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Called to the Life of the Mind: Some Advice for Evangelical Scholars

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  24 reviews
"I wasn't supposed to spend my life in the world of scholarship," Richard Mouw acknowledges at the beginning of Called to the Life of the Mind. Yet he has indeed spent his career in the academy—and has become one of the most widely respected evangelical Christian scholars of our time. In this wise little book Mouw defends Christian scholarship as an important and legitimat ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published November 27th 2014 by Eerdmans
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Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommendations by J.I. Packer, James K.A. Smith, Mark A. Noll, Roger E. Olson, and others.

Chapter 1: The Price
1: Mouw was the son of an evangelical preacher and was encouraged to follow in his father's steps (the real work of God, as opposed to being in the academy); too much anti-intellectual rhetoric from the pulpit; "you don't need exegesis, you just need Jesus"; the only necessary school is "the Holy Ghost's school of the Bible"
2: college student who said that Christians don't need to worry
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Summary: A collection of reflective essays by one of the deans of evangelical scholarship on the calling and importance of the Christian scholarly task.

This is an absolute gem of a book!

Rarely am I so effusive about a title but this short collection of pithy essays that I devoured in an afternoon is a quite wonderful gift to anyone who loves Christ and loves scholarly work and wonders what a life pursuing these loves might look like.

Mouw begins by admitting his own surprise in discovering his vo
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
The history of evangelicalism and the life of the mind is both well-chronicled and checkered. While Jonathan Edwards is hailed by some as the greatest intellect (not just evangelical intellect) in American history, suspicion and anger has often boiled over from within evangelicalism against the university world. The 1925 Scopes Trial, for example, set off decades of distrust that affected generations of Bible-believing Christians.

Richard Mouw, former president of Fuller Seminary, is one such bel
Daniel Supimpa
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A series of essays dealing with an interesting and personal perspective of an evangelical diving - and swimming - into the intellectual world. If you come from a similar background as Mouw - which I do - you might enjoy the argument pro-validity of the intellectual vocation. I particularly liked Mouw's last chapter on applying 1 Corinthians 13:12 as a dialectical guideline for Christian scholars following both the "epistemic of humility" ("We now know things in part") and the "epistemic of hope" ...more
Sep 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
As an academic this gave me food for thought. I have struggled more than I even realized with faith and the pursuit of knowledge. Bringing these together has become a new priority in recent years. I think I have always compartmentalized in unhealthy and unholy ways and I’m thankful to have works like this to help me move forward.
Nathan Whitley
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Mouw offers an interesting introduction to the life of the Christian scholar. Mouw is very pastoral in his advice and encouragement in a needed discipline within the body of Christ.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very short chapters--easy read--to encourage academic work among those who consider themselves evangelicals.
Timothy Hui
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All Christian academics should read this book before and during their tenure in the academy.
Jon Cheek
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, kindle
I enjoyed reading this brief book. Some excellent points. A few disagreements.
Zak Schmoll
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an excellent little book. I bought it because it was on sale for Kindle, but I am very glad I did. I think this serves as an important corrective to some of our temptations to say if one is not called to the "ministry" formally, their endeavors are not "Christian." We need Christians in all fields to serve as Christians where they have been blessed, and that includes higher education. This is a very practical book. 80 pages, not much to it. You can read it in an hour, but I would definitely ...more
Радостин Марчев
Чудесна малка книжка! Все повече харесвам Моу.
May 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brief, graceful, and wise.
Joseph Hamrick
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A good read.
Scott Gercken
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This book consists of friendly advice to aspiring Christian scholars from a university philosophy professor in the form of short, but contiguous essays. The author was brought up as the son of a Christian preacher in a pietist, anti-intellectual environment. He tells of his conversion, so to speak, from being an unthinking, unquestioning, and perhaps naive Christian fundamentalist to being a Christian unafraid of the blessings of higher academia. He briefly outlines how he squared his vocation w ...more
Christopher Rush
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
If you were thinking "another one of those, huh?" you were correct. Yes, "another one of those." Telling us nothing new, nothing fresh, though telling us sporadically something worth hearing, Richard Mouw - with all due respect, remember - seems like he is giving us random thoughts to make some quick cash. If you've never read any of the other dozens of "yes, Christians should use their brains" books, this may seem like a fair place to start because it is so short, but I can't recommend it stron ...more
Jonathan Washburn
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyable and encouraging, if not provocative.

The struggle against the false dichotomy of anti-intellectualism vs. "knowledge for knowledge's sake" is real and damaging in the lives of many believers.
In "Called to the life of the mind," Richard Mouw places both ends of the paradox in their proper place, splitting the horns of the dilemma right down the middle.

The church needs Christian academics, and Christian academics need the church. "A healthy Christian community is one in which at least
Robert Lyon
Dec 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Favorite Quote: "We serve a God who cares about the depths - and the breadth and the heights - of the reality that he has created: 'The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and all who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1). We scholars study various aspects of that world, but we must do it in the awareness that what we focus on is indeed a part of the fullness of a created reality that we are also called to love - and in loving to see, so that we can make connections and cultivate a pro ...more
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This work is exactly the kind of manifesto I hope to impart to my generation, short, sweet, Christocentric, and profound
Chris Schutte
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Profound reflections on the promises and pitfalls of life as a self-consciously Christian academic from a deep, wise scholar.
Jordan J. Andlovec
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mercifully short, poignant wisdom from a humble, hopeful scholar. If you're a Christian in academia, take an hour and read this book, you won't regret it.

Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beautiful, almost poetic grouping of essays and reflections by Rich Mouw on his life as an evangelical scholar. A very short read, but deeply encouraging.
Mar 10, 2016 added it
The chapter on the community of scholars is so thought-provoking. A book I will read again, perhaps each year.
Andrew Canavan
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
A brief and encouraging series of reflections on intellectual and academic life as a calling for many evangelicals.
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Roger Leonhardt
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Aug 05, 2016
Schulter Etyang
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Jul 28, 2020
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May 17, 2015
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Richard John Mouw is a theologian and philosopher. He held the position of President at Fuller Theological Seminary for 20 years (1993-2013), and continues to hold the post of Professor of Faith and Public Life.

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