October 23, 2011

“When the faith of so many Americans becomes an occastion to embrace discredited, ridiculous and even dangerous ideas, we must not be afraid to speak out, even if it means criticizing fellow Christians.” So say Karl W. Giberson and Randall J. Stephens (authors of The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age) in their NYT op-ed of 10-17-11.

Both men, Christians, I assume, express frustration with what they call the “showcase of evangelical anti-intellectualism. They specifically mention presidential candidates Cain, Perry, and Bachmann. And the authors decry all fundamentalism that appeals to evangelicals are convinced that the country has been “overrun by a vast secular conspiracy.” To these fundamentalists, “denial is the simplest and most attractive response to change.” The authors explain that fundamentalists have “created what amounts to a ‘parallel culture,’ nurtured by church, Sunday school, summer camps and colleges…publishing houses, broadcasting networks, music festivals and counseling groups.”

How sad for our society, country, and world. For as the authors note, the “rejection of knowledge amounts to what the evangelical historian Mark A. Noll…described as an ‘intellectual disaster.’ [Noll] called on evangelicals to repent for their neglect of the mind, decrying the abandonment of the intellectual heritage of the Protestant Reformation.”

Filed under: Social Commentary

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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