Bibliography: Anti-Intellectualism

A year ago I did some studying on anti-intellectualism (in particular with the Evangelical movement in America). Growing up, it was impressed upon me that being ignorant was virtuous because people would be amazed that God could use somebody so dumb. The preachers would call themselves “bottom-shelf” preachers, putting all the “cookies” where everybody can get them. Theology and doctrinal study was replaced with books on leadership skills and strategies for marketing your church. Pastoral studies were replaced by conference rooms and the church was not known for being the “pillar and buttress of truth” but the house that pragmatism built.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I do believe that a preacher should be able to communicate to everyone, and the message should be as clear and understandable as the Bible. But what became of this antipathy to biblical scholarship and study produced a disdain towards institutional education so much that preachers who had a growing church bragged that they didn’t have any formal education. They bragged that their sermons were not “elitist” talk but the “folkish” lingo found at the mechanic shop.

The end result of this parasitic and problematic predisposition is staggering. I think it would be fair to say that a real reason why so much of the church is biblically illiterate and theologically inept is due to the example of ecclesiastical leadership and the atmosphere fostered by them. They say that to have knowledge would only “puff” one up, so it is better to remain ignorant and assume that makes one humble (I will deal with this later).

Here is the bibiographical information for my paper called “Never Mind! Anti-Intellectualism in Evangelical Life”. The bold-faced sources are primary and are encouraged to check out first. I sincerely believe that this is a crucial issue for the church. As our society develops a dumbing effect on our culure, we do not have to go along. To see a previous post dealing with this, check out A Cry For Christian Renaissance, which I wrote when I first started blogging.


Armstrong, John H. “Preaching to the Mind.” In Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching, ed. Don Kistler, 166-89. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 2002.

Blakely, Colin. Great Christian Thinkers. Peabody: Hendrickson, 2000.

Blamires, Harry. The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think? Ann Arbour, MI: Vine Books, 1978.

Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton: Crossway, 1984.

Foster, Richard J. Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998.

Geisler, Norman L., and Paul K. Hoffman. Why I Am a Christian. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Guiness, Os. Fit Bodies Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don’t Think and What to Do About It. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Henry, Carl F.H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Vol. 5. Wheaton: Crossway, 1999.

Hofstadter, Richard. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. New York: Vintage Books, 1963.

Hughes, R. Kent. Disciplines of a Godly Man. Wheaton: Crossway, 2001.

Lewis, C.S. God in the Dock. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970.

_________. Mere Christianity. New York: Touchstone, 1996.

Lloyd-Jones, D.M. The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1987.

Malik, Charles Habib. The Two Tasks. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1980.

Moreland, J.P. Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1997.

Nash, Ronald H. Faith and Reason: Searching for a Rational Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988.

_________. The Word of God and the Mind of Man. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1982.

Noll, Mark A. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

Pascal, Blaise. Mind on Fire. Minneapolis: Bethany, 1989.

Pearcy, Nancy. Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. Wheaton: Crossway, 2004.

Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Penguin, 1985.

Schaeffer, Francis A. A Christian Manifesto. The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer Vol. 5. Wheaton: Crossway, 1982.

_________. How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture. Wheaton: Crossway, 1976.

Sire, James W. Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling. Downers Grove, IL: InverVarsity, 2000.

Sproul, R.C., John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsey. Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.

Stott, John R.W. Your Mind Matters. London: InterVarsity, 1972.

Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture. Wheaton: Crossway, 1994.

Wells, David. God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.

_________. No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.

Willard, Dallas. The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. New York: HarperCollins, 1998.


Armstrong, John H. “Editor’s Introduction.” Reformation and Revival (Summer 1994): 9-17.

Bernstein, Carl. “The Idiot Culture.” New Republic (June 8, 1992): 22-26.

Cobb, John B., Jr. “Faith Seeking Understanding: The Renewal of Christian Thinking.” Christian Century 111.20: 642-44.

Helm, David. “In the Shadow of Fundamentalism.” Christian Century 112.15: 488-90.

Jones, L. Gregory. “Why Bother to Think.” Christian Century 117.32: 1192.

Kane, Carolyn. “Thinking: A Neglected Art.” Newsweek (December 14, 1981): 19.

Lockerbie, Bruce D. “Thinking Like a Christian Part One: The Starting Point.” Bibliotheca Sacra 143.0569: 3-13.

_________. “Thinking Like a Christian Part Two: The Means of Grace, the Hope of Glory.” Bibliotheca Sacra 143.0570: 99-108.

_________. “Thinking Like a Christian Part Four: In But Not of the World.” Bibliotheca Sacra 143.0572: 291-301.

Madany, Bassam M. “The Christian Mind.” Reformation and Revival (Summer 1994): 18-33.

Newman, Stewart A. “Where Southern Baptists Stand on Anti-Intellectualism: 1973-1989.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 20.04: 417-30.

Sproul, R.C. “Burning Hearts Are Not Nourished by Empty Heads.” Christianity Today 26 (September 3, 1982): 100.

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3 Comments on “Bibliography: Anti-Intellectualism”

  1. […] are serious challenges to the churches.        We must also be aware of the danger of a mushy anti-intellectualism, misunderstandings of the church, and a kind of fundamentalist reductionism. Our biggest challenges […]

  2. Wayne Hatcher Says:

    I followed the link of anti-intellectualism from the Dockery : Part Four interview to get here. I am not sure if this is the place to say this, so if it is inappropriate, feel free to delete it. It is something in the back of my mind that I have not been able to shake, so. . .

    Some elements of Dr. Moore’s lecture entitled “Confessions of a Fundamissional Dean” ( struck me as having a bit of anti-intellectualism to it. I generally agree with and enjoy listening to/reading Dr. Moore, but this lecture struck me as odd, out of character. Just an observation.

  3. […] researching and trying to understand the undercurrent of anti-intellectualism in evangelical life (here’s an old bibliography).  Shortly thereafter I wrote a little essay called “Never Mind” in which I attempted […]

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