Liberal Arts and Biblical Education

Liberal Arts and Biblical Education

Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, a Roman official. This historical fact emphasizes the pagan Greco-Roman world Christ redeemed. As Abraham was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, we have been called out of a philosophical and political paganism. The Roman Empire attempted to bring peace on earth. Just as the Roman soldiers unwittingly crowned Christ as King prior to his crucifixion, the Greeks and Romans prepared the world for the transmission of the Gospel.

This is not to say that the Christian story is the story of Western Civilization. The Christian story weaves in and through Western Civilization like the Hebrew story wove through ancient Mesopotamia. Just as we must know all that we can of the Mesopotamians to know fully the people of God in the age of the Patriarchs, so too we study the greater cultural context in which Christ the Word was given and then flowered to understand the fullness of God’s revelation in Christ. Hence, New College Franklin stands in the stream of Western Civilization to better understand the people of God in the modern age.

Christian education is uniquely equipped to illuminate and recover what C.S. Lewis called “the discarded image,” and defined as “the medieval synthesis itself, the whole organization of their theology, science, and history into a single, complex, harmonious mental Model of the Universe.” The principles of unity, complexity and harmony are inherent in the liberal arts and in Scripture.

“Many clever men like you have trusted to civilization. Many clever Babylonians, many clever Egyptians, many clever men at the end of Rome. Can you tell me, in a world that is flagrant with the failures of civilization, what there is particularly immortal about yours?” -GK Chesterton