I was taught that "thinking Christianly" was the follow-up to "praying the prayer." Then again, I entered the kingdom as a college senior through the portal of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. But I think it is not unusual for a new Christian to encounter such works as J. I. Packer's Knowing God, John Stott's Basic Christianity, John White's The Fight, A. W. Tozer's The Pursuit of God, Francis Schaeffer's The God Who Is There, or a whole library from C. S. Lewis-which is the fare on which I was nourished. These authors either assumed or argued that God wished for us to engage our intellectual gifts to their fullest capacities. After all, Christ was lord of our minds just as much as he was lord of our bodies and souls.
So it was with some ambivalence that I encountered Mark Noll's lecture-then-book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. A scandal? As I read the book, I kept wanting to say, "Yes, but . . ."
Having a job where at times I can make my wishes come true, I invited the scholars I wanted to hear from to come to our office and engage the thesis of Mark's book. I even got to ask some of the questions. A mere listing of the institutions represented-Oxford University, Wheaton College, Dallas Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary-blunts the sharp edges of Mark's thesis. I think you will be stimulated by the frank, wide-ranging conversation that ensued (see "Scandal?" which begins on p. 20).
Are evangelicals anti-intellectual? Not an easy question for ct to ask. But it is the right time to ask it. As a movement, we are in a new place. God has blessed us with many churches, colleges, seminaries, publishing houses, and ministries. Preserving the fundamental doctrines of the faith is no longer the anxious concern ...1
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