Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Probabilistic Devotionals

From Trinity Christian College's Devotionals for Statistics class:
Don't Be Average

Rev. 3:14-22

When we study numerical data in statistics, we organize the data, draw visual summaries, rank the data, and calculate measures of central tendency, among other things. With measures of central tendency, we calculate the mean (arithmetic average) and the median (middle value) to try to get a meaningful way to describe the data. Most teachers use mean and median and other descriptive statistics on test results to decide if students are performing as we expect in a class. Most students are happy if they are near or above the middle of the pack on a test score.

However, God want more than a middling performance in terms of our Christian behavior. He wants our behavior to be far away from that of the average "good" person. In Revelations 3:14--22, John is told to write to the Laodicean church that their lukewarm performance is causing them to be in danger of eternal rejection. Likewise, we must not be content with our current state as a Christian. We must always work to be even more "extreme" for God.
Because in Christianity, all the children are above average. Also,

For the sake of 10

Genesis 18:17-33

The evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would have been spared if a sample of the population yields ten righteous men.

(Via the Three-Toed Sloth.)