Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Beware 'evangelical' theologians

Carl Trueman tells it like it is:

Finally, too few evangelical academics seem to have much ambition. Perhaps this sounds strange: the desire to hold a tenured university position, to publish with certain presses, to speak at certain scholarly conferences, to be in conversation with the movers and shakers of the guild—these seem like ambitions that are all too common. Yet true ambition, true Christian ambition, is surely based in and directed towards the upbuilding of the church, towards serving the people of God, and this is where evangelical academics often fail so signally. The impact evangelical scholars have had on the academy is, by and large, paltry, and often (as noted) confined to those areas where their contributions have been negligibly evangelical. Had the same time and energy been devoted to the building up of the saints, imagine how the church might have been transformed.

The whole article, from the 9 Marks blog, is here.

Whenever I pray for my favourite theological college, I ask God that he would cause the repentance or the removal of theologians and lecturers who are being tempted in this direction.


Anonymous said...

And that those involved in the theological academic industry don't get huffy and defensive when it is suggested that they aren't essential to the life of the church and the training of those called to pastoral ministry.

Rob Culhane said...

When doing my MA in Australian Studies at Monash, there were many fine Christian academics, several of which I just happened to meet in the process of signing up to there course. In the process, I had the happy experience of finding their Christian values, outlook and integrity was highly respected and valued. One in particular was Harold Love in teh English Dept at Monash. He influenced generations of his students by his avuncular manner, caring, eridite and humour. He was as his name indicated: full of the love of God. Another was a hard working sociologist (but not Gary Bouma who is also a licenced Anglican minister, but abit liberal for my tastes.)
We need Christian academics: Dr Steve Bird at Melb and lots more to leaven the batch. And it flows the other way: we need Christian academics to keep us informed of the university world and its ideas which invaribly filter across into the church. The separation between the academic world and church is probably less in the UK due to their heritage, but its good to remember that some of the best and unfortunately worst, Biblical scholars were/are university academics.
Yours in Christ, Rob