For 20 years, I’ve felt like Molly Worthen and I live parallel lives. We graduated college the same year. We wrote for some of the same publications, on some of the same subjects. But I chose to head into church ministry, while she settled into the academy and earned her PhD from Yale.

Molly is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You may have read her work in the New York Times, Slate, or Christianity Today. She is perhaps best known for her award-winning book Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism (Oxford University Press, 2013). In that book, Molly wrote that evangelicals “craved an intellectual authority that would quiet disagreement and dictate and plan for fixing everything that seemed broken with the world. They did not find it, and are still looking.”

In his critical review for The Gospel Coalition, Al Mohler wrote,

This is a book to be reckoned with. In terms of its comprehensive grasp of the evangelical movement, its detailed research, and its serious approach to understanding the evangelical mind, Apostles of Reason stands nearly alone in the larger world of academic publishing. Any serious-minded evangelical should read it.

He also described the book as infuriating and criticized Molly for sometimes being snarky toward evangelicals.

Well, much has changed in a decade. Molly joined me on Gospelbound to discuss her scholarship as well as her experience in the church and academy—along with a major shift in recent months.