Mark Noll wrote in his 1994 book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind that ‘The scandal of the Evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.’ Theologians have seemed to concentrate on deconstructing the belief of the church rather than understanding and communicating it.
Likewise with the Church’s organisation – the church is capitulating to a business organisational ethos in its heavyweight denominational and Mega–church structures, many ill–judged forays into TV evangelism and entanglements with cultural and political movements.
These developments are not things to rail at and wring our hands about and it would be the wrong approach to tackle them as individual issues. The truth is that the Church, as a body, has abandoned the person in the pew because of its surrender of its grasp on the content and meaning of the Biblical evangel.
In an intriguing and wide–ranging book, Douglas Vickers, until recently Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, sets out the case for a ‘ground up’ restoration of the church to re–establish its ministry in the community.
He investigates issues of being, knowledge, behaviour, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics – The church is called to confront the questions of how we know, what can be known, and how we can know that what we know is true.