Liberal Arts for the Christian Life

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Comprehensive in scope, this substantial volume was compiled in honor of Leland Ryken and champions the importance of an approach to faith and learning grounded in the Christian liberal arts.

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Liberal Arts for the Christian Life

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Comprehensive in scope, this substantial volume was compiled in honor of Leland Ryken and champions the importance of an approach to faith and learning grounded in the Christian liberal arts.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

“A fitting tribute both to Leland Ryken as a superb teacher, and to the importance of the liberal arts in the life of the Christian mind and soul. Few will fail to benefit from its expanded and enriched vision of the life of faith.”
Alister McGrath, Professor of Theology, Ministry and Education, King's College, London

“This fine volume honors a marvelously gifted evangelical scholar-teacher. But it is itself a significant contribution to the cause that Leland Ryken has served so well, offering much wisdom on what it takes to sustain and nurture a life of the mind that will promote the goals of Christ’s kingdom.”
Richard J. Mouw, President, Professor of Christian Philosophy, Fuller Theological Seminary

Liberal Arts for the Christian Life, written as a collection of reflections on the liberal arts by colleagues of Leland Ryken, certainly captures clearly the range, the richness, and the complexity of the connections between a liberal arts education and the Christian life. Even more compelling is the way the book represents the incarnational nature of a liberal arts education—a single professor embodying a vision of learning that entices thousands of students over several generations to follow in his footsteps, not by becoming more like him but by becoming more fully the unique individuals that God created them to be. This book is a ‘must read’ for Christian liberal arts educators and their students!”
Shirley A. Mullen, President, Houghton College

“Clement of Alexandria, one of the earliest proponents of Christian liberal arts education, observed that excellence in such educational attainment was widely regarded in the second century as evidence that a person was a Christian. The authors of this volume likewise affirm that liberal learning centered in Christ ought to be the trademark of Christians in any walk of life today. In a fitting tribute to the life work of Leland Ryken, they have created a lively and accessible introduction to the advantages of such an education for a young Christian who wishes to grow in maturity and wisdom.”
David Lyle Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities, Baylor University

“All who love the life of the mind, who care about the education of our youth, or who are devoted to the intellectual and spiritual vibrancy of our churches will relish this diverse collection of essays by premier Christian scholars and academic leaders. Liberal Arts for the Christian Life is both a fitting tribute to an extraordinary Christian college professor and a most welcome collection of thoughtful excursions into the enduring purposes of the liberal arts in the Christian college curriculum.”
Darryl Tippens, Provost, Pepperdine University

“This volume provides a rich collection of wisdom concerning Christian liberal arts education. Students will find in it valuable guidelines for reflecting on how to get the most out of their education. It is an apt tribute to a scholar who has dedicated his career to imparting such wisdom, and this book should be provided to help carry on such work into the future.”
George M. Marsden, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History Emeritus, University of Notre Dame; author, The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship

“The beneficial impact of Leland Ryken’s contributions to God’s kingdom extends far beyond the campus of Wheaton College. The scholarly work of faculty from across Christian higher education has been influenced in professional development workshops led by Dr. Ryken including ‘The Bible as Literature,’ ‘The Bible in Literature,’ and other topics related to his own research and writing. With dignity, warmth, and great dedication, Dr. Ryken has invested himself in the intellectual and spiritual development of others. This festschrift represents a collective and heartfelt ‘thank you’ from the authors and on behalf of so many others!“
Karen A. Longman, Professor and Program Director, Department of Doctoral Higher Education, Azuza Pacific University

“This celebration of the liberal arts through the eyes of Christian faith pays a fitting tribute to Dr. Leland Ryken’s many contributions to this great conversation. May students and future colleagues reap the blessings of the seeds sown in this text for many more generations.”
Michael Le Roy, President-elect, Calvin College

“Higher education is undergoing an awakening, and in Liberal Arts for the Christian Life we have a clarion call to the liberal arts through dedicated Christian learning. Leland Ryken—a teacher of English and a scholar of Milton—has spent his life asking students to think about the purpose of education, careers, and lives; in this volume he is celebrated by his colleagues who, in turn, are asking these questions of their own students. Whether Christian or not, educators will want to read this book, asking students to read in it, too—that is, if they want them to consider what the liberal arts are for.”
J. Scott Lee, Executive Director, Association for Core Texts and Courses, Liberal Arts Institute at Saint Mary's College of California

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433523946
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • Publication date: 4/20/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 812,835
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

JEFFRY C. DAVIS (PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago) is associate professor of English at Wheaton College. He is also the director of Wheaton’s Writing Center and Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Philip Graham Ryken (PhD, University of Oxford) is the 8th president of Wheaton College and, prior to that, served as senior minister at Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church. He has written or edited over 30 books, including the popular title Loving the Way Jesus Loves, and has lectured and taught at universities and seminaries worldwide. Dr. Ryken and his wife, Lisa, live in Wheaton and have five children.

Leland Ryken (PhD, University of Oregon) served as professor of English at Wheaton College for over 43 years. He has authored or edited over three dozen books, including The Word of God in English and The Complete Literary Guide to the Bible. He is a frequent speaker at the Evangelical Theological Society and served as literary stylist for the English Standard Version Bible.

Duane Litfin (DPhil, Oxford University; PhD, Purdue University) is president emeritus of Wheaton College where he served for seventeen years. He is the author of several books and his writings have appeared in numerous journals and periodicals.

Wayne Martindale is Professor of English at Wheaton College, Ill., where he regularly teaches classes on C. S. Lewis. He has edited and contributed to books on Lewis and is co-editor of The Quotable Lewis.

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Table of Contents

Preface 11

The Student's Calling, Leland Ryken 15

Introduction 23

Section 1 Terminology and Background

1 The Countercultural Quest of Christian Liberal Arts Jeffiy C. Davis 31

2 Liberal Education and Book Learning Lisa Richmond 45

3 Evangelicals, Colleges, and American Nation Building Edith Blumhofer 53

Section 2 Theological Convictions

4 Liberal Arts Education and the Doctrine of Humanity Roger Lundin 71

5 Faithful Christian Learning Jeffrey P. Greenman 81

6 Liberal Arts as a Redemptive Enterprise Wayne Martindale 91

7 Loving God as the Key to a Christian Liberal Arts Education Duane Litfin 101

Section 3 Habits and Virtues

8 The Lost Tools of Learning and the Habits of a Scholarly Mind Marjorie Lamp Mead 113

9 How to Read a Book Alan Jacobs 123

10 Writing for Life Shawn Coolidge 133

11 Listening, Speaking, and the Art of Living Kenneth R. Chase 143

12 Educating for Intellectual Character Jay Wood 155

13 Beyond Building a Resume Stephen B. Ivester 167

Section 4 Divisional Areas of Study

14 A World of Discovery through the Natural Sciences Dorothy F. Chappell 179

15 Exploring a Universe of Relationships through the Social Sciences Henry Allen 191

16 The Humanities as Indulgence or Necessity? Jill Peláez Baumgaertner 199

17 Singing God's Praise Michael Wilder 209

18 Learning to Perceive through Visual Art E. John Walford 221

19 Theater as an Imperfect Mirror Mark Lewis 231

Section 5 The End of Christian Liberal Arts

20 Social Media and the Loss of Embodied Communication Read Mercer Schuchardt 241

21 Learning to Live Redemptively in Your Own Body Peter Walters 253

22 Personal Formation and the Understanding Heart James Wilhoit 265

23 Learning for a Lifetime John H. Augustine 275

24 The Gospel, Liberal Arts, and Global Engagement Tamara Townsend 285

25 Liberal Arts in the New Jerusalem Philip G. Ryken 293

Contributors 303

Cover Art Credits 307

General Index 309

Scripture Index 315

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Customer Reviews

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