A message from Dr. Sharon Robbert:
How does one find a meaningful connection between Christianity and mathematics? I believe that there are two approaches to the connection which form an inverse relationship, in a mathematical sense. These are:
- What does it mean to have a Christian perspective of mathematics?
- How does thinking mathematically help to interpret Christian beliefs?
With any problem pair having an inverse relationship, one problem usually is more difficult than the other. The easier problem is labeled "direct" while the more difficult problem is labeled "inverse." My thesis is that to use mathematical thinking to understand the concepts of theological principles is the direct problem; development of a Christian perspective of mathematics is the inverse problem.
Characterization of the issue into these two directions helps me to give context for materials I created as devotionals for mathematics classes at Trinity. For several years I have been noting ways in which mathematics could effectively model theology. I found mathematical concepts in sermons, in scripture readings, and in Christian radio broadcasts. However, it wasn't until I taught an 8:00 a.m. statistics class that I decided to take action in an organized and deliberate manner--devotions for that class would be instances where the mathematics we were studying reflected God. The success in that statistics class motivated me to continue the project with an 8:00 a.m. multivariable calculus class. In 2001, I decided to do weekly devotions for all of my classes with the same ground rules.
This web-resource is a collection of these mathematical reflections of God. I hope that you find something interesting or inspirational in this collection. Feel free to adapt them for your own use. If you have suggestions for improvement or an idea for another devotional that is connected to a topic in an undergraduate mathematics course, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome additions to the collection.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.