Chapter 13 or Matthew Harrison's "A Little Book on Joy" details the following about Johann Kepler - a confessional Lutheran who has been called the "first astrophysicist".  The following are excerpts from that chapter (pages 99-110)

Johann Kepler (1571-1630) consistently makes the list of greatest scientific minds in history.  He's the founder of modern astronomy...The quest for knowledge of the universe was for him an expedition of shere, divinely-given joy.

What is the good of the knowledge of nature, of all astronomy, to a hungry stomach?...Painters are allowed to go on with their work because they give joy to the eyes, musicians because they bring joy to the ears...What insensibility, what stupidity, to deny the spirit an honest pleasure, but permit it to the eyes and ears!
He who fights against joy fights against nature...Should the kind Creator who brought forth nature out of nothing...deprive the spirit of man, the master of creation and the Lord's own image of every heavenly delight?  Do we ask what profit the little bird hopes for in singing?  we know that singing in itself is a joy to him because he was created for singing.  
We must note therefore why the human spirit takes such trouble to find the secrets of the skies...Man's soul is kept alive, enriched and grows by that food called knowledge (Kepler, quoted in...The Faith of Scientists in Their Own Words)

The Copernican revolution became established science bacause of Kepler.  It was Kepler, studying the orbit of planets, who figured out that there was a force unaccounted for in the rotation of those planets.  Isaac Newton - building upon Kepler - described the universal law of gravity.  "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."  After years of struggle, Kepler figured out the basic laws of planetary motion, discovered and documented the elliptical orbit of planets, and that planets travel faster the closer they come to the focus of their ellipse.

The great astronomer's dying words were: "Only the merits of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It is in Him, as I steadfastly testify, that there rest all my retreat, all my consolation, all my hope."

God grant to us joy in His creative wonders.  In an age that idolizes the fasle beliefs of macro-evolution, God grant us humble and clear witness to His creation of all things and His sustenance of our earthly lives.  God chiefly grant us gentle and clear witness to the one through whom all things were created who came into our flesh to forgive our sin and win for us eternal joy.  Those who disbelieve their Creator and Redeemer are not the enemy, but Satan's activity in their lives is.  Those who deny God's creation are without excuse (Romans 1).  Those who say there is no God are not intelligent but fools (Psalm 53:1).  Their deepest need is the very hope that God has given you through His Son, Jesus Christ - upon whom we rest all our consolation.

 

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