From: Merv <mrb22667@kansas.net>

Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 08:16:38 EDT

Date: Wed Mar 12 2008 - 08:16:38 EDT

I had often thought about the difference between a line and a ray, just

as you discuss below; but I had never thought of using it to illuminate

a difference between infinity and eternity. Thanks for the insight.

Here is a further reflection (which doesn't necessarily augment or

elucidate anything in your analogy below but may rank as nothing more

than further fun & mathematical confusion.) Even a line segment, which

has two endpoints, contains an infinite number of points. Its infinity

is inward rather than outward. I.e. one could think of it as a kind of

"logarithmic ray", one that you can infinitely zoom in on, and by

magnifying it infinitely -- pushing its endpoints infinitely far away

from you, you can blur the distinction between it and a line. And by

infinitely zooming out, you make the line segment disappear into a

point. I suppose to a sub-atomic particle, if one could be conscious

to ponder it, something the size of a human body could seem like a

universe.

Thanks for the reflections. I don't know that I'll actually pursue

more math lessons with her (except where her interest lies in the

practical business math --she is a home-schooled student, and there are

other considerations), but she may be more interested in the theological

insights you have all shared. Thanks! I'm a math teacher, myself,

so please don't interpret any of this as a trivializing of the

importance of a math education.

--Merv

Jon Tandy wrote:

*> I think this would be an excellent time to follow up with the gentle
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*> reminder for her: no, there are other things besides God which are infinite.
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*> John 3:16 and many others say that we who are mortal may attain eternity.
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*> This doesn't mean we are co-eternal with God, any more than 0.33333333 is --
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*> both it and we start at one finite point and go on to infinity; if one is
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*> willing to endure to the end (Matt 10:22). Who would have thought that 1/3
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*> could provide a lesson about eternal life?
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*>
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*> My dad (a former math teacher) also talked about the difference between a
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*> ray and a line, as one mathematical analogy of God and believers.
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*> Technically, though both are the same length (infinite), they are different.
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*> One starts in infinity and goes to infinity, the other starts at a finite
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*> point and goes on to infinity (eternity).
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*>
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*> Jon Tandy
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*>
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*>
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*> -----Original Message-----
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*> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [mailto:asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
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*> Behalf Of mrb22667@kansas.net
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*> Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 6:59 PM
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*> To: asa@calvin.edu
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*> Subject: Re: [asa] eternal universe in Aquinas' time?
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*>
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*> --Merv
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*> p.s. said to my niece as I was giving her a math lesson: "...so there are
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*> an
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*> infinite amount of threes needed after the decimal point before it can equal
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*> 1/3 since it can only approach 1/3. So in a sense .3 repeating forever =
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*> 1/3" Her immediate reply: "No they don't. Because if the threes went on
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*> forever, then
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*> you're claiming something besides God is infinite; and only God is eternal."
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*> Never having had theology trump a math lesson before, I smiled in submission
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*> and thought it best to resume practice with percentages.
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*>
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*>
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*>
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*>
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Received on Wed Mar 12 07:18:44 2008

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