Some Early Tweets on Alan Jacobs’s Essay “The Watchmen”


Alan Jacobs

As many of you know by now, Alan Jacobs has written an excellent essay on Christian intellectuals in the current tissue of Harper’s Magazine.  It is titled “The Watchmen: What Became of the Christian Intellectuals.”  I hope to do some posts on the piece very soon here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home.  Stay tuned.

Twitter has been abuzz with commentary on Jacobs’s article and Jacobs himself has joined the conversation. I have Storified as many tweets as possible here. (They are listed in chronological order and I have not commented on any of them in the story.  I did my best to capture some of the key threads, but my collection is certainly not comprehensive).

Some of the tweets are helpful.  Others are snarky.  Some are disrespectful.  Others are wise and insightful.  I will let you decide which tweets fit into which category! 🙂

One thought on “Some Early Tweets on Alan Jacobs’s Essay “The Watchmen”

  1. Interesting essay, helpful effort, but the major problem I see is the lack of examples of who would qualify as a Christian public intellectual. Of the “20 Most Influential Christians” named here, only one is mentioned by Jacobs – M Robinson. No mention by him of Pope Benedict, Peter Berger, or Dr. Francis Collins for starters.

    Then this page lists “50 Smartest People of Faith”, arguably public intellectuals to some degree. On this list Jacobs only mentions Jean Elshtain and M Robinson. Nothing by him about Alvin Plantinga, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Charles Taylor, and Nicholas Wolterstorff.

    And neither of these lists include Martin Marty or The Christian Century.

    A google search just now turns up this book from 2006 – Public Intellectuals: an Endangered Species? – not Christian public intellectuals, but any public intellectuals – “…At a time when many argue that public intellectuals are dying out, the book addresses questions such as who qualifies as a public intellectual? Have their ranks thinned out and their qualities diminished? …” In short, is Professor Jacobs discussing a general problem, not just something limited to Christians.


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