A Vicious Conception of the Whole Purpose of Education

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010:

An encore: J. Gresham Machen, this time writing in The Presbyterian, February 7, 1918, on the waning of Greek & Hebrew knowledge within the (protestant) ministry of his day (quoted from Dr. Rod Decker’s NT Resources Blog):


“The real trouble with the modern exaltation of practical studies at the expense of the humanities is that it is based upon a vicious conception of the whole purpose of education. The modern conception of the purpose of education is that education is merely intended to enable a man to live, but not to give him those things in life that make life worth living.”

It would be easy to say that nothing much has changed in the past 90 years, but I think this modernizing, flattening, utilitarian tendency in educational (mal)practice has actually been accelerating – and I don’t think that assertion would meet much serious contention. Modern education exists to equip a man to make a living, but not to make a life. And I don’t see any improvements on the horizon.

People often ask me what I’m "going to do with" my Theology degree, should I manage to complete it. Well, I’ll give thanks for the gift of time to pursue it… Will that suffice?