Thursday, September 30, 2010

Isaac Newton

So Andrew is working his way through his physics textbook. He gets to the chapter on Newton's Laws. It mentions that, "although not an orthodox Christian ... Newton held to many standard Christian beliefs." In the first chapter of the General Science book in the same series, as we survey the history of science, a whole page is given to Newton who was "a devout Christian."

See that ellipsis in the quote above? That's where the textbook explained briefly what "unorthodox" views Newton held. He rejected the doctrine of the Trinity as well as the deity of Christ. [eyes popping out of head ...] OH? Really? That's all?

From end of the Creed: "This is the catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved."

Surely there must be an error. Surely our Christian-worldview textbook would not call this man a devout Christian if that's really what he believed. So we did a little web-surfing. Sure enough, he disagreed with Athanasius and would have sided with the Arians ... except even the Arians were a little too orthodox for Newton. No Trinity? A Jesus who wasn't God? And he didn't believe in the immortality of the soul? And no devil? I don't see how we call him a Christian at all.

I still think Apologia is a really good science textbook. It's engaging. It's clear. It provides a solid background in biology, chemistry, physics, etc. But don't expect the book to be correctamundo when it comes to the Faith.

1 comment:

  1. Susan, I have often taken for granted all that everyone has said about Newton's faith. Wow! Thanks for being on top of things, Andrew! Way to keep your eyes open and your mind moving!

    Amber Faile