Evangelicalism’s First Rate Scholars

Cover of God and Race in American Politics:

The glowing Chronicle of Higher Education review of Mark Noll’s God and Race in American Politics: A Short History, see Martin E. Marty’s God-Talk: Good, Bad, and Ugly, A new book on religion and race in politics should give us pause, places the recent Princeton University Press release on my American Religious Tradition shelf.  I hope it does the same for you ;-)

In his review, Martin E. Marty briefly comments on evangelical scholars:

When I first began to write about religious history 50 years ago, fundamentalism, evangelicalism, and Pentecostalism were seen as fringe elements. As evangelicalism has since prospered, it has attracted first-rate scholars, many of them influential professors at first-rate universities and writers published by the most prestigious presses.

Provoking.  Yes, to some degree evangelicalism has engaged what Noll termed The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, i.e., the evangelical abandonment of higher education (and more broadly thinking) due to a lack of mature interaction with the intellectual conventions conventions of the modern university and an improper focus/application (or one might even say lack of appreciation) of God’s gift of the intellect as a community.  May InterVarsity Christian Fellowship continue to intentionally dedicate and develop people, energy, conferencing (e.g., Following Christ 2008), and resources to take part in the revival of thinking God’s thoughts after Him. … to the praise of His glory and the advance of the Kingdom of God!

Question: When you read Marty’s quote, what first-rate evangelical scholars come to your mind as influential/inspirational in your field?

For myself, two scholars which immediately come to mind:

Update: George Marsden has retired from Notre Dame.

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Tom Grosh IV

Enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa, four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he hosts the Christian Scholar Series), on campus as part of InterVarsity Graduate & Faculty Ministry (serving fellowships such as the Christian Medical Society/CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine), online as the Associate Director of the Emerging Scholars Network, in the culture at large, and in God's creation.

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3 Comments

  • mikehickerson@gmail.com'
    Micheal Hickerson commented on October 7, 2008 Reply

    In philosophy, you have a number of first rate scholars, including Alvin Plantinga, Dallas Willard, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.

    In literature, Roger Lundin comes to mind.

  • jdhardin@wisc.edu'
    Jeff Hardin commented on November 27, 2008 Reply

    Dear Tom,

    I agree on the philosophers. Regarding scientists, I’d put Francis Collins, author of “The Language of God” in the “top shelf” category in human genetics. Fritz (Henry) Schaeffer, a quantum chemist, and Owen Gingerich, an astronomer, are often mentioned in physical science. There are quite a few others. Your categorization seems to place a premium on writing “at the interface” of faith and profession, whereas many scholars don’t do this.

  • mikehickerson@gmail.com'
    Mike Hickerson commented on December 2, 2008 Reply

    Jeff,
    Your point about “writing at the interface” is a good one. Too often, we in ministries like InterVarsity don’t do enough to value scholarship that doesn’t touch on the interface, even when (maybe especially when) the scholar is a Christian. Any thoughts about how we can lift up scholars who do solid work, but aren’t working in the interface?

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