Creationist Wisdom #803: How To Avoid Hurricanes

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Daily Republic of Fairfield, California. The title is Let Jesus lead you through life’s storms, and the newspaper has a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher — Rev. Noel Reese, pastor of Calvary Chapel Rio Vista. We’ll give you a few excerpts from rev’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I have been teaching through the book of Isaiah, a book of prophecy. … Included are the predictions of conquering the Jews, their later liberation, the coming of Christ and other relevant predictions in great detail. All have happened just as predicted. One constant repetition is God’s warning for people to turn away from their sinful behavior. He repeats promised blessings to the people, of their land and their crops that will happen only if they listen to him. Destruction will befall them if they continue in sin.

Sounds good, but what about hurricanes? The rev says:

Someone recently posted a photo of the devastation in Florida from the hurricane, asking if we could now finally recognize “climate change.” The question that came up in our study was, could all of these recent catastrophic climate events have anything to do with the judgment of God upon us? Is anyone asking the question whether all the recent record-setting weather events might have something to do with sin?

Hey — your Curmudgeon experienced that hurricane, so we’re taking this personally. The rev tells us:

We can read examples all through the Bible of God withholding rain or causing an entire Earth-flooding deluge when people reached the point of hopeless corruption. There are examples of God sending hailstones of destruction along with predictions of catastrophic future events involving everything from weather to stars falling from the sky.

Egad — is that what we just experienced? The rev continues:

You might ask, where is the science in that? I believe there is actually more scientific credibility for “an act of God” than there is for man-made climate change.

Could it be? What’s the evidence? Let’s read on:

A scientist named Peter Stoner wrote the book “Science Speaks” and applied mathematics to many things written in the Bible. Stoner took eight predictions from the Old Testament to determine the probability of just those eight, of the many Scriptures detailing the coming of Christ, being true. His calculations showed the probability in the life of Jesus was one in 100 quadrillion. He applies mathematical calculations to other parts of the Bible with similar astounding odds.

Wowie — one in 100 quadrillion! That’s amazing! Who is Peter Stoner? Wikipedia says:

Peter Stoner (June 16, 1888 – March 21, 1980) was Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953; Chairman of the science division, Westmont College, 1953–57; Professor Emeritus of Science, Westmont College; Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Astronomy, Pasadena City College.

Stoner is probably best known for his book Science Speaks [Amazon link] that discusses, among other things, Bible prophecies vis a vis probability estimates and calculations. The work is often cited in the field of Christian apologetics in regard to Bible prophecy. Professor Stoner’s book became widely known when it was mentioned by Josh McDowell in his 1972 book Evidence that Demands a Verdict (revised as New Evidence that Demands a Verdict).

Then the rev asks a powerful question:

I wonder why someone doesn’t post a picture of the Bible, asking when we will finally believe in it? It certainly has better odds of credibility than climate change.

While you’re thinking about that, here’s another excerpt

Will people turn from their sin and turn toward God? The Israelites didn’t and suffered the consequences. What can we do as individuals to protect ourselves and our families?

The rev offers several scripture quotes to answer his question, and finishes his letter with this:

Jesus led me through many storms in my life. I can truly say he is the rock. Ask him into your life today and be ready for whatever storms may come your way.

No hurricanes for the rev — only for your Curmudgeon. There is much to think about here.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #803: How To Avoid Hurricanes

  1. Laurettte McGovern

    So, are we to conclude that all 3.5 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico are sinners? Just wondering.

  2. Michael Fugate

    According to Christians, everyone is a sinner. The better question is why is God picking on some people and not everyone? A hurricane in California – out of a cold ocean – would be a better sign from God, don’t you think?

  3. Michael Fugate suggests that a

    hurricane in California – out of a cold ocean – would be a better sign from God, don’t you think?

    Indeed. And it would prove that God is gunning for Disney.

  4. Derek Freyberg

    Why do I get the impression that Peter Stoner would have a significant entry in the Encyclopedia of American Loons if he weren’t long dead?

  5. Following the Rev. Reese’s logic of sin resulting in natural disasters, people living in the Sahara desert, Antarctica, Australian outback, Siberia, and east-central South America (the name Escobar seems relevant here) are the most moral people on the planet.
    Northern Alaska and central Canada appear pretty sin free also while by global hazard maps, people in Japan, India, south east Asia, and Mexico need to start building big boats and collecting animal pairs for their eminent biblical floods.

  6. scientist named Peter Stoner wrote the book “Science Speaks” and applied mathematics to many things written in the Bible. Stoner took eight predictions from the Old Testament to determine the probability of just those eight, of the many Scriptures detailing the coming of Christ, being true. His calculations showed the probability in the life of Jesus was one in 100 quadrillion. He applies mathematical calculations to other parts of the Bible with similar astounding odds.

    One could do the same with the prophecies of Nostradamus, which, according to adherents, predicted the rise of both Napoleon and Hitler, among many other things. “Prophecies” can be “found” in any vaguely-worded text.

  7. Well, this old atheist is certain that said “prophets” were more interested (as are the current “prophets”) in profit. The more people you frighten into coming to your church, the more people will put money in the collection plates, therefore, more profits.
    But hey, I’m just an old cynical/sarcastic guy.

  8. Prophecies can be found in any vaguely worded text. But then, with dedicated work, prophecies, and just about anything one wants, can be found in any text. I wonder whether one can formulate a moderately long text so carefully that someone cannot discover some contrary meaning. Lawyers do it all the time.

  9. Ezekiel predicted the foundation of the modern State of Israel to the day, y’know. Fact. To the very day! https://findingtruth.info/2014/07/02/ezekiels-prophecy-of-israels-restoration/

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    So was the hurricane just general retribution, or how do we tell if it was something specific? If I sinned and was zapped by lightning within the hour, I would at least have a clue about the cause.

  11. Dave Luckett, Nate in your link dismantles the claim to prophesy, as poor scholarship. The claim came from http://www.alphanewsdaily.com/mathprophecy2.html . Alpha News Daily has a facebook page, with 15 “likes”. So a frnge loon; Nothing to do with the very serious nonsense of the Alpha Course.

    the prophesies fit bedause they were retrofitted, in the most tedious rabbinical tradition of the time, to literalist re-readings of OT imagery. Lodged in a manger to fit Isaiah’s ox and ass; massacre of the innocents to fit Rachel weeping for her children; the notorious virgin birth to fit Isaiah, again, this time the Septuagint version

    More interesting, to me, are God’s implied priorities. Gay sex provokes His wrath; chattel slavery, and the mass atrocities of the last century’s dictatorships, didn’t. Strange

  12. St. Maarten was at least 82 % christian (yes, past tense).
    The Netherlands is less than 50 % religious (so including jews, hindus and muslims).
    Still St. Maarten is totally destroyed (and on this point I’m a literalist).
    Conclusion: according to this rev religious folks in the Kingdom of The Netherlands are worse sinners than the seculars. The people of St. Maarten” had “asked him into their lives a long time ago and still were not ready for that hurricane that came their way.”

  13. It is standard to mention these topics in the context of Divine punishment and disasters (see Wikipedia)
    Tower of Siloam
    1755 Lisbon earthquake

    I have nothing new to contribute

  14. Laurettte McGovern:
    “So, are we to conclude that all 3.5 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico are sinners?”

    Sure — just ask Donald Trump.