The End of the Teleological Argument
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The End of the Teleological Argument

The teleological argument for the existence of God states that there is design in nature, therefore, there must be a Designer. We often see only half the abundance the argument yields. The word telos (τέλος), from which teleological is derived, implies that there is a goal. Thus the teleological argument implies not only a Designer but also that the Designer had a goal for the creation.

So, what is the end, or τέλος, for which God made the world? The beauty of each time and place, the glory of every grand thought, the purpose of every divine action has been for the glory of God. “For by him, all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16). Jonathan Edwards wrote:

All things else, with regard to worthiness, importance, and excellence, are perfectly as nothing in comparison of him. And therefore if God esteems, values, and has respect to things according to their nature and proportions, he must necessarily have the greatest respect to himself. It would be against the perfection of his nature, his wisdom, holiness, and perfect rectitude, whereby he is disposed to do everything that is fit to be done, to suppose otherwise.[1]

Everything, every person, every moment has been created for God's glory in Christ.

We have not been created because God needed anything from us (Acts 17:24-25). Our Triune God is perfectly blessed in the enjoyment of the Triune community without us. We have been made so that the spiritual bride may be presented by the Father to the Son for his enjoyment and so that the Father may joy in the Son’s enjoyment of his bride—the church. What a foolish creature I would be to spurn his invitation, to reject my Savior, to rebel against the One through whom all things consist. How blessed to enjoy the Savior. How much a greater blessing to be enjoyed by the Savior.

When the end of all things arrives, then the saved will welcome eternal blessedness with God.

The church shall be brought to the full enjoyment of her bridegroom, having all tears wiped away from her eyes; and there shall be no more distance or absence. She shall then be brought to the entertainments of an eternal wedding feast, and to dwell eternally with her bridegroom; yea to dwell eternally in his embraces. Then Christ will give her his love, and she shall drink her fill, yea she shall swim in the ocean of his love.[2]

Only then will the creation reach its grand telos. Finally, the redeemed, glorified by Christ for his own glory, will rejoice together with Christ.

God is the highest good. The greatest value. Just as it would be idolatrous for us to place anything above God, it would be idolatry for God to place anything above himself. Therefore, we exist for God. We exist to be enjoyed by Jesus and to enjoy Jesus. “It seems to be a thing in itself fit and desirable, that the glorious perfections of God should be known, and the operations and expressions of them seen by other beings besides himself.”[3] Our purpose and position is to praise the One worthy of praise. Just as God’s glory is known by his creation, “it seems equally reasonable and fit, it should be valued and esteemed, loved and delighted in, answerable to its dignity.”

The chief act of God’s creative works was to create the church. The church, the bride of Christ, exists for the glory of God in Christ. “Thus the church of Christ (toward whom and in whom are the emanations of his glory and communications of his fullness) is called the fullness of Christ: as though he were not in his complete state without her; as Adam was in a defective state without Eve.”[4] If the world and every creature thereon has been made for the glory of God in Christ, how much more so has the church of our Lord been made for his glory.

Creation bears evidence of design. The grand Designer has built all things for a great purpose. In making the world, God honored his creation, his Son, and himself. This is the ultimate purpose of all things—that God may be glorified. Let us pray that is the purpose of our every action as well.


[1] Jonathan Edwards, Ethical Writings, ed. Paul Ramsey and John E. Smith, vol. 8, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1989), 421.

[2] Jonathan Edwards, "The Church’s Marriage to Her Sons, and to Her God,” Works 25: 182.

[3] Edwards, Ethical Writings, vol. 8, 430-431.

[4] Ibid., 432

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