Today’s Illustration: Under High Errant Conditions

challenger high errant conditions  Warned: Likely To Fail!


The Design Of “Today’s Illustration”:  The Format & Purpose

  • The illustrations are designed to be different and fresh.
  • The illustrations are based on . . . .

True events
The lives of real people
“How it works” (which is what Tony Evans often uses)
A mixture of two or all three – (like today’s illustration)

  • Sometimes the illustration is well known in the preaching world, but we have done more research to add additional details that might prove to be interesting.
  • The basic facts of the event or person are laid out.
  • Quotations from books and magazine articles about the event or person are included.
  • “Key Illustrative Thoughts” are designed to get your mind thinking about possible ways to use the illustration.
  • The “Key Thoughts” catch some of the keywords and phrases found in the illustrations content which can be carried down into the message.
  • Other general or interesting information which might be of use is provided at the end.
  • Additional links for your own further exploration of the topic, person, or event have been included at the end.  There is plenty more that could be used from the references.
  • We do all the research and work for you!  Dig deeper into the story or event if you want and let us know about yet other ideas which can be useful!
  • Feel free to use all that is provided as you will.  It is yours to use and to benefit your preaching, teaching and speaking.


On This Day:  January 28, 1986  — Seven Shuttle Members Die In Firely Explosion

“The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is probably the most significant event in the history of spaceflight in terms of its impact on the general public and on the US space program. The death of a crew of seven, which for the first time included civilian astronaut Christa McAuliffe, in a fiery explosion broadcasted in national television for days after the accident left a mark in the public imagination.”


A Cold Launch Day
A two-hour delay due to icy conditions
Seals which were now under “high-errant-conditions”

“The morning of January 28 was unusually cold, and engineers warned their superiors that certain components—particularly the rubber O-rings that sealed the joints of the shuttle’s solid rocket boosters—were vulnerable to failure at low temperatures. However, these warnings went unheeded, and at 11:39 a.m. Challenger lifted off.”

Missed Warnings: The Fatal Flaws Which Doomed Challenger”


How It Works:

In testing equipment, engineers put equipment under “high errant conditions.”  The piece of equipment is put under STRESS.

It is a procedure or a test that strains the object to the uttermost.

It stresses and strains it to conditions that far exceed normal use.  

It tests it by continually increasing the possibility of failure. 

The purposes are several and at times different:  It is to . . . .

•determine at what point it will fail.
•be able to inform a user about the limits to which it can be put to use.
•assess whether it will survive under what ought to be normal conditions.
•determine when failure or errors will just begin occurring.
•determine how failure occurs — slowly or dominoes suddenly.
•assess what are the ideal operating environments.
•know at what speed, weight, or temperature it will no longer . . . . (grip-hold-function)

 Child-proof medicine containers are tested to determine whether a child can possibly open one given enough time.  

Car batteries are placed in extremely cold environments.  

Motors are tested in extremely hot conditions or operated without sufficient lubricant.

Cars are tested with test-dummies to see if the equipment works as designed and to determine the extent of the damage under the most demanding conditions.  

Commercial aircraft is put under enormous stress in actual flight test to determine whether it can exceed the normal and above normal demands of flight.  

Military equipment is tested to determine if it will survive under the most arduous circumstances, weather, or battle usage.  

In the installing of flexible natural gas lines to residential properties, the lines are pressurized up to a 100 psi. Even though the line will only experience a few pounds of pressure (less than 10 psi).  

Computers are placed in environments which strain their useful life —  such as heat, cold, dust,  high humidity — to determine whether they can operate efficiently (or fluctuate) over time in difficult and damaging circumstances.

People are put on a treadmill and given stress tests under conditions that typically exceed what he or she will normally experience and/or for a length of time beyond what he or she might choose to experience.


All these examples of testing are based on the principle that we must produce “high errant conditions” to demonstrate that it will hold up under normal conditions.


Possible Biblical Examples:

#1) Elijah:  When Elijah faced down the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, the contest revolved around who could call down fire to consume the sacrifice. When it came Elijah’s turn, he challenged them by saying, “Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.  And he said, Do it the second time.  And they did it the second time.  And he said, Do it the third time.  And they did it the third time” (I Kings 18:34).   Elijah was putting the test under “high errant conditions!”

The conditions that far exceeded the rules which were used for testing Baal’s claim of power.  

Elijah was willing to demonstrate that the powers of God could be tested under conditions that far exceeded what anyone could have explained away.  

Success could only be accounted for by nothing less than the awesome and supernatural powers of the Creator God!  

Elijah wanted to demonstrate that Jehovah was not merely a God of the minimal, but of the maximum.  

There would be no test that man could devise which He could not pass.  Jehovah’s powers reach to the uttermost and infinitely beyond human comprehension, above all men can think or ask!

Elijah knew that the God of this world could show Himself far beyond a reasonable doubt, and to do so, he operated the test under “high errant conditions”  — where if there were going to be a failure, this would cause the failure – “water.”

#2)  The Great Tribulation:  An event which will test the best and worst of men.

#3) Abraham & Isaac:  A test that many a man would have failed, but a test that never exceeded Abraham’s ability to pass.

#4) Temptation:  There is no temptation which God has not provided a way to escape, and not fail.

#5) Trials:  Count it all joy.  It is designed so that you will not fail, but so that you can develop patience.

#6) Bible Characters:

Three Hebrew Children
John Marc


Key Illustrative Thoughts:

The pressure exceeds the normal
It is not designed to incur failure
Never to a level that no man can withstand the stress
There is a greater chance that failure can occur when . . . . .
A test designed to your specifications and therefore survivable
Trials of life
He’s testing you.
He knows we can succeed.
Missed Warnings . . . .
“Not to exceed . . . ”
Pressure tests
Safety test
Non-destructive testing
“This is beyond my ability!”  No, it is not if it is from the Lord.
Feeling the stains
Do not exceed the specifications. (tire pressure)
Will become unstable if it exceeds
Even under the best conditions . . . .
How to operate under normal /  usual circumstances
At night, in bad weather, and tired — temptations!
This biblical event is an example of “high errant conditions.”

– David & Goliath
– Haman – Esther & Mordecai
– Facing Down Pharaoh
– Jonathan & his servant
– Ruth, Orpah & Naomi
– John the Baptist – “Is this He?”
– Peter’s denials under stress
– Mary’s virgin birth / Joseph’s decision
– Etc.


Other Information & Links:

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