Math: Solving the Planets Problems?

“Math solves problems.”

“Math can make the planet smarter.”

“Math can do anything.”

I am of the opinion that the dominion over this world, which God granted to humanity, extends well beyond caring for the environment and cultivating the ground. While those are noble tasks, I believe the decree also extends to the cultivation of the mind. As stewards of this planet we have a responsibility to hone the reasoning ability that God created. The study of mathematics and how it can be applied to the problems facing this planet goes along way in fulfilling the divine command to respect and care for creation. Of course here I am speaking of real problems such as world hunger, or “curbing pandemics” as mentioned in the commercial, not simply how to make the iphone download faster. Math is amazing, God-given tool and if we are to make any claim as overseers of this planet from a Christian perspective, then, at least to me, this necessarily entails a proper study of mathematics.

On the other hand, while I believe a proper devotion to the mathematical sciences and arts is important, I find it inappropriate to place my hope in math alone. Pure mathematics can teach us a great deal about God and the plans He has set in place for His created order, but as humans we must recognize that our understanding can never be pure. Our understanding will always be tainted by sin. One day that stain will be completely removed, thanks to the grace of God demonstrated through His Son, Jesus Christ. That fact alone is worthy of our hope. But until that day arrives, we should dedicated ourselves, humbly, to the care and cultivation of this world.

One must know when it is right to doubt, to affirm, to submit. Anyone who does otherwise does not understand the force of reason. Some men run counter to these three principles, either affirming that everything can be proved, because they know nothing about proof, or doubting everything, because they do not know when to submit, or always submitting, because they do not know when judgment is called for. Skeptic, mathematician, Christian; doubt, affirmation, submission.

~Blaise Pascal


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