Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bell Curve Salvation

There are plenty of rich folks in the kingdom, just like there are plenty of poor folks in as well.

Using a very simple mathematical model of humankind and the deity, Oslington generates amusing explanations for traditional features of religion--why some but not all are saved, why apostasies often seem so sudden and dramatic, and why, as the diagram at left indicates, it might just be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

And, I might hastily add, an entirely bullshit model. Applying rational choice tools to the content of religion (in general) and salvation (in particular) is a rather large waste of time. It may provide a way of "exploring the limits of economic analysis", but that way is so admittedly simple that it cannot see the forest sue to the large number of trees in the way.

Have a look at the parking lot of your average church in North America - you won't see a lot of bicycles parked there. Some church services are designed entirely for those on the lower end of the economic scale. Conversely, there are church buildings whose parking lots are packed full of Lincoln's, Cadillac's, PT Cruisers, and other such elegant vehicles. Some are a unique mixture of both. The Church (that is, the universal community of those "in Christ") cannot be pigeon-holed in such a way.

At the risk of sounding like a 'thumper', God has been saving both rich and poor people throughout history. A passing glance at the Bible will confirm that.

Using graphs and formulae to predict who will be saved and who will not based on their wealth is to ignore everything special about the Everlasting Covenant, and to the One who established it.