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Tullian Tchividjian Christian Blog and Commentary

Where Are Our Public Intellectuals?

  • Tullian Tchividjian
    William Graham Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) is the Senior Pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Florida native, Tullian is also the grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham, a visiting professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary, and a contributing editor to Leadership Journal. A graduate of Columbia International University (philosophy) and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando (M.Div.), Tullian has authored a number of books including Jesus + Nothing = Everything (Crossway). He travels extensively, speaking at conferences throughout the U.S., and his sermons are broadcast daily on the radio program LIBERATE. As a respected pastor, author, and speaker, Tullian is singularly and passionately devoted to seeing people set free by the radical, amazing power of God's grace. When he is not reading, studying, preaching, or writing, Tullian enjoys being with people and relaxing with his wife, Kim, and their three children—Gabe, Nate, and Genna. He loves the beach, loves to exercise, and when he has time, he loves to surf.
  • 2008 Dec 21
  • Comments

Neil Jumonville, in his introduction to The New York Intellectuals Reader defines what a public intellectual is:

The term public intellectual describes one who is a generalist knowledgeable about cultural and political matters and whose ideas reach a substantial public. Their writings cross disciplines, and although they know much about the past and often address it directly, they train their analysis on contemporary debates. The intellectual role is different from that of scholars. Intellectuals usually write in periodicals for a general educated public while scholars write for their professional peers in books or refereed scholarly journals. Because they often address contemporary issues, intellectuals tend to write book reviews, columns and articles partly because the pace of cultural debate requires a rapid response not available through the long gestation period of books.

Maybe one of the reasons Christians are not having a greater impact in shaping our culture is because we need more public intellectuals. We have plenty of scholars (thank God for this), and even more subculture icons (I’m sure you know what I think about that). But where are our public intellectuals? 

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