"Carl Friedrich Gauss first proved the fundamental theorem of algebra. There are many fundamental theorems: of arithmetic, calculus, and so on. These are so fundamental that many other theorems are derived from them. In the Bible, there are also fundamentals, without which Christianity would not exist: the deity of Christ, His substitutionary atonement, and the inspiration of the Bible, to name a few."
"A line can be described either by its slope (a ratio) or by its inclination (an angle). These terms describe the deviation from the horizontal, but the word inclination also has a non-mathematical meaning. Without Christ, man is inclined to sin. The Word of God should shape our attitudes (inclinations)."
"If you are given the length of two sides and the angle measure opposite one of those sides, you can use the law of sines to solve the triangle. However, this does not always determine a unique triangle. As a result, it is called the ambiguous case. Ambiguous means open to multiple interpretations. Some people say that you can interpret the Bible in any way that you want. However, there is no ambiguity in the Bible."
"A person is eccentric if his behavior deviates from normal. Jesus Christ expects His disciples to be eccentric, since living a Christlike life is not normal in this world (Titus 2:14). Likewise, in mathematics, conic sections are eccentric if they deviate from a circle. Eccentricity is a measure of this deviation. The eccentricity of an ellipse (e) is the ratio of focal distance (c) to the length of the sentimajor axis (a): e = c/a. Since c and a are distances and c < a, the eccentricity of any ellipse is 0 < e < 1.
"The concept of limit can be used to illustrate an important truth. Suppose you lived eighty years and there was no life after death; your life on the earth would be 80/80 = 1 = 100% of your existence. Now, let's assume that your life after death was eighty years long: your earthly life would be 80/160 = 1/2 = 50% of your entire existence. If life after death were 720 years, your life here would be only 80/(80+720) = 0.1 = 10%. Now extend it to eternity: (the limit as x approaches infinity) 80/(80+x) = O. In other words, this life is very insignificant in light of eternity. It is no wonder James said that life is "vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
I’m tempted to just let the quotes stay there without comment since I’m sure that nearly all of my readers will have the same reaction that I did. However, because I don’t know everyone who reads my blog, let me be clear.
I believe that this is exactly the wrong way to integrate faith with mathematics. I would suggest that this is NOT an example of integrating faith – this is an example of tacking on biblical language in a totally unrelated way to the topic at hand. These examples show that the authors do not believe that Math is ALREADY God’s – they appear to believe that they have to make it God’s by concocting ridiculous connections to religious moral lessons.
In my book I attempted to reflect my faith in the types of topics that we covered and the types of questions we had our students think about – pollution, population, debt, and other things that would lead them to evaluate their place in God’s world. I can’t wait to use these excepts in class as a counter example!
Read another blogger's thoughts here.