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"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

A bibliography for a Christian approach to mathematics

A bibliography for a Christian approach to mathematics

Steve Bishop

Updated Dec 2011

Version 1.0 (1997) appeared in P. MacKenzie Entry Points for Christian Reflection within Education (London: CARE, 1997)
Version 1.1 appeared here
         Version 2.0 appeared here
         Version 2.1 appeared here


Gene B. Chase and Calvin Jongsma Bibliography of Christianity and mathematics 1910-1983 (Dordt, Iowa: Dort College, 1983)
         An extensive annotated bibliography of papers and books dealing with Christian approaches and attitudes to maths.

laetus in praesens Bibliography of Relevance to Mathematical Theology

The journal has many useful papers including papers presented at conferences:
Vernon Poythress, Science as Allegory 
Vernon Poythress, Mathematics as Rhyme 
David Stucki, Mathematics as Worship 


Robert L. Brabenec A Christian Perspective on the Foundations of Mathematics (Wheaton College, 1977)
Brabenec has edited a number of 'Mathematics from a Christian Perspective' Conference Proceedings, of which this is the first. They contain a wealth of useful information of integrating math and a Christian worldview, however, they are concerned primarily with higher education. Many of the articles are now available on-line here
         James Bradley and Russell Howell Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith Harper One/ CCCU, 2011.
See the review here by Josh Wilkerson
John Byl The Divine Challenge: on Matter, Mind, Math and Meaning (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2004) review by Howell
Byl's bibliography and biography is here
Charis Mathematics Project Charis Mathematics (Units 1-9; Units10-19; A1-A6) (John Shortt, director) (editors John Shortt and John Westwell) (Nottingham: The Stapleford Centre, 1996 and 1997)
Photocopiable materials for bringing out the 'spiritual and moral' aspects of mathematics at the secondary school level; written by Christian teachers of mathematics.
Roy A. Clouser The Myth of Religious Neutrality: A Essay on the Hidden Role of Religious Belief in Theories (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 1991; 2nd edn 2005) my review here
Chapter 7 looks at some theories in mathematics (number-world theory; J. S. Mill; Bertrand Russell; and John Dewey) and shows how they all depend on divinising certain aspects of creation.
Andrew M. Hartley Christian and Humanist Foundations for Statistical Inference (Resource Publications, Wipf and Stock, 2008) 
See my PSCF review here. Other reviews here 
Looks at four of the dominant paradigms in statistics and compares them with a Christian worldview
James Nikel Mathematics: Is God Silent? (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1990; 2nd edn 2000) website resources here
Written to show that God is not! Contains many useful examples.
Russell W. Howell and James Bradley (ed.) Mathematics in aPostmodern Age: A Christian Perspective (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2001) review by Palfreyman
Examines the nature of mathematics, the influence of maths and faith perspectives in mathematics from a Christian perspective.
Calvin Jongsma and Trudy Baker The Shape and Number of Things: An Integrated Math Curriculum for the Elementary School (Toronto: Curriculum Development Center)
A complete primary school package.
T. Koetsier and L. Bergmans (edsMathematics and the Divine A Historical Study (Elsevier Science, 2004)
Katherine Loop Beyond Numbers: A Practical Guide to Teaching Math Biblically (Christian Perspective, 2005; 2nd edn 2011) [see my review here]
Katherine Loop Revealing Arithmetic: Math Concepts from a Biblical Worldview (no date) ISBN 978-0977361106
Harro W. Van Brummelen, Mathematics in the Christian School (Toronto: The Association for the Advancement of Christian Scholarship, 1971)
A preliminary report resulting from a seminar held in Toronto in July, 1971, under the auspices of the OACS and the AACS. Contains a useful but out of date bibliography.

Chapters in books

Harro Van Brummelen Walking with God in the Classroom: Christian Approaches to Learning and Teaching (Ontario: Welch, 1988)
Though on Christian education in general, this book contains many insights into mathematics.
Harro Van Brummelen 'Mathematics' in Steensma, Geraldine and Harro W. Van Brummelen, editors. Shaping School Curriculum: A Biblical View. Terre Haute, Indiana: Signal Publishing Company, 1977.
Gene B. Chase 'Has Christian theology furthered mathematics' In Facets of Faith and Science vol 2: The Role of Beliefs in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences: An Augustinian Perspective. Jitse M. van der Meer (ed.) University Press of America/ Pascal Centre for Advanced Studies: Lanham/ Ancaster, 1996.
Harold Heie and David L. Wolfe (editors) The Reality of Christian Learning: Strategies for Faith-Discipline Integration (Grand Rapids: Christian University Press/ Eerdmans, 1987)
Harold Heie and Gene Chase contribute two chapters on ways of integrating the Christian faith and mathematics.
Harold Heie 'Developing a Christian perspective on the nature of mathematics' in Arlin C. Migliazzo (ed.)  Teaching as an act of faith: theory and practice in church-related higher education. New York : Fordham University Press, 2002, 95-116
P. MacKenzie Entry Points for Christian Reflection within Education (London: CARE, 1997) (Now available as an e-book)
Jim Nance 'Worldview test case: Christianity in math class',  in Repairing the Ruins ed. Douglas J. Wilson, 59-71. Moscow, ID: Canon Press, 1996. contents
Vern Poythress ‘A biblical view of mathematics’ in Foundations of Christian Scholarship: Essays in the Van Til Perspective (Vallecito, CA: Ross House, 1976)
Develops a [Cornelius] Van Tilian approach to maths
Geraldine J. Steensma and Harro W. Van Brummelen Shaping School Curriculum: A Biblical View (Terre Haute, Ind: Signal, 1977)
Contains a useful chapter on math education by Van Brummelen and some examples (Statistics and Deductive Geometry) of how this translates into classroom practice.
Danie F. M.Strauss 'A historical analysis of the role of beliefs in the three foundational crises in mathematics'. In Facets of Faith and Science vol 2: The Role of Beliefs in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences: An Augustinian Perspective. Jitse M. van der Meer (ed.) University Press of America/ Pascal Centre for Advanced Studies: Lanham/ Ancaster, 1996.
Danie F. M. Strauss 'Primitive meaning in mathematics: the interaction among commitment, theoretical worldview and axiomatic set theory'. In Facets of Faith and Science vol 2: The Role of Beliefs in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences: An Augustinian Perspective. Jitse M. van der Meer (ed.) (Lanham/ Ancaster: University Press of America/ Pascal Centre for Advanced Studies:, 1996).
Danie F. M. Strauss Paradigms in Mathematics, Physics and Biology their Philosophical Roots (Bloemfontein: Tekskor BK, 2001)
Danie F. M. Strauss Philosophy: Discipline of the Disciplines (Grand Rapids: Paiedia Press, 2009)
Chapters 2 and 3 look at the uniqueness of science (including mathematics) and Dooyeweerd's modal aspects - which include the quantitative, spatial and kinematic)
Anthony Tol 'Counting , number concepts and numerosity' in Hearing and Doing John Kraay and Anthony Tol (ed.) (Toronto: Wedge, 1979)
Noel Weeks The Christian School: An Introduction (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth)
Chapter 12 deals with maths. He contrasts rationalist and romanticist views of math education and offers some pointers for a Christian approach.


Willis Alberda 'What is number' Pro Rege vol. 3 (March 1975), 2-8. 
Willis Alberda ' Existence in mathematicsPro Rege vol. 7 (1979), 11-15.
Patricia L. Ahlborn 'A Christian philosophy of mathematics' online here
Places the emphasis on teaching maths with meaning; she has three broad goals: maths should: reveal God, call the student to a life of service; and lead the student into a deeper knowledge of God. A helpful overview. 
Paul Bialek 'Integrative Questions in the Mathematics Curriculum: A Strategy for Faith-Learning Integration in Mathematics' unpublished paper, 2003.
Steve Bishop 'Beliefs shapesmathematicsSpectrum 28 (2) (Spring 1996)
Examines several philosophies of maths to show that maths is not neutral but shaped by beliefs. The contours of a Christian approach to maths are sketched.
          Steve Bishop 'Mathematics and the myth of neutralityChristian School Education 5 (4) (2001-2002), 19-21.
          This issue of CSE had other articles on mathematics see here.
         James Bradley 'Two ways ofknowingJournal of the ACMS 2004 (Aug) 
James Bradley 'Teaching mathematics from a Christian perspective' World Report ASCI (2007) also here.
John Byl 'A Christian perspective on math' Reformed Perspectives 27 (4) available here
Robert G. De Boer 'Faith and mathematics' Reformed Journal 27 (4) (1977)
Gary De Young 'Perspective on mathematical modellingPro Rege 38 (2010)
Edward Fackerell 'The RelationshipBetween Mathematics and the Christian Faith'. Christian Teachers Journal, Vol 11, No. 2, May 2003.
(The Christian Teachers Journal can be contacted at: PO Box 7000, Blacktown NSW 2148 Australia)
Howard Faw ' Does scripture support standardized tests?PSCF  42 (1990), 86-93.
Geertsema, Jan C. A Christian View of the Foundations of Statistics PSCF 39 (September 1987), 158-164
Jan Gormas 'A search for intellectual, relational and spiritual integrity: secondary mathematics from a Christian perspective' Education and Christian Belief 9(2) (2005)
I Grattan-Guinness, Historical notes on the relations between mathematics and the Christianities, Meeting of Austrian Society for the History of Mathematics (Spring, 1999)
Patricia J. Hambrick 'Assessing Current Practices: MathematicsASCI
H. Harold Hartzler The Meaning of Mathematics JASA 1 (January 1949), 13-19.
Jim Jadrich 'Constructivism in science and math: is it Christian?' Christian Educators Journal  38, (October 1998), 17-18.
Calvin Jongsma 'Christianity and mathematics: an analysis of differing approaches to their interrelationship' ICS Academic Papers, 1984.
Calvin Jongsma 'Mathematics: Always important, never enough. A Christian perspective on mathematics and mathematics educationJournal of the Association of Christians in the Mathematical Sciences 2006. Also in Pro Rege 35 (4), 21-38.
J. C. Keister 'Math and the Bible' Trinity Review Sept/ October 1982. 
Brendan Kneale 'God and mathematical infinityPerspectives on Science and Christian Faith 50
Willem Kuyk 'Some questions on the foundation of logic' Philosophia Reformata 34 (1969), 142-146
Chapter 7 is on mathematics and looks at how it is approached from a UK Christian schools perspective.
Katherine Loop 'Teaching math from a biblical perspective' blog post
Paul Marshall 'Mathematics and politics' Philosophia Reformata 44 (1979), 113-136 
Edward Nelson 'Mathematics and faith'
Andrew Palfryman School mathematics and christian faith - are they related?  ActNow Summer 2005.
Andrew Philip Christianity and mathematics - a review Many to Many (Feb 1993)
Vern Poythress Creation and Mathematics; or What Does God Have to Do with Numbers? The Journal of Christian Reconstruction 1 (1), 128-40.
Vern Poythress Mathematics as Rhyme Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 35 (4), 196-203. (See my commentshere)
Vern Poythress 'Newton's Laws as AllegoryJournal of the American Scientific Affiliation 35 (3),156-161.
Sharon K Robbert Christianity and mathematics
Devotionals with mathematics content!
Roger Slack Mathematics: An Historical Survey (Nottingham: ACT Mathematics Group 1981-83)
A useful 30-page booklet dealing with the history of math from the Pythagoreans to the present from a Christian perspective.
M D Stafleu 'The mathematical and technical opening up of a field of science' Philosophia Reformata 43 (1978).
Danie F. M.Strauss 'Number concept and number-idea' PhilosophiaReformata35 (1970), 156-177
Danie F. M. Strauss 'Number concept and number-idea (continued)' Philosophia Reformata36 (1971), 13-42.
Danie F. M. Strauss 'Dooyeweerd and Modern Mathematics' Reformational Forum, 1983, nr.2, 5-17.
Danie F. M. Strauss 'Mathematical paradigms' Journal for Christian Scholarship, 3rd & 4th Quarter 1994, 113-167.
Danie F. M. Strauss 'The three foundational crises in mathematics' Journal for Christian Scholarship , 1st & 2nd Quarter 1995, 12-22.
Danie F. M. Strauss 'Mathematics and the Real World' Koers Year/ Vol. 65 (1) (April 2000), 95-121.
Danie F. M. Strauss Reductionism in Mathematics: Philosophical Reflections Journal for Christian Scholarship, 37, 1ste en 2nd Quarter, 2001, 1-12
Danie F. M. Strauss Is a Christian Mathematics possible? Tydskrif vir Christelike Wetenskap/Journal for Christian Scholarship, 2003(3-4), 31-49.
Harro Van Brummelen 'Mathematics in the Christian High School Curriculum' Christian Educators Journal vol. 17(September/October 1977), 15-17.
Harro Van Brummelen 'What's happening in math' Christian Home and School vol. 57 (May/June 1979), 16-18. 
Arnold Veldkamp 'Irrational numbers and realityPro Rege vol. 4, (December 1975), 2-3.
John Westwell 'Teaching mathematics: it's time to tell new stories' Education and Christian Belief 9(2) (2005)

Web resources

Transforming Teachers resources here

Josh Wilkerson's God and math 

Blog posts
Patrick Chan 'A few math resources


Paul said...

Thanks for this Steve!

You can get the Poythress article at

Baus said...

Are there additional references here to what's on your site?:

Steve Bishop said...

Yes! Though most of what's on the websiste are listed here (I think!). This is the old list updated.

Katherine said...

I have written two books to help parents and teachers teach math from a biblical worldview. One is actually a supplemental curriculum that walks through the concepts in arithmetic, bringing in history, science, real-life, and, above all, a biblical perspective.

I wrote the resources after my own view of math was completely transformed by "Mathematics: Is God Silent?", one of the books I see you have listed here.

My website is

Thank you for this list of resources, and may God bless you!

Josh Wilkerson said...


Thank you for these resources. I have linked them on my website

I am currently looking for contributions. Would you be at all interested in offering an article as a guest post on my site? It would not have to be an original piece unless you so desired.

I look forward to hearing from you. Blessings in all of your future endeavors.

Patrick Chan said...

Thanks for the fine work, Steve! May it ever grow and prosper. :-)

(Kind thanks for the nod to my little post too!)