Religion, Theology and Self-Improvement Sundays: What Is Prophecy? Part XIV
After our brief look at the important concept of types we now turn our efforts toward a search for a method by which any reasonable person can determine whether a prediction has occurred as previously described and whether that prediction has the Supreme Being as its Source. If we can find such a method we can know with a surety that a prediction is in fact a prophecy and has been fulfilled.
For the next couple of weeks we will take a look at the most impressive effort that I have seen to find an objective and reasonable way by which people of various ideologies - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, indigenous belief systems can study the scriptures in order to find truth and the identity of the Supreme Being and which individuals, communities, nations and even world leaders fulfill predictions made on the pages of scripture.
Again we take a brief and incomplete look at Minister Jabril Muhammad's approach to demonstrating whether a prediction is a prophecy and whether it has been fulfilled.
From his book This Is The One he writes:
Let us use our imagination for a moment. Drift back in time - anywhere you choose - to about 1,500 years ago. Imagine yourself in a discussion on those parts of the Bible about the future. We come across chapters and verses which say a God is coming. He will destroy the present world and bring in a totally new one. As we read, we come across passages that state that He will be accompanied by a man that He makes His Messenger among the people. This coming God will assign certain tasks to this servant of His. All of these readings are mixed with readings of the actions of that unborn generation.
As we discuss these prophecies, we look for a means of justifying our reason for expecting this God, His Messenger and all else we read about the future. We all believe that the prophecies recorded long before our time about the distant future came from God. How can we prove this to others who don't believe as we do? If we knew enough mathematics we could prove the truth of the prophecies to any reasonable person.
Let's return to the present. Fifteen hundred years ago there were not many people that the public knew who were able to show the truth of prophecy. Nowadays, the public has access to enough knowledge to determine with mathematical exactness the validity of divine prophecy.
George Boole, a mathematician, wrote in his book, The Laws of Thought that:
"The probability of an event is the reason we have to believe that it has taken place, or that it will take place."
"The measure of the probability of an event is the ratio of the number of cases favorable to that event, to the total number of cases favorable or contrary, and all equally possible (equally likely to happen)."
"From these definitions it follows that the word probability, in its mathematical acceptation, has reference to the state of our knowledge of the circumstances under which an event may happen or fail. With the degree of information which we possess concerning the circumstances of an event, the reason we have to think it will occur, or, to use a single term, our expectation of it, will vary. Probability is expectation founded upon partial knowledge?" (pg. 244)
In The Universal Encyclopedia of Mathematics, page 338-339, we read:
"Probability - If an event occurs n times, and if we may expect the event to turn out in a particular way (a favorable event, a success) m times out of the n trials, each of the events being equally probable, then the probability P of a success is P = m/n"
"A probability is always a number between 0 and 1. If the probability of occurrence of an event is 1 the event will certainly take place. If, on the other hand, the probability of occurrence of an event is 0, then the event will certainly not take place."
"Addition law of probability theory: If an event can come about in several independent ways, the overall probability that it will occur is equal to the sum of the individual probabilities."
Just an introduction, next week we will go a little further...
Sunday, September 10, 2000