Peter J. Leithart on College & the Gospel
Not surprisingly, challenges to Christian education often come from secularists, who believe that requiring a statement of faith inhibits academic freedom and who cannot imagine a biology class that does not affirm the dogma of evolution. They have their reward.
Challenges to Christian higher education also often come from Christians, and these are, for Christians, more weighty because they come clothed in the gospel. Many Christians sense that Christian scholarship is incompatible with the simplicity of the New Testament message and is a threat to the centrality of Christ and of faith. Why, it is asked, do we need philosophy if all wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ? Why study the canon of Western literature when we have a canon of our own? Why do we need an argument when we have a gospel, an academy when we have a church?
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Peter J. Leithart is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and the president of Trinity House Institute for Biblical, Liturgical & Cultural Studies in Birmingham, Alabama. His many books include Defending Constantine (InterVarsity), Between Babel and Beast (Cascade), and, most recently, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press). His weblog can be found at www.leithart.com. He is a contributing editor of Touchstone.
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