I would have loved The Liberal Arts: A Student’s Guide regardless of who wrote it, but I love it all the more since our President-Elect for North Greenville University, Gene Fant, authored it.  The book is the intro piece in a series that is critical for the Church and Christian institutions going forward.  Dr. Fant did an incredible job reclaiming the Christian intellectual tradition.  For any student, faculty, or supporter of Christian higher education, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you!

Favorite Quotes

  1. The primary purpose of education is the glorification of God (19).
  2. Liberal learning in a Christian context is not, then, learning for the sake of learning but for the sake of glorifying God and the equipping of his people for good works (21).
  3. The Christian intellectual tradition is not mere hero worship or hagiography but is, rightly understood, a matter of Christian witness that points toward God, not men (38).
  4. Traditional liberal learning, then, always connects the individual with a larger purpose beyond the self (45).
  5. Christianity’s ultimate irony, then, is that we are set free from one master (sin) in order to enjoy the benefits of our rightful master (Christ, who brings us true freedom) (48).
  6. Wisdom is the mark of a scholar was has learned from things and not merely about them (52).
  7. Because the gospel is an intellectual statement just as much as it is a spiritual principle, we should not be surprised to find that academic pursuits are particularly fulsome in the light of Christ (89).
  8. The problem comes, however, when the test does not assess the content of the course; rather, the course merely prepares students for the examination (95).
  9. The path to the fiery furnace and the lions’ den began in the schoolroom.  The faithfulness of the men led not only to these times of further testing but also to the opportunities to lead the empire itself (106).

Book Overview

An excellent liberal arts education holds purpose-giving and society-shaping power. But how do we tap into that power and make the most of liberal learning for the glory of God?

Professor Gene Fant teaches how to maximize a liberal arts education by outlining its history, criticisms, purposes, and benefits. Ultimately, he shows that liberal learning equips us to become spiritually and intellectually empathetic people who are passionate about serving God, the church, and the world.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.