What's your theology of maths? Would you say that ultimately 1 + 1 = 2 if you were a Hindu? How can we derive plurality from unity? Is one ultimate?
Vern Poythress has an excellent paper on a Biblical View of Mathematics, on theologynetwork.org. If you thought that mathematics is theologically neutral, think again.
"In saying, "1 + 1 = 2" we are thus stating a truth about the Trinity: a truth about the Wisdom of God, and then, secondarily, a truth about the world that he governs. (Note, however, that since the Trinity and the Wisdom of God are incomprehensible, God's own "mathematics", as it were, is not accessible to us in all its fullness. ...) How far this is from a "neutralist" view of mathematics, which supposes that mathematics has nothing to do with God!
"... Not all men are called to be specialists in mathematics. For the one who does so specialise, using the gifts that God has given him (Luke 19.11-26, 1 Peter 4:10), how does Christian ethics come to bear? How should the Biblical motive, standard and goal affect him?
a) The mathematician should be motivated by the love of God to understand the mathematical truths which God has ordained for this world (and so understand something of God's mathematical nature); love of neighbour should also motivate him to apply mathematics to physics, economics, etc.
b) The mathematician should find his standard in the command of God, the programme which God has given man to fulfill: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion..." (Gen 1:28). Part of this programme is that man should understand God's works (Gen.2:18-23).
c) The mathematician should work for the glory of God. He should praise God for the beauty and usefulness that he finds in mathematics, for the incomprehensible nature of God which it displays, for the human mind which God has enabled to understand mathematics (Ps. 145; 148). And he should endeavour to exhibit ever more fully and clearly to others that "from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen." (Rom 11:36). ...
"If a man is working for the glory of God, he won't be a "secret" believer; he will say so as he talks mathematics. How far this is from a "neutralist" stance! The man who ignores God as he does his mathematical task is not neutral, but rebellious and ungrateful towards the Giver of all his knowledge."
- Vern Poythress, A Biblical View of Mathematics. An excellent paper!
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