Sydney pastor in the 1980s...

, Terry Miethe, Gary Habermas
Gary Habermas
Gary Robert Habermas is an American evangelical Christian apologist, historian, and philosopher of religion. He is a prolific author, lecturer, and debater on the topic of the Resurrection of Jesus...

, Craig Parton, Rod Rosenbladt
Rod Rosenbladt
Rod Rosenbladt is a Professor of Theology at Concordia University, Irvine in Irvine, CA, and is also well-known among Lutheran, Reformed and Evangelical Christians as the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio program "The White Horse Inn" .- Education :...

, Loren Wilkinson, Kerry McRoberts and Elliot Miller. He is an advocate of evidentialist apologetics, offering a distinctly Christian philosophy of history in his books The Shape of the Past and Where Is History Going?

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
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, 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
International Institute of Human Rights
The International Institute of Human Rights is an association under French local law based in Strasbourg, France...

, Strasbourg (1979–81). He has written on legal-moral problems such as cryonics
Cryonics is the low-temperature preservation of humans and animals who can no longer be sustained by contemporary medicine, with the hope that healing and resuscitation may be possible in the future. Cryopreservation of people or large animals is not reversible with current technology...

, stem-cell research, euthanasia
Euthanasia refers to the practice of intentionally ending a life in order to relieve pain and suffering....

, abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 and divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

, 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
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

, Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 (1997 and 2001).

Literary output

Montgomery is author of over 235 works, including over one hundred scholarly journal articles and more than fifty books in eight languages. He regards his Tractatus Logico-Theologicus as the most comprehensive presentation of his theology and apologetic method. Articles and essays have appeared in periodicals such as Bibliotheca Sacra
Bibliotheca Sacra
Bibliotheca Sacra is the theological journal published by Dallas Theological Seminary. First published in 1844, it is the oldest theological journal in the United States. It originally was published by Union Theological Seminary in 1843, moved to Andover Theological Seminary in 1844, to Oberlin...

, Christian Century, Concordia Theological Quarterly
Concordia Theological Quarterly
Concordia Theological Quarterly is a peer-reviewed academic journal of theology published for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary . It continues The Springfielder and is published in January, April, July, and October...

, Ecclesiastical Law Journal, Eternity
Eternity (magazine)
Eternity was a monthly conservative Christian magazine published from 1950 to 1988. It included major contributions from such well known individuals as F. F. Bruce and others.- History :In 1931, Donald Barnhouse started Revelation...

, Fides et Historia, Interpretation, Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society is a refereed theological journal published by the Evangelical Theological Society. It was first published in 1958 as the Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society, and was given its present name in 1969.- External links :* ** in PDF format;...

, Law and Justice
Law & Justice (journal)
Law & Justice is a biannual peer-reviewed academic legal periodical published by The Edmund Plowden Trust...

, Library Quarterly, Modern Reformation, Muslim World, New Oxford Review
New Oxford Review
The New Oxford Review is a magazine of Roman Catholic cultural and theological commentary, founded in 1977 as an Anglo-Catholic magazine in the Anglican tradition. In 1983, the magazine officially "converted" to Roman Catholicism. The magazine championed Pope John Paul II's condemnation of...

, Religion in Life, Religious Education, Simon Greenleaf Law Review
Trinity Law School
Trinity Law School , or the Law School, Trinity International University is a private, nonprofit law school located in Santa Ana, California, United States.-Background and origins:...


Critical Independent Sources

  • 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 ISSN 1521-6055
  • 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
  • William Dembski and Thomas Schirrmacher
    Thomas Schirrmacher
    Thomas Schirrmacher holds a chair in theology , is a Christian moral philosopher and a specialist in the sociology of religion....

     eds. Tough-Minded Christianity: Honoring the Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery, Nashville, Tennessee: B & H Publishing Group, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8054-4783-5
  • David R. Liefeld, "Lutheran Orthodoxy and Evangelical Ecumenicity in the Writings of John Warwick Montgomery," Westminster Theological Journal 50 (1988) pp. 103–126. ISSN 0043-4388
  • Liviu, Damian, John Warwick Montgomery: şi necesitatea istoriei în susţinerea adevărului teologic; Tratat de epistemologie teologică evidenţialistă (thesis defended at the Baptist Theological Faculty, University of Bucharest, Romania, June, 2007).
  • James Lutzweiler, "The Papers, Pulse, Person, Pictures, and Porpoise of John Warwick Montgomery (Special Collections Interest Group)," American Theological Library Association 2006 Proceedings, 68-70.

External links