Recently, I re-listened to a lecture given by John Piper about the importance of a liberal arts education. Not only was I informed, but I was inspired.
I was inspired, because Piper explained as well as anyone, I have heard what phrase “liberal arts” means. He writes,
In this context, liberal means freeing or instilling freedom. Not liberal as opposed to conservative, but liberal as opposed to constricted, bound, unable to act in freedom and generosity. The best liberal arts education is a Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated critical immersion in history, and literature and philosophy and natural and social sciences, all with a view to forming life-long habits of mind and heart that make a free people possible.
That is what I want for my children—freedom. I don’t want them enslaved to godless and god-forgetfulness ideologies. I do not want them enslaved to marketers’ strategies. I do not want them to be trapped in a job they hate, because their training did not equip them to be versatile.
Beyond that, Piper argued that a great liberal arts education will give students 6 necessary capacities to live a flourishing life. If we do our jobs, they will be able to:
- Observe reality accurately for yourself,
- Understand the complexities of a situation,
- Evaluate on solid grounds what is good and evil,
- Respond to life with mature, appropriate feelings,
- Apply knowledge wisely and helpfully,
- and to compellingly Express in speech and writing and action to what you know and love.
I could not say it any better myself, so, I won’t try. Instead, I will simply say, Amen. Let it be at CLA!