Thursday, January 1, 2009

Epistemology question ...

Here's today's verse (14:3)
O yüzrk dört bin kişi, tahtın önünde, dört yaratığın ve ihtiyerların önünde yeni bir ezgi söylğyordu, yer yüzündex satın alınmış olan bu kişilerden başka kimse o ezgiyi oğrenemedi.
Let's look at a few words:
  • yüz -- hundred
  • rk -- fourty
  • dört -- four
  • bin -- thousand
  • yeni -- new. The fabled "new troops" of the Ottoman empire were the yeni çeri -- a term more familiar in its anglicized spelling of Janissary.
  • ezgi -- song
Twelve, of course, is the number of God's people taken as a whole. Twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles of Jesus, twelve "good men and true" sitting on a jury. Oh, yes. There is a reason why a jury has twelve members. They represent the godly community in the exercise of justice, in the Anglo-American common-law tradition.

Just to make sure the reader understands that this body represents all of God's people, John squares the number, to get 144, then multiplies it by a thousand for good measure.

God's people bear the mark of his ownership upon their foreheads. And they have a new song to sing, one that mystifies the outsiders. The Calvinist has a simple way of explaining this phenomenon. For reasons of His own, God makes some people His own -- and makes Himself known to his own. There are some scholars who argue that the elect and the reprobate actually have different epistemologies, different structures of knowledge. The elect struggle to apply the knowledge of God to every detail of their lives. The reprobate desperately struggle to blind themselves to the evidence right in front of their eyes every day. As C. S. Lewis observes in one of his Narnia stories, "if you try very hard to make yourself stupider than you are, you will very often succeed."

Yet, there has to be some underlying common hard-wiring that defines the human soul, so that people of different faiths, and no faith, can communicate with one another. Still, part of our walk with God just does not make sense to those who do not know God. In which case, we have recourse to prayer.

No comments: