If you’ve been a Christian for a long time, you’ve likely had someone ask a question similar to “can you provide a few verses on salvation,” or eternal security, or where you go when you die, or something else.
Why are those difficult questions to answer? In math, if a student must review the quadratic formula it’s trivial to locate the section explaining it.
Not so with the Bible; it’s unique by design (and intention), which explains why those questions persist.
The Bible must hold one quality math books need not concern themselves with — the intent of attack by enemies to jam and prevent its message from going forth. Nobody dissects an algebra text and rips out sections on quadratic formulas.
Yet many desire to rip-out sections of the Bible:
- Peter didn’t author that book, so don’t consider what he wrote as authoritative.
- Modern translations using the “critical” text (i.e. Westcott and Hort’s magic deletions — for more see a primer on Bible Translation.
- Daniel was written later by a forger, after the so-called “prophecy” of events.
Scholars debate and discuss (perhaps voting) on what Jesus said, which books of the Bible are written by the author, and when it was written. Ridiculous theories like the documentary hypothesis (Moses didn’t write the books bearing his name), the equally laughable deutero-Isaiah, Daniel didn’t write when he did (but it’s included in the Septuagint so no matter the page count on their thesis, it can’t possibly post-date the Septuagint).
Scholars attack the entire Bible, as God anticipated pseudo-scholarship and the bogus theories it spawns. Thus, no single chapter in the Bible exists as the “salvation” chapter; the message spreads across the entire book, as revealed in Isaiah.
But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; (Isaiah 28:13)
To understand doctrine, the complete Bible must be studied as an integrated system, not picking and choosing favorite parts, which also explains why the scientific method is so important: God Himself says it’s so.
Critical thinking, logic, and science are keys to avoid deception. Sadly it’s become fashionable to boast about lack of education and critical thinking skills, and that attitude (especially anti-science) has infected the church and Christians.
It’s trendy in the church after the dawn of the pandemic age (2020–2021) to boast and brag about denying science (and by extension, reality). Yet the scientific method remains nothing more than a logical and God-given method to discover the way God designed the cosmos, and the immutable rules governing its running.
- Make a guess
- Examine real-world data to determine if guess matches reality
- Modify guess based on results
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
When used correctly, it’s the method to be employed, and always works. Sadly, many today become stuck on step one — make a guess — and when reality fails to match their ideas, fail to modify their ideas based on reality. It’s easy to see examples of this in many areas.
On the spectrum’s other end of the science-deniers rest the feeling people, reducing Christianity to feelings and opinion. I think Jesus wouldn’t have done xyz, therefore if He did speak on it, the Bible must be wrong and we should (must) ignore that section. An example from Isaiah 14:12–15 shows the error of believing your opinion overrules God — it didn’t work out well for the guy who tried it.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to watch an illusionist live and in-person, you can be staring directly at him, and you know he didn’t saw the person in half, yet that’s what you observed and witnessed.
Will you believe your lying eyes? Or logical thinking skills?
To the Bible and Peter who states an idea you might think strange at first, but in light of the previous makes 100% sense.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (2 Peter 1:16–17)
Peter was there for most of Jesus’ events, yet he tackles this vital subject and it’s important because it applies to us, not just those who watched Jesus 2000 years ago, as he continues with a strange idea.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
Peter states he was there for the events of Jesus’ life, yet don’t believe his eyewitness account, look to the more sure word of prophecy, and tosses in the additional thought if you want to be a smart person, you would do well to heed prophecy over what he saw — if you want to be smart in Peter’s sense, don’t believe gossip, unsubstantiated conspiracies, political nonsense, misquotes, or even your eyes.
Trust. The. Math.
In the end, almost everything is math. Economics, politics, pandemics, science, biology, and knowing the Bible all come down to math.
Without diverting into a detailed analysis (others have), considering all the prophecies of Jesus and making guesses as to the probability of each (i.e. what are the odds of a person being born in Bethlehem?), obtaining a composite probability and considering the result, it’s mathematically impossible for Jesus not to be who He said He was when viewed through a prophetic lens.
The probability numbers become more than the number of atoms in the universe, as if you marked a single atom somewhere in the universe, and you must pick the correct one on the first try. It rounds to zero — trust the math of prophecy (which explains why critics try to late-date Daniel and others for example, they know the math proves prophecy and the Bible).
The Bible demonstrates logical principles, which often are misunderstood (and misused).
If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1–3)
Even if a “prophet” arises, performs miracles or predicts the future, but contradicts God’s Word, he remains a false prophet. Don’t believe your eyes, believe God’s Word.
Another fashionable trend remains “updating the Bible for modern times” — a bad idea as God remains constant, yet many state portions of God’s Word don’t apply today, or the scientific rules governing the cosmos since its creation don’t apply today either.
Principle #1 — Miracles do NOT validate a prophet.
The magicians in Egypt duplicated Moses’ miracles … up to a point. Pharaoh failed to understand miracles can’t be used to validate a true prophet of God.
Deuteronomy 18 repeats a similar warning, but from a different perspective.
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20–22)
Here’s where math comes in — Deuteronomy 13 proclaims a false prophet can perform miracles (which we know from Egypt) so DO NOT use that to validate; Deuteronomy 18 sets the standard for God’s prophets as 100% accuracy — if a claimed prophet’s events do not come to pass, he’s not a prophet from God.
Principle #2 — Failure of prophecy means a false prophet.
- If events don’t come to pass, then not a true prophet (Deuteronomy 18)
- If event is true, then ??? (No information — Deuteronomy 13)
In math terms the Converse of a statement is not necessarily true. It may be, but you don’t know it and it must be proved apart from the original idea.
- If A, then B
- Converse: If B, then A
- Inverse: If Not A, then not B
- Contrapositive: If not B, then not A
From the original statement, only the last can be assumed as true. The contrapositive of Deuteronomy 18 obtains the statement often repeated in Christian circles: A true prophet of God states prophecies which always come true with 100% accuracy. It’s logically equivalent to Deuteronomy 18.
- If true prophet, then event is true.
- If event is true, then the prophet is true
- If not true prophet, then the event is not true
- Contrapositive: The event not true, then not a prophet. (Deuteronomy 18)
TRUST THE MATH.
A simpler example might provide clarity. Suppose we say “If I am on the couch, then I am in my house” we can logically form the following statements:
- If I am in the house, then I am on the couch.
- If I am not on the couch, I am not in the house.
- Contrapositive: If I am not in my house, I am not on the couch.
It’s obvious the converse and inverse may — or may not — be true, as a person could be in the kitchen, for example, or be sitting on the couch.
Not surprisingly, Deuteronomy follows logical rules — trust the math.
Back to Peter. Peter says you would do well to head math and logical analysis; don’t be anti-science, anti-logic, or anti-math — those positions contradict the Bible’s teaching. Peter provides the answer to a frequent and troubling question — why send a prophet when they won’t heed the message?
And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiff-hearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them. (Ezekiel 2:3–5)
Sure, people are rebellious and not many listen, but then they are without excuse when they know a prophet and God’s message has been among them. Certainly true, but a more troubling question remains, why send the prophet when the Lord knows nobody will listen, as God tells Jeremiah.
Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee. (Jeremiah 7:25–27)
Two reasons for sending prophets to stiff-necked rebellious people:
- So they know a prophet has been among them.
- As Peter says, so we validate the math.
Jeremiah writes more than most of the prophets, and he’s one the Lord told the people won’t accept the message; a reason besides the obvious of warning the people of Jeremiah’s day must be involved, and Peter reveals it. We wouldn’t have the message if the Lord told Jeremiah “don’t bother with them, they won’t listen” — we need Jeremiah’s writing as Peter says trust the math of the prophets.
Daniel lived Peter’s words:
In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. (Daniel 9)
Daniel acknowledges two things: Jeremiah was a prophet, and he takes what Jeremiah said literally — 70 years are almost up. Notice no chapter exists on trust the math, but it’s everywhere (here a little, there a little), and math’s logical rules are explicit in the Bible.
Daniel foreshadowed what Peter would say much later: trust the math, and take prophecy literally. Daniel also lived Peter’s next thought.
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1)
It’s not private, but out in the open. Logical rules are available to anyone who wants to learn. Sadly, some don’t, but it’s not because it’s secret or unavailable. Daniel didn’t read Jeremiah and wonder, what does 70 years mean?
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1–2)
Victims are those who don’t trust math, and many follow them. Commonly called tin-foil hat people, flat-earth, science deniers, etc.
If people abandon logic, thinking, and science they’ll wander — slowly at first — and end up far from the truth. False teachers will be in the church. One way to uncover them is they don’t trust the math — they can be anti-science, anti-math, anti-logic, fail to modify their position when new evidence appears, fight and screech for their opinion, and become hostile to anyone who questions their idea or dares ask for evidence.
Questions are always acceptable on any subject as truth can withstand scrutiny (it’s fine to discuss flat-earth theory, but it will be a short conversation). Those becoming hostile when legitimate questions come up (or fail to modify their position when evidence demands) provide a clue they don’t have reality backing up their opinion.
Trust the math.
At 3am or any other time.