Category Archives: Education

The Christian and Cultural Engagement

Cultural engagement.  What is it and how should Christians be “doing” it, assuming they should?  And perhaps I shouldn’t even assume that.  At any rate, I would like to explore the Christian in relation to his or her potential or real involvement in the political or cultural realms physically outside the church and apart from what the church “does” as its primary calling by the Word of God. First let’s look at what the “anti-engagement” side says.  Now basically these… Continue Reading ››

The “Better Deal” is Another Raw Deal

The Democratic Party, recognizing that it has lost touch with many of its former constituents, rolled out its “Better Deal” this week in Virginia.  We have now had Teddy Roosevelt’s “Square Deal,” Franklin Roosevelt’s more famous (or infamous) “New Deal,” Harry Truman’s “Fair Deal,” and now the latest “deal” for the American people.  All of these deals by the way were proposed by Liberal/Progressives, coincidentally or not.  As we should let’s look at this new proposal.  To provide a little… Continue Reading ››

Are People Finally Getting Wise About Higher Education?

The Pew Research Center has released a study that shows Americans, especially more conservative Americans, are realizing that colleges and universities are, as the study states the most common answer, “have a negative effect on the country.” (see http://www.people-press.org/2017/07/10/sharp-partisan-divisions-in-views-of-national-institutions/)  While overall 55% of respondents still believe institutions are higher education are valuable, the percentage has declined in recent years, and dramatically among conservatives, who just a few years ago reported a positive view.  So what is happening?   A Washington… Continue Reading ››

Making Cities “Great” Means Making People “Great”

I just returned from a visit with my mother in my (and her) home city, Huntington, West Virginia.  We drove by way of Portsmouth, Ohio.  Both cities are in “flyover country” and both have suffered from the heavy (and likely irreversible) loss of manufacturing jobs.  To give you an idea of the losses, Huntington has dwindled from about 90,000 residents in 1960 to about 45,000 today.  Even accounting for suburban flight, that is a big loss–and the suburbs haven’t grown… Continue Reading ››

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 ››