RE: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Traditional Christian Hermeneutics

From: Alexanian, Moorad (
Date: Wed Sep 03 2003 - 16:35:55 EDT

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    One ought not to confuse our mathematical description of nature with
    nature itself. Remember a map of a city is a useful construct but it
    should never be confused with the real city.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On
    Behalf Of
    Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2003 2:47 PM
    Subject: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Traditional Christian

    In post from the
    RE: Van Till's Ultimate Gap Moorad wrote:

    >Irrational numbers occur because of our
    >over idealization of nature by the mathematical
    >concepts we want to use for its description.
    >The latter in the sense that our description of
    >nature over idealizes the reality one is trying
    >to describe in terms of human mental constructs
    >that are related to but are not identical to
    >what we want to describe.

    This is really an assertion of Moorad's philosophical presuppositions,
    is fine. But one could just as well assert that Reality is fundamentally
    mathematical. Indeed, Mathematics may well be the "divine language" of
    Creation. It seems to me this is probably the most likely position to
    sense of the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" which many
    minds have intuited, such as James Jeans, Einstein, Eugene Wigner, and
    atheist Bertrand Russell.

    Here is a link to Wigner's article, with a quote from Russell,
    published in _Communications in Pure and Applied Mathematics_:

    The basic position I take is clearly articulated by the famous quote
    James Jeans' _Mysterious Universe_:

    "From the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the
    Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician."

    This is, of course, completely consistent with much of the traditional
    Christian intuition found throughout most of Church history, from the
    earliest times (e.g. Clement of Alexandria, Augustine, etc). Moreover,
    it is
    not merely consistent with, but actually illustrative of, the
    revelation of the Logos "by whom all things were made." This Numerical
    hermeneutic used to be taught in many Christian universities. It fell
    out of
    fashion with the rise of rationalism only in the last few centuries,
    with other valid hermeneutics such as Typology, Allegory, and so forth.

    The fundamental reason for this seem to be the fact that the validity of
    these traditional hermeneutics *requires* a rather high view of
    E.g. the introduction of Baptism and the Dove in Genesis 8 and Christ
    the Eucharist in Genesis 14 only makes real sense in light of God's
    inspiration of Scripture. Otherwise, we merely have some convenient OT
    that NT writers eisogetically forced into service of their man-made

    And this is what prompted the title of this thread. Is it possible to
    understand the profound - indeed seemingly supernaturally prescient -
    Allegories, and use of Numbers in the Holy Bible as the result of the
    natural history of the text? Are not these traditional hermeneutics
    extremely effective for both insight into and proof of Scripture? Is not
    effectiveness of these traditional hermeneutics "unreasonable?"

    Richard Amiel McGough
    Discover the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Holy Bible at

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