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.
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