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Matthew Lee Anderson is at the head of a class of young Christian intellectuals who sharpen their minds by way of the blogosphere. Since his 2004 graduation from Biola University's Torrey Honors Institute, he has held jobs in book publishing and finance. But he lives through his blog, Mere Orthodoxy, which has won a small, loyal audience with its ruminations on political theory, ecclesiology, anthropology, and other rarified topics.

Blogging on weighty matters has refined Anderson's own critical thinking, he says—especially as an intelligent and diverse audience worldwide reads and reacts. "If you write a quick response that is terrible," he says, "you find out."

Anderson got quite a quick response to his 6,000-word essay "The New Evangelical Scandal," published early this year in The City, Houston Baptist University's journal "on the critical issues of the times." Anderson, 27, argued that in the process of distancing themselves from their parents' thinking on religion and politics, young evangelicals are tossing the baby out with the bathwater by shunning some worthwhile—and biblical—ideas.

"In that distancing from our parents' generation, we've bought into many of the same problems we are reacting to," says Anderson, who has applied to graduate school to study political theory—and further sharpen his thinking, as well as that of his readers.

Question & Answer

What kind of reactions did "The New Evangelical Scandal" get?

Overall, it was received reasonably well. I expected younger evangelicals to react pretty strongly, but a number of them told me I had articulated their experiences and intuitions better than they had been able to. Most who criticized it said that I got the section on eschatology wrong ...

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December 2009

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