The Life of the Mind

The history of evangelicalism and the life of the mind is both well-chronicled and checkered. While Jonathan Edwards is hailed by some as the greatest intellect (not just evangelical intellect) in American history, suspicion and anger has often boiled over from within evangelicalism against the university world. The 1925 Scopes Trial, for example, set off decades of distrust that affected generations of Bible-believing Christians.

Richard Mouw,

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former president of Fuller Seminary, is one such believer. He admired those who voiced simple faith in the face of intellectual challenges. Today Mouw is still sympathetic to those who think that being educated can draw one away from being holy. But he knows too that this is a false choice. One can also be a godly thinker or a sinful dimwit.
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Today the World Did Not End

Today, December 21, 2012, is the day the world did not end. For years now people have been predicting, blogging, writing dozens of books and making movies claiming the Mayan calendar tells us the world ends today. News flash: It didn’t.

For centuries Christians have also been notorious for setting dates when the world would end or Christ would return. News flash: They’ve all been wrong.
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Arthur Holmes, 1924-2011

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for Arthur Holmes, IVP author and beloved professor of philosophy at Wheaton College, who died earlier this month. Born in Dover, England, in 1924, Art has influenced generations of students since he started teaching there in 1947. Among those who came under his tutelage were many who have gone on to significant academic careers of their own in philosophy, history and biblical studies–David Lyle Jeffrey, Merold Westphal, Marianne Meye Thompson, Mark Noll, Roger Lundin, Walter Hanson and C. Stephen Evans among others. The last three of these offered their memories of their beloved teacher at the service.
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Remembering John Stott

John Stott passed away today at the age of ninety. And it is as if a giant oak of the Christian landscape has fallen. As he has faded from public view in the last few years, some may not appreciate the massive effect this strong, humble leader has had. Not only in his native England, but in North America and across the world his beneficial influence was felt. In Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength. Linda Doll and I looked back on his life’s work in this way:
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To Change the World 4: Three Choices Both the Same

Often [I have wondered]( in frustration, Why does everything seem so politicized? Why are the extremes the only apparent option? Where are the sober, even-handed, reasoned, moderate alternatives?
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To Change the World 3: Between Presumption and Hope

What’s the central dilemma for Christians who want to change the world? James Davison Hunter answers: Even though populism is organic to American Christianity, what actually brings about change instead is the

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combination of powerful institutions, networks, interests and symbols. And when it comes to the latter, American Christianity is decidedly on the outside looking in.

The ten biggest independent foundations give away billions; the ten biggest religious foundations give away millions (pp. 82-83). Professors at Christian colleges have twice the teaching load of their counterparts at elite and research universities—so they are at a huge disadvantage in any ambition to lead their academic disciplines (p. 86).

Then he quits preachin’ and starts meddlin’.
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Uncommon Decency

People like Jesus. They don’t like Christians. Why is that?

It’s no surprise people like Jesus. He loved children, opposed legalism, stood up for outcasts, healed the sick, comforted the weak, preached the good news to the poor.

But why would so many people not like the people who follow him? Aren’t Christians supposed to be like Jesus, to be Christ-like, literally, “little Christs”? Shouldn’t Christians be known for their compassion, their wisdom, their love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
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