Last week we saw that the Bible is the most important textbook that must be the foundation of all education. This week I want to share with you what I believe to be the second most important textbook in education. These two textbooks together bring God-intended meaning into education and both need to be read and studied each and every day when our children and youth are being educated, whether at home, church or school.
I believe these two textbooks are the key to all education because they have the same author, exist for the same purpose and are truthful. The first book is God’s Word, the Bible, and the second book is God’s Creation. Creation was authored by God and it exists so that all mankind can know Him and give Him glory. God’s Word has a lot to say about God’s book of Creation.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10
When you look at Romans 1:20, we learn that God spoke creation into existence as an expression of who He is and the end of all creation is that God would receive all the glory. Education’s purpose is to study God’s creation, come to know Him and give Him glory. In fact, an educated person has no excuse of not knowing who God is and what His nature is like. I have tried to reflect all of this in a definition of education that goes like this.
Education is the study of God and His creation through which He reveals His nature to man so that man will know Him and give Him glory.
When I share this definition with Christians they push back and say that this works for science and Bible class but what about the “academics”? One mistake that Christians make is that they limit creation to just the physical world. But we forget that there is no subject that can be studied at any level of education that doesn’t exist because of God’s creation. One leading pastor and author recently said,
Every advancement in science, human learning and work of art is also God opening His book of creation and revealing His truth to us.
The late Dr. Albert Greene wrote the following.
We must avoid the impression that academics represents the fullness of what school is all about. Knowing God in and through the creation is what is important. It brings no honor to the Holy Spirit if we then proceed to treat the ordinary school studies, which are derived totally from the created world, as if they had nothing to do with God. They are laden with meaning because they are all part of God’s way of giving Himself to us, of making Himself known to us.
Finally, note the words of John Piper as he addresses the importance of God’s two books when it comes to education.
If all the universe and everything in it exists by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make His manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God’s glory is not scholarship [education] but insurrection…to see reality in truth we must see it in relation to God, who created it, and sustains it, and gives it all the properties it has and all its relations and designs.
Secular education bans these two textbooks in its teaching because it denies their author. However, we must make sure that Christian parents, pastors and educators make these two textbooks the foundation of everything we teach at home, church and school. I also believe other textbooks we use in shaping the hearts and minds of our children should be influenced and infused with the truths found in God’s textbooks, the Bible and Creation. When this is a reality in the home, church and school, there is no excuse for everyone not to get an A in God’s grade book. What are your thoughts?