Re: The Nature of Atheist - Christian dialogue

From: Iain Strachan (
Date: Mon May 05 2003 - 16:28:00 EDT

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    Michael wrote:

    > Interesting but what has it got to do with God or the Bible? Am I totally
    > and utterly thick? What's it meant to prove? I am totally mystified
    > Michael

    No, Michael, I'm sure you're not totally and utterly thick (at least not as
    totally and utterly thick as I feel when I try and read theological texts
    full of long words like "exegesis", "hermeneutics", "epistemology" etc).

    I remain mystified as to the purpose of it. In fact the very first time I
    wrote to Vernon about it, I asked "What's it FOR?" I don't think we yet
    have a satisfactory answer. All I can say is that I'm as confident as I can
    be that it's not an illusion or coincidence. But do you not agree that,
    given my journey towards this, that I'm justified in thinking that just
    maybe I'm supposed to be looking into this? As you yourself said in another
    thread about the nature of Personal Revelation, it is more easy to believe
    this if done tentatively; i.e. I believe God is leading me this way, rather
    than "God told me this". From my own experience, it seems to me I've had a
    lot of nudges on the way. I could of course be wrong, and periodically ask
    myself & God "Should I be doing this?"

    Here's one of my own ideas as to what it means. There is a long tradition
    of human authors, painters, actors etc embroidering an unobtrusive
    "signature" into their work. A simple example is the way Hitchcock always
    used to appear as a walk-on walk-off part in each of his films. More
    recently, Colin Dexter did the same in the "Inspector Morse" TV series.
    Composers often create a "Musical Monogram", a sequence of notes to
    represent their name; the most famous being Bach. A nice instance in art is
    the engraver Albrecht Durer, who always used to put his monogram of a
    superimposed A & D plus the date somewhere in the picture. In one case it
    appears in a sign above an in, in another in a road sign. The most cryptic
    is in his famous engraving "Melencolia", which features a "magic square"; a
    4x4 array of the numbers 1 to 16, arranged in such a way so that all the
    rows columns and diagonals add up to the same value (34). There are many
    ways of doing this, and Durer arranged it so the bottom line read:

    4 15 14 1

    where the 1514 gave the date, and the 4 & 1 stood for the fourth and first
    letters D and A for Durer and Albrecht, and replaced the normal monogram.

    These are all examples of humans doing this kind of thing. One possibility
    is that it reflects the nature of creativity; we are created in God's image,
    and that maybe God might do the same thing? A kind of "I did this".

    Just an idea, one of many.


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