The Torrey Honors Institute hires Dr. Chris Mitchell

Today, the Torrey Honors Institute announced that they have hired Dr. Chris Mitchell. It’s an exciting development, for a few reasons. First, as Matt Anderson notes,  “It doesn’t seem very often in the world of Christian higher education that people who are well established at leading institutions leave for different confines, especially when their responsibilities involve directing the highest profile center for C.S. Lewis in America.” Second, a scholar who has spent as much time with C.S. Lewis as Dr. Mitchell has is bound to share the vision for a classical education that Torrey has always attempted to work out in the real world (and, by my estimation, has succeeded in doing). Third, it shows that the Torrey Honors Institute is not only growing, but seeking to continue to support her students by hiring world-class faculty. The program has grown over the years, and already has first-rate professors, but still continues to seek and hire the best of the best. Dr. Mitchell even began his interaction with the program at the request of current professors, which shows that through-and-through, Torrey is interested in educating students in the best material and with the best resources available.

Dr. Fred Sanders, of the Torrey Honors Institute, recently interviewed Dr. Mitchell. When asked about the relationship between the great books curriculum and theology (particularly the amount of Bible read during the year), Dr. Mitchell had this to say:

The matter of being able to skillfully relate our learning of the faith to our learning of the world and our experience of the faith with our experience of the world is central to the life of every believer. It is a truth that informs my own practice and is one of the chief aims of my teaching and mentoring. The fact that the Torrey Honors Institute gives the entire Bible a central place within its curriculum demonstrates a clear commitment to this truth. Moreover, the program’s chosen form of pedagogy lends itself well to effectively achieving this indispensable skill. To be yoked with other like-minded teachers in a program that aims at inculcating this art is, once again, highly attractive.

It’s a response demonstrative of just how well Dr. Mitchell will fit in with Torrey. I’m excited to welcome him into the fold, so to speak, and look forward to his work out here in Southern California.

On Talking: People Are Inefficient, But They Do Magic

Humans are not efficient. When they do become efficient, it is in a few shining moments preceded by monumental inefficiency. My undergraduate years were spent in the highly inefficient Torrey Honors Institute, where classes were three-hour conversations leading to personalized oral examinations for every student. I suppose that the success ratio of students who go in and graduates who come out is enviable, but it is a very expensive and gruelling program that only highly motivated and well supported people can finish — again, a testament to monumental inefficiency. Some “waste” was recovered through students supporting each other and through cohesion gained over time, and we sharpened each other’s ability to communicate. We often talked about talking so that more talking would result in better talking — ineffecient tickling of the levers of efficiency. Now, 99% of my Torrey friends and acquaintances are effectively gone from my life. Clearly, efficiency was not the goal. Continue reading On Talking: People Are Inefficient, But They Do Magic

Regarding the Evangelical Outpost, a Letter from the Editor

When Joe contacted myself and a number of my peers about assuming responsibility for the Evangelical Outpost, my first feeling was one of humility. Though I was sad to hear that he was going to be pulling back from Evangelical Outpost, I was humbled by the honor of being among the individuals whom he trusted to continue the legacy of this great site.
Like many of you, I first met Joe through Evangelical Outpost. I became acquainted with his blog as a result of my work with GodblogCon. When John Mark Reynolds and Matt Anderson were introducing me to the Godblogosphere, they pointed me to Joe Carter as an example of a quintessential Godblogger. I appreciated Joe’s humor and the caliber of thought that went into each post at Evangelical Outpost. When I met Joe at GodblogCon in October of 2006, I met a man who was every bit the humorous, insightful, and authentic person his blog entries suggested him to be.

Continue reading Regarding the Evangelical Outpost, a Letter from the Editor