The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Oct 19, 1995 - Religion - 274 pages
"The scandal of the evangelical mind, " says historian Mark Noll, "is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." This critical yet constructive book explains the decline of evangelical thought in North America and seeks to find, within evangelicalism itself, resources for turning the situation around. According to Noll, evangelical Protestants make up the largest single group of religious Americans; they also enjoy increasing wealth, status political influence, and educational achievement. Yet, despite its size and considerable intellectual potential, evangelical Protestantism makes only a slight contribution to first-order public discourse in North America: it neither sponsors a single research university, nor supports a single periodical devoted to in-depth interaction with modern culture, nor cultivates attitudes that treat the worlds of science, the arts, politics, and social analysis with the seriousness that God intends. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind explains how this situation developed by tracing the history of evangelical thinking in America. Noll's analysis shows how Protestants successfully aligned themselves with national ideals and with the particular expressions of an American Enlightenment in the decades before the Civil War; explains how fundamentalists at the start of the twentieth century preserved essential elements of the faith, but only by grievously damaging the life of the mind; gives specific attention to evangelical thought on politics and science; and discusses what some have called an "evangelical intellectual renaissance" in recent decades and shows why it is more apparent than real. Written to encourage reform as well as to inform, this book endswith an outline of some preliminary steps by which evangelicals might yet come to love the Lord more thoroughly with the mind.

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Excellent overview of evangelical intellectualism

User Review  - RobK -

Dr. Knoll's book is a broad overvew of evangelical engagement with current theological, cultural and scholarly development. As a former evangelical, I found myself nodding my head in agreement several ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elimatta - LibraryThing

Bulbul has found the flaw, which the author fails to see. To add other examples, what would evangelical psychology look like, or evangelical biology? What would be abandoned from what he at one places ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Contemporary Scandal
Why the Scandal Matters
The Evangelical Mind Takes Shape Revival Revolution and a Cultural Synthesis
The Evangelical Enlightenment
The Intellectual Disaster of Fundamentalism
Political Reflection
Thinking about Science
Is an Evangelical Intellectual Renaissance Underway?
Can the Scandal Be Scandalized?
Index of Names and Subjects
Index of Scripture References

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Page 151 - Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
Page 31 - Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Page 244 - All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work...
Page 244 - Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Page 53 - For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
Page 244 - But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Page 53 - We know him by two means : first, by the creation, preservation and government of the universe ; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely, his eternal power ana Godhead, as the apostle Paul saith, Rom.
Page 103 - The writers of this article are sincerely convinced of the perfect soundness of the great catholic doctrine of Biblical Inspiration, ie that the Scriptures not only contain, but ARE THE WORD OF GOD, and hence that all their elements and all their affirmations are absolutely errorless, and binding the faith and obedience of men.
Page 68 - In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country.
Page 67 - States, the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common ; but there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America...

About the author (1995)

Mark A. Noll is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

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