50 word devotional
- Read Psalm 19:1
Isaac Newton is now remembered primarily as the creator of integral calculus and one who popularized a scientific, mechanical view of the world. Newton’s use of the apple to describe the force of gravity helped both scientists and non-scientists to understand what they could not see. Newton’s most famous work is Principia Mathematica (1687), and most historians describe it as providing the mathematical support for Galileo’s theories concerning the nature of the universe. These historians would have us believe that Newton’s concepts provided a secular and therefore anti-Christian or at least anti-religious explanation for the way the world works.
Newton, like many scientists of the Seventeenth Century, however, was a strong Christian and believed that the agent who brought these laws into existence was Elohim, the Hebrew name for God when He creates. He wrote that nature, with its beautiful mathematical complexity and regularity, reflects the will of God. Newton’s fellow scientists and peers at the time understood Newton’s beliefs and his sense that mathematics aids the Christian in understanding the nature of God. Alexander Pope penned the epitaph for Newton’s tomb at Westminster Cathedral, which reads:
Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said, “Let Newton be!” And all was Light.
As we study, at least in part, about the effects of the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment on the Western world during the American colonial period, let us, like Newton, consider the existence of our Creator God and His creation. What are the implications for us and how we should live our lives if what Newton believed is true?