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Doctrine in dialogue format
12Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. (Prov 26:)
"You're most welcome to be here Mr Busybody. I'm always happy to inform the public of the great strides we've made in the area of weather prediction. It's something we all can be very proud of."
"Yes, so I see Mr Pedantic. You speak of having made great strides forward in predicting the weather. Could you perchance give us a brief rundown of the progress you've made so I and my audience can better appreciate what your particular occupation entails?"
"Certainly Mr Busybody. Well, to begin with weather prediction predates the common era, that is, it was being practiced and perfected before Christ even came on the scene. For instance, about 300 BC the Chinese were using signs in the sky to predict weather, and about that time Aristotle described weather patterns using its own unique language. There's been a long history of mankind watching the sky, the moon and the planets in their effort to determine what the weather will be in the coming days."
"That is indeed interesting Mr Pedantic, but moving ahead, could you tell us why predicting the weather is so important? I suppose we're all interested in knowing what the day will be like so we can properly plan a picnic or a golf game. But other than that, what justifies all this equipment I see? And I highly suspect thee are other laboratories just as expensively equipped as your own in the industry."
"Indeed there are many such laboratories scattered throughout the world. In fact what you see here is minuscule in comparisons to the fully equipped laboratories used by such organizations as NASA and the weather bureau centrals. Weather prediction is not just needed for predicting picnics Mr Busybody. Far from it. There is an absolute need for accurate predictions for such important events as scheduling aircraft flights, shipping across the seas, and consider the absolute accuracy needed for space launches and in warfare. And consider farmers who need to know when to plant their crops, also investors needing to know where to invest their finances. Yes Mr Busybody, even Wall Street depends on the accuracy of my occupation. Weather prediction is not merely a hobby Mr Busybody, but rather the entire world revolves the accurate prediction of the weather."
"I do believe your comment on the world revolving around the work you do a little strained Mr Pedantic. However I do concede that it is indeed quite necessary for the proper functioning of modern civilization. You mentioned earlier the great strides you've made over the attempts of predicting the weather made by primitive man, if I may call them thus. What kinds of advances have you made, and how have you made these advances Mr Pedantic?"
"First of all Mr Busybody, barring the accuracy of your Aunt Matilda's arthritic arm...."
"I'm sorry to interrupt you Mr Pedantic, but My Aunt Matilda would feel quite offended if she was to hear of her arthritis over the airwaves. It was my Aunt Guenevere who had the arthritic elbow. Please continue Mr Pedantic, and sorry for the interruption."
"That's quite all right Mr Busybody. One in my position is especially aware of the absolute need for accuracy. Your intrusion was most welcome. In primitive times it was customary for farmers and other people needing accurate forecasts to watch the sky and interpret what they observed. For instance, if the sky was particularly red at sunset one might well expect the weather to be fair the next morning. People understood these signs from past experiences as they recalled what had occurred after other such observations."
"History is our best teacher. Is that what you had in mind Mr Pedantic?"
"It is indeed Mr Busybody. However such primitive means of predicting the weather proved to fall short of possessing the accuracy required my modern man. Not only is more accuracy required today, but it is needed over a much longer span of time. Predicting the weather for the next day, or even the next week is often not sufficient for such episodes as a shuttle launch."
"I find that interesting in light of the number of people who use such resources as Little Richard's Almanac written over two hundred years ago. I hear this resource has a high degree of accuracy in the area of weather forecasting."
"That is merely speculation Mr Busybody. One needs the aid of such accurate technology as computer modeling and meteorological observation furnished by these machines you see in this laboratory to predict the weather with any degree of accuracy. Add to this the data radar stations and our satellites bring to us, and as you can well imagine, the forecasts of primitive man just couldn't compare with today's accuracy."
"I see. And speaking of radar stations and other such means by which you gather information for your accurate predictions. Could you tell me how many such satellites there are circling above us sending this vital information?"
"Of course I can't give you specific information since such details are out of the area of my expertise. But I would say, as a rough guess, that there are about 2,000 or so such satellites. However, you do understand, that not all these satellites are for the purpose of predicting weather. Many are of coarse, but not all."
"Yes Mr Pedantic, I know there are communications satellites as well as those used for military purposes. You say there are about 2,000 such satellites functioning. You mean there are some satellites that are not. Functioning?"
"To be sure Mr Busybody. The first launch was back in 1959 and since then there have been many other launches, some successful, and some not so successful. Like anything else, satellites loose their effectiveness over time, become outdated, or frankly they just fall out of orbit and become lost as far as usefulness is concerned. As to how many such space junk as they call it there has been in the past half century I suppose is anybody's guess."
"You speak of lunches Mr Pedantic. How much does it cost to launch such a satellite do you suppose?"
"I can't say for sure, but I've heard of launches costing in the billions. And over the past decade the price for such a launch has doubled, and I would expect the price to continue to rise as we see everything else increasing in cost."
"I appreciate your candor regarding the space program Mr Pedantic. And if I may inquire further, how much do you suppose each of those thousands of satellites cost to build?"
"Again Mr Busybody I can only speculate as each satellite has its own unique characteristics. I would say the range for building such a vehicle to be between 200 million to 600 million dollars. Of course that doesn't include the cost of maintenance. You can't just drive one of those things on a grease rack and change the oil you know. Just a stab at humor you understand Mr Busybody. We weather persons are not all just business you know."
"Yes, I suppose you're not Mr Pedantic. What you've described sounds to me to be a great deal of money the government has invested in achieving accurate weather prediction. Tell me, how accurate do you find your forecasting to be? I mean, how much can I trust you're opinion to be accurate when I plan my day's activity? Have you tried measuring your predictability?"
"I haven't actually sat down and measured my accuracy no Mr Busybody. But as I tell my congregation, you can count on me to steer you in the right direction. My whole heart and sole is wrapped up in my integrity, and in my dedication to my duty."
"You are a pastor of a church as well as a weather man I take it Mr Pedantic?"
"I am indeed Mr Busybody, and a fine example of a pastor at that if I do say so myself. I adhere to the same strict dedication to doctrine and tradition as I do the findings of my job as a meteorologist, that I can assure you sir."
"Yes, I believe you Mr Pedantic. And just to make sure I heard you correctly this morning, you predicted abundant sunshine today and for the coming week? Do I have my information straight Mr Pedantic?"
"You have indeed Mr Busybody. All available data points to nothing but sunshine for the next five days. This you can count on Mr Busybody. Computer modeling, satellite photos, and radar signals all point to this fact. Need I say more?"
"A-hem! If you will observe Mr Pedantic you might notice that I am dripping wet from head to toe. It just so happens that instead of sunshine on my way, by foot I might add, to interview you I encountered a thunderstorm. Do you find that bit of information of interest at all Mr Pedantic?"
"You must understand Mr Busybody, it's not my fault. I just go by what the computer tells me. I parrot what the weather bureau gives me to report. I can't help it if they made a mistake. I just say what I'm told to say. You can't blame me if you listened to me and I was wrong. It's not my fault. You do understand that don't you Mr Busybody, it's not my fault."
"Yes Mr Pedantic, I do understand. It's my fault for listening to you, and I must suffer the consequence for my error."
6Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Eccles 5:)
38And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 39Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5:)
11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:)
[Note. Searching the Scriptures, and having the Scriptures memorized is not enough. Read these words from those most knowledgeable of the Scriptures of any time. They missed the truth that was right before their eyes. What does it take to find truth? Consider the passages that follow:]
24And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (Mark 12:)
9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:)
12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:)
12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:)
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