Faith and Learning Statement
You cannot love that which you do not know. If you love someone, you learn as much as you can about them. You analyze their every move; dwell on their every word; obey their every command. You care about the things they care about; you learn to want what it is that they want.
In Matthew we are mandated to Love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. To love him, we try to learn all we can about him through the two ways he reveals himself: the general revelation he gives us all in creation and the special revelation he gives in his word. Math and science dwell mainly on learning what we can about the creator by studying his creation.
We learn from physics and studying the universe that God is immensely bigger than we can possibly imagine. We are humbled that man is so miniscule, yet honored that he has created us to rule over his creation. In Genesis he mandates that we rule over the earth and subdue it. The more we study his creation, the better we can accomplish that, and love that which he called “good”.
We also learn that God cares deeply about all things – from the largest galaxies, to the quarks and particles that make up the tiniest atoms. Studying light alone shows a variety of attributes of creation that its creator must have too. It ranges from waves smaller than an atom to larger than the earth. It has the ability to destroy, to see inside objects, to be seen in beautiful colors, to provide warmth and food, and to communicate.
We learn also that God is a God of order. We see that creation obeys God given physical laws such as gravitational attraction which keeps the moon near us, and laws of motion which keep it from crashing into us. It appears the only thing God doesn’t control is us – giving us limited free will. We cannot hop off the planet, but we can choose whether we follow God’s commands, or reject our creator. His word in Matthew commands us to make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey God’s commands. Studying creation provides us a glimpse into the unique situation man is in, as the only beings with the ability to choose.
Studying math allows us to quantify our observations – to measure things precisely and assign numbers and values to them. Adam was charged in giving everything its name; math and science is charged with describing their attributes. We study different types of numbers to describe different things. Natural numbers describe countable things. Decimals and fractions describe parts and pieces. Negative numbers introduce direction. Vectors describe motion. Coordinates describe locations. Exponents describe big and small things. Exponential functions study population growth. Trigonometry describes how things are related, as well as cyclical patterns such as seasonal temperature changes or a human heartbeat.
As humans have learned more about creation, God has allowed us to create as well – inventing things to help us. These new things help us learn, which in turn can lead to greater love. These new things can help us work more efficiently, prevent diseases, create more food with better nutritional value, to show love to others. These new things can help us teach, and travel, and make disciples of all nations.
Math and science are some of the principle subject areas that help us create and invent things. Studying these subjects increases our ability to carry out God’s mandates: our call to love God, our call to love others, our call to care for creation, and our call to teach future generations to do the same.