Home > Bible, Genesis, Hebrews, humanity, John, New Testament, Old Testament, Romans > Learning to Count Again

Learning to Count Again

December 2nd, 2007

Sometimes people in the hard sciences such as physics have said daring and even spiritually applicable things. Such is the case in the following observation-quote from the great German physicist, Albert Einstein.

Not everything that counts can be counted,
and not everything that can be counted counts.

We think that Einstein was making a statement here, not only about materially quantifiable data (including star-light), but also about a sociology of valuing people above things. As Christians, we trace our religion back to the patriarch Abraham (Romans 4:16). And, the promise of Genesis 22:17 inevitably comes to mind—“I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven…” (see Hebrews 11:12).

The French mathematician Blaise Pascal also said something about the counting of the stars. In his Pensees, he wrote, On Man’s Disproportion to the Universe…
marvel at the fact that Earth is merely a tiny point compared to the stars which roll through the firmament. But if our gaze stops there…it will grow tired…For
finally, what is man in nature? He is nothing in comparison with the infinite, and everything in comparison with nothingness, a middle term between all and nothing…we are something, and we are not everything.
Listen to Pascal’s breathtaking conclusion—“Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed…the universe knows nothing of this.”

Yes, man is immensely disproportionate to the stars! But, man can comprehend the stars; the stars will never reciprocally ponder man! May we learn to count again—to learn; to live; to love—the things which truly matter (John 17:3).

– Robert M. Housby