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Stephen McGarvey Christian Blog and Commentary

The Church and the Academic Life

  • Stephen McGarvey
    Stephen McGarvey is the Executive Editor of Crosswalk.com and Christianity.com for the Salem Web Network. He is a World Journalism Institute fellow and has previously worked for BreakPoint with Chuck Colson, and the Home School Legal Defense Association. His articles have appeared in several publications including WORLD, The Washington Times, byFaith, BreakPoint WorldView, and the Union Leader (Manchester, NH).
  • 2005 Aug 29
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My most recent article from byFaith magazine was just posted on their website. A look at the Christians seeking to influence the academic world with the Christian worldview.

The Church and the Academic Life
In his book Love God With All Your Mind, J.P. Moreland, a professor of philosophy at Biola University, points out how two movements in America's past contributed to the current decline of Christian intellectual thought. First, the anti-intellectualism movement of the middle 1800s which overemphasized "immediate personal conversion to Christ instead of a studied period of reflection and conviction; emotional, simple, popular preaching instead of intellectually careful and doctrinally precise sermons; and personal feelings and relationship to Christ instead of a deep grasp of the nature of Christian teachings and ideas."

And second, as a result, evangelicals began to withdraw from the pursuit of cultural influence. New philosophical and scientific ideas (Darwinism for example) arose and the historical authenticity of the Bible was questioned. Moreland believes that, "Instead of responding to these attacks with a vigorous intellectual counterpunch, many believers grew suspicious of intellectual issues altogether." These views gradually imbedded themselves in the consensus of the Christian community.

For these reasons many Christian young people arrive at secular colleges every year unprepared to face the challenges to their faith, and many turn away from their Christian beliefs. Churches must prepare students for the intellectual challenges before them, something that people of the faith have not done well in recent years.

Read the article on byFaith: Redeming the Mind