Obviously, you're not a golfer.
I had previously addressed the topic of the number of children required to meet biblical expectations (Three Shall Be the Number Counted and the Number Counted Shall Be Three, April 3, 2006).
If you missed it, you may want to read it for context, but I thought I would respond to a comment made on that post last week, particularly since my view has changed somewhat.
The (9/10/2008) comment:
"I really hope that this entire blog was meant humorously and not to offer spiritual advice of any kind. The idea of "net increase" is especially bizarre. You gave no consideration to the fact that successive generations will also likely bear children, so increasing in number would be cumulative in nature. Even if parents had a only one child, there is an increase. Simple math proves that. 2+1=3
The whole golf analogy is just silly. A birdie is one less than par, not one more! You make it seem as though there are penalties and rewards based on the number of children a couple has."
My response ...
Well, my original post starts with:
"Previously, I posted my suspicion of the modernistic notion of quantification (These Go to Eleven), partially so that when I posted this diatribe it would be taken in a light-hearted manner. So, before the "sub-par" golfers try to throw me under the bus, you may want to read the aforementioned post.
Okay, with that caveat made ... let me have some fun with it."
That being said, I will interact with the above criticisms.
"You gave no consideration to the fact that successive generations will also likely bear children, so increasing in number would be cumulative in nature. Even if parents had a only one child, there is an increase. Simple math proves that. 2+1=3"Actually, that's not so, per very simple math. Take 8 couples, each producing one child. 16 people just produced 8. Those 8 pair up and produce 4 kids. Those 4 pair up and produce 2 kids. Those 2 pair up and produce 1 child.
So, in "successive generations" of having only 1 child the population decreases dramatically, as is seen in the above example where the population went from 16 to 1 in just 4 generations.
"The whole golf analogy is just silly. A birdie is one less than par, not one more!"Well, the golf analogy works because a birdie is ONE BETTER than par.
"You make it seem as though there are penalties and rewards based on the number of children a couple has."It had been quite a while since I read this piece, but reading it again, I think that's either an unfair accusation or misunderstanding of the post.
The children are themselves the reward, according to the post and according to Scripture (e.g., Ps 127:3-5).
Continuing with the trend of seriousness, I would be interested in hearing a biblical argument in favor of being able to have many children, but choosing instead to have 0, 1 or 2. Or really, one might say to limit the number at all.
Since this post, I have actually become more convinced that even the church has bought into the cultural perception of children as things to be avoided or minimized lest they cramp our style.
This is often voiced as, "We can't afford X number of children."
But is that really true?
I'll close with this, if the biblical command is to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”, then the burden of proof lies on those taking measures to prevent that from happening.
I'm not saying the only legitimate reason to have woo-hoo is for procreation, but when people mock a mother who has a 5th child, considering her irresponsibile, the church should at least be ready to enter the conversation with the biblical value on children.
Remember, it's "Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!" (Ps 127:5) and not cursed or punished.