An Insight of God’s love in Math

Whenever I mentioned that I see God in Mathematics, people always shrugged and commented that one shouldn’t define God with Mathematics, or reduce God to numbers. That’s like saying one shouldn’t talk about God in their language, or describe God in words!

Mathematics is a language itself. If we believe that we are born in the image of God, then our logic that leads to the development of all languages or subjects came from the same source.  Therefore, while it is only logical that some prefers writing about God in traditional languages, I enjoy connecting our concepts of God to what I learn in Mathematics.

 

So, this morning I read a blogpost http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.ca/2017/04/099999999-is-equal-to-1000000.html that explains that 0.99999999…is equal to 1.

 

As the article suggests, thinking of subtracting 0.99999……..from 1 gives us 0.  That is, 0.00000…….   is  0.

Intuitively, our minds, however,  think of the “1” at the end of a very, very long string of “0”s in 0.000000000……

Here is the neat little insight: We can never pin point where that “1” is anymore at the end of the string of 0’s. Is there an end to the string at all? If you look at the “0”s as God’s infinite love for us that push away our sins, or how He forgives us of our sins, you will understand that the “1” sin you committed only carries in your mind, but not God’s. He forgives you when you ask for it, so why can’t you let it go yourself?

How g(x) = 1/x expresses Matthew 16:24?

In Matthew 16:24, we have

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me…

This actually explains Peter’s problem when he denied Jesus three times in the high priest’s courtyard following the arrest of Jesus. He was a righteous person all along, the first one to answer Jesus as the Son of God at Caesarea Philippi, the one that Jesus handed the keys of the kingdom of heaven. However, Peter was so sure of himself that he did not believe what Jesus said he would do.  Peter trusted his own wisdom too much and had trouble denying himself.  Denying oneself is the key to be in union with Christ!

Recently, I came across a painting by Emily Carr, titled “Scorned as Timber, Beloved by the Sky”. It’s part of the Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery and can be viewed on its website. I know nothing about art and nothing in particular about this painting. However, it makes me think of how one denies his own wishes and all interruptions and just reaches out to God. As I ponder on the message of Matthew 16:24 and this painting, the mathematician in me led me to think of my kind of art, a simple functiongcomp.jpg.

The interesting fact about this function is that

the greater the x, the less is g(x).

The more proud we are of ourselves, the more we act on our own wishes and collect our gains in this world, the further we move away from God!

Now, if we were able to deny ourselves completely, setting x to 0, then we would achieve the impossible g(0). It is common for mathematicians to denote a value that one cannot fathom as infinity infinity .

As one can never divide 1 by 0, the general notation of expression of  is

g0.

The infinity seems to point at the infinite power of God, our God Almighty!

So, here it is, a simple elegant function g

that reminds me of Matthew 16:24!

Baptism of the Lord – a parent’s view

In today’s Gospel (Mark 1:4-5, 7-11), Jesus asked for Baptism from John. Since John’s message has been one of repentance, Jesus is essentially admitting his “sins.”

But…was it really his “sins”?

Jesus would have known his mission all along. God sent his beloved son to save the people. However, how would God knows his Son accepts his mission until his actions show that he does?

We, parents, teach our children to be kind to others and to have good manners. However, it’s not until we see our kid hold the door for others for the first time, or initiate to donate their favorite toy to toy drive, that we would know that our messages came across to our children.

When Jesus asked for baptism, he was fully “man”. As a child of God just like us, he was saying that he was taking the cup, his mission. He was responding to God the Father, just like his mother’s fiat. He, who has no sins, was taking on the sins of the people and asking for repentance. For that, God the Father said, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Studying Christology Mathematically

When I first considered taking the Certificate of Pastoral Ministry program at St. Peter’s Seminary, I had some doubts about how I might handle studying, what is in my mind, the “Arts” subjects. After all, I once spent 10 years at university studying Mathematics and I was sure that one would need different mind-sets for the study of Mathematics and subjects like Philosophy and Religion.  Now, there is also the fact that writing a concise and precise mathematical paper and writing an essay with no numbers and graphs are quite different.  (Although I, once upon a time, managed to insert a mathematical graph in an essay for my high school English Literature course, showing the emotional development of the major character in a fiction.) However, I also enjoy challenges and so, I decided that taking the CPM program will be my challenge for the next few years.

Two of the topics I studied earlier in the year were on the Doctrine of the Triune God and Christology.  I mentioned how I understood the doctrine of Trinity through Mathematics back in December. (See my earlier post.) In fact, I now see that the logic in mathematical studies is actually very useful when applied to the study of many abstract, philosophical religious concepts. I know, many teachers teaching the mystery of God would frown if I tried to describe the Mystery mathematically. They would worry that I would be reducing the Mystery to some “solvable” equation of sorts. However, all I am saying here is that the logical thoughts in how we study the subjects are the same.

For instance, in Mathematics, we are always dealing with statements like “A implies B”; therefore, “Not B implies Not A”.  In studying about Christ, people realized the resurrection of Jesus Christ meant that the death of Jesus was not ordinary and that the people came to believe the baby borne in the manger some 33 years earlier was no ordinary baby.  There, “Not B implies Not A!”

Another example deals with the way we present Mathematical formulas.  Whenever we present a formula, we always list the conditions in which the variables have to satisfy so that the formula will be valid.  These conditions are what we called the constraints. Now, when we read the Book of Genesis, we know that we are created in the image of God.  One good explanation of this plan is that when God sent his only Son to be fully human, as human is already in the image of God, then incarnation is possible.  In other words, God created the constraint and satisfied the constraint at the same time for the Incarnation “formula” to work! This is how we become the Body of Christ and be nourished by the Body of Christ at mass!

I just think this is the most beautiful Mathematical formula ever!

Understanding the Doctrine of Trinity through Mathematics

It has been a little while since I last posted something here. I started taking a program in September at St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario and am enjoying it very much.

One session of the program back in October was on the topic of the doctrine of Trinity.  It was mentioned then that there were parts of the doctrine that people generally have trouble understanding them and people just accepted the doctrine on faith, calling that a mystery itself. While I find that a wonderful sign of faith for so many, the difficult parts do not seem so daunting for me at all.  As the doctrine was explained in class, my mind seemed to switch to the mathematical concepts that I learned many years ago.  Sometimes,  people are worried that I might be putting a “formula” on the concept of God.  In reality, my mind  is simply expressing the written lines within our creed or doctrine in a different language – the Mathematical language.  The beauty of it is that concepts that are well proven within the mathematical world can then be used to help our understanding of theological concepts.  At least, this will help the mathies out there. I think a better understanding of the doctrine will make me a firm believer and can help me better explain the doctrine to others in traditional languages.

So, here it is…for those who might be interested…  Enjoy!

Understanding the Doctrine of the Trinity through Mathematics

The Christ function C(x)

Christ function

Mathematicians like to describe the world in numbers and formulas when possible. A lot of research tends to find a formula or prove a mathematical statement that describes how certain numbers behave on paper and off the paper, to find the “truth” about numbers even when they are outside our normal human comprehension. I still remember one of the first proofs that I learned at 1st year university concerns the existence of the next prime number bigger than a given one. The proof is absolutely beautiful and elegant!

After studying mathematics for a good few years, one tends to think about everything in mathematics. One Arts-major friend at the university residence once asked me how I would like to place the streamers by the window for a celebration. My reply was to graph f(x) =|x|. Seriously, those functions just float around the brain of mathies all the time. We really cannot help ourselves with normal response sometimes.

Lately, I started thinking about my own faith more and more. As you can imagine, the functions in my head start to say something about faith and religious ideas.

The absolute value function f(x) = |x|, where the number x is the input of the function f and f(x) is the output which gives the distance of x from the number 0, no longer represents the pattern that once described my streamers at the window. It is turning into a Christ function C(x)!

Note that f(-3)=3 and f(3) =3, as both -3 and 3 are 3 units away from 0. In other words, f(x) converts the negatives to positives.

I like to look at the function C, C(x) = |x|, where x is a person and when Christ works on person x, it restores x to be the beautiful person that God created. Doesn’t that make a lot of sense?

When God sent His only Son to us, God sent someone to teach us what we need to do. Christ showed us what it means to love, how we are to have a relationship with God. He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, cast out devils. He restored those who came to Him.

C(x) = |x|

Wouldn’t you want to be the input x in this Christ function and let Him restore you and take away your sins and iniquities?

It’s a lovely function, isn’t it?

Mathematics describes the truth and God is the truth. Perhaps, it is not a coincidence that a function can describe a truth so elegantly.

I am not sure if I can call this mathematical theology, but I have a few more functions and concepts like this. Maybe.….next time….

God’s Message from Outer Space!

 

 

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July blog

I love God’s sense of humour.

So, the most exciting picture of the day is one transmitted from NASA’s New Horizon-a picture taken 5 million miles away from Pluto, showing a heart-shaped area on the image of Pluto.

http://www.cnet.com/news/aw-nasa-probe-spies-plutos-heart-as-flyby-begins/

We, Catholics, like to see God in everything. In this case, indulge me for a moment…

The New Horizons mission was launched in 2006 to check out the furthest planet (then), Pluto   Little is known about Pluto and it’s moons, which have the average distance of over 3,670 million miles away from the sun.  So, New Horizons left over 9 years ago to make its closest approach to Pluto. Using high resolution telescopic cameras, they searched and took pictures of this (now) dwarf-planet Pluto with a heart imprinted on it!  It’s like God saying to us that what we have been searching for is “love”.  We need to learn love in uncharted territories.  We need to understand what it means to love unconditionally.  It’s almost like God saying, “Look at me!”

How does this picture of Pluto speak to you?

 “God is Love.”                              – 1 John 4:8

 “ But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”       – Romans 5:8