I like to think to myself that the pursuit of knowledge, the attempt to discover more about the physical universe, is, in itself, an act of worship. That is, ‘science is worship’. Ergo, mathematics is worship.
I understand that this is a nicely self-aggrandising theory for a mathematician to have. Still, consider the following scripture:
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. ” (Proverbs 25:2, NKJV).
If, as a Christian, I believe that the very structure of the universe and the order that we see there is a reflection of God’s nature then the search to understand this structure and order, the act of ‘searching out’ those matters which God has concealed within nature, is surely in some sense tantamount to learning more of God himself. God is revealed to us through his creation and the study of his creation is in some way the study of the creator.
Furthermore, mathematics is the language of God. Right? :)
It confers a certain nobility on the work of the scientist. Not that I’m arrogant about it, I have no delusions about how my trifling work in abstract group theory ranks as theology, or mathematics for that matter. And there are more direct ways to learn about God than science, of course. But the view of science as a form of worship puts science in its proper context – too many worship science rather than he whom science reveals.
I suppose this must sound like the dribblings of a Philistine to the non-believer. Oh well.
p.s. – I really need to simplify my sentences. I can hardly read the above for all of the commas.