Publishers Weekly, 1997-01-13 American evangelicals have long pondered the role education should play in a minister's formation. American evangelicalism's paradoxical attitude toward education can be seen in the fact that its deep streak of anti-intellectualism coexists with a historical record that shows that Baptists founded a number of the country's leading universities (including the College of Rhode Island, which became Brown University). And, as late as 1994, Wheaton College history professor Mark Noll could proclaim that American evangelicalism's ambivalence toward education was the principal cause of the "scandal of the evangelical mind." Here, Mohler and Hart have gathered the voices of a number of the leading lights of modern evangelicalism, from Richard Mouw to Virginia Lieson Brereton, to explore the problems and possibilities of theological education in the evangelical tradition. The thematic thread woven through this collection is the persistent conflict in evangelicalism between piety and experience on the one hand and theological content on the other. As several of the essayists note, the focus in evangelical seminaries on professionalism and pastoral technique, to the exclusion of theological tradition and reflection, has made the phrase "evangelical theological education" seem an oxymoron. Unfortunately, the authors offer little in the way of solutions to this ongoing problem except to state rather simplistically that the churches and the seminaries must work together to shape theological education and to serve as an informed counterweight to the churches' captivity to contemporary culture. (Jan.)
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