The State of the Evangelical Mind
Two decades on from Mark Noll's Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, could we now be on the threshold of another crisis of intellectual maturity in Christianity? Or are the opportunities for faithful intellectual engagement and witness even greater now than before?
These essays invite readers to a virtual "summit meeting" on the current state of the evangelical mind. The insights of national leaders in their fields will aid readers to reflect on the past contributions of evangelical institutions for the life of the mind as well as prospects for the future. Contributors include:
The State of the Evangelical Mind frames the resources needed for churches, universities, seminaries, and parachurch organizations to chart their course for the future, both separately and together, and provides readers an opportunity to participate in a timely conversation as they consider what institutional and individual role they might play.
This is not a book to define or diagnose evangelicalism broadly, and there's no fear-mongering or demonizing here, but rather a call to attend to the evangelical mind and the role played by interlocking institutions in its intellectual formation and ongoing vitality. It will encourage—and challenge—those who want to be part of the solution in a time of need.
"Faith is not a deterrent to scholarship. Rather, it is the very motivation for discovering the richness of creation. It compels us to engage with issues spanning the intellectual and ideological spectrum, ultimately bringing our discoveries to bear in tackling the most complex problems of today. From Mark Noll's influential The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind in 1994 to the thoughtful essays included in The State of the Evangelical Mind, we are reminded—and indeed challenged—to continue cultivating leaders who devote their training and God-given talents to generating solutions and shaping ideas at the highest levels of the academy and society—from the sciences to the humanities, politics to education, business to the arts."
"Ever since the publication of Mark Noll's seminal The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, which appeared with much fanfare in 1994, evangelical scholars in churches, seminaries, colleges and universities, and parachurch organizations have struggled to assess the gains and losses of evangelical thought over the past generation. As these essays make clear, progress has been uneven. On one hand, the level of scholarship by evangelicals and evangelical institutions has evolved to a high level of sophistication that is recognized by insiders and outsiders alike. On the other, even as evangelical scholarship has grown, the association of evangelicalism with the more tawdry elements of the 'religious right' has delegitimized the movement among serious intellectuals both within and without the evangelical community. Both the gains and the losses appear in the judiciously rendered thought pieces in The State of the Evangelical Mind. The essays are uniformly astute, well written, and, in short, ruthlessly truthful. The result is a stunning achievement. In unflinchingly facing the shortcomings and hypocrisies of contemporary evangelicalism as well as its notable strengths, the volume points a way forward from the scandal of the evangelical mind to its honor."
"What is the 'evangelical mind' in contemporary America? What might this mean for the future of evangelicalism, for the academy, and for society? This timely book by a distinguished set of authors provides unique insight into these urgent questions. In the present historical moment, this thoughtful collection of essays provides a nuanced and comprehensive perspective on current debates and marks a way forward. The need for this book is clear."
"How do we understand the state of the evangelical mind when some 80 percent voted red in the 2016 US presidential election? This little book may serve as a catalyst for a generation of those either despairing of or hopeful about making a difference—not just politically but especially theologically and intellectually—just as Mark Noll's Scandal prompted those half a generation ago to rise up and be counted."
"If the richness and maturity of a tradition can be judged by the quality of debate and the healthy self-criticism that it generates, then the evangelical intellectual tradition shows itself to be alive and crackling in this stimulating and thought-provoking book. But that is not all. The book also suggests some of the ways that evangelicalism's intellectual distinctives could help to renew the life of the church, and perhaps even that of our contentious and directionless secular culture. The goal should be nothing less. Evangelicals believe that the renewal of the mind must work toward transformation of the heart and amendment of life; they believe that growth in knowledge should subserve the enlightenment of all; and that the 'deep democratization of knowledge' of which James K. A. Smith speaks in his essay is part of 'the revolution that takes place in Jesus Christ.' May this book further that renewal, that growth, and that revolution."
"The State of the Evangelical Mind has the right people talking about the right subject at the right time. Loving the Lord with all our mind is crucial to engage the rising generation in our churches and to reach the next generation in our culture. This is a book that will rock your thinking in ways that strengthen your leading."
"If you've read Mark Noll's book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind written over twenty years ago, you will want to read The State of the Evangelical Mind with its new take on evangelicalism because of our current context. What hasn't changed is for Christians to have their minds and hearts shaped profoundly by the Holy Spirit as they answer God's call to be scholars, teachers, and guides to the next generation."
Foreword by Richard J. Mouw
Introduction: The State of the Evangelical Mind—Tales of Prosperity and Peril (Todd C. Ream, Jerry Pattengale, and Christopher J. Devers)
1. Reflections on the Past: Evangelical Intellectual Life (Mark A. Noll)
2. Churches: The State of the Evangelical Church (Jo Anne Lyon)
3. Parachurch Organizations: University Ministry and the Evangelical Mind (David C. Mahan and C. Donald Smedley)
4. Colleges and Universities: John Henry Newman’s The Idea of a University and Christian Colleges in the Twenty-First Century (Timothy Larsen)
5. Seminaries: Contemplative Posture and Christ-Adapted Eyes—Teaching and Thinking in Christian Seminaries (Lauren Winner)
6. Prospects for the Future: The Future Is Catholic—The Next Scandal for the Evangelical Mind (James K. A. Smith)
Conclusion: The Ongoing Challenge of the Evangelical Mind (Mark Galli)