Posts Tagged ‘Mathematics’



December 7, 2014

“Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots and fire all around Elisha.” 2 Kings 6:17

mr finchIn a recent episode of Person of Interest, Mr. Finch was inquired as to his favorite equation. “What a fascinating question”, I thought. I don’t even remember his answer as I became lost in the consideration of whether I had favorite equation.

I really wanted to have a favorite equation. It seems such an intelligent thing to have. However, the opportunity for pride was quickly dispelled when I finally concluded that I know only a few equations worthy of being a favorite and those lacked the obscurity that pride necessitates in making others feel inferior. Nevertheless, I pursued the question of equation preferment.

As an engineer by education and profession, I have taken a lot of math classes. I survived mathematics not through any special abilities but through sheer determination. “Math for math’s sake” never intrigued me. It was only when I began to understand the beauty of its utility in physics that I began to enjoy it, which is probably why I am an engineer rather than a mathematician.

I have always been enticed by the ability of mathematics to describe the world we live in. The fact that we can use very simple and elegant equations to calculate the path of projectiles still fascinates me. The magnificent utility of a simple right triangle’s mathematics is fabulous.

I love mathematics that I can visualize in my mind; this mathematics makes sense with the physical world that I know.

We live in a 3-dimensional world. It is natural for us to visualize a 3-dimensional world. I even can understand the 4th dimension as space-time. It is the world of mathematics and physics beyond the 4th dimension where I become shaky.

The dimensions beyond the 4th are of an existence beyond our senses and the mathematics looses most of the simplistic elegance of Newton’s laws in my opinion. I guess that is why, beyond the 4th dimension, my ability to visualize the language of mathematics falls apart.

I really wanted my favorite equation to be one of quantum mechanics. As much as I long for the Schrödinger equation or Heisenberg equation to be my favorite, they are not. I don’t really understand them or the physics that they are calculating, no matter how much visualizing I attempt.

However, my lack of understanding does not diminish my belief in the existence of a 5th dimension. We are told that physicists are close to proving the existence of a 5th dimension. I have only to read my Bible to see that it exists.

What is it that you believe Elisha and his servant
saw along the horizon of Dothan? (2 Kings 6:8-19)

space horizon

Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be open to see what existed but was beyond his ability to see. We know they could see their physical 3-dimensional world. We know that what they saw within the 4th dimension – time. They were looking into a world that existed beyond our physical world yet parallel with it.

Sort of sounds like the 5th dimension to me.

I believe that Elisha and his servant were given the ability to split the fabric of our dimension and peer into another to see its inhabitants – the servants of God. My guess is that there is some mathematics that describes the physical phenomenon that allowed Elisha and his servants to see this other dimension. I wonder if it has a name. I think I will call it the Elisha equation until I know its true name.

I sit at my desk and gaze out my window into the white fog. I can imagine it parting like a curtain to allow me to see what I know by faith is there. Unfortunately, I don’t know the Elisha equation and God is not doing it for me, so I will continue to live by faith.

However, I do find great comfort in the existence of the Elisha equation. I find great comfort in the reality that God and His servants are truly with me even though I do not see them. They know the Elisha equation and can aid me in any manner that is in accordance to God’s will. Therefore, Elisha’s words to his servant still ring true to us:

Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. (2 Kings 6:16)

My favorite equation is the Elisha equation.

It is an equation that I don’t understand, cannot derive, nor even describe but I believe to be true. It is an equation that describes a condition in a world created by my God in such a way for Him to send His own Son from one dimension into another to condemn the sin of my flesh in order that the righteous requirement of His law might be fulfilled in me.

That is a pretty glorious equation and an incredibly glorious God.


PRAYER: Father, thank you for creating the world as you did.  Thank you for being near.  Help me to remember that I am never alone and that even interstellar dimensions cannot separate me from You.  Thank for making me a child of God.   I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen





QUOTE (Leonhard Euler) – April 15

April 15, 2014

Leonhard Euler is widely considered one of the...

“To [Scripture] belongs in particular the doctrine of both general as well as particular divine providence, through which we can recognize that we can never get into any circumstance where God did not expressly place us according to his infinite wisdom and goodness, and can come to the firm assurance that not a single hair may fall from our head without the will of our heavenly Father. Now if only we were to ponder this doctrine with the appropriate attention and apply it to ourselves, we would submit to the will of God under all circumstances without difficulty and even with pleasure, and in this way attain true happiness.”
~ Leonhard Euler

“They behave in the most unfair and irresponsible way toward this Book when they dare to absolutely deny any value to it because of some (apparent to them) irreconcilable difficulties. Most of these people will have to admit that they are not able to resolve the difficulties mentioned above against geometry, against the existence of bodies and against the possibility of motion, and yet it has not come to the mind of even one of them to reject the truth and the reality of these things… Now, since such great and important difficulties, yes, even apparent contradictions as it were, can be adduced against those things which can be recognized by reason alone; so there must be at least equally great difficulties in revealed doctrines, which cannot be arrived at by reason. Consequently one has even far less reason to take exception to them.”
~ Leonhard Euler

“It is therefore a settled truth that Christ is risen from the dead: since this is such a marvel, which could only be performed by God alone, it makes it impossible to cast any doubt on the divine sending of Christ into this world. Consequently, the doctrine of Christ and of his apostles is divine and since it is directed toward our true happiness, we can therefore believe with the strongest confidence all the promises which have been made in the gospel regarding this life as well as the one to come, and view the Christian religion as a divine work aiming at our spirituality. But it is not necessary to elaborate further on all this, since each one who is convinced only once of the resurrection of Christ cannot doubt any further the divinity of Holy Scripture.”
~ Leonhard Euler

In honor of Leonhard Euler, consider one of the great mathematicians of all time, who was born on this day in 1707.

Mathematician – Apologist Leonhard Euler
The God-Fearing Life of Leonhard Euler


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