Anti-Intellectualism in the Church

Anti-Intellectualism in the Church


Some days I wish I had a normal job. If
you walked into most churches in North America and asked what they teach on
apologetics, they’d probably look at you like you have two heads. And, this is
because apologetics is treated as if it’s an extra at best or an error at
worst. And, whether it’s apathy or animosity towards apologetics, both are
fueled by anti-intellectualism in the church. In his book The Scandal of the
Evangelical Mind, Mark Noll writes this, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is
that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Ouch, many Christians don’t think very deeply anymore. Philosopher William Lane Craig he states this, “Our churches are filled with Christians who are idling in
intellectual neutral. As Christians, their minds are going to waste. One result of
this is an immature, superficial faith. People who simply ride the roller
coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and
richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith.” Writing
four decades ago in Christian today (1980), academic Charles Malik he says this, “I
must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American
evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind in its
greatest and deepest reaches is not cared for enough.” Caring for the life of
the mind is the job of apologetics. Unsurprisingly, it’s the uncared for
Christian mind that leads to the undoing of Christian faith. So the real danger
isn’t apologetics. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Rather, apologetics is pushing back against the real threat: anti-intellectualism. Let me say it as plainly as I can: If you want to know the mind of
God, you need to learn to use your own. At Stand to Reason, we help Christians think clearly as they share their worldview with others. If you want to see more videos like this, click the subscribe button.

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