“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
I can still picture it in my mind – the large periodic table of the elements on the wall of my high school classroom. For those of you who don’t remember it, the periodic table is a tabular arrangement of all the chemical elements, ordered by their number of protons, starting with hydrogen as number one. So who invented the table? You will find his name in the table itself. Element number 101 – Mendelevium – was named after Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian chemist who first published the periodic table in 1869.
Back then, of course, there were far fewer known elements than the 118 elements we know about today. Interestingly enough, while he was putting the table together, he had to leave a number of gaps open for unknown elements he predicted would someday be discovered.
As Donald DeYoung points out in his book Pioneer Explorers of Intelligent Design, Mendeleev was raised by a devout Orthodox Christian mother who told him to “‘patiently search divine and scientific truth.’ … Mendeleev thus saw chemistry as a royal and godly pursuit.”
Sad to say, however, Dmitri eventually turned away from his mother’s faith and embraced a form of deism. Dmitri well illustrates the truth of the old saying: “God has no grandchildren.” Christian parents, though it is your responsibility to teach your children biblical truths, you must also remember that their salvation is out of your hands. It is ultimately a matter between them and God.
Oh Lord, I pray for the salvation of my loved ones. My greatest desire is that they would come to know You as their Lord and Savior! I will put my hope and trust in You. Amen.
Don B. DeYoung, Pioneer Explorers of Intelligent Design, p. 67 (BMH Books, 2006). Illustration: Modern periodic table of the elements. Courtesy of Sandbh. (CC BY-SA 4.0)