Evangelical Christians must rediscover the Reformation truth that God can be glorified through a life of scholarship.

“You are invited,” the invitation read, “to attend a banquet for the 48 American Jews who have won a Nobel Prize in science.” I have trouble thinking of one evangelical Christian who has won a Nobel Prize, I thought, after reading the invitation. Jews number about 8 million in the United States; some evangelicals have claimed their number to be 40 million. Why this comparative lack of scientific accomplishment by evangelical Christians?

A partial answer is that not many evangelical Christians have academic appointments in the science departments of the universities where the majority of the Nobel Prizes are won. Neither are evangelicals represented in proportion to their numbers among the graduate students who will become the university professors of the future.

And while evangelical Christians do graduate from college, of course, often it is not with the expectation of pursuing careers in university teaching and research. Even before they come to college, few have been challenged by their church leaders to consider scholarly science as a career that can glorify God. In many cases, such a career is even discouraged before the student arrives at college. Potential scholars are thereby lost to the academic pipeline before reaching the college gates.

Little is done during the college years to change this situation. For 40 years, parachurch groups such as InterVarsity, Campus Crusade, and the Navigators have ministered to students on the university campus. That generation of students now occupies the faculty positions in our universities. Yet, the university faculties are as secular as ever. Where are the Christians? ...

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

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

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.