What would it look like if higher education were grounded in the worship, love, and study of God?
Some weeks ago I woke up to Twitter going crazy. I opened the video that was getting so much attention, and there was my friend and former colleague, now president of Evergreen State College in Washington State, facing an assault by a wildly angry group of students. You could hear some of the exchange: “F*** you, George. You talk so f***ing much. Just shut up, George.” These comments were directed at the president of the university! It made my heart sick, and not only for my friend. Here was yet another signal that something is deeply broken on our campuses.
The university is one of the great institutions in the history of Western civilization. And yet it feels like something is slipping away. Watching this video and witnessing so many other scenes like it, I feel the aching need for our nation to regroup on where our universities are headed. We need to get back to a bedrock question: What exactly is the university for? These scenes cry out for a wholly revised vision for higher education in our day.
The moment is ripe, then, for a book like Restoring the Soul of the University: Unifying Christian Higher Education in A Fragmented Age. The authors are three professors, Perry L. Glanzer, Nathan F. Alleman, and Todd C. Ream (the first two from Baylor University, the third from Taylor University). As I pondered this stimulating book, I began to glimpse the outlines of a renewed vision for the future of the broken university. This book is sweeping in concept, grounded in historical research, utterly relevant to contemporary concerns. The focus is ultimately on the Christian university. And the animating question can be put like this: What if the unifying center of the university, its soul, were reclaimed by a winsome …
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