Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Maths Never Changed My Life

2+2=4 true? True.

It's true but it hasn't changed my life. I mean it has in the sense that laws of maths and physics govern the world I live in but it hasn't in the sense that it plays any part in my day to day existence. I don't think about sums and mathematical equations much when I play squash, watch a dvd or go to the pub. 2+2=4 is true but it's not really something I devote my life to. It's irrelevant.

For a lot of people raised in church-going families, or educated in religious schools or brought up to respect Christianity Jesus is viewed in the same light.

True but irrelevant.

True but only true on the level that 2+2=4 is true or coastal erosion is true, or photosynthesis is true or other pointless things I learned about at school are true. For a lot of us it's like those things it's mildly interesting, possibly true but ultimately unnecessary for life.

True but pointless.

Occasionally I come across someone who's really into maths (I move in strange circles). They love it. They enjoy writing computer code, they love balancing equations, they love explaining reasons why and how an engine works, they have posters of Einstein up in their bedrooms; you know the people I'm talking about. They're the ones we copied off of in a test when we were at school.

Occasionally I meet these people and I don't really understand them. I'm sure that they're far cleverer than me but that's not what I mean. What I mean is that I don't understand what makes them tick, why they're given to enthusiasm and life-long passion about something that I forgot about the moment I opened my GCSE results envelope. Christians are often viewed like this. We're the weird ones who got a little too into R.E. at school and weren't willing to give it up when we left. We're the 'religious' ones and in many ways, I know, we're viewed with much curiosity and intrigue by people who aren't 'religious'. Rather like the way I view math geeks.

My Granddad used to say that he thought I was from another planet. I'm still not sure what to make of that, is that a good thing or a bad thing?

C.S. Lewis (Narnia writer) said that given the things Jesus said and did we cannot simply dismiss him as a good man, a moral teacher. Jesus said such outrageous things that the only options available to us are that he was a mad man (believing he was God when in fact he was a man), or that he was a bad man (intentionally misleading people into believing he was God), or that he was in fact telling the truth and that he was and is in fact God.

Francis Collins (the leading scientist who mapped the entire human genome - a smart man) said that the best piece of advice that someone ever gave him was this 'decide what you're going to make of the person of Jesus Christ.'

Over zealous? Unnecessarily enthusiastic about faith?

Jesus claimed to have the answer to the human problem. Jesus' followers claimed that he had been raised to life after dying and Jesus' enemies did their best to stamp out the memory of his existence.

Personally since exploring the claims of Jesus and deciding to follow him for myself I have found it to be true. I know direction, peace, pleasure and excitement in ways I've never known before.

Maths never changed my life but Jesus did and that's why I'm happy to be a Jesus-geek.

What about you? What do you make of him?