Essay / Education

The Spoils of Egypt…

John Mark Reynolds, 2004.

I have been thinking about Chrystostom’s Sermons on the Gospel of John and on Augustine’s “On Christian Teaching.” With much groaning, I have come to repudiate liberal arts education.Augustine famously described the “liberal arts education” as using the “spoils of Egypt” for God’s use. Secular wisdom would benefit the people of God. This justification for liberal arts education was a staple of my Christian college experience. Had anyone ever read Augustine? I begin to doubt it, when I see that Augustine repudiated this argument. He saw it as more likely that the spoils of Egypt would be turned into idols. Better to move on to the pure gold of the Promised Land.I have come to agree with this. All truth is God’s truth, but God’s truth (most clearly expressed in the Bible) must be the starting point for our education. I hope Torrey is, and always remains, a Bible school. I do not want to teach Plato for the sake of Plato, but either to understand God’s word better or to repudiate false ideas. Everything must come back to the Bible.

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