The New York Times recently printed an article which discusses the merits of liberal education. The points offered in favor a liberal education attempted to show that that it produced individuals capable of competing in the current economy and that it “enhanced student learning.” The former point points towards education’s instrumental value while the latter point seems to suggest intrinsic value.
Its likely that education is both instrumentally and intrinsically valuable, but how should it be valued by a Lover of the Divine? I have come to see my education as a glimpse into the Divine. For example, mathematics, for Lovers, can be a study of the incredible complexity and beauty of the world we find ourselves placed in and of the incredible (in the epistemically offensive sense of the word) nature of the One who invented it all.
If academic study is an avenue to the divine, however, how should I view those who eschew embarking on epistemological endeavors? At first glance, there is something quite odd about placing heavy emphasis on study when the majority of the first followers of Jesus were likely illiterate.
If, however, I understand the dictate of the Deuteronomist (and that could be a big “if”) correctly, then it seems like not being willing to challenge oneself intellectually is a failure to “love God” with the “mind.”
It seems, then, that I ought to encourage others (and discipline myself) to take that prescription more seriously. I know how to do that.