John Warwick Montgomery

John Warwick Montgomery
Born (1931-10-18) October 18, 1931
Warsaw, New York, United States
Nationality United States
Citizenship Naturalized British citizen[1]
Education 11 earned degrees including, Ph.D, Th.D, and LLD
Occupation Lawyer, Professor, Theologian
Known for Christian apologetics
Religion Christian (Lutheranism)
Spouse(s) Lanalee de Kant Montgomery[1]

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, United States. He is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at Concordia University, Wisconsin,[2] and continues to work as a barrister specializing in religious freedom cases in international Human Rights law.[3]

He is chiefly noted for his major contributions as a writer, lecturer and public debater in the field of Christian apologetics.[4]

Since 2007 he is Emeritus Professor at University of Bedfordshire, England, where from 1995–2007 he held a full professorship in law and humanities.[5] From 2007-2014, he was the "Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy and Christian Thought" at Patrick Henry College.[6][7] He is also the director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism & Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, and is the editor of the theological online journal Global Journal of Classical Theology.[8]


Montgomery traces his ancestry back to Comte Roger de Montgomery who accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 in the invasion of England. His other titles include Baron of Kiltartan and Lord of Morris, and Comte de St-Germain de Montgommery.[9] 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. His one sibling, a sister, died in 2008. Montgomery has been married twice. His first wife is deceased. He had 3 children with his first wife: two daughters and a son. He married Lanalee de Kant, a professional harpist, in 1988. They have an adopted son, Jean-Marie, and two grandchildren, Sarah and William.[10][11]


Montgomery is a scholarly maverick[12] 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.[3][11][13][14]


Montgomery became a Christian in 1949 as an undergraduate student majoring in the classics and philosophy at Cornell University.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

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 the lectures were subsequently published in his book History and Christianity.[18]

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 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.[19]

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).[20]

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.[21]

His role as an apologist for the Christian faith extended to debates with the American atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair (1967),[22] situation ethicist Joseph Fletcher (1971),[23] Australian atheist Mark Plummer (1986),[24] humanist George A. Wells (1993),[25] and Jesus Seminar scholar Gerd Ludemann.[26]

Montgomery, since 1965, is classified as an ordained minister in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.[27]

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 Trinity Law School, the law school of Trinity International University. Montgomery worked as Dean and Professor from 1980-1989. Faculty included theologians and lawyers from various denominational backgrounds such as Walter Martin, Harold Lindsell, Rod Rosenbladt, Hugh Ross and Harold O.J. Brown. Alumni include Francis Beckwith, Craig Parton and Kim Riddlebarger. Montgomery was Editor of The Simon Greenleaf Law Review, which was published in 7 Volumes between 1981-1987.[28][29] In 1989 Montgomery began, with Michael Richard Smythe, the Irvine, Ca. based Institute for Theology and Law, which beginning in 1995 became the current International Academy of Apologetics and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. In 1991 Montgomery relocated to London, where he became a Barrister-at-Law,[30] wrote widely on apologetics, defended international cases of religious freedom, and taught at the University of Bedfordshire.[5] 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.[31]

Montgomery's apologetic work has generally centred on establishing the divinity of Christ by assessing the historical and legal evidences for the resurrection.[32] 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, offering a distinctly Christian philosophy of history in his books The Shape of the Past and Where Is History Going?[33]

Montgomery researched the claims of evidence for Noah's Ark for two years. His quest took him through two thousand years of reports, sightings and claims, and on two ascents of Mount Ararat the first in August, 1970, on the South Face, and in Summer of 1971 on the North Face. His effort to collect data and sift fact from fiction yielded his work "The Quest for Noah's Ark". In the introduction he writes that he merely presents the facts and allows the readers to come to their own conclusions.[34] He was a contributing scholar on two film documentaries on the topic "Noah's Ark and the Genesis Flood" (1977), "In Search of Noah's Ark" (1976).[35]

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).[36] 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".[37]

In his legal career Montgomery has, in addition to teaching law, practiced law in California, been admitted to the English bar as a barrister,[38] is also licensed in France, taken higher degrees in ecclesiastical law at Cardiff University,[39] 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).[3][40][41][42][43]

Literary output

Montgomery is author of over 235 works, including over one hundred scholarly journal articles and more than fifty books in eight languages.[44] 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, 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,[45] Muslim World, New Oxford Review, Religion in Life, Religious Education, Simon Greenleaf Law Review.[46][47]



  1. 1 2 "JWM home". Retrieved 2011-07-04.
  2. Faculty Directory Concordia University Mequon, Wisconsin
  3. William Dembski and Thomas Schirrmacher eds. Tough-Minded Christianity: Honoring the Legacy of John Warwick Montgomery, Nashville, Tennessee: B & H Publishing Group, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8054-4783-5
  4. 1 2 Lynne Williams, Appointments of Chairs, Times Higher Education, 16 June 1995, UK Montgomery's Chair Appointment to University of Bedfordshire
  5. Halbrook, David (July 31, 2007). "Renowned Apologist John Warwick Montgomery Joins PHC Faculty". Patrick Henry College. Retrieved 2007-08-04.
  6. Faculty Directory Patrick Henry College
  7. Editorial Board, Global Journal of Classical Theology
  8. "Debrett's People of Today" Montgomery's profile at Debrett's Biographical Reference of Leading Figures
  9. Journal Spécial des Sociétés - annonces légales et formalités, Paris, France, N° 164 à 166 – Dimanche 13 à mardi 15 juin 2010
  10. 1 2 Marquis Who's Who biographies updated 30 May 2011: Who's Who in Finance and Business, 31st Edition; Who's Who in the World, 8th through 27th Editions; Who's Who in American Law, 4th through 14th, 16th Editions; Who's Who in America, 44th through 47th, 51st through 65th Editions. Lexis Nexus access date 06 Aug 2011.
  11. Carla Rivera, "A Flair for Controversy" Los Angeles Times, Jan 11, 1989, California, Local section. Article Available Here to academics/subscribers
  12. MPACT Dissertations Information Academic Resource Info on Montgomery's Doctoral Dissertation from University of Chicago UNC School of Information and Library Science, and Indiana University School of Library and Information Science.
  13. Cardiff Law School J. W. Montgomery's Alumni Profile
  14. Cornell Daily Sun, vol. 68, Issue 181, 06 June 1952, p. 10, baccalaureate candidate announcements.
  15. Rudolf Hirsch, Review of A Seventeenth-Century View of European Libraries, Library Quarterly 33 (1963): 23-224.
  16. James R. Moore, "John Warwick Montgomery" in Christianity for the Tough-Minded, Montgomery ed. Minneapolis: Bethany, 1974, 291.
  17. See Ross Clifford, Leading Lawyers' Case for the Resurrection, Edmonton: Canadian Institute for Law, Theology & Public Policy, 1996, 30. Craig J. Hazen, "Ever Hearing but Never Understanding": A Response to Mark Hutchins's Critique of John Warwick Montgomery's Historical Apologetics" in Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher eds. 22. Also refer to Montgomery, History and Christianity, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1979, 5.
  18. Philip Johnson, "To Every Occultist an Answer: Assessing John Warwick Montgomery's Apologetic Critique of the Occult," in Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher eds., 176.
  19. Montgomery's Christianity Today Articles are referenced in Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, Vol. 28, p. 766; Vol. 29, p. 782; Vol. 31, p. 752; Vol. 32, p. 768; Vol. 33, p. 700; Vol. 34, p. 713; Vol. 35 p. 710; Vol. 36 p. 718; Vol. 37, p. 732; Vol. 38, p. 883; Vol. 38, p. 897; Vol. 40, p. 986; Vol. 41, p. 1057; Vol. 42, p.1017, H. W. Wilson Co., New York, 1968–83.
  20. L. Russ Bush, "Preventing Theological Suicide: John Warwick Montgomery's Quest in the 1970s," in Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher eds., 113–124. David R. Liefeld, "Lutheran Orthodoxy and Evangelical Ecumenicity in the Writings of John Warwick Montgomery," Westminster Theological Journal 50 (1988): 110–111. Kurt E. Marquart, Anatomy of An Explosion: A Theological Analysis of the Missouri Synod Conflict, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1978, 117.
  21. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery debated Madalyn Murray O'Hair on live Chicago radio broadcast, 1967.
  22. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery debated Joseph Fletcher, at San Diego State University, February 11, 1971.
  23. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery debated Mark Plummer, in Sydney, Australia, February 14, 1986.
  24. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery debated Dr. George A. Wells, in London, England, February 10, 1993.
  25. Primary source recordings of, and information about the actual Montgomery debates Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy These debates are discussed in Dallas K. Miller, "The Role of Public Debate in Apologetics" in Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher eds., 452–477.
  26. LCMS Church worker locator
  27. Library of Congress link
  28. Simon Greenleaf Law School History
  29. Montgomery's Current Barrister Profile at Ten Old Square, Lincoln's Inn Chambers of Leolin Price CBE QC
  30. Profile listing for Paris law firm of Noual Hadjaje Duval
  31. Ross Clifford, John Warwick Montgomery's Legal Apologetic: An Apologetic for all Seasons, Bonn: Verlag fur Kultur und Wissenschaft, 2004, 40–46. Kenneth D. Boa & Robert M. Bowman, Faith Has Its Reasons: An Integrative Approach to Defending Christianity, Colorado Springs: NAV Press, 2001, 167–169.
  32. Gary Habermas,"Evidential Apologetic Methodology: The Montgomery-Bahnsen Debate", p. 426ff, in Dembski & Schirrmacher eds. Tough-Minded Christianity, 426ff. Boa & Bowman, Faith Has Its Reasons, 194–196.
  33. The Quest for Noah's Ark, Bethany Fellowship, 1972, 2nd edition, Pyramid, 1974.
  34. Accessed 03 May, 2014.
  35. Johnson, "To Every Occultist an Answer" Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher, 168–190.
  36. TV episodes listed by Will Moore, "Bibliography" (Videotapes 1988–1992) in Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher, 730–733
  37. Havers' Companion to the Bar Montgomery's profile in Havers'
  38. Cardiff Law School J.W. Montgomery's Alumni Profile
  39. Case of Larissis & others v Greece European Commission and Court of Human Rights 140/1996/759-761/958
  40. Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia & others v Moldova ECHR 45701/1999 (judgment 13.12.01)
  41. Terry Carter, "Fighting on foreign soil, religious right groups prepare for European legal battles" American Bar Association Journal, June 1998, Vol.84, p.32.
  42. Staff Writer, "Un american pe frontul romano-rus" Romanian Global News, Bucuesti, Romania, Friday, 23 March 2007. Extensive interview in Romanian with Dr. John Warwick Montgomery on the case of Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia & others v Moldova ECHR 45701/1999, and receiving the Patriarchal medal.Romanian Global News
  43. WorldCat Identities academic resource, accessed 05 Aug 2011:Montgomery's WorldCat Profile
  44. "Modern Reformation - Author Biography". Retrieved 2011-07-04.
  45. Montgomery's articles in these various journals are listed by Will Moore, "Bibliography" in Tough-Minded Christianity, Dembski & Schirrmacher eds, 704–734.
  46. Montgomery's books and the tapes of his numerous debates, lectures, and several university courses are available in the western hemisphere from the Canadian Institute for Law, Theology and Public Policy


External links

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