It has been more than 15 years since Mark Knoll wrote the Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, the landmark book that outlined evangelical abandonment of intellectualism. Noll argued that Christians were neither prepared nor inclined to join the academic side of life and had become marginalized as a result. But now the pendulum has swung the other way, as a series of overcompensations have led the evangelical world straight into another scandal.
Now, Carl Trueman suggests in The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind that the problem is exactly the opposite of what Noll diagnosed-evangelicals don't lack a mind, but rather an agreed upon evangel.
What Trueman sees is a number of PhD-toting Christians entering fully into the life of the secular academy and even teaching at the most prestigious research universities. What he doesn't see are Christian scholars standing up strongly for gospel distinctives.
We now have more and more evangelicals in the academy, yet somehow we are making less and less difference for Christ. It is time to stand apart on intellectual matters where our beliefs call us to-resisting the lure to sell out just fit in.
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Customer Reviews for The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
Review 1 for The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
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
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.