What is an evangelical . . . and has he lost his mind? Carl Trueman wrestles with those two provocative questions and concludes that modern evangelicals emphasize experience and activism at the expense of theology. Their minds go fuzzy as they downplay doctrine. The result is "a world in which everyone from Joel Osteen to Brian McLaren to John MacArthur may be called an evangelical."
Fifteen years ago in The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, historian Mark Noll warned that evangelical Christians had abandoned the intellectual aspects of their faith. Christians were neither prepared nor inclined to enter the intellectual debate, and had become marginalized. Today Trueman argues, "Religious beliefs are more scandalous than they have been for many years"-but for different reasons than Noll foresaw. In fact, the real problem now is exactly the opposite of what Noll diagnosed/evangelicals don't lack a mind, but rather an agreed upon evangel. Although known as gospel people, evangelicals no longer share any consensus on the gospel's meaning.
Provocative and persuasive, Trueman's indictment of evangelicalism also suggests a better way forward for those theologically conservative Protestants once and formerly known as evangelicals.
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Customer Reviews for The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind - eBook
Review 1 for The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind - eBook
Seventeen years ago Mark Noll came out with his The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Noll criticized the lack of cultural and theological engagement among evangelicals. There was no “mind.” Now, Trueman says, the real scandal is that there is no “evangelical.” Evangelicalism doesn't exist. There is no consensus about evangelicalism's identity. There is no clear doctrinal definition within the greater Christian community. Its identity cannot be determined by shared doctrine or experience. Trueman reports that Christian institutions now deemphasize their doctrinal distinctives to build their size and influence and be more acceptable to an inclusive culture. Speakers and authors call themselves evangelicals even though they equivocate on homosexuality or the authority of Scripture. “If evangelicalism has no boundaries, then no boundaries have been transgressed...” Trueman's analysis to the change of viewpoint on the homosexual issue is alone worth the price of the book. “With evangelicalism no longer defined by doctrinal commitments, there can and will be no evangelical consensus on homosexuality.” He predicts that biblical authority will continue to be eroded, as will the historical Adam.
I highly recommend this book for anyone desiring to understand the current state of Christianity and its possible future. This little book explains a great deal.
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Review 2 for The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind - eBook
Great - cover to cover read!
Date:December 6, 2011
This is a gracious book. Unlike many other books dealing with the same subject matter - this book is not just a reference point but easily read cover to cover and yet it packs quite a punch. This was my first book by this author - and I am now anxious to read everything he has written. There are several great thinkers/authorities who write, blog, or otherwise comment on current trends within the evangelical world - and I consider Carl Trueman one of them; however I think he holds a secret weapon in addition to his vast knowledge and insight, namely - he can write. If you are already reading scholarly works - I believe it best to recommend this book as a great general read - well grounded book. If, like me, you are not reading any scholarly works - maybe even a bit unfamiliar with various thinking and trends on a higher level - this is the book for you. You can't go wrong with this book.