April 5, 2017 | Harding Read |
American author, speaker and radio host Eric Metaxas interviewed President Bruce McLarty on his two-hour, daily radio program, “The Eric Metaxas Show,” in New York City on Friday, March 17.
Harding was first introduced to Metaxas in person when he visited campus a guest lecturer for the American Studies Institute Distinguished Lecture Series in January. He presented on his book Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery, which was read by many faculty, staff and students as part of the first campus read program, called Harding Read, which began fall 2016.
During his radio broadcast, Metaxas shared that he did not know about Harding until the University contacted him to come and speak. He described his time at the University as extraordinary, and he wanted to share his experience with his audience.
“I really wanted to say to my audience that I was astounded to see what’s going on at Harding,” Metaxas said. “I was so impressed on every level that you are solidly Christian.”
During the segment, the two discussed Harding Read, McLarty’s decision to choose Metaxas’ book for the program, and the impact it had on campus. McLarty said that, after reading Metaxas’ book, he thought everyone needed know the story of William Wilberforce.
“I would say one of the great strengths of students today is they want to make the world a better place,” McLarty said. “And so they have a great heart for this, and for them to see someone who did change the world like they want to change the world and who did it from his faith is an important thing.”
Metaxas and McLarty also discussed Christian higher education and how universities founded upon Christian missions can hold onto those principles and beliefs that define them.
“I know that, in this day in age, even Christian colleges that think of themselves as Christian colleges are slipping,” Metaxas said. “How does a college like Harding stay where it has stayed for 93 years? That’s one of the things that impressed me. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show.”
“It is a great question, and it is a tribute to the people who have gone before me that the school has held onto its mission,” McLarty replied. “I devoted a significant portion of my literature review for my dissertation to why and how schools move away from their faith. I developed this curriculum, ‘Embracing the Mission,’ to spend some time with the faculty telling them the story, describing the landscape, and getting their buy in on engaging and embracing the historic mission of the University.”
McLarty ended his time on “The Eric Metaxas Show” by extending another invitation to Metaxas to return to campus once more this spring.
“That is one of the joys for me is getting to speak in different places,” Metaxas said. “But speaking at a college like that, it’s a particular joy. So, I hope we can work something out.”
The full interview can be heard today at 2 p.m. CST on www.metaxastalks.com or on the following Salem Radio Network stations: Little Rock, Arkansas — 96.5 FM; Atlanta — AM 920; Dallas/Ft. Worth — AM 660; St. Louis — AM 1260; Orlando, Florida — 105.5 FM and AM 660; Louisville, Kentucky — AM 970.