From: John Burgeson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 11 2003 - 20:45:33 EST
Vernon wrote, in part: "Wayne, it troubles me that, as a Christian you
cannot bring yourself to see that nothing is impossible with God."
That's a demeaning and insulting thing to say, Vernon.
As Christians, both Wayne and I affirm that nothing is impossible with God
(except logical absurdities). But what Wayne and I also assert is that you
have shown no reasons to consider the claim seriously.
" The phenomena are real."
Since I don't know either Hebrew or Greek, and have no knowledge of textual
variations, I am skeptical. But for the purposes of discussion, I have and
am assuming that you are correct -- that pi and e really do appear using
" We have to decide whether they are,
(a) there by chance,
(b) the work of a tradition of exceedingly clever men possessing powers of
precognition (to achieve what, precisely?) or,
(c) the work of God (more than likely, for some serious
purpose which we would do well to consider and discuss).
(a) seeems the only rational choice, in the absence of any supporting
If (b) is correct, whatever the authors were about seems to be of zero
If (c) is correct. what difference would it make?
>From: "Vernon Jenkins" <email@example.com>
>To: <Dawsonzhu@aol.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Re: numbers (from Re: personal revelations)
>Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 00:01:10 -0000
>If I can address just one the points you make:
>First, you say, "It is easy to play with the calculation procedure, chose
>the numbers to be used, chose passages that one sees as important, and
>the particular version of translation. That provides many free parameters
>You appear to have a false idea of what I am about. You must surely agree
>that the passages I focus on _are_ highly significant textually, and
>brimming with numerical interest when read from current copies of the
>Hebrew and Greek originals. The principle of reading words as numbers is no
>invention of mine: it derives directly from the historically-attested
>systems of alphabetic numeration used by these ancient peoples. The Lord's
>words in Rev.13:18 - with their offer of wisdom - both ratify the process
>and, in the giving of the specific number 666, provide a pointer to the
>kinds of numbers we are to expect and regard as significant. Thus, it is
>not we who choose the numbers; we simply _find_ the numbers and related
>structures of numerical geometry.
>Wayne, it troubles me that, as a Christian you cannot bring yourself to see
>that nothing is impossible with God. The phenomena are real. We have to
>decide whether they are, (a) there by chance, (b) the work of a tradition
>exceedingly clever men possessing powers of precognition (to achieve what,
>precisely?) or, (c) the work of God (more than likely, for some serious
>purpose which we would do well to consider and discuss). On the basis of
>available evidence, is it your considered view that option (a) can be ruled
>Thanks for your interest.
>Sincerely, and with regards,
>PS Your mailings are exceedingly difficult to read. (What appears below is
>an edited version of what I received.) I believe Iain has already pointed
>the reason for this and suggested a possible solution to the problem.
>----- Original Message -----
>Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 1:25 PM
>Subject: Re: numbers (from Re: personal revelations)
>Most of the posters on this list believe in God and have accepted
>Christ as a personal savior. My own resistance is threefold.
>(1) It is easy to play with the calculation procedure, chose the numbers
>to be used, chose passages that one sees as important, and chose
>the particular version of translation. That provides many free
>parameters to work around. So if we apply it to Faust, to Hamlet, to
>Aristotle's Ethics, or Marx's Das Capital, what is the result? So
>far, you have selected the procedure and you have selected the
>passage, but there are thousands of sentences in the Bible, and are
>they just meaningless? Moreover, if we also chose the procedure
>and the functions we wish, how can we be assured that it is
>_impossible_ to show that any of the above are "divinely inspired"
>by your methods?
>(2) You are the one who is pressing this matter, so the burden
>of proof is really on you in this case. I recognize the difficulty,
>but if you really want to make a case for this, you need to find
>a way to _specify_ an independent criteria that can be applied to
>every piece of literature. With so many free parameters, it _seems_
>rather difficult to argue that I cannot find a function and a procedure
>that doesn't show that some arbitrary selection such as Marx
>or some utterly vapid literature doesn't happen to have
>hidden functions in it.
>I can accept that I am wrong, but the approach, although logical, still
>strikes me as arbitrarily designed to fit my hopes
>and expectations. Naturally, because I am a Christian,
>I'm already prone to fall for all sorts of things if I
>am not careful. I think you also need to be careful about
>reading too much into these proofs number games.
>(3) Finally, even if there is something "intelligent" in the construction,
>the number PI was know by the Babylonians to 5 decimal places even
>in 1000 BC. It is of course interesting, but I don't see it contributing
>much to the theology. In fact, I am a bit concerned it detracts from it
>because it is written that "The Lord does not look at the things man
>Jlooks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks
>at the heart" (NIV 1S 16:7). This really looks too much like the typical
>kinds of meddling that man does, and not the work of God.
>by Grace alone we proceed,
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