The Scandal Of The Evangelical Mind Paperback – Oct 19 1995
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Though the causal lines are not always clear, Noll's book is a fascinating study of how things have developed. The problem of the mind is unique - there is no "action plan" appropriate to solve it. Evangelicals must simply faithfully apply their minds to the problems and the work they encounter in their day-to-day lives.
Noll's diagnosis may not be completely right, but this is a thought-provoking book and one that should continue to prod the evangelical reader on to faithful use of their mind. The world and God's will requires it. In the end, Noll says, the search for mind is the search for God.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book says many things that many Christians desperately need to hear!! I hope that one day the scandal will be over, and there certainly has been great effort into repairing... Read morePublished 14 months ago by TheologyPunk
Evangelicals need to read, study and discuss this book. If we are to have a real Christian experience, we need to learn how to think in a world where our minds have been really... Read morePublished 20 months ago by George Parker
As an auto-anathemised Roman Catholic (courtesy of the Counicl of Trent!), I tended towards the Evangelical of the type Noll expertly analyses. Read morePublished on Nov. 26 2003 by a reader
No other book establishes beyond a doubt that there is a serious problem within evangelical Christianity called the Christian Ghetto. Read morePublished on April 30 2003 by Ken Archer
As a committed Christian of many years and a former Jesus Freak from the seventies, I saw myself on too many pages of Noll's excellent book. Read morePublished on March 31 2003 by D. Taylor
The author is a good historian, the book reflects not only talent in research and comprehension of the big picture of historical theology, but a heart felt grasp of evangelicalism... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2003 by R. M. Williams
I had high hopes for this book after reading David Wells No Place for Truth, but I'm afraid it falls woefully short of fulfilling any promise of accurately defining or offering... Read morePublished on March 1 2002 by s
A good analysis of the intellectual situation of the evangelical movement.
Here in germany the situation is no different. Read more