From: Iain Strachan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jun 10 2003 - 19:04:19 EDT
Some time ago I wrote in response to one of your posts, "So I now say to God, '.........If you think your numerical tricks are going to impress me, we need to have a long talk.'" You questioned the relevance of that sentence.
Perhaps I can respond with a question to you. I know the idea of there being numerical tricks hidden in the biblical texts sounds barmy. When I was first told about it (by an atheist maths professor, not Vernon), I found the idea both repugnant and distasteful. I tried to ignore it (I was only interested in studying classical music). But on finding Vernon's site, I was bound to admit that something much more detailed and obviously "planned" was being described than anything I'd seen in classical music.
But I still don't know what it's for. I'd like to have a long talk with God & ask him why he allowed me to go on this journey that leads to my fellow Christians calling me a sucker for looking at "numerological drivel".
But here's a question for you. Let's get this away from Vernon's thesis that it somehow proves young earth etc, and take for granted that the Universe is 13 billion years old, or whatever current best estimates are. Given that, I would certainly want to know why God should tell me to labour and do all my work in six days and then rest on the seventh, ostensibly for the repeatedly given reason that this is because He also created everything also in six days and rested on the seventh. Since six days clearly doesn't equal 13 billion years, the reason given is blatantly false.
So like it or not, you're forced down the road of saying that God deals with us via symbolic numbers (e.g. the six days "symbolises" creation).
The alternative is to say to God "If you think I should work 6+1 because you say you created everything 6+1 then we need to have a long talk ..."
The relevance is this, that there are so many other, more effective ways that God could have demonstrated his power and love than by secreting numerical tricks in his inspired texts.
Surely it is not for us to decide how God should have done His work & I don't believe you can ignore empirical data (such as presented by Vernon), simply because you personally don't believe that is the best way for God to do it.
I'd also point out that Paul says in I Cor 1:20-25 that the gospel of Christ crucified appears to be foolishness to the gentiles and a stumbling block to the Jews. I'm sure if you thought about it you could think of a better way to do it than that. For example, the Moonies believe that Christ was supposed to have got married and started a line of sinless descendents to lead us all back to Eden. If that had happened, the world certainly wouldn't be in the mess it was today. But instead, the core of our faith is this "foolish" crucifixion.
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