Mathematics and Theism

I try to avoid writing articles here anymore, unless it is about my health or writing. I digress today, I am sure because this is my steroid day. With my new chemo program, my quality of life has plummeted in the past three weeks, feeling awful most of the time. But with steroids, I briefly awaken to feeling human for 48 hours, then the oppressive chemo-induced flu sets back in.

But I came across an article today that I wanted to share and the written page (vs a podcast) is the only way to do that. Please understand, I do not share this article to argue with religious people about a “better” way to believe in God. I certainly do not share this with atheists in order to persuade them to believe in God, because such a change in the basic fundamentals of someone’s presumptions would take a million times more discussion space than this tiny blog page could ever hold. But I do want to share this, for people like me, for whom I think this would be helpful. I am someone (and there are others like me) for whom mysticism doesn’t work. I can’t “experience” my way to God.

I’ve mentioned before that I spent 30 years in evangelicalism, leaving that movement in 1990. I left because I knew if I tried to stay in the disingenuous version I was in, I would soon be an atheist for life.

But when I did leave evangelicalism, I found myself in a “spiritual” wasteland. I considered myself an agnostic for the early 90s, evolving into atheism for a short while in the mid 1990s. With that said, I want atheists to know that I respect their perspective. No answers for the big questions of life is a slam dunk. All have their difficulties, if we are honest about it. There are plenty of difficulties in believing in a personal God. There are plenty of difficulties in trying to live in an atheistic universe. As an evangelical we had to believe that atheists were either immoral or stupid, but most likely both. I am sure there are plenty of atheists who see theists the same way. So, it was with great humility that I sought to find God again, if he or she were there to be found.

I eventually did find my way back to believing in a personal God and in Jesus as the messiah. Now, I subscribe to a very simple, de-religionized, brand of Christianity.

But for those like I was, those within forms of Christianity that just no longer makes sense, I offer this breadcrumb. This is only one tiny nugget in my years-long process of becoming a theist again, nowhere near an exhaustive treatise. Remember, breadcrumb.

I have said before, mathematics is the native language of God. Mathematics, especially the higher forms of mathematics, in my opinion, are the breadcrumbs (different metaphor) of God’s existence dropped across the forest floor leading people like me (and Isaac Newton) home. I would say with confidence that if I had not discovered higher math in the 90s, I would not be a theist today and certainly not a Christian.

I have said before, mathematics is the native language of God.

For those unlike me, whose Christianity is self-assured without evidence and see my approach as “unspiritual,” I will remind you of how Jesus responded to Thomas. Some of you are “Peters,” I’m a Thomas. Mutual respect is required.

When Thomas doubted it was Jesus (then alive), because he had seen him dead, Jesus didn’t say to Thomas, “Okay dude, close your eyes and meditate and have a spiritual/emotional experience to prove to your heart that I am Jesus.” He also didn’t say, “Shame on you Thomas, I dare you doubting me, you rebellious person.” What did he say? Here’s how the Bible describes it in the book of John:

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

John 20:24-29 NIV

There is a mass exodus from Christianity in western (previous Christian) cultures. I’m only the message bearer. One the most common reasons, which I’ve heard people in their teens or twenties say, is that the Church does not allow doubts or questions. They only teach you what you must think, not how to think in a healthy way. Historically, the Church has preferred non-thinkers as sheep are easier to herd than inquisitive cats. Curiosity is quenched for the sake of conformity to the Church’s teachings. I like the church that I attend because there, curiosity about the cosmos is encouraged, not stifled.

If you want to read more about this mathematics-God connection, this article is a good introduction. Not exhaustive by any means. I have many other reasons for believing in God, but that is far beyond this blog.

Again, my steroids have enticed me to write too much and for that I apologize in advance.

Mike

Published by J. Michael Jones

J. Michael Jones is a writer and PA who lives in Anacortes, Washington. He is the father of five children, who are now grown and out discovering this wonderful world on their own. He has previously focused his writing on non-fiction including medical topics and issues of the philosophy of Christian thought. With the success of his last book, Butterflies in the Belfry, Michael is now moving into fiction with his first novel, The Waters of Bimini.

5 thoughts on “Mathematics and Theism

  1. Amen!!!!! I walked away from organized religion years ago. I did not however, walk away from my faith. When you have been spoken to. Not once but twice, there is no reason to doubt!

    Like

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