EDITOR'S NOTE: (a) Several subscribers took exception to my final comment to TF on page 4 of Issue #78. In reference to the length of Hell's punishment I said, "How can an infinite series have a finite total? The number of finites within an infinite series is infinite, not finite." Apparently several people feel that the number of finites within an infinity can be finite and one even provided some mathematical calculations with a liberal sprinkling of calculus to prove as much. When I entered college decades ago, math was my major and calculus my nemesis. Perhaps I missed something by switching to philosophy, but after reading the explanations provided I still don't see how a restricted number of finite numbers can total an infinity. Perhaps I've erred: it's happened before. So I'll not pursue the issue.
[Dennis missed the point entirely. It's not that there is a finite number of "finites" in an infinite series, it's that an infinite number of numbers in a convergent series can have a finite sum. It's not that "a restricted number of finite numbers can total infinity," but that an infinite number of numbers can total a finite number. For example, the sum of the series 1/1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/16 + 1/32 + ... = 2, not infinity. Wikipedia has a good discussion of convergent series.
Here's Dennis' original statement from p. 4 of issue #78, June 1989, his reply to letter #310: "Fourth, I'm not even sure you understand simple math. How can an infinite series have a finite total? The number of finites within an infinite series is infinite, not finite."
After seeing Dennis go so wrong, I let my Biblical Errancy subscription lapse with the September 1990 issue, and was glad to see higher quality work addressing biblical errancy in Farrell Till's The Skeptical Review.]