The Results of Not Thinking Christianly



In an interview with Crucible in 1992, Dr. Os Guinness made the regarding Evangelicals developing the mind of Christ:

Evangelicals have been deeply sinful in being anti-intellectual ever since the 1820s and 1830s.  For the longest time we didn’t pay the cultural price for that because we had the numbers, the social zeal, and the spiritual passion for the gospel.  But today we are beginning to pay the cultural price.  And you can see that most evangelicals simply don’t think.  For example, there has been no serious evangelical public philosophy in this century…. It has always been a sin not to love the Lord our God with our minds as well as our hearts and souls… We have excused this with a degree of pietism and pretend that this is something other than what it is – that is, sin…. Evangelicals need to repent of their refusal to think Christianly and to develop the mind of Christ.

80 years prior to that interview, J. Gresham Machen stated the way this effects practical life:

We may preach with all the fervor of a reformer, and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of a nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion…. What is to-day a matter of academic speculation, begins to-morrow to move armies and pull down empires.

From what we see in culture I think we’ve arrived (and not in a good way).  What say you?

Source: The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A. Noll

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Comments

  1. laura says

    The REBELLIOUS reject the Sovereignty of God and denigrate those who prove via systematic theology that we are saved wholly by grace. They demand SELF-RULE and want God’s blessing and protection. They reject the truth of scripture. God is going to have mercy and reveal His truth – but if He didn’t – they’d be under the power of Satan with whom they have aligned in proudly and defiantly making man “a god” by stubbornly insisting they’re in control of God and have “free will” by which they control and rule and lord themselves over the Holy Spirit in and of themselves. Sinful and rejecting the mind of Christ. This is what ARMINIASM in the CHURCH has brought to us!! The destruction of the culture, 50 million dead babies, and an inability to stand in spiritual strength and power against the evil rulers of this present age – as men insist they have the power to stand against Satan in their own “free wills”. Ignorant and defiant, willful, stubborn, proud, deceived, seduced, flattered. But God will have mercy and give us truth by which we can stand against Satan in HIS SPIRIT by HIS GRACE subjected to HIS SOVEREIGNTY!! Thank God for grace by which He will cause us to come under His Spirit to have grace, strength, power to stand against Satan to overcome not by our might (or “free will” – an abomination in declaring the flesh to be the means of salvation and power with God)… but by His Spirit. (rant off).

    • Coleen Sharp says

      @laura, I don’t know that I can blame Arminianism on abortion. I think that is the result of depravity. I do however blame the current state of American Evangelicalism on not only Arminianism, but also pietism in early the American Church (including some of the Puritans), and the infiltration of our culture in the Church. Anti-intellectualism, sentimentalism, consumerism, entertainment.

      For a good read on the History of Evangelicalism in America, I recommend The Lost Soul of American Protestantism by D.G. Hart. For those of you Edwards lovers, you may want to have some Kleenex handy. Oh, and an open mind.

  2. Al says

    It’s interesting to see this coming from you, since you’ve been one of the biggest defenders of Sarah Palin among the blogs that I read regularly.

    Because I have to say that I think one of the reasons for the left’s over-the-top hatred for Sarah Palin (and for that matter, George W. Bush) is that they perceive them to be very anti-intellectual, perhaps the two most anti-intellectual people to ever receive major party nominations for president or VP.

    Sure, they don’t like their pro-life, pro-traditional marriage views either. So there’s always going to be some hatred there. But there wasn’t quite the level of hatred for Mike Huckabee, for example, that there was of Palin and Bush. That’s at least in part because the mainstream left, and pro-life Democrats like myself, didn’t see Huckabee as being so anti-intellectual.

    There’s a difference between not being very intellectual yourself, and being anti intellectual. To continue the example from above, no one will ever confuse Mike Huckabee for a Rhodes Scholar. That’s not to say that he is dumb, just not one of the smartest men in America either. But he’s not anti-intellectual. On the flip side, George W. Bush has that Yale degree and that Harvard MBA, and he’s still the most anti-intellectual president we’ve ever had. (Notice I didn’t say the worst. Even if I thought that, and I don’t, only history can judge that.)

    I saw a conservative blogger that said, in essence, “People just hate Palin because she’s lower-class, because she’s not an Ivy Leaguer and only has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho.” No. That’s mostly wrong, although it may be true for some people. But most don’t like her because she’s anti-intellectual, not because she doesn’t have an Ivy League degree.

    This is also why, even though I find his position on abortion to be reprehensible, and even though I didn’t vote for him, I can’t help but like Barack Obama. (I voted for Chuck Baldwin, out of disgust for both Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin). Even more so, this is why the mainstream left adores him so much. After 8 years of Bush, they saw him as a breath of fresh air–not just for his policy positions but because of his “pro-intellectual” style.

    Just between you and me, Obama is not as smart as he thinks he is–but he thinks being smart is a good thing, not a bad thing. And that’s a good thing.

    • says

      @Al, Al, sigh, again what proof would you like to offer that she not just as smart as you would like, but actually anti-intellectual?

      People who actually know her and spend time with her say just the opposite.

      Nobody is saying being smart is a bad thing. Being a snob and elitist is.

      You seem to be offering that anybody who supports Palin is also anti-intellectual and that really offends me.

      Not to mention it makes you seem like a complete snob.