The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.

When he penned these words, Mark Noll was the McManis Professor of Christian Thought at Wheaton College. Ironically, the administration at Wheaton College continues to affirm and entrench the truth of Noll’s thesis in their ousting of Larycia Hawkins.

There are many victims in these situations. First, the scholar and her family and loved ones. Second, the colleagues who have lost a member of their community and confidence in the integrity of their institution. Third, the students who are making a significant investment of both money and time. Having experienced a situation like this first-hand while working on my master’s degree, I can attest to how extremely distracting such manufactured crises are to the education one is supposed to be receiving.

There are those scholars who entered the evangelical outhouses of academia a generation ago when these kinds of anti-academic displays of bravado were less common, and I intend to stand in full solidarity with them as feckless administrators continue their reign of terror against honest, critically minded scholars. But there is a proverb that my generation of scholars should take to heart if they are considering risking their financial, intellectual, and psychological well-being through employment in any of the so-called schools that associate with Evangelicalism:

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.