Essay / Education

An Excerpt on Knowledge and Rhetoric From “Education for Human Flourishing”

To follow up Fred Sanders’ review of my book I have posted a short excerpt from Education for Human Flourishing published by IVP Academic. The passage below describes the difference between rhetoric and knowledge, and how important it is for us to be able to

Essay / Education

Education for Human Flourishing

There’s no easier job in the world than being a bad teacher. It’s a cinch, with short hours and plenty of long vacations. The pay’s not always great, but as long as your standards are low, and all you’re looking for is an easy job,

Essay / Education

The Church-Based University (Book Review)

Start with a secular social order, and the university system as it stands today, and then ask yourself, “How much would we have to trim our Christian convictions to fit a Christian university into that system?” Given that we absolutely must obey the liberal, democratic


Essay / Education

What’s a Nice Christian Girl Like You Doing Reading Homer?

Two sisters sit at home, talking. The younger sister does needlework and arranges flowers picked from the garden, as she passes the time until her boyfriend comes to visit. The older sister, on the other hand, is trying to make some kind of sense out

Essay / Education

Freshman Follies (How to Avoid Them)

As I look with resignation at my incomplete and overly optimistic list of “Things to Accomplish This Summer,” I am coming to grips with the summer being almost at the end, and that means I am about to become the mentor/advisor to a group of

Essay / Culture

"Despotic Tyranny Ruined my Life!"

There’s been a controversy this summer over university placement exams in the UK. Apparently the high school students taking the top-level history exam, having been assigned a topic to study and prepare for, were asked on the test day to write an essay analyzing a

Essay / Education

Famous Last Words (for Biola’s Class of 2009)

(delivered at the Senior Dinner for Biola’s graduating class, May 15, 2009) Thank you so much for how you have honored me by inviting me to this special dinner and electing me Professor of the Year. It means a lot to me that out of

Essay / Culture

Gifted or Determined?

People in general are not born with amazing intellectual or physical giftedness. I continually have to remind myself of this. Most individuals have to work very hard to attain the level of excellence that we admire. Our culture reinforces this belief about natural abilities with

Essay / Education

Paul Spears, Master Teacher

“Master Teacher” sounds like some kind of superhero, or ninja elder, or cult leader, or maybe the first line of a contemporary praise song. But today Paul Spears won his university’s “Provost Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching,” and if that acclamation from his peers

Essay / Culture

Playground Morality

Elementary school is a rather treacherous place to learn to navigate as a child. The first time I ever read Calvin and Hobbes, I discovered a kindred spirit. Calvin’s view of elementary school was akin to an intergalactic prison where the alien life forms torture

Essay / Art

The Space of a Sonnet

Nuns fret not at their Convent’s narrow room; And Hermits are contented with their Cells; And Students with their pensive Citadels: Maids at the Wheel, the Weaver at his Loom, Sit blithe and happy; Bees that soar for bloom, High as the highest Peak of