Serendipity in the Stacks: A Case against Bookless Libraries

Several months ago Florida Polytechnic University opened a brand-new library. Its architecture, designed by Santiago Calatrava, is striking. Even more striking is what this library lacks: books. I’ll repeat that: you can’t check out any physical books at FPU’s library. You can, however, read from a screen. Staffers say that electronic workstations give students access [Read More...]

How to Survive Graduate School

As a new semester begins, it is a good time to reflect on the practices that students – particularly graduate students – need to survive and even thrive. Graduate programs are designed to make you part of a guild of professional experts, and require an enormous amount of reading and writing in order to prepare [Read More...]

So You’re Thinking of Homeschooling…

A friend and parent of preschoolers recently asked how my wife and I made the decision to homeschool our kids. As I have written previously, homeschooling is not for every family. There are any number of reasons parents might decide not to homeschool, including a simple lack of passion for doing it. But even for [Read More...]

Why Homeschool?

My wife and I are not exactly fire-breathing homeschool zealots. Homeschooling is not for everybody, and we have friends in Waco whose kids do just fine in public and private schools. But for us, and for many paleo evangelicals and their fellow travelers, the advantages of homeschooling are quite compelling. Recent reports have suggested that the [Read More...]

A Humble Proposal

At the beginning of each semester, I ask my students to call me David, not Dr. Swartz. Part of the reason I ask them to use my first name is because my religious tradition trained me that way. Raised a Mennonite and nurtured on the language of the “priesthood of all believers,” we never called [Read More...]

Campus Ministry, Race, and Affirmative Action

We here at IVCF have a spiritual legacy that over the years has sort of dipped a little bit. Fifteen years ago, our fellowship was made up of a majority of white students, and one of the areas that students and staff began to be convicted about was the lack of connection with the rest [Read More...]

Do Christian Kids Need Christian Education?

This week’s post comes from the Anxious Bench archives. It is part of the new Patheos series “Passing On The Faith: Teaching The Next Generation.” There’s nothing like having school-age children to get you thinking about education. Yes, I went to college for eleven straight years (from B.A. to Ph.D.), and yes, I have taught at [Read More...]

Benjamin Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Founding of the University of Pennsylvania

Many people are not aware of the vital friendship between Benjamin Franklin and George Whitefield. Franklin became Whitefield’s key publicist and printer in the colonies in the early 1740s, and their relationship lasted until Whitefield’s death in 1770. They also exchanged friendly letters on many topics. One of the most fascinating exchanges between them came [Read More...]

Calvinist Controversy at Louisiana College

The latest front in the Baptist battle over Calvinism and Arminianism has opened at Louisiana College, where the administration has decided not to renew the contracts of three faculty members - Jason Hiles, Kevin McFadden and Ryan Lister. The latter two have doctorates from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, while Hiles’s doctoral degree is from Southeastern Seminary. [Read More...]

Homeschooling: A Fundamental Human Right?

A remarkable political asylum case has raised questions about whether the U.S. government should defend the right of families to homeschool.  The case concerns the Romeike family of Germany, where homeschooling is illegal, and where families who attempt to homeschool their children can face heavy fines and even have their children taken from them. An [Read More...]


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