In February 1993, Mark Noll spoke these words at his induction as Wheaton College's McManis Professor of Christian Thought. In a talk entitled "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind," he decried the anti-intellectualism he saw in modern evangelical life. As his ideas gained greater exposure with Christianity Today's publishing of his address (Oct. 25, 1993, p. 28) and the 1994 release of his book with the same title, a debate spread through the Christian community: Was the evangelical mind really in such bad shape?

Other evangelical scholars added to the discussion. Alister McGrath, theology professor at Oxford University, presented a more optimistic outlook in Evangelicalism & the Future of Christianity (InterVarsity; excerpted, ct, June 19, 1995). Fuller Theological Seminary president Richard Mouw urged Christian intellectuals to learn from popular religion in Consulting the Faithful (Eerdmans; excerpted, ct, July 18, 1994). Dallas Theological Seminary's Darrell Bock, a New Testament professor, promoted a fresh outlook on a theological tradition in his book Progressive Dispensationalism (Victor/Bridgepoint, coauthored with Craig Blaising; summarized in ct, Sept. 12, 1994).

This spring Christianity Today brought these four together for a three-hour discussion on the state of the evangelical mind. Moderated by managing editor Michael Maudlin, the conversation was supplemented by questions and comments from executive editor David Neff, editorial resident Helen Lee, and associate editor Wendy Zoba. What follows is their lively and wide-ranging discussion.

I. The state of the evangelical mind

How would each of you characterize the current state of the evangelical mind?

Noll: I am most concerned about the widening gap between the evangelical ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
SOUTHERN BAPTISTS Subscriber Access Only
Racist No More? Black Leaders Ask
Current IssueThe Science of Sinning Less
The Science of Sinning Less Subscriber Access Only
What new research reveals about self-control and willpower.
RecommendedWho’s In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?
Who’s In Charge of the Christian Blogosphere?
The age of the Internet has birthed a crisis of authority, especially for women.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickThe Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam—It’s Us
A leading Nigerian theologian believes the real danger to Christianity in Africa is in the church.
Christianity Today
Scandal?
hide thisAugust 1 August 1

In the Magazine

August 1, 1995

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.