Lauantai 22.9.2018
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Tomuun vaipuneet, herätkää ja riemuitkaa! Sinun kimaltava aamukasteesi virvoittaa maan, ja niin maa palauttaa kuolleet elämään. Jes. 26:19

Blog: I raise my hat and walk along

in English 3.6.2018 06:20 | Päivämies-verkkolehti
I guess I must have had at least some rational capacity because I managed to work until I retired. And of course I had to study to get started.
I did advanced math in high school. I got fairly good grades, but still failed to understand the deep essence of mathematics. I know human reason is more than just mathematics, but there must be a connection. 

Any person with normal reasoning abilities can perceive some causal relations and anticipate the future. Overall, however, most people get by in their work without very much mathematics.
Mathematics is an extraordinary field of science. Scientists themselves wonder how it is possible to calculate the movements of celestial bodies and whatever else. Although I cannot calculate stellar orbits, I certainly understand that mathematics is a significant field of science.

I imagine that mathematics got started when someone thought of naming his fingers. Maybe he lifted up one finger and decided to call that number ‘one’, then he lifted another finger and called them ‘two’. He ended up calling the number of all his fingers ’ten’. When two people interlocked their fingers, someone realized that it was quicker to count all fingers by multiplying the number of fingers on one person’s hand by the number on the other person’s hands. The name of the new number therefore came from the words ’two’ and ’ten’ combined. Reasoning based on that finally led to stupendous conclusions. When velocity approaches the velocity of light, the passage of time slows down, say those who can do really advanced math.

But why are there wars? Why do big ships sink? Why are some people believers and others not? Why do we need redemption? Why do some people get along well in life and others do not? Why do many people die from malnutrition? Mathematics cannot answer these questions.

I cannot create a synthesis that would cover faith, science, and those difficult questions. But I can think back to the moment when I was touched by grace through a believing brother. At that moment I received something that I do not want to give up. I received the child-like faith, which has not changed or developed since. That must be God’s work. I feel that when God gave me the gift of faith, He did not appeal to my reason but to my heart.   

Reason is in our brain, but where is faith? We speak about faith of the heart, but we also know that our heart is the organ that pumps blood into our body. I understand that we speak symbolically. The heart means love. Faith is more a matter of love than of reason. We never speak about faith of the brain. ”And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13).

I know that both reason and faith are aspects of the reality where I live. Reason is a gift that is useful in many ways, but faith reaches far beyond the limits of reason. These two can co-exist only if one believes like a child.

What science and faith have in common is that we can never understand them completely. According to the old advice, we should raise our hat and walk along if, for instance, we do not understand some Bible portion. I need to walk with my hat in hand in the realities of both science and faith.

Dear God, keep me childish always. 

Text: Heikki Honkala
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen

You will find the original Finnish blog post here

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