The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind, By Alister McGrath
The Passionate Intellect
  • Length: 210 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: March 03, 2014
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3675
  • ISBN: 9780830836758

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  • 2011 Christianity Today Book Award winner

Alister McGrath, one of the most prominent theologians and public intellectuals of our day, explains how Christian thinking can and must have a positive role in shaping, nourishing and safeguarding the Christian vision of reality. With this in our grasp, we have the capacity for robust intellectual and cultural engagement, confidently entering the public sphere of ideas where atheism, postmodernism and science come into play.

This book explores how the great tradition of Christian theological reflection enriches faith. It deepens our appreciation of the gospel's ability to engage with the complexities of the natural world on the one hand and human experience on the other.

"McGrath brings his prodigious intellect and broad learning to bear on a number of topics, including apologetics, science and religion, and the new atheism. He demonstrates that theology is 'intellectually stimulating and exciting.' This book should whet the reader's appetite for further exploration of theology."

Millard Erickson, author of Christian Theology

"In The Passionate Intellect, Alister McGrath provides engaging, accessible, energetic help for Christians who are skeptical about the existential relevance of Christian theology, or who have come to doubt its credibility in the face of the attacks of new atheists and those wedded to a shallow scientism. This series of essays not only provides important support for believers seeking their footing in the current cultural morass, but can also stimulate a new curiosity about the intellectual and spiritual fruitfulness and integrity of the theological enterprise as a whole. It is obviously written by one who, well informed about alternatives to Christian faith, finds in that faith a source of life and of intellectual pleasure."

Marguerite Shuster, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This book is not only about the passionate intellect; it exhibits the phenomenon on every page. Drawing on the rich heritage of Christian faith and practice, McGrath is as much on his home ground in engaging contemporary issues in faith and culture, especially the relation to science. The author argues that good theology not only explains but transforms, and in this well-researched and eminently readable work it's easy to see what he means. The Passionate Intellect is a feast that will delight, provoke and challenge as well as inform us all."

Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary California

"McGrath skillfully translates his own deep learning into a delightfully accessible and enjoyable reading experience. . . . I certainly experienced the soul-stirring thrill of a sharp, devout mind debunking the old familiar, dubious claims against Christianity's intellectual coherence and credibility."

Tony Richie, The Pneuma Review, Spring 2012

"For McGrath, the study of theology isn't a disengaged and abstract exercise; rather, it finds its authentic purpose and best expression when put into practice in the local church."

Relevant, November-December 2010

"McGrath, a prominent theologian and public intellectual, explains how Christian thinking can and must have a positive role in shaping, nourishing, and safeguarding the Christian vision of reality."

Kathleen Samuelson, CBA Retailers Resources, August 2010

"McGrath's attempt to show that science is not necessarily a foe to faith is admirable."

Trevin Wax, Christianity Today, August 2010



Part 1: The Purpose, Place and Relevance of Christian Theology
1 Mere Theology: The Landscape of Faith (1)
2 Mere Theology: The Landscape of Faith (2)
3 The Gospel and the Transformation of Reality: George Herbert's "Elixir"
4 The Cross, Suffering and Theological Bewilderment: Reflections on Martin Luther and C. S. Lewis
5 The Theatre of the Glory of God: A Christian View of Nature
6 The Tapestry of Faith: Theology and Apologetics

Part 2: Engaging with Our Culture
7 The Natural Sciences: Friends or Foes of Faith?
8 Religious and Scientific Faith: The Case of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species
9 Augustine of Hippo on Creation and Evolution
10 Does Religion Poison Everything? The New Atheism and Religious Belief
11 Atheism and the Enlightenment: Reflections on the Intellectual Roots of the New Atheism



Alister McGrath

Alister McGrath (DPhil, DD, Oxford University) is the Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion at Oxford University and fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. After initial academic work in the natural sciences, Alister turned to the study of theology and intellectual history, while occasionally becoming engaged in broader cultural debates about the rationality and relevance of the Christian faith. He is the author of many academic and theological works, as well as the international bestseller The Dawkins Delusion, the acclaimed C. S. Lewis—A Life and A Theory of Everything (That Matters).