Mark Noll noted the decline of intellectualism in American Evangelical Christianity:
Evangelical adoption of the didactic Enlightenment was one of the measures that made evangelical Protestantism so dynamically powerful in the early history of the United States.
. . .
The main problem was that so much of the Christianized version of the Enlightenment depended on assumptions, and thus so little actual thought went into developing the philosophical, psychological, and ethical implications of these views.
Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1994), 105 [italics mine].
After my experience at the SBL Annual Meeting, I noticed how great an effort was put into thinking about the Christian Bible and Christian thought in general. Of course, American Evangelicals seem to be more of a minority at SBL but that they are there says something about the desire to think more about the Scriptures and about the desire to have the academy as a dialogue partner.
At the Theological Hermeneutics of Christian Scripture Group, one presenter believed that the academy needs to be reformed. As I highlighted in my reflection post, I found a few conclusions in the academy with which I have disagreed. It appears to me there is a distinction between Christian(-ized?) biblical scholarship and academic biblical scholarship. If Christian scholars are to maintain/regain ground and/or respect in academic circles, can this be done without abandoning confessional and essential beliefs? Do confessional beliefs need to be abandoned?