The Green family spent a wonderful four months in Cambridge in 2010, on study leave. One of the things I discovered was the "Unbelievable" radio program, hosted by Justin Brierley. This program generally follows a debate format, often between a Christian and a non-Christian. Brierley is a good host/interviewer, and usually has intriguiging and thoughtful guests. If you spend time in your car, or if your work schedule/rhythm of your life allows it, these are great programs to listen to. Since it is impossible to read all one might want to read, this program can be a great way to stay abreast of various issues. The web site is: http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable. Highly recommended.
Here is an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. This guy is on to something. The possibility of true education in the contemporary college or university is extremely difficult, for lots of reasons. Looking to the medieval era is good counsel. The impetus to start Augustine School (www.augustineschool.com) is due to certain sympathies with this author's perspective. Here is the article: http://chronicle.com/article/Getting-Medieval-on-Higher/126008/
These are perhaps some of the saddest words ever penned, at least on my view. Here Charles Darwin, in his autobiography, recounts his trajectory from (1) loving literature, poetry, music, beauty, to (2) having no interest in such things, and being simply a "machine" that "grinds facts." I was originally led to this quote when reading John Piper's Desiring God, I believe.
Charles Darwin on his own development:
Up to the age of 30 or beyond it, poetry of many kinds . . . gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare. . . .
Formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delight.
But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me.
I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music. . . .
I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. . . .
My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. . . .
The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
I am thankful for the work of Touchstone magazine, and its editor, James Kushiner. Here is a link to a story in the UK, where some folks are complaining that the language used at baptismal ceremonies, is . . . well . . . too Christian. George Orwell wrote that he who controls the language controls the argument. This is only too true.