Category Archives: Education

Speech: Its Value and Its Limits

Several incidents have occurred recently at American colleges and universities that raise the question of where freedom of speech is headed today.  Now let’s be clear.  Not all speech is morally acceptable if we are serious about our Biblical commitments.  Private Christian universities have good reason sometimes to create conditions for edifying and pure expression of faculty and students.  In addition private schools also have the legal right to restrict the opposite kind of expression–I daresay, even the obligation.  However… Continue Reading ››

The Core Problem of Common Core.

I suppose it is time to write about Common Core again, in light of the recent withdrawal of a former Bush administration pro-Common Core staffer, Hanna Skandera, from consideration as an assistant secretary for the Department of Education.  This blog is not about her specifically, though she is a member of one of the Common Core testing organizations, PARCC (Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for Colleges and Careers).  Rather I am concerned about the incredible confusion that has set in… Continue Reading ››

The Examined Life–With Some Help

Why do people still read Plato?  Aristotle?  The Bible?  Augustine?  Thomas Aquinas?  John Locke?  Immanuel Kant (well, maybe not so much)?  What unifies them?  It isn’t religion.  Plato and Aristotle were most certainly not Christians.  Augustine and Aquinas would have disagreed on the extent of man’s capacity to know and to will the good.  The Bible seems so different from the more philosophical treatises of those mentioned along with it above. The common element is that they all addressed the… Continue Reading ››

The Liberal Arts in the Christian Context

Leland Ryken, Professor of English Emeritus at Wheaton College, has a fine track record of scholarship over a career that began in 1968.  He has written thoughtfully about integration in his field, among other topics, but in particular I encourage you to focus on his well known essay entitled “The Student’s Calling.”  In it he provides a biblical understanding of the call on students during their college years.  He also erases the lines we too often draw between those vocations… Continue Reading ››

George Washington University, American History and the “New Globalism”

I have written on this blog before about the importance of the liberal arts, but I now have an interesting negative example of how universities have been marginalizing not only the liberal arts but also American civilization in particular.  Let me begin with a quote from this article by Ian Tuttle in the National Review Online, dated December 29, 2016: “Recently, GW — a 25,000-student private university located in Washington, D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood — eliminated its American-history requirement for… Continue Reading ››

Trump’s Trumps

A new controversy–well, not really new, just renewed–has now taken the stage regarding President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition.  This one concerns the “flavor” of his cabinet choices, taken collectively.  The media and Democrats are trying to figure out (1) what they tell us about Trump and (2) what the supporter–stakeholders think about the choices.  Those are interesting questions.  I am not sure they can be answered adequately at this point, but let’s at least explore them. First, do the choices made… Continue Reading ››

Elitism and Elitism

Am I an elitist?  Does the fact that I support the continued existence of the Electoral College make me elitist?  Does my sometimes suspicion of democracy in its raw form make me elitist?  And, is being an elitist all bad?  Or is there some distinction between being an elitist and a pernicious brand of elitism?  I am inclined to make just such a distinction.  The thought occurred to me as I was at a discussion at the American Enterprise Institute… Continue Reading ››

Miscellaneous Interesting (and Weird) News

There are all sorts of interesting and disturbing issues and events out there in the news these days, some obscure and others more obvious and with greater implications.  Below I simply want to list a few I have been reading about in recent days, and then later perhaps write some longer blogs on some of them. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, known to all fondly as the NCAA, has decided to withdraw seven of its collegiate championship events from North… Continue Reading ››

Radical Liberal Elites and Their Ethical Downfall

It has been pointed out by historians and journalists that political campaigns have always been a little bit or a lot vicious, with a good deal of “over the top” rhetoric.  Witness the Adams-Jefferson campaign of 1800.  It was pretty overheated on both sides.  But I see something different at work now among liberals, or, I should say, more strident liberals.  I am not necessarily painting all Democrats as liberals of that sort, though I do perceive a general drift… Continue Reading ››

Dueling Economic Proposals: Will They Sway Anyone?

I have so far avoided taking any position on the two main candidates for president.  For my colleague Mark Smith, don’t worry, I will.  I intend to continue the path of avoidance in this blog.  Today I would like to examine and evaluate each candidate’s economic program.  I say nothing about their personal morality, or personality, or anything except economic program as articulated formally.  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both now laid out their plans.  I will look first… Continue Reading ››