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The Idea of a Christian College

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  16 reviews
This revised edition of a classic text provides a concise case for the role of the Christian college and its distinctive mission and contribution. Holmes has extensively revised several chapters and included two new chapters: Liberal Arts as Career Preparation and The Marks of an Educated Person.
Paperback, 106 pages
Published March 1st 1987 by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (first published January 1st 1975)
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Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
If you are looking for a book that infuses the idea of what Christian thought/living and scholarship should look like, look no further. This defining piece of work will stretch, challenge, and change the way the Christian scholar had previously gone about their business. At only 104 pages, it is a slim book. However, that is not to say that it is light. This is a heavy read that requires reflection, introspection, and foresight for one's own scholarly journey.

Some of the main themes explored ar
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a very helpful book in thinking through Christian education and its purpose. The chapter on academic freedom was worth the price of the book itself.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Idea of a Christian College by Arthur Holmes is considered a must read in the classical Christian education world. So it was only a matter of time before I got around to reading it. This was given to me, along with a stack of other books on the subject by a family in the town I live in, who at one time were considering planting their own Classical Christian school.

The book lays out a very logical and sequential argument for the Christian College that builds chapter by chapter. In certain
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was enlightening to read this and see so much of my own college education down on the page. That was encouraging, as I really think that Holmes has narrowed in on a philosophy of Christian education in this work that is edifying and beneficial and absolutely right in its foundations and where it sees those foundations as leading. This is overall an encouraging, challenging, and useful look at what it is to be involved in Christian education from both student and faculty perspectives. Implemen ...more
Stephen Case
Feb 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’m still not convinced there is such a thing as “Christian scholarship.” A weak version of the definition of such a thing might be that it is simply the recognition that all scholars carry presuppositions and assumptions into their work. The Christian’s will be Christian and should have the same bearing as a materialist’s, as long as such presuppositions are acknowledged. A stronger version of the definition of Christian scholarship would be that because all truth is God’s truth, all real schol ...more
Jonathan Bozarth
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An unbelievable defense of the importance of Christian Liberal Arts Education. The book lays out the perfect theory of what education is meant to be. The philosophy behind the arguments is mind-blowing. Reading this book will greatly enrich any reader.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Westminster Academy
Shelves: education, 1970s
Most of the chapters are great. The first four are home runs. You can read the final, six-page chapter by itself for a concentrated shot of Holmes' exciting vision of a good education. ...more
Timothy Darling
This is a book from a clearly conservative perspective. The author sees college in its primary educational role and does not much address the social or personal maturation role of college. This is ok, because it seems to me that most of what a college should do is developt the education and not the social or emotional person, though these cannot be neglected. The author knows he is writing for a limited audience, but he does not kowtow to the prejudices of that readership. He, for example, stron ...more
Jon Cheek
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting read. Holmes makes some helpful points. I wish I had read this before I had begun my liberal arts education.

“The educated Christian should approach life as a reformer, not just standing around wringing her hands in dismay, nor marching out in disgust to set up a separate Christian enclave, but working within the structure of things to change it for the better. She has learned that justice and compassion, the makings of social righteousness, belong in the work place where she stands
Chuck Bonadies
Jul 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A classic book on how Christian education ought to be. Holmes does a great job balancing philosophy with application. This book is a must read for both students who attend a Christian College and the professors who teach them.

Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
A really helpful book for understanding the purpose of the Christian liberal arts education.

Not a super-enjoyable read, though. A little dry. I took issue with a few of his claims, which came across as too absolute or elitist... Or maybe just western-centric.
Claire Slavovsky
I'm teaching Christain Mind this fall :) ...more
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great argument for what a Christian college should be--why it exists, why it is necessary, how it should relate to things like academic freedom.
Stephanie Bransom
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I had to read this my Freshman year at UMHB. I didn't necessarily agree with everything in it, and it seemed to slant history toward backing its arguments. That's all I remember about it, though. ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb, well-argued case for a Christian liberal arts education. Recommended.
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Arthur Frank Holmes (March 15, 1924 – October 8, 2011) was Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College, Illinois (1951–1994). Before his retirement in 1994, he had served for several decades as Chairman of Wheaton's Department of Philosophy. Thereafter, he held the title of Professor Emeritus. After his retirement, he returned and taught half of the yearlong history of philosophy sequence, particul ...more

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“Language itself is so value-laden as to render value-neutrality almost impossible. Growing up in England I was introduced to the American Revolution by a 'footnote' to colonial history about the 'revolt' of the American colonies. Word choice and the organization of material gave the game away.” 4 likes
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