K5 Math Biblical Worldview Scope

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Biblical Worldview Scope for K5 Math, 5th ed.

This document is our attempt to answer the question, “What must a student understand and value in order to see K5 Math from the perspective of a biblical worldview?” What follows is a list of the themes that we believe are essential for K5 math students to understand and internalize. Each theme is developed using the Creation, Fall, Redemption paradigm. The first part of the course should lead students to explain and recall these themes. Throughout the course, however, students should evaluate defective ideas within each theme, formulate a Christian understanding of them, and apply them to various aspects of their lives.

1. God

Math teaches us that God is great, and God is good.

Creation: God created a world where math works well.
God has always been. When God created the world, He created it in spatial, measurable, and quantifiable ways. God numbered the days of creation and named day and night and earth and seas (Gen. 1). He created humans so that we could understand and describe, in a creaturely way, the things that God created. He had Adam name the animals. Math is a way of naming quantities and patterns we see in the world. When we learn and use math, we are imitating the Creator’s work of naming. The naming we do in math helps us understand how great God is.

Fall: Man wanted to be like God and glorify himself rather than God.
Ever since sin entered the world, man has rebelled against God and tried to suppress the truth about how great and good God is (Rom. 1:18–20). Some people even try to deny that God exists at all. They would say that math is totally due to man and that man deserves the credit for how well math models nature. Some claim that math is neutral and has nothing to do with God or the Bible, even if there is a God. But Scripture teaches us that all things hold together in Christ (Col. 1:15–17). We cannot see math correctly and give God the glory He deserves for His greatness and goodness without a biblical worldview.

Redemption: God’s glory is still evident in His creation.
Even though sin has affected every part of creation, God’s handiwork still testifies of His greatness and goodness. Math works well because God created man so that he could see and describe the order and complexity in creation. If we have a right view of math, we will realize that we can learn more about our creator by studying and thinking about math. We will praise God for His greatness and goodness, and we will use math to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us (Gen. 1:28). We will use math to do good to our neighbor and not evil.

2. Creation

Math gives witness to a creator.

Creation: Math helps us understand that God created the world.
God created an orderly world. He stretched out the heavens and set the planets and the stars in their predictable orbits (Gen. 1:14–19). As far as humans have been able to see with telescopes, and as near as we have been able to see with microscopes, everywhere we look we see order and complexity. All this points us to a designer and creator. Math helps us understand and quantify the orderliness and complexity that we see. Math works well because the world is orderly.

Fall: Some people attribute God’s orderly world to chance.
Sinful humans do not want to be accountable to God, so they must deny that God exists. Instead of placing faith in God some people place their faith in an unknowable and imagined beginning with no cause. They must believe that all the order and complexity clearly visible in the world is a result of chance. They are surprised and have no real explanation for why math, a solely human invention (in their view), should model the real-world so well. It is no wonder that after denying God, humanity would end up worshipping itself or even inanimate things (Rom. 1:21–23).

Redemption: Our ability to model the real-world with math points to a creator.
Knowing that we and our world have a common creator helps us understand why we can explore and model the world so well with math. A worldview that denies a designer has no logical reason to believe that the world must be an orderly place. Without order, all the power and usefulness of math would dissolve into meaninglessness. Seeing how the usefulness and consistency of math supports a biblical worldview should increase our faith and help us point others to our great God.

3. Serving

Math equips us to serve God and others.

Creation: Math imitates God’s work of naming and is useful in serving God and others.
All people are made in God’s image. As God’s image bearers, we have unique value in this world. The needs of humans take precedence over the needs of other parts of creation. Math is useful in helping us to fulfill the creation mandate (Gen. 1:28) so it helps us serve God. Math is a kind of naming. God indicated His authority over parts of creation by naming things, but He allowed Adam to name the animals. This indicates that humanity has authority (under God) to steward parts of God’s creation. Math can also help us solve problems to help other people.

Fall: Sinful man uses math to serve himself and harm others.
Because of the Fall, needs are much more severe, and they often go unmet. People are selfish and often do not care for other people. In some cases, math is even used to hurt other people. At other times, math is not used when it could be used to meet the needs of others.

Redemption: Learning math helps us serve God faithfully and gives us opportunities to serve others.
God has given humanity the responsibility to steward parts of His creation. Math helps us fulfill this responsibility. God also calls on believers to love others and to live lives of good works (Matt. 5:14–16; 22:37–39). By doing this they lead those who live in darkness to see the glory of God and praise Him for His greatness and goodness. We should seek to care for people by meeting their needs as much as we reasonably can. Giving the gospel meets the biggest need, but we also should attempt to care for physical needs.

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