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In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He says, "The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000." (one hundred quadrillion) Stoner suggests that "we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?" Stoner concludes, "Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man,...providing they wrote them in their own wisdom."

Peter Stoner, Science Speaks.

 
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Matthew Kratz
 
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Probability of Prophecies Fulfilled
In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applies the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ. He says, “The chance that any man might have ...fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.” (one hundred quadrillion). Stoner suggests that “we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly... Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up [that one marked silver dollar.] What chance would he have of getting the right one?” Stoner concludes, “Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man,...providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”

 
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Troy Borst
 
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ILLUSTRATION… Discipleship Journal, 11-12/92
A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
1. Materialism
2. Pride
3. Self-centeredness
4. Laziness
5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
5. (Tie) Sexual lust
6. Envy
7. Gluttony
8. Lying

Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when…
they had neglected their time with God (81 percent)
and when they were physically tired (57 percent).
Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising
situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent).

 
Contributed By:
Marvin Walker
 
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On the slope of Longs Peak in Colorado lie the ruins of a huge tree. Naturalists say that it stood for over 400 years. It had weathered thousands of storms and had been hit with lighting 14 times. At the end, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground. This tremendous giant, that age had not withered, that lightning had not blasted, that storms had not subdued fell at last before beetles so small that a man could crush them between his forefinger and thumb.
Many people survive rare storms and lightning blasts somehow but allow the beetles of worry, fear, s...

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Contributed By:
Donnie De loney
 
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ILLUSTRTATION: ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?

Addressing a national seminar of Southern Baptist leaders, George Gallup said, "We find there is very little difference in ethical behavior between churchgoers and those who are not active religiously...The levels of lying, cheating, and stealing are remarkable similar in both groups.

Eight out of ten Americans consider themselves Christians, Gallup said, yet only about half of them could identify the person who gave the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still could recall five of the Ten Commandments. Only two in ten said they would be willing to suffer for their faith.
SOURCE: Erwin Lutzer, Pastor to Pastor, p. 76

 
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Sending Churches: The Fund for Theological Education has underwritten a study of congregations that consistently send people into ministry. In summary, the following are five characteristics of those congregations:
· Lay people are in ministry. Through collaboration with their pastors, lay people come to see that they can lead and do ministry and then want to push further.
· People can be who they are. Ministry is not stereotyped and authenticity is valued.
· There is room to explore. People are invited to think expansively and creatively.
· Education is taken seriously. Pastors challenge members with contemporary theological scholarship and demanding biblical study and awaken a passion for learning more.
· The call is boldly named.
· The full report can be found in the Winter 2001 issue of Horizons newsletter: www.thefund.org/publications/
· newsletters/v4n1/index.html (EXPLORER #45)

 
Contributed By:
Dennis Marquardt
 
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ILLUS: Moral erosion continues in America, according to James Patterson and Peter Kim. They report that 74 percent of Americans will steal from those who won’t miss it, and 64 percent will lie for convenience as long as no one is hurt. Most Americans (93 percent) say they alone decide moral issues, basing their decisions on their own experience or whims. Eighty-four percent say they would break the rules of their own religion. And 81 percent have violated a law they felt to be inappropriate. Only 30 percent say they would be willing to die for their religious beliefs or for God. -- Reported in The Day America Told the Truth (Prentice Hall, 1991).

 
Contributed By:
David Parks
 
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THE CHANCE OF FULFILLED PROPHECHY

The Old Testament contains over 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus. What chance did Jesus or any other man have of fulfilling these prophecies? The mathematical laws of probability can give us a clue.

In his book Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Josh McDowell mentions the work of the mathematician, Peter Stoner, on just eight of the 300 prophecies: "We find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in ten (to the seventeenth power). That would be one in 100,000,000, 000,000,000.

In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that we take ten (seventeenth power) silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he w...

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Contributed By:
Guy McGraw
 
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Sixty-five percent of America’s high school students say that they would cheat on an important exam. Fifty-three percent of them said that they would lie to protect a friend who vandalizes school property. All this is based on a LOU HARRIS poll of more than 5,000 children between fourth and twelfth grade, in public, private and parochial schools.

 
Contributed By:
Jim Luthy
 
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This religion of me and thee, as George Gallup, Jr. calls it, along with a hunger for experience over knowledge, has contributed to a tremendous diversity of beliefs, many of which are antithetical to biblical principles. These unhealthy attitudes have crept into the church, as evidenced by the following results of a survey of church lay leaders by researcher George Barna:
· only 53 percent believe that there are moral truths that are absolute
· 43 percent say there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit
· 33 percent believe that Jesus never had a physical resurrection
· 19 percent believe Jesus sinned while on earth.

Source: "Lost in America" by Tom Clegg and Warren Bird

 
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