Whatever happened to the Evangelical church?

Review of The Courage to Be Protestant by David WellsIt takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant. After all, millions have done so throughout the West. They are not in any peril. To live by the truth of historic Protestantism, however, is an entirely different matter. That takes courage in today's context. (1)What has happened to American Christianity in the 20th (and now 21st) century? How have we gone from thoughtful and faithful Puritans building a church in a "howling wilderness" to … [Read more...]

Lots of Stupid Christians

Review of The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan O. HatchFor as long as I can remember, I’ve been addicted to the bandwagon. Consequently, here is my contribution to the ongoing Schaeffer’s Ghost discussion of the intellectual state of modern Christianity. If you’ve missed it, Paul Miller started with a post discussing why Christians are stupid. He then followed up with a follow-up (appropriately enough) about how Christians have gotten smarter. Most recently the discussion ha … [Read more...]

Jesus Makes You Smarter

Review of Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, by James W. SireBy PAUL D. MILLERA colleague once asked me what makes a good analyst. I thought for a while, and answered “humility, courage, and integrity.” My colleague was surprised, having expected me to answer “a masters degree, high scores on standardized tests, and the ability to read and write.” I explained anyone who chooses a career defined by reading and writing already has, or could get, strong mental acui … [Read more...]

Christian Scholarship Doesn’t Have to be About Christianity

Excellence:  The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue, by Andreas J. KostenbergerBy Justin HawkinsAndreas J. Kostenberger’s position at the top of evangelical Biblical scholarship affords him a particularly privileged vantage point to comment on the challenges and joys of the Christian scholarly task.  Yet his Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue is a work that does not live up to Kostenberger’s reputation for academic rigor and insightful a … [Read more...]

Smart Christians

Review of Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind by Mark NollBy PAUL D. MILLERI previously blogged sympathetically about Mark Noll’s indictment of evangelical stupidity in his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. That post spurred a bit of debate (see my friend Owen Strachan's response, and Carson Clark's response to Owen).  For my part, it seems only fair to consult Noll’s follow-up work, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind, in which he attempts to set out a positive agenda for Chr … [Read more...]

Stupid Christians

Review of The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark NollBy PAUL D. MILLERHave you ever noticed the prominence of Catholics among American public intellectuals? George Weigel, Peggy Noonan, Robert P. George, Richard John Neuhaus, Ramesh Ponnuru, William F. Buckley, Jr., Russell Kirk, Hadley Arkes, Michael Novak, and others make up a growing body of conservative American Catholic thought on social, cultural, and political affairs in the 20th and 21st centuries. A majority of Justices on … [Read more...]