Wisdom and Eloquence — Classical Learning for Christians

The Christian Church has always understood learning to be a central priority of faithful discipleship, and Christianity can claim deep reservoirs of learning, scholarship, and education.  Furthermore, the rise of the university and the spread of educational opportunity were driven by Christians and by churches who saw a commitment to learning as necessary to Christian growth, evangelism, and the inculcation of Christian truth in every new generation.

At the same time, modern education has become a seething cauldron of competing fads and ideologies.  Over against this confusion and mediocrity, many Christians have rediscovered the benefit of classical learning — learning that is explicitly grounded in the classical liberal arts in order to train students to think and to apply biblical truth to learning and to life.

Authors Robert Littlejohn and Charles T. Evans offer good counsel in Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning [Crossway].  Littlejohn and Evans have served as heads of school and address these issues from experience.  Parents will be especially interested in their description of a classical education and its benefits.  These authors are not afraid to argue for classical modes of learning, such as memorization.  Wisdom and Eloquence will help parents, professional educators, and anyone involved in education to discern the difference between educational fads and an education that matters.

From the book:

If there is a secret to the success of teaching and learning in the liberal arts tradition, it could be stated as: “Read, read, read, and read some more!”  Nothing in human experience has a more powerful effect on our cognitive, cultural, social, spiritual, and epistemological development than diving headlong into the ocean of ideas contained in the world of literature.  Herein the student gains exposure to the rich genres of lyric, poetry, and epic, of parable, fable, and myth, of monologue, dialogue, and theatrical play, of homily, epistle, and edict, of history and fiction, and of current event and fantasy (which are sometimes hard to distinguish).  Herein is fruit for the picking, ingredients for the delightful exercise of grammatical, dialectical, and rhetorical skills.