By Stephen Leonard
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Proverbs 1:7
This is the season of sending children off to college, buying school supplies for elementary and secondary youth, and taking wee ones to school orientation for the first time. When I was a student, this was always after Labor Day; now, it is August!
We send them to get an education, either free and public (our tax money, rather) or having to pay beyond taxes, private. But the purpose is education, or so we think.
But how can you really think our children gain an education of the world in which we live, if the Maker of the world is left out of the equation? Maybe you think education is neutral. It is, irregardless, education, is it not, and neither of religion or of anti-religion. Education stands alone, uninfluenced, because facts are facts. Isn’t that so?
The purpose of true education is to enlighten the mind concerning the world and how it works. How do you truly do that when you eliminate the architect, designer, and maker? The creation is knowable because it is mathematical, scientific, artistic, historical, literary, musical; imminently worthy of study, because it is coherent and sensical. It is a world that reflects its Creator’s image; a Creator who is Himself mathematical, scientific, artistic, historical, literary, musical, and so much more. In fact, He is all in all. It all comes from His infinite mind!
The creation is neither random nor chaotic, as some teach erroneously; the world is obviously an entity that shows all the evidence of a designer. There is no randomness reflected in any of it!
Education may certainly provide you truths of what is, apart from Him who made it, but that education misses the purpose of it, the wisdom in it, the crowning glory of it all. And, in essence, you really do not know it, only a fraction of what this world really is.
C.S. Lewis wrote: “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” The word “values” essentially speaks of the One who creates values, the Creator of all, God Himself. And we know the end of the Devil from the Scriptures. Education that ends in destruction is really no education at all.
Education, wisdom, and knowledge begin with God and find their essence in the One who is responsible for our being and the world in which we find our being. Any true education begins with Him. Understanding that puts you well underway to finding what being educated is all about. Apart from Him, education fails to educate.
“We have not known Thee as we ought, nor learned Thy wisdom, grace, and power; the things of earth have filled our thought, and trifles of the passing hour. Lord, give us light Thy truth to see, and make us wise in knowing Thee.”
(1st verse of Thomas Pollock’s hymn, “We Have Not Known Thee As We Ought,” 1889)