Re: [asa] Designed Kangaroos?

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Tue Aug 07 2007 - 19:40:58 EDT

Iain Strachan wrote:

Most people are not like me, and have a utilitarian
> approach to numbers - the numbers are there to give you a good idea of
> quantity, and whether they are are a big "so what?".
> The number of people who are sufficiently interested in these esoteric
> properties of numbers is so small that your findings are going to have
> absolutely no effect on anyone. That is why I think that if there is a
> Divine intent behind the patterns, that it's not the one you seem to
> think it is, because 99.9% of people couldn't care less whether a number
> is triangular or not. What concept is easier to grasp - that Jesus died
> and stood in our place in taking the penalty for our sins, or that 2701
> is the 73rd Triangular number? Which is more meaningful to 99.9% of people?
> Iain

Even people who know about primes, triangulars, squares, fibonacci
numbers or different kinds of infinities (eg aleph null... and others as
defined by Cantor as I recall) may well not be interested. I'm not! In
fact I would tend to avoid such as skating very close to Gnosticism. In
Collusions and Ephesians where I am reading right now, Paul says that he
determined to know nothing among them but Christ crucified... In your
note to Michael the other day you said something like, that it was not
pulpit material but for the ministers private encouragement... Like
Iain I to have seen healings and answers to prayer that are hard to
credit to anything but God and I find those more encouragement.

There are numerous references to the Gnostics in second century
proto-orthodox literature. Most of what we know about them is from the
polemic thrown at them by the early Church Fathers. They are alluded to
in the Bible in the pastorals (spurious Paulines of 1 Timothy, 2
Timothy, and Titus), for example 1 Tm 1:4 and 1 Tm 6:20, and possibly
the entirety of Jude. Ignatius of Antioch writes against them as well as
Docetism, a doctrine closely related to Gnosticism that stated that
Christ was pure spirit and had only a phantom body. Second Clement is a
document aimed at refuting early second century Gnosticism. Marcion was
the most famous of the Gnostics, and he established a "canon" of the
Pauline epistles (minus the pastorals) and a "mutilated" Luke
(presumably considered so because it lacked proof-texts such as Lk
22:43-44). Justin Martyr mentioned him c. 150 CE, and Irenaeus and
Tertullian wrote against him extensively in the late second century (in
Against Heresy and Against Marcion, respectively).

My brother was into this kind of thing as well as prophecy. My brother
ignored the plain meanings of the scriptures to such an extent, that my
father, who is a minister, said shortly prior to my brothers death, that
he was unsure of my brothers salvation. My brother was a diabetic and
killed himself not long after, by eating too much candy and sweets and
going into a coma. I know I cleaned out the apartment and there was
very little food but there was candy everywhere. What shall it profit a
man who had all kinds of esoteric knowledge but missed the plain message?

Another argument I would have against effectiveness of this kind of
thing was that where I worked shortly before I retired the bible
text/stories were constantly (daily) mocked, especially "666" and the
number of the beast and anything Christian was absurd ala Dawkins or

Let us know if you are successful on the sites Iain mentioned and then
maybe it will be worth looking at.

Please I am not willing to argue or even spent time looking at what you
have as I have too many other things on my push down stack by people
like Stott, Packer, D A Carson or even the mp3 files from the recent ASA
conference which I would have dearly loved to attend.

I expect to be wrong in lots of other areas of my theology and this
could be one more, but I kind of doubt it.

Dave W (CSCA)

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Received on Tue Aug 7 19:41:57 2007

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