The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind. ~ Mark Noll
Evangelicalism and especially the revivalist tradition have often had a very strong anti-intellectual bent. Mainstream Evangelicalism’s continued emphasis on religious experience to the exclusion of critical thought is well intentioned, but ultimately self-destructive.
We now have generations of people in the church that either simply don’t care or have developed an underlying suspicion of science and logic.
Unfortunately, this leaves many Christians completely vulnerable to even the most easily refuted attacks against against the reasonableness of our faith.
“…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)”
The fact is that the Christian faith is grounded in the historical reality of the resurrection of Jesus, and we have good reasons to believe our confession is true. We have nothing to fear from solid reasoning or science.
God can handle our questions and the Christian faith is not shaken by a better understanding the world that God has created.
We need to be teaching the basic principles of valid reasoning and how to apply them not only in theological study, but in everyday conversation.
Although basic critical thinking skills should be part of everyone’s basic education, this is unfortunately not the case.
It’s time to make critical thinking a foundational part of our discipleship efforts.