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Mathematics: Is God Silent?

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  93 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
This book revolutionizes the prevailing understanding and teaching of math. The addition of this book is a must for all upper-level Christian school curricula and for college students and adults interested in math or related fields of science and religion. It will serve as a solid refutation for the claim, often made in court, that mathematics is one subject, which cannot ...more
Paperback, 409 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Ross House Books
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Katherine Loop
Dec 26, 2014 Katherine Loop rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math
Mathematics: Is God Silent? is the resource that first opened my eyes to the fact that math could be viewed from a biblical worldview. A valuable reference book for any math teacher, this extensive book functions like a Christian encyclopedia on math. If you’re not a math person, you may find this book challenging to read because of its thoroughness and mathematical terminology, but it contains a lot of important mathematical information and is well worth the effort! In the first part of the boo ...more
Aug 11, 2014 Audrey rated it it was amazing
In relation to my teaching career, this is possibly the most influential book I've ever read. My faculty adviser recommended it years ago, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't read it at the time. On the other hand, I think I appreciated it more now, having already wrestled somewhat unsuccessfully through the challenges of biblically integrating math in a meaningful way (not just slapping verses on things or repeating "God is a God of order" over and over). The author's points and perspective me ...more
Aubrey Amundson
Aug 28, 2014 Aubrey Amundson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: currently-own
An invaluable resource for the study of all things abstract and concrete. I drew from it a better understanding of the history of mathematics, contrasting its philosophical application in pagan classical thought leading to useless cyclical reasoning to its often overlooked Biblical function in structural, aesthetic and scientific analysis for the purpose of evangelical cultural dominion taking. The last two chapters are full of strategies for inspiring children with a love and delight in discove ...more
Dec 01, 2011 Hannah rated it liked it
This was a very good informational book. I don't really like math, but I believe that God created it so I wanted to develop a better attitude toward math. My dad had this book and I finally got the chance to read it. It amazed me how many people devoted their lives to the study of math, and Mr. Nickel talks of many of them. If you don't have time to read the whole book I very much recommend reading the last chapter which if you teach math is very important. And since I plan on homeschooling it w ...more
Matthew Hodge
Nov 08, 2012 Matthew Hodge rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy, christian
It's almost unheard of to get a book like this - that looks at maths and the various discoveries of the last few centuries from a theological and philosophical point of view. You may disagree with many of Nickel's interpretations depending on your beliefs but what he does really well is move maths from being a pointless intellectual exercise we did in school to a position of being a wondrous language that God instilled in creation.

The question this book asks is - if mathematics is just a man-ma
Robert Murphy
Jun 28, 2016 Robert Murphy rated it liked it
Shelves: own, teach
Useful, informative, but pedantic and Van Til/Rushdooney fan-boy in the extreme. Has a place but is not the definitive work promised.
Dec 27, 2010 Raimund rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone interested in a synthesis of scripture and science
Recommended to Raimund by: Ross House Books Online Catalog
This book is quite unique. If one could think of any subject which seems to be neutral it would be Math. Yet James Nickel shows the close link between Math and our world explained through the doctrine of creation. In Nickel's words, "A vast gold mine of history, philosophy, and breathtaking revelations of the manifold wonders of God's creation lie behind the mathematical formulae".

This book will expand the reader's horizon of understanding math, scripture, and scientific history in a way comple
Megan Johnson
Oct 03, 2014 Megan Johnson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: megan
Surprisingly readable and enlightening, thought-provoking.
Aug 13, 2013 Marni rated it it was amazing
Absolutely amazing book! Surprisingly readable. Includes philosophy, history, worldview, and yes, math. Nickel shows why your worldview, your beliefs about what can be known and how/whether the universe began determine how you study math and whether you apply it to the real world. He argues that math must be studied in order to apply it to science and improving quality of life, that math can be studied because the universe was created by a transcendent and personal God, and that math should be l ...more
Spenser White
This book is amazing! I can't cover it all in one short Goodreads review. First, Nickel has an engaging writing style; you won't be bored with his writing! Second, I loved learning the history of mathematics! Though over my head some of the time, I really enjoyed seeing the timeline of human discovery.
I regret my attitude of mathematics that I had all my life! I now see it in completely new light.
P.S. This book is not a textbook, but it does have some very good suggestions for teaching mathema
Andre Harmse
Jan 01, 2013 Andre Harmse rated it liked it
The author gives a very full introduction to historic mathematicians and often analyzes how their worldview shaped their (or their culture's) work or approach to math. One major thesis -- that math represents the unity of the diversity of creation, just as there is unity in diversity in the trinity -- is consistently built througout the book. I found some of his other points or critiques less compelling and would recommend further study of them, perhaps in the author's lengthy bibliography.
Sep 01, 2013 Lynn rated it really liked it
This book challenged me to think about numbers. I guess I always thought quantity just 'is' - kind of like time. Who can imagine a life without numbers or a time before time could be measured? Not that anyone 'invented' these things but rather developed a way to take dominion and organize them. This book probably deserves 5 stars but there was too much I didn't quite 'get'. It's going in my 'read again' pile to better grasp so much of what I missed on the first journey thru.
Nickel offers a good historical and philosophical analysis of the development of mathematics. His development is far better researched, and consequently more factually based, than Mlodinow's "Euclid's Window." Nickel does a good job in relating developments in math and science to philosophical and religious frameworks, though at times he oversimplifies the connections and forces them into a pro-Christian framework that doesn't always fit neatly.
Jun 27, 2011 Brett rated it really liked it
Shelves: mathematics
Nickel systematically presents the connection between mathematics and God. He first takes us through a brief tour of the history of mathematics and then gives a broad picture of what a Christian math curriculum should look like. By no means is this a fascinating read with elegant prose but Nickel does an admirable job of calling Christians back to a Biblical worldview of the sciences. This is a must read for any Christian math teacher.
Sep 11, 2009 Sco is currently reading it
Nickel's work was one of the books the Lord used over a decade ago to bring me to a reformed understanding of the Faith. The book was a watershed for me then. Now, this 2nd and expanded edition, is even more thorough in its explanation of the Christian worldview and application to all of life. Currently, I have the pleasure of not only enjoying the book again, but reading through it with my oldest son. God is very good!
Carl Hellman
Jan 24, 2013 Carl Hellman rated it it was amazing
This book is easy to pick up and put down. It is basically a history of math and its premise is to show that God is a God of order; therefore, you can see this orderliness in math and the principles underlying math. It describes advances of math under many different cultures and time periods from the beginning to current times. I enjoyed it!
Jun 20, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. You don't have to be a math guru like myself to understand it. I used to wonder where God is seen in the area of mathematics. This book opened my eyes to the infinite number of areas. There's a lot of history, but it's necessary in order to understand the Lord's leading throughout time.
Mar 14, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
I don't know of another book that tries to set out a thorough Biblically formed view of Maths like this one dies..
This was my second time through, the first was back in 1991..
Not sure if this is a new edition and expanded, but mine is a 120 page hardback large format.
Jan 04, 2010 Rkeddins rated it really liked it
Amazing well written for a math book. Get ready for an education on the history and development of mathematics from the perspective of christian thought. The one subject that is thought to be amoral or agnostic, but once again we learn that God is transcendent.
Oct 18, 2011 James rated it it was amazing
Though I struggled with math in high school, I loved this book. It took the wonders of creation and stated them in numerical form, giving both the numbers and physical creation a beauty I hadn't seen before.
James B.
Oct 29, 2009 James B. rated it really liked it
Nickel has done a good job presenting a Christian view of mathematics, arranged historically. My only complaint is that too many sections are incomplete -- I wanted more!
Mar 25, 2009 Theresa rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book! A LOT of it was way over my head and I read it over an over and over again because I loved it so much :D It is BeautyFul...
Nov 06, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Again a fascinating book lent to me by Steph. I am SO excited to read it!
Karen L.
Jun 18, 2010 Karen L. marked it as to-read
I am not a math person, but as a home school mom, am trying to change that.
Scott Mitts
Apr 13, 2013 Scott Mitts rated it it was amazing
Awesome. Increased my love for both God and math.
Jun 04, 2009 Myron rated it it was amazing
Cosmology, ontology, axiology, soteriology, epistemology, ethics, and teleology. Mathematics provides insight into each of these field of study. This is a provocative writing for those that have a basic appreciation for science from a biblical worldview. Readily understandable.
Dragonster marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
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James Nickel holds degrees in mathematics (B.A.), theology (B.Th. and B.Miss.), and education (M.A.). He is also a candidate for the M.S. degree (Master of Science in Mathematics with a Teaching Option) from Texas A&M University.

He is married with three grown children and living in Wenatchee, Washington.

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