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BEWILDERMENT, BEDAZZLEMENT, BEDEVILMENT
OR THE BEAUTY OF
INORDINATE IMAGE, DETERMINABLE DESIGN
Past Exuberance to the Summit Synthesis*A of the Spiritual Life of Man
Man and his Maker
Instruction through Image
A Dialogue with Reality Check
Hypostasis had a brother called Reality Check. He was fun to know. We were talking ...
In fact, I said, at a moment when he was listening, life is not just this or that phase, fashion or degree of it. It is ultimately definable in its summit of meta-design.
Whatever do you mean by that ? if anything, he said, with just that touch of flamboyance which his brother had begun to evince in our earlier conversation.
Well, design is a disposition of elements in a co-ordination of thought which has a integral objective and exhibits its workability, I said ...
Well... yes, he mumbled, but meta-design ?
If, I said, you would be good enough to hear the rest of my answer to what I believe was a question, I said ...
No doubt, you would be gratified! he muttered.
It is not a question of my gratification but a reality check! I murmured.
Touché, he cried, being obviously touched to the quick... since after all, that is his very name!
Meta-design is the name for what is above, beyond, past the limitations of normal design, or what is in a sphere of operations which soars above at least some of its constrictions.
Perhaps you would be good enough to specify ?
Passing by the brawling scowl and his not attractive countenance, I proceeded without response to this tarry barb, but with reply to its thrust.
Firstly, design is built up towards an end, with mental collocations of concept and certifiable specifications of initiative ...
Yes, yes, he replied impatiently.
Meta-design, in its own field, starts differently.
And ends differently, then, I hope, he interjected with a specious grin.
It is not being built up to specifications of initiative, but impressed with the origin of originalities.
This has meaning, I suspect ?
Colour did not arise, I declared, following my theme with some relish. Green did not come unspecified from what is not there, form did not arise, yanked by the neck from nothing into space, which did not arise, thrust from nowhere into a being format. The sufficiency for these things preceded them or they cannot succeed, that is, come to be in due course.
I KNOW that.
Excellent. We progress. The background is not noise, but poise, not temperature but that combination of conception, initiative, originality and power, of creative constraint on modelled entities brought into being in order to be manipulable, then synthesisable, then specifiable ...
But this is design.
Perhaps you could listen ?
To continue: that array of conceptualisable and implementive devices and data which make up the gen for being, which to be based, had better be the consequence - in its limitations, delimitations and specifications - of what is adequate.
What is adequate ?
What has what that takes.
Good. Now the work of this originative capacity is called design, as you proleptically foresaw in barb five, or was it six ...
Yes, that is the point, it was immateriality which made materiality since materiality in itself is design.
You call it God I suppose.
You ought to know.
Is that necessary ?
Yes, immateriality is necessary.
That is not what I meant.
It is better than what you meant, since it is relevant.
You say well.
Astonishment must not mull my thought! Thank you. In this immateriality which conducts the multiplied systematics, all delimited, integrated, synthesised as required, into being, there is the power of fashioning, fabrication, originality of the utter kind, which this time is not IN a system, but to create the series of the systematic, substance disposed into existence, then imposed on, constrained and composed like an essay, which we see.
We are perhaps at least proceeding in the direction of meta-design, you may recall...
And WHEN in this work of ultimate design, to which I now come, which is the SUMMIT SYNTHESIS of design, we reach mankind ( I do not speak of purely spiritual beings, but of those which at least inhabit the materiality of design, noted of necessity, first in this coverage)...
A glimmer of hope comes to my eyes.
When, then, we reach in this summit synthesis, mankind, we come to a number of unique specifications which even overpass those specifications which are the result of originative thought, though the originality lies in doing it.
Doing what ?
It lies in making our design, that is, that implicit in ourselves, to have two unique features. First, it is a derivative design from what is already there, for it has meaning only in terms of it. It has this summit synthesis property, this conscious conceptual quality WITHIN IT, which is specific for man. It has this model-imagination facility which allows creative thought to progress and to prosper. It has a co-ordinate to the inordinate, in this, that it can find grounds for worshipping the increate, the eternal immateriality, the unbegun ground for any being, which lacking, leaves nothing always.
Can we find a name for this producer of meta-design ?
God is the name that has been given billions of times in hundreds of races and thousands of books for millenia.
But it means different things to different people ?
So does swearing, but we do not doubt its existence for that reason.
You mean it has a certain spirit ... ?
Certainly and much more. We are familiar with the spirit of a resistance, a construction, an edifice, a work of art, a teamwork, and this is no mere notion. It is the quality of thought, the nature of feeling, the drawing to the end, the awareness of a purpose, the energy of actualisation of what is valued, the thrust of directed energy which gives to consciousness an objective, to heart a hope and to wisdom a designation for attainment.
This is so, and I suppose then it is true to say that the spirit of man is what really matters, for it is only when he KNOWS what he wants, and has intellection of what he is about, discerns the designs of his thoughts and moves to an end for which matter is mere means, that he is operative in the field of ultimate direction for his race, or any individual in it.
True. It is hatred, or love, courage, or cowardice, love of beauty or of power, of peace or of turmoil, of excitement or of quiescence, of constructing wonderful things or of destroying them, all spiritual entities, not aspects of materiality in its composure at its own unconscious level, in its firmly designated ontology, that makes man what he is. It is a spiritual being that he is, since this is the ground of his goings.
True. We are becoming a pair of doves, and instead of saying coo, coo, we are saying true, true.
True. Then in the creation of this meta-design, man, who NOT ONLY has this spiritual criterion of his being, but represents the summit synthesis of many components of such ...
Such as ...?
There are components such as conscious conceptual creativity, innovative specifications of thought in harmony or dissonance with reality as set before him, model comparison in considering movement towards verbal formulations of discernible functions of mind, spirit, body, matter, and this in fields of social, intellectual, psychic kinds which mark him out as a summit synthesis and one with spiritually significant specification powers. He is put there with ability even to relate to God, to consider His constructions, and being one of them, yet to estimate what he is and how he would like to relate to God, in affirmation or denigration, in comic relief, or unrelieved tragedy.
I see where you are going.
I hope you know where you are going.
Friend, thank you.
When then God develops, intimates into existence, speaks with power into actuality (as an executive in a company speaks and it is - ideally - done, simply because his is the power over what does what He says) this thing called man, He is making it so that it has capacity to worship Him or adore, to delight in Him, and to understand, initially in outline (Romans 1:17ff.), and then perhaps in intimacy, who God is and what is the name and nature of this being who is Spirit.
I see. Then what you are saying is this: that when God makes a design capable of knowing Him, and we find that He has empirically done this in view of the evidence (you see it, for example, in Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, and Deity and Design, Deliberation and Destiny), then it is one which is apt for discovery of the eternal being Himself, and hence is a derivative design from a reality which having been forever, differs from more ordinary types of design.
Precisely, this is one of the things that I am stating. It is called meta-design for that reason; for if you deny it the title of design, then you are removing from being a receptor of that definition of design, what most fully meets it in the realms of all that has a material component; which would be ludicrous. Again, if you leave it at that, mere design, normal design, you are ignoring what is its most eminent summit of spirit, the power to know God, and hence to be so correlative to Him in form of will, thought and conception, that it can even know Him. Yes, indeed, it can worship and adore Him, understand much of His enterprises, appreciate His purposes and delight in His thoughts.
So God has made man in His image, that is with powers of a correlative kind to what He might say, of a discerning kind to what He might do, a bit like a dog in a way, a good sheep dog, able to gain some glimmer of what it is like to be the boss, of what the boss wants, of what he is thinking ... and to assess, discern much of what he wants ?
This covers the correlative aspect well, for to be able to understand what a golfer is doing, who is a champion, does not make you one; but it is on the other hand, quite different from being someone who merely observes a lifting of a ball, and has no more discernment than that!
But you feel there is something more ?
Certainly. Man is not only able as a derivative, to find meaning and discern method in much that God does, but he is able to reject it on cognitive grounds, volitional grounds and envious grounds, puffed up with pretension, misusing the glory of liberty, invalidating the necessities of logic, reeling with intoxicated imagination. He is able to reject it in a tantrum, or in a failed test, rather like an examinee who leaves his paper in order to personally tell the tester that he despises him and will no more do the test.
Man can indeed abort the test and invest the situation with scrabbled beard (as when David pretended to be mad, not to deceive God but man!) and scribbled topic nonsense (as exemplified in SMR Chs. 3 and 4 in its extension) and retreat into unrealism in these ways or in many more. On the other hand, in principle, man is able to reach through the provisions of his design, at the summit of the synthesis that makes up his design, and peeping beyond it, look toward its source.
The source of what ?
Why, that of his own determinable design (that is, of man's capacity to decide and construct, to determine or work out designs, imagine and resolve by will, what kind of nature they will have, and use developmental thought and syntheses of capacities to implement these with spiritual objectives, good or bad)! He may do this investigative analysis, through his own spirit, and do so meaningfully.
I hate that word.
Good. He is able to do this and finding meaning in the process, see why he does so, since he actually comes to the source, so that his efforts are repaid, his intimations are given confirmation and he finds that what he is about has a consequence not merely justifying its effort, but surpassing all expectations.
That, certainly, yes that is meaningful.
Meta-design is something that man is: he is made on the basis of being able to intuit something of his source, correlate his thoughts to those of his Maker in measure, and seek Him without this being either a vapour of vapidity or a disorder of mind. This is the case because while he has a material design, like a TV or Jumbo-jet (full of many potentials and able to carry much on board in a fluent and functional and directed way), he able to exercise it with the spiritual capacity which knows where and why it is going, and when it gets there.
It knows this when it arrives in the case of specifiable verifications, as to the workability of his ideas; but when he comes to God, who is unique and omnipotent, he knows it by the fulfilment of the criteria of omnipotence, as only it can provide for such specifications. When you come to God, you come to what is elementally unduplicable, intrinsically unequallable, categorically incomparable.
I see. In this case, the fruit can drop down to reach the root.
Rather a deathly image, but you may be dropping to it, and so become better grounded.
Put it further then.
In other words, God made man after His own nature, derivative and created, to be sure, but astonishingly gifted with capacity to correlate his thoughts with some of those of his Creator, and even move in his fellowship to the splendour of his Creator, without in the least degree ceasing to be both a contrived being and a designed one: merely surpassing this.
Why does he surpass it ?
It is in this, that the design which is in him, has a designation in terms of what is God, a product in micro-parallel to the Producer: not a mini-God, but a maxi-creation.
So what is the point in this design to our present purpose ?
For man, in its design, there is an originality in conception, in that it is an initiative so to create, and hence design, that is the normal part, including its freedom of action, in his being so made. In this case, however, the originality is not entire, in this, that God to whom this design relates personally, is already there. In the sense of specifications it is at least LESS original to design in accord with correlativity in spiritual discernment, with the One who already has it. To make someone after an image, this is less original than making the one de nouveau, without anything on which to base it.
Yes, but how does this fit with meta-design, for it sounds less, and not more.
In terms of relatability to Him who is already there, it is a massif, a monument and a marvel, to make ANYTHING able to commune, communicate and in any way correlate. Why ? It is because the One to whom such relationship may be made is infinite in power and wisdom, and to know Him is beyond all that may be imagined; yet this not because it is irrational, but since it is not. To know such a Being as this, requires that the one so gifted must be a construction in terms of the supreme. It is not in the least comparable in value, being infinitely less in power and being, but it is entirely comparable in communication-reception-initiative; and in this, and in its capacity to absorb wisdom from its Producer, it is an originality extreme in being MADE AT ALL.
I see: then man is most original in design because he is not original in the abstract, but original in the specifiable, and the One specified in this case is the infinite. It is perhaps rather like designing an airplane that can not only design craft, but communicate meaningfully at the level of conscious- interaction, with the Engineer.
To be sure, there is a certain fixity about the draft to communicate with the engineer; but there is a far greater splendour in being able to achieve this with ANY design. In fact, the test of the design, to perform such a test, is the test of the prodigious. Only God could do it, since only God knows God; and unless He reveals Himself, though His power and nature is apparent, His heart and communication protocol, in the abstract is not.
In the abstract ? But what of actuality ?
That depends on revelation, and we come to that in a moment.
Man, via his meta-design, is thus being made with respect to what already exists, to the One who always has existed; but not so as to be such, but to be able to have co-ordinate conversation with the inordinate, with God.
But surely not as an equal.
True. Far from being as an equal is the
finite with the infinite, the
created with the
the Designer and the one
moulded into being with correlation of thought
So even though the need is fixed, to be able so to communicate and have relationship at the personal level with God, there is a vast abyss between what makes this possible, and what is given the possibility as a gift!
Truly. Indeed, and we must remember this, that the moulding, called man, was not a self-portrait of God by God, as Rembrandt might have done, a depiction of Rembrandt by Rembrandt; but instead it was a communicative, correlative summit of synthesis gifted with an integrality to meet THIS specification, that he might know God!
Precisely. The reference to a self-portrait has point, indeed. Consider: Rembrandt's self-portrait was not Rembrandt. It did not even begin to be the painter. Indeed, in the summit power of Rembrandt to paint, it had NOTHING. At THAT level, it was not a pauper beside a millionaire (or is it billionaire to 'mean something' these days), but a speck by a star. However, the function that man has, to be able to hold conversation with God, to understand His communication to him, at the personal level, though infinitely less than the power to make man, is superbly superior to the impotence of mere irrelevance, or the species of design elevation to be found in mere object-formation, or even subject-formulation, personal beings.
Let me put this further. To be a subject with conceptually formulable and abstractly construable will is a vast upgrade (as you see in Predestination and Freewill); but to be one who can have knowledge of the objective God, via a personal link: this is the performance of infinity, who makes persons capable of defiance, denial or other quirks, taking themselves seriously while they do it, neither propelled in this by program not impelled by deception!
Could we not say, then of mankind, that they are God-relatable entities of perception, reception and conception, who can become deposits for deception and wilily erect means of deviation, even knowing what they are doing, only to forget; for pathology breeds pathology ?
Yes, man is vulnerable, love is liberty-giving, folly is liberty abusive, and man becomes only in his own mind, a thing of significance apart from God. In fact, in that state, he is ultimately worse than useless, like a Boeing 737, if it could will not to have any felicitous pilot, or petrol, or any adaptation for the use of other fuel!
This then is the reason why otherwise simply insane paranoid efforts to turn man into gods are comprehensible!
Yes, for it is so whether as with the Mormons who ignore Isaiah in 43:10, or some New Age desires, or in efforts towards sublimity, in effect, such as pretended in the earlier Stalin and the later Mao. Such credos are the outward form of inward postulates of the impossible, logical waifs; but they are at least readily construable in reason of their origin, as of result of their fanfares! It is what the gift of liberty with the facility to love, enables for those who despise the use of liberty to find its source, and the use of love to love what is not themselves or their own creations.
Then, empirically, as one looks around, it can take many forms, not always so vast.
Yes, and indeed it is a pathology as plain as the common cold to man's physiology. It means that because man has been gifted with meta-creative powers, able to make things on the basis of himself and to have them relate to himself in specifiable ways, but also given scope also in modelling discourse and ideational originality, even toward and concerning God, therefore he can misuse this gift.
This then is the ultimate abuse of power for man ?
It is certainly the most intimate. He can readily make such abuse of his powers, by creating not an understanding of the eternal divine nature of God and of His power, but an image of an image, himself the centre, in which he grabs what is not his, and revelling in the originality of his summit-synthesis powers, makes OF HIMSELF a centre, a focus, an inordinate creator, yet one without the power to be what he specifies. He becomes in this way what the Bible calls a fool (Psalm 53, 94, Romans 1:17ff.).
It means then that because he despises the obvious, and connives at his own ruin through a combination of unrealism, groundless distortion of designed gifts and surrealistic surveys, he is a mutant that does not change his kind, only his destiny, I suppose.
Indeed it is so. Hence millions die by such pathological spiritual frauds, such inordinate ambitions of the ordinate, such freakish follies of the spirit of man, centre of destiny, so that when he breaches his design, by specious meta-design ambitions, he becomes merely a design out of order, like a squeaky wheel, or a heavy-resistant gate which just manages to be shoved about, but which being defective, cannot swing. If it were human, such a gate would be like one digging in his heels in order to be himself, but in so doing, ceasing to be anything worthwhile at all, a spectre instead of a functional spirit.
That is man. I have to admit it, that is man.
But not only does God state that there is no God before Him, nor after Him shall any be formed in Isaiah 43:10, that He is the one and only God as variously in 43-46; but it could not be otherwise. As Romans 1 tells us, the divine nature and eternal power of God are obvious.
Would you care to pursue that point ?
Indeed. Thus if another God could be formed, it would have to be eternal to be God, since this is one of the main foci of the functions of God, the basis of delimited existence. So that is impossible: it would begin too late, and this would not only be a chronological deficiency, but an existential nonentity.
Say on, for I am listening.
As to before Him, if there were a God before Him, then this would either still exist or not. If one did not, then it would be NOT beyond time, but subject to it, and hence a creation. If it did still exist, then there would be two Gods; but since each would have to have been eternal reaching backwards to qualify for the logical necessities, then the God who was not before the other, but after it, could not be God either. These are but abstractions, putative points that break, like the lead in a too finely ground pencil lead.
It would be good to consider this impossibility further.
Very well, then, let us do this. Thus two Gods, if always there, would have been correlative and in concert, in a system in which they originated all things.
Then either each putative 'god' did a separate work, or it was joint.
If each did a separate work, then either the systems created would be one, or two.
If one, then all the necessities of a creation of all that made it possible for them so to work in concert, with correlative systematics, would be the creation of God the eternal, so that neither of these imaginations would be God at all, for they would merely be creatures. The One who constructed the correlativity would be God.
But what if the systems they made were two ?
If, then, on the other, the authors of the imaginary systems putatively considered were said to be two (or more), and their creations two, then the correlativity of the two, that both can be called God, means that you have two beings, each infinite beyond time, each undelimited but providing the logical necessity of delimitation of creation, and neither limiting the other: for if they did this to each other, then they would be as such, confined, and this is not the nature of the unconditioned, but of the conditioned, which still needs, like other creation, the ground of its conditioning, that is the actual God. These therefore would not be He, either of them.
Two infinite beyond time, even in themselves, however, present a simple contradiction in terms. Infinity has no bounds, and here we are, envisaging two without bounds. Infinity is not big enough for two infinites to inhabit it without knowing and being infinitely harmonious with each other; for the one would occupy all, and so would the other, in the realm of God, and this is mere antilogy.
Further, if neither limits the other, then they are in total harmony. If the nature of neither interferes with, or confines, or encroaches on, or ever has dissidence with that of the other, then they are but one, undifferentiable. In no way at any time, or out of it, does either disagree, differ or diverge from the other, in thought or action, envisagement or proposal, desire or delight, aversion or creative desire, nor is their communication less than perfect, in order to achieve this.
The actual God would create that too, of course. It is but delusive thought.
If in thought, then the limitations in the intellectual sphere of what is true and valid would imply a collision, unless there be an identity in toto, that is one, we have the impasse for non-singularity. In this, you have short of identity, two entities in terms of what is given, for each then represents an alternative reality to the other. That would imply strive, crimping or constraint, in fact or in notion, and hence mutual limitation.
It is unavoidable.
However ANY being which is limited is not the Creator of limitations, but a participation in them; and we would have logically to seek the source of the natures of the two gods, in terms of which their natures are given things, diverse things, delimited things, definable in divergence and different in dynamic. In other words, once again, we find the impossibility of any such notion. We have to seek God where He is to be found, not in irrationalities of schizoid thought, vapid in logic, contradicting what they affirm.
When however you leave this invasion of creation into the realm of the Creator, this polytheism, and come to simplicity, let us communicate the point once more. ANY eternal Being on which all differentiability depends, delimitation finds its basis, CANNOT be itself differentiated into specifiable delimitations without being a creature. Hence neither of these putative gods could exist. There is only one.
Thank you for the dissertation. I now would like to add something. Consider. Yet that one, now you mention it, could well have different, non-divergent, Persons wholly identical in nature, being in harmonious agreement, and so compose a unity which is eternal and not specified, that is, subject to specifications and constraints. Thus these, moving as One, and being One, yet have functions in common and specialisations by desire.
True. That is the trinity, one in mind, nature and being, with eternal, non-limiting desires of cohesive operation at the level of infinity, each of the persons fully God, each unthinkable as if in isolation, the totality not a summation but a situation, since they being spiritual, it is not a spatial issue. This is infinite intimacy, unconsigned individuality, as to persons three, as to being One, the inter-penetrability in spirit being total, and the collateral individuality of function three*1.
So in finding what man is, we are seeing more of what God is.
You would expect that of one made in His image, one who can think WITHIN HIMSELF, or carpingly criticise himself, or his Creator, or diverge or converge in mind with his own character, so showing a diversity in unity.
But God surely does not diverge within Himself ?
Of course not, for that is one of the aspects of the divine nature which Paul tells us in Romans 1:17ff. is obvious. If He did, then there would be war, or contrariety. If He wanted the one, then this in contradiction to the other, would be unwanted; and if God does not want something, having all power, in essence that is the end; and if it be in Himself, then it cannot be.
What then of man ?
To pursue the point. Thus if anything were contrary to the God of all power, it would in spirit, in eternity, not be able to be. It is only when there is an INDEPENDENT WILL, differentiable volition, that the case, as with man, can allow time to elapse before the power of eternity resolving all, judges what is unreal in aspiration, consideration or compilation.
Yet man does diverge within himself.
That is an aspect of the glory of this meta-design, this meta-creation. It is not that he is more than design, or more than creation, but that he has a distinctive within it. He is able to misconstrue, on purpose or by a consequence of wilful disorder, and so to diverge from his design, create divergence from desirable destiny and become diverse to his design, without ceasing to be it. It is like junk in a car-yard.
You mean, it can, one of you can, or mankind in a generic sense as such, can divorce from reality. Imbibing thought into the creative realms of his spirit, made powerful to create docile communication with the Creator, he can make thoughts which would exalt himself to an ultimate, which not being eternal, is a mere flummery of thought and a finality for judgment against reality ?
This is so. It is not JUST judgment for being against reality, however, though it is not less, no doubt; for it is that for being contrary by compulsive contrariness. If God had not spoken man into meta-design existence, able to have some correlative thought and speech with his Maker, then man would not even be. If man had not been given liberty to make meta-designs on his own derivative scale, then he COULD not have done such things. However, since this is the eminence to which he is created, and in which he is called to KNOW God, then a refusal is a double-blast from the shot-gun of defiance and diseased spirit.
You mean ... he is not only diverging from reality. Indeed, he is also when rejecting the God who made him, seeking to DIVEST himself of it, and in so doing, not merely reeling, but REBELLING against the Eternal God who made him ABLE to delight in Him, and that for no reason ?
Certainly. Perhaps better however to say this, for no sound reason! The 'reason', however unreasonable, could be this: that he WANTS to be the ultimate being, and since logically, being a little late, he CANNOT be this, then in mere imperious, but not at all imperial, splendour, he acts the fool. He is trying to be what cannot be. This tantrum against truth has deep implications. If you cannot stand truth, you cannot stand.
You fall! No wonder Christ said this, that if He as a stone fell on anyone, he would be crushed to powder, in Matthew 21:44 if my memory serves aright.
But it is not only a reality-failure, my friend Reality-Check, it is an emotional fiasco, a devotion in a misdirected dirigible of horror, exploding like an airship with hydrogen, in the midst of its aspirations. If there had been some ground ... but God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son so that WHOEVER believed in Him would not perish*2. What more could be wanted ? Can man say this: I tried to use the wings you gave me, and I erred, and it is my fault, but you are too hard!
No, he cannot except by lie. Let us consider how deep this thing is. Can he so accuse God of being too hard ?
Not at all. God is so merciful that it is the very definition of mercy to find Him. Think: He did not just kill man. Point one.
He did not confine him in eternal chains. Point two.
He did something. Point three.
He gave something (not everyone is willing to do that to what is against himself). Point four.
He gave something which He valued infinitely, the Word, expression of Himself who is one of the trinity. Point five.
He gave Him to BE a man, so that correlation would not only be in thought, but in sight, word, action and conduct, to mention but some of the grounds of the defined action. He made it easy. Point six.
He gave Him therefore to be able to suffer. Point seven.
He gave Him to be the butt of the sinful vehemence of sinners against God, so that the hatred of man for God could reach Him direct, in His vulnerability of being a man who did not use His power to escape the realities of man's state, but to meet them. Point eight.
He gave Him moreover to suffer in bearing the burden of man's spiritual disease, so that He became a sacrifice for sin. Point nine.
He did NOT however so give Him that man HAS to believe, and EVEN here, the magnificence of the liberty given to man is such that man is not at all forced to become a pardoned, repaired, indeed regenerated being, able to recommence in the glorious and fastidiously created realm of being one made in God's own image. Point ten.
You are right.
Point eleven I must myself add, said Reality-Check: He ensured in that foreknowledge in which the Creator of our time has, that those who relate to Him as children, in whose spirits there is scope for redemption, are redeemed. He fails in nothing.
True, I replied. And this, it is not because they are better, but because in their unveiled liberty, which God can see, this is the disposition of things; for God can see beyond the differentials of clarity which sin brings, to the simplicity of will in itself. In a realm where all may be perceived beyond sin, none is worse! That is why He condemns those who do not believe, as preferring darkness EVEN IN the disposition of events which is salvation. He KNOWS, and indeed foreknows His own, not on their works, but in His own.
Further, and accordingly, in view of His coming not to judge, but that the world might be saved, John 3:17, He itemises such a negative preference as the ground of differentiating between those to be saved and those not. This preference for darkness for them, in the face of His declared intention and desire, He states quite emphatically, lies not in Himself, but in them. He even wept for the devastation which this consummate preference for darkness and not light imposed (Luke 19:42ff.).
You are only stating what is apparent past contest, replied Reality Check. Love does not force; force in itself, does not love. Love requires liberty and the Lord ensures that it is not despite this, but in terms of it, that man's destiny duly arrives. THIS is the condemnation in view of His coming NOT to judge: that man has preferred darkness even while He has come with the light in His love, with such a purpose, so defined by Himself (John 17-19). Heaven would be hell to those who desire God absent!
Point twelve, since you make it eleven, I responded, is this. He did not even let death become the last word for man, as if he must shudder into his impact on eternity, like an aircraft at last crashing into the ground, out of fuel. In this case, the fuel is that of contempt for his Creator. This assurance, He showed in His physically oriented resurrection, that death like disease is covered (as in I Corinthians 15, and seen in SMR Ch. 6)*3. Man can therefore relax and breathe in that adoration and worship of God which is an inherent and created CAPACITY (but NOT necessary, for what love is forced!), knowing that his is immortality. Death has no further terror (as in Hebrews 2).
Let me hear more on this, said my interlocutor. So I proceeded.
Immortality, that is life eternal for those who are the redeemed, does not confuse itself in the drab domain of exclusion, but abides in the light of the countenance of God (Revelation 22). What does not, this ultimately finds itself on its own mission, ordained of God certainly (I Peter 2:8), as may be lung cancer for inveterate smokers; but this not as a divine desire, rather as a reluctant result (cf. Luke 19:42ff.). There we see that Christ wept as a mother over her child, at the fact that EVEN IN THIS, the great day of OPPORTUNITY for Jerusalem, when He came personally to her midst, she did not REALISE! Did He then weep because He had refused her light, or rather was it not because, though she had the light which was He, she still refused to acknowledge and use it! (cf. John 15:22-24 which answers even the most obdurate amongst those who indulge in the belittlement of the passion and scope of the love of God).
If you say to a family, Oh if only this had not happened, if only you had not treated me in this way when I came to help you, but now ... and weep, does this mean that you had mysteriously decided not to let them respond to you, taking it on your own shoulders, or that, ultimately, the refusal to acknowledge the thing, was to their inveterate shame despite all you did and wished, and COULD HAVE DONE, IN COMING! He did not come to judge the world, but that it might be saved through Him, we learn from John 3 and see illustrated in John 15:21ff..
Alas, the delusion of the ineluctable, given as II Thess. 2 tells us, BECAUSE they did not receive the love of the truth, a plague on the eternal rejection which they achieve, not a paean to the meaningless of the offer, this leads THEREFORE to the premises of the wilfully polluted, for whom no purity is to be received, no pardon and no new premises for perception of the glory of God, to the place prepared for the devil and his angels: (Matthew 25:41):
"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
'Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire,
prepared for the devil and his angels...' "
In this, the sheer enormity of this fruitless result for the trees not planted by the Lord (Matthew 15:13) comes home: those who so denature themselves, and even in the knowledge and indeed foreknowledge of God refuse to be planted in the soil of truth, are extraordinary in the field of anomaly, inherit what is most shameful, headed by horror himself, the very devil, whose abasement however removes any vestige of his former appeal. Darkness is like that, in the end, it has no appeal.
But why did God create man in the first place, since man COULD (and did) rebel ? Why not just forget it, asked Reality-Check ? I did not spare my reply!
When you have something as great as eternal life to confer, in the vitality, the domains of delight, not hedonistic but realistic, with its dynamics of deliberation, its coruscations of beauty, its magnificence of design, its confluence of concepts, its harmonies of truth, its centrality in the personal God, its basis and scope for knowing the very Creator on the part of the creations who are in His image, and who are in harmony with Him, what then!
Is this not a testing case! I nudged him. Why then, to withhold such a thing, this eternal life, would be selfish, and to be selfish is contrary to God. What IS selfishness ? It is lack of consideration for what is other than yourself. That God created at all, lacking nothing, and needing nothing, proves that He is not like that. If He NEEDED ANYTHING from man or other creation, He would be a needy God (Psalm 52:12), and hence not sufficient, but rather confined by considerations not of His own making and hence not God. BEING GOD, He has made man for one reason only, to give. If then He were not giving, but a God to whom man can contribute, then God is not what He is, for such a notion represents a mere creation.
Does this mean, however, that He is forced to create ?
How forced ? What forces Him ? If He wanted to be different, He would be. It is to say rather, that IF He elects to create, that it is in the mode of giving, not getting, that He acts. That is how it is with the One who says, I am what I am!
What, however, has that to do with His bothering to create at all, as distinct from forbearing to do so ?
It is this in which the relevance of answer lies. SINCE God in creating is for giving, benevolent and munificent, then in fact, as part of His so glorious kindness, which accords perfectly with His will in all things, there being no constraint imposable, He is acting not only freely but purely.
THEREFORE in giving life He has valued this intrinsically as a gift. In giving eternal life, He has valued it as a gift worthy of the fruits of liberty, which include scope to sin at will. It means that in giving the curse on this world because of sin, allied to the salvation not only from this but from sin itself, and all that lies within it of unrealism and getting, not giving, or giving what is foul, not fine: in all this, He deems it a thing of value incomparable that this eternal life be AVAILABLE to such as man.
It must be remembered that a doomed world is a domed world, in this, that a new heavens and a new earth are to be created. The defunct character of this one is not deemed deficiency enough to preclude the gift of eternal life to such as man. The Lord wishes to give and the glory of it is not to be annulled in advance because of the shame of its wilful exclusion not only of purity in the first place, but of peace through Calvary in the second.
Here is seen how vital it is that God has so often and with such emphasis insisted that it is NOT the will of God that any of these little ones should perish, yes, and He has NO pleasure in the death of the wicked, and that He would have ALL to come to reconciliation and knowledge of the truth, lamenting, Oh, that you had heeded My commandments, then your peace would have been like a river and your righteousness like the waves of the sea! *4. It is nothing short of amazing that so many, fearing other extremes, refuse to come to this massif and magnificence of the love of God, but wear some kind of parallel to horse-blinkers. May God be merciful to them!
But why should some suffer that some might not do so ?
That is a false dichotomy. It is NOT that the PURPOSE of having some suffer is that others might not. It is this: that the purpose of the gift of life is that the glory of God be shown IN LIFE, and He is not going to annul such gifts*5 because some voluntarily, wilfully and remorselessly not merely choose to ruin it, but to reject the deliverance freely available.
You mean that God is real, life is real, and negation of created reality because some would besmirch it is no sufficient reason for obliterating what could have been INTRINSICALLY glorious!
God does as He will, but it is evident that in so doing, He has valued life better than non-life, eternal life better than its absence; and securing that not a finger must man lift to find Him, in terms of credit ratings or superiority, and that there is a free gift of pardon and peace, power and genuine design deliverance available, even at the level of knowing Him, He has refused to annul the glory presented to fulfil the negation of liberty by those who prefer to be found. He will not wipe out creation from ever being made, in order to prevent the evil of those who love evil bringing its fruits on their evil selves. He has gone to ultimate lengths, depths and heights to deliver whosoever will!
But could He not have made only good people ?
Could not a girl have created in her mind only nice suitors, and not bothered to have the rest ? Love is not determinative in character, but free in character, which is what enables its glory to be found. Love that is determinative is a programmatic prostitute , seeking to give service where only truth resides.
You mean that love by nature must not be confined by mere constraint.
That is true, for it is contradiction in terms; but still, why did not God say, as it were, well there is trouble for the rebellious, unrealistic, never satisfied, self-delusive divisives, so I will spare them that. I will not create a world in which liberty in this has any point or application at all!
It is clear that the COST of so doing would be this: that the non-self-delusive, non-divisives, found in truth, and granted by grace eternal life, as seen earlier, would be DENIED THIS. The function of unction would be distorted. Instead of liberty as the prelude to eternity, you would have conformity, with no pit for enormity, no alternative to be seen, witnessed, provided as test, no, the lures of the temporary glut of apparent triumph for wickedness as trial would not appear. It would be a delusive artificiality, like computer-generated fireworks images, at the Olympics. It is apparent from history that God is not willing to delete our race, before it is even made, remove it from thought or even from the reality of test, in order to save folly from its end, or suffer mere outward conformity to parade itself, so precluding it from test. He does not act in order that appearance should be all, nor will He cut truth along with its swathes.
What is real is to be shown, and what is not is to be exhibited, what is tested is to be tested indeed, and His foreknowledge does not pre-empt history, but gives it meaning and scope. He WILL not create a fashion show, but a world of opportunity and importunity, in which reality is found and to be witnessed! It is not a puppet show, but a place for reality to show! He insists on making what is open to test, open to exposure, even amid the tumults of sin, since man fell and He knew that he would; He has made what is open to love and free to refuse. Reality is on parade, the Cross and the pit, truth is on view, and God has shown His will: He will not exclude glory to some for the sake of the inveterate preference for shame on the part of others.
How could you defend such a decision ?
To limit glory for the sake of shame is shameful*5. To pay all even at the most personal level, for some, offered to all, a work of grace only, with the only saving works His own, this is a munificence of pure mercy that adorns the liberality as a sunset the skies, more than an array of mere pastels.
That is true.
Reality check finished.
I hope you enjoyed yourself .
Reality is a wonderful thing.
Checking it is not easy.
That is because of sin.
Still, it IS obvious.
That is because firstly, God has spoken in terms indefeasible into man's condition, and acted in terms adequate for his deliverance, and recorded His speech in what is indefectible.
I have to admit that it is all go.
You yourself, you must be going ?
I have another appointment.
I hope it will not be a disappointment.
I fear it will be, for it is with a fallen faith.
You mean a sect ?
Shall we say something dissected out of reality, and lying scorched in the sun of truth.
Dimness of anguish! Farewell.
The creation list of criteria has been presented in various places, extended and here it is given specificity at the level of man, using the phrase summit synthesis, which however is merely an index, for it involves also the concept of person-in-the- image-of-God, with equipment at the summit level, chiefly the human spirit. The relevant empirical criteria are noted, in some measure, and the reductionist declivity of unbelief, a fitting member of a team towards depravity (that is, ignoring the reality, abusing the equipment of mind, body or spirit), makes its ignoratio elenchi style attack, like someone seeking to slaughter a race.
This however is merely a spiritual genocide: merely ? it is the worst of all.
See on these creation criteria:
Bewilderment, Bedazzlement, Bedevilment and the Beauty of Christ's Holiness 3, on creation and exuberance, as 150 5 on perspicuity, in association with
History, Review and Overview Ch. 5 (on the initial creation list of criteria),
amplified by the ingredients noted in Repent or Perish Ch. 7.
*1 See Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 4; SMR Ch. 7 on the trinity. See also: The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 10 and A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12
*2 See A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12.
On His resurrection, see:
GREGRACE 7; BAB Appendix 3,
BB Ch. 15, Extended Endnote 2, BIBLE TRANSLATIONS 33
AAA 11, HEART 3, REFRESHINGS 5
The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1,
IMMFAITH 11, SMR Ch. 6 and Index,
KH 9, Section 14, JJ 25, ASP 15, 16,
STEP 5, TOAN 2, Excursion 2A; LIGHT 3,
BCDSFACEDIVINE 2; DDHCBIT 2; REF 5, 6,
AWME 8 (on resurrection and Lazarus, yes and both with Jerusalem); contrasting Greek bodily terms - GBG 2 ;
and New Zealand DDHCBIT 6, FM 4;
The books to which the acronyms refer may be found by consulting the list at the end of this file. You may also simply click on the hyperlinks above, and then at the top of each page, on the Volume link.
See Colossians 1:19ff., Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 18:13, Isaiah 48:18, I Timothy 2.
Lord of Life Ch. 6 specialises somewhat in this arena, and from it what follows is taken, with some additions to meet our present need.
Let us face then this idea. God is supposed to abort creation since so many, as He foreknows, will be in a mess, at the end ?
Is God then to deliver up those who come to Him on behalf of those who prefer darkness, and thus annul their creation, who might have eternally been blessed ?
Is He to construe the gift of grace and glory on such mean terms that He excludes those whose hearts come there, because He is concerned that those who prefer darkness will get what they desire ? (John 3:19 makes it clear where the fault and choice of darkness lies, just as Romans 9 makes it clear that there are no mistakes, and Romans 8:29ff. and Ephesians 1 make it manifest that the result is always known to God: after all, time in its slow passage, this is itself one of His inventions - Romans 8:33ff.).
Let us then re-examine the import of the question: WHY did God go ahead, knowing what would come to many ?
To this we immediately pose a counter-question:
What sort of love is this, which prevents good for the sake of evil ?
Is evil to be a tyrant and criterion of good ? For God who IS good, is evil to reign!
Is He to be bound hand and foot, and is His beauty to be forlornly dispensed with, for all the creation because some hate it ? Indeed, is HE to be called, as implied in the question, selfish because He runs over with joy to ALL who will come ? That is strange selfishness which is liberality, and strange withdrawal into self, which gives extremity of output to others!
God is the truth as we have seen many times, there being no other possibility of ANY truth, and no possibility of any DEFICIENCY of it in Him, for whom lies are mere self-inflicted wounds, since all is at His disposal, a verbal executive collision on the part of a self-warring individual, and hence once with a constraining composition, dissatisfied with what part of Him is, with another part, hence contrived, not self-sufficient, and thus not God at all!
Truth: it must then withdraw itself, and prevent exploits in such things as the creation of the universe and of man, because some will find, in that magnificent thing called personality and its cohort, love (which can turn sour like cream, without detriment to either in their proper state!), a place for departure ? If some defy truth and deny love, the only love which is pure, that which is in harmony with its Creator and so with the life He has made: are all to be denied existence for their petulance ? Is God to be weak, and is His nature to be cancelled because in His love He makes a way back for sinners, as well as a way in for those being created ? What twisted logic is this, which has all held to ransom for miscreants ...
Is truth to be voided for all and any creation, because some want to be shielded from it ?
Is it to be mere intellection, and life to be extinguished in its realities, because of a passion for lifelessness on the part of some! Life is to be lived, and not merely imagined, reality is to be realised, and the fall of man in his liberty, correlate of love, has made it a test indeed. Life is for living, and its beauty is in its surpassing the merely imagined. Life will not be voided, because some wish it avoided.
To all eternity, it will be known, shown, past all scrimmage and delusion, past all devilish aspiration and entanglement of mind or heart, past all challenge subjective or objective, beyond all pretence and imperious thought, that the test ... is concluded! The thing is SHOWN (cf. Ephesians 3:10). Truth is justified, mercy is fulfilled, love is kept pure and no mere authority can ever be imagined as the ground: for though He rules, in mercy and goodness does He act, and while deceived by none, He is open to all, and most willing. Further, there is NO possibility of error: NO deviant will be forced to the light, and no hypocrite will find rest in reality!
Is truth to lie in shame because shame is shameful ? Will it cower before the light ? What light! The light of life is truth. Christ is BOTH (John 8:12, 14:6). Light is what makes manifest (Ephesians 5:13).
Or is hate to be hallowed, lest love should eventuate ?
Moreover, what is this presumption, that dares to attribute selfishness to God, because He has a will! A being can be willingly selfish or willingly prodigious in benevolence. BEING personal does not determine the kind of a person, but what is thought and done shows it.
Is a man selfish because his will is bountiful
and he expends a fortune on willing recipients ?
Is evil to be called good for perversity and good evil for presumption ? (Isaiah 5:18ff.):
"Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of vanity,
And sin as if with a cart rope;
That say, 'Let Him make speed and hasten His work,
That we may see it;
And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come,
That we may know it.'
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
"Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!"
God has no need, nor could have any need, since if He did, there would be a gap in His completeness, a failure in His sufficiency, and He would be within a total system, a self with a signal in a system with a provision. Such is not God but creature in a creation; hence this is not God, but mere musing of man, imagination of creation concerning creation, attributing it to God.
Is God plus needed thing, in a whole which contained Him, to be called God; but such would mean He would not be God at all!
NEED presupposes lack, and lack presupposes an exterior to God beyond and needful to His interior, which is another way of saying that He is contained and immersed. However, God is beyond all, creator of all, and without reliance on anything, since He preceded all, invented time which is itself a limit, as we know it, and permitted creation its place. What relies on anything is already, mentally or physically, spiritually or in whatever other dimension the case occurs, to that extent within a system of which he is component, or in a field of which he is an inhabitant. That is not God but creation, intra-systematic component, derived interactive unit in the medium that surrounds.
With a need, He would be without His place; for need spells lack and lack means the imaginable without the actual, which limits His power, while limit to power is access denied which implies what is not God at the level of God, which at once makes two of them, or God plus a system, which in either case implies not God, but components.
If God needed creation to satisfy a need, then need would drive Him, and inadequacy would be His name. As soon as He is presumed inadequate, then He is insufficient, and hence depends on something else, and hence is not God.
If however it should be said: But He is quite adequate, and can MAKE what satisfies His need, so that He does not then need, then the case is not in essence at all different. This means that only with a creation is He complete, and that implies that God+need is the initial situation. That implies that a system beyond Him is His place, and hence we look for the Maker of that system who is God.
It is nothing to God to find a creation, as if to satisfy an insufficiency which by definition cannot be His. Hence the concept of a selfish motive is not only unscriptural, but a contradiction in terms. GOD so loved that He GAVE, NOT so that He would GET! It does not noticeably say this: God so loved His pleasure and fulfilment and self-esteem (or anything of His self) that He traded His only begotten Son so that anyone who believed in Him would satisfy the celestial need. That is moral as well as intellectual folly.
If then God is not at all selfish, and could not be in this, that to satisfy what is satisfied, and to meet what is met is meaningless, and as to desire, to desire what is not a need, in order to complete what He wants, so that He might be fulfilled, this again puts Him in a system, God+fulfilment contents, to make the sufficient God, what follows ? The author of that system is then God, and the talk has been of someone else, a product of imagination, not the author of all.
All this simply means that God made man out of what is NOT need, or desire in the sense of satisfying a want for His pleasure, since either would indicate an incompleteness, inadequacy and insufficiency contrary to the minimal grounds found for God (SMR Ch. 1).
If He elects however to do something out of love, which as some may know, is not after its fulfilment but after goodness to its object, then this is another dimension entirely. In this case, the objective is not self-satisfaction, and indeed any lover of depth would be insulted by the very thought. It is the love which looks with desire to please and elevate, make content and blessed, what it loves. This is to fulfil the loved object, and in the case of the Creator making subjects, then this is the desire towards them.
It is, as Christ said, more blessed to give than to receive. This is the nature of God.
However some may say, To be sure grace is the motive, and goodness is the desire, kindness is the moving expression in the Lord in creation, but WHY did He not say this:
- Since I know all things, and time is a mere invention of mine (as in Romans 8:29ff.), and have even predestinated all those who are mine before the world began (Eph. 1:4) and know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), then why not, seeing the evil in and coming to the lost who like it that way, arrest proceedings, cancel creation, omit the whole thing ? Why not prevent the good for those whose heart comes to Me, on account of those whose task becomes their own ruin ?
Why should I give and give and give, only to lose some. Surely those who would have been blessed children of heaven if I create, are not to esteemed. Why worry about them ? No, let the lost dictate My plans, and let the delightful children of radiance and light be ignored, doomed before begotten, never made. Yes, let evil blackmail good, control it, dictate to it, give it duress ! That is the way.
If God said that, it would indeed be a fireworks night of upset. WHY should the evil win over the good without a fight even ? WHY should good fall on its knees before evil ? WHY should those who hate light prevent those who come to it, from finding it ? Is evil to be the dominant feature in the universe, when God is good!
However, this sort of fire-works night is not in the agenda. THIS is not what God did, bless His name! Rather He made such capable and generous, such lavish and glorious, such pure and wholesome, such totally intimate and wholly adequate provision for sinners that they need but call to come (Acts 2:21). Repent ? but of course this is prelude for a spiritual being to be open to light, and in turning, to be spurning (Luke 13:1ff.). Believe ? How would you call on someone in whom you had not believed ? it would be a precious substitute for reality. Accept His deity ? (John 8:58,24). How would you call on a delegate on commission, merely, when only your Creator is the One injured by your sin, into whose bosom you have by sinning thrust your woes! (I Timothy 2:1ff., Philippians 2). These things are the parameters of your call: Call with your heart, on God, on the crucified and risen Christ whom He delivered up for all who are His (Romans 8:32), for whom are all things opened, offering Him to all without limit or distinction and in love!