Is Imagination More Important Than Knowledge?

From a Christian perspective, imagination is not more important than knowledge. Imagination is reckless when it is outside the will and knowledge of God. The Tower of Babel was an example of great imagination applied to a reckless endeavor because it was outside the will and knowledge of God. Imagination is a two-edged sword. It is a gift when it is in harmony with the knowledge of God. On the other hand, God calls imagination “evil continually” when it is outside of His will. The Bible tells us to treasure knowledge first. Knowledge begins when we honor and obey God. For us that value imagination and creativity, we must remember to put God above our ideas and creative thoughts. Imagination is not our God. God is our Creator and knows our purpose. Imagination without knowledge is useless.

Albert Einstein’s famous quote on imagination is what prompts the question: is imagination more important than knowledge? The quote is as follows: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited , wheras imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” In reading Albert Einstein’s direct quotes on knowledge and imagination, he not against knowledge nor does he think everything is relative (See Illustration on Relativism and Saturday Evening Post Article Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge.

See below for Biblical commentary and advise concerning the importance of imagination versus knowledge.

Imagination – a Human Condition

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Imagination is Reckless Without Knowledge.

The Tower of Babel was built with great imagination, but it was a reckless endeavor because of their lack of knowledge. The people were outside of the will of God. They were building the tower for their own personal pride and glory. Their imagination was great, but they lacked the wisdom to obey God’s will. Genesis 11:6 advises us on imagination being reckless without knowledge.

Genesis 11:6, “And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do”

Knowledge is Always Good and Imagination is Not.

From a Christian perspective, all knowledge and truth comes from God. God’s knowledge is always good. On the other hand, imagination is a two-edged sword. It is a gift if it is in harmony with the knowledge of God. When imagination comes into opposition of God, it needs to be cast down. 2nd Corinthians 10:5 advises us on imagination being both good and bad.

2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Imagination Can Produces Fear, Hate, and Lust.

Without the knowledge of God, the dark side of our imagination will rule over our lives. The Bible calls our imagination “evil continually” when we are out of relationship with God. This evil side of our imagination is the source of fear, hate, and lust in our lives. Genesis 6:5 advises us on when imagination is evil continually.

Genesis 6:5, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”


Knowledge is Always to be Treasured First.

The Bible tells us of the importance of knowledge. Real knowledge begins when we begin to honor and obey God. He is the source of truth and righteousness in this world. If we place little value in wisdom and instruction, we are fools. Proverbs 1:7 advises us on treasuring knowledge first.

Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Imagination is Not Our God.

For us that value imagination and creativity, we must still put God above our ideas and creative thoughts. God is our Creator and has created us for His purposes. Imagination and reason are a great thing, but become quite useless when we begin to worship our imagination above God. Imagination did not create us and it does not know our purpose. That is God’s providence. Romans 1:21 advises us on imagination without the knowledge of God.

Romans 1:21, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”