What the Bible is & Isn’t Part 3: Noah & Fair Warning

Donna Noble: What time does Vesuvius erupt? When’s it due?
10th Doctor: It’s 79 AD, twenty third of August, which makes volcano day tomorrow.
Donna Noble: Plenty of time. We could get everyone out easy.
10th Doctor: Yeah, except we’re not going to.
Donna Noble: But that’s what you do. You’re the Doctor. You save people.
10th Doctor: Not this time. Pompeii is a fixed point in history. What happens, happens. There is no stopping it.
Donna Noble: Says who?
10th Doctor: Says me.
Donna Noble: What, and you’re in charge?
10th Doctor: TARDIS, Time Lord, yeah.
Donna Noble: Donna, human, no. I don’t need your permission. I’ll tell them myself.
10th Doctor: You stand in the market place announcing the end of the world, they’ll just think you’re a mad old soothsayer. Now, come on. Tardis. We are getting out of here.

Doctor Who The Fires of Pompeii 2008

Yesterday I wrote about the question of the Bible as not a video of events for the sake of recording history but as the inspired word of God for the purpose of saving souls. I further explained how events that predates recorded history written by Moses from oral traditions under God’s inspiration are explained not in scientific detail but in a way that people from the bronze age could understand, writing specifically about the story of Noah & the flood.

Now while I think I handled the whole origin of the flood business there is one point that can still be fairly made. Even if the flood was a natural phenomenon of some sort which God warned Noah about why did he not warn anyone else or allow him to do so? Is God culpable for not warning or saving any of the others.

Let’s consider this point for a second.

If you read the entire passage from Genesis Chapter 6-7 you will see (again Bill Cosby and various movies not withstanding) Noah is not instructed to keep what he is doing or why he is doing it a secret. Nor does the Bible record anything how anyone reacts to Noah & his sons building an ark on dry land.

Consider this. We are talking four men doing all of these things from building the Ark to loading all the provisions for all the animals involved. This is something that takes time particularly when you have no mechanical devices to aid you. It’s completely inconceivable that other people in the area would have missed it and given human nature one must believe that somebody asked what was going on?

But either way the Bible doesn’t say a thing, no commentary, no people laughing at him or calling him crazy, no neighbors asking him to get the ark out of their driveway, not a sausage.

Now the exclusion of his information does not mean nothing happened any more than the lack of info on Christ from age 13 till 30 means nothing interesting happened to him during that time. It simply isn’t relevant to what is being recorded.

There are however things we can infer by studying scripture both this passage and others in the Old Testament I specify the Old Testament because after the coming of Christ complete forgiveness for any sin, no matter how egregious, becomes available because Christ is the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. At the time of the old Testament that is not yet available.

So lets consider a similar episode of doom concerning the city of Nineveh and the prophet Jonah:

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:

“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”

So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’S bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”

Jonah 3:1-4

Now This is just one of many old Testament prophecies of doom including Noah, Sodom & Gomorrah, Jericho, Jerusalem and many others. What’s different about Nineveh is how the people react to the news God is going to destroy them:

when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.”

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

Jonah 3:5-10

This is very significant, Nineveh from top to bottom not only acknowledges their evil and turns away from it, but they as a nation beg God for forgiveness. And God (to Jonah’s annoyance) spares them.

Now consider another example, the dialogue between Abraham & God concerning Sodom & Gomorrah. God informs Abraham of his plan to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah Abraham presses God concerning killing the innocent with the guilty. God states if he finds 50 good people he’ll spare the whole city for their sake. Abraham however continues to press God dropping the number to 40, 30, 20 until finally:

But he still persisted: “Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?” “For the sake of those ten,” he replied, “I will not destroy it.”

Genesis 18:32

(I often joke that 10 good people threshold to save a city is excellent news for San Francisco but I digress…)

What do these two passages tell us? Even in the days of the old Testament God is willing to forgive the condemned if they repent and even if a place is crawling with evil a mere 10 righteous people are enough to save them. That passage incidentally is particularly significant because it is from the same book of the Bible as the story of Noah & are recorded by the same writer (Moses).

So what do I infer from this? The following:

1. There were not ten people in the world who were righteous

2. Even if Noah or one of his sons & their wives told anyone of the coming judgement of God Not a single person either believed them or repented.

I find this interesting because it dovetails with a point that I made in August:

And that is the true pain of Hell. Not the suffering outside of time or even the perception of those who have escaped your fate, it’s the knowledge and self awareness that your permanent separation from God, and the eternal fate you are experiencing was your own free choice.

There are a lot of adjectives that can be used to describe that fate, “unfair” is not one of them.

I submit and suggest that given God’s nature if any of the people within range of the Ark repented before it was closed up, they would have been in on board.

Oh and if you are an unbeliever who object to me making that conclusion without physical evidence, may I point out you have absolutely no physical evidence or example of a fin turning into a paw or a hand yet you believe macro evolution without question.

The Best of 2014

By:  Pat Austin

This is the time of year when everyone begins publishing their “Best _____ of 2014” lists; for example, The New York Times has published its Best Books of 2014 list (I’ve read only one of them).

So, following suit, here is my own random Best of 2014 list:

Best Books of 2014:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthoy Doerr: a simply stunning novel set during WWII.

Finding Ishmael by Michael Henry: a suspenseful legal thriller set in Israel.

Best Books I read in 2014 but published earlier:

Isle of Canes by Elizabeth Shown Mills: classified as historical fiction only because there is dialogue in it that the author would have had to assume but the characters are real people and the historical research is impressive.  It tells the story of Marie Thérèse Coincoin, an African woman in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana who was born into slavery, bought and freed by Pierre Metoyer, a Frenchman, and who went on to buy the freedom of her children.  Simply a fascinating read.

Children of Strangers by Lyle Saxon:  the story of Famie and her life on Cane River is steeped in Spanish moss and moonlight.  Lovely writing.

Best Dance of 2014:

Sadie and Mark’s Super Mario dance.  Too cute for words.

Best Election Result of 2014:

Mary Landrieu’s loss to Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Best Television Show of 2014

True Detective.

Best Dog Story of 2014

Braveheart.  While his story actually began before 2014, it’s safe to say that 2014 has been his best year.

Best New Trend of 2014

The Little Free Library.  These are just cool; we have one in our neighborhood and it’s great.

Most Exciting College Football Player of 2014:

Dak Prescott.  I know he didn’t win the Heisman, but he’s still pretty cool!

Best Conservative Blog of 2014

This one, of course.

We’ll be inundated with these lists between now and the end of the year.  Might as well get started early.

Feel free to leave your own suggestion in  the comments.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Department of “I wish I wrote this” Stacy McCain Edition

Haven’t we all been told, for many years now, that the rural parts of America where people vote Republican are hives of racial hatred? The last time I checked Census Bureau reports, more than half of black Americans lived in the South, a place of conservative tradition where nearly every governor and U.S. Senator is a Republican. And yet we see that in 2014, a black man was choked to death by a cop in New York City, one of the most liberal places in the entire country.

Furthermore isn’t it odd that so many young black men keep getting shot in cities that Democrats have controlled for generations?

Newton , Physics, Clean Rooms and the Laws of Perpetual Crisis

Navin: [to thieves in car] Hey guess what, you’re our 8th customer of the day, you’ve won a free oven mitt! I’ll go get it for you. [Runs to phone in office with police on the line] Yeah I’m back they’re going to be a while, don’t worry I’ve rigged it.

Phony Mr. Neusbaumn : [In car] You guys want to stick around for an oven mitt?

Thieves: Nah

The Jerk 1979

Benito took out papers.  The man snatched at them, but Benito backed away.  He read: “Dear Jon, I could understand your opposition to us last year.  There was some doubt about the process, and you expressed fears all of us felt.  But now you know better.  I have no witnesses but you told me you understood Dr. Pittman’s demonstration.  In God’s name, Jon, why do you continue?  I ask you as your sister, as a fellow scientist, as a human being Why?

Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle Inferno 1976

There is a certain point where you just aren’t getting the bang for your buck.

Newton’s 2nd law of motion states the acceleration of an object is equal to the Net force applied to it divided by the mass. Because we do not live in the vacuum of space once an object accelerates to a greater speed, say from 50 MPH to 60 MPH the amount of force necessary to maintain that new speed (generated by the gas you give your engine) is greater that what you needed to keep the old one.

But while you might be willing to burn that extra gas to get to 60 from 50 you might not be willing to do so to get from 60 to 80 & keep it there.

Maybe you can’t control the car well at 80 or maybe you’re worried about the state policeman who tacks on a greater fine for a ticket for every mile beyond 10 you are breaking the speed limit or maybe you just don’t want to burn the gas necessary to keep your car at 80. No matter what reason you have you figure that extra Yeah 1/3 of a mile per minute just isn’t worth it.

This is known as the law of diminishing returns and applies everywhere. It might be worth investing $200-400 on a robotic vacuum to keep your house clean but unless you’re Adrian monk it’s likely not worth spending $250 to $300 per square foot to convert your house into a class 100,000 clean room.

And even if Adrian Monk was willing to spend $300 per sq ft for that Class 100,000 clean room, he might not be willing to pay the extra $225 per square foot for a class 100 one.

Bottom line, there is a point where the amount of gain you are getting is not worth the time and expense or even the maintenance costs.

At least not to YOU, but what if you are a guy who make their living off those extra costs?

What if a guy sells gas for a living? The more gas you burn the better off he is.

What if you are in the parts business? If your crash your car speeding he makes a buck of the parts for the repair or maybe gets the parts from your totaled car at a deal for resale.

What if your small town makes it’s living off of speeding tickets? If that’s the case that extra $200 fine keeps you in clover.

What if you are in the business of selling clean rooms or their components? Wouldn’t you love to be selling them to 20,000 homeowners in a small city rather than the odd lab or two in the county?

That’s what happens with NGO. Many of them start out with the best of motives, to solve a crisis or problem, some of them huge and demanding, but once you’ve built that fundraising base, once you’ve secured that government spending, once you traveled to Prague, Sydney, Barcelona and LA to speak at conferences at five star hotels with the best of food, drink and companionship do you really want to give that up just because the problem is largely solved?

Maybe you can ask Al Gore, or Al Sharpton

If you’ve ever wondered why the environmental movement, the feminist movement, the civil rights movement the amnesty movement and all the other movements always seem to be moving from crisis to crisis it’s because of one thing.

You can’t make a living off of a solved problem and you certainly can’t convince people to give if your enemies are not about to destroy the world.

And yes I do get the Irony of my tip jar appeal at the end of this post but in fairness I don’t claim it does anything more than support me & pay my writers.

Olimometer 2.52

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