This book, published by Answers in Genesis, is one that I read years ago and found most helpful in wrapping my mind around how math points us to the Creator. As you might guess from the subtitle (The Origin, Nature, & Purpose of Mathematics), Truth & the Transcendent explores the philosophy behind math: what is it and what is its purpose.
My favorite chapter is Chapter 5, where Mr. Zimmerman points out that within math, we have the opportunity to behold God’s glory, allowing that to transform us from the inside out. He begins the chapter like this:
Why is it so important for the Christian to behold the glory of God reflected in mathematics or anywhere else? Simply because beholding the glory of God is the prime directive for spiritual growth.
He goes on to explain that so often we as Christians fall into the trap of trying to make ourselves more Christ-like through simply changing our actions, neglecting the reality that we’re transformed from the inside out as we behold God’s glory.
The key to resolving this tension between what is God’s part and what is my part, as a Christian, is found in II Corinthians 3,4, and 5, the linchpin being 3:18. “But we all, with uncovered faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the likeness to Him, from one degree of splendor to another, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” I become like Christ by beholding His glory.
As we realize how mighty, faithful, wise, etc., God is, it drives away our fear and pride. And within math–as well as every other area of life–we have an opportunity to behold God’s glory, letting our hearts be amazed at His handiwork and reminded to trust Him completely.
Math is an opportunity to behold God’s glory, as well as to complete the tasks He’s given us to do. As Mr. Zimmerman says,
Christian teachers, then, motivate their classes in two valid ways to learn mathematics. First, mathematics exhibits the glory of God, necessary to growth in His image, which is the destiny of Christians. Second, mathematics equips students to care for the creation, under the divine command.
Here’s the link to read Truth and the Transcendent for yourself. If you do, please leave a comment below with your thoughts. And until next time, remember to behold God’s glory as you study math, reflecting on His faithfulness that makes math possible and knowing that He’ll be just as faithful to everything else He says in His Word.