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"All things have been made by him and for him" (Colossians 1:16). 
"What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). 
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind" (Matthew 22:37).
"Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever" (Question 1, Westminster Shorter Catechism). 
Some would say that the Bible has authority only over the sacred things, such as faith (religion) and the practice of that faith. In stark contrast, God is not only sovereign over the sacred things, but also over the secular things (i.e., business, education, family life).

Sadly, some believers today - including whole churches - have been so enamored by the "successful" business world that they have replaced God's Word with "effective habits." While these "habits" may be well-principled, they do not capture the proper perspective of success, nor do they speak to man's true purpose for existing. The Bible, on the other hand, rightly and completely informs my practice in all areas of life, not just in matters regarding faith and practice, strictly speaking. It speaks to my parenting (Prov 22:6); it speaks to my marriage (Eph 5) and also my function in marriage (Gen 1-3; 1 Pet 3:7); it speaks to how I should approach earthly gain (Mat 16:26); it speaks to how I should educate my children (Psa 78); it speaks to even how I should eat my food, drink my water, and tie my shoes (1 Cor 10:31). The Word of God is the only source of Truth in this world (note the capital T - there are many sources of truth, lower case t).

Likewise, I fear that our educational goals in the Western world have missed the point in recent decades: the goal of formal and informal education is to worship God through the study of his world. The true goal of education is not to go to college, to get a good job, to make a good amount of money, and to live until death with a good pension. The Bible also informs matters of education.

Notice the exclusivity of the verses at the top of this article. God uses words like "all" and "whole" to convey his powerful meaning that all of life's strictest and chiefest goal is the glorification of God himself. I will use this as the foundation to build my argument upon, namely that the purpose and goal of education - learning through teaching, no matter what the setting - is to produce worship for God.

This means, therefore, that all subjects studied, all things observed in nature, all thoughts thought, all deeds done, all things everywhere are to produce in us a greater knowledge and a greater attitude of worship to the One who made everything! Education, in particular, that fails to produce this result is not education at all.

Pastor John Piper says this about education:
"If education does not lead to exultation in God, it fails. If seeing glory doesn't lead to savoring God, it fails. If thinking truth doesn't lead to feeling love, it fails. Education, knowledge, sight, thought – they are all for exultation in God. And if they don't produce it, they are not what they were created to be. 
And the reverse is true, too. Exultation that does not flow from education, affections that do not flow from knowing, savoring that does not flow from seeing, feeling that does not flow from thinking – are hollow and rootless – noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. And God is not glorified by artificial and empty passions. True delight is rooted in true doctrine. God-centered Exultation is rooted in God-centered Education" (John Piper, "Education for Exultation," Desiring God, May 19, 2002).
Education has one goal: to exult and to glorify and to worship the God who made its subject, content, students, teachers, etc.. Education done for any purpose less than this is a waste and a futile effort.

In the United States, the hellish idea of the American Dream has infiltrated all facets of our thinking. We, by and large, innately think that the goal of an education is to get into a "good" college, get a "good" job, have a "good" career, and enjoy a "good" retirement. But Jesus - our Creator and Lord - calls us to something much greater and much more rewarding: "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world - a good education, a good paying job, etc. - and yet loses his soul - burns forever in hell because he did not obey and worship God as he was made to do?"

The apostle Paul offers another perspective on earthly gain in Philippians 3 and 4: "But whatever gain I had [as an Israelite], I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.... I have learned in whatever situation I am in to be content." Contextually speaking, Paul is speaking of all that he has gained through circumcision and law-keeping is not his source of standing before God, but only Jesus Christ. Additionally, he says that he knows what it is like to have much and to have little, but that he is content in whatever circumstance. Would you be able to say the same? Have you been so changed by Christ that you want to see him glorified in all things, even in your education?

The bottom line is this: if 2+2=4 doesn't lead us to worship the One who made such mathematical fact, then we have failed to understand the Creator's purpose in creating such a mathematical fact. If studying Shakespeare is not rightly understood and evaluated through the perspective of God's Truth, then we have failed in bringing all things under submission to Christ, for whom "all things were created." If making scientific discoveries in a chemistry lab doesn't lead us to awe and wonder of God's creative power and might and glory, then we have failed to achieve the purpose of God's creating them in the first place.

Brothers and sisters, let us think critically about the world around us. Let us take every thought captive and make it obedient to the Word of Christ (2 Cor 10:5). I am not seeking to place legalistic bounds on our pursuit of knowledge by writing this; I am, however, conscientiously concerned with and deeply desirous of the glory of God in all things that he has created. May God help us to glorify him; may God increase us in the knowledge of his will, so that we can walk in a manner worthy of the One who created us (Col 1).


"We are to be diligent in teaching the things of God and to leading our children into an understanding of reality of the world around them from the perspective of God" (R.C. Sproul, "The Goal of Education," Ligonier Ministries).