Carl Trueman and the Evangelical Mind

Oct 18, 2021 by

by Thomas Kidd, TGC:

Carl Trueman is one of the most interesting Christian thinkers of our time. A professor at Grove City College, and author of books including the extraordinary The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, Trueman has proposed a third way for traditionalist Christians between the current American extremes of woke accommodationism and crass Trumpism. I might call that third way “faithful realism”: we should be rigorously orthodox in our theological and cultural commitments, and while we should be civil in doing so, we should hardly expect the watching secular world to applaud us for those orthodox commitments.

Trueman explains his third way in a longform piece at First Things, titled “The Failure of Evangelical Elites,” a thought-provoking article which I commend to your attention. There is a lot to discuss in the piece, but here I focus on the parts most relevant to me: his discussion of the work and legacy of historians Mark Noll and George Marsden (my doctoral adviser at Notre Dame).

In the mid-1990s, a sustained effort was made to rehabilitate and defend the intellectual and academic integrity of orthodox Christians. The leaders of this movement, the historians Mark Noll and George Marsden, made valiant cases for the Christian mind. In The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Noll argued that American evangelicalism was hamstrung by its commitment to indefensible positions that lacked intellectual credibility. It consequently attracted the scorn of educated people outside the Church. Worse still, the lack of intellectual standards made life hard for thoughtful individuals within the Church. Noll focused on dispensationalism and literal six-day creation, arguing that these commitments were not defensible by the canons of reason, nor were they necessary for a rigorously orthodox Christian faith.

Read here

Please right-click links to open in a new window.

Related Posts


Share This