From: Vernon Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jun 07 2003 - 17:35:06 EDT
I am surprised by the ferocity of your diatribe - yet, there is a sense in
which I am also encouraged by it. What you dismissively refer to as an
'exercise in futility' is hardly that - as you would know had you studied
the evidence and made the logical inferences. And whether it will 'die a
quiet and peaceful death' is, I suggest, highly unlikely; accordingly, it
might be well for you to consider whether your RFEP is able to sit
comfortably with these new facts.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Howard J. Van Till" <email@example.com>
To: "Vernon Jenkins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 05, 2003 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: The forgotten verses
> >From: "Vernon Jenkins" <email@example.com>
> 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,
> it will generate numerical qualities of the following sort....." You
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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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