• The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

  • By: Mark A. Noll
  • Narrated by: Trevor Thompson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (110 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind." So begins this award-winning intellectual history and critique of the evangelical movement by one of evangelicalism's most respected historians.

Unsparing in his judgment, Mark Noll ask why the largest single group of religious Americans - who enjoy increasing wealth, status, and political influence - have contributed so little to rigorous intellectual scholarship in North America. In nourishing believers in the simple truths of the gospel, why have evangelicals failed at sustaining a serious intellectual life and abandoned the universities, the arts, and other realms of "high" culture?

Noll is probing and forthright in his analysis of how this situation came about, but he doesn't end there. Challenging the evangelical community, he sets out to find, within evangelicalism itself, resources for turning the situation around.

©1995 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (P)2017 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

What listeners say about The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

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A Mind That Thinks Like a Christian

My experience with Mark Noll’s clever argument began with hope, slid briefly into skepticism, then rose to agreement. Initially, I expected a set of true witticisms floating in a sea of supporting facts, which was an entertaining prospect. As Noll’s case rolled out in the opening chapters, I worried that this promising work was destined to turn into a call to “make evangelicalism great again” - but I was reassured by several aspects of what I have concluded is a sober and fair assessment of the state of evangelical intellectualism, if indeed such a thing truly exists.

The first is that for Noll, the call to evangelical intellectualism is also the call to participate in the global and historical church, not as a persuasive voice to turn the masses to the current habits of what he cleverly terms “populist” evangelical habits of the mind, but as a mutually educative presence: to be transformed by the careful conclusions of legitimate research and contemplation, as well as to flavor new discoveries with core historic Christian convictions. I am a fan of this nuanced hope.

The second is that he rightly points out what many have failed to effectively articulate, namely the features of belief and practice which have become central to evangelicalism (and consequently are harmful to the life of the mind and participation in the world) but are not central to historic Christian belief, and have their roots in social phenomena of the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in America. As an evangelical tempted to leave this tradition by the very points he raises, it was refreshing to hear Noll state that they have to go for the movement to continue in a healthy way.

In the end, I appreciate Noll’s perspective, regardless of specific details I myself or others may differ on concerning his argument. My hope now is that others will find the value in what he is saying.

As for the performance, Trevor Thompson spoke clearly and at a good pace, which is all I ask for in a reader.

7 people found this helpful

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Explains the Evangelical World.

Second "read." It explains so much about what has happened to evangelical Christianity. Worth listening to again. Solid narration by Trevor Thompson. Recommended!

7 people found this helpful

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Classic text! Great in audio.

I read this book years ago in seminary. My old copy still has coffee stains on the pages. I found it on audio and listened on my commute to the church every day. Still relevant... and accurate. The narrate read at a great pace. What a voice! I will listen again.

6 people found this helpful

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interesting perspective

this should get people thinking about the lack of thought and connection Evangelicals have with the Christian Church let by the Apostles

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Still Relevant. Wonderful narration.

I read this book years ago in seminary. It was compelling then... and now. I loved the chance to revisit old themes and ideas. Mark Noll has captured so much in this book. A classic! It is amazing how ideas transcend time. The narration was spot-on. Trevor Thompson did a great job.

8 people found this helpful

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fair and balanced?

This book has some great criticisms as well as complements of modern Evangelical thought, from an Evangelical writer's point of view. I think he is fair in criticisms without being overly condescending.

great narrator

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Interesting arguement

My oversimplified takeaway was evangelicals should adapt their beliefs whenever science can prove them wrong, which could cost them credibility. If science can't definitively disprove a belief tradition, then it's fine.

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well done

excellent food for thought, well written, and kind of a hard pill to swallow for me as a fundamentalist evangelical. but nonetheless helpful.

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Find the commas already!!!

It is so hard listening to this book because the reader is committed to his sing-songy cadence with absolutely no regard to what a sentence is actually saying!!! I can generally tell - not always- when a sentence begins, but the end of a phrase is only rarely detectable. Often I've thought an entire sentence to be over only to find that the next word actually went with the last one and there should have been no break. So exasperating!! I feel for the author and hope he is spared ever having to hear his work so executed (and never has the obvious play on that word been more appropriate!!!).

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Insightful critique of evangelicalism

This book has much to commend it. It is correct in much of its critique, however it reads with a condescending tone and misdiagnoses the main problems.

The reader of this performance mispronounces Keswick and sounds very condescending.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-20

Well worth while

Although the author is an Evangelical, and every now and then, he loses a little objectivity, he has overall done an excellent job and makes some powerful points. Well read, too.