It’s 390 years since the death of Johannes Kepler, the Lutheran Christian astronomer, who died November 17, 1630.
Kepler was an extraordinary Christian who saw God’s harmony in the planets and the universe. In his search for God in the heavens, he said that God gave him the laws of planetary motion for which he is remembered in science.
Although he was not a healthy person, and was disfigured by smallpox when a child, he believed in God and suffered through the religious Thirty Years War, a war between Christian sects.
This religious war had generals and armies on both sides. The victors cut off the heads of the vanquished and nailed the sculls to posts in the beautiful city of Prague for the citizens to view and remind them that one Christian religion was better than the other. Kepler took no sides, he wanted all Christians to work in harmony. In my mind, Kepler was closer to being a saint than any other person during his time.
I thought about it: why would Christians fight so hard? Well, they were barbarians and under the rule of Roman emperors. Some had converted to Christianity but they were still barbarians as Edward Gibbon noted in his Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire.
For a fascinating history of the life of this awesome Christian astronomer, find the book Kepler’s Witch by James A. Connor, who calls Kepler the “Protestant Galileo, a neglected hero of science and faith.” You won’t be disappointed.