Evangelical resources.

Author:Hart, Darryl G.
Position:Correspondence - Letter to the Editor

Ten years after his indictment of evangelical intellectual life, Mark Noll sounds a more hopeful note in "The Evangelical Mind Today" (October 2004). Since hope is one of the Christian virtues, I am reluctant to dispute his optimism. Yet I find his explanation of evangelicalism's theological resources to be troubling.

Most of the serious evangelical undergraduates I have met over the last several years are drawn to Roman Catholicism, which they find to be the most attractive outlet for their desire to unite faith and learning. There are several reasons for this, among them that Roman Catholicism possesses a tradition of learning and a body of teaching that has immediate appeal to students starving for a Christian faith that has intellectual depth and rigor.

This may not be a problem for Professor Noll, who was one of the signers of "Evangelicals and Catholics Together." My own conviction is that historic Protestantism has its own theological and liturgical resources that, sadly, contemporary evangelicals have ignored and in some cases repudiated. We are thus left with the question that Prof. Noll's book originally raised and that remains unanswered today: Will evangelicals who become intellectually serious remain evangelical once they awaken from their pietistic slumbers? If not, is the "evangelical mind" really...

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