Jan 25, 2013

Christ and the Academy: An Interview with D.A. Carson

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Here's an excerpt from Christ and the Academy: An Interview with D.A. Carson in the January issue of Tabletalk.

Tabletalk: Skepticism toward Christianity in academia has led to anti-intellectualism among certain evangelicals. How should evangelicals approach scholarship?

D.A. Carson: A long essay on this topic would only begin to explore the subject. I concur that some anti-intellectualism is nothing but a thoughtless reaction to the skepticism toward Christianity found in many academic circles. But some of it is the pride of those who can do things with their hands but who do not or cannot make much of intellectual pursuits. Intellectual arrogance is still arrogance; blue-collar arrogance is still arrogance. The right response, for the Christian, begins with repentance and contrition, and a generous recognition that God gives different gifts to human beings in general and to the church in particular. Where the anti-intellectualism is a defensive posture against skepticism in academia, surely the right Christian response is the example of the Apostle Paul, who was determined to bring every thought into submission to Christ. That means we ought to be encouraging our best and brightest to demonstrate love for God with their minds and hearts, taking on the strongholds of intellectual lostness with exactly the same kind of missionary zeal that we want to take on the strongholds of, say, Islam and Buddhism. Moreover, the need is not just evangelistic and apologetic. Much of this work should be motivated by a passionate desire to offer God our best in every domain of life, whether we are grinding valves on a motorcycle engine or wrestling with the magisterial voices of the Western philosophical tradition. The Kuyperian vision of not one square inch where Jesus does not say, "This is mine!" is not a restrictively geographical sweep.

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