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THE DAWKINS META-MYTHICAL CREATION
DAWKINS’ ILLUSORY DELUSION ON HIS MAKER:
TIME FOR REDRAFTING
WITH THE EYES ON THE ACTUAL TARGET
RATHER THAN ON IMAGINATIVE EXCRESCENCES
MORAL: IF YOU WANT TO CHARACTERISE,
LOOK AT THE OBJECT FIRST
EXAMINING A META-MYTH,
ALAS, LIKE THE DARWIN MYTH,
MADE IN ENGLAND
News 411: The Film from Ben Stein: EXPELLED
A myth, as in Dawkins' evolutionism, is the imaginative postulate which ignores necessary causation for an assumed result. A meta-myth, as in Dawkins' hideous caricature of God, is one which is set on a different plane, creating out of God plus imagination, to defile or deface, or both, an illusive and defective deity, which explains nothing, but illustrates a mix of human presumption and defilement: so that you snatch defeat from victory, and end worse off than when you were merely subject to mytho-pathology.
Let us see his meta-myth.
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” Such is his acrid aversion as exposed in his work, "The God Delusion," which logically is this delusion, that there is no God, no eternal source that anything might be, nothing adequate before it, that it might be as it in fact is. These evacuative excursions lead nowhere as they come from nowhere and rest literally on nothing, all else being a question-begging rampage (cf. News 21, Alpha and Omega: Discount That and You've Got a Muddle in the Middle Ch. 2, especially as marked).
The fiction which Dawkins creates about his Maker is as spurious as his language is furious.
If Dawkins' explosive literary enterprise is not in the category of intended fiction – and one has no ground for thinking his anti-God crusade (he admits he believes in NO GOD AT ALL) is fictitious, nor the money made from it a specious pretence – then what he has to say is so unrealistic, slanted, biased, inaccurate, that had he just been divorced from the Lord, even then, it would seem rather grandiose for pure hate. It would need surely something more to account for it psychologically, since theologically it is a mutation from fact and historically it is an invention of fable.
In Secular Myths and Sacred Truth, the factual side of things concerning the God of creation is presented, as indeed in The gods of naturalism have no go! more broadly.
But let us look at the construction Dawkins makes of his Constructor, of the aetiological basis for the myriad of correlated laws and orders, commands and integrations, and his (implicit) invocation of intelligence with spiritual perception sufficient for him logically to argue for or against God without a ludicrous faux pas to end all faux pas. That ? It is to assume the capacity to state truth (not fiction, though he seems to want to extend fiction's terrain in a compulsive sort of way), while first abstracting absolute truth from his model. It is hard to use what you exclude, but not too hard for this assailant of God!
Despite the model, he happily uses it, trucking and nestling WITH the absolute so callowly dismissed, and so inventing it by his own fiat, all over again.
Dawkins spoke, and it was so. This is fine, except it does not happen that way at all. The contrary is in this relevant field, the case in a somewhat systematic manner. In the major part of this thing, he speaks and it is STILL not so. It is enough in this instance, to examine the Dawkins assault on God on the one hand, as summarised by him, and the book from which he supposedly draws the data for assault, and to compare them. That is the method here.
Thus the Professor speaks; however Dawkins is neither God nor able to act for Him, having dismissed Him, as did the USSR, telling Him, before its fall, it depart, bag and baggage, from the joint. That was before it went bankrupt.
What is it then that Dawkins has made: it is a god with NO credentials,
an invention of his imagination, spawn of his own brain, a caricature of
distortion drawn tauntingly from the Bible, compressed, extended, poked,
subjected to addition and subtraction and in a general sort of way, made by this
creator's hands, a contorted clown from a creature's hands. However, man is
never any good at making gods, for whatever purpose, to taunt, to ridicule or to
worship. It is all one. It simply does not because it cannot work. It is action
in reverse gear. You take God as He is for what He is and has done, or you enter
a dreamland, whether for defrauded worship or defrauding consignment, as if to
reverse reality, and send to a hell of demonisation, the God who made us all.
These human creations don't have what it takes: something infinitely more than the imagination of man; for man merely is a derivative creator, and for this being, this creative snippet to make the Creator of the power to derive creators, of a type such as man is, this is mere mockery both of intellect and of God.
Thus, when man systematically removes, by modelling, what has the power of God so that His provisions are aired off, being zapped, then he has no logical power to assess truth. All he can do is talk about what happens; but this is precisely where he fails. NOT GOD does not happen. On the contrary what happens is in such unique and systematic conformity to the God of the Old Testament*1 (who is as it happens, also the God of the New Testament, the composition of testimonials being named the Bible), that Dawkins' meta-myth, obtained at such expense (that is by removing God from his model), becomes the more ludicrous.
NOTHING works for him. He has no beginning, yet he begins. He has no absolute truth, yet he presumes to know it in a contra-model extravanganza of invention. He uses space, but does not know its source, time but does not account for its existence, evolutionary progress but does not show one instance of its occurrence, or the machinery for such machinations as express themselves in the DNA symbolic information which commands.
Time happens; space happens; commands happen; and then things progress from this triple failure to account, by methods which do not show themselves in the laboratory or demonstrate themselves in verifiable hypotheses applied to visible matter. This is failure stark and total, an ebullition of anti-religious fervour with the force of missioning; but fact is revolting from the coercion on all sides.
Having made the thing, by imagination (any engineer might tell you that that is not the same as making it by power and intelligence), divorced himself from this invented idol which he attributes to God while rubbing GOD in ENTIRETY out of His system, he fails to supply the most elemental substitute: WHAT WAS THERE FOR EARTH AND LIFE TO COME. No idea! says he, while as if the employ the asininity of irrelevance; but he does provide a clue. Maybe, he says, maybe, slowly ... slowly*2, aliens got the intelligence stuff, (itself coming to be in some way or other, presumably, in order to be ... got, or just ... BEING there).
It begs every question, puts 'there' all that is needed, and shamelessly evacuates any logical semblance of basis.
What then is the picture ? Somewhere ELSE, all that is needed here, happened to happen; in some happy way, it happened (the fields are greener elsewhere), so that some alien type of thing, having 'come to be', drew up to earth (which had come from other things that happened to happen in the meantime), disembarked or did whatever was necessary to put its august intelligence into touch with this orb, and so having landed, proceeded to do the earth stuff, in order to make it all and all that. The earth ? presumably it was just ... around. It got itself assembled from the other happenings which came from nowhere in particular or in general, and all nice and apposite for the intelligence bit, imported from beyond.
If this is not nebulous, what could be!
The language above, deliberately chosen, is to illustrate the quaint, eccentric seeming indifference to the whole point: WHERE FROM AND WHY ? Is it not enough to invent death as a potency for life, as in survival of the fittest, removal as a portent for arrival, and to imagine that the whole work just does itself, without going even further into the realms of absurdity for any rational discourse, without proceeding to remove ANYTHING from even being of interest, which IN FACT was there at the first ? It does not even MATTER. It just IS.
THIS, however, just is an evasion, fatal to logic.
Now what we have IS TWO TYPES of approach. One is that something unknown just is, and has no known powers or articulation with anything, a blob of nescience. The other is that what had the power sufficient for the observable result, the universe, was there (for if nothing were EVER there, and were all that was, then it would still be so; but it demonstrably IS not!). Some of us are here, and here is ... in place, for example.
As the universe manifestly is not creating itself, shows no power even under maximum stimulus from man's intelligence, to do so, it is necessary to find what made this intelligible orb with its intelligible commands and its intelligence in man, and its laws, forms and formats in matter, its commands in our DNA construction camps, its contrivances of advanced mathematics in our own construction and the mental powers to know, test and consider this, available to our operation. You do not find this by saying, UGH! or I do not know. That is not testable, and a forlorn contribution, as when some students sitting an exam, do sit, but nothing more, being stage-struck, or defeated. It does not earn anything, for nothing is there to assess. It is not just failure; it is nil score.
As to the adequacy of what was there for its results, and the testability of this, its predictions biblically, its coherence logically in terms of a validity missing from atheist, and all that does not know God: empirically, there is ONLY ONE place. The Bible has been factually verified and logically validated as the ONLY PLACE where this is done. TO vacate that place and to substitute something or other, with no known or testable features is an extravaganza of anti-science. The essence of science is twofold: imagination to find what MIGHT meet the case and testability, verifiability and of course validity, to confirm or deny the hypotheses. NO hypothesis is nullity, and of course in any contest gains NO marks.
It is rather like the case in mathematics. My son tells me that of the pet no-nos of mathematical teachers at the tertiary level is this: that when someone is asked to provide a proof of some mathematical proposition, he might just proceed from the beginning of what is given, as far as he can, and then work backwards from the hoped for end as far as he can, and then just say: BY INSPECTION, then, we see that this is so. WHAT inspection ? The thing is to be demonstrated in point by point provisions of symbols, not just imagined ... in, by a fatuous wave of the presumptuous hand! Do that, and fail! That was the position, and a just one.
It is so here also.
Remember, then, that this universe CANNOT come from nothing, for what has a future is SOMETHING, not nothing: it is SOMETHING WITH potential. Nothing is a definably self-contradictory hyptohesis. What was it in the beginning ? Professor Dawkins advises frankly that he does not know. How were things made to come ? He does not know. Why then, why not show us the current creation of information, the arrival of the sort of thing in view, the kind which, empirically, has internal differentiation power within its type ? He does not show.
What is this ? A carnival of imagination. It has nothing to do with science, nothing at all (cf. SCIENTIFIC METHOD, SATANIC METHOD AND THE MODEL OF SALVATION).
Time however is no answer to logical need, any more than is space, and begging the time and space and matter question is rather like saying that mathematics 'arose' because numbers 'arose' and intelligence 'arose' so that the conjunction of the two could bring forth fruit in logical abstraction, the power to perform with which, this also 'arose'. This is quite definitively, ANTI-SCIENCE, myth and fable, and this is PRECISELY what the Bible said would come, when our Age was coming near to its end. If such things did NOT happen, the Bible would be wrong; but they happen as many scientists dare to so cloud the issue that they in effect assume materialism in order to think.
First, this is mere prejudice. Secondly, it assumes the validity of mind in order to reason to the basis of all in matter, so contradicting itself at the outset. It is in fact multiply logically irrational (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2); but whether with this pundit or that, such freaks of thought not only happen, but are used as invalid bases for insistences on philosophic preferences in the name of science, itself a name which forbids untested prejudice and irrational hobby-horses, and has stature as a result!
This is now occurring, with a consistency and a constancy, a continuity and an oppressive hand in many cases, as if the whole effort was to FULFIL Biblical prediction, which it does (read II Timothy 4:3ff.).
That is one of the troubles when people are fighting God: He knows what you are about and even tells you before you do it.
Give what lacks what is needed forever, a moron a pen and paper, and it still does not produce. Time does not create: creativity does this. Time merely gives scope to what has what it takes to do its stuff. Remove what it takes, and time is irrelevant. Space does not create; it merely gives place scope for what has the power, to do its stuff.
So in turn, TIME and SPACE are used; but the source of both is not even touched. Forces, powers, constructive creativities, these are assumed, but not mentioned; these act but are excluded in the province of THE FORBIDDEN*3! This is a substitute by authoritarian, cultural occlusion, for science. It has become a CULT, the cult of the forbidden. Its exponents, as is normal in any cult, are inflexible, unreasonable, militant, use means to manipulate, do not desire free discussion, or if they do, have no answers when pressed, but a kind of 'faith', which differs from the Biblical faith, in this, that so far from being independently demonstrable, it is demonstrably assumption without ground, and both in experiment and direct observation, it does not have the felicity of exhibiting itself at work.
This is a fine demonstration of the beginning, which simply OMITS it, and having BEGGED the question, proceeds contrary to evidence, to invest what is here, with what it does not show itself able to do, either in principle or in practice. And THIS ? It is some kind of ground for insulting the God whose works DO show themselves as demonstrated over and again on this site!
Indeed, in the EXPELLED Film noted, Professor Dawkins indicates that he would confront God with the question: WHY did You hide yourself so well ?
What is hidden is taken to be true,
things that do not happen are taken to be sure,
things that are not implied are alleged to
what is bidden is taken to 'happen',
what is the greatest exhibition of the
definition of design*1 is taken to be
what breaks all logic to exist, is taken to
be an option,
what is demonstrably the word of God*3B
is taken to be unworthy of thought,
or if given thought,
to be hate where it says love,
inequity where it insists on exquisite justice,
manipulation where it says mercy,
irrelevant where it continually fulfils itself in detail -
one of which details, as in II Timothy 4, attests itself
in those at work like Dawkins himself, in mythical replacements to deity;
and where it designates the very leading features of this part, this predicted terminal part of our Age, it is taken to be unworthy of attention.
This it does with a rigour which is the more amazing in this, that it predictively, from millenia away, captures military, geological, financial, oceanic, political, electronic matters directly or indirectly, national ones as with the Jews and Israel in GREAT DETAIL, international ones, those concerning the development of knowledge and travel, morals and churches, false messiahs and religious trash, anti-flood imaginations (as if to ask for something worse, being uncorrected in conscience), ferocities, hypocrisies, platitudinous pretensions such as those of the UN, a coming, blatant international cohesiveness amid warring sub-themes and far more: and yet does not speak of God. In fact, this level of competence is impossible EXCEPT from God, for even ONE change at ONE point would have vast ramifications by further interactions; and only complete competence in all knowledge can perform in this manner.
Likewise, it forecasts the premium on myths, such as organic evolution, Marxism, Freudianism*3C, which ignorantly fume away in their illicit reductionisms attributing grounds that do not cover the case, and inducing expectations which do not arrive, as well as making claims which contradict their own bases, being not merely fabrications of what cannot happen, but artificers of what will not happen, mechanics without engines, prophets without evidence, false prophets amid falsities and false claims and false christs. It is presented in detail in SMR Chs. 8-9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5 and almost passim on this site.
Yet it is ... hidden ? The ONLY things that are hidden are the grounds for these myths, the morals for their imposition, the reasons for irrationality: but even that, it is covered in principle in the Bible as in Romans 1:17ff., which has come true as a prognosis, fulfilling itself successively, impressively, being impassive to pretence, piercing in coverage, assured in outcome. The facts of God are so obvious that it is only by hiding from them, and attacking without ground, claiming without foundation, that any words at all can still be even spoken to the contrary.
The Bible's insistence, in Romans 1, that the things, the divine nature and eternal power of God are obvious, and that man is holding down the truth (like a wrestler) are confirmed in book after book published, lecture after vapid lecture which trails its vainglory in the dirt, polluting the coming generation in these fields, while the total testimony of God continues irrefutable, rejected by ignorance, assailed by desire, unchanged by violence.
Let us even consider once more for a moment, the alien approach. As shown, this is in argumentation terms, a mere slide: the need is logical, not geographical; and moving it to outer space is a species of geometrical irrelevance of so high an order as at once to exhibit the fraud. It CANNOT happen here, so it HAD to happen elsewhere, despite the logical void.
THIS is the reductio ad absurdum in exemplary mode. Desperately unevidenced, the invention of unkind necessity, irrelevancies of this kind, are a sound demonstration of the straits of mind which led to such fantasies. It is barren. There is nothing there.
Little figurines are captured, as in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and made to strut about, arriving en scène by the playwright's audacious fairy tale composure; but we are not here interested in fairy tales, about aliens, but strict and stringent logic. If we want fancy, we can turn to Shakespeare's romance; if we want fact, it is time to alter things, and ignore the little aliens creeping about in their disastrous irrelevant.
Displacing a logical need in space, or in time for that matter, does nothing to the point. It is merely a trip, as with a drug; then you come back to where you were, and still have to get on with it, and face your problems: here God! For some He is a problem, because they do not want Him; but problems must be faced. In vain, such person apply themselves to the pursuit of attacking the One with ALL credentials by means of the logic which ONLY God can sanctify as even meaningful to truth.
The devil, we find in the Bible, would like to displace God and BE it; but it did not work (Revelation 12), for there are too many advantages in any contest, for one knowing all about the foe and having no limit to his power. Even the devil, for all his ambition, however, knows well that God is; and trembles in the mode of devils (James 2:18), and rages (cf. Revelation 12:12), as the case may be, depending on the particular spirit-pathological item in view from time to time.
We continue to examine Dawkins' verbal assault on God. He considers more as we remind ourselves of the litany of negation.
"Jealous and proud of it" - that was one of the terms.
However, Dawkins, for his own part, in the words heard in the film, "Expelled", appears jealous of the reputation he has for being anti-God and of any work, impact, selection he can make through the fire, ire and flirtation with unreality which it constitutes, and of any effort to remove the pith of his case. He seems to want to possess it, and to destroy any opposition...
From what he says, he apparently thinks it would be a matter of sadness, loss, false leverage, antithetical to what England and this world needs, should his words be disestablished (as they long have been, for he has merely essentialised the stirrings of many for centuries, long answered). He is jealous of his reputation as an instrument of proselytisation, or if you prefer, for acclimatisation of humanity to his virtual crowning of King Chance as Creator Extraordinary, a royal entity having neither wit nor mind, but creating both. He would safeguard this, be zealous for its continuity and seek to be faithful to his conception, and its relationship to himself. In other words, to use the idiom which means all this: he is jealous for the impact and sustaining of his theory, for any displacement, seeks success for his concepts and removal of any success for its opponents, seeking to preserve it with a faithfulness such as a swain has for his beloved.
It would be difficult to receive any other kind of impression from the words he utters in the sound-track of the Film. Jealous in this case ? It is just a matter of words and imagery, but such is the way we sometimes use lover-imagery for ideas, concepts or positions, simply by metaphorical extension.
Now if God had been, that is the God of creation, of the Old Testament, the verified and validated one*1*, in some way akin in His passion for the kind of thing we perceive in the case of Dawkins for his own tribe of those interested in his anti-God litany, it would not be entirely surprising. It is a matter of the BASIS for such an attitude, and of the necessity PURITY in truth as benevolent because right, knowledgeable and so unpresumptuous. This is needed for the metaphor to be not only applicable but an expression of zealous benevolence. If invasion occurs, it is hard to have to fight, but it is necessary if you want to deliver the victims. If madness occurs, it is hard but you may have to shake up the perpetrators ...
It is commonplace for such zeal and desire to preserve what someone holds valuable, sacred, necessary, good and productive, especially when sullying of its reputation, its name is associated with harm to those it is designed to protect. Thus for a person to be 'jealous' of his reputation does not imply that he and his reputation are having a fracas, and he want to abuse the poor thing, but THE OPPOSITE. It is necessary to understand language, and its application. It would mean in that case, that he was zealous to preserve his reputation from being stolen, maimed, dishonoured to the point that his work and function could be so compromised as to render him if not useless, then far less effective for any good purpose. That would be the sense of it.
The term, in other words, depends on the concept of ideas, the subject and objects of reference and the usage, metaphorical or other, and the stated milieu of its usage.
It may be a good thing; it can be a bad one. It can be positive; or negative.
However, God, the God who made heavens and earth, intelligence and the power to weigh things objectively so that what is affirmed is not reaction, but a contender for truth, has no relationship to such a concept in its negative reaches, perfectly understandable though it would be in the positive; and though it is one which could apply to the unsubstantiated assaults of some atheists in their misplaced and even destructive zeal - assuming the reader had any sense of usage and imagery at all, it lacks in application to God. The 'jealousy' here is informed, rational, benevolent because based in truth (which happens to be demonstrable), is designed to protect, to prevent pollution, distortion, exclusion of goodness, spiritual disease, and to magnify life to the uttermost in its recipients. For their preservation in truth and with the light of eternity in their spirits, He has a zeal which in matrimonial figurative speech, is 'jealous'.
Its parallel, in Dawkins' zealous exhortations to his clientele, is not commendable because not well based; and there is not the knowledge to make it objectively benevolent, or practically effective. In other words, the attack he makes misses the mark in God, but not entirely in his own presentation. It is in this measure, not so much a matter of the pot calling the kettle black, but giving this attribute to a gleaming, stainless stell, brilliantly washed vessel.
In the case of the Lord, indeed, the imagery is SPELT OUT. In Ezekiel 20, 23, we find the nations of God’s interest as ambassadors of His truth to this world, spoken of as sisters, as women, as being faithful or rather unfaithful, but in this category, to the Lord*4. After all, as you see in the last Chapter of Joshua, they WANTED to be so allied to the Lord, and to be under His express and total jurisdictive oversight, to serve Him as Lord as HE defined it. To do otherwise and still use His name was like unfaithfulness in a wife. If then the husband were to be jealous of His name, of the disruption of the same by a contriving and devious wife, we could understand this without the slightest EXCUSE for the diabolical distortion of which Dawkins is author, or should one rather say, since the idea is common, one presenter.
However, even this is far from meeting the actual literary criteria of the Old Testament context. To say all this would still be to short-circuit relevant aspects of the divine presentation, making it libelous to issue suit against God, even if anyone went only so far. The case is far more serious. It is, by the way, quite an accomplishment to be libellous against one’s own Maker! The context should prove interesting, since God does not sue or need to, in secular courts. Courts may be used where reason cannot come ... can become a substitute where failure seeks cultural aid, a crutch for its deficiencies. Sometimes the Lord allows people like Bernard Shaw to inveigh against Him for quite some time, before their pathetic parades die with them, supermen being not particularly handsome after all, or long-lived.
GIVING SOME ATTENTION TO RELEVANT FACT
In fact, in this same Old Testament, here under Dawkins' scrutiny in order to characterise the Lord in it, God is presented as a Lover of Man. Not only that, He is a SPECIAL lover. Some lovers may think of happy times spent together with their loved ones, in which the beauty of Spring, the loveliness of lakes, the mutual sharing were as birds in the skies in temperate climes. They think of a creative episode, a sharing of personalities with éclat and joy, and if then someone comes with lustful countenance to seduce one party or the other away, it is a matter of jealousy. This can mean either
a) low-grade seeking for self’s satisfaction
b) a devoted, pure, sacred, holy and just
desire to preserve the departing one
It depends on the case, what is the nature of the ‘jealousy’. It may be beneficial and self-sacrificing, seeking the best for the beloved with informed conviction, or it may be artificial, a mere presumption in seeking to have still with one, a soul who was ensnared by one’s own evil devices, or whatever. It may be sincere or not; and it is by no means to question anyone's sincerity, to say that they are mistaken, wrongly led, doing harm. The inward state of the person's motivation can by no means be equated with the outward results of error. You cannot 'guess' the motive, or simply put it there, the way some are putting WHAT IT WAS there, by nescient insistence. There is ALWAYS need for attestation; guesswork is NEVER good enough, let alone nubilous guesswork.
To assume the one or the other kind of 'jealousy' then, is mere anti-scientific erraticism (you NEED that word), because it does not check the facts to determine the case.
Let us however further test*4A and check the facts in the object under review, which Dawkins specifies quite clearly, the Old Testament.
In THIS case, the Lord once more is explicit, express on the point. He loves Israel (Hosea 11, Deuteronomy 32:11ff., 7:6-8, Isaiah 5, Hosea 13:14ff., Micah 7) with a heartfelt love, so pure that it is that of the Creator who knows and invented man, and selected a nation for peace, blessedness and purity, for the display and reception of redemption, reality and realisation of the wonders which life contains – or as Christ put it in the New Testament, for having life and that more abundantly. These are specifications of motive, desire, atmosphere, perspective. In parallel, someone may be known as a mingy, crimping, money-ridden puppet of commerce and despised, when in fact the care with money in SOME case may be BECAUSE of a passionate desire to spend on those in need; and the one who saves it to give it, may be of the most liberal and merciful disposition.
MOTIVE MATTERS. Truth matters, Reality matters. Ignoring specifications is not wise, where scientific accuracy is in view, to say no more!
What more then is to be found of this Old Testament divine love ?
It is a love equipped with absolute knowledge from absolute creation and absolute wisdom (Dawkins' absurd failure to account for the entire arrival of reality is pathetic in contrast, an untested and unverified imagination, which does not even reach the 'height' of being equipped with features at all!
This Old Testament fact at once removes Dawkins' concepts from being a scientific account – it is like saying that concrete and girders and cuttings arrived somehow on the building site, and the site arrived without being purchased, and the building went by means which have nothing to do with how the stuff got there, or there got there, and so forth. This omission of the necessities for commencement, in blathering or verbalising uselessly in the face of necessary causation (cf. Causes), has logical results, then. It renders the whole atheist construction presented little more than begging the question. Obviously, whatever put the place and the time and the stuff there, is causatively highly competent to the cause and relevant to the result; so that removing it, removes the lot.
Thus to ignore such issues is to admit irrelevance. Such are atheism’s toils (cf. SMR Ch. 10). Indeed, you need ‘something’ to invent causality and the relevance of what is put there to its operational functionality. This too ? omit it ... or as they say in the vernacular, 'forget it!' But in systematic work, it is not possible to forget. It is the issue!
THE SUM OF THE SCIENTISTIC
IS A NEGATIVE BALANCE
With what scientifically observed things, functions, operations, verified by reasonable attestation then will you place your order, your tall order ? With Dawkins, he does not know. It is explicit. He does not know the MAIN thing; and then he seeks to argue for minor things (by comparison with substance, time, space and causality, these being principial operatives and not consequential outpourings).
This he does, by means invisible to observation, inscrutable to thought, expressible only in terms of a magical connivance of phrase with nullity; and then, as if this were not enough, he proceeds to have them improve by removal. Take off the mullock and just SEE how the new houses come, each made step by step, in logical array, and in our case, with facility to deploy logic. Objectively the penetrability of what is investigable by us, and the power in parallel and in intimate connectivity of symbol, to investigate, plus the purpose to do so, and the verifiability of results are indicative of a coherence of conceptual control.
Biblically, we learn that the WORD, ever and eternal with God, who was God (that is, the WORD of God is not as with us, just what is spoken, but the very everlasting power of speaking, acting, enterprise in rationality, the mirror of His being as in Hebrews 1), this spoke and it was done. ALL things were made by Him. If you want to see testability, then, examine man and matter, mind and the potency of all (knowing that disease and disorder, as in any design, can be traced and compared with the optimal powers), and SEE if there is a parallel in investigability with reason and accessibility by reason, with the powers of reason to create this KIND of thing itself ... or not!
It is the very glory of man that HE HAS this ability, but of creation that it PROVIDES the base for its operation. Indeed, the further power of man to investigate himself, and find the nature of his image is even more startling, especially when it too is subjected to the canons of verifiability and the criteria of validity (cf. SMR Chs. 4-5, and contrast with Ch. 3). It is even more amazing when you consider, as in these references, the logical failure, in a quite consistent fashion, when you assume otherwise!
With the word of God, verification is on all sides, in whatever domain of reason you choose to act. There is no competition in validity and verification in existence*1.
Return to Dawkins' theory, however and consider the matter. The operative causality is not even MENTIONED. Removal of sheets from an examination desk does NOTHING to create new ones. It is not even relevant. Similarly, removing what is worse does not create ANYTHING. Non-survival does not create. It is a mess cleared, not an invention made. For that, you need what is competent for the job.
But let us pursue the jealousy concept a little further.
Not only is this metaphorical concept - a
figure indeed but yet highly
not only is it the case that the type of jealousy needs to be known
not only is the Creator
equipped with objective knowledge
the facts of the Old Testament case are far more decisive yet!
In addition to this, the tenderness of His solicitations and the extremity of His own suffering as He sees what is the result of abuse of created status on the part of mankind in general, Israel in particular are in their own right, extreme, as seen for example, in Isaiah 63:9 - “in all their affliction, He was afflicted”. It is the same in Deuteronomy 7, 32, Micah 7, Hosea 11. It is constant throughout the early Chapters of Jeremiah, rather like a father pleading with a son to stop taking drugs, because prison and murder are on the door-step, and this is what comes of it!
In such passages, and in the enduring overall coverage (as in II Chronicles 36, II Kings 17, Isaiah 40), there is testimony to His sympathy, empathy, deep and unselfish concern. He sees ruin for His creation which had been meant for felicity, joy, peace, holiness, sharing of the wonderful, participation in the marvellous (as explicit in Isaiah 5) – as many a delighted father might once have hoped for a rapidly declining son, one entering on depravity with wonderful zest as if a quest for self-destruction were his unwitting accomplice.
Such a result, God, the God of the Old Testament (and we remind ourselves, of the New, which has similar tutelage as in Revelation, Matthew 23-24*5) does not desire this. Indeed, we find in this same Old Testament that He loves His creation so much that He will become one of them and die for this*6.
THIS is part of the Old Testament. Let us have at least SOME scientific accuracy about our examination object, and not invent in mere libellous lassitude, in unconcern or in indifference.
But where is this seen ? someone asks.
It is seen in Hosea 13:14, where God indicates that HE HIMSELF will be the ransom for His people and will in Himself remove the curse. HOW this is to be done, you see in Psalm 22, 69, Zechariah 12:10, Isaiah 49-55, by the Lord as man being pierced and cursed, desolated while given death for His love*7.
THIS is the sort of zeal for the real, or in imagery, jealousy for the reputation and reality to be found by the erring ‘spouse’. He dies for 'her', and being eternal, breaks death in the process, so bringing immortality to light as the New Testament phrases it (II Timothy 1). Thus in Psalm 145, the Psalmist is set to praise God for evermore, while in Proverbs 12:28, we have this: "In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway, there is no death," and again in Isaiah 25:8, God will swallow up death for ever, in harmony with Hosea 13:14ff., Psalm 22 showing the detail of His action and Isaiah 26:19 the intimacy of this provision reaching His people who have faith in Him, and know Him.
THAT accomplishment, THAT suffering, that meeting of the measurable by the immeasurable, the sinful by the sinless, the temporal by the eternal, taking man's form to satisfy justice and remove judgment, dying the just for the unjust: it is some unhappy lovelessness ? Come, let us be reasonable. It is the precise opposite, a holy zeal for goodness, backed by infinite resources, wit and desire, and accomplished WITHOUT DICTATION, and given freely.
And this is ‘petty’ and ‘unjust’ and being a ‘control-freak’ ? If objectivity is unjust, if dying for what is astray is being a control-freak, then how could words have any meaning ? In fact, as we now know, the DNA is the uttermost of control. COMMANDS are the nest and nexus, and if there is anything more controlling than operative commands, what is it ?
We are MADE by command, and the commands are
printed out in biological paper, if you will, for us to read, and we
increasingly read them; and yet it is imagined that the illiterate wrote them
and that the ‘paper’ just arose -
(that is, in this case, that
the exquisitely organised,
extraordinarily complex deployment of symbol-manipulative power
together with operative dynamic
and material sequencing as in any construction, causatively needy,
that we have and find,
instead of bothering with grounds,
even before it was there, proceeded with aplomb,
first finding and funding itself from no place,
drawing constantly on nothing nowhere,
and so brought everything everywhere:
an assemblage of eager irrationality doing double duty for dreams!
for as Christ put it, figs do not grow on thistles) -
and that this is scientific ?
Everything is by nuance, by dream, by assumption, by construction without interface, constriction without cause, production without reason, so that floods of work are done in magnificent array, without any worker, contrivance without any contriver, art without any artist, one code to cover it, brilliant life to express it, modelling as per maestro, and existence enters with no ground or entry point, from nowhere to facilitate the ways of skill. That, it is not a tour de force, but a tour de fraud! Indeed, that this is precisely what we never find, and disobeying all reason, stands nakedly irrational as to base, bankrupt as to empirics. Logically and practically, it has one standard assessment: it does not go (cf. Causes, Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 2, SMR Ch. 5, pp.402ff., The gods of naturalism have no go! 17, with 16, Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service ... Ch. 5, Red Alert Ch. 11, TMR Ch. 7).
How scientific is it to select the most jealously contrived anti-reality to explain the commonly observable ? If you want speed, do you look for a tortoise, if you want stupidity, do you look for the fox, or if you want wisdom, do you seek fit from a moron, or worse, from what lacks all understanding BY NATURE!
Why that would be scientifically absurd! Instead, to be scientific, you survey the scene, you find correlatives, you see what in such and such cases did something similar, you examine the causal nexus involved in other cases, you consider the applicability to your own realm of interest of the imaginative hypothesis you make, you invent tests, or in Einsteinian mode, move to intellectual paradigms for them, you scrutinise what COULD do the things observed, and consider evidence for what it would mean if it DID DO it; and you seek negativities which might divorce your model-based expectations from confirmation, so that if it be false you could anti-verify it.
Moreover, all this you do with discretion, with resolve, hopefully seeking with address and finesse as able, for every nearer parallel and hopeful possibility, refinement of relevance and confinement of error, till it is smooth and without overthrow by any factual source, applied in any way imagined. That is not everything; but it surely helps!
In seeking the highest correlative to the workings of intelligence, which nothing else is EVER FOUND by observation to do, you then look to non-intelligence ? This is your refined investigation field ? This is where correlativity is to be found ? This is near ally ? This is productive in a way systematically relevant ?
But this is not only not in accord with scientific method, it is a gross and intrusive: a comedy act, a type of lampooning of science, as if to abuse it. If there is anything ludicrous, it is to do the opposite of what is the norm on the basis of experience and logical relevance, and call this skill. THIS is WILL, and nothing else. It is wilful non-science, scientistic oblivion of science (cf. Freedom, the Nation and the Next Generation Ch. 4).
After you have done all this, you find it never verified, never observable, always deficient compared with the creation model; and then you exclude the other, as if to loiter on good soil, and deny it to farmers who would use it ? Why ? It is an anti-scientific junket.
WILL has nothing to do with brilliance. The most brilliant man can become a thug, a drug-addict, a highwayman, a dictator, whatever, being jealous for his life and wanting to explore and exploit it with a sudden rush, or flush of favour that breaks all bounds. It is not unknown. It comes because of instability resultant from not having a stable basis for personality, as when a Jaguar is driven by someone on a ‘high’ of adventure, at night, at 200 mph (if they have one like that). Such a thing is not fitting for rational consideration, though it IS susceptible to rational explanation.
Explanation of anti-scientific method, moreover, however sensitive, does not justify the name of science, or the claim to have used scientific method.
Quite simply, science for its part, requires creation, and the causal consequences of the same. Science and logic are inextricably related, for logic is a pre-requisite for thought, though it is not all of it, a structural preliminary, and where its disciplines lack, its point is absent, argument ceases and the model concerned is in abeyance systematically.
Controls in the biblical as in the empirical
field, are very present; and not total.
You can have everything necessary,
In characterising what you criticise, it is
useful to have relationship
Designs such as Genesis describes in the relevant document, need care.
Spoiling them means trouble.
Mercy may put them right again.
Rebelliousness of spirit may refuse this.
The case is not so very hard to understand, since we see it continually,
even among ourselves.
THE DISJUNCTION OF WORD AND WORK:
FLIGHTS OF THE IMAGINATION CRASHING ON THE TERRAIN OF TRUTH
Is then the Lord a ‘vindictive,
bloodthirsty, ethnic cleanser’! (cf. The Desire of the Nations
Ch. 5). This sort of language reminds one of the
reactions of students to discipline when they have behaved the larrikin and
failed to sustain their bombast. They tend to arrogate language to themselves
which would put the troubler of their adolescent self-will dreams into the
cupboard, and make of such teachers any sort of monsters. The spirit of this verbal blast
on God is just so. It is inaccurate, ludicrous, unwarranted by the nature of the
Old Testament text, and has a vindictive feeling, as if there is not sufficient
gall with which to spray the victim of this assault.
Vindictive ? That would suggest an uncontrolled desire to get one’s own back, in an intemperate manner, without concern for the victim.
Is this the Old Testament presentation of God ? is this in fact how He acts in terms of the stated principles, overviews, perspectives, motivations and correlations of the same with actions ? Is this the result of due research into these appositions ?
In fact, it contradicts God’s stated motives, the entirety (as in Psalm 103) of the responses to His nature by His servants (who, knowing Him, are in a better position to judge than someone who is divorced from his Maker, and proud of it!), and falsifies, rather as do the Marxists, the concept of justice.
It moreover ignores the patience of God (as shown spreading out almost interminably, for a 400 year period in the case of the Amorites – Genesis 15), and the grace of His tutelage (as in the last chapter of Jonah!).
It makes into vindictive haste, the gracious longsuffering of HUNDREDS OF YEARS of exhortation, sending or prophets, warnings, invitations, shown to Israel before the ruin of Jerusalem at the hand of Babylonians.
It makes the intense, continued, immense pleas put through the prophet Jeremiah (as in Jeremiah 1-18), to be forgotten. It allows the most intense and sustained provocation to love, mercy and peace, to become a thing of two seconds, no thought, or bad intent; and it libels the model of God, without ground or excuse.
Now what of this ‘bloodthirsty’ bit ? Does God ENJOY shedding blood ? or is it that justice has a certain vigour of retribution when all things ignored, every appeal dispersed, every mercy discounted, every slander invented, every assault on the divine name digested, every fatuous digression from the point borne for long!
He shows the sword of justice at last (as in Ezekiel). The appeals, their grounds, their persistence, their insistence, the suffering of the prophets who presented them, all this is gone. Jeremiah 48:36, 17:1ff., 8:18-9:3 has been then deleted ? Hosea 11 is excised; Isaiah 63:9 is no more, II Chronicles 36 is sent to the pit. Is this however, interpretation or destruction ? It is one thing to bomb the Bible, and it is quite another to blast its heart out and then complain at its absence.
Was it bloodthirsty to desire the death of Hitler and to pound Berlin into submission while jealousy for the freedom of the race and for opportunities to develop and mature the good things of life were being thwarted by such adversaries: was it hatred, lust for blood, that activated the airmen ? Is it bloodthirsty after all possible efforts, to seek with vigour to remove such wantonry and impoverishing passion by one race against another ? Or is it bloodthirsty to be pleased to purge ? and is it grace and sacrifice to overcome at cost what so acts ? When God so sacrificed, is it bloodthirsty ? can you be bloodthirsty for your own blood ? Is there no end to the turning of things upside down, are we to walk on our heads ?
The airmen then ? bloodthirsty ? Some may meet those who suffered to perform that airborne liberation, and argue with them; and some, on the other hand, may consider what the likes of Dawkins have GAINED by such liberation, in exceedingly free conditions to speak what they will.
Thus also, it is the case that God SUFFERED as shown in the Old Testament prophecies (cf. Joyful Jottings 22 -25), and suffered intensively, becoming Himself the RANSOM, shedding SLOWLY (perhaps those of the Dawkins group will like the 'slowly' which seems to be a principle with them), His own blood. Such it was in format as taken for the purpose (Acts 20:28), to liberate from spiritual viruses, objectively known (remember, we are discussing a MODEL, as is normal).
Is this bloodthirsty ? In the end nothing less would do. Is He thirsting for His own blood ? Is Gethsemane (where we see the outcome in some detail, but in the same principle as this, that “in all their afflictions, He was afflicted” – Isaiah), is this to be deemed a wanton display of indifference to the shedding of blood!
But what of this, the ‘ethnic cleanser’. Let us know what we are talking about in this onset and onrush of feeling, the cited words of Dawkins, the reported ones. What is such a being ? WHO does this sort of stuff, the ethnic cleansing bit ?
It is someone, it seems, who having a subjective and unrealistic concept of one race, tribe, nation, people, wishes to remove other nations, tribes or peoples from MIXING with them, SHARING land with them or in extreme cases, and in fact, normally here, wants to make them not exist. There is no question in such cases of JUSTICE. It is an emotional thing, a philosophical or political idea, and it is based on superficial and unwise delusion, a deluded sense of superiority and an inverted sense of service, to become self over others, fiction over fact, and prejudice over truth.
Is God superficial and unwise ? the model does not admit it. To speak of someone like that you have to use another model. This is model-mixing, the opposite of science, mere confusion of words. Do you condemn by confusion ? In this case, yes, decidedly and indeed, decisively. This is not to be commended. It is irrational.
But did God make Israel, A RACE then, did He make of it a paragon, ? Did it occupy an intoxicated racial eminence ? was it a ‘pet’ and did it have a special place in His unwarranted affections so that it was wantonly favoured while another race or other races were discriminatingly, unfairly, abominably, horrendously, viciously, by mere passion and pretence, removed or exterminated ?
Is THIS THE MODEL being examined, that is the Old Testament ? If however Dawkins is making up some god of his own, some straw-god for examination, this is merely a psychological exercise of outrageous vilification, and has nothing to do with the subject or science.
In fact, WHO seeking earthly favour, would want to be part of the history of the JEW! WHO would want over 6 million, a substantial fraction of the race, removed by indignities extraordinary, cruelties all but inconceivable, devilries unthinkable, sustained while this in itself, was the acme and finale (perhaps ? the UN is not doing badly in its deprivations since) of what had for centuries been at least in style, the vindictive folly of Europe and Russia!
They did it in pogroms, inquisitions (Gospel condemned misuse of religious power and authority by Romanism) already! Wealth was taxed or erased in violence, not once or twice; devastation was wanton; exclusions were numerous. Is this favouritism ? Is this to give wrong face-place to a race ? In fact, if one is at all interested in facts, one finds that in Isaiah 43:21, God desired Israel to show forth His praise, to be a beacon of truth, a despatch box for mercy, a lead-in to salvation, an instance for redemption, an expression of deliverance!
However, as in Isaiah 5, they continued to breach the covenant, to haunt the unholy, to worship at the pit of imaginary gods, to pollute their nation, put their children through the religious fires, extort, leave equity and so on (as in Amos, Isaiah 1, 28-29, II Chronicles 33,36) until the point came that failing to listen, hard of heart, spiritually double-talking, they were after centuries confronted directly by God.
Is that vindictive ? capricious ? racially purgative ? In fact, it is a patient endeavour to have something far better for man, according to design and scope and spirit, and to bring the opportunity to many to receive free redemption in an expression through stages, culminating in the Messiah (cf. Daniel 9). Putting in strategic irrelevancies, and assuming other models as a base produces a hybrid without historical or textual validity, and is a work of odious imagination, pinning ideas from thought onto facts of history, like seeking to cross a bull with a tree.
In fact, JUSTICE seems just one major notion missing here; and it is PLACARDED in the Old Testament (this is our laboratory for checking theories about what is in it – it is important to keep to the point, which Dawkins systematically here fails to do).
INIQUITIES, fatuous failures to use the created equipment, mental, physical, spiritual, moral, aright, these were the grounds of wrath, and their continuance over centuries at the racial level, whether of the Canaanites, as noted above (Genesis 15) or of Israel (as noted in the two chief episodes of judgment in II Kings 17 and II Chronicles 36): these were the grounds of long delayed action. How is this racism, which afflicts after extreme patience, either this one or that ? How is this ETHNIC cleansing, when it applies to one as to the other! Does not God compare them with fallen races, when they so err ? (as seen in Amos 9:7, Isaiah 1:10).
In FACT, not only did God show equity between the races in justice, and call Israel very heavily to account in its due time, but He showed deep concern for other races, even while pursuing the primary purpose of bringing salvation to the entire world, through Israel. Consider Jeremiah , consider Jonah, where the prophet was sent with a divine determination to warn Nineveh, in that foul and arrogant city and empire, so that it might be saved. Does not Jonah 4 have permission to exist either, then, when the compassion of God is so vast and He rebukes the narrowness of the prophet ? Or was Ruth the Moabitess not good enough to become one of the ancestors of the Messiah ? Was Babylon then also, never a cause for divine concern (so that we would have to remove Jeremiah 51:9)!
Are words, then, to become ‘scientific’ BECAUSE they are both a distortion and irrelevant, a construct of the mind ? Is this a mental investiture, the God created by Dawkins given the boot, because the facial downlift he gave to Him, he did not like ? But what has that to do with the Old Testament ?
Is it not enough that the NON arrival of new information before our eyes, from non-intelligent sources, the NON observation of basic alteration of type, the NON achievement of this by bombardmnent with X-rays for 50 years, the NON making of life even BY intelligence, that his is sanctified as ground for believing in the ARRIVAL of such things, the exact opposite of the case in view as tested: that now the NON Old Testament God is to be parodied and subjected to theological cleansing by Dawkins, a kind of divine ethnic cleansing, by first recreating and then killing with the tongue! Is it to be this, since it has no part in the reality of the ‘laboratory’ in this case, the basis for observation, the Old Testament itself!
THE REALM OF THE POSSIBLE AND THE IMPOSSIBLE:
NOT MERELY MAKING SOMETHING FROM NOTHING
OR HAVING THE QUESTION BEGGED AS AN OPTION,
BUT ACCOUNTING FOR DISTORTION FROM THE MIND OF MAN
In fact, this mischaracterisation appears merely as one application of the words of both Isaiah and Christ (who cited them) to the effect that they have eyes but see not! It is nothing to do with intellectual capacity, but will (cf. Matthew 23:37, Jeremiah 9, Isaiah 29:8-29). It explains HOW IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE for anyone to make such charges against a mental invention, named ‘god’ when it is pointed as if it were relevant, at an historical account called the Old Testament. It is as if one were to dissect and comment on a whale, when in fact before one’s knife was a mosquito. The two are not only disparate, but grossly so. It is better at least to acknowledge the alteration of the ... subject!
But the libel on the Lord continues. A nice looking complex word, misogynistic, follows in the Dawkins assault on the God of the Old (and therefore of the New) Testament (as in Matthew 5:17ff., John 8:58, 10:30ff., Matthew 23:35, John 12:48-50). Misogynist, now. That is the Dawkins charge against God.
That normally means that the person afflicted with this pathological approach, hates women. Now in that God (as predicted in Isaiah 7,9 cf. SMR pp. 770ff.) used a woman for His incarnation, this does not suggest a hatred. In that this was an action by deity (we are, one recalls studying what the Old Testament God is, and studying that book as a result, not someone's fictitious imaginings, or model mixing zeal), that led to enormous suffering, sacrificial love, the acme of this, that "in all their affliction, He was afflicted", the zenith of a vast, multi-millenia strategy of benevolent and deep love, THIS action is enormously crucial. Was it hatred of woman that led to the selection of one for the incarnation ?
Would one hate that to which one committed oneself, in a gratuitous (that is uncompelled but chosen) work of self-humiliation, when moving to a format at the vulnerable level of mankind ?
I think not. Does Ruth suggest a hatred of women ? Does Proverbs 3 ? or Proverbs 30. It seems that this must be some concept concerning the specialisation which God has made concerning men and women, a hatred of creation in this field. After all, if children need tenderness and felicity of social skill and patience and gentleness, then the one to provide these might be expected, in any really good creation, to have those qualities and even in the very mode of disposition, to be readily adjusting to them, and even to have a body more adjusted to this than to robust tolls amid violences which because of sin adorn the outside world, beyond the home.
Women are adapted to children; they need to be: they move in them, from them and then to them.
This is however specilisation, not misogyny. Did God hate the type of thing, a woman, to whom He sent Elijah for shelter ? Did He show a disposition not to honour her and help her ? Did Elijah show conscientious care in rewarding her, and even in protecting her reward!
Moreover, in the case of Elisha in similar role, with the Shunammite’s land (II Kings 8), was he careless, or enormously protective, and zealous for her ? Again, in the case of Deborah, or Miriam, were these flops and hidden, or outstanding and much praised ? Why if He hates them, did He so use and exalt them ? It is obviously not a categorical thing, and the concept of hatred appears merely a logical slide from specialisation to a desire for that not to be so.
But what of this: homophobic ? That is another of these unhappily reckless seeming charges, as if an electrical fault developed, and a short occurring the electricity grounded itself pell-mell.
This however, is not electricity, and hence needs not absorption but rebuttal.
It IS hard to say that the Battle of Britain pilots HATED ENGLAND or Englishmen. Did they suffer for hate ? It IS hard to say that God hated man, when He did so much for so long in so many ways for him, and warned, exhorted, implored, delivered him so much in so many words, images, protestations, improvisations, and then sacrificed Himself in love to save Him at the last resort.
Still, if we are to wander from the scientific basis for this investigation, the chosen one, the Old Testament, why not gallop into the stars ? It is similar in relevance, and possibility. But the words ? they come anyway.
But what if it is meant, not what the root would suggest, but what common parlance indicates: namely, that God hates the use of sexuality in a way contrary to design for the continuance of the race, so that it becomes a thing to be played with, altered in usage, subjoined to desire contrary to design ?
We must remember that we are looking at the Old Testament and the concept that God is the designer is endemic and the basis of many things (just as it is in fact*1. Even if it were possible to show that we are not in fact designed, this would not alter the moral situation. To judge on an alternate basis to that given in this case, would simply be to attribute irrelevant morals and intention, when the actual one was explicitly stated. It would be to judge without knowledge, the contradiction of scientific method.
Thus if someone thought the earth made itself, and then did not seek for God, you would not say that he was irrational in the second part, but only in the first (as shown in SMR, TMR. That moderation would have that element of science known as accuracy and care. Even if this were so, then, in the case in hand, at that, it would fail at once.
When design is the case, it fails doubly.
However in this case, as shown also Deity and Design (and other works cited in *1), design by Deity is the case What is definable as design, meeting with its fulfilment on this earth to the uttermost degree, must be faced in outcomes. In the Old Testament, it is explicit and that is the point. Would you call Holden Motors, or GM, for example, autophobic, if they insisted on due care, proper use and no abuse of the car, for any insurance deal ? If they did, would it be hard to understand or unusual ?
If God then objects to the misuse of what has now shown to be a COMMAND-ORIENTED CONSTRUCTION known as the human body, and does not like the commands being voluntarily subverted, after the construction work is done, by misuse; and if He conceives this as a sort of sacrilege or at least the defilement of what is sacred, since it is in the Old Testament statedly in His image, capable of fellowship with Himself and exalted to the point of having a certain resemblance potential in spirit : what of this ?
Is this something justly called –phobic ? in any sense. It is a love and jealous desire for the best of what He has made, for its proper and judicious fulfilment, joy, grace, peace, prosperity and triumph, as when a coach trains an athlete. Is this considerable source of AIDS, sexual perversion as biblically defined, to use the Old Testament environment as well as that logically demonstrated: is this to hate anything good ? Is it to hate man to seek his welfare, his non-abuse of his construction and due use of protected membranes in the way ordered ?
Take a far lesser case. Man has been given such all but inordinate powers and prospects and hope, that misuse leads to enormous consequences in the psyche, the emotions, in heart, the spirit, and in society. But even if it were a far less case, like that of creating birds and finding they peck off their own feathers willfully, would this be to hate them, to command otherwise ?
To be sure, we often may say that we hate this impassioned desire of people to have youngsters mauled with illicit sex, and that we are infanto-sex-haters, or something of the sort, without in any way being malicious: quite the contrary! It is concern and love for the child, and not hatred of it, which leads to hating the abuse, and confronting the abuser!
If Dawkins should in any way have other ideas about using highly and exquisitvely specialised equipment, it is not apt to blame God for making it that way. Whatever the possible source of this amazing attack on God as homophobic, it fails in the very essence, since the welfare of man, the deliverance from deathly substitutes for life, for design, for the eminence of which he is capable, from aberration, is the stated and applied mode.
Many find sexuality good as a means of pro-creating and continuing the race, rather than dealings contrary to design. They find this, in the realm of continuing the race and showing love to the one with whom this is being done, apt for less disease, effective in personality conjugation, and that the design is a marvel of utility, grace, charm and kindness. Is this a just cause to call the One who made, -phobic in some way or other, as if this were not a compliment, as we see in the parallel case. It is a matter of perspective: if you do not believe in design, but crown the ludicrous King Chance, who never lifted a creative finger in his life, that is your option. Your freedom matters. You will be judged, as we judge competitors, on it in the end. Make the most of it then ?
But it is not scientifically just mode for blaming the one who made such marvels, that you would have then conformed to what is contrary to their form. It is that, and not their design-use, which at least looks like hatred of life, and not unnaturally, hatred of the One who made it, for whatever humanly inscrutable reason. Whatever be ground for the assault on God, then, be it conscious or unconscious, it has no place; and it is to be rebutted
One has already dealt with the irrelevant and all but comically inapplicable concept of ‘racist’ in this context and need not revisit.
THE GAME OF INAPPOSITE OPPOSITES
What however about infanticidal ? Here is a new charge against the biblical God of creation.
Normally, this would bring to mind the abominable insensitivity of those who do not value human life and thrust in the blade at infants for the satiation of desire, and the fulfilment of perverted joys of some kind, massively inhuman, anti-mankind zealots, bean-heads where perspiration has replaced thought, some kind of ineffably dreamy zealots, escaping their mingy dreams for a moment, in order to satisfy vastly uneven blood-lust: people whose despotism of spirit knows no bounds, for whom neither morals nor kindness have any place.
As applied to the Maker (remember, the place being examined is called and has been named by Dawkins, as the Old Testament, so let us try to be consistent, not making it merely a ground for firing rockets at the unresisting heavens, in ire or fire or smoke or some other confusing agency), this the Dawkins mode.
Is God like that in the Old Testament ? It would not be too much to say that this would not even rate as libel: it is reconstruction. What then could possibly be in mind ? When such charges are made, their relevance to the book in question is the point. From this, we must seek what could be said, and if it is not to be found, enough!
Perhaps it is the fact that when a race becomes so vile, violent, outrageously arrogant, meddlesomely pseudo-divine in killing others, making other SUBMIT as one religion likes to stress, that their continuance becomes a menace to all, a peril to themselves, a sort of abortion of life which regrettably still lives in order to torture this earth, there is scope for its termination: perhaps it is this which is in view. Perhaps, the concept, to be realistic, is this: that God having given a race many a warning, in general or in particular, by this means or by that, decides to remove this strain, stress, mess, marauding band of murderers, so that their children must go with them, and so the earth be relieved, this amounts to infanticide.
If God resolves to act, in this diseased mess, after long waiting, and the race goes, this is infanticide ? It resembles the case of Israel: if it decides to seek to remove killers who hide behind civilisians, because they are ruining their own land and exterminating lives there, then it is homophobic ? or if a child is killed, it is infanticidal ? Not so. If there is ground for removal in a war which is ruinous to man, then to imagine that the results that may accrue indicate what would be the case if the war were not on, the peril were not in mind, and to seek to apply this as if there were some evil motif, or selective hatred, is mere warping. It is similar if you seek to escape a murderer, and using some force, happen to overturn him. It is not accurate to call that hatred.
If a race of zealots is almost from the cradle (Palestinians as a matter of fact are reportedlly from a very young age, taught to hate, in many cases, as part of education), turned to slay, and if the ideology is like that of Hitler, a time may come when God would act. If in so doing, there were children killed, this would not, repeat NOT, indicate a selective work on infants, a desire for their deaths as if it were infant-death-day! In fact, a civilisation may become so corrupt that the only way of removing its world-epidemic basis is to deal severely with all of it.
This is not for man; but if God so elects, the motive is removal of the dignity and the continuance of this line, with all the motivations and emotions and traditions of hatred and vile violence; and to deem it otherwise is to play the psychiatrist in a way those persons would be loth to presume to do. HOW do you know that the STATED claims of someone who acts insistently and persistently on a stated basis and in a stated perspective of seeking good and liberty and love and mercy, and follows words with actions, is NOT stating the truth ? This is merely a colossal anti-evidential lunge! It has no basis in scientific method.
Perhaps it is deemed infanticide when such a scourge includes all ? But that is a wanton disregard of the perspective in view. What then ?
It is NOT relish in killing kids but relish in preserving them by removing, after centuries, the miscreants who kill other people’s kids, in purging the earth of what threatens to destroy all, that is in point in the Old Testament. This perversion of justice, this contempt not only of the ‘Court’ but of justice and mercy themselves may be a psychic lift for some, who like to attack God on their own constructions of Him; but it is contemptibly irrelevant, a mismatch of word and the subject of observation (here, we recall, the Old Testament) so vast as to become a kind not only of anti-God but anti-science display.
Such things, by the grace of God, we are even ABLE to do. It is part of the liberty which in love God has given us, so that we may, if we so choose, even irrelevantly insult Him. This is a wonderful gift; but one does not relish inaccuracy.
Next we come to ‘genocidal’. This however is the opposite of the case. God’s exhortations, pleas, keeping covenants, graces, mercies, creation itself in the first place, provision of the Gospel as so summarily shown in Isaiah 49-55, Micah, Psalms, Zechariah and so forth, is the opposite. GOD DIES, that man might live.
This criticism, therefore, is the opposite of the apposite, and constitutes a case most stringently unscientific in utterance, given the nature of what is to be examined.
But here is a nice one: filicidal ? It is a nice looking word and one could congratulate the writer for thinking of it, were it not for its strangely provocative, evocative and dismally inaccurate usage.
To be that sort of thing, you have to want to kill your son, sons and so forth. There is in you some kind of kink: you do not have the normal desire to preserve, care for, nurture, nourish and provide for your child; but to kill, this is your will. The thing snatches at your heart, plagues your mind: this is the way! you say to your distorted, aborted, cruel-minded and unnatural self. That seems to be the sort of thing that the abusive self-declarations of Dawkins concerning the Deity of the Old Testament would imply. Otherwise, how would it fit into a consistent torrent of abuse!
Does the Old Testament suggest a God of this kind ? By even the most cursory reading, does it ? Rather we find that SO great is the LOVE of God for His CREATION, which as DNA illustrates by its commands (matter is NEVER found to formulate commands, only to carry the things out), He laboured to make, that He was afflicted in their afflictions. This is the insight given. He is disgusted (as in Genesis 6) at their deluded, depraved, ingeniously crooked mischiefs which mar and abuse their potential heights of life (He does not hate life, He made it), and does not remove them (as an inventor might throw away a messed up model, or a scrap yard might receive a smashed vehicle – here one which smashed as it were, itself). Instead, He acts yet to spare the race; but still they do not listen. Proverbs 1 brings the exact spiritual perspective out very clearly. In Genesis 6, the pollution of mind, the straying of spirit, the mixtures of grand things with evil, it was from day to day, the chosen way.
God declared as in Genesis 6, that He would not be forever striving with flesh, with mankind, for after all, they being a creation, taut with untruth, wicked in mind, imagining folly and acting like space ships that had become persons, investigating every foolish thing and declining mission constantly, could not endure (as in Isaiah 57:16) the constant friction of faction from their Spiritual Source and Creator.
The thing reached the point that "every intent of the thoughts of his heart was evil only continually." Imaginations - as now, indeed in our own contemporary world - rioted continually, the most captivated concepts replaced the captivating ones of truth, folly concerning God was by now endemic. It appears that the humans, instead of being like charged particles, to make an image of the situation, equipped to act, were like particles charging about, charging anything, designed for good, devoted to evil, with scarcely even a small quirkish look at the facts, unless with a mind to distort, as far as their true nature and work was concerned.
This present time is becoming increasingly bound in just that direction, with the able service of TV and schools devoted to materialistic propaganda, sometimes by courts, just so. The most tender minds are invaded by sardonic cynicism and the cruel, the wicked, the lustful, the selfish, the thoughtless is given screening with relish, so that the mind of the very young could be caught before it has vigour.
He shortened, before the flood, the time of man therefore. At the time of the record, some 120 years remained before a corrupted, pandemically unspiritual, energetically ungodly, wantonly wrested generation would face the end of the patience appointed. It is not racism to destroy a race when the Maker of it finds it unwilling to repent, unreasonable about its status, undisposed to listen to reason, as from Noah, inclined to every evil way and thought, exalting itself past God like a flea trying to cross the Atlantic in one hop. It is not being against this or that part of the race; it is an end of the cultivatedly corrupted, inanely and wilfully deadened attachment to spiritual vomit, instead of spiritual life, to the remnants of life rather than to its Source, and this continually, that led to the terminus of the unspeakable infection.
Man now has much the same trend. He WILL not listen, he MUST deride his Maker, divorce from His care, lampoon His lordship, decry His mastery. Man must ignore His testimony, and do so with a body built from birth, yes from zygotic commencement with such precision of order, multiplicity of integrated commands, mathematical marvels and administrative skills that to see, unaided by human hand, a skyscraper 10,000 feet tall, industriously making itself, with invisible technologies to make the mouth of engineers water and their research arm to be industriously writing down what they can make of how it is done, and this before one's eyes in the open, would be as NOTHING by comparison with what is the prelude to the birth of each one of us. In Noah's day, there were 8 exceptions. In our own, known to God are those who are His, amidst the contrived creations of new 'gospels', new 'christ', false prophets without a scintilla of evidence, but followed like ants at honey.
In Noah's day, those who acted were THEREBY saved. In our own, those who similarly enter, not the ark, but the kingdom of heaven, that spiritual ark, Jesus Christ, are likewise saved. If you do not enter, then what do you expect ? that somebody will drug you and put you in ? Why blamed anybody!
120 years were then to be left BEFORE the flood. That is not a bad time. While Noah builds, man rescinds repentance or relenting, and continues as if blindness by option were a new set of glasses. Is this impatient ? is it impetuous ? is it even unkind to remove at a stroke, a series of follies so great that what man is had become a kind of offal, and this by a persistent desire, invasive of youth, devious concerning truth, wanton, wilful, immovable ?
God in pity and mercy gave man a new field and scope. Sometimes ingratitude can so exalt itself that it is sad even to watch. So God came in the flesh, so He was in flesh crucified, but instead of doing what many would, exterminating the whole race, He permitted Himself to be killed and rose to bring authentication of the offer to be forgiven EVEN THAT, on an individual basis, without racism or any other deflection. The enduring character of His love then went into operation for some 2000 years, while His servants were murdered, imprisoned, their good name deleted by lies, fraud, their children mistaught by monstrosities of unreason increasingly, paid for by taxes, indefensibly by reason, calamitous in consequence.
Thus, the alliance of Hitler to Darwinism is well shown in the film EXPELLED, especially in the reference of Darwin to the conceived folly of breeding from weak or inferior cattle or any other kind, such as man, a precursor to eugenics, just as his survival idea, to promote excellence, induced wild ideas of racism for some kind of Aryan, or death for any kind of weakness, such as war might contrive. The Descent of Man (1871) was a piece leading to thoughts of the ascent of man, to deity, which so many have ludicrously conceived - or at least, to some species of divinity. Corruption in one, as in a disease, ideologically as well as physically, readily leads to others consummating the process.
Where error is worshipped, irrational folly is bred with lust for greatness, there is virtually no limit to the misplaced non-worship of God, here transferred to the human race, or some nostrum for its advance, or that of some race or system or ideology, such as Communism's heaven on earth, a fair imitation of hell. Fraud is like that. But continually, they push it, as if taking up a collection for the blind. THIS blindness, however, it is optional.
Does one then blame God because human hands set a bush-fire ? because they are taught their woeful misperceptions by misinstruction, because the sacred self is exalted, and its surviving strength is adulated ? Is the folly of man, in abrupt and blind misuse and wilful abandon of God, is even this to become a ground of indictment of the One who freely gave to man both access to Himself and a salvation from his own evils, again freely (Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2) ? Is man's mischief to become a warrant for the arrest of God ? Fanciful ? Not really: it has already happened (John 18).
Is man's determined exclusion of God to become an accusation against Him, and not him!
Is there no limit to the desire to escape justice, rule the world with deceased thought and then cry out at the rotting!
The Old Testament is the predictive SOURCE for the NEWS of His so coming. It is not contrary to it, but the consummation of it, as you see in Isaiah 7, 9, 11-12, 28-32, 40, 42, 49-55, 66. Indeed Hosea 12, Isaiah 49-55 and Psalm 22, show the extent to which the protestations would go, even in divine sacrifice. It was not to be done lightly, but with a determinate desire. Psalm 40 shows how vast was the desire of the Son of God to save by His own sacrifice, Isaiah 48:16 the launching from eternity of God in the sending to save, as outlined in 49-55. Hosea exhibits the heaving of the heart of the Lord in intense, immense love so that in HIMSELF would come, at HIS PERSONAL action, the deliverance for man.
One does not usually sacrifice oneself for those whom one hates; and it would be strange for anyone capricious to devote Himself to such a task, in a prelude of a millenium, and then to do it, at any cost! It is stranger how so many love to delude themselves, it would seem, or so act, that the greatest becomes the least, the imaginations seemingly constantly being distortive to the facts.
The Lord decides in poignancy of heart, depth of love, infinite solicitude, to send the most precious, His only begotten Son, on the mission of sparing some of humanity. In the process, we find written, the amazing scope of mutual delight in love and HENCE to save, between Father and Son.
Let us review a little.
You see the delight of the Son to be used in this way, in Psalm 40 (and remember, we ARE examining as our laboratory inspection site, the OLD TESTAMENT! it is easily forgotten in this verbal insurgency against God). You find the suffering of the Father in so yielding in sacrifice that many among men might at last be spared in Isaiah 42:1-3, where the scope of His LOVE for His sent Saviour for man, is shown, and hence His grief at so acting, attested in Hosea 13:14, where the movement of love to man is so great that the Lord resolves in the midst of such need, to go so far as to make in HIMSELF the ransom, the offering. Again, we need to look into our laboratory, the Old Testament, the environment of terms for analysis … Since God (as in Isaiah 48:16, Zechariah 12:10, Psalm 45), makes it clear that He is a trinity, not separable into autonomous units, but infinite in intimacy as God, then of course anything that One suffers, so does the other.
God then decided to act in sacrificial love, each member of the Trinity in perfect accord, in the midst of this sacred moment, the incarnation leading to the slander and travesties of truth (as for example seen in Luke 11:53-54, with Matthew 12:24ff.). He recorded His intention in the Old Testament and displayed it in the New.
The confrontations AS MAN BY MAN, and the slow murder, maximising the savage solipsisms of the wandering minds and wanton will of the slayers of His incarnate Son, yes, all this occurred. Man however, despite many who wrought wonders in His name, in large measure, received a very different spirit; and as foretold, it is growing in rambunctiousness.
It is now becoming more and more a world-wide addiction to the survival idea, the morals void, with desire rampant; and indeed it is no coincidence that what is not least applied Darwinism, Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra in the 1870s, with its derision of the weak and of Christianity in terms of superman power and exploits enticing the deranged will of soaring man, preceded the First World War with its strutting pomposity and wilful rioting of power and human glory, on the way to the pit. Kaiser was indeed a Caesar, as this new feature for the same old self-exultation in man, unwound its pathological powers.
Into and for such a world, then, one still shuddering with spiritual solipsism and its results as it consults itself, pleases itself, invents morals and abandons its design, came God. Not with an army, a secretariat, or at least a tenured post, came He, but as a babe, when grown, for sacrifice. And this, it was not to be wielded against the wrong-doers, but to be that of Himself. It was statedly directed so that without being dictatorial, He might save ANY who have HIM take it for them, and GIVE it which was lost, life in Him, to them, yes tenured eternal life (cf. Jeremiah 31:19ff., Isaiah 53:10-12). What a topsy-turvy thing, to give innocence from guilt by redeeming, and power to life aright by rising from the very dead, so showing not in inconspicuous ways, but with a thrust that covered the world, instead of water this time, a finale of grace, mercy and love.
Does this evidentially appear to be the work, attitude, perspective, emotional configuration, desire and design of "a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." Such an idea would never have occurred by any rational application of the mind.
To the present point, is this then to be filicidal, or conducive to such construction concerning the character of the God who IN THE OLD TESTAMENT showed plans for such suffering on HIS part for the erring race (Isaiah 53, Hosea 12, Psalm 22 are mere items in the whole concourse of it - cf. SMR Chs. 8-9) ? The case is woeful, and so gross a distortion as to make any father’s heart all but shrivel at such affront to sensitivity and human sensibility.
Now we come to the ‘pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully’ submission. This is the last part of the assault of Dawkins.
Pestilential could mean horrible like a pestilence, and be written in order to liken the victim of such verbal assault to a disease. Is God in the Old Testament like a disease ? He who created life and laid down specifications for its continuance, blessedness, completeness, ways of being wisely handled as in a car manufacturer’s handbook ?
No handbook, someone may suggest ? but no, there is one: you may recall that we are examining the basis of Dawkins’ abusive references to God, in a certain place: it is known as the Old Testament, and it is his characterisation of the God shown in this book which is in point. If we mischaracterize, contrary to the evidence, it is confusion, inaccuracy and contrary to scientific method – scientistic. That, it is related to science; but not well.
But let us continue with the concept applied to deity, who made the creation called man and health which is the norm, therefore, that of pestilence. God does create disease firstly for misuse of organs and mind and spirit, mental, physical disease, though it must be said in all scrupulous care, that He is amazingly patient in this, and things can go on for centuries in some cases, before correction and exposure arrives. Is this pestilential ?
The term in this aspect would be abused. Is it pestilential to CREATE a pestilence, as in Egypt, when that nation wanted to keep using millions of another nation as slaves, unreasonable, unkind, unthankful for great favour shown to them by that nation previously, and by God ? That depends. Let us look and see.
The term has a certain negativity. It does not suggest judicious exposure to justice after longsuffering, now, does it ? Yet that was the position in Egypt.
In the case of Egypt, indeed, this judicious exposure to justice, THIS was however precisely the case. Their delusions about gods that were not there, but which they claimed were. This is parallel in some ways to the delusion that the Creator, constructor, origin of laws is NOT there, but instead, at first were unknown forces, or indeed some quiddity, uncharacterised, just THERE. This question mark it is that provided the base for what has wrought with exquisite power, and this is affirmed without concern about how it got there or acts. That as we see in EXPELLED, is the option offered by Dawkins. It is imprecise, a work of nescience in a realm of nature which never does what it is supposed to do, by any inspection, excitation, moving on from the unknown basis, with an extraordinary finesse, out of this world in its creative resultant.
In Egypt, this glorified naturalism, with gods set up for various natural phenomena, illusions as are the evolutionary nostrums which have to act without being there, since matter never can be made to do this sort of stuff, yet it is done, then as now, it had results. It led to a certain arrogance, indifference to man as such. Their cruelty was perpetual, their pride ineffable, as the supposed glory and imperial majesty of their system continued its rampant course in their midst.
Very well: if you want nature to beget itself, and invent what does not bother to show itself in action, but contradicts reality, there will be results. There were. God had an interest in the salvation of man and so had a demonstration lesson and an exhibition nation to show this to the world. At that time, they had been made slaves, and He resolved to rescue them. Time after time, He gave Egpyt opportunity, but by that time its irrational naturalism and myth-making powers were so far on that it was like giving tea to cancer.
God resolved on the rescue. Pharaoh resolved to keep them. God induced more minor action; Egypt yielded and then recanted. It went on, like the appearance of some devious nations today, wanting this, and appearing to conform, but at once seeking to have it again, having gained some advantage in the meantime, as they weave their way towards mutual destruction for both parties. In this case, however, destruction is not an available option for the Maker of Man. The result was patiently deferred to its finale arrived.
Thus a confrontation occurred, to DEMONSTRATE under test, in a scientific manner, what happens, step by step, when you INSIST on cruelty to the victim nation, when you relent, and when you deviously refuse to honour your agreements. It went stage by stage, like a stage coach, opportunity by opportunity, for Egypt to be delivered, just as in the end, Israel would be. But Egypt was irrevocable in lust, devious in manipulation, manoeuvring to a monstrous degree, acting as if God were a convenience, not the Creator.
When therefore God corrected this mischievous and fatal misalignment in Egypt’s religion, being applied with such monstrous cruelty, was this to be pestilential ? Again, were the Allied bombers pestiliential which were instrumental in the deliverance of millions in Europe, including those constantly tortured, whole races from virtual oblivion ? That would be a courageous proposition. Does motive then mean nothing ? Is the man who has to kill the monster who is torturing children become pestilential when he has to force the grip of the torturer, and find this leads to its death; or the army which does it on a larger scale ? One would not think so, no, decidedly one would not.
If nations, and indeed the human race, misled by a whole troupe of which Professor Dawkins is but one, insist on their mistreatment of man, by enticing to or eliciting delusion (intended or not, or even if the intention be the very opposite of this, delusion still kills in the end), results do not fail to appear in the long run; and it is by now, since the 19th century, quite a long run.
Thus, what if the peoples are misled by this and that nation, such as the USSR, philosophers, religious extrapolators like organic evolutionists, who imagine what can neither be seen nor made by any means to occur ? What manner of result can there be ? If these nations are faced with increasing warnings as their peoples misuse mind, body and spirit and ASK for the results of thus injured equipment, which misfires more and more, is this then a case for the denigration that God is pestilential ? even when the ultimate in pestilence bearing has been wrought by God ? upon God! Is this a correct ascription, interpretation, review of the evidence ? It would not appear to relate to it. And that ? It is precisely the case with the naturalistic idol of dead Darwinism, or any sequenced impossible contestant, as the mighty fight each other with more and more myths about what they do neither know nor see nor evidence! (cf. *3C, part 2).
What is lacking is any kind of sense of injury wrought against the Lord, upon His creation. Here we appear to have this: a despising misuse of His patience to the point of actually daring to attack and deny Him, a removal of any kind of desire for pardon, for peace, for propriety, for return!
In such a case, to call calls to return to reality before the final destruction of what is actively destroying itself in spirit and body, in environment and in heart, pestilential, it has a certain flavour, nature! It is like a school-boy kind of mischief, denouncing the ‘monster’ who dared to care enough to correct. What pestilences has man made, with his radioactivity and sexual liberties! If correction does not come, man will go! This is a far better treatment of the term for an extravagantly extraneous rebellion, which misnames patience weakness, kindness filicide, and correction pestilence! Is it not this which is pestilential rather than the prescribed butt, the verbally scarified Saviour, the God of the Bible!
Is it not frequently the way out, to call the judge by the name of the wrong-doer, so that when someone misuses power to afflict others, authoritarian in demeanour, he reviles his judge as authoritarian when he gives sentence!
History shows in Egypt, the type. It sins. It imagines things, it contorts the evidence, it consorts with naturalistic inventions. It cannot relent; nor can it face its end, the grounds for which it constantly repeats, beginning over and again its errors when corrected, as it had a sort of repetitive disease, an obsessive compulsion to rebel. So be it. It costs. Reality in the end, even with mercy, with this one cannot dispense. It one insists, what goes ? reality, or one’s own autonomous presumption ? and this, to its place it goes.
To call - to continue our inspection of the list of affronts offered to the God of the Old Testament - God megalomaniacal is a very special contortion of the evidence. IF we are interested in examining the Book under review – the reader if not the reliably critic, will recall that it has a name, the Old Testament, and is a just inspection site in detail, and in spirit – then we will find that GOD CREATED ALL THINGS (as in Isaiah 43-46). How could One who is infinitely great (cf. Psalm 145*8) possibly have magnified ideas of His own importance ? Is infinity to be excited to think above itself ? This is mathematically impossible, so that this claim is absurd, a veritable effusion of folly, and ignoring of the text under review so vast as to become mere verbal splash.
Sado-masochistic ? This is said of the God of the Old Testament. This would seem to mean, if anything, that He would either have bouts of liking to suffer, and of liking to make others suffer, for no good reason, or have some kind of blend of opposite and inapposite emotions and dispositions, which fought it out with interesting results.
That is a strange concoction, that which we see there. It is a difficult personality to conceive, and is not at all conceived in the Old Testament, directly or inferentially. In fact, the ‘sado’ part of the abusive talk or torque, here, the twist, is the part which we have just sought to trace a little, the fact that CONTRARY to pleasure, and BECAUSE of need, God was at it were willing to enlist His own being in a movement of sacrificial mercy of infinite proportions. This He did so that He would have to suffer with great grief, and desolatory experience (as in Psalm 69) in order to fulfill His love. You get that sometimes with love. The suitor is willing to serve for years (as with Jacob indeed), in order to gain the hand of his desired lady. So great is his love, his enduring affection, his honouring and delight in the lady of his choice, that mere years of burdens and pains and endurance are not in the balance. This he does out of love.
With God, who is a Spirit, though He can do many things such as incarnate Himself in the person of His Word, if He so desires, it is not a lady. It is the human race which is His concern. To this, He has shown such love. It is not sickly sentiment, but brave beauty. It is not in a romantic mist, but in a deadly real, live situation, where hatred and mischief breed like lice, ruin like grass-hoppers, defile His name, misconstrue His intentions and fight against His relief, meanwhile injuring their own hearts the more. He perseveres, moving to the climacteric wonder on the Cross, the resurrection, the sending of His Spirit, the inundation of this world with the Gospel, towards the end. Any experiment has an end: and this, it is not an experiment for God, but for man. God freely became a participant, while knowing the result since His is all wisdom; but as a man, it was not so easy...
Is this masochistic ? That would simply be to pervert his motivation, a ludicrous and inept mischaracterization. So here!
But what of the sadistic part ? To be sure, the term does not necessarily imply the gaining of sexual satisfaction (the God of the Old Testament is SPIRIT and having no body, has no sexuality); but to the extent that this tends to be a basis very often for the use of this word, it would be a schoolboy howler to make such an assertion.
We should, should we not, reader, be more lenient ? Very well, let it be given the metaphorical extension and mean simply that the one who is like that, has some kind of kink such that he or she takes joy in afflicting others, as a species of psychic kick.
Do we find evidence that God enjoys afflicting His errant people ? On the contrary, if you read Ezekiel 20, for example (make that verbal ‘experiment’ with the matter before us for scientific investigation, for science is the basis and scientific let it be), you find something concerning God in this our Old Testament field. You discover that in each of MANY cases of vast folly on the part of Israel, God PUT AWAY the punishment, DEFERRED the result, wrought within Himself to avoid the impact, like a good father with his delinquent son; and that this went on (precisely as in II Chronicles 36, in the overview of centuries), until in the end, it was too late. You get this physically when someone refuses to give up smoking, till lung cancer arrives. That is reality. We are not infinite beings; there are limits*8, to our follies, though these may be so lightly impressed, as to seem all but absent for a season.
THIS, it is sadism ? What of sadistic mothers, then, who are forced to slap, at times! This is to misread motive to the usual degree in this barrage of belittlement, and scientifically outrageous mismatch of word and subject of enquiry. In fact, this matches the mismatch of terms and facts in organic evolution, where ALL required is NOT met, and by comparison, ALL required of the model of creation IS met; and yet the one, creation, is called false and unscientific, while the folly of scientistic mountebank, organic evolution, is paraded like USSR weaponry in former days, in May.
There is an inversion, and as with the meteorological illustrations of the process, the result dirties the very air. It is as in Isaiah 29:14-16, a turning of things upside down, and it evokes the attitude of God as in Isaiah 5:20-21, where alas such declensions are considered.
"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!"
The upside down version has its problems. Being upside down has results. It is best to avoid them; the blood goes to the head.
THE ONE CONSISTENCY: AND EVEN THAT IS A MISFIT IN TOTAL
We can, then, rescue one thing. In treating these things, there is something left.
Of this, we may make one admission: in this point it is internally consistent. The misuse of evidence concerning organic evolution is parallel to that concerning the God of the Old Testament: in both cases, words mismatch the facts under investigation to an inordinate degree.
It is in reality, one approaching comedy, if it were not for the tragedies this poor world must suffer because of this travesty of reality. You cannot long ignore reality, however much you may misuse both science and words more generally, and yet hope to escape indefinitely: not rationally. For example, Darwin’s little idea about The Descent of Man, his idea about the folly of breeding using poor stock in his assessment of what is best for life, was USED not only in Germany, but in the USA on many, who were sterilized because of bodily defects, and this without their consent.
Follies of thought, unscientific abuse, mismatching words and facts, as in Darwinism and its assessments (a theory, in terms of scientific method, dead long ago, and now eroded bones only – cf. *3C part 2), these create horrors of results. It is so with designs; and ignoring even that, it makes it but the worse. Kindness seeks to correct, as here; and it does this not for this or that kink, but in kindness and hope for mercy for the race. It is a duty of compassion as well as a need for accuracy, relative to the God of the Old Testament, and of the New (cf. Matthew 5:17ff., John 8:58, Philippians 2), who does not change (cf. Psalm 102, Hebrews 13). If you are compassionate, you do not turn your back, equivocate, never act; but you turn your front, as God did His...
Now we come to another invention of Dawkins in his meta-mythical creation. It is the ‘capriciously malevolent bully.’ The bully part has already been dealt with under sacrifice, trinity, suffering, patience, the works of love, and it is as far from the truth of the text as well could be imagined. Bullies do not normally sacrifice their lives for their victims. Would you call a life-saver who had to make enormous physical efforts to save a struggling and disoriented surfer, to save the same, a bully ? Would you use this as your considered designation ? and if he died in the rescue, would you still charactise him, overall, all things considered, in this way ?
It would present, certainly, a difficulty. It would not go smoothly; the press might be reluctant to glorify such a characterisation.
Indeed, if this sort of thing can be so, what does it even mean! If so, why bother to use words at all, why not make a splendiferous festival of imaginations that hate reality, and of words that are opposites to deeds, and flinging caution to the winds, unwind!
This however, this metamythical bully which has been imparted to the scene, it was to be a certain kind of bully. The imagination incorporated more. What kind ? It was a ‘capriciously malevolent’ one. Remarkable. Let us consider this creation that Dawkins presents.
To be capricious, you need to follow the thought of the moment, an unstable, desire-ridden paradigm of indiscipline and lounging relaxation, moved intemperately by your own much loved self.
Is this the case in the Old Testament, concerning the Creator ?
Is it capricious to outline plans of self-sacrifice to deliver, not only Israel from Egypt, but man from judgment, in advance ? In the latter case, is it capricious to STATE your plans to this vast and consummate effect, a millenium in advance, supply the date for the execution involved in your saving action for man*9, and then carry the thing out, grievous and horrid though it was for you, though this was disregarded because of love and the love of mercy towards mankind, in the execution of the executed ? In fact, of course, it is the EXACT OPPOSITE.
Now to be sure, the exact date, though stated for the death of the Messiah, in the Old Testament, is by the nature of the case, not realised until the events of the New. However, that is mere verification*9. It is STATED in the Old; and in any case, this is merely a part of the entire vast work of salvation which occupies vast territories in various modes in the Old Testament, starting with Genesis 3, in the protevangelion. He thought it. He said it. He increased the detail, gave the date for it, exhibited it from various angles, set it in love, presented it in mercy, laboured to make it apparent.
He waited till the set time had come (as in Psalm 103, Daniel 9, Galatians 4:4). Then He did it, and He did it accurately as planned. At the moment, the point is not the absolute power to do this (for any ONE change from what was envisaged in the millenuium in some matters, and in the many centuries in the other, would have thrown all out of kilter - but this did not occur); it is rather to the point at issue, God's fixity of purpose in its performance. We will recall our topic, the GOD of the Old Testament, of whom Dawkins has had some remarks to make.
Let us consider the issue.
Now to be sure, a weak character could carry out some things, when they did not hurt much, without being noble in reliability and stability – though even here, it would not make for being called rightly … ‘capricious’. When however such things are vital and vast in their impact, and STILL they are done as prescribed fashion by the party under review, then the term capricious is not an apt one for the case. Indeed, it appears to be so blind an assessment of character as to constitute a schoolboy howler. Certainly, not ALL things are of this kind, by the nature of the case once more, but in investing a person with a characterisation, with any approach to being scientific, we assess implications in all things, and giving due weight to the weighty, and relative slight weight to the slight, we seek not to slight the subject of investigation but to do justice to it . Why otherwise bother, except perhaps, to rail ?
In Amos 4, once more, you see what might appear a virtual ecstasy of disregard of the evidence, as we trace the text and find with what steps, with what care, with what caution, with what mercy God acted in a carefully orchestrated fashion, before the climax of judgment came into sight! In this case, in seeing how in fact God acts when the matter is presented in detail before us in what could almost be called an autobiographical manner, we find a patient industry, a longsuffering progression, a processive series of impacts, and a non-sublime disregard, indifference.
This is capricious and malevolent ? Is this a game then, where we show, as in certain English grammar exercises, the OPPOSITE of what is APPOSITE, and set down not the point, but the word which is the contrary of it ? Not apparently.
Again, the same divine qualities of patience and love of mercy appear, in the patience of God toward David (Psalm 51), and the vast scope of mercy, in decisive disjunction from either caprice or malevolence, as in that towards his enemy Saul, who was spared over and again, in his foolish flourish towards autonomy while on divine mission (cf. I Samuel 24-26). While judgment may come at last, is there any sign of capriciousness, forged on the anvil of malice ? Such is not the Old Testament testimony. Such a Being would never be trustworthy let alone a subject of coherent praise (as in Psalm 103). You great, blustering, malevolent bully, some spy might declaim against his captors when they interrogate him, and do not release him, while he retains his malicious mien and devious secrets. It might be so. It would not however be a correct estimate of the nature of justice for entrepreneur of disorder and disaster, by his foolish dreams and uncontrolled speech.
One always remembers a lad who once told this: you allow things to happen for so long, that when you suddenly act, it is amazing! Those may not have been the exact words, but this was the sense of it.
It was something like that. Now it so happens that I love liberty, freedom for children not to be constantly chided, to be happy, to be expressive and creative, and in these interests, often seek to delay action of an intrusive kind in the disciplinary area and arena. Therefore, however, with this in mind, at times when I DO act, it is considerable. Is that to be capricious ? Actually, even when it is sudden, it is thought out (this is no claim remotely to perfection, but an indication of method and aim). The recipient might think it so, but it is the obverse and patience and mercy, and benevolence.
Thus one who is patient may seem sudden, when the one concerned SHOULD have known better and has had opportunity to reflect.
Capricious ? It is hard to consider any person in history less so, by evidence, than the God of the Old Testament.
‘Malevolent’ ? Were the pilots of World War II, the British first of the few, were these malevolent because they had to defend, to bomb, when seeking to deliver ? one would not think so. Is malevolence involved in creating a race at all, which had the liberty to be opponents and to slander and libel the Lord who loves to make us free (as in John 8:30, 10:10, Romans 8:13ff., II Corinthians 3:17) ? Is it malevolent to be so benevolent that you come and die for miscreants, hideously unlovely in their blind misconceptions ? Is it malevolent to love the spoilers of their own souls and those of others, and while they are yet sinners, to die for them (Romans 5:8-11, Isaiah 53).
Once more: It could be so if you have a game on your hands, to use only words opposite in meaning, perhaps even in order to show the hilarity of verbal carelessness or for the joy of the ridiculous.
The kingdoms of this world,
its political-academic collages,
its chronic blindness to truth,
its oppressive denunciations of what helps, and
its atrocities in word and deed,
its division from its Maker,
its rescinding of the laws of its construction in a folly to be seen to be credited at all,
its abuse of the Sovereign who made those laws, to add to the insistence on breaking them,
its mischaracterisations of the obvious, and
its musing myths and fatherless fables about itself:
Yes, but it cannot be with sorrow that they go. The sorrow is for those who insist on harbouring such vessels of woe in their hearts. How Christ sought for and wept at the coming things which disregard of patient, potent mercy needlessly invoked! (Luke 19:42ff.).
It is best to seek for what may be delivered while the ark waits, to revert to the illustration.
GOODBYE WORLD, YOUR TIME COMES:
BUT MAN, COME BEFORE YOU GO!
Nothing false CAN stay. The kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (you can acknowledge Him or not, it does not alter His position), it comes. When it comes, why then
the battle, the test of fidelity, of being not an errant ‘wife’ or
an erratic creation but a godly person with LOVE at the heart of it all (cf. JOB*10),
the battle that precedes the provision of peace with integrity, happiness with honesty, holiness with honour, grace with truth:
it will be over.
Christians, do not yet seek repose. The battle rages. It is time to be strong, and to despise what mocks, from within or without, and to be thankful for the grace to continue, using spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6), glorifying God, serving Christ, who died the just for the unjust to bring us to God (II Peter 3:18).
Let the one who has not yet found the reality of redemption, read Isaiah 55, John 3, Titus 2-3, Galatians 1, and pray that you may escape the day of the FINALE, while faith is still open, like a one way express-way, open only for certain hours. May God bless you all, for HE IS GOOD. So I have found in persecutions often, in troubles incursive, in opportunities marvellous, in endurance needed, in patience trying, in creations numerous, in strengths needing moulding, in weaknesses needing strengthening, in challenge and in confrontation, when slandered and when praised. It is HE, He IS good! That is a glorious fact of testimony, that shines like the light of day, where darkness loves to peek, but where the Lord lives (Colossians 1:27).
May God be praised who changes not, and meets all appointments faithfully, both to this world at large as He has prescribed, and to those who become His own children (cf. Psalm 1), with that intensely honourable holiness which is the joy of love to be, and of those who receive such love, to find. Indeed, such love induces a love, for lovely is He who created, and who redeems (I John 4:9-11, Romans 8:5).
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ,
Who Answers Riddles, and Where He is, Darkness Departs,
Deity and Design ... (esp. on Design, Section 2),
on irrationality of atheism,
and all voidance of a known God, Section 8
*2 Such is Dawkins confession, or assertion, whichever way you like, as shown in the audio of the film EXPELLED, from Ben Stein.
See the Cult of the Forbidden:
SMR pp. 330-331
TMR Ch. 8, * 7, , A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 4, SMR pp. 150ff..
The materialist as here, assumes matter without ground, so that it is not really materialism when its basis is considered, but a combination of the magical unknown (magical because lacking statable grounds, and yet assumed to be there, without evidence of any kind) with an endued matter which does all it does not show itself capable of doing, or engaged in doing. This matter, being incapable of being found, shown or exhibited, is found only in the minds of those who create it.
This is the perfect myth, and as a diverting entertainment could earn a good mark. However, this is not its ostensible purpose.
Matter is then in this model, only the penultimate basis.
See *1 above, together with
Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation
The gods of
naturalism have no go! and
The Meaning of
Liberty and the Message of Remedy,
1) on the psychical side:
Spiritual Refreshings 9, incl. End-note 1 (esp. programmatic psychology and its ilk), Marvels of Predestination Ch. 7, including *1;
News 80; 44,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Extension 1 ; TGHGGGG 2,
See also SMR Index under Freud and Jung; NEWS 51, 52, 152, 166, LORD 5, ALERT 1 ; BEAUTY 2 (human psychiatrists)
2) on the biological side, inter alia:
News 94, Delusive Drift ... Ch. 4, The gods of naturalism have no go! Ch. 34 (other chapters are relevant). Wake Up World! ... Chs. 5 and 6.
3) on Marx, see:
Aviary of Idolatry, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 5,
News 37. 44, 69, 97 (the exploiters, the fanciful,
the Communists, the de-godders and the realities), 98,
News 150 - Taiwan,
The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of Man,
and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2
Beauty for Ashes
Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a
Tender Times for Timely Truth
SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty of Holiness
(war and force, rising downwards, Tiananmen and truth),
Ch. 4 (liberty, Tiananmen, worship and its direction in time, its terms and code of truth); History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Impossible to Men, Open to God Ch. 5
See also Lord of Life Ch. 8.
The 'sisters' in this case: they are Judah and Israel, the former having been left in an earlier rebellion by the latter, which was composed of ten of the twelve tribes.
See on the love of God in terms of accuracy to the text of the Bible, in both Testaments, and its sustained emphasis, in
Gratitude for His Glorious Grace Ch. 2,
Great Execrations, Greater Grace Chs. 9 and 7,
The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 4,
A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 17,
Jesus Christ: Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 2,
Outrageous Outages ... and the Courage of Christ, Ch. 9;
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2 with The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 3 and its Appendix
and Downfall from Defamation Ch. 3,
How Great is the God We Adore, Ch. 3, Epilogue (looking at it in principle).
For convenience, an extract follows from the first of the above references.
In Jeremiah 5:2, the Lord asks, "How shall I pardon for this ?", in the pressure of love in the face of remorseless renegacy on the part of the loved, Israel. He expostulates; indeed He refers in the gamut of intimate intensity of emotion (5:30) to something with an impact resembling that on many, of the sinking of the Titanic, now taken up in monumental pictorial form.
"An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely, the priests bear rule by their power,
and my people love to have it so.
"But what will you do in the end!"
The prophet enquires for the Lord, with no little pith ( Jeremiah 6:10 cf. 5:1ff.!):
"To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear ?
Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed.
Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them.
They have no delight in it."
"Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD,"
the Lord continues (as if a king would say, I am full of the fury of the Royalty).
He proceeds to give His word quite expressly in complete continuity and contiguity (6:11ff.):
"I am weary of holding it in,
I will pour it out ...
Because from the least of them even to the greatest,
Everyone is given to covetousness,
And from the prophet,
Even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly ...
They shall be cast down, says the Lord."
The LORD asks them to go to the place of Shiloh, where the explicit testimony was earlier made to His name (cf. Deuteronomy 12:11). He spoke to them then, rising early and declaring (again see the clear use of human terminology for divine action and emotion, without the least question arising at to what is meant, for it merely makes it more intimately assessable, the proper work of metaphor). He will again cast them out. Therefore, the LORD says,
"Do not pray for this people ..." (7:16).
The alienation is intense and immense, and is seen stretching for a considerable historical period, until in Jeremiah 8, we hear the strength of love coming with pity once more: "Shall they fall and not rise ? Will one turn away and not return ?" Continuing to expostulate, the Lord speaks of the stork knowing her appointed times, whereas
"My people do not know the judgment of the LORD."
Thus once again, it is not "this people" but "My people"! (8:11), that phrasing of the melody of the music of His passion, that speaks, that evokes. He evidences His continuing fostering desire, in the very midst of their misrule.
"MY HEART IS FAINT IN ME ... WHY HAVE THEY PROVOKED ME TO ANGER ..."
Then in Jeremiah 8:18, we hear once more the divine soliloquy, if one uses the word of drama, and this is a divine drama:
"I would comfort myself in sorrow,
My heart is faint in me.
Listen! The voice, the cry of the daughter of My people from a far country.
'Is not the LORD in Zion ?
Is not her King in here ?'
Why have they provoked Me to anger...."
It is, and it remains His people, His land, His place whether or not He sees fit as He explicitly promised for chronic, continued covenant breaking in Leviticus 26:32-33, to expatriate them for a period before they should return. In His divinely inimitable and frequently repeated mode, like an initial strings phase for a concerto of piano, an introductory pattern, He asks, "Is there no balm in Gilead!" a richly rhetorical and evocative query! "Why then is there no recovery..." (8:32).
Just as He has condescended to use human terminology to paint divine emotion (and as noted above, this is in the incarnation perfected, for it becomes His, though holy and divine in quality), so He goes a unit further here, stating this: "For the heart of the daughter of My people, I am hurt!" (8:21).
How great was that hurt to become in the vessel of time, in the field of history, when the due date for it, aptly predicted through Daniel 9 (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4), in the fulness of this appointed time (Galatians 4:4), came around, and the clock for crucifixion (as in Psalm 22, 16), struck One!
The Lord even declares, "Astonishment has taken hold of Me," this amid mourning (8:21 and cf. 5:30), thus indicating that beyond time, there is that same awareness as we find differently IN time, for the Lord is not void of feeling, even to the point that His own human, late incarnate form, became void of seemliness as it was butchered more than any man, defaced, deformity for deity the human acclaim! (Isaiah 52:12ff.). THAT is the extent to which His sensitivies are activated, that He permitted their physical loss for their spiritual gain!
Just as the soul of Christ, facing sin-bearing was full of heaviness (Matthew 26:37, as foretold in Psalm 69:20-21 cf. Joyful Jottings 22-25), but alight with love and duty, with discipline and devotion, seeing the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12), the redemption of many, so did the sheer horror of the cost of love, the cost to man of sin, awaken in Him the divine equivalent of what in human terms is the evocation of being staggered (Jeremiah 8:21, Hebrews 5:7). Time did not dim the eternal reality; but it merely was a base as He transferred it to human terms.
All this He suffers because it is His people, His place, His redemptive love, indeed the love of the Creator for such a people, so found, so provided for, so entreated, so known, so covenantally close to Him (as expressly in Deuteronomy 4, noted above). This Creator aspect is shown profoundly in two ways, as in Jeremiah 5:22-25, where the sheer splendour of creation and its delimitations is in view, and in Jeremiah 4:22-27, where it is as if the entire creation were to be dismembered into a disordered reversal, and things to become once more without form and void! Sin desecrates, and this can be seen from the mind of the Creator Himself, as a movement back to the very springs of His creation, a defilement evoking the image of the earth unformed, since to be wilfully DEFORMED is not unlike being not yet formed!
So intense is the Creator spirit, as the Lord looks on the defilement of MY PEOPLE!
In Jeremiah 5:22-25 case, we learn the extent of the human disorder, called sin, when the Lord declaims (5:26ff. - bold added):
"For among My people are found wicked men,
They lie in wait as one who sets snares:
They set a trap,
They catch men.
As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Notice that therefore! It is a continual refrain, this 'therefore' concerning judgment, and as here, where every conceivable means is used to prevent it, overcome it, with offers both direct and subtle, a panoply of peace continually provided, yet in the end, it comes, as an old coat goes, when (if it could), it refuses to be cleansed or mended. There is nothing else for it! It is sad, most sad, but sure, most sure ... It goes.
The junta rules mischievously in HIS NAME, and the people love to HAVE IT SO! (5:30-31).
How like to the time of the crucifixion it was, and what a time for realisation was thus provided, in the 70 year exile that followed the words of Jeremiah, before the 2000 or so years which would come the SECOND TIME, when they actually did not merely reject the word of the Lord through that great and faithful prophet, Jeremiah, but rejected their King Himself. It was always in view, and the emotions were displayed with incredible realism, or so it would be if it had not been the LORD Himself with His own expressive power (of which our very beings are part, as creations), who has shown it so, making the seemingly incredible certainly to be accomplished. Such is the prerogative of unlimited power and illimitable purity and majesty.
What folly, then, it would be to try to defame His love by seeing all of this, and then trying to remove it, in its expression. Is it not a case of blinded eyes, or perhaps for some, just a blind spot! But the reason, the reason ...
Where does the prophet in indisputable manner, infuse with the very divine terminology of advanced and precise delineation of their position, his own word! He may comment on himself, or allude to this or that, but as to the divine message of his Mentor, it is as inviolable as the iceberg which impacted on the Titanic. It does not yield to any work at all, from the seas. It has its job to do, and it sinks men's thoughts, before those of the Lord.
This is not merely empirically so, but needful: for confusion in this aspect, of instrument for musician, of servant for master, for just this very thing, even in appearance, but perhaps in spirit for a moment, Moses lost His entry into the promised land, and died merely seeing it. The terms of speech, collected in their "My" phrases, indicted with majesty, determinate with assurance, directed with judgment, aflame with desire, arresting in their intimacy, extended in their appeal: these are sacredly significant, an autograph of power and omniscience, direct, immediate, linked to the whole gamut of divine emotions.
If at times they are expressed in human terms, prior to the incarnation, this is the depth of empathy, approaching the infinite, as in time expressed in that very incarnation: on which all the world depends, without which its end would have been sooner, but through which the divine passion being made practical to the last degree, there is hope. It comes like a helicopter above the wreckage of the ways of this world, ready and waiting, with this difference, that the pilot Himself, He knows whom, and when each must come, and the rope, it is the Gospel, nor is there any other (Galatians 1, Ephesians 1:10).
The preliminary words in the prelude of judgment, in the intensity of love, are all the more potent for their expression at times in human terms; just as they became yet more effective, when expressed in God manifest in the flesh, AS man (I Timothy 3:16, I Corinthians 2:8). He in turn, using still more imagery of still more tender appeal and solicitude, meaning and clarity, when on this earth, referred to a hen with her chickens (Matthew 23:37), in terms of His expressed desire to find. Again, it has the patient dedication of fishing! (as in Ezekiel 47, Mark 1:17).
Again, think of it as free-range chickens: it is so very unwise not to listen, when the foxes abound!
It is all personal and expressed as such, for God IS personal, and we are made in His image, so that it is readily understood, once the fear of the Lord is also understood; for this is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One, this is understanding, as Proverbs advises us (9:10 cf. Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Because the wisdom was rejected, the LORD announced this in Jeremiah 6:26:
"Oh daughter of My people, dress in sackcloth ... make mourning as for an only son,"
for the disaster to come.
"My people do not know..." (8:7) unlike the stork, which with its merely instinctive and instilled wisdom, yet knows timing and events to follow, exactly. At a discount compared with such purely natural wisdom, Israel stands condemned. Alas as in 8:11, they "healed the daughter of My people slightly." Thus, "they shall be cast down, says the Lord."
In this line, we come back to our old friends,
· "For the hurt of the daughter of My people, I am hurt!" (8:21).
Why then, He asks, is there no balm ?
Thus there is this intensive, extended, multiply expressed, diversely designed method of appeal, approach, expression, intimate with wisdom, discursive in expression of what is found, both in the realm of evil and in the mode of the pathetic; it is zealous in provision, even if in the end, this is in necessary judgment. This it does, while looking yet to the glory to come, in the destiny grasped by undying love, for some of them, as in Jeremiah 3:12-18, where the transition from the Old Covenant to the New is expressed.
This is that which as Isaiah showed in 4, 32, 9, 11, 49-55, 61 and so on, was to be accomplished by the Messiah, in precisely the fulfilment of such language as expressed the heart of the Lord. It is that seen as above in Jeremiah, now put into action with feelings authentic to the point of becoming human (cf. Hebrews 2).
It is useless to try to invest Jeremiah the man, the prophet with this sovereignly attested and peculiarly sovereign possession, one gained by virtue of creation and redemption to come, famed in history, personally intimate in discourse, the counterpart in expressive mode of the wrath, yes and more so, for it is so persistent in mode and at times all but flamboyant in fervour (as in Hosea 12:10's overview). It is the LORD who so speaks, and no other; who CAN so speak, and there is no other.
It is this love which is the environment in which, and despite which the wrath at last comes.
In 9:15ff., accordingly, we find this:
"Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness,
so that no one can pass through?
"And the Lord said,
'Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them,
and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it,
but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,
therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
'Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the Gentiles,
whom neither they nor their fathers have known...' "
So does He speak, in the congeries of well-matched terms, as though we were hearing throughout much of Jeremiah, phases of a long conversation, absorbing, vital, distilled in wisdom, unequal in vigour, but deep in desire, design and development.
The LORD asks us to understand the depth of His passion, compassion and truth (Jeremiah 9:23-24), for though it be purer than that of man, and not marked by selfishness, but by a glory of provision and gift: yet it must be seen outside the rigorous carvings of philosophy, for the personal glory that it in fact is. Unwise is he who jilts Him, in such a disclosure, though it be not intentional.
To try to force a comment of Jeremiah into this whole integration of interests and declamation, uniform declaration and sovereign majesty of style, as in Jeremiah 10:19-20, after the annunciation of the LORD speaking in 10:18, it is insupportable intrusion, not comportable with the Lord's repeated declaration in this very place, that it is He speaking, nor with the integrity of His style throughout, His key-notes and His disclosures. It would be like a magazine, paying much for the words of some author, to be cited, having the journalist put in a few lines of his own, in similar style, even when repeatedly, almost every few words, the declaration is that it is the author himself who is speaking. 'O Lord' muses the prophet, but it is not he who speaks in the divine vein, merely to solicit the Lord, and so to show.
It is clear and distinctive, shown as shared by true credentials in the text. Otherwise, master and servant, speaker and instrument, Lord and one of His redeemed, the mixture would become a horror of misconception, a ruin of unreality, a confusion of folly.
To inscribe indifferently into what is to be transcribed ? That ? It would appear not merely cranky and piquantly odd, but an abuse of the stage.
Thus in 10:20 we read of the tender zeal of Him who though aware of the necessity of discipline, is yet poignant for what is lost, because of the love of what it is that is lost, and what is symbolised with it:
"My tent is plundered,
And all my cords are broken;
My children have gone from me,
And they are no more.
There is no one to pitch my tent anymore,
Or set up my curtains."
The all but incredible seeming consistency of the love reminds one of a mother or father who so delights in the offspring, that every little thing is significant; but here, how much more so, since these sacred objects were typical and illustrative of the divine love to be conveyed into practical form in the Messiah, and with them went the preliminary preparation of heart and mind for that greatest event in the history of the universe, without which it would never have been created (Isaiah 51:16 with 49:2).
The poignancy and piquancy is that of the parent; to imagine Jeremiah speaking in this phase would be like someone visiting the Antarctic, envisaging that he were doing a topographical map of Adelaide.
When Jeremiah does wish to be heard in himself, we hear him, "O LORD..." with the utmost clarity, as in Jeremiah 18:23-24.
It is, as we have already seen in early preparation, here that we find that the wound must indeed be borne (10:19), and it was so found as Hebrews 5:7ff. shows, and Matthew 26:53ff. at Gethsemane, no less, as for that matter, Isaiah 50:4-7 in prediction, and Luke 9:51, in the process of fulfilment. We see the mode both in Jeremiah 8:17ff., and 10:19ff..
These in order follow below.
"For behold, I will send serpents among you,
Vipers which cannot be charmed,
And they shall bite you," says the Lord.
"I would comfort myself in sorrow;
My heart is faint in me.
Listen! The voice,
The cry of the daughter of my people
From a far country:
'Is not the Lord in Zion?
Is not her King in her?'
"Why have they provoked Me to anger
With their carved images—
With foreign idols?
"The harvest is past,
The summer is ended,
And we are not saved!
For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt.
I am mourning;
Astonishment has taken hold of me.
"Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people?"
"Behold, I will throw out at this time
The inhabitants of the land,
And will distress them,
That they may find it so.
"Woe is me for my hurt!
My wound is severe.
But I say,
'Truly this is an infirmity,
And I must bear it.'
"My tent is plundered,
And all my cords are broken;
My children have gone from me,
And they are no more.
There is no one to pitch my tent anymore,
Or set up my curtains.
Why have they provoked Me to anger! ...
For the hurt of the daughter of My people, I am hurt.
Woe is me for my hurt!
My wound is severe.
HE is hurt ? but of course, it is precisely this which is shown in practical outcome on the Cross, where as I Peter 2 tells us, He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. How would such a necessity for justice and a provision of mercy NOT hurt!
Strange emanations come from an assessment of such Old Testament language in terms that do not include such phrases as these, spoken of the Lord:
Intensively compassionate, heartily concerned, awesomely involved in His created people.
Indeed, He is shown to be seeking for their good at any cost except the loss of what is necessary for truth and integrity in these His products. Now to call good evil is indeed one of the loathings of the Lord (as in Isaiah 5), and for Dawkins or any other so to falsify the testimony of the Lord is simply irrelevant. It is a psychological, not a logical problem. It is also a predicted one (as in II Thessalonians 2:10), for such cases.
The other references above for *4A give further categorical indications of the sustained and unchanged nature of the love of God, not soporific sentimentality, but self-sacrificing realism, in the pursuit of the joy and goodness of His people, not as a remnant sale, a proto-robotic set of performers, but as PERSONS who CAN and do love, and CAN and do worship its source in the Creator-Redeemer, so transfixingly shown in such Old Testament sites as Psalm 22, Hosea 13:14, Zechariah 12:10ff., Isaiah 50-55 and Psalm 40. As is necessary when reality is not removed, they need also to be, for eternity of life, lovers of the truth, not disdaining logic, or having an inventory of nothings for their god, or his evacuative scintilla. The consummation of evacuation is as we see it increasingly to be, in a misled earth writhing as it writes tone poems to itself, striking God off the list in increasing numbers, like sailors drunken while the ship sinks, stoutly refusing to radio for help.
In fact, the intense and intensive outpourings of divine grief, as in Isaiah 48:16ff., and in much of the above references, as so often foretold, culminated in Jesus the Messiah (Luke 19:42ff., Matthew 23:37ff.), and His lamentations, moving on to His sin-cancelling provision on the Cross of Calvary. It was He who was sent as pre-planned before time was (Ephesians 1:4), and as exhibitive of the unwearying love of God expressible in a tortuous redemption which HE Himself, the very God of the Old and New Testament (for they are one in theme, realism, plan and performance), brought to light in His death. In this WAY, bringing life and immortality a free provision for those receiving them from Him, HE WORKED for our benefit, and if we disdain Him, it is but the greater attestion of His patience, as so often shown before, as in Ezekiel 20:7-9,14,22 and II Chronicles 36.
It is here at the Cross, central to Christianity and to Christ's own work, that the reality that love is willing to sacrifice and restoration from woe, like creation, takes work, is shown. It was there that He exhibited the consummation of love with power, after so much patience for so many for so long, arising from the dead as pre-planned, following the prior testimony of doing this FOR Lazarus, and so founding that Age of Grace for our race. From this, in large multitudes it races away, moving from racism of this or that people, to the final version, HUMAN RACISM, self-worship of those more and more characterisably as one whole, as departing from God for its own worship in a stricken world, stricken by its own cyclotronic sin. A more disastrous mis-worship, mis-shapen spiritual romance, it is difficult to conceive, except one which deals direct with the destructive dynamic itself, which it growingly exhibits.
Glorious is one fact: to this very hour, that Age of grace has place, and without the corruption of politics or the scientistic aberrations so popular, this same Redeemer is available, in patience till He comes. The worse the thrust of evil, as He foretold, the more this world enters into the nearness of His return (cf. Luke 21:24ff.), one heralded by the restoration of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.
See the Sermon: The Just One.
*6 See Joyful Jottings 22-25, SMR Ch. 9.
*7 For the coverage in Isaiah, see With Heart ... Chs. 4 -7.
*8 See for more data in this field, Ch. 7 above.
On this, see Highway of Holiness Ch. 4 with Mini-Messages with Maxi-Point ... Ch. 10
See on Job :
TRIALS, TESTS and TRIUMPHS in TEMPTATION.