Quotable: Mark Noll on”the life of the mind”

“By an evangelical ‘life of the mind’ I mean more the effort to think like a Christian — to think within a specifically Christian framework — across the whole spectrum of modern learning, including economics and political science, literary criticism and imaginative writing, historical inquiry and philosophical studies, linguistics and the history of science, social theory and the arts. Academic disciplines provide modern categories for the life of the mind, but the point is not simply whether evangelicals can learn how to succeed in the modern academy. The much more important matter is what it means to think like a Christian about the nature and workings of the physical world, the character of human social structures like government and the economy, the meaning of the past, the nature of artistic creation, and the circumstances attending our perception of the world outside ourselves. Failure to exercise the mind for Christ in these areas has become acute in the twentieth century. That failure is the scandal of the evangelical mind.”

Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 7.

 

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