christian math

I can’t even believe this stuff exists outside of parody. Via Cosma Shalizi’s blog, a number of “devotionals connected to mathematical content.” This is very much unlike Vedic Mathematics, which purports that the vedas contain amazing mathematical formulas (usually combinatorial tricks or number theory things). Of course, that’s pretty ridiculous too, in that numerology kind of way. Here instead we have:

Least-squares solutions techniques are used when a system has no actual solution; that is, the situation where a system is inconsistent. In this case, we find an object that is the closest to being a solution among all possibilities. This object minimizes the value of the distance between the transformation of the object and the impossible result.

In our lives we must solve an impossible problem–we must perfectly meet the entire law of God if we are to have eternal life. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to do this. Fortunately, God loves us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to solve the problem for us. Christ took upon himself our sin and gave his life so that we might live. Jesus is our least-squares solution to the impossible problem. Note, though, that the distance between us and the law of God is infinite; through salvation in Christ, God accepts us as if the error is zero!


In calculus we use technology freely; in particular to produce graphical images with graphing calculators and computer algebra systems. Technology is not perfect, however, and those who use technology must be aware of times when the graphical images we see are not representative of the true nature of the object. We use mathematical experience and developed intuition to judge whether an image is flawed or deceptive.

Satan is the angel of light and his disciples masquerade as “servants of righteousness.” [2 Corinthians 11:13–15] But we read in Matthew 24:24 that it is impossible for false Christs to deceive the elect. We must follow the example of Jesus and use scripture as a standard against which to measure truth. We must also put on the full armor of God to protect ourselves from Satan’s attacks. In both situations, knowledge helps prevent deception.

Oh my.

UPDATE: ObWi has a juicy bit on eigenvectors