Enoch, Elijah and a non-sequitur

Monday Musings for September 03, 2018

Good morning, Musers,

I did a bit of laboring myself this week… trying to figure out what drove one of the stranger challenges to a portion of Scripture that I’ve ever encountered. A questioner (who knew some Scripture) challenged the biblical accounts where God took Enoch and Elijah directly into heaven without having them experience bodily death.

Now, when you read these accounts, they are very direct. There is no real wiggle room for alternate scenarios. Nevertheless, today’s questioner forged ahead. But in so doing, he gave us the best live example I’ve ever received of a non-sequitur — one too good not to share with you.

A non sequitur is a logical fallacy that occurs when a conclusion doesn’t align with the reasoning that supposedly supports it. If I told you that many people prefer salted nuts to unsalted nuts and that therefore, bunnies are cuter than chipmunks, you would probably give me a puzzled look. Well, the non sequitur in today’s query is just as misaligned.

But there’s an overarching problem in our question that will sound familiar to my regular readers: just because people can set up something that sounds like cause-and-effect (or effect-and-proof) in a proper sentence, this does not mean that the sentence contains a logical statement. Unfortunately — and especially to the uncritical reader/thinker — they are often understood to do just that.

But sentences aside, I’m still left to wonder, who would want to challenge the fact that Enoch was translated? (“Translated” is KJV-speak for taken directly to heaven without dying. [Hebrews 11:5].) This event prefigures Christ’s return. When Jesus comes back he will gather up those who are still alive (and those whom he is resurrecting from the dead) to join him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17)… and they won’t experience death!

Now, people who refuse to believe in miracles would be motivated to try to explain these miracles away… although antisupernaturalists are stuck not being able to complain about Scripture because they give it no credence. (If they did complain, they’d be guilty of the taxicab fallacy… giving Scripture enough credence to complain about it.)

But our questioner does affirm Scripture, so I assume he is a Christian (… although he obviously has an ax to grind). Yet, he left me with a problem. Sure… he challenged a few passages of Scripture. But he never really told me what was bothering him about them. So, I took a guess.

Also, I left his question intact as much as possible (I usually edit for clarity) to give you a window on what I often encounter. But the non sequitur will come through if you give him a patient reading.

So, buckle up and enjoy the musings. The logic train is leaving the station… so hey… no spitting out the windows! Come and see why there will be no non-sequiturs in heaven.

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