Saturday, May 14, 2011

Counting Down with Camping ...

In a previous blog post, I commented on the fact that Camping has demonstrably miscounted the number of days between April 1, 33, and May 21, 2011. The number of days 722,501, not 722,500. How did he make this mistake?

Here's Camping's calculation paragraphs from his "Another Infallible Proof":
Because of the importance and wonder of this proof we will take time to develop it. First we must learn that we can develop with perfect precision the number of days from one date to another. To obtain the precise number of days from a moment in one year to the same moment in any other year we must realize that astronomers have long ago discovered that there are 365.2422 days in a complete year. That is why in our modern calendar there are 365 days in each of three consecutive years. However, every fourth year has 366 days. This is done by adding an extra day in February of that year. Thus the average year for the four years becomes 365.25 days. But .25 is greater than .2422, so every 128 years a day is dropped from the calendar to maintain accuracy.

Thus all we have to do is multiply the number of years separating two events by the number 365.2422 to know the exact number of days between them. So from April 1, 33 A.D. to April 1, 2011 there are exactly 2011 – 33 = 1,978 years, each having 365.2422 days. This equals 722,449.07 days. From April 1, 2011 to May 21, 2011 inclusively (including the first day and the last day) are 51 days. Adding these 51 days to the number 722,449.07 gives us exactly 722,500.07 days, from April 1, 33 A.D. to May 21, 2011 inclusively. This number is enormously significant. Presently we will see why this is so.

Camping has made a mistake. The number of days from April 1, 33, to April 1, 2011, is actually 722,451 days (not 722,449.07). What about his proof? His proof is based on an assumption that April 1, 33, to April 1, 2011, are exactly 1978 years apart, and that a year is 365.2422 days.

Camping's calculation allegedly provides the number of days as 722,449.07, although more precisely the number is 722,449.072. But there's a serious problem with the calculation. The number of days between April 1, 33, and April 1, 2011, is not a fractional number of days. It's an exact integer number of days. That's because the sun rises exactly once each day.

If you're not convinced, try a simple example: April 1, 2010, to April 1, 2011. Using Camping's method, that's one year, and consequently it is 365.2422 days. But, in fact, you can go get a calendar and count and verify that, in fact, it is exactly 365 days.

Also, keep in mind that the 365 number is based on counting only one of the two end days. This is the normal way of counting days. For example, we say that April 2 is one day from April 1. That's because we count only the last day (April 2) and not the first day (April 1). So, it is a little strange when Camping asks his readers to count 51 days based on counting both the first day and the last days ("From April 1, 2011 to May 21, 2011 inclusively (including the first day and the last day) are 51 days.")

Using this method means counting from April 1, 2010, to April 1, 2011, to be 366 days. Moreover, as we noted before, if one counts both the first and last days, the number of days from April 1, 33, to May 21, 2011, is actually 722,502 days.

It is also strange to see how some of his other calculations work:
Interestingly this same message of salvation or judgment being the result of the Gospel is hidden in the total number of years the Gospel was to be sent by the churches into the world. We have learned that the church age began immediately after Christ demonstrated how He suffered and died to make payment for sin. That was in the year 33 A.D. We learned that the church age officially began on Pentecost, May 22, 33 A.D. It continued exactly 1,955 full years until May 21, 1988 when the church age came to an end.
A few points. 1) Why are days counted with the first and last day both counted, whereas years are counted normally? Those familiar with Camping's work should recognize this kind of arbitrary hermeneutic - a hermeneutic of convenience, if you will.

2) 1955 "full years" according to his 365.2422 number would be 714,048.501 days.

2) But the actual number of days from May 22, 33 A.D. to May 21, 1988 is exactly 714,051 days (including the end date) - which is indeed 1955 full years (including the end date).

Why April 1? According to Camping, April 1, 33 A.D. is when Christ was hanging on the cross, reminding people of the sacrifice he had already made before the foundation of the world.

However, April 1, 33 A.D. was a Wednesday, as you can see in the calculation results already discussed and as you can calculate for yourself (just enter month "4", day "1", and year "0033".

Incidentally, some programs may tell you that April 1, 33, was a Friday (input "4", "1" and "0033" here, for example), but if you look more closely, you will see that these are programs that are using a Gregorian calendar (back before the Gregorian calendar was even invented).

Incidentally, I suspect that this two days (of the week) difference is connected with the two-day error in Camping's calculations, but I am not sure.

- TurretinFan

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Issues

Blogger had some significant service disruptions this past week, and it seems to have damaged a variety of blogs, including this one. From what I can see, the only casualties have been comments, but there may be posts missing as well (I'm told that such things happened to other bloggers).


Thursday, May 12, 2011

"An Exceedingly Serious Matter" 722,500 or 722,501

One of Camping's key arguments for May 21, 2011, is that May 21, 2011, is 722,500 days from April 1, 33. But if we calculate the number of days from April 1, 33, to May 21, 2011, the number is actually 722,501 or 722,502 (depending on whether we count the last day or not).

Harold Camping says this is an "extremely serious matter." Perhaps he should recheck his calculations.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fear God, not Calvin and Luther!

Mr. Matthew Bellisario has posted a short blog item titled: "Luther, Calvin, Hitler, Stalin and Mao." He selects as his text Matthew 10:28 which states:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Mr. Bellisario has overlooked the fact that there is a shift from plural to singular. The command to "fear him" is a reference to fearing God. It is God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Thus, when faced with persecution, we ought not to fear our persecutors, but rather we ought to fear God.

Perhaps Mr. Bellisario should read Thomas Aquinas' Catena Aurea, where he would find the following attributed to Chrysostom (I haven't confirmed that it is authentic, but let it suffice for Mr. Bellisario that his hero Thomas Aquinas approved of it): "Observe how He sets them above all others, encouraging them to set at nought cares, reproaches, perils, yea even the most terrible of all things, death itself, in comparison of the fear of God."

- TurretinFan

Monday, May 09, 2011

Roman Catholics and Heaven

Today I was directed to the following video, in which Doug Wilson answers the question "Will Faithful Roman Catholics go to heaven?"

First of all, for a more in-depth discussion on Roman Catholics and their status, I would suggest people consider the debate between James White and Doug Wilson on "Are Roman Catholics our Brothers in Christ."

Second, I would agree that anyone who is truly repentant for their sins and trusting in Christ alone for salvation will be saved. Communion with Rome is not an unforgivable sin. Nevertheless, one of the fruits of the Spirit is sanctification. One would expect that as a believer undergoes sanctification, they will come to find the idolatry in Rome's liturgy to be the abomination that it is. They will be able to stomach it no longer. That's an expectation, but it is not a strict rule.

Third, the fact that one can be saved in an apostate church is not a good reason to stay in an apostate church, just as the fact that one can be saved even while fornicating is not a good reason to continue fornicating. I'm not saying the two sins are identical, though the Scriptures themselves draw a parallel between idolatry and fornication.

Finally, if you are a Roman Catholic reading this, please know that my primary concern is the state of your soul. I want you to be right with Christ. I'm not pushing some particular denomination or congregation. I'm pushing faith in Christ alone for salvation. Please consider it.


PeaceByJesus on the Lord's Supper

PeaceByJesus has provided some exegetical notes on "take eat, this is my body" etc. I'm not aware of any Roman Catholic or Lutheran response to him. A response to his arguments would, however, be welcomed in the comment box here.