The Christian Mind: Sapientia and Scientia

DR. RELUCTANT

In 1994 the evangelical historian Mark Noll published The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.[1]The book is not much more than a sustained lambast against two conservative subtraditions, Young Earth Creationism and Dispensational Premillennialism.Howbeit, Noll rightly laments “the generations-long failure of the evangelical community to nurture the life of the mind.”[2]In fact, he admonishes his peers because, “fidelity to Jesus Christ demands from evangelicals a more responsible intellectual existence than we have practiced throughout much of our history.”[3]This is because “the gospel properly belongs to the whole person”[4]

A.The Need for Wisdom and Knowledge

Noll’s prime example of a Christian intellect is the great American philosopher-theologian Jonathan Edwards.For Edwards, he writes, “True knowledge was rather ‘the consistency and agreement of our ideas with the ideas of God.’”[5]One is reminded of Edwards’ words in his great sermon entitled “Christian…

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