Re: The forgotten verses

From: Don Winterstein (
Date: Fri Jun 13 2003 - 15:14:40 EDT

  • Next message: Vernon Jenkins: "Re: The forgotten verses"

    >What you refer to as 'numerical tricks' are widely recognised in other =
    areas as a sure means of advertising/detecting intelligence (eg =
    SETI)............The fact that the biblical numbers to which I have =
    drawn attention rest on such a secure _secular_ foundation suggests they =
    have been specifically chosen to accomplish some important purpose; and =
    the fact that they have been revealed in our day implies an imminent =
    realisation of that purpose. =20

    In this instance the question of whether an intelligence is behind the =
    phenomenon is answered by the existence of understandable words in a =
    known language. Numerical tricks don't contribute anything in that =
    respect. If there's any "important purpose" it's totally obscure to me. =

    >But if the words God actually used are not believed, what good do you =
    think further words along the lines you suggest would achieve?=20

    By "not believed" I assume you mean "not taken as literally true in a =
    scientific sense." The words of the creation accounts are indeed not =
    believed in that sense precisely because they are utterly irreconcilable =
    with huge volumes of scientific evidence. As indicated previously, I =
    (and many others) would have a much different attitude towards the Bible =
    and its inspiration if in some small way the inspired texts acknowledged =
    the scientific evidence. In other words, such further words would have =
    made a huge difference, would have done a huge amount of "good." The =
    fact that they're not there has had a huge impact on my personal =
    theology, on my view of the kind of person God is. =20

    >Are you really happy with the idea.........that reading the distant =
    past has now become an _exact_ science?=20

    How exact it is depends on the quantity, quality and kinds of data =
    available and what scientists say about it. Some of their conclusions =
    are very well established. Other conclusions are supported only by =
    plausibility arguments. Overall, there is no way a reasonable, =
    intelligent, open-minded person who knows the data could conclude that =
    the world is young except by saying that God tricked us by making =
    something young look old. (Then you might say the person wasn't =
    reasonable.) Therefore the reality of the Earth's _distant_ past is as =
    firmly established as anything in any science. =20

    As for scientists' coming to the wrong conclusions because man is evil: =
    Come on, some men are not evil but are living sanctified lives through =
    God's grace. I'm one, I've examined a lot of the scientific data, and =
    my conclusions about the age of the world aren't wrong. =20

    >I suggest the clear evidence of intelligent design in the choice and =
    use of the numerical structures supporting key biblical texts offers us =
    a further valuable insight into the Lord's character.=20

    How many key biblical texts don't have any such numerical structures? =
    We're talking about really simple declarative sentences. What are =
    chances that these numerical structures are statistical accidents? =
    Given the large number of sentences in the Bible, is it not likely that =
    one or two would exhibit such numerical structures? How many sentences =
    in War and Peace or For Whom the Bell Tolls have such structures? I =
    know I'm risking a barrage from you for asking such questions, but come =
    on, these are really simple sentences. There aren't that many different =
    ways you could say what these sentences say. =20

    >He is intent on following His plan of redemption through to the end, =
    and is now inviting man to reason his way to belief.

    No one reasons his way to belief. Everyone whether sophisticated or =
    not, whether intelligent or not, is rightfully suspicious of pure =
    reason. Maybe the assumptions or premises are flawed, maybe the logic =
    is subtly twisted, and one just doesn't recognize the problem. =20

    >.........The coordinated numerical structures.........are undoubtedly =
    _real_; and as Christians and scientists we should be able to face their =
    scriptural presence in a spirit of healthy curiosity, and make =
    reasonable inferences concerning them.=20

    Yes, someone (you and Iain?) should face and examine their presence; but =
    so far I see no reasonable inferences. =20



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