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The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  26 reviews

What is an evangelical . . . and has he lost his mind? Carl Trueman wrestles with those two provocative questions and concludes that modern evangelicals emphasize experience and activism at the expense of theology. Their minds go fuzzy as they downplay doctrine. The result is "a world in which everyone from Joel Osteen to Brian McLaren to John MacArthur may be called an ev

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Published January 31st 2011 by Moody Publishers (first published December 17th 2010)
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Lady Jane
Dr. Trueman addresses the fallacy and weakness of the "Evangelical" identifier for a movement whose core doctrines either don't exist or are intentionally vague. With unity based on a presumed, subjective experience, the rejection or underdevelopment of a doctrinal core has created a boundary-less amalgam of odd bedfellows that have no authority over theological and moral issues.

"If the church as a whole is losing its ability to be "salt and light" in this culture, it is not because its members
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Phil Dunn
My first time reading one of Truemans books. It didnt disappoint. A very short read, but I found it very insightful.

The author argues that the category of 'evangelical' is basically defunct as it is not tied to a clear system of doctrine. And because evangelicalism is no longer defined by doctrinal statements there can and will be no evangelical consensus on issues like homosexuality, evolution, biblical authority etc. The only solution for Christians to return to the truths of Scripture taught
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Bob
Good little book, more of a booklet. The main point there is no theological core or doctrinal core that identifies evangelicals or evangelicalism. Just a large assembling of Christians from one end of the spectrum to the other who for the most part identify with Christian & semi-Christian organizations. Evangelicalism & the attitude it fosters is one of the main causes of the church losing its ability to be both light & salt. Evangelicalism is in decline but this in the end may be wo ...more
Dan
A few quotes I found interesting:

"From the time of Paul, the church has drawn boundaries. Such has been considered necessary for her well-being and even her survival. A movement that cannot or will not draw boundaries, or that allows the modern cultural fear of exclusion to set its theological agenda, is doomed to lose its doctrinal identity. Once it does, it will drift from whatever moorings it may have had in historic Christianity."

"The real scandal of the evangelical mind currently is not tha
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Jon
a couple of quick little essays on the state of the evangelical
argues that because of the fluidity and breadth of the definition of an evangelical, defining ourselves as evangelical means nothing.
Spent time dealing with the issues of the acceptance of homosexuality and the erasing of God as creator, thus removing Adam as our sinful head and unmooring our moral anchors.
Called for churches to rally behind the evangel and hold on to the core beliefs rather than an open ended, hugely broad definitio
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Mark Ward
I never miss a blog post from Carl Trueman. I’ve also enjoyed several of his books (Republocrat, Histories and Fallacies, The Creedal Imperative). So when Moody released a tiny Trueman book—practically just three blog posts long—for a tiny price, I took notice.

The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind is vintage Trueman. His title, of course, is a reference to Mark Noll’s 1994 book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, a book in which the eminent evangelical historian (Trueman is also a historian
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Brad
A small booklet with a big message: "The real scandal of the evangelical mind currently is not that it lacks a mind, but that it lacks any agreed-upon evangel." "It is not there is no mind, but rather that there is no evangelical."

The booklet is an obvious play off Mark Noll's work. Although showing appreciation for Noll, Trueman offers a different "solution" (and in my opinion takes a needed pass at the redeeming the culture model) when he writes: "As attractive as Noll's vision was, it always
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Chris Hansen
The real scandal of the evangelical mind, according to Carl Trueman, isn't that there is no evangelical mind as Mark Noll said, but that there is no evangelical in the first place.

In this short book (more a booklet than a book), Trueman argues, much like Darryl Hart does in his more substantial "Deconstructing Evangelicalism" (Which I also reviewed) that evangelicalism is meaningless as a religious identity. With his characteristic wit and incisiveness, Trueman laments a "movement" that is more
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Paul Wichert
First, this book is about as long as a blog post but has a cover and ISBN (I got it for free). Trueman begins by discussing how the term evangelical has become uselessly vague and so loosely connected to doctrinal content. Similar to his discussion in The Creedal Imperative, the negative consequences of not drawing boundaries and defining the beliefs of a church or institution are described. Trueman laments that unless these lines are drawn, the influence of the cultural flow of ideas will domin ...more
Gavin Breeden
I love Carl Trueman's writing. This little e-booklet is quick and concise, but packs a punch. Trueman argues that the scandal of the evangelical mind is not that they are culturally un-engaged as some of said, but that there is no evangelical mind. He presents a few attempts at defining evangelicalism and shows how they don't quite work.

I've felt this same thing for some time now. I sort of resist using the word "evangelical" to describe myself for the reasons Trueman mentions, the word has no m
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Tim
Very insightful little book that Christians in the West would do well to read carefully and take to heart. Trueman's diagnoses of the ills of the evangelical movement and the strains that the movement is likely to encounter in the years just ahead are dead-on and cogently argued. His central contention is that evangelicalism has no real doctrinal center and so will inevitably fragment when faced with the choice of either capitulating to cultural norms or being exiled from the ranks of the intell ...more
Cody Cunningham
An insightful booklet by Dr. Carl Trueman, who is always a pleasure to read. He argues, rightly I think, that the concept of "evangelicalism" is largely unhelpful because there are no true doctrinal boundaries for this popular Christian label. Rather, one's evangelical identity is dependent upon which institution or network you associate with, not which doctrinal tenets you affirm. He believes we should jettison the label and focus more on solidifying the doctrinal identities of our individual t ...more
Dr. David Steele
The Real Scandal of the Evangelical Mind is a timely book that should be placed in the hands of as many Christ-followers as possible. It is a warning; it is a call to arms; it is a wake-up call! May this book spur church leaders to refuse to loosen up (which is the trend in so many circles today). The real call is to tighten up! The real call involves courage in order to rebuild the Christian mind that values orthodoxy, cherishes the historic creeds and confessions, and elevates the gospel in a ...more
Don Gale
Trueman contends that the biggest problem with evangelicalism is that it is so broadly defined that it really means nothing. This was a quick and enlightening read.

"The real scandal of the evangelical mind currently is not that it lacks a mind, but that it lacks any agreed-upon evangel. Until we acknowledge that this is the case - until we can agree on what exactly it is that constitutes the evangel - all talk about evangelicalism as a real, coherent movement is likely to be little more than a c
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Daniel
This booklet, for in its brevity it is nothing more, is well worth the read. Trueman provides a challenging, albeit brief, exposé on the the lack of definition in our current use of evangelical. It has become an umbrella for too wide a range of beliefs whose followers have little real knowledge or sense of their doctrinal foundation. Trueman critiques Noll's book challenging that understanding what we believe is more important then cultural engagement. Worth the read.
Chris Talbot
Terrific, brief book, on the problem with the "evangelical" mind. In part, a response to Mark Noll's book "The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind". As Noll commented that the scandal was that there was no "mind" to the Evangelical community, Truman writes that the real problem is that there is no cohesive "evangelical" to the categories name. He addresses the problems in no clear doctrinal distinctives to the over-arching demographic. Great, short read!
David Griffin
Trueman provides a short but cutting analysis of evangelicalism today, he identifies that the problem is a lack of confessionalism today that once was present. He rightly to take aim at the "4 point" evangelicalism proposed by Bebbington. However he doesn't deal with the IVF statement of faith which solves the problem of reductionism in Bebbington and yet covers conservative evangelicals of different stripes.
dave kakish
A thought provoking essay that prods the all encompassing moniker, 'Evangelical', to see if there is any doctrinal substance or standard behind the shadow.

In one of the closing sentences Trueman writes: "The real scandal of the evangelical mind currently is not that it lacks a mind, but that it lacks any agreed-upon evangel." (p. 41)
Garland Vance
This short book addresses some of the key issues with evangelicalism in the world today. Trueman gives very good insights on the problems facing evangelicalism and the need for those associated with it to define what they mean by it.

It won't take long to read it (probably less than an hour) but will give excellent food for thought.
Jacob Meiser
This short book is extremely perceptive at diagnosing the major identity crisis facing evangelicalism (whatever that is). Though the problem is pointed out very thoroughly, there aren't many solutions given. Really great and easy read!
James
The real scandal is that evangelicalism is a nonexistent. One can be an evangelical and not an orthodox Christian according to the fluffy doctrinal commitments of "evangelicals". A very important book.
Scott
Good little essay with lots of interesting content to chew on.
Lisa Morrow
Lisa Morrow marked it as to-read
Dec 21, 2014
Marissa
Marissa marked it as to-read
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