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The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind Paperback – November 30, 2012

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About the Author

CARL R. TRUEMAN studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Aberdeen in the United Kingdom. Prior to emigrating to the United States, he was on faculty at the University of Nottingham and King's College, University of Aberdeen. He is currently Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary (PA). His scholarly publications focus on the development of Reformed Orthodoxy in sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain. He is also a Council Member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. His latest books are Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative (Presbyterian and Reformed) and, Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History (Crossway).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (November 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802405746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802405746
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carl R. Trueman is Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary (PA). He is the author of a number of books, including John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man (Ashgate, 2007) and Republocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative (P and R, 2010).

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dr. David Steele on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1994, Mark Noll dropped a land mine on the ecclesiastical world with his excellent work, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Noll argued persuasively that "the scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." Noll's conclusion appears to be in agreement with the thesis of Harry Blamires who said, "There is no longer a Christian mind." Carl Trueman picks up where Noll and Blamires left off with the publication of his little book, The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.

Trueman questions the functionality of the term "evangelical" which according to David Bebbington is marked by four characteristics:

A high regard for the Bible as the primary source of truth
A focus on the cross work of Christ
A belief in the necessity of personal conversion
A public display of the gospel
Trueman is rightly concerned that the doctrinal boundaries which define an evangelical are too broad. He wisely states, "Ironically, the minimal doctrinal confessions of some evangelical institutions can exacerbate, rather than mitigate the problem of boundary drawing." Trueman continues, "A movement that cannot or will not draw boundaries, or that allows the modern cultural fear of exclusion to set its theological agenda, is doomed to lose its doctrinal identity." Indeed, the propensity of evangelicals to be inclusive and draw blurry boundaries will in the final analysis, harm the evangelical mind. Ignoring Trueman's counsel will prove detrimental to evangelicalism as a movement.

The author identifies a trend in the evangelical world that is growing increasingly more tolerant with subjects such as universalism or homosexuality.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Grasty on March 28, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bam! That's what I've got to say.

Carl Trueman shows that the doctrinal shallowness, or maybe fear of boundaries would be more accurate, of the evangelical movement has doomed it to dispersion. While he is not endorsing a neo-sectarianism, he does demonstrate that truth is what unites people, and there is little truth at the heart of the current beast.

He masterfully demonstrates this using Biblical inerrancy, the historicity of Adam, and homosexuality as case studies. It is hard to argue against his logic. He does not leave us in despair even though the reign of Christendom is over, but instead we are reminded that the church that Christ founded has always been a counter cultural movement.

Highly recommended!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By DELA on February 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my Kindle and was somewhat disappointed with Dr. Trueman's thesis. Previously, I have read Mark Noll's Scandal of the Evangelical Mind and found myself in full agreement with his assessment of the lack of intellectual engagement on the behalf of Christians in increasingly secular academic settings. Even Trueman himself has been kept walled off, away in the seminary. In fact, it seems that Trueman is unaware of Mark Noll's follow up work in 2011 -- Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. There, Noll provides his optimistic vision for the Church, in response to the problem of the Evangelical Mind, presented in Scandal. He writes, "If, as Christians believe, 'all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge' are hid in Christ (Col. 2:3), the time is always past for talking about treasure hunting. The time is always now to unearth treasure, offer it to others for critique or affirmation, and above all find in it new occasions to glorify the one who gives the treasure and is the treasure himself."

From my perspective, Noll offers a grander view of the Evangelical Mind in his later book, which I'm quite surprised that Trueman neglects in this work. I would recommend passing on this short rant and then rather buy Noll's originals which are more in-depth on the subject (The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind and Jesus and the Life of the Mind).
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rocky Hill Gal on May 19, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Dr. Trueman addresses the fallacy and weakness of the "Evangelical" identifier for a movement whose core doctrines either don't exist or are intentionally vague. With unity based on a presumed, subjective experience, the rejection or underdevelopment of a doctrinal core has created a boundary-less amalgam of odd bedfellows that have no authority over theological and moral issues.

"If the church as a whole is losing its ability to be "salt and light" in this culture, it is not because its members have no opinion of the films of Bernardo Bertolucci, no appreciation for the poetry of Emily Dickenson, and no regular slot on The Charlie Rose Show. More likely, it is because they do not have a solid grasp of the basic elements of the faith, as taught in Scripture and affirmed by the confessions and catechisms of the church." (p. 35-36)

I found Dr. Trueman's provocative and clearly written essays to articulately capture the root cause of the current tension within evangelicalism over wildly popular, published teachings that reject core orthodoxy and moral values. This fundamentally anti-intellectual movement is now imploding due to its own structural weaknesses. Encouragement can be found in that many sincere Christians are beginning to understand that doctrine matters. I appreciated Dr. Trueman's sharp insight, well-constructed arguments and gifted writing.
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