Sermon Illustrations

In 1969, Dr. Peter Stoner published a book called “Science Speaks.” Dr. Stoner was the Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena City College until 1953, when he became Chairman of the Science Division at Westmont College. In other words, he was a capable mathematician. And in “Science Speaks,” Dr. Stoner calculated the probability that any one man could fulfill just these eight prophecies to be 1 chance in 10 to the 17th power, meaning a 1 with 17 zeros after it.

To illustrate how unlikely a chance that would be, Stoner gave this illustration. Cover the entire state of Texas with silver dollars to a level of two feet deep. The total number of silver dollars needed would be 10 to the 17th power. Now, choose just one silver dollar, mark it, and put it back. Then thoroughly stir all the silver dollars all over the state. Now, blindfold someone and tell them they can travel wherever they want in Texas, but sometime they must pick one of the silver dollars. The chance of finding that one silver dollar that we marked in a pile 2 feet deep covering the state of Texas would be the chance the prophets had for these eight prophecies coming true in any one man in the future. (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible 107 (Chicago, Moody Press, 1969)).

Interestingly, Dr. Stoner submitted his figures for review to a Committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. After examining his figures, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented. (Id. at 4).

And that is just eight of the more than sixty prophecies about the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled.