Equipping followers of Christ to engage in their everyday work as the work of God, so workplaces are invigorated, communities flourish and culture is renewed to the honor and glory of the Lord.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

They Set A New Course For History

After the reformational work of Luther and Calvin some 500 years ago in northern Europe, biblio-centric pioneers of education such as John Amos Comenius, John Alsted, William Ames and Alexander Richardson, developed new and radical ways of "doing school." In the process, they set a new course for history.

One of the lost treasures of their remarkable (and forgotten) approach to education is the Puritan Circle of Knowledge.

It had four stages, as follows:

#1: God initiates things through His original creation of everything out of nothing.


#2: Humans discover what God has made. This discovery is a big part of what education is about.  


#3: Humans imitate God by making “secondary creations,” based on their understanding of His initial creation.


#4: God is glorified through imitation of Him via vocations of all kinds.

So the shoemaker imitates God by making beautiful and functional “secondary creations” that serve the needs of people and reflect the original Creator via imitation, thus bringing glory back to God. The furniture maker imitates God by making beautiful and functional “secondary creations” that serve the needs of people and reflect the original Creator via imitation, bringing glory back to God. The banker, the lawyer and the businessman also glorify God by serving the financial needs of people, bringing justice to the world, and creating employment for the community via the imitation of God through vocation, and in so doing, communities flourish. 

I have no doubt this is why the Puritan pastor George Swinnock said, “The pious tradesman will know that his shop as well as his chapel is holy ground.” Done in the right way, with the right attitude, for the right reason, any “secondary creations” that imitate the original Creator, will glorify Him and bless people. It's true whether making shoes, running banks or rearing children. That’s what “vocation” was about for the Moravians, the Puritans and other followers of Christ just a few hundred years ago.

Reformational ideas like this one laid an economic foundation for a new nation. To recover such ideas would change the course of history once again. This is what Worldview Matters is up to, in cooperation with the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, and Bakke Graduate University. Pray for us.

For more on the Circle of Knowledge, see Dr. David Scott's, "A Vision of  Veritas: What Christian Scholarship Can Learn from the Puritans' 'Technology' of Integrating Truth." Click here.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Good information.

  2. Great, I will teach it next week at a conference for teachers. Belssing, Oscar, Peru

    1. Very good, Oscar. May the Lord bless you as you teach it. Onward and upward!