Is there harmony in this world? How does this harmony inform our actions as Christians? How does this harmony inform how we approach simpler, more familiar ideas and how we approach complex, less familiar ideas?
Here at Rivendell, we just completed our mathematics module and it was full of interesting topics to explore and discuss. But as someone who stayed engaged in the mathematics seminars and exercises of Classical Conversations’ Challenge programs, I found the actual math work of the course a bit underwhelming, dare I say, even rudimentary. I began to wonder: why was I bothering with simple algebra assignments? After all, I had already completed precalculus and began some calculus work during my last year in Challenge. Even though it seemed as though the work was pointless, seemingly remedial, and devoid of value, I trusted my professors, but also the promise of interrelated harmonies. The God who crafted this creation, wove it together in hidden mysteries of harmony, harmonies that are worthy of revisiting.
Another example of trusting in the harmony of created things occurred again in another recent assignment. Our professors tasked my team with presenting one of the seven revolutionary ideas in the history of physics. My group was tasked with presenting on quantum physics. Prior to this assignment, I had no previous history of any lesson or exercise which included the word “quantum” in its title. It sounded foreign and disconnected. Again, I was hesitant and even skeptical of the value of this assignment. How can I possibly present on quantum physics? The lunacy of it all! Alas, submitting in faith that there was a harmony in God’s created order, my team set out to find the interrelated harmonies in the area of quantum physics and some ideas of physics that were familiar to us. My group received a hearty applause and warm smiles after our presentation.
These two experiences have led me to greater understanding and even a bit more humility in two ways. First, the idea of harmony is central to our worldview as Christians. Second, there is a harmony in all facets of creation. With the Trinity at the center of Christian doctrine, we find harmony. Who am I to complain about a subject’s simplicity or complexity, its familiarity or lack of familiarity? Perhaps the subject itself is not the primary focus at all, but perhaps the harmony which indwells, connects, and brings meaning to subjects should be my greater concern.
There is tremendous beauty in an all-knowing God at the center of Christian epistemology which is the study of knowing. This all-knowing God has created us to seek and to know truth: truths that are familiar yet opportunities to know more fully and truths that are new and offer more complexities to know. If I am a Christian, then I ought to behave as a Christian and search for these hidden harmonies that invigorate and inform all subjects both familiar and new.