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The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind Paperback – Oct 19 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Wm.B. Eerdman's Publishing (Oct. 19 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802841805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802841803
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.4 x 1.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, by Mark Noll, is "an epistle from a wounded lover." Noll loves God and he loves academics, but he is wounded because many of his colleagues deny the possibility of maintaining the integrity of both loves. Noll's epistle is a memoir, a historical study, and a wide-ranging piece of cultural criticism that argues, "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." Noll considers the effects of evangelical intellectual atrophy on American politics, science, and the arts, and he ultimately offers wise and practical advice for readers who want to explore the full intellectual implications of the incarnation of Christ. --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly

Claiming that "the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind," historian Noll sets out to trace the reasons for what he sees as the great divorce between intellect and piety in North American Evangelical Christianity. In a breathtaking panorama of evangelical history from the Great Awakenings to the present, Noll shows that early Evangelicals like Jonathan Edwards embraced the use of reason as an expression of faith in the Creator of the natural world. The advent of Fundamentalism and Pentecostalism, Noll contends, with their emphases on dispensationalism and other-worldliness, fostered anti-intellectualism. Since politics and science, in the form of the religious right and creationism, have been the secular arenas in which the Evangelical mind has most publicly expressed itself, Noll focuses on them to explore ways in which the mindlessness "scandal" has created a lack of adequate Christian thinking about the world. Finally, Noll is hopeful that the work of contemporary Evangelical scholars will recover a respect for intellect. Required reading for those seeking to understand the often peculiar relationship between Evangelical religion and secular culture, this is a brilliant study by--yes--a first-rate Evangelical mind.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "christianskeptic" on March 16 2001
Format: Paperback
There's a good reason why the media, in general, view and portray evangelical Christians as a bunch of uneducated, reactionary rubes who can't think, but can only force their out-dated opinions on others. This view of evangelicals pervades the mainstream culture. In any discipline or field of inquiry, Christians are marginalized and ridiculed, be it in law, science, politics or education. The reason why this is so is very well explained in Noll's book. The absence of deep thought and deep thinkers in evangelical Christianity has led to the demise of respect for the same. This was not always the case. For much of the last two thousand years many of the greatest thinkers were Christians, names such as Aquinas, Newton, Luther, Dostoyevsky, Lebiniz, Lord Kelvin, Faraday. The list is long. But in the twentieth century, evangelicalism has failed to duplicate the intellectual and thoughtful output previously forwarded by Christians. The book focuses mainly on the failure of American evangelicalism (with a few brief mots about Canada). "Despite dynamic success at a popular level, modern American evangelicals have failed notably in sustaining serious intellectual life. They have nourished millions of believers in the simple verities of the gospel but have largely abandoned the universities, the arts, and other realms of "high" culture." Universities originally started by Christians are anything but today, either in thought or in practice.
Noll outlines the rise and fall of evangelical thought in America by noting the pivot point of the ministry of Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was an intellectual giant, but his work produced an ironic situation.
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Format: Paperback
"that there is not much of an evangelical mind." That is the first sentence of this book by Mark Noll who is an evangelical himself, professor at Wheaton College, alma mater of Billy and Ruth Bell Graham.
So what's the problem, Mark Noll asks? Doesn't Christ command us to love Him with all our mind, and how have evangelicals in this country failed in this respect? That's the aim of Noll in this book to show the historical reasons for that failure but also to show that there is hope and signs that some evangelicals are back on the right track. I think his main point is that research is key to developing the mind, that Christians should venture to explore all "topics under the sun" as Solomon says, and that we can do so in a way that glorifies God without compromising basic Christian beliefs.
This author was recommended to me and others from the evangelical church I attend. I loved this book; it's one of the more substantive Jesus books that are out there. It's well-researched and thought provoking. Evangelicalism is new to me, although maybe I was one before I knew what the word meant! In the first chapter, evangelicalism is described as having "the key ingredients of: conversionism/new birth, biblicism/the bible as ultimate religious authority, activism/sharing your faith, crucicentrism/significance of Christ's saving work on the cross." Fundamentalism is not necessarily evangelicalism.
Here are some excerpts I loved:
"In each of these instances (pro-life/abortion, creationism/creation science/evolution debates), the point at issue for a historian of the intellectual life is not whether the new ideas were right or wrong.
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Format: Paperback
Noll has written a very compelling book, which I only recently discovered in the last year. I have my own view of the questions in this work. At the time of publication in 1994, I had already become a post-fundamentalist, post-evangelical believer. Due to the unique nature of my own history and learning since then, I have become a religiously interested agnostic. So, a caveat on my review: I have moved from being a very committed, born-again evangelical Christian waiting with great expectation for the "revelation of Christ" in the final days to my present status which entails a metaphorical interpretation of Scripture as non-literal historical myth-making that speaks deeper truths about what it is to be human in our cosmos, seeking the divine in life. At this time, I find it very difficult to accept the unlikely prospect of a personal, conscious being referred to as 'God'. This response is less of a review (there are already fine ones here), but an attempt to respond with my own probing questions. If you're open-minded (as Noll seems to extol) I urge you to not prejudice this review and automatically label in 'unhelpful'.
Noll states several times (obviously not picked up by at least one reviewer) that his book is not a deep intellectual treatise on evangelicalism, but a historical review of the development of its ideas, beliefs, and present status. I found it a probing and accurate summary of the current state of American evangelicalism. I have family members who are evangelicals and committed dispensationalists and I'm very aware of their beliefs and perspectives on the world. I found this book to speak accurately about my own past experiences with evangelicalism and the contemporary experiences of evangelicals close to me.
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