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July 19, 2021 - God, the Mathematician

If you ever looked in a physics book, you probably noticed that it was dominated by one thing: numbers.

But how is it that a book about the world, whether about atoms or galaxies, is expressed in numbers, in math? Numbers are abstract concepts. We are not sure if they even really exist. (Ever see a disembodied “3” anywhere; or even more abstract, a –6?). And yet how it is that they can so powerfully describe what happens in the created world.

“There seems to be,” wrote Graham Famelo, “some deep connection between mathematics and physics. I would like to express that connection by saying that God is a mathematician who has constructed the physical world in such a way so as to bring out beautiful mathematical features.”

God, a mathematician?

Maybe that explains why John, at the start of his gospel, wrote: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John :1). The Greek he used for “Word” was logos, which carried the idea of reason, logic, order, meaning. The Greeks looked at the created world and could see reason, logic, order and meaning in it., even if they didn’t know their true source. And because these things were created, they had to have been created by Someone who Himself embodied, or was even transcendent to, the reason, logic, order and meaning that He had put into the cosmos He had created.

That’s why John used the term to refer to Jesus, the Creator. “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). And that’s why a book would use math to describe the world that God, the Mathematician, had created.

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