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HUMILITY AND REVELATION
LOGIC AND TESTING
COMPANIONS OF TRUTH
The Australian, April 11-12, 2009 - see *3 for item
Frequently I seem to have found it necessary to point out something that one might have hoped was sufficiently obvious, to various assailants, confreres or bounding confounders. I did not write the Bible.
One would almost have thought, to judge by such acid and querulous remarks as might be made by the Old Testament Professor at my first seminary, that I had done so. No doubt Mr Donaldson will tell us! he would declare, when he sought to find fault with it, or acted as if he had. However it was not from my pinnacle that I looked down, where thought had taken me, but from the word of God, that I studied the case. Is my contention for the truth of His word to be mistaken for something of my own library, resources, or the concourse of my own wits! Moreover, it was so clear, like a beacon, and the travesties of the truth which consistently poured like black liquid from the lips of this anti-biblical assailant, dressed in seminary clothes, were like industrial waste, manufactured in folly, without basis except in indiscipline, contrary to evidence and unabashedly flying, like a piece of tarred paper, into the winds of reason, only to be swept away.
Is blindness so occlusive ? Yes, alas, that is just what it is. It was rather like, being in that seminary at the first, moving through Gary, Indiana, where in my time in the USA around 1969, there was such a haze and brown gaseous effluent into the atmosphere that it was hard to believe how life could live in it.
However, amazing and wholly deplorable as it was, such was the dereliction from truth in that Seminary, which of course eventually made a false attack on me, which in the good Lord's providence took 10 years to overcome so that I might directly pursue the work of the Christian ministry as ordained in the Church, that one might have wondered if I had written what I defended. So personal was the pariah status, and so gross the false accusation when it came, that it seemed as if one could leap for joy, to be so treated for the truth to which ostensibly all were committed*1 in that place, but for which none but myself seemed willing to speak.
Certainly, their perishing point of view was NOT that God had given it in anything remotely resembling competence and truth. In fact, the final attack came when I rebutted a false attack on Daniel, on the integrity of the book and the producer, all too well. After all, God is my defence and my inspiration, so why is it strange if I am enabled by His grace and power, to rebut rubbish which tries to put the indolent ideas of misled man into the pulpit, and to demote the word of God written, as was here the case!
The material of substance concerning Daniel is given in some little detail in Highway of Holiness Ch. 8. However, the radical revolt from the word of God in which the Professor was indulging was so notorious - although not his own personally, it was one he had adopted - that it was like watching someone putting fertiliser on weeds; and later, it was as if someone tending the flowers was found intolerable!
Such is the perversion of the truth which comes when little man gets ideas too big for himself and starts taking over from the word of God. I have found it without exception, in four nations, and in many churches, to be the case that WHENEVER man is trying to show, or setting about showing that the word of God written, the Bible, is wrong in its originals, then HE IS WRONG. It is a rule more sure than any of physics; for while the natural world may change, as God disciplines a devotedly determined world, which wants to divorce from Him, or make other gods and ignore Him, the supernatural world is that of the one WHO IS, and ever will be, the same (Psalm 102, 91).
Not only so, but one finds this, that when anything in this, His word, is challenged, the answer almost always adds to insight; for that is the nature of truth. The more you test it, the more you find, for you are led to see more of the realities which are its peculiar, precious content. In reality, however, since revelation is the ultimate and touchstone of all truth, it is its personal content which is final. As to that, persons may make propositions if they wish, and these are as personal as the power and nature of the person makes them; and since God is infinite, His declarations are perfect in personal character.
But what is the attitude to truth which is effective in finding it ?
It has most often been said that one must have humility when seeking the truth. This is true, but usually misrepresented in the style of its utterance. It is often meant to imply that one should not be too sure, that the more you know the more you know what you don't know and so forth. This too has a place in the entire perspective of things; but not the primary one.
If humility in seeking truth means this, that one never knows it, or as one professor in the University of Sydney unhappily put it, it is nicer to be eating the cake than to have finished eating, so that the process is the king and the consequence is left lying wounded: if this is what is in mind it is merely a banal exclusion of truth by humanistic assumptions. Then it is not even possible with rational consistency to state that one IS seeking the truth; for if there is no truth, how could it be true that one is doing so, rather than indulging in intellectual tittivation for the pure pleasure of it ?
If one is excluded from truth because on such a model, it is not there, how can one invade and possess it in order to make essential propositions of this kind! Indeed, on such a basis, how can one plan to do this and yet be humble-minded enough to realise that this is merely a relativity related proposition, and in reacting in this way to one's own endeavours, one is not by any means able to look beyond events to their realities. Freud and Kant alike would be inclined that way; except that Freud makes an exception in the case of himself and his theories, thus killing their validity, and Kant explores his unknowable, kept away in its aweful absoluteness, with great aplomb, therefore removing in his own case the thing apparently withheld from others, for the due working of his theories (cf. Predestination and Freewill 2).
That sort of humility, then, is a mere extension in self-contradiction, of humanistic relativity.
However, when the model on which one is working allows the existence of pure and absolute and final truth, because God who knows all has it and is it and His utterances are competent to reveal it (cf. Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4), then there is no such embargo based on a self-contradictory model. Then what is the position concerning humility in seeking truth, thus delivered from an assault in disguised form ?
It means that you realise that while you CAN know the truth, yet further, if a Christian, you DO know the truth, Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27), and know God (John 17:1-3), Jesus Christ (John 14:6) Himself the One who IS the truth. If you know Him then at once you have access to the truth (cf. I Cor. 13:6, Ephesians 1:17ff., John 7:16ff., 8:32, I Timothy 4:2, Psalm 119:151,160), and He to you in that domain. Since moreover His word IS truth (John 17:17), the works of the Word of God living within you, and the word written beyond you, and the regeneration wrought in you to make you capable of living in it and with it, you are now based in truth.
What then is to be found for the Christian whose life rests in Christ and on His word ? Truth then becomes like a capsule in which you travel, an horizon on the other hand, on which you look with delighted regard; and beyond this, since it is a personal Being, therefore it is capable of intimation, and it is intimated in His written word. As Christ declared (John 17:17), Thy word is truth.
The humility then is this: NOT to imagine that science, that is the wisdom of man, is final truth. For one thing, in many items both medical and physical, it moves not only all but indefinably in constantly mutating formulations, but at times rather more decisively, sometimes leaving concepts and configurations made only a decade earlier, now almost a matter of comedy: and at times this suddenness can result from the initial presumption or error in them, from the uncalled for assurance of pure pigheaded determination not to change a viewpoint on some item, or from some omission.
Humility in searching for the truth is NEVER to rely on mere man. You use what you have, and take interest in the results of other people doing the same thing; but you do not RELY on yourself or anyone else. When you have gained what you may, you test it. You subject it to trial. Whether it is yours or that of another, since it is a human product, you regard it with care. Some new insight may be an old wives' tale in a decade. You watch and pray.
Next, you always rely on the only way truth is available, God (as shown in SMR), firstly because He is there, secondly because, as there demonstrated, He has spoken, and thirdly because He asks you to check out His word (cf. Isaiah 41, 44-46, 48), and to notice that it is always fulfilled past all human capacity.
As you seek the truth IN His word, and as shown in APPLICATION of His word, in the sort of situation in which Newton found himself, and many other original scientists who have led the field, watching the empirical in the light of the principial (and ALL have principles, even if the principle is to deny OTHER principles than the one which denies), then in humility you seek it. The first light of dawn may not be true to the bright light of noon, and the latter may dazzle a little, and need the twilight of reflection. Nevertheless, if meekness, if humility is the ESSENCE of seeking the truth, then REVELATION is its crown!
Only there is to be found finality; and although there is much more to know (I Corinthians 13 ends with these thoughts), yet what IS known from God when He chooses to speak with divine authority to all mankind, that is, in the Bible (cf. SMR), IS TRUTH. It is like a photograph of a war bride, held in her drawer till her beloved returns. While he is gone, it is most precious; when he is back, it is superseded. Not that it was a bad photograph, but that a living reality surpasses in three dimensions and in vitality, what there was but stored. What is the more does not in itself whisk away the competence of the less, but rather confirms and surpasses it both in depth and in detail.
It has been pointed out - indeed a whole volume was devoted to this topic*2 - that there have been, in church history, quite a number of what from a biblical perspective are extreme positions taken, in which some philosophical attitude has taken charge, and the moderation and closely fitting beauty of all the words of God are lost in some tangential charge, like that of the valiant 600, many of whom were killed. It seems as if the truth is often lost in such rushes, in some churches. How wisely was it that Paul was led to charge us NOT to call ourselves after particular teachers other than Christ as if to say, I of Paul, I of Apollos (I Corinthians 3)! If this were heeded, great would be the gain.
How often the truth lies not between the two extremes into which some interpretations seem to tremble, but at neither end, but rather in a far more carefully formulated and expressed precision which does not harm to any of the primary data, the Bible itself, but rather is constrained by and conformed to it*2.
Thus if one is willing to receive ALL of the Bible, without admixture or category impact from this teacher or that, then the beauty of God's precision and the wonder of His holiness alike appear, and one rejoices in the truth, as love does (I Corinthians 13:6). It is wise to rejoice in what is good that this or that expositor shows, but never to hitch one’s wagon to another, but rather to walk by the light of the Star, the Morning Star which is Jesus Christ according to His own word, the Bible which He authorised, enabled and wrought (I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:19ff., John 14:26, 15:26, I Corinthians 2:9ff.).
How beautiful it is to find this self-cultivating garden, the word of God, which has an inherent and applied power as the Spirit of God first has given it (Isaiah 34:16, 59:21ff., I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:19ff.), and then applies it (cf. I Thessalonians 2:13, I Cor. 2:4), as indeed to the heart also (John 16:9ff.)! In the presence of such wonder from such a mind as His and from a heart unique in holiness, there comes a certain awe, a desire to be faithful to it, and to Him, at any cost. Love is like that: it is stronger than death, so that many have dies, do die and will die, preferring to suffer death to enduring life without faithfulness to Christ.
As it is written in Revelation 12:11:
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb
The 'him' overcome is identified there as the devil, the accuser of the brethren. His cover is confusion, for there is no truth in him (John 8:44ff.); and how COULD there be, since he is not in fellowship with God, the sole source of it.
In humility then we receive the word of God written, and the Son of God, that Everlasting Word of the Lord, smitten; and if it smites us in the conscience or in the heart, or in the mind, so be it; we respond in care to find its meat and meaning, what it portends and requires, so that with diligence we may know it and do it (cf. John 4:32,34). His meat was to the work of Him who sent Him (Isaiah 48:16, John 3:16) and to finish His work. HE, said Christ, WHO WILLS to do the will of God will know His doctrine, whether or not it is of God. Willingness is a pre-condition of spiritual sight, of knowledge of the truth, and in this there is and must be a certain humility.
Testing is not to find out if God knows what He is talking about, but an inherent propriety, so that it may not only be known, but shown and appreciated. TEST all things! Humility before God does not assume that He is some lunatic whom many a man could outdo with palliatives to this world's problems. If HE WERE, how much madder man who is created by Him, dependent on Him, an outpost of His design! Humility is willing to receive the assigned, assured, verified, validated word of God and to doubt man rather than God. If God speaks, it is but manners to listen; if man speaks to the contrary, it is but meekness, knowing who you are and who is he who speaks, albeit amiss, not to trust it: unless and until it first finds rest in the word of God.
It is one of the exquisite pleasures of the word of God, as if one were dealing with some fascinatingly knowledgeable professor but then with far beyond this – which is the case of course – to find that when one queries what queries it, one finds rich store of reality and truth; for in test, like some splendid aircraft, it not only prevails, but triumphs. Its concepts are so gloriously free, but on investigation, magnificently and even evocatively consistent. It rather reminds one of galloping on a horse, when young, the exulting feelings of dash and coverage, when the wind is an ally and the horse itself seems akin to air.
Given the horse, such is the prospect. Many find no difficulty with realising that God is eternal and has all power. Yet they quibble or equivocate or stumble.
What then of the … humility of seeking to depart from the word of God, seeking to annul, ignore or delete it. Then the imagination that God is incompetent while man knows is the resultant, that man is moral seeking solution while God withholds, despite His power; and that ? It is not humility but arrogant defilement of the ONLY PLACE where truth could be found, and being verified, is found That is mere rebellion; and if rebellion against the truth is meekness concerning it, then let us use no more words, for this is self-contradiction.
The crown of seeking the truth is the revelation, then, of God who gives it, and it is from Him, the monolithic monopolist of truth, that we receive it. Humility looks for it first there, and finding it, rejoices in its infinitely reliable harbour and base. From that base, he finds all things needful for the truth (cf. I Corinthians 2:15). The words of the wisdom of God, we read in Proverbs 8:9, are such that "they are all plain to him who understands" and they give understanding, for Christ is the light of life, and His word is a light to our path and the truth.
What makes the word of God UNPLAIN is cardinally a desire to hang onto something one WANTS or has once thought, without being willing to ALTER whatever is one's thought, to accord with His word. That is another office of humility. HE KNOWS. When one does this, it is a simple empirical fact, one has found, that then the way opens, the coherence and clarity appear and the beauty of truth blooms in one's heart as flowers do in Spring. If there is any diffidence about such confidence in HIM, then Winter can set in; but as to God, He gives as needed, moving throughout His own body with the spiritual wisdom required.
As in the case of detractors, so in the parallel one of needing to adjust one’s perspective to the word of God, so there is the onrush of liberty, as when one omits a bog and finds the highway. It moves, thought, felicity of concept, confidence as results align themselves and beauty expresses itself. It is like seeing a flower without foggy glasses, as it is.
Thus in the relish of truth, that graciously GIVEN reality from God, that propounded, propositionalised, provided wonder, there is scope indeed for humility before HIM: not before those who contend, for this, in acquiescence, merely becomes a consignment to join them in rebellion, as Satan induced Eve to do, gratuitously avoiding the delight in His reliability which makes learning a pleasure and truth a friend.
This therefore is where humility has a place, where man does not seek to occupy the place of God, but of one who learns from Him, not the dissident who departs, but the friend who imbibes; as James put it (1:21),
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness,
and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
There is secondly, the crown of revelation, by which His word is given in the first place.
There is thirdly, the Cross of Christ. Paul declares this:
"I am crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
This Cross, not here presented in terms of redemption - of which Christ did all (Hebrews 8-10) – but of service of which redemption was the acme (Matthew 20:28), is the prototype for our own; for unless we take it up and follow Him we CANNOT be His disciples (Luke 14:27ff.). IF we do, however, this form of realisation AS one follows Him, is like water laid on. It comes in waterfalls in its season, but at all times is available; and His spirit is the Spirit of Truth, whom He has sent to His people, and it is in every Christian (John 6:50ff., Romans 8:9).
There is a road; there are even rules; and one rule is this, not to seek exaltation, for how is this the truth, when HE is above all exaltation, but to give to Christ in ALL things the pre-eminence. If He were merely human, this would be distressfully grovelling and quite ridiculous; but since He is God become man, to do otherwise would be such a dynamic of disenchangment with the truth as to become a virtual lie! Truth rules.
Some try to make a difference between believing the 'fundamentals' of the faith, a useful set of propositions to quickly test for certain errors, and the faith, the whole faith and nothing but the faith. The point is just, but is readily overblown. This it is indeed true that the WHOLE Bible is the authorised word of God to mankind; but it is equally true that in checking on error, means may be found useful on the way to that end. One does not accept the title 'fundamentalist' simply because it can come to mean that one is satisfied with just some parts or points in the word of God being hallowed; but it is nevertheless true, that follies are readily detected by some checks, and provided one does not abide in these, but in the word of God itself, they can be very much to the point.
Again, in the respect for the word of God, all of it, that written, one CANNOT - because one is not allowed to perform such folly - call oneself after any man's teaching, system of thought or exposition. It matters not at all how wonderful or outstanding it may be. This has been noted; but it must be stressed. We may agree with this or that point; but to agree with a man's name as teacher, this is OUT! The ONLY name is that of Christ (Matthew 23:8-10). HE is teacher and His Spirit instructs (I John 2:27).
While some minister in many things to others, the NAME is Christ's, the kudos, the eminence, the pre-eminence, the finality and the fruitfulness. We bear fruit; HE is the vine. What then of "I of Calvin" or "I of Augustine" and so forth ?
It is forbidden. You cannot EVEN call yourself "I of Paul"; and if an apostle as criterion is not allowed, how much less is someone else when these are master-builders of the church in Christ whom they served (I Corinthians 3:10, Galatians 2:6ff., II Peter 3:16). While Paul is indeed an example (I Corinthians 11:1ff.), it is the word of God which was divinely accorded to various apostles and their close associates which is critical, determinative (I Corinthians 2:9ff., I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:19ff., 3:16ff., John 12:48-50, 14:26, Matthew 5:17-20 cf. The Whole Counsel of God).
Add faith to this and speak boldly as to IT, but meekly as to oneself, and in this one fulfils the criteria. Paul in Acts 13ff., like Christ in Luke 11 and Matthew 23 shows the boldness of truth; and in the Cross, Christ showed its meekness, not belligerent as if to defend itself, but knowledgeably in wisdom doing what is required, having already expressed it in words!
Sometimes this is better, as in one class which as a student one had to have, where a largely mistaken, I of Paul type Professor (actually, it would seem to have been I of Calvin) was attacking a sermon I had preached, which did not entirely accord with his –ism. He was responding to this, like one with an arthritic toe which had just been stepped on. I did not reply to this, having already dealt with the issue categorically in the theology class, where a famous Professor held class with no small distinction; and moreover, when all is done, there are some things which are so obvious, so manifest, so foolishly contradicted in 'interpretation'*2A that it is better to be silent. Though the case differs, it may well have been for some such reason that Christ was silent before Pilate in the initial stages.
Truth has its own beauty, and mere belligerence is not one of them; nor is shamefacedly ambivalence for that matter. One must answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be exalted, but not keep at it, lest one become like him. This is a general principle for wisdom, and it requires some meekness.
For more on such topics, see these links: .Sects, and The Biblical Workman... Appendix III .
Another danger arises, which like the other must be met by the word of God.
There has come to be a certain reticence about being definite in exposition and defence of the word of God, as if there were some psychic hitch in the theological disposition of people of today, like a tendency through ultra-sensitive teeth, to a pain at every slightest impact, even of food. It can be as if there were arthritic teeth with which to chew the truth of the word of God. This can be, to some extent, considered when one is making approach with the word of God to others, for fishing has its ways; but in the end, if there is nothing but an uncertain sound, there is no point. Truth is not shame-faced nor is it subject to culture. If this is not clear in spirit and manner, then already one is in danger of becoming defunct as a spiritual person equipped for service.
The Gospel ? Paul was not taught it, but received it from God (Galatians 1), and preached it with the same solemn relish and confidence which this produced, as one of the apostles. It is a gift to our sin-smitten hearts before conversion, and a gift to our hearts as they are being sanctified after it, and it is a gift of and through and with and by grace. Its beauty is inestimable, its need beyond measure and its availability is glorious. The word of God ? it is to be received as such, as it is in truth (I Thessalonians 1:6, 2:13). What then ?
Does one say, as an ambassador, Well, I think ,maybe, my parent nation could be just a trifle troubled if you did that, and while we quite understand your feelings, perhaps you could even stretch your mind to the point of giving some speck of consideration to what, for whatever reason, has come to be, I suppose you might say, our position!
I hope not.
IF one has a mind, it is best to know it; WHEN one knows God, one must speak with all boldness as we are instructed to do, by example, through Paul not only as in Philippians 1:20-21, but as in Acts 13-17. Equivocation can become like rot in an apple: it soon spoils the whole.
On the other hand, one must mind that the meekness is genuine (II Timothy 2:24), and not take office in heralding the truth AS IF one had first invented it. There is an awe in the knowledge of God, and while He gives a bold tongue for His truth, it is to be in a meek heart. That, it has both needs to be met: that of NOT putting one's own personality into it, to be flagrant in mere opinion added, for one's own part; and on the other, of letting the Spirit of God work manifestly, not limiting Him through the inhibitions of fear of culture, flesh or result. Thus Paul could surge into the synagogues with strong doctrine, continual reasonings and repeated urgings (Acts 17:2ff., 18:19, 21:11ff.) in the name of Jesus Christ - and how directly (cf. I Corinthians 1:22ff., 2:2ff.).
Paul could also diligently deal in digging into the depths of wisdom, always on the basis of Christ and the word of God written, reasoning and showing the truth of these things (cf. II Corinthians 10:5ff, I Corinthians 2:6). Of this, Peter with Paul confirms (I Peter 3:15).
He could however could equally detach from a situation where some were merely contentious and wilful (Acts 13:46ff.), speaking with the decisive authority of the Lord, not here to lead gently through, but to show clearly the result of rejection. Nor were his words there honeyed, but holy in indignation and confrontation (cf. Acts 13:38ff., 16:18ff., 18:4-6, II Corinthians 10:5ff.).
The gift of God is both of Christ, the Redeemer and the word of God, the Bible. Bringing One to our hearts and the other to our minds, the Holy Spirit is working with Him who sent Christ, and with Christ who sends Him (John 15:26). We who are called to Him, who work for Him, are enveloped in the Trinity, and may there be many more sent out with confidence and faith, into the field, believing and receiving the GIFTS of God, His Son and His word, walking in the Spirit, not elevating mere functionalities (I Corinthians 12:29-31), but elevating Christ in all things, who has the pre-eminence (cf. Colossians 1:18, 2:7ff.).
The gift, it is by grace (Romans 5:15), so that not only are there found the "unsearchable riches of Christ" in wisdom, love and power, grace and truth, mercy and kindness, but the very mode of its giving is all gracious, the entire work of God, free and fervent from Him who delights in mercy (Micah 719ff.). The flesh profits nothing (Romans 8:5ff.).
As Christ declared, THIS IS the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He sent (John 6:28-29).
On another occasion, as we read in Matthew 12:38ff., some asked for a sign.
A sign ? ONLY that of Jonah, was the reply, and through this Christ made the point that He would be killed and buried for three days and then arise, just as was done more directly on other occasions (Matthew 17:22-23, 20:18-20ff., Mark 12). This word would sink in later, though many even today seem to seek to avoid it. THAT would be sufficient sign for those seeking! THERE lay the meekness of mastery and the clarification of mystery, in death overthrown and life everlasting. His work was greater than being buried in a large fish for three days and then surviving, a wonder wrought with Jonah (Matthew 41ff.); HE would be killed and resurrected after 3 days, directly and without symbolism. If that is not sufficient, then in insufficiency and weakness spend the days till judgment. Many came to hear of or see lesser things, He indicated, but here lay the crux (cf. Matthew 20:28).
Did endless parades of multiply, unfailing healing fail to make the point, resurrections, unexampled words (John 7:48, Matthew 4:24, Luke 7:11ff.) ? Then to the point: the prelude of the resurrection after 4 days of Lazarus, and then the criterion, the performance of His own, THIS was the work that was effectual for eternal life. You seek more ? do you want less! Boldness of utterance, modes of shaking off the sleep of the unjust, the complacency of the wandering: these abounded.
At times He spoke in parables (cf. Matthew 13), because of rocky hearts, unresponsive; at times He thundered with wit and wisdom, opening up hardened ears; again He invited; but always with the confidence that truth has, because of what it is. With Him, it was not only to have it, but to be it. We who know Him are to act IN HIM, who is the truth, and in the power of HIS Spirit, not leaning to cultural enclaves*3, be they quasi-theological in name, or more obviously spurious, but fighting with the sword of the Spirit, the word of God: being first personally surrendered, and then rendered ready for His work, "with all boldness", "now as always", as Paul asseverated it in Philippians 1:20.
The Presbyterian Church of Australia is irrevocably bound to the written word of God contained in the Bible.
Ch. 1 of the Westminster Confession defines this so that, as the procurator of the Church long ago pointed out in a publication of the Church, 'the WORD OF GOD contained in the Bible' is to be understood as defined in the subordinate standard of the Church, the W/M Confession. The gist of the latter, on this topic, is as as follows: the authoritative, given word of God is equated to what is written in the Bible, infallible, and given by immediate inspiration of God, in the original manuscripts being indefectible. In the Constitution, the SUBSTANCE only of the Confession is bound, most wisely, and this of course must include its basis for all doctrine, namely, the Bible, and that as the very reliable, unerroneous word of the living and Almighty God.
That, then, is the sense of what is bound in the standards of the Church; and from that in massive and reckless rebellion, the Church via its seminary, moved to a degree that at length included a new 'christ', ''another Jesus' manufactured by one of the Professors. Indeed, hat invention was such that he who proceeded from the mind of that Professor could not even know that he would rise from the dead in three days. It was to this theological creation that man was directed; thus the Creator became a creature of a creature, a sort of double derivative. Small wonder it needed correction, even by a student at the time. This like other attack was shown up in Class with the predictable result of an expendable student. Though vindicated and received by four denominations since that time, this was the cost at that time to him who here writes. A privilege of vast magnitude it was! But what of the Church guilty of such evils with the word of God ?
Failure to keep to this, indeed, ruined the Church, lost some 2/3 of it to another body which wrongly inherited what had been dedicated differently, for that Church to which most of the PC of Australia went, a new body, did not hold to the infallible scriptures by any means. Moreover, such wanderings as these in the seminary, created division, defaulted on faithfulness and contributed to such a decline in religion as has aided the process of secularisation and diminution of morality which on other grounds, from other sources, has capitalised on this betrayal. The land has suffered vastly for that folly which lasted several decades, and joined with others elsewhere of a similar unfaithfulness.
A word from The Biblical Workman Ch. 8 is to the point here, and follows as an excerpt below.
The word of God is HIS (Psalm 12:6, 111:6-7, II Peter 1:21),
and is un-fashionable by man,
however fashionable the practice may seem.
To this we must be fashioned, whether or not it be fashionable; for it fashions well, in or out of fashion, in or out of season, being preachable, teachable to the tractable. The process is spiritual, mental, profound, psychic, to the soul, to the heart, to the understanding; it affects the personality, already made new in Christ, it inspires the spirit; it transforms, and what it conforms is conformed to the height and source of originality, that Creator who with the Father made this world, and ourselves in it! In Romans 16:25 Paul says, moreover, this:
- "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, kept secret since the world began, but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith - to God alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen." There it ends and we - if you will - begin.
The spirit of man ?
It must be kept pure, and means to this end are numerously given. We have already, in Repent or Perish Ch.1, from the outset, and at End-note 1 to it, noted the simple disobedience to the word of God of making one's name to be called in terms of Calvin or Apollos. It is a shameful thing, not splendid and to this further attention must be given.
FACTIONALISM THAT CAN LEAD TO SCHISM
The system of Calvin, it has special beauty, being an apt and useful tool in dealing with many heavy and deep errors, such as those of Rome and those more generally in the Arminian direction. The 5 points of Calvin, if understood in terms of the relevant scriptures, and not vice versa, as if they were lords, are signally valuable in formulation, and a useful net for catching cat-fish, which are poisonous creatures in theology and in life. The Wesleyan emphasis in the love of God, though alas less so his system, which fails like Calvin to net all the fish that are around in the Biblical sea, is magnificent. Efforts to conserve both the love of God emphasis (as in I John 4:7-10, Colossians 1:19-23, I Timothy 2:1-3), and the sovereignty, by which God makes all things conform to His counsel as in Ephesians 1:11, have been made.
Another example of this is found in the Presbyterian Church of Australia (PC), which, at least before 1991, in the days when its constitution in this regard was honoured, was very explicit on the need to make due emphasis, with the Westminster's Confession's stress on God's sovereignty (and not instead of it), on something else. What was that something else, which so happily it inherited, but which it forsook from its origins ?
It was on a special feature of the love of God relative to the sovereignty of God. It was to be on the fact that God's attitude is such that He is not willing that any should perish: for if one has the power to truncate the one, then the other no less. In fact, one has power to do neither. It is best not to be childish or vain with empty philosophy before the Father of lights, but rather to allow what He categorically asserts repeatedly in both respects, and to ensure that His word is not marred by gratuitous intrusion in either respect. That is why it was wonderful that this great old church insisted on this double feature in its Constitution, by which it even so much as came into existence. But it laid to rest what gives rest, and took upon itself what lost that delicacy and beauty of structure which gave it such loveliness.
Such was a tragedy and some of its roots are shown in News 112, End-note2. In fact, and in principle that should not be tolerated which merely nullifies what is asserted whether directly by God, or in the words of the agreements of men (cf. I Timothy 2, Repent or Perish Ch.1, pp. 18ff.). If the latter are to be removed as unBiblical, that is excellent if this indeed be so. Yet then let this be said, and let it be acknowledged and let due justice be done to the parties breached in the accord that was; for agreements should be honoured, or their nullification acknowledged and Biblical grounds given for such action.
When as here, however, the agreements of men are violated as well as the word of God, we have just such a despatch as so often injures the liberty and loveliness of the things of God.
As to the attitude of God, so vigorously expressed in II Peter 3:9 and I Timothy 2, in sublime categories and utter disregard of the thoughts of quibbling man, this willingness is as real, neither more nor less so, as His entire sovereignty which brings to pass His determinations with precision. (Cf. Repent or Perish Ch.1, and esp. End-note 1; Predestination and Freewill, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Appendix B , The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.4 etc.). It is, let us be explicit, also specifically required in the PC of Australia in a formal 1901 Union Document, called the Declaratory Statement (DS), in the light of which the Confession MUST be read, constitutionally.
The words of the DS that God is not willing that any should perish should not be taken to mean their precise contradictory, that He is; nor should they be extended to imply that His willingness in that direction is the same as a decision, for many are willing for many things, and Christ was willing to gather His chickens under His wings (Matthew 23:37 with SMR Appendix B), and God would have healed Babylon and Israel (Jeremiah 51:9, Hosea 7:1): but these things were not to be. He does not sacrifice truth for love, but rather sacrificed Himself in Christ on the Cross, for love, while truth stands. It was a sacrifice to the Father to give, and to the Son to bear!
Rather a Cross than a loss; but rather a loss than to deny Himself.
Deny Himself! If He did, then heaven itself would be no more; but it is not possible (II Timothy 2:13), as He says; for how should the eternal One who is who He is, I am that I am, always what He would be and with time as a mere instrument (Romans 8:38-39), be other than His eternal self. Moreover in this there is great reward, for His love is greater than all, and His truth like eau de cologne and roses in the presence of wysteria blossoms, and cool streams under shady trees, and high mountains pointing to the zenith, but substantial themselves, and His faithfulness is like the empyrean over all. He does not change nor does His word, that He would have all men to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:1-6). All scripture is the criterion and blessed the church which keeps to that.
The PC of Australia in the beginning wisely added this stress on the love of God, removing any ambiguity from the Westminster Confession, and requiring it to be read in this way, which as so often shown here, is in effect to take it with the amplitude which the Bible requires for this doctrine.
In 1991, however, the bland General Assembly statement that the DS does not alter any doctrine in the Confession, and its action in binding the whole Confession per se UNTIL it be shown from it that there is that in it which it does not require, nullifies this provision on the love of God, as also the liberty formally guaranteed in the same DS. From the first, this liberty in the church was granted and operative, as a thing done, and not merely prospective, to all; and there was formally required no more than the substance of the Confession, with certain basic provisos which were too direct to be annulled.
The Bible ruled as the fundamental, the word of God; and the Confession helped, bound only in its substance. If ANYTHING was the substance of the Confession it was of course, the focus on Christ and the focus on the Bible as the infallible source and criterion of all doctrine (Ch.1 is eloquent). That could not be altered; and this was officially indicated in a church publication by the church's lawyer or 'procurator' (Basic Documents on Presbyterian Polity, 1961, p. 92 - see The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 9, pp. 181ff.). Legal documents must, he stated, be read as one whole, and the unalterable adoption of the word of God as the criterion of doctrine for the Presbyterian Church of Australia, was as certain as the definition of just what that 'word of God' was, BY the Confession.
The 1991 General Assembly, in proceeding in this way to make the whole Confession, itself, the Church’s Confession, naming it by itself, unfortunately has subverted by this language, by this phrasing feature, the sole determination place of the Bible, and with it the requirement that WITH the Confession allowance must ALSO be made for the emphasis in the Bible on the love of God.
In this it has derogated the Declaratory Statement which preserved a Scriptural breath on the topic. It was this which the Declaratory Statement (DS) REQUIRED as the light in which the Confession was to be read, and it is this which this cavalier approach to the Confession arrests, binding it to an extent which is past its own self-imposed limitations and permission, while rifling the Church's constitution of this amiable breadth, which had ensured the added emphasis on love, from the Bible.
In so acting, however, not only did the 1991 Assembly lurch from the radical liberalism of the earlier period, but effectually into the radical Calvinism in reaction, which went beyond, and it even, for all practical purposes, dared to bind a Confession of man without those limitations such as were wisely imposed by the original Constitution of 1901, in its Declaratory Statement.
In making this DS in effect null, so that it statedly added nothing to the Confession, not only did it remove the qualification about the love of God, its extent, which had made of this Church so moderate and biblically based a body in that realm, but it imposed the word of man to make it a confessional Church. No more did the Bible alone give leave to anything doctrinal, but now the Confession had to be found to authorise this or that, or it could not be. Alas and alas; and one official at the top in the Church, for administrative control, expressly stated that liberalism being a folly, Calvinism was the only alternative, though many including himself did not believe it. S o the PCA swerved once more perilously off course that of the word of God, entirely correct, entirely binding, needing no help from any, final arbiter without intrusion. To this whatever else came, it could only help: it COULD not bind. There was its post; but it was lost in the mail.
If you tamper with truth, you will be in danger of being trampled by it. The word of God continues BY and IN ITSELF, to be the doctrinal reality, and those who are too wise - in this way to add, or in that to subtract - to stay with it, are defaulting from its purity.
Accordingly, the Australian Bible Church currently finds no option but to stay with the original Constitution of the PCA, in principle; for it had it right, and these unseemly see-sawings merely derogate from the wisdom of the founding of the Church, so well established in doctrine on the Word of God, absolute and complete in teaching in the Bible, with some matters, always judgable by the Bible, given focal status for help and sensitivity, and a Confession bound only in substance, from which now in both directions, the Church has most sadly departed.
See: BAY OF RETRACTABLE ISLANDS
MISSION FOR THE MAINLAND
From Evanescent Extremes
Back to the Book of the Lord
See The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 4 and The Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2, with Great Execrations ... Greater Grace Chs. 7 and 9 and The Christian Pilgrimage ... Ch. 3.
EXCURSION ON DEAD ENDS
AND THE LIVING LORD
WHOSE IS TRUTH, STABILITY and RELIABILITY
An interesting example appears in a book review appearing in The Australian on April 11-12, 2009. The book under review is named, Why Us ? and its author is a medical doctor, James Le Fanu.
The reviewer is all but rhapsodical, as he looks over the report. Enthralling is what he finds it, and indeed this is taken from The Spectator. It is often pleasant to see some enthusiasm and the theme is quickly developed. The author of the book speaks of the double helix and the unravelling of the genetic code, along with the ' big bang' (one almost says 'syndrome'
cf. Cascade of Truth ... Ch. 6 ,
Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 9,
SMR pp .127ff., TMR Ch. 7);
but correctly points out that all the promise of such 'discoveries' has come to a dead end. That is, in terms of showing something spectacular, some goad to understanding, goal for thought, opening of comprehension concerning life, there has been much sound but little music.
Scanners, the theme is pursued, have opened up knowledge of the structures of the human brain, but as they do so the more, "the more it becomes clear that we cannot even fully understand how it works physically, let alone how it gives rise to al that non-material dimension of mind that encompasses almost everything of who we are and how we think, feel or behave."
Of course there is no method where there is no action. What does not happen does not show itself. That is one type of dead-end: dead thought wanting magical augmentation where it does not have basis, evidence, actualisation or potency to produce. HOW it produces does not appear any more than does how an infant understands E=MC2 . The concepts are not correlatives; one does not have what it takes for the other. Wishful thinking, to eliminate God, does not do so; and wishful methodology, to find how He who did it, did not do it, while it happens now, is not productive. It is like looking for mice in space - living ones.
The point is then made, in the report on the book, that this sort of dead end is merely showing that attempts to explain who we are and what, by purely material processes is unproductive. This is true. It produces what it is for, and not what it lacks. It finds what happens in a domain, not how it was made, or how this or that did works of wonder which are so far beyond man that it is not even a matter for contempt on his audacities.
As so often indicated on this site: Bits did not make the whole; the One sufficient for mind, matter and spirit composed each and all, including the synthesis commonly known as man. It is, indeed, time for man to grow up and realise that shutting the eyes is not only unproductive, irrational and wilful, but a kind of Don Quixote sally into what is not there, by what is, in order to avoid the Lord of the land (and sea and sky and space and time, for that matter). If man refuses to grow up into the One who made him, he is quite simply, and in more senses than one, unmade; or in terms of judgment, a candidate for "everlasting destruction" (II Timothy 1:9 cf. Mark 9). Life IS wonderful; death is not: it is important to find eternal life.
But let us return to the elements of the theme of the book reviewed.
Darwin is cited, and his thesis concerning evolution, in terms of minute variations and natural selection; but in reality leaps forward are to be found, so sudden and complex that gradual process is irrelevant; and the Cambrian 'explosion' is named. Many changes had to be multi-dimensional, simultaneous, such as the transformation of reptiles "into feathered, hollow-boned and arm-blooded birds." (Cf. SMR pp. 114-174, News 1.)
We read further. Darwin had acknowledged the problem of leaps, and might have looked for 'some other critically important factor'; but was so possessed by his simplistic theory that the leap of faith replaced necessary thought. The concept of a material basis, in a day when man looked for some such nostrum, was accepted and still is by some; but it does nothing to explain the major functionalities of man. Such is the presentation in the report on the book, concerning it.
It is here that humility comes into the picture of the book. What is deemed by its author to be psychologically fascinating as to the inability of those following such inadequate ideas, is stated to be this: 'their inability to recognise just how much they do not know.'
All these citations above are from the review, incidentally, and not the author, but this is their reported nature.
The reviewer then gives what he believes could be an epigraph for the book: the greatest obstacle to scientific progress is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.
The view is presented, the report continues, that this is a blinkered vision, armoured in the certainty they have all the answers, whereas they do not; they do not explain. In nothing is faith less required than with the creationists, in the case of neo-Darwinists.
Thus many of the advances, as at first noted, astonishing as some might be, give no understanding of who we really are, and that includes deciphering the genome and discovering neural pathways in the brain. Blind alleys are these for the comprehension of man; and the endeavour to make it appear otherwise is merely reductionist perversion of science. (On this, see *7 in Ch. 5 above, and Ch. 3 as marked.) This is the reported analysis of the situation in the book reviewed.
Called for: a paradigm shift so that scientific enquiry can once "again be liberated to put us back in touch with so much of what makes us fully human: with the workings not just of the brain but of the mind, with that spiritual sense of awe". The wondrously construction of things is to come once more into purvey, instead of being shunted off.
Such is the report on the book, with reflections noted and added, en passant. Now let us proceed more directly.
For years, at last 16, one has been speaking of The Cult of the Forbidden, whether expressing it in writing or in tertiary lecturing, and defining it in terms of just such a reductionism, but adding this. The refusal to move into the realms of actuality which aetiological survey requires is more than an omission, more than a forgetfulness; it is nothing less than fraud, though of course not by any means always intended; and it is based as the Bible teaches freely, on a darkness in the understanding consequent upon a suppression of truth because of man's attitude to his Maker (Ephesians 4:17ff., Romans 1:17ff.).
The refusal to take the necessary logical steps as shown in TMR, SMR and in Deity and Design, for example, is as further shown in SCIENTIFIC METHOD, SATANIC METHOD AND THE MODEL OF SALVATION, is an assault on scientific method and a virtual delinquency in the face of demonstrable logic. What is the motive, what is conscious or not in the minds of the provocateurs is not to the point; what is the nature of the attack compared with the integrity and status of the method: that is.
(For these references and others, in hyperlink format, see the end of this note.)
It is by no means merely a matter of restoring the issues which are bypassed (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5), but of treating the issues which are unscientifically ignored, so that the empirical and the aetiological are paired in the normal fashion.
This is part of the method on this site; but it is allied to much more as detailed for example in What is the Wheat to the Chaff, Ch. 3 and Ch. 4. ALL the elements of logic in every field are to be employed in reasoning (cf. Swift Witness 6); and neither must scientific method be abused, nor omitted, nor any other feature (cf. SMR pp. 150ff., 199ff., 330ff. ). Moreover, no realm is excluded from enquiry, no logical method is detachable by prejudice or preference and all things are to be tested with zeal, undiscriminatory, but highly discriminating in a proper sense of surveying all matters that have claim to relate, not from preconceived ideas, but from evidence.
The return is not merely to some other critically important factor, but to the God of the Bible, as is shown when the constraints of logic are sequentially and fully applied to ALL the components of the situation, whether geological, chemical, psychological, moral, spiritual, astronomical, causative, metaphysical, epistemological, religious, imaginative, creative or other. One step on the way is the demonstration of God, and the rest follows step by step.
It is good to find such awareness on the part of one who, at least from this review in The Australian, appears to see the ludicrous character of what is here called the Cult of the Forbidden (that is, the refusal even to consider and causatively work on things outside a narrow sub-spectrum of what is philosophically desired, in a way which is so unscientific as to amount to a coup, a take-over of what calls itself science in no small measure, by what denies its methodology).
When a President, as in the recent case of Obama, takes it for granted that the realm of evolutionism is sure and steadfast, and that we simply have to move out of this domain when considering other things, whereas in fact it is ludicrously inadequate on any theory to account for things, and logically incapable as shown in the references above and below, it is apparent how far world culture has moved, and how near the end we are moving. It is not that SOMEONE has said such things, but someone statedly religious in some Christian sense has as leader of the nation in political life, said this so unequivocally, with such assured aplomb (cf. Ch. 3 above). THAT is the horror of it.
We must indeed go further; for it is useless to give an uncertain sound. The fable or myth of evolutionism itself, so loved by some early Greek philosophers (cf. Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13), is in no better condition now. The desire to have everything 'come', 'arrive', 'arise' or some other sub-scientific specification such as is common in evolutionism, out of something else is a parody of institution and existence in the first place. Playing with marbles, however intricatre, does not create them, give them existence, cause them to be.
Gradualism does nothing for the cosmos of order, imagination, conceptual orientation and mutual causal conceptual interaction, code and referents for code together with materials for the referents to be able to act and that at the right time in endless complexities of co-operative effusion. The conceptual illusion is stunningly ludicrous: as if a car could become a composed coherence of collateral considerations in a design adapted to highly specific requirements for its very being, by something gradual happening which can neither think nor specify nor conceive code nor impose what it cannot conceive nor have mind in order either to compose or conceive!
All that happens gradually is dispatch of any such beginnings, and the concept of information with its cosmos of intellectual orientation and dispensation, 'coming to be' is merely another of the nauseous collisions with science, in this case information science. On that, see further:
The Desire of the Nations .... Ch. 2, Epilogue,
Little Things Ch. 3 (esp. *3),
The Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4,
Dancers, Prancers ... Answers Chs. 3, 5,
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4, and see Gitt
Thy Word is Wonderful Ch. 5.
It is not some mystery in the sense of the inchoate, the unintelligible sublime, but in the sense if at all, of the Keeper of the Keys, the Maker of the Codes, the Master of the Construction of Consciousness, the Imbuer with that conscience which may work for or against all known rules, namely, the Eternal who alone can meet logic, for nothing has no future: the Maker of Mind, Matter and Spirit. It is He who IS and must be, and is readily to be found by logical certainties (cf. Romans 1:17ff.) as shown in SMR, step by step and in many other places such as those listed below. He has not left Himself without a witness, and no amount of confabulation with configurations will alter the simplicities of the matter.
Neither in bits nor in belches,
neither in dreams nor in imaginations do ordered things come from disordered,
when this is the overall nature of the thing;
nor do existent things comes from non-existent
(for when this is the overall case, there is nothing there from which anything may come,
and if what is not there had a future,
it would be there AS something with a future,
whatever its suppositional nature, a matter here for this reason, irrelevant);
nor do mental things come from what is merely the recipient of material instruction,
nor do spiritual things come from what is no more than mental movement
in the cosmos of concepts,
nor does anything come,
except in the fabrications of magic or evolutionism, the same thing differently phrased:
except from what is apt and adequate for the derivation.
Depart from logic in order to reason and you are self-condemned, a dealer in antinomy. Use logic and you are constrained, to avoid antithesis: for 'mystery' does not avoid causation, merely indicating what you cannot solve, especially if this is because you do not have what it takes to solve it. However, when one returns to reason and therefore to God, to which it constrains and impels without cease or wavering (cf. refs. below), and not to things making themselves with nice little codes and initiatives by command and receptions by correlative input contrivance, all conceptualised in order to be codified into coherent and exquisitely efficient systems, by a maestro session of magic, and to rationality in man who uses it to such effect that more and more of the realities of the physical universe lie spread before him: when you do this, then mystery is resolved increasingly until one finds God, the source of all mystery, and His word, its resolution.
The certainty of the nature of God is readily demonstrable, and that His speech must be, is likewise provable (1 below); and after that, the application in the realms of validity and verification proceed (1, 4, 5, below), and all is mutually assured.
What then ? That expressly divinely directed speech is found in this constraint, to be only in the Bible in written format for mankind (1, 3), and that it issues in salvation for mankind, thus providing the remedy of the defect of which evolutionistic fable (2 below), a unit in the dimensions of fable foretold in II Timothy 4, for our time (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), merely illustrates the certainty of the designer, creator, of God known and revealed.
It is when God is unpalatable that irrationalist fantasy is indulged in, and there is the motive, whether conscious or not. Incidentally, on the conscious and conscience, freedom and validity and man in his machinations, and spirit, see
Christ's Ineffable Peace and Grace Ch. 1,SMR . 4-7; 144, 349B, 582ff.,
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 2,
Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7,
Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 1 ,
It Bubbles ... Ch. 9,
Little Things Ch. 5,
SMR pp. 348ff.,
Overflight in Christ Ch. 2, *1
Evidence and Reality Ch. 3
Great Execrations ... Greater Grace Ch. 6
Let God be God Ch. 2
To be sure people may be inconsistent in various modes, and this is one of another set of illustrations: namely of the fall of man in its zest, determination and confusion. Man needs deliverance by both the WORD of God written and the WORD of God smitten, resurrected and alive from the dead, who sends His Spirit to His people (Romans 8), and will return to provide an end to test in judgment in both dimensions.
God is, and the Bible is the only verified, validated account, available to man, of His will. It is important to cease dreaming; for dreams do not put out the inferno in a house on fire. God gives EXISTENCE to what is NOT eternal by creation, gift, hand-out, institution, application and HIS OWN labour so that what eternally is, Himself, is available freely, like a hospital bed to the insured, or a place in a firm, to a son (Romans 3:23ff., 5:15ff., 6:23, Ephesians 2:1-12, Isaiah 55, Romans 10).
He sets forth what is evanescent or if so be it is His will, capable of being rendered eternal, not from the first, since it is a creation and all such must start, but to the last. The option NOT to be of this kind is mercifully left to man, so that no one HAS TO 'endure' the eternity with his/her Creator, who desires it different. The AVAILABILITY of the Word of God as Saviour and the words of God as showing it precisely, without admixture to render it unsure, but with the same energy and felicity which made man and the universe in the first place, this is part of the plan.
Without that, there could be nothing relating to freedom or love or meaning, but mere productions of protocols and procedures. Without the knowledge of God, truth about it or anything else, as to its status apart from mere interactions, would simply not exist. Relation, correlation would become all. The concept that this is so would be simply ridiculous, for it contradicts its own model. People get so tied up with irrationalism that they do not seem to think clearly in this realm; but there is always the outré factor. That ? it is that if you are fighting the source of your own rationality, you not only cannot win, but injure that reality given to you, with which you fight and so end in irrationalisms that spawn like fish (cf. Deity and Design ... 8).
People love to speak of the ERRORS of those who oppose them, errors in thought, in mentality; but if there were no liberty, error would not because it could not exist. Nothing could be right, for all would simply be what it is, and has to be, and no more is to be said. In fact, a very great deal is said! The entire conceptualisation that makes an idol out of matter is inoperable because in making matter for man to think about, it omit man.
Those materialists often deceived by the Cult of the Forbidden, many it seems, cluelessly imagining that their foolish omissions will deceive the elect if it were possible, who ignore the breadth and height of the evidence and the evidential and rational requirements of all the data, and then seek to proselytise many into their philosophy of irrationalism (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2), what of these ? They are merely midgetising the marvels of the Almighty. It is small wonder that such as the writer of WHY US ? James Le Fanu, is dissatisfied with their endeavours, irrelevant and dogmatic, informed without information, dextrously and diligently presenting what does not even integrate or correlate or have a causal despatch box for what is supposedly to be invented, workers in a mini-domain by their own constantly rebutted choice.
For a mouse to like the floor is understandable; for a bird to like the air is more gratifying in space; but for a man to insist on the dust, the material elements of his bodily construction, as if this were even relevant to the distinctive sphere of the operations of his mind and spirit, the functionalities which there declare themselves, which survey matter in their own nimble, nebulous or rational fashion in part by choice, and estimate its value and point and purpose, making this error or that, or achieving a sound result, rather than carrying out what he is forced to do, as it does: this is one of those elemental mischiefs which shows man his very weakness, and by contrast with what is possible, the folly of resting in flesh, as if it, being constructed, were the finale for those who use it.
It answers nothing as Le Fanu correctly states, of the totality of man. It cannot. Things material are not a book composer, but a book composed. You need the composer, not the compositor, the author and not the mere agent, to find the meaning.
In order to do so, you need what is mental and spiritual and has will and purpose and is not subject to program, which is merely the impression of an expression. To do this, you have to look where it is to be found in all fields of evidence, and then confirming this, testing it for validity and consistency, verification and applicability, present it with honour and integrity, not as something 'mysterious' in any inchoate sense, but the resolution of mystery.
Of course He who is there for ever, the God of creation on whom all rationality depends for validity, all spirit depends for assignability and capacity for realisation, all truth depends for very existence, He is infinite and the sense of mystery is His very glory; but it is not unverbalisable as to quality and character and intent and purpose and understanding; for He is the author of reason and reality. His infinity is not a liability but almightiness, and His expressive power whose Eternal Word was made flesh, is not subliminal to man's, but its source!
What is the case, it is this: never limit God, for He is infinite in comprehension, beyond your own little ditties; and on the other hand, do not limit Him by unbelief, as though His very greatness as composer and comprehender of all things, made at the first by Himself, meant He was incapacitated for speech, or had made those better able to think and speak than He! There are some limits to idle asininity and self-contradiction, and this is perhaps one of the best examples of it that one could possibly find. The Bible makes clear the opposite in such places as I Corinthians 2:9ff., Psalm 94, Isaiah 44-45. .
See for example in logical, methodological and survey mode:
1) The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy
2) The gods of naturalism have no go!
3) SMR, TMR,
4) Deity and Design ...,
5) LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS.