I have always enjoyed mathematics and took lots of math courses in high school and in college at Montana State University (go Cats!) where I graduated with a degree in Industrial and Management Engineering. In contrast to the social sciences and liberal arts where topics can be quite subjective and you are at the mercy of the philosophies of the professors, math is objective and there are “right” and “wrong” answers. There are things called “constants” that you can be sure will always be the same—things you can know for sure that are part of our orderly universe which God created.
But now I just read in the March 21st issue of Whistleblower that math education Professor Laurie Rubel in New York City claims “the whole notion that ‘2+2 =4’ is one that reeks of white supremacist patriarchy. The idea that math (or data) is culturally neutral or in any way objective is a MYTH.” The article goes on to say that “in Oregon, the state’s education department is promoting ‘A Pathway to Math Equity.’ intended to train teachers in how to ‘dismantle racism in mathematics instruction.’ ‘The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false,’ declares the course’s toolkit” and that upholding the idea that there are always “right and wrong answers” creates fear and conflict.
And, “Rutgers University recently determined that speaking and writing English correctly is also racist. The school’s English department is altering its grammar standards to ‘stand with and respond’ to the Black Lives Matter movement and emphasize ‘social justice’ and ‘critical grammar’ over irrelevancies like correct spelling and grammar.” The new approach “challenges the standard form of the English language in favor of a more ‘inclusive’ writing experience, noting ‘the curriculum puts an emphasis on the variability of the English language instead of accuracy.’”
Wow!! It all seems a bit like a bad dream and we’ll wake up and things will be back to normal. I’m reminded of the period of dark ages that the Israelites went through called the “Judges” when “Everyone did that which was right in their own eyes” (Judges 21:25). When we eliminate absolute truth and objectivity, who is to say what is right and what is wrong. It becomes purely subjective and your opinion is just as “right” as someone else’s opinion. Good can be looked upon by some as evil and evil can be looked upon as good and, goodness, what a mess! I am understanding more and more the prophecy in II Tim. 3:1: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come…” I remember reading George Orwell’s 1984 way back when I was in high school and being intrigued by his imagination, but as I look at our world today, we are there, even including the discussion of “does 2+2 really equal 4?”
Sadly this current philosophy is not just in academia and politics (where some are saying our Constitution is not absolute), but it has also entered into the realm of religion and the church where some no longer believe that the Bible has absolute truths that we must follow, but we can interpret it however we wish. A few years ago a movement called The Emergent Church entered evangelicalism with the teaching that you can’t really understand the Bible so we can’t dogmatically teach it, we can only facilitate discussions about the Bible and everyone’s opinion is of value and there are no absolute rights and wrongs. Wow, is that a dangerous view of Scripture! Over and over in the Bible we are told that we can “know” and that we are to “retain the standard of sound words (doctrine)” (II Tim. 1:13) and that we are to teach others what God’s Word says (II Tim. 2:1,2; Psa. 78: 5-8). God, in His sovereignty and omnipotence, surely was able to communicate with mankind such that we could understand what He said. He, being infinite God, obviously has not revealed everything to us since we in our finiteness could not yet comprehend it, but He has given us everything we need to know to realize we are sinners and that He, in the person of the God-Man, Jesus Christ came and died for our sin, that we can have both eternal life and abundant life and that we can know Him and know what His Word says. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Dt. 29:29). God also sent the Holy Spirit to “guide us into all truth” (Jn. 16:13). Christianity is a “know-so faith.” Just check out I John and see how many times it says, “and we know.”
God’s physical world is also “knowable” and consistent and predictable. If it were not, we couldn’t have sent a man to the moon or a probe to Mars, nor could we predict a lunar or solar eclipse at a certain time. God created an orderly universe with predictability of things such as the force of gravity, the speed of light or of sound. And “2 + 2” still equals “4”! “God is the God of order, not confusion” (I Cor. 14:33). Our adversary, the devil, is the author of confusion and chaos and I’m sure he senses that his time is very limited and he is frantically attempting to disrupt God’s plans for this earth and for mankind. But, Praise the LORD, God will have the final say. Of this I am sure! “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it. He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited)…For I am God, and there is no other…Declaring the end from the beginning…saying, My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure…Truly I have spoken, truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isa. 45:18; 46:9-11). God hasn’t changed. His laws haven’t changed. His purposes haven’t changed. His plans for us haven’t changed. You can count on it, no matter what the “ruler of this world” (Satan) is espousing in our culture today. There is right and wrong. There is absolute truth. Because there is an almighty, immutable, God. Amen!