28 August 2008

The Missing Middle

I was fascinated to hear the following interchange about 13 minutes into the most recent interview posted at 9Marks. Mark Dever is interviewing Os Guinness (who, evidently, is a direct descendent of the founder of Guinness beer).

In speaking of his calling, Guinness asserts that he is "between the church and the world."

Dever asks: "And would be a kind of academic who is not tied to a certain educational institution?"

Guinness: "No. I went ot Oxford to do a DPhil. And there I had a real sense that my calling was not academic. I call it the 'missing middle.' You've got magnificent scholarship in the church. There could be a lot more, but it's magnificent scholarship. And you've got lots of wonderful, faithful people in the church who will do whatever the Lord shows them to do. In many ways there is a missing middle: you could call it the intermediate level of knowledge. So my calling is to make sense of serious scholarship--make it intelligible, make it practicable, to people who don't get into that world. But I am not an academic scholar."

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