“The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” That stinging first sentence opens Mark Noll’s game-changing book, “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind,” which was published 25 years ago this month.
In the book, Noll takes American Christianity to task for failing to obey Christ’s command to love God not just with our hearts, souls, and strength, but also with our minds.
He identifies ways in which American believers—especially conservative Protestants—abandoned the intellectual life and higher education, preferring experience and emotion.
“The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” helped inspire the work of the Colson Center—Chuck Colson was a big fan of the book. In fact, a whole movement of organizations and authors took Noll’s critique to heart and began seriously promoting the idea of thinking Christianly.
Not only has there been a renewal of Christian interest in higher education, but also a partial recovery of the Church’s own intellectual heritage, including a renaissance of apologetics, ethics, classical schools, and of course, theology. We’ve come a long way in 25 years.
But there’s still so much work to be done. In fact, a frequent piece of feedback I get here at the Colson Center goes something like this: “All of this theology and worldview reading and talk about ideas is great, but when can we just get back to Jesus?”
This complaint echoes a popular internet video from a few years ago that urged folks to hate religion and just love Jesus. But who is this Jesus we’re supposed to love? And how would we know?
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris