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The Mandate

Three Founders of Modern Science

By Editorial Staff
Published April 22, 2008

By Dr. Henry M. Morris

Johann Kepler (1571-1630) is considered to be the founder of physical astronomy. To some extent, he built upon the foundational studies of Copernicus and Tycho Brahe, as well as utilizing the telescope developed by Galileo, but it was he who discovered the laws of planetary motion and established the discipline of celestial mechanics. He conclusively demonstrated the heliocentricity of the solar system and published the first ephemeris tables for tracking star motions, contributing also to eventual development of the calculus.

Kepler was an earnest Christian and studied for two years in a seminary, leaving only with reluctance to enter the study and teaching of astronomy when the Lord opened that door. He was apparently the first scientist to state that, in his astronomical research, he was merely “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” a motto adopted by many believing scientists since his time. His astronomical studies also led him into studies of Biblical chronology, and he believed that the world was created about 7,000 years ago. Kepler wrote in one of his books, “Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it befits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”

Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Lord Chancellor of England, is usually considered to be the man primarily responsible for the formulation and establishment of the so-called “scientific method” in science, stressing experimentation and induction from data rather than philosophical deduction in the tradition of Aristotle. Bacon’s writings are also credited with leading to the founding of the Royal Society of London.

Sir Francis was a devout believer in the Bible. He wrote, “There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power.”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was one of the greatest early philosophers and mathematicians and is considered the father of the science of hydrostatics and one of the founders of hydrodynamics. In mathematics, he laid the foundation for the modern treatment of conic sections, as well as differential calculus and the mathematical theory of probability. His other scientific and mathematical contributions were legion, including the development of the barometer.

He is equally famous, however, for his religious contributions, his best-known work being his Pensées. He was a deeply spiritual man.

To him is attributed the famous Wager of Pascal, paraphrased as follows: “How can anyone lose who chooses to become a Christian? If, when he dies, there turns out to be no God and his faith was in vain, he has lost nothing – in fact, he has been happier in life than his nonbelieving friends. If, however, there is a God and a heaven and hell, then he has gained heaven and his skeptical friends will have lost everything in hell!”

From Men of Science, Men of God: Great Scientists Who Believed the Bible, by Henry M. Morris, Master Books, ©1982, 1988. Used with permission.

Dr. Henry M. Morris is the author of many books on scientific and Biblical creationism, as well as a respected scientist and author of a number of science textbooks. He is president of the Institute for Creation Research in San Diego, California.


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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

Welcome to the Second American Revolution!

This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

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Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

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Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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