The State of the Evangelical Mind: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future

Reviewed by: Connor Salter, a Professional Writing student at Taylor University in Upland, IN.



Title: The State of the Evangelical Mind: Reflections on the Past, Prospects for the Future

Author: Todd C. Ream, Jerry Pattengale, Christopher Devers (editors)

Publisher: IVP Academic (InterVarsity Press)

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Hardcover

Length: 179 pages


In 2017, a group of noted Christian scholars met at the Sagamore Institute to discuss a complex problem: Has much changed since Mark A. Noll’s 1994 book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind? Are evangelicals building and finding new opportunities to cultivate the mind in the twenty years since that book came out? Factors like the recent end of the seminal magazine Books & Culture suggest things haven’t changed much. This book collects essays from the 2017 meeting, discussing what evangelicalism really is and what churches, universities, seminaries, and parachurch organizations needed to develop better intellectual tools.

As the summary suggests, this book is geared toward academics. It uses many terms and concepts that layman readers will struggle to understand, such as references to “the catholic faith” (meaning not Roman Catholicism, but “catholic” as the term is used in the Nicene Creed). The book also relies heavily on discussing ideas from The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, sometimes critiquing and analyzing Noll’s arguments.

Density aside, this book does present a series of well-argued and highly relevant arguments about how evangelicals can grow intellectually and face contemporary issues. Those willing to read a tough but good book on how to develop their minds will find it highly valuable.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Christian public intellectuals, Christian university and seminary professors, pastors and other Christian leaders.

Christian Impact

This book will give readers lots of food for thought and motivate them to them to rethink their beliefs about thinking well and becoming educated Christians.



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About Evangelical Church Library Association

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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