Why I Blog at “Theorems & Theology”

Why I Blog at “Theorems & Theology”

I blog for two purposes: to spur on thinking (mine & yours) and to pursue truth (together).

Science and Scripture both reveal the truth about our world. Although they deal primarily with different types of knowledge, they are not completely separate areas of inquiry. Science, rightly employed, allows us to ask how the physical world around us functions and to learn about creation and our own physiology and well-being. Scripture—the Old and New Testaments of the Bible—reveals the purpose and meaning of our lives as those created by God and established in relationship with God, each other, and all of creation. Scripture addresses issues in the physical and supernatural realms of our lives.

Science cannot address issues which are not physical or materialistic in nature. It cannot tell us if the nonphysical or nonmaterial exists. I want to know the whole truth and not just the truth about the material world. So I seek the truth in science and Scripture and hope to share my thoughts and hear yours as I journey through this awesome, unique life and the glorious, awe-inspiring creation around us.

During any conversation, defining terms is critical. Many people talk past one another because they use terms differently. I’ll always try to define my terms carefully, so you may want to check my definitions before assuming any particular meaning. I value dialogue, and my belief that truth can be sought, found, and shared (at least in relevant terms—if not ever exhaustively) is what motivates me in life and is the impetus for this blog. I believe we can learn from one another and seek truth together. So, please define terms, too, as needed as you share your thoughts.

Why “theorems”? According to the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, “theorem” comes from the Latin word theorema, which comes from Greek theōrēma, from theōrein, or “to look at,” from theōros, or “spectator,” or from thea, oract of seeing.” And yet the word “theorem” implies that which is not directly known by observation but follows from other known truths. Google defines “theorem” in this way: “A general proposition not self-evident but proved by a chain of reasoning; a truth established by means of accepted truths.” It is somewhat ironic that science primarily employs observations of the physical world and yet is very often built upon truths that are not directly observed.

Theorems are strong scientific statements. But even well-established scientific dogma is open to reassessment when previous reasoning or premises have been found to be flawed. Theorems are also strong logical statements. They are anchored in, and spring from, supporting truth or facts.

Why “theology”? I once had a Harvard faculty member ask me if I would still be a Christian if it could somehow be proven that Jesus Christ had not risen from the dead. I shocked him, and many others at the table by saying, “Absolutely not.” I would not be a Christian if the evidence showed that Jesus was not who he claimed to be and had not risen from the dead as evidence of who he claimed to be. I would not be a Christian if I did not think that Jesus’s claims are true.

One of Jesus’s early followers (and a highly influential figure in the spread of the early Christian faith) was a man who once hunted and tortured those who claimed that Jesus was the risen Lord. However, he later became convinced himself that Jesus was the risen Lord: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile . . . [and] we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:17–19). So said the apostle Paul in his letter to the Christians of the church at Corinth, Greece, circa 55 AD. So my theology is grounded in this commitment. I define theology as the study of God and God’s attributes and relations to all of creation and the study of spiritual, divine, and religious truth.

I hope Theorems & Theology will be a dialogue, and not just a blog, on seeking truth in and through science and Scripture. I’m glad you’re here!