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Noll, Mark A. - The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind 筆記

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其實這本書出了不久就買下,不過近來才讀完,故事如下:

當年FES對我們一批由澳洲回歸的留學生十分照顧,我也不時會上他們的辦公室。有一天總幹事竟有點空,問我有關澳洲那邊的事。我談到那兒大學團契的名字很有趣,不少用Evangelical這個字為名,如雪梨大學的團契就叫Evangelical Union。我又指出這個名字其實有它麻煩之處,因為不少人已經不知Evangelical是什麼,為推廣團契加添困難。總幹事就問為何會有此名?我說是因為當年要跟新派有所分別,所以捨Christian用Evangelical。不過學會的名字登記後就不能改,於是就用到今時今日。總幹事於是回應了一句-The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind。當年傻傻的我剛出來工作,有點閒錢,不理程度深淺就買下了這書,結果當然被丟在一旁。它最大的貢獻,就是跟The Complete Book of Everyday Christianity等書合作,一起托起我的手提電腦來散熱。

不過我們的緣份不只如此。上年08年初,有網上的朋友在讀此書,談到內容精彩的地方,於是我又再嘗試讀一讀 。內容仍然艱深,因為自己不是讀文史哲,而且對美國歷史差不多是零認識,所以到本年初才讀畢。整理後的筆記如下:

Noll, Mark A. 1995 The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, Eerdmans.

Ch1 The Contemporary Scandal
Evangelical Protestants
-Many Virtues
-Very Visible
-But absent in the universities, the arts & other realms of 'high culture'

-Culture - 'To put it most simply, the evangelical ethos is activistic, populist, pragmatic, and utilitarian. It allows little space for broader or deeper intellectual effort because it is dominated by the urgencies of the moment.' p.12
-Education Institutions - absent, lost of intellectual leadership
-Theology - Neglected

Ch 2 Why the Scandal Matters
Why bother with the Mind
-Europeans who are intellectual, descended into lifeless formalism
-Mt 11:25-6, 1 Cor 26-8
-Getting involve in academia is a waste of time
Reasons for the Mind
-Utility - Answers to intellectual questions are useful
-History
--Great reformed theologians
--Danger of neglecting the mind
--God created the human mind to learn the Truth
Modern day heresies (p.52):
-Manichaeism - the world is divided into two disjointed sections - light and darkness
-Gnosticism - bible contained secrets such as the end time events
-Docetism - the physical world was of no significance, the flesh should be despised

p.55 "Our (American Christian) history has been pragmatic, populist, charismatic, and technological more than intellectual."

Ch 3 The Evangelical Mind Takes Shape - Revival, Revolution, and a Cultural Synthesis
-Revivalism - p. 61 "a new style of leadership - direct, personal, popular, and dependent much more on a speaker's ability to draw a crowd than upon that speaker's place in an established hierarchy"
-Anti-traditionalism, individualism
-Pragmatic(how to convert more? how to please the crowd?...), disregard the mind

The Separation of Church and State
-Religious deregulation
-Developed a market for different religions & denominations → populistic

A Christian-Cultural Synthesis
-Adopted republican theories of politics - political system should be partly democratic, partly aristocratic and partly monarchical
-Democratic theories of society - Liberty was highly regarded, Following the example of Protestants independence the Catholic, there were many democratic fragmentations in the church.
-Liberal views of the economy - individualism and market freedom

Christians emphasized on the similar concepts between the political system and faith and then accepted the whole political system without further questions.

Jonathan Edwards was regarded by the author as the greatest Evangelical Intellect in American history, yet his approval of revivalism discouraged intellectual pursuits. His contributions were to rebuke the assumptions that "matter in motion was the most basic thing in the physical world. He resisted the idea that the pursuit of happiness was the highest purpose of human life. He did not believe that human understanding depended ultimately upon humans. These positions, moreover, rested self-consciously on explicit Christian convictions." p.77-8 God was the basis for all.

Ch 4 The Evangelical Enlightenment
4 kinds of Enlightenment:
1. Moderate (Newton, Locke)
2. Skeptical (Voltaire, Hume)
3. Revolutionary (Rousseau)
4. Didactic (Scotland)
The fourth was chosen - "All humans possessed, by nature, a common set of capacities - both epistemological and ethical - through which they could grasp the basic realities of nature and morality." -> Common sense
This contradicted with the sinful nature of human that human by oneself cannot understand truth. But this understanding of the enlightenment gave the Americans theoretical and philosophical justification to establish their national identity. How convenient was that to build on 'common sense'!

-Apologetics - spiritual truth can be obtained through human faculties and investigated using empirical experiment.
-Theology - more on common sense reason and less on mystery
-Revivalism - there were natural law in spiritual realm for successful revival
-Bible - it was interpreted for the interpreters' own intent. The most significant concept was to treat the bible as a storehouse of spiritual facts just as Nature was to science.
-Nationalism - in Europe, the Enlightenment was anti-national establishments and the church. In American, Enlightenment, nation and church identified with each other.

After the civil war, the philosophy above was challenged. 3 responses
-Liberal - embraced new science, new form of old harmonies between Enlightenment & faith
-Populists/Fundamentalists - promoted the old form with new techniques such as mass media
-Evangelicals - in the middle e.g. Problem of higher criticism on the Bible

p. 105 "The main problem was that so much of the Christianized version of the Enlightenment depended on assumptions and thus so little actual thought went into developing the philosophical, psychological, and ethical implications of these views."

Change of social condition - modernisation, immigration, etc. -> required intellectual resources for a proper response but none

p. 107 "A secular spirit spread rapidly in the general culture. In response, the descendants of orthodox evangelicalism, many of whom would soon be called fundamentalists, did hold on to the basic Christian truths, but in order to do so they fled from the problems of the wider world into fascination with inner spirituality or the details of end-times prophecy."

Ch5 The Intellectual Disaster of Fundamentalism
Transformation of Universities
-Influx of students and new money
-Emphasis on new science, not on reconciliation between learning and faith
-Darwinism
-Money from businesses, withdrawal from churches

Ch6 Political Reflection
William Jennings Bryan(Democrat) as the representative for 19 century
Cross of Gold - the greatest speech
-Explicit application of evangelical principles to politics
-Extensive use of biblical metaphors in speech
-Champion ordinary people
-Scientific secularism as a threat to humility(e.g. evolution turns human into just mechanism)

Cross of Gold vs Leo XIII Rerum Novarum - a document on the social, economic, and political turmoil
-Speech vs document
-Speak to the mass for the mass vs reflection for the head of the hierarchy
-Use history in emotive and progressive style vs use ancient authorities with a careful methodology

Age of Bryan
-Populism
-Intuition, use common-sense
-Biblicism
-Activism
-Positive on progress of society

Fundamentalism
-Dispensationalism
-Individualism (private salvation rather than activism in public)
-Pessimistic outlook of society

An Era of New Beginning
-Roe v Wade in 1973
-Revival of activism
-Major New Right + Minor New Left
-"Murphy's Armageddon Observation: Those who don't learn from the past are condemned to write-end-times books." p. 174 (Very interesting quote of a summary of various predicted fulfillment of events in revelation in p.173-4)

Conclusion
-Revival of activism
-Supernatural at the expense of natural

Ch7 Thinking about Science
Basic principle - Scientific Investigations need to support the Christian World View

Darwinism
-1860 Only a minority within the church believed that Darwinism and Christianity was reconcilable.
-1870 Acceptance of the broad outline of Darwinism, indecisive on what to give up, which sparked the reflection of the relationship between science and faith.
-"Nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible; and we only interpret the Word of God by the Word of God when interpret th Bible by science..." p.183
-As Darwinism became more popular, the authority of science in fundamental circle decreased. First, there were efforts to harmonize Darwinism and the Bible. Later, Darwinism became an enemy.

Creation Science
-History p.188 onwards
-Young earth theory first proposed by Price, an Adventist, in 1923.
-Breakthrough in theory in 50's
-"The Genesis Flood" published in 1961 became popular
-p. 192 "since 1960, creationism has done more than any other issue except abortion to inflame the cultural warfare in American public life."

Reasons for Popularity
-A more "reasonable" interpretation of the bible
-Rebound from the public policy for a mandatory Darwinism Curriculum
-Rebound to the knowledge elites
-Dispensationalists see parallels between new heaven and new earth and the Genesis 1-3

Damage Done by Creation Science to Evangelical Mind
-Justify pretentious claims for science
-Turn the negotiation between Christianity and science into a war -> the critiques within the science community on Darwinism was ignored
-Twist science and the interpretation of the Bible according to their own agenda
--Defending creation science = defending the Bible ... creation science is just one of the many interpretations.
--Lose ability to investigate nature as it is.

Special Question of the Bible
-Augustine - Disregarding the observations of the nature and extracting theories about the nature just from the Bible caused embarrassments and hindered evangelism
-Bacon - those who tried to develop a theory of Creation was trying to equate himself to the Creator. We should repent and know our limitations
-Galileo - nature as an important revelation, the differences between messages in scripture was due to the differences in the audience, and thus the information collected from our sensory was another revelation
-Warfield, biblical inerrantist par excellence - the Bible had nothing to do with age of earth or length of human history. Calvin would support evolution if he was born later.

Ch 8 Is an Evangelical Intellectual Renaissance Underway?
An Awakening Evangelical Mind
-Postfundamentalism
--Edward John Carrell
--Carl F.H. Henry found "Christianity Today"
--Billy Graham also supported "Christianity Today", willing to cooperate with other types of Christianity
-Help from the Protestant Mainline
--From older traditions that never became fundamentalists
--Baptists, Presbyterian, Episcopal...
-Maturing Immigrant Communities
--Lutheran, Mennonite, Dutch Reformed
--Dutch Reformed -> Grand Rapids Publishers, e.g. Eerdmans
-Across the Atlantic
--Eerdmans as distributor for IVP, bringing writings such as CS Lewis to US

Signs of Renewal
-Modes of Cooperation
--Around leaders - Billy Graham, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Scott
--Around Projects - New Bible Commentary, New Bible Dictionary, Christianity Today, IVF
-Influential writings of CS Lewis and Dorothy L. Sayers
-Renewed interest in classical protestant heritage
-Revitalization of institutions
--A number of seminary started to take academic research seriously
--After WWII, Christian academic associations appeared
--70s cooperation from individual academics in different Universities
-To conclude, there are improvements from fundamentalist-modernist 30's era.

Political Reflection - Not taken notes, not motivated to know the details of US politics
-Some progress made, but very limited

Science
-Origin of the Universe and Mankind still a very touchy topic

Philosophy
-American Evangelical did not care much about philosophy, nor had any controversial topic, so it was a peaceful setting for growth.
-American Evangelical philosophers worked closely with Dutch reformed community, but much of the original evangelical ethos were lost, e.g. common-sense, dispensationalism

Conclusion
-p. 239 "The scandal of the evangelical mind seems to be that no mind arises from evangelicalism."

Ch 9 Can the Scandal Be Scandalized?
-The title - first "scandal" - the message of the Cross, second "scandal" - same usage in the book
-A shallower version of the summary of the book, so no note-taking

作者在成書十年後寫了一篇The Evangelical Mind Today,有興趣者可以參考一下。

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