Monday, March 10, 2008

A Charge to Remember

In 1980, I was inspired by these words from Dr. Charles Malik, a Lebanese Christian, professor, and international statesman:

I must be frank with you: the greatest danger confronting American evangelical Christianity is the danger of anti-intellectualism. The mind in its greatest and deepest reaches is not cared for enough. But intellectual nurture cannot take place apart from profound immersion for a period of years in the history of thought and the spirit. People who are in a hurry to get out of the university and start earning money or serving the church or preaching the gospel have no idea of the infinite value of spending years of leisure conversing with the greatest minds and souls of the past, ripening and sharpening and enlarging their powers of thinking. The result is that the arena of creative thinking is vacated and abdicated to the enemy. Who among evangelicals can stand up to the great secular scholars on their own terms of scholarship? Who among evangelical scholars is quoted as a normative source by the greatest secular authorities on history or philosophy or psychology or sociology or politics? Does the evangelical mode of thinking have the slightest chance of becoming the dominant mode in the great universities of Europe and America that stamp our entire civilization with their spirit and ideas? For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. (“The Other Side of Evangelism,” Christianity Today, November 7, 1980, p. 40.)

3 comments:

D. A. Armstrong said...

William Lane Craig uses that quote often. I may have to use that quote to open my Apologetics Class tomorrow night. The "Who" questions still affect me deeply and often spur me on.

Sarah Scott said...

Those are wonderful, mobilizing words!

Mark O said...

Prophetic.
Powerful.
Convicting.

Thanks for the post.