God’s Language is Math

“I’m not a math person.”  For years this had been my response to any question involving numbers, equations, or solutions.  But I had wrongly given up responsibility for a crucial characteristic of God’s creation.  I began to realize my answer was a wrong approach to math or, for that matter, anything else in life.

In the summer of 2003 I was asked to do a Christian school in-service on biblical integration including three hours on elementary math.  I asked for and received the table of contents along with sample lessons from each textbook.  As I pondered God’s natural revelation of arithmetic The Spirit began to open my eyes to at least twelve major concepts directly dependent upon Scriptural truth.

I used to believe that math was the most difficult subject for biblical integration.  Indeed, it seems immediately plain that math is the essential core of God’s world.  As I understand it now, math could well be described as “God’s language.”  For instance, John D. Barrow’s book The Constants of Nature: From Alpha to Omega–the Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe seems to mirror Scriptural injunctions concerning “the works of God’s hands” that endure “from age to age.”  The stability of creation is consistently used as the measuring rod for God’s interaction with people.  Why?  The Creator’s truthful rule over this world and this life marks his dependability for the next world and afterlife (see examples in Psalms 35, 71, 73, 80, 88, 92, 95, 103, 118, 120, 146, and 148).  Numerical order is essential for life and central to “the whole truth” of God’s creation.

Here is a sample of biblically integrative lesson plan goals from the first of twelve mathematical concepts entitled “systems and roles.”  Each aim is premised upon observations from Genesis one and two.  [I have created 12 lesson plans which include goals, objectives, anticipatory sets, readings, discussion, methods, and questions.]

  1. To prove God’s world is interrelated—each part working within the whole.
  2. To express how God brought various systems together in complementary equilibrium.
  3. To state that creation’s organization is based on the plans and decrees of God.
  4. To explain how something is “unique”—each thing assigned its place, given a role by God.
  5. To appreciate math as a system by which God runs His world.

After describing God’s numerical ordering of His creation Job cries, “And these are but the outer fringe of his works!” (26:14). Never again will I say, “I’m not a math person.”  Since The Personal Eternal Creator binds His world with numbers, I am bound to discover more about math.  Discovering more of God’s world helps us to know more of our God.

Many thanks to Emily Krauser who MADE me learn statistics so I could complete my dissertation!  This article was first published in May, 2004 on a biblical integration website (now defunct).  Mark teaches Old Testament Hebrew but believes God spoke His creation into existence with numbers.

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13 comments

  1. Thank you for this. I teach mathematics at a Christian high school, and have often used the quote (attributed to Galileo, Richard Feynman, et. al.) “Mathematics is the language God used to write the universe.”

  2. Mr. Eckel,

    Thank you for this article.
    I am the math department chair at Tianjin Int’l. School in Tianjin, China.
    In October I will be giving a couple of talks to teachers on the subject of “teaching math from a Biblical worldview perspective.” Would you be willing to share your 12 lesson plans with me as resources for me and our system of schools here in China?

    Thank you for your consideration!

    Sincerely,

    Brent Luman

    1. Hi Brent. I’ve received a number of requests for the lessons. I am thinking I might publish them after the semester is over, sometime this summer.

  3. Mr. Eckel,

    I enjoyed your post immensely. The more people that stop using the phrase “I am not a math person” the better. And to ground that decision in a biblical worldview is truly inspiring.

    I first came across this post on the Nurturing Faith blog. I run a website http://www.GodandMath.com and I am currently looking for contributions. Would you be at all interested in granting permission for me to share this the readers of my site as well?

    I look forward to hearing from you. Blessings in all of your future endeavors.

  4. Dr. Eckel, I also enjoyed your article reposted in the Nurturing Faith blog. I wish that it was longer with more details. Math truly does give us a glimpse of God and His perfection is so many ways. It’s like a peep hole in a door. Math is the lense that we look thru which shows us just a little bit of how great He is! He even made order come to what appears to us as random chaos. Much like our lives sometimes..He still has a plan of order in it. I, too, would like to know if your 12 lessons are available somewhere?

    1. Hi Cindy. I have received a number of requests for these lessons. I am thinking about adding them sometime this summer! Glad you enjoyed the blog!

      1. Were the lesson plans ever published? I am an adjunct professor at Cedarville University and teach Statistics for Business and Operations Analysis, and would LOVE to see the lesson plans!

  5. Dr Eckel,

    I’m glad you’ve brought this subject up. I personally find the fact that God’s creation is in total harmony and uses a lot of mathematical principles extremely faith strengthening. One example that came to mind is the fibonacci principle which is mathamatical can be seen in the way the seeds of a sunflower are arranged, the way the petals of flowers are designed and even in the shells! Like Ps. 19:1 says: “the heavens declare the glory of God…”

    Best!
    Emily~http://www.iproperty.com.sg/

  6. Dr. Eckel,
    What an enlightening article! I am very interested in learning more about how God created/uses mathematics. Please share your lessons with us.
    Thanks,
    Charlie Williams

  7. Up until 3 yrs ago I never reffered to myself as a christian!
    But in Nov 15 2010 Yehshua (Jesus)& ask if I wanted to see what
    He looked like! & would I like to learn the fathers, his & the omni-alls language! I got the picture & after 3 yrs of intense
    training I can now converse with them!Amen!

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