Bible Code Digest—|
November 2004 Cont.
Why Are We Doing This?|
by R. Edwin Sherman
A couple of years ago, after thousands of hours of research, we came to the conclusion that the specific content of Bible codes is not sufficiently reliable to make them useful in predicting the future or in extracting new information from the ancient Hebrew text. And yet, we have continued on, conducting more research, reviewing the work of others, and writing articles for the Digest. And we plan to continue, in spite of the fact that subscriber contributions only cover 15% to 25% of our costs, and I personally have never been paid for spending 20+ hours a week on code research and writing since 1998. Given this, I naturally and appropriately have to ask myself why I should continue.
Yes, it is encouraging to receive new contributions from subscribers and all of the positive e-mails are great. Yet, there is also the barrage of disparaging e-mails we receive, and the problem that we cannot possibly answer all the mail we get.
Volume of Visitation
One thing that encourages us on is the amazing volume of visitation to our site. Over the last year, there were 15 million hits from 570,000 visitors. There is a tremendous amount of public interest in this topic. We continue to be amazed that the average visitor goes to over 25 different pages when they come to our site. They don’t just bounce in and out quickly. They stay awhile.
Our Concern for People Who Take Codes Too Seriously
But, our real motivation lies elsewhere. First, there are many code aficionados who take small groups of short Bible codes all too seriously, thinking that they have found some amazing hidden truth(s) in certain codes. We are concerned about such thinking. We do not believe that God intended for us to take Bible codes that seriously. There is too much risk of our coming to some detailed conclusion that God never intended to encode. So we see that part of our mission is to illuminate these falsehoods and help people to see the folly of ascribing more importance to the codes than they should.
Yet, Some Codes Must be Real!
Second, while we were concluding that Bible codes were inherently not reliable, we were also concluding that such codes crop up much more frequently than would be expected from a non-encoded text. Some codes must be real! If some are real, the author(s) intentionally embedded them in the text. But why?
Our view is that the phenomenon of Bible codes is there to provide another form of evidence that the Bible was not written by men, but by God. God knew that in our present day there would be many people who would desire concrete evidence of the Bible’s divine authorship. Our culture continually bombards us with ideas and priorities that are very contrary to those of the Bible—making it difficult for us to really believe the literal content of the Bible. And it is so easy to find fault in organized religion, and to be sophisticated enough to assert that there must be a better way to get to know God. Hypocrites freely abound, yet such abundance is also symptomatic of the higher level of expectation of conduct for those who claim to follow God. When standards are low, there isn’t much to be hypocritical about.
Modern Culture vs. the Bible
We suspect that many visitors to our site may not adequately appreciate how totally different modern culture and Biblical principles are. If that were more fully grasped, we would see that there is much work to do—to turn contemporary values, or lack thereof, on their head. Realizing this, we have decided to add one more facet to our web site, and to the Digest. It will be a series of articles that focus on what it is that Bible codes affirm. In short, codes serve as another witness to the validity of the principles and world view consistently espoused in the pages of the Bible. We hope these articles will help clarify the nature of the gulf between modern man and the world of the Bible. If the Bible is what it says it is, we need to re-direct our lives in radical ways.
A Bottom Line Message from the Codes: |
You Are Not an Accident
by R. Edwin Sherman
There are two vastly opposite world views. One is that all of life is an accident, and the other is that there is a God who is orchestrating the universe and history. Codes bear witness to the authenticity of the Bible, which champions the latter view.
Of the former view, author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis once wrote:
If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else's. But if their thoughts—i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It's like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk-jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset. (God in the Dock, pages 52-53.)
The media and our educational system have taught us that life and the human race are products of evolution, and hence are the result of accidents. What most people don't realize is that there is a large number of scientists (500+) who are quite skeptical of evolution as an explanation for the complexity of life.
Recently, Rick Warren's book, The Purpose Driven Life, has remained at the top of the New York Times Best Seller List for Non-Fiction for more than 70 weeks. The title of his second chapter is the same as that of this article, "You Are Not an Accident."
Rick Warren quotes several verses from the Bible to support his view. The most well-known one in this regard is Psalm 139:13-16:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (NIV)
This passage is the ultimate antithesis of naturalism and the view that life is an accident. In this psalm of David, he tells us that: 1) God formed each person and wove us in our mother's womb; 2) God knew our "substance" even before He formed us; and 3) All of our days were written in His book before we were born.
Not only are you not an accident, you were thoroughly pre-planned by God Himself for important purposes. In the 40 daily readings of his book, Warren details each of these purposes and urges us to discover what they are specifically for each of us as individuals. We highly recommend his book, which is available from our Online Store.