Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

A few years ago I edited a volume of essays on the doctrine of Scripture with Paul Helm. Just before the deadline for submissions, the project was "named and shamed" by a speaker at an influential evangelical theological conference as being a modern attempt to reaffirm B.B. Warfield's doctrine of Scripture. Within days, one of the contributors emailed me, concerned that his name was going to be associated with such a project. I was able to reassure him that the project was not intended as a defense of Warfield's position but as an exploration of the notion of trustworthiness as it connects both to God and to his Word. The gentleman was reassured and remained on board, but the incident simply served to confirm in my mind what I had long suspected: too many evangelical academics want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the piety, and perhaps the platform, which evangelicalism provides them, but they also want to be accepted by those who hang around the senior common room in the university.

The problem, of course, is that one cannot serve two masters: as someone once said, one ends up hating one and loving the other, or being devoted to one and despising the other. Read more
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