Monday, November 18, 2013


Don't Think - Feel

Justin Taylor presented "5 Theses on Anti-Intellectualism: by quoting some big names. Here is a sample of some of the quotes:
“The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”
—Mark Noll

“. . . the Christian Mind has succumbed to the secular drift with a degree of weakness unmatched in Christian History.” —Harry Blamires
So, I agree with Noll entirely, but why does that Blamires quote follow? Are secular drift/weakness and intellectual sloth related? I have no doubt there is a relationship, but I am not sure it is either direct or proportional. Another quote or two:
“. . . Americans are the best entertained and quite likely the least well-informed people in the Western world.”
—Neil Postman
Agree with the sentiment, not sure it is limited to America.
“At root, evangelical anti-intellectualism is both a scandal and a sin. It is a scandal in the sense of being an offense and a stumbling block that needlessly hinders serious people from considering the Christian faith and coming to Christ. It is a sin because it is a refusal, contrary to Jesus’ two great commandments, to love the Lord our God with our minds. Anti-intellectualism is quite simply a sin. Evangelicals must address it as such, beyond all excuses, evasions, or rationalizations of false piety.”
—Os Guinness
I guess if you define "anti-intellectualism" as the rise of feeling being more important than thought, then Guinness has a point. But if you are talking about scholarship then I must disagree. Not everyone is an egghead, nor should they be.

While it is apparent there is an intellectual crisis in Evangelicalism, I think it a failure of leadership as much as the intellect. If people are not interested in the things of the mind, then perhaps it is because we are not making the things of the mind that interesting. If you are a person of intellect - if that is your gift, it comes with a burden. And that is to learn how to communicate what you know and how to build a passion in people for that knowledge.

You must remember that what comes easily for you may be difficult for others and they will not simply pick it up because it is there.


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