Welcome to the Vision Viewpoint Blog

April 14: Let Newton be…and There was Light

Vision Viewpoint Patrick Henry

Vision Viewpoint presents a look at Sir Isaac Newton, and shows the parallels between Newton’s Christian application of law and the call for all men to look to the "rule of the invisible" in understanding the precepts that move the world and universe. Vision Viewpoint is a ministry and Christian radio program of Reformation Hope Church in Hartford, WI.

The poet Alexander Pope from contemporary seventeenth century England wrote this concerning Sir Isaac Newton: "Nature and nature’s laws lay hid in night. But God said, ‘Let Newton be,’ and there was light."

Sir Isaac Newton was a Christian man. His influence on the world of science and mathematics was enormous. He, along with the German mathematician Gottfried Leibniz, invented what we call calculus. Newton understood very well from the Bible that the Christian is called to understand the invisible – not just God, although that too – but also the invisible within the daily affairs of life.

Even in the movement of science and mathematics, it is the invisible that moves the world around us. The story of Newton sitting under a tree and observing an apple that fell to the ground is a true one, and there began the study that would later become the law of gravity. It is obvious that the law of gravity is invisible; we see the effects of it – "what goes up must come down," but the law itself is invisible, and the material world is run by laws. It was on that basis that Newton wrote his great Principia Mathematica, the greatest mathematical treatise in the world, illustrated in his original work with biblical illustrations.

The greatest mathematical treatise by Sir Isaac Newton, was a treatise of his deductions from the laws of geometry in particular, but was also illustrated from the Bible. He understood that God rules among men, and that it is in the physical realm that we see the laws of, for example, gravity or optics, the latter for which Newton also become famous. When asked about planetary motion and how the planets move, Newton’s reply was very simple: an ellipsis. That may not seem like much to us today, but we have to understand that this was a radical view after 1200 years of Medieval mythology had been applied to the scientific world, in which it was supposed that angels and demons moved those planets.

Newton took a biblical approach. Angels notwithstanding, he understand that the planets and all moons moved as a result of law. God has planted law in the physical and mathematical realm, whether it they are the laws of medicine, physics, or chemistry – all those laws are predictable. They give us results that can be verified – they are falsifiable. The spiritual realm is distinct from the carnal world. (Of course, Hollywood has made the word "carnal" to sound silly, but the word actually refers to being superficial in one’s judgment, in that one who cannot see beneath the surface and who thus judges in the appearance of things.) The spiritual man or woman is one who understands the rule of virtue.

The rule of virtue goes to the invisible; in fact, it can be said, a sound economy – a free market economy that actually works (as opposed to mere capitalism, which is not based upon virtue) – is based upon whether virtue is dominant in the people of a culture. If it is, the costs in the economy fall precipitously, and the cost of living drops while the quality of living increases.

Newton understood the rule of the invisible, and we also find this rule in Scripture. We find in 1 Corinthians, "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery" – not mysticism, but rather the invisible rule of law – "even the hidden wisdom that God ordained before the world unto our glory, which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." Christ’s resurrection from the dead was the assertion of His rule of His government in the world. Those who are spiritual in Scripture are those that understand this rule of virtue, beginning with faith in Jesus Christ.

Vision Viewpoint is a ministry of Reformation Hope Church in Hartford, WI, and is a Christian radio program that broadcasts Monday-Friday at 12:55 p.m. on 104.9 FM.

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply