From: Howard J. Van Till (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Jun 05 2003 - 09:00:24 EDT
>From: "Vernon Jenkins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The thinking part of me says to let this whole exercise in futility die a
peaceful and quiet death. The rest of me, however, finds it difficult to
resist one more comment.
> I had hoped you would consider it important that we factored in to our
> deliberations vis-a-vis how things began what the Scriptures have to say
> about the nature of those who so deliberate.
If the powers of human perception and deliberation are as corrupt and
distorted as your usual rhetoric implies, then "surely you must agree" (to
use one of your favorite rhetorical devices) that this corruption and
distortion applies to your own perception and deliberations regarding the
numbers that you declare to be a significant indicator of the character of
the biblical text.
> Regarding the numbers: I see them as fulfilling a complementary role in
> confirming the text to be divinely-inspired -....
The numbers to which you give so much your attention are declared (by you,
after the fact) to be significant on the basis of nothing other than your
own individual judgment (human judgment that you repeatedly disparage as
untrustworthy). Your whole approach is a-theoretic. You have no basis for
any independent theory to establish, "If the text is divinely inspired, then
it will generate numerical qualities of the following sort....." You declare
certain numbers to be significant only after you sift through the vast
sandpile of numbers that can be generated from any text. You dispense
numerous assertions of the form, "...surely you must agree...." without the
faintest semblance of warrant other than your own preconception of the
character and intentions of God. How can this be anything but manifest
> and that, surely, can be no bad thing.
Surely? Bunk! On the contrary, I see the focus on numbers as a harmful
distraction from focusing on the life-enhancing presence of the Sacred.
Indeed, I believe the attention given to numbers here serves only to enhance
the bibliolatry that infects millions of contemporary Christians --
especially in North America -- for whom the strident defense of humanly
crafted statements about the biblical text seems far more important than the
living of a life enriched by the insights of the biblical text into the
authentic human experience of Gods presence.
> Indeed, I believe the numbers serve to enhance the ability of the
> text to stimulate awe and worship.
For your sake, Vernon, I hope that you find this to be true of your own
experience. I do not find it so in my experience. I see it as the kind of
enterprise that opens the door to warranted ridicule of religious beliefs.
Howard Van Till
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