The New Christian Intellectual
Where have the Christian intellectuals gone? When will they return?
If you are like most reading this, you have experienced the hope and the frustration of the Christian intellectual.
Ideas matter. The mind matters; because truth matters.
Far too many Christians do not see the practical need for ideas, ideology, or an integrated worldview. Others do see the need, yet lament its lack. Mark Noll famously wrote, “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.”
Something lacks in the Christian’s approach to ideas. Within God’s people, we need to restore the life of the mind. We need more than merely to acknowledge the problem. We need a way forward.
There is a way: a profound commitment to consistency in worldview. Hardly anyone would make a case against consistency. But how seriously should we labor for it? For the rewarding pursuit of ideological integrity?
Consistent thinking can only be achieved by one method. It is the method that connects our ideas one to another, and each to observed fact. It is the method that sorts out half-truths and holds unwaveringly to the principle of non-contradiction. The method is integration.
The new Christian intellectuals are those radically committed to ideological integration. All around we see disintegration and its consequences. We see self-contradictions in the conventional understanding of the most basic concepts: Truth — Love — Virtue — Justice.
To the new Christian intellectual, ideological consistency matters, because life matters. It matters that God be glorified. It matters that His will be done on earth.
There is no more fundamental battlefield than the realm of ideas. Ideas move history. Even when God moves history, He moves it through the ideas and actions of people. Do you want to change the world? Change a person’s mind.
Do you want to understand a society? Look at the sum of its dominant ideas. That is a society’s culture. Do you seek to change a culture? Teach it to think.
Those in a given society who think the most and communicate the most, they are the ones who shape the culture. Everything else — a society’s moral code, its politics, the things it loves, the way it lives — proceed from its culture. Meaning: from its dominant ideas. The new Christian intellectuals are those who seek to understand dominant ideas. This is the wisdom, and this is the change we need.
If you believe ideas matter, then you are in the right place. Join with us as we work to become the new Christian intellectuals. Our goal: to restore the role of the mind in Christian life, to the glory of God.
Ideas matter. Ideas move history. Let our ideas be true. And God willing, let true ideas change the world.
This article originally appeared at For the New Christian Intellectual.
Click here to become a subscriber.