Back to School: A Biblical Perspective
Reading, writing and ‘rithmatic have to do with thinking.
- Reading well does not mean moving the eyes quickly over letters on a page. It means grasping facts and ideas accurately, assessing their truth and beauty correctly, and making use of them to lead a good life.
- Arithmetic at the simplest levels means stocking the mind with tools for thought (the tables of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). At more advanced levels math is the exercise of logic for building things and living wisely: which is the better buy, three 8 ounce boxes at $1.00 each or two 12 ounce boxes at $1.40 each?
- Writing is what you learn so that you can preserve for yourself and communicate to others what you are thinking.
This business of education is God’s business. He gave us the minds that think. He created the world we think about. He wrote the book of nature. He made the rules of logic. He is the standard of true and false, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. To ignore him is to be profoundly uneducated. Meditate (and help the children meditate) on the following biblical truths.
We are commanded to love the Lord with our minds.
Matthew 22:37 – And [Jesus] said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Without God as the highest value of education all thinking becomes futile and dark and sordid.
Romans 1:20-21,28 – Although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened . . . Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.
We are commanded to be mature in our thinking.
1 Corinthians 14:20 – Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; be babes in evil, but in thinking be mature.
The failure to love truth will lead to destruction.
2 Thessalonians 2:10 – They refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Wise people seek to grow in knowledge.
Proverbs 15:14 – The mind of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
Proverbs 18:15 – An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Proverbs 22:17 – Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge. (cf. Proverbs 2:1-6; 23:12)
Thinking does not replace God, and God does not replace thinking.
2 Timothy 2:7 – Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.
Thinking with you for the glory of God,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org