“Those laws [of nature] are within the grasp of the human mind; God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts.”
Johannes Kepler discovered the three laws of planetary motion (how the earth orbits around the sun, the moon around the earth, etc.). These laws became the foundation of modern astronomy. He also invented eyeglasses, the pinhole camera, and the Kepler telescope.
Along with Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal, Kepler was one of the scientists who led the Scientific Revolution in the seventeenth century. The Scientific Revolution unlocked the secrets of the universe previously undiscovered, in turn unleashing the technology of our modern world.
CENTERED ON CHRIST
Kepler began his academic career studying the Bible. His professors encouraged him to switch to math when he showed brilliance in the subject. However, he never really turned from studying the Bible because his faith informed his scientific studies. Even as he made world-changing scientific discoveries, Kepler continued to be a devout believer in Jesus as God. He considered his career a religious vocation. His scientific journals contain songs of praise to God along with his scientific discoveries.
His love for the science of the stars was based on his conviction that the physical world was tied to the spiritual realm, that the universe itself was an image of God. Kepler believed that God created the heavens in an orderly manner, which led him on a quest to understand natural law, particularly in relation to astronomy. He viewed the natural world as a mirror for the divine.
Kepler envisioned the Christian Trinity (God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit) in the solar system. He believed that God, a dynamic and creative being, was represented by the sun as the dynamic force that continually moved the planets; that the stellar sphere, or circumference, was represented by Jesus; and that the space in between was represented by the Holy Spirit.
In his famous book about astronomy, “Mysterium Cosmographicum,” (translated as “Cosmic Mystery”) Kepler wrote, “Before the universe was created, there were no numbers except the Trinity [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] which is God himself. For the line and the plane imply no numbers. Here, infinitude itself reins. Let us consider therefore the solids.”
Kepler believed that God revealed this knowledge to him. In a letter to his mentor, Kepler wrote, “I wanted to become a theologian; for a long time I was restless. Now, however, behold how through my effort God is being celebrated in astronomy.”
A plate from Astronomia Pars Optica
A plate from Kepler's book "The Optical Part of Astronomy", 1604. This plate illustrates the structure of eyes of various species
Johannes Kepler, 1610
Solid model of the Solar System
Kepler's Platonic solid model of the Solar System, from his book Mysterium Cosmographicum, 1596