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Why is the Wade Center significant to the world of today?


We live in a world full of words. In a sense, everyone is a public intellectual now, with social media and the blogosphere making it so easy to publish one's opinions for all to see. The really thoughtful use of words, however, the craft of writing, is harder to find. The Wade authors model the right use of words - to explore, to provoke, to celebrate, to reverence.

Laura K. Simmons
Professor of Christian Ministries
George Fox Evangelical Seminary

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G.K. Chesterton once wrote, "The object of telling the truth is that you may be believed afterwards. The object of telling a lie is that you may be believed now." The Wade Center has devoted itself to seven tellers of the truth who continue to be believed long after they have told it. Truth is timeless and their words no doubt will outlive us as well. I am grateful for the work the Wade Center has done to assist students and scholars in exploring the depth and wonder of these great writers. Especially Chesterton, of course! Chesterton changed my life. I know he has changed others.

Dale Ahlquist
American Chesterton Society

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As the world marches away from the centuries and contexts in which these authors originally wrote, it is crucial to have a lamppost to illuminate our way back as well as our way forward to help inquirers understand these authors’ times, and, therefore, our own. The Wade Center epitomizes that commitment and dedication and, as long as it stands, it will bequeath knowledge of the past, engage the present, and pre-sage events of the future that prepare all of us to prosper spiritually.

Dr. Bruce L. Edwards
Professor Emeritus, English and Africana Studies
Bowling Green State University

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The Wade authors lived on the brink of the postmodern world and foresaw many things we are living with today. They have relevant advice to give in these areas, and provide explanations that resonate at the core of what it means to be human. All seven authors also weave their faith and intellect flawlessly into their creative output, serving as wise guides for those who value both facets of daily experience. The Wade’s resources and public programming are geared to make the works of these authors accessible; allowing their words to continually inspire those who need to hear them.

Laura Schmidt
Wade Center Archivist

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By virtue of being the world's best and most complete collection of material related to the Wade authors, the Wade Center is the central place in the whole world for scholars of the Wade authors to gather their information. Especially for scholars who need access to primary documents related to the Wade authors, all roads lead to Wheaton.

Secondly, because of the dominance of the holdings on the Wade authors, ordinary devotees of the Wade authors naturally want to visit the museum and reading room to pay homage to some of their favorite authors and to feel that they have been put in touch with them. Perhaps we can think of this as the inspirational function of the Wade Center.

Leland Ryken
Emeritus Professor of English
Wheaton College

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I think the Wade Center has been very beneficial, not just to Wheaton College, but to the whole of North American evangelical Protestantism. The Wade became a living demonstration of the virtues of “mere Christian” orthodoxy; its authors provided the best imaginable examples of sanctified literary imagination; and the intellectual integrity demonstrated by both the seven authors and the Wade defined exemplary standards for Christian learning for all disciplines.

Mark Noll
Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History
University of Notre Dame

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The Wade Centre preserves a crucial part of the Christian and Western literary and historical heritage, one whose significance only seems to grow with time. It thereby facilitates important scholarship on these authors and their milieu, allowing their work to be renewed in each generation and remain a part of Western intellectual and religious life. Secondly, the Wade Centre's very structure is a reminder that these authors were part of a community of discourse. Their individual achievements can thus be contextualized fruitfully and a broader perspective on their work can be gained by sensitivity to their personal and intellectual relationships.

Adam Schwartz
Professor of History
Christendom College

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As our culture seems to continue to move away from traditional Christian values, it is vital that we have thoughtful and articulate champions of the faith who can speak credibly, deeply, and effectively as Christian apologists. The works of the authors continue to stand in the breach.

Tony Dawson '91 (MA)
Director of Auxiliary Services
Wheaton College

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The Wade Center is significant in the twenty-first century because of the imaginativeness of the seven authors. The world today needs to nurture healthy imaginations in its children and adults as an antidote to the pervasiveness of materialism and scientism, and these authors are a great place to start.

Peter Schakel
Peter C. and Emajean Cook Professor of English
Hope College

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The seven writers whose writings are collected at the Wade Center say something prophetic and profound, something that the contemporary world needs to hear. The way they integrate traditional and modern thought, reason and imagination, intellect and intuition offers desperately needed healing to the fragmented soul of contemporary culture. As the Wade Center plays a key role in spreading the legacy of the seven writers, it contributes in a significant way to bringing about that healing.

Pavel Hosek
Chair of Religious Studies, Protestant Theological Faculty
Charles University
Prague, Czech Republic