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A TIME TO PRAISE GOD

 

An Autobiographical Record of Contemporary Life

under the Eternal God

 

 

 

Rev. Dr. Robert Euan Donaldson

 

 

 

 

Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.

 

January 2008

with some updating November 2010

©

 

ISBN 978-0-9804100-4-4

 

Introduction

 

It is not often one is asked to provide a life story, but since much material is already written for the purposes of our Web Site as illustrating various features,  and my journey is now one of some 80 years, and the request comes from the archives section of one's old school, it seems good to make some endeavour to meet this request.

This is not an autobiography, but rather a selection of significant and instructive points in one's life, leading to the call to Christ and to His work, and embracing the opposition, obstruction and plain persecution which has resulted, for ALL who live godly MUST suffer persecution as Paul so clearly states to Timothy. Yet that is the rind of the orange; within, there is much sweetness.

 

Obviously, since this world has crucified Christ, originally courtesy of Rome for the Gentiles in the person of Pilate,  and Israel for the special race of the Jews, though neither of these bodies fails to have many who love the Lord, delight in their Creator and seek His will joyously, then there must be collision, as between light and darkness. If as John declares, the darkness does not comprehend the light, nor does it like it. It may like part of it, but not another; but if you like a man's pen, but not his writings, the result is negative in the end.

 

The grandeur of the Lord is such that His majesty is phenomenal; and His grace is such that His friendliness is no less so. The fear of the Lord is clean, a fact shown when we had to learn Psalm 19 when in the Scotch College Junior School, and His judgments are true and righteous altogether, and sweeter is His word than honey, and better than much fine gold. As far as this student is concerned. the emphasis on this when one was 12 years of age, was one of the best things the school ever did for me. The teaching of Hosea and Amos in year 12, was another grand action, and this time, it was from the Principal of the Senior School, just as the earlier teaching was from that of the Junior School.

However in the other years, between those, one could find little at that level, since the Bible was not implicitly honoured in certain classes, and when one learned of this fact, although not then a Christian, it became apparent even to one's youthful mind, that if someone arrogated the power to trivialise scripture, nothing good could be expected concerning religion from such a source. What after all is the passing show of the mouth of some man, compared with the mouth of the Lord through the ages! Hence in such classes, one tended to do mathematics or physics, since one appeared quite free.

When all is done, if one had to summarise what one has found in four words, these might well be: THE LORD IS GOOD. In fact, HE IS! In discipline as in blessing, in adventure and in confrontation with this world's powers, in degradation by false accusation and in error alike, one finds that He is good, and His goodness never fails, nor does His mercy cease to have that vital quality of kindness that is the work of the heavenly Father. This is empirical. It is what one has found. In writing, then, these memoirs or this account of living, one has no option but to include some of the grounds of conduct, constraints of action and authority for performance, the more in this, that the case has shown a considerable necessity for differentiation between biblical and other authority, that of the Lord's Christ and that of human inventions, aspiring to use that name (cf. II Corinthians 11!).

Small wonder that the Lord so instructed Jeremiah concerning the division of the sacred and the profane, His word and man's as his duty, joy and task (Jeremiah 15:19ff.).

It has been good to serve, since the age of 24, the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been a privilege associated with much evil wrought against me, but that is as nothing compared with the delight of knowing and serving Him, whom to know is eternal life (John 17:1ff.).

What would be this life if it simply stopped ? IT would be be a menace, a malady, an apportionment for severance, an introduction to eternal things in order to be divorced from them, an abhorrence. Such is like having your head cut off; it would be fine if it stayed, but divorced, it leaves only a mess. When however eternal life comes into sight, then there is resolution of all things, for the source of it is the Creator of the life one has, so that this brings an adjustment of splendour to vision when the obscurities are removed, and with this comes their ground and cause, and cure.

IF one had to select another twenty words, it might be these: Jesus Christ crucified is bodily risen, and with all power, gives all peace. As God of all Truth, He loves.

Praise God for the privilege of life, and eternal praise is due for eternal life. It lifts the soul, encourages enterprise, fashions thought and gives grace so stunning in its source and course, that it is not merely good to be alive, but in this first instalment of life, positively grand! His tender mercies abound, and even as the giant breakers like ocean waves, rear and assail,  He washes and abounds. What a great and exhilarating thing it is to be permitted to share life with Him who made it, what colossal wisdom is His and what definitive love! There is one's abode.

 

CONTENTS

Chapter 1

Beginnings

 

Chapter 2

Developments

 

Chapter 3

Overview

 

Chapter 4 

Duty, Doctrine and Drama

 

Chapter 5

Confrontation and the Praise of Christ

 

Chapter 6

Proceeding to the Present


Like Taking a Journey on Land,

and then Watching it from the Air

 

Chapter 7

Political Offshoot:

The Secular-Religious State

and the Spiritual Estate

 

Appendix I

Appendix on Grace, the Human Race
and Impious Calumnies against the Divine Name

Conscious or not, Far from Desired, or Desired

 

Appendix II

The Resurrection of the Resurrection Action
in Assembly

 

Appendix III

Creation and the PC in America

 

 

Appendix IV

Method of Procedure in Biblical Christian Apologetics

 

Appendix V

The Secular- Religious State

 

 

 

 

BRIEF LIFE STORY

Focussed in the Spiritual Domain -

 AT REQUEST made for the Scotch College, Melbourne, Archives

 

 

 

Chapter 1

BEGINNINGS

I was born in 1928, the day after Australia day. Soon the depression would hit, but we were relatively insulated, living in a hill-top property of vast views in Heidelberg. The years of my childhood were intensely happy, despite a crushing occurrence in terms of my left hand, at age 4, when two relatives for fun tried to turn a chaff-cutter fast, while I, unknown to them, had rested my hand on one of the little wheels as I patted a dog. Fortunately, it was with my right hand I patted - I like dogs.

My mother was exceedingly literary, as well as practical and it has always struck me as a great shame they did not have her do Medicine, but according to some of the ideas current then (around 1905) felt this was not the natural thing, but rather to marry. Her disquisitive mind with practical address would have made for a fascinating result. It was her brother however who was permitted that study and he did become a prominent medical specialist.

From childhood my imagination could be vastly stirred, and I loved books of imageries and thoughts. Passing through the State School, exceptionally well-run by a fine Christian Principal, I had some times of interest. On one occasion, when we were about 8, we were to give stories, and mine apparently went on and on, and impressed the teacher. The next thing was this, that the Headmaster came in and I was set on a box and invited to declaim! There was much kindness in those days.

I was entered for Scotch suddenly, at age 11, just before war started, and the war ended while I was still there. Dux of the Junior School, and of Scripture - an augury - I went on to be awarded the Scotch Council Scholarship, which came to me quite readily, since you simply had to be first in the A form for that year (or more precisely perhaps, top the five forms, since top of the A form was likely to have the highest average of any of them). The scholarship was good to have and remained with me to my departure, having spread my studies from Chemistry and Maths to Latin and French, Economics and British History, as well as two Englishes.

Amazing at it now seems, in the Matriculation studies, I was Dux of Chemistry as well as of more literary subjects; but the fact remains, it had a theoretical thrust as presented to us, which I found intensely satisfying. Indeed, in the beginning of year 11, it was customary for this entry to the last two years, to be given an historical coverage leading through various theoretical questions and answers that issued in more modern Chemistry. This was the very sort of way I like to think, probing, finding, questioning, answering, developing, refining and so forth, and although it was usual for nearly all to fail and much very badly (shock tactics, it seemed), the teacher was highly surprised to find my work soaring above the ruins at 88%. Do you ALWAYS do this sort of thing, He asked me, or was this just a fluke! My bent is not practical, and this work was in my line.

During these years, 12-17 or so, not only were there the joys of surfing at Ocean Grove, where we spent a good 5 weeks of Summer holidays, camping, a time which left with me an enduring love of and delight in the ocean and its cliffs, dunes and ways, but there was a farm to which my brother went, and this became the scene of horse-riding for which I had great attachment, delighting in galloping along the country lanes. One farmer in the area, if I recall, expressed the view that that youngster would come to grief one day, in view of the way he rode. It almost happened. On one occasion, galloping to catch a bus, I found my horse on the slightly moist verge, managed to lose its footing.

Perhaps nothing if not quick, I at once saw that this could mean a fall and that its body could roll over onto mine with disastrous results. Hence I at once detached my foot from the stirrup, to be free; but the steed regained its footing with a jolt which sent me, thus detached, flying through the air, over the gravel road. I do not forget that purely delightful feeling of soaring like a bird, with the green grass contrasting with the orange-fawn gravel to make a delicious ensemble. Landing was no great problem, since in line with the fashion of those days, I had on a sports coat with padding on my shoulders, so escaping almost any trouble at all!

While some horses can be mean, tricky, walking traps to rub your leg over a post, or even act as a concertina, so that the saddle is displaced, and we had one like that which mercifully rarely came to me, my own horse was sturdy, inclined to take a chance, but stout for a gallop. Once, as I was early in riding at about 12 years of age, it saw a spreading pine tree on a rise, a branch just above its own back in height, and suddenly rushing to this, it would have given me real trouble if the overhanging branch swept me off, or broke some part of me. However, I saw the need to lie right back on its rump, so that I added as little as possible to its own height, and nothing happened, except perhaps a lesson in me: watch your way!

A little later, when I was 13, nearly 14, a family friend was going by ship to Brisbane and offered to have me come as a companion. The vessel we took in that end of 1941 year was a cargo ship of about 8000 tons, and allowed quite a few passengers. It had a deck cabin, and for 5 pounds, I was made occupant of it, a reduction for student use, possibly having applied.

"Shut the port-hole!" was the strenuous shout that resounded in the night air! I had opened it for a moment to do something, and the stringency of our situation was thus brought to my clear attention. The ship that sailed when we had been supposed to move from Melbourne, had apparently been torpedoed, and the need to prevent the vigilant eye of a possibly lurking enemy from sighting us was immense! Both the excitement of a descent to the ocean and the horror of being its cause, if I recall, entered my mind. It was not without some relief that we found ourselves still on the high seas and onward bent to Brisbane.

We obviously had little idea of the danger to Australia in those days and things were not always what they seemed. For example. I had dressed in a Donegal tweed suit, and in Brisbane, some people we met in a business setting took me for a young Englishman of some 26 years, approximately double my age! Some youths can look like that, and apparently this one did. It was an appearance that savvy knowledge of mankind did not accompany.

This escape reminds me of an event later in my 'teen years, when hiking in the mountains near Marysville in Victoria, I was moving alongside a waterfall in dense scrub, and coming down a small incline, with everything obscured in terms of perspective, I suddenly emerged on a bare rock directly over the falls! It entered one's mind that another step in the impetus of the vigorous movement through the obstructing bushes and I would perhaps not have been writing now! How effective is the Lord is preserving His people for their life's work. One is as amazingly protected as another allowed to dash; but one thing is sure, precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints, and His prevenient mercies are of His own depth and wisdom. I remember thinking of one very nice seeming lad of about my own age, who at about 17-18 years of age was killed in traffic, just as his career brimmed ready, like a full river.

The thought comes to mind, Perhaps he had already done much in gracious Christian testimony, integrity and kindness, and the quality counts. You see, I remember him for one, without any effort, though I was not a close friend.

As Isaiah 57:1-7 puts it,
 

"The righteous perishes,

And no man takes it to heart;

Merciful men are taken away,

While no one considers

That the righteous is taken away from evil.

 

"He shall enter into peace;

They shall rest in their beds,

Each one walking in his uprightness.

 

"But come here,

You sons of the sorceress,

You offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!

Whom do you ridicule?

Against whom do you make a wide mouth

And stick out the tongue?

Are you not children of transgression,

Offspring of falsehood,

Inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree,

Slaying the children in the valleys,

                                Under the clefts of the rocks?

 

"Among the smooth stones of the stream

Is your portion;

They, they, are your lot!

Even to them you have poured a drink offering,

You have offered a grain offering.

Should I receive comfort in these?

 

"On a lofty and high mountain

You have set your bed;
Even there you went up

                                To offer sacrifice."

There we see that they wanted to worship naturalistic things, idols or whatever other physical variant might appeal, and their sodden spirits were submissive to these illusory deities, while they even had the cheek to come near to God, Him who made their children, and to offer the young as sacrificial victims to illusory gods! It is very much like the present, where educational dreams are made mandatory for harassed Christian children, and even their independent schools are often taken into protective custody as far as possible, being required not just to ensure that children know the state of the case vis-à-vis these confrontations amongst scientists, and the nature of scientific method, but SERVE the gods of naturalism in their overall presentation and preparation. If physical death is worse, then the flames are the same, physical or mental, moral or spiritual!

The world seems to be seeking to make of itself an idiot, complete with straw in the old hat, despite the fact that its evolutionary fantasies have long been exposed as old hat

(cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 4,
Beauty for Ashes
Ch. 3,
The Desire of the Nations and the Crystalline Fire of Faith
Ch. 2,
http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/bios/default.asp).

Here the naturalistic myth laced with whatever religious rubbish seems proper to the inventors of gods, explicit or implicit, is seen in contrast with the true love of God, in whom is confidence founded on truth, from whom is mercy to be gained, not as an economist might dole out reward for precisely this or that, but with an abundance of understanding. You will notice for example that in Matthew 25, the parable of the sheep and goats of the nations implies that SHEEP as sheep gain acknowledgement of good done (and because these are Christians, AS in love in principle at least, it is looked upon with joy), and GOATS are condemned as goats, for every failure to love.

That is the nature of mercy: God WANTS to save and narrow conceits, imaginations of purchasing power in heaven by earthly labours of aspiration for importance are as irrelevant as is a diamond necklace to a woman of discernment, from a husband who does not love her.

But let us return to Scotch, which I did regularly from 1939-1946.

After a time, I found a fellow student, and to use his term, we became 'buddies'. I for my part was delighted to find someone who had a strong moral sense, a crisp manner and a sense of spiritual significance, practicality and seemed to show scanning alertness. Alas, in Scotch College not a lot of this was to be seen, at least by the non-Christian that I then was.

There did develop in this young person, however, a fierce competitiveness which distorted the vision splendid (the way gravity is supposed by Einstein to present a distortion in space-time), and seemed to make accuracy less reliable. To my mind, at the academic level, results poured in, and competition was if a slight spice, nothing really substantial.  It was just a matter of being and functioning and receiving whatever it was that came. Why strive ?

To be first was interesting; to understand was crucial. Not competition  but consummation, in the attainment of understanding and the capacity to thrust home what was there, this seems to have been the way I felt. The material was arresting, the need of mastering it obvious and the value of it immense. Moreover at the personal level, faithfulness and perceptive sensibility were always important ... but suddenly were seen to diminish. Here came change, an unexpected decline.  In this area therefore, the vision faded and with it the interpersonal felicity of earlier days.

There is always room for complementarity. If the forte of one was to be strong in method, then mine perhaps was to excel in understanding and creativity, so that we were different.  Both of these qualities have great value. To leave the actual case, and look at principles, if there were only method, without inspiration, where would interpretation of the wonderful be for the method of use; and if there were only creativity and such interpretation, where would its practical implementation be ? Naturally, these were only trends in any case, but it does bring up the whole point in human relationships, of what man seeks, whether in a friend, a political sphere or a society and often there is a reciprocity in this, with results to match.

There is a desire to see someone who not only looks good, but is good; of this there is no doubt, as you find by the negative strength of the criticism when someone fails in some point. It is often as if some huge city were destroyed when some perhaps comparatively minor fault is found, or error in judgment. One fault becomes another's responsive fault, and the cyclotron readily continues.

The ASPIRATION for what is perfect is so strong that it is not merely, in the subjective feeling of many, a failure but an affront when this happens. To be sure, this may come partly from a form of hypocrisy, so that people failing themselves in some point, and not keen to acknowledge it even to themselves, then with any variety of rationalisation and mental changing of the rules, vent on the one in whom they had hope, their disappointment that NO ONE is around, who is DOING it fully.

With leadership, there is much the same criterion, as in the directly moral realm. The leader who fails is more than an exalted shop-keeper whose books, or ways failed to impress in this or that, or in some phase or fashion or feature; he is an iconic failure. He lets you down. The hope is forsaken, yes, but more than this, the ideal is dimmed or dashed or at least dented, and it seems that this is the sort of thing that many people find almost impossible to tolerate, if not in their actions, at least in their hearts. If it fails within, they are super-sensitive when it fails outside.

Moreover, a similar phenomenon is not distant in spiritual leadership, since the number of crack-pot, non-based, irrational power lusts which seek to distinguish themselves as religions, some major, is vast, and those who watch the cents in commerce, and the tax returns with eagle eye, soaring in sophistication, readily follow what is worse than the prevailing wind. They seem to itch for

bullet the witch (strange pseudo-supernatural powers),
 
bullet the switch (brute force to implement their baseless religion) or
 
bullet the ditch (where rationality being dumped, any number of absurdities of self-centred arrogance meet the mud and come up like monsters from the deep, to oppress mankind). II Timothy 4:1ff. predicts such a thing, and the 21st century wallows in it.

In the case of the 'buddy' of some time in my youth, where a spiritual and moral pleasantness was so happy an additive and atmosphere, there was change in him. Together first with a loss in sensitivity,  at length there came also and over the years,  a sense of this-worldliness and a deliberate distancing from any clarity about Christ, and worse, about His deity. The former sense of the presence of some measure of godliness that one sensed, had seemed to yield to the all too natural smog of rebellion in his words. Yet a man's love for his friend does not depend on such things, or on the passing blemish in oneself or the other, but seeks as a father, for good in the end.

This is not absolute, for man may fall for ever, and one for whom a person seeks, for that person to find God, may at  last have to be yielded to the devastation which is the final place of a lightless life. Yet diligently to seek good IS a work of that love of heart without which man is a pain in the neck, and a sore on the forehead. It is there, in the love of God,  that all personal and inter-personal relationship may safely rest, in that perfection which is the Lord's alone, never fades, or is corrupted. To spurn it is to spurn life.

To know the Lord is the only solution where love and truth, peace and holiness, grace and sensitivity, concern and constancy proceed in unison on a  base that is divine ... and in Him,  immutable,  beautiful and dutiful.

Steadfastness, alas, is not a signal in this world, readily understood; and in its impatient impenitence, it has another way. The ultimate environment of man needs application, and when it is found and realised, in the only intermediary between God and man, Jesus Christ, then there is a new heredity also, that of a child of God (cf. I John 3).

When it comes to spiritual wanderlust, where the national power of man to seek knowledge and wisdom is perversely distorted into a movement away from the very basis of life to anything-ness, to quiddity-parade, vapidity admiration, where such delusion is provided, it is ludicrous. In gravamen however, it is impressive, for the case has a certain consistency, as does a raging storm. This has appeared from the first family on this earth, and now mounts like a mushroom cloud, radiating death as man seeks to find in himself, his world or his thought, the power and the splendour that created him. Since a part of man does not have the minimally distinguishing features for the creation of man, this is a process in which man becomes idolater extraordinary, like a page worshipping the book, or another page, or a paragraph, and with a sensuous intemperance, ignoring the author.

The love of God, inspiration of millions, becomes more generally degraded into the love of this world, of man's own functions and relationships, so that the peripheral becomes central, and the obvious impossible. So it goes for many, and for many there is no return.

What then of any particular example of such false religions, founded on force, fable or distortion of what is true ? Sometimes in crankiness they may tend to do this, eating themselves up with some obsessive thought, power lust, wantonry of oppression given fake angel's wings (II  Corinthians 11), wandering into some nebulosity, diffuse thought or confused conceptions BECAUSE it is a prevailing theme and immensely popular, and at other times, because it is not. In the former case, they swim readily or congenially even with the current, splashing with waves in abandon; but at others,  they may unconsciously or otherwise wish to register that things are not really good enough so 'obviously, we need something different'. Turning in their own evil, then then indulge themselves by throwing out their former good, as if it, and not they, had failed. Once moving, like a boulder down a mountain slope, on a roll, they may depart from one delusion of devilry for another.

Thus they both confuse and lose themselves, amplifying folly as if a human  cyclotron. The waywardness varies in direction but far less in intensity. The blindness can even become an actively controlling agency, or a room for evil dynamics, which looks for home, and blasts at length, their own base (cf. Matthew 12:43-45). Soon many are  oppressed, manipulated, all but decommissioned as spiritual beings, blighted, benighted, promised much, given lost life, unhallowed, unvindicated, unsound and sometimes virulent.

If they performed such feats of folly  in commerce, they would be not only ruined, but routinely ruined. The world does this however rather routinely. Indeed, it is doing so progressively and with increasing acceleration as knowledge and motion, as predicted by Daniel 12, and evil and commotion as foretold by Christ in Matthew 24, alike increase, so making both the lust to govern all with some oddity sought with avidity, and the lust not to be so governed rushing to resist, like an oceanic whirlpool of contrarieties, the truth long departed from the writhing, tormented mêlée below and the feverish follies of mind and corruption of dissonant heart that helps create the confusion.

Thus the human desire for goodness, integrity, morality, spirituality, high and consistent principles, utter reliability, for an example of prodigious proportions, an uplift, what has real splendour, to follow what is profound and to serve what is worthy, this worthy directional dynamic is dashed, like a shattered mirror, into a thousand pieces, all awry and reflecting with confused images, merely a part of this earth. God who made both the mirror and what is mirrored,  is forsaken for erratic ideas or despotic aims and distorted ideals, and man becomes a maestro of combined arrogance and antinomy, his thought in ruins, his world increasingly reflected in his dominations and his misdeeds.

In all of this, like E=MC2. there is one key, and in this case, it DOES include what at the physical level, Einstein could NOT include - namely for him, electromagnetism in his strangely frustrated unification crusade, occupying many of the later years of his life. In the spiritual sphere of human personality and being, however, unification is not merely possible but actual and integral to any understanding. It is as available as it is necessary, as demonstrably attainable as it is made so by the Creator (cf. Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer,  Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ). .

Actually, creation is unified in the mind of its Maker, and its delicacies and involvements, weavings and parities and disparities depend on the variety of means, the intention of thought and the purpose of heart in the One who better than the self-contradictory nothing, actually DID IT. You have to be there to do it, and to be adequate for all the ideational, symbolic, cerebrally witty, legal, composite sophistications and integral involvements which constitute what we see; you need what it takes. Creation is a masterpiece, and just as in surveying literature, there is method and there is a standard and there is system in many things - as in English, the 26 letters of the alphabet, the rules of grammar which are semantically relevant to action, the character and meaning of punctuation - yet there are many things of which you say, 'Ah, but that is Shakespeare!', or 'Oh, this is Wordsworth!' and smile tenderly for their ways in principle are their own, however vast the advantage of this or that talent may loom. Both prodigality of system and of individuality, this is the simple fact in creation, the exquisite in method, the astounding in artifice, the innovative as a norm, the standard as a basis, as imagination and application mingle freely with sheer brilliance and enterprise.

So we apply this excursus more fully to the creation. What then of this. the  Creation ? It has system and originality in KIND, it has correlations of convenience and engineering of such intense and immense creativity that it becomes obvious that a point is being made, both in the reality of imagination and the higher scope of thought, which disdaining mere uniformity, finds as many artists do, in words, a thousand ways of dealing with things, sometimes almost glorying in diversification while the controls on implementation function with seeming effortlessness. In this milieu,  some constructions have this subordinate purpose, some that, the overall possessing a comprehensive purpose and the fashionings at lower level, a whole subtlety of orientation, correlative with the assiduity of the controls and the exuberance of the strength. Mind does not dissipate because thoughts regarding its exploits wish to do so. Its criteria do not wane before reductionist pomposities. Phrases do not dissolve facts (cf. Wake up World! ... Chs. 4-6, TMR Ch. 1).

When the Creator is also the Judge, a role as we have been seeing, it is very possible for man unwisely to take upon himself, then what in Genesis is called the curse, and in Romans 8, 'subjection to vanity' may come at any point. The blithe conception that furnish folly as you will, abuse the Creator's property as you might, ignore His instructions to your heart's content, or more factually discontent, nevertheless nothing really matters, and concern is futile. It is like seeking fish and chips without fish, only batter and fat. Consequences are partly inherent in any misused creation of anyone; and partly exhibits of the owner.

At the intrinsic level, primary lesions, wounds appear in the already complex and yet directively more simple production, as abuse creates abortions in the creation. At the extrinsic side, action awaits the owner's will, and carelessness meets the Owner's care. He acts. How He acted, the Bible details, as we have just seen (cf. News 74, Beyond the Curse ), and history exhibits. Thus, what a miniature marvel of distress-dynamics is the mosquito with its many wonders of surgical equipment and sophistication of action, so that to catch one is a very considerable challenge, and to be the butt of one can be a piercing pang before disease! We marvel at our maestros of electronics, many not once imagining that to fiddle like Nero, while these creations of curse, or inventions of human imagination 'arose', catastrophe for the human race poked its head through the door,  smilingly inviting to profound disorders, while they were perfecting implements. The fall is not all; but it is not slight; nor are its cumulative consequences. There is a certain inhibition however at marvelling at mosquitoes, and their many crusading parallels in flies and lice, skilfully spitting snakes and arcane penetrations of spiders, that restrict the grandeurs of impotently aspiring man.

It is imperative in any assessment or even relationship with what is sophisticated and intense and vast in correlative characteristics and original additives, to find the mind of its maker. If you had never heard of war, the atomic bomb might seem inexplicable; but not so, after you learnt of Pearl Harbour. That is one reason why man, in his constant rebellion against his Maker, is forever misconstruing and becoming annoyed at calamity, as if his deliberate dynamic of generations, in ignoring, distorting and resisting what is biblically characterised as right, and incurring what is ignoble, tedious and foolish, did not instantly exclude him from any RIGHT to mercy, pity or pardon (cf. SMR Chs. 1 and 10).

How could you expect a native company such as BHP once was, to feel obligation or even desire to help you in some debt, if you had never worked for them ? How much less if you had been approached to work for that company, and had haughtily, nastily or contemptuously rejected the offer! They might wonder what was possessing you if you in such a case, asked for help, even if they had a desire without that provocation, to do so.

Yet with God, for many there is all expectation (without grounds), no acceptance (of the chosen way that alone is logically verified in the approach) and recrimination readily arises at the rejection of such astounding arrogance and distortion as man dabbles without deity. Man prescribes. This is the way. God MUST do ANYTHING you think would be good, but you NEED do nothing even to come to know Him, far less find in His wisdom the way for your life. Such an approach, tediously trivialising reality, is forever chafing at the failed and futile desire to control God or manipulate Him, without even seriously pondering the pass word, Jesus Christ, the entry door, the Gospel, or the requirement to repent and believe Him, the focus on the door so that it may even be seen! (cf. TMR Chs.    2,    3,   4, Repent or Perish Chs. 1, 7, Barbs ... 17).

Why ? It is irrational, presumptuous and equivocal so to act, to treat your derivative mentality, one impossible to validate without absolute truth being unattainable and available,  from the structuring source and His knowledge, as the ground of knowledge and container vessel of actuality (cf. TMR Ch. 5, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9).

At first glance, it is all but inconceivable that man, adding to his callow confusions enjoined by will in such assertiveness, should create his own entry points to reality and establish himself on himself (cf. II Corinthians 10:13). On the other hand, his own divagations, seen in the light of the provided truth of the Bible, are completely to be understood, with all their squirmings. Thus the just desire for God and all the leadership and beauty of holiness that is His, endemic in man, being thwarted by perversion of heart, and will in a furore of frustration, react to Him and His ways, both in making new convenient gods for a quick fix without repentance and faith, and casting hyper-critical and hypocritical aspersions on the failed human models that incite hope and doom desire. Artificiality is attractive to some; but reality does not cohere with it.

Then frustration wedded to desperation leads to some yet more inane confidence, awaiting the high cost of its breach for the warring ideologies, polluted politics and philosophic prevarications of man.

Thus the conduct of man is explicable in the domain of deity's declarations, which like a doctor's diagnosis, if correct, confirm their impact on every side, explaining even most delicate data in terms adequate and potent. The Bible does just this to such an extent that it is both a delight for desire and a fire for confidence (cf.  Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny).

The purposes of God are revealed quite clearly as not resting on our immediate destruction: we are still here. Though it is a MARVEL that this is so, one that people seem but rarely to envisage, it is a fundamental fact of the patience of the profound wisdom and love of God.

Consider Biafra ALONE, or the Sudan, don't go further; yet look at the tolerance for the horrendous deeds of former African colonies still viewed as sites for sport,  and the intolerance for South Africa, which was in anti-parallel, so often shown! What kind of humanity is this with its special pleadings and self-deceptions ably assisted by chronic distortions and abortions of facts in the face of desire.

The case of Israel is a classic of cultural cramps and reality torture, as hypocritical desire seeks more and more of the land of cheated Israel, with less and less return, as if former assurances and Israel's self-defence alike were meaningless, and it must be blotted, or blighted, or distorted and squashed, if not out of the Middle East map, then at least till it is significantly shrunk in it. Such is the apparent process,  until  some further conflict will translate the current, inane bullying by international forces used for attrition in its scant land, into the grisly fiesta of local nations taking it over completely and destroying it utterly. This  Iran, for example,  has posted as its will; nor is that nation alone in such issuances from Islam (cf. The Teheran pan-Islamic conference of 1991). Such is the increasing appearance of the will of man; but God has His own plans, that fatal flaw in man's schemes, almost routinely ignored among the nations.

God as is apparent, did not at first determine that man must go, a destroyed prodigy; but He has acted both negatively and positively. The former has been noted; but as to the latter, it has been posted for the last 2500 years in many places, and He has always acted on it in detail, doing as He has said (cf. The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4, SMR Chs. 8 -  ). In its time, as always, He will act further (Micah 7, Joel 3, Ezekiel 37-39, and see It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch.   11, The Defining Drama Ch.  10, Galloping Events ... Ch. 4). Many love to ponder His steps as non-existent, and the culmination as dismissible; but they come, have come and do not fail to eventuate.

Blindness by faith is fiction. Children too sometimes find this: exquisite parental patience is not to be consigned to weakness or indecisiveness: they CAN act. Sometimes the child, at last, is glad because this is done, lest a worse error succeed the last of their little exploits.

At first, one may be inclined to wonder at the interminable provocations of this our race, but then, it must be faced and without more ado. How could the Lord of understanding and creation tolerate any continuance in such a race ?  Add the sins of nations and individuals, in lying and fraud and misappropriation, expropriation, subtle deception and downright fraud, exaltation of self or race or chosen idol, and you wonder not WHY this or that is allowed to occur, but how the race is allowed to continue to ... occur. The Gospel is the biblical ground, the stated reason, the passion of mercy to redeem, the practicalities of Christ in doing it, the love of God to find the lost, the paraphernalia of history as He does so, possessing likewise information for wisdom and direction for willingness.

Surely man seeks for the good leader, the good friend, the good politician, the good worker, the man of integrity plus kindness plus peace, plus authority plus wisdom, plus heart, plus spirited demeanour, or whatever else in the residues of conscience and the aura of creation is left in man to desire. That is why in the case of all of these dimensions, with fall, even if slight, there can come a sense of betrayal; and it is intensified when there is a beginning of personal movement in the right direction, but someone, some figure falls.

That is equally why man can be so UNFORGIVING at even the slight error, and so readily proceed to MAGNIFYING in slander, to exaggerate. It is because he is cut to the quick, wounded in heart, bruised in spirit. For many, wanting to escape cynicism, they find no outlet after all. Refusing the source of the desire, the Manufacturer of man who endued him in heart and mind and spirit with such desire, this being now sometimes suppressed, now for a time brought back to the light, there comes another way. Man thus makes his own idols. If intoxicated, it is easy, if ludicrous, it may provide temporary solace; if pushed with force, it may indulge perverted militancy, which rightly should be consistent faithfulness.

As to the idols, man's creative plant continues putting these out,  whether they be ideational or personal, fraudulent in religion,  or exalted in social or political or professional dress. It is alas quite a natural result when the supernatural prevenience of man is dismissed, and the Gospel of grace is disregarded. Imaginary scenarios built on expectations never found, always hoped for, become the graveyard of wisdom, while the realities of God and His own speech become the lacerations of Calvary and the lampoon target of diseased wit, rubbing gravel into man's wounds. Ignoring the axis of history, man cannot keep stable as the world turns (cf. Deity and Design ... Section 9 as marked). Wilfully ignoring the resurrection, man avoids the power of God that beats the curse, and ensures that Act V Scene V duly arrives.

Without the living God, man readily becomes super-sensitive whether to the loss of species, such as polar bears now in some danger, or of the aura of beauty or excellence which he had sought and failed to find in some hope. In wild excess, he turns now this way, now that, drugged by rebellion of heart into subservience of the mind to the point that the ludicrous becomes 'lovely' and the irrational 'acclaimed' (cf. SMR Ch. 3 in contrast to Ch. 5).

It is rather like those who seek for a gold mine. They invest here and there, always wanting and always believing - before cynicism sets in, or scepticism, that septic spiritual wound, and are embittered when they do not find. With them, there is some 'chance' of finding, since deposits exist, however great the preliminary scouring of the earth for many generations over perhaps 10,000 years (cf. TMR Ch. 7).

However, with the divine realities suppressed, then for the ideational, ideological, spiritual and moral beauties which they desire, including grace of the leadership and a plain heart and spirit and soul of man, they seek and do not find: they seek now for perfection in vain. Wounded by the unwisdom of such idols, they then will often make of something now deemed a defunct delusion, or of their exasperatedly still desired human result, an irrational ground for not seeking the Lord. This is done though departure from Him in the beginning, or else determined ignorance (cf. Romans 1:17ff.), created the conundrum; but the infection is made the ground of the complaint, in febrile substitution for seeking the remedy of the disease.

Thus does man in masses lead himself and suffer himself to be led to this generic wild goose chase in a notional land without geese. In the end, of course, this cauldron of forces and aspiration, laced with desperation and self-exaltation of the race as the best visible thing on view to the sightless, will turn to a super-Hitler, supra-Mao, post-Stalin era and its appropriate deceiver, commonly known as the anti-christ or man of sin (I John 4:3, II Thessalonians 2). Man does not rest with his Maker, and restless unrealism enshrined in spiritual refraction of light,  ensures the curse comes to its fruition.

 Meanwhile, instead of repenting of idolatry of heart, many charge God, if they elect to face the issue at all, with betrayal, cruelty or whatever other word occurs, or seek to change Him into gods of forces, fictions, of the drugged mind and the callow soul (cf. Deuteronomy 32:17-21). This too has its result.

So do many yield their souls to the nether forces, and forsaking the duty of life, and the dawn of truth, follow what they will, with often decreasing zeal, but not seldom, distorted substitutes where passion still flickers, or becomes feverish.

What then ? The Lord Himself is that faithful, reliable, wise, doughty, patient, diligently active, delightfully spiritual, intensely moral, magnificently creative, fearlessly disciplining Being for whom man is looking, even when in rebellion of obfuscated heart, he is not looking TO Him.  This is the rational basis of the irrationality of his follies; for in forsaking the truth, he seeks to invest it where it simply will not fit. In so doing, his method is wrong, and his world is in anguish.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ however, unique in logical validity, evidential attestation, verification and application remains while this world pauses at its ever nearing end (Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer,  Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ); and it is this, the crucial core of the word of God, which is the practical ground of the divine delay (II Peter 3:9) before judgment sits. It is so,  in that it contains the abundant mercy of God, the basis of the divine creation itself (Isaiah 51:16), a point dramatically attested in Revelation 5, where only Christ Himself could undo the seals which, releasing the scroll, gave scope for history to unfold and so to reach its end.

No mercy, no creation; but there is mercy, and so in this designate provision, there is creation.

But let us return to youth at Scotch College.

It is almost difficult these days even to imagine some of the things that happened. Thus on one occasion, the Art teacher, an affable man, was referring to the Parthenon. It was, he said, simple and plain, majestic and inspiring - like Donaldson.

An anguished cry came from some student far from sharing the view; but the utterance of this kind was as a part of a dream. How could such things happen, but they did, the demeaning and the elevating.

On one occasion, we had to perform a music 'standard' or something which was to count for House points. Presenting a flowing piece of Schubert, if I recall, I was amazed to find that the music teacher, a well-known identity, was telling me I could be a concert pianist! He did not know two things. The first was that my left hand had been crushed when I was 4 years old, and while the result of three operations by a notable surgeon restored it to the point I can type with facility and play the organ reasonably well, it was not material for that! The second thing was this:  that my approach to music is to read fast, new material, and to forget the data readily, so that my mind-set was far from being adept for such a task. In fact, as one teacher of English said later with a touch of humour when I was around 17, I did not need to recall Shakespeare quite so much, as I could invent it for myself.

It was true that I could with great facility write iambic pentameter, and create as a commission. Once lampooned, one of the negative developments, something which I thought ludicrously done, in an 'Ode', I invented a flow of iambic pentameter to deride the attack; but this was not permitted. It seemed there was a protectorate for the privileged. A suggestion I take the matter to the Principal fell on deaf ears. I did not so act. It seems too puny a point to disturb him, and if the relevant authorities wanted it that way, to lampoon and exclude rejoinder, so be it. The rebuttal was thus not published, but it was fun to create it.

Such facility helped to give me the School Short Story prize, Essay prize and the position of Dux in both Englishes; for the love of words and of creation is vast within me, just as recall on set words takes much more time! I tend to remember first of all the sense and meaning, the meat and pith, not the form. In one Class at year 11, the teacher announced, re a Shakespeare examination, that if he had judged the rest of the Class by the standard of my work, no one else would have passed.

From memory, I believe he gave me full marks; but alas, youth! Once I asked him why he gave me only 24 out of 25 for an essay: how long it can take to realise the existence of and the need for the heights! That is one reason why I personally detest this business in this State nowadays, of having a lot of people gain full marks at year 12 entrance to the University. It means one of two things. EITHER the standard is ridiculously easy, built perhaps on social pre-occupations with image or political ones with outlet or both, so that you can indeed guarantee (as one teaching body did for one subject) a pass or even full marks; OR the concept of what man CAN and should often do and should be encouraged to envisage, is forgotten in the interests of some kind of standardisation for various reasons.

There are of course times when one's maturity or disposition of talents may make things SEEM easy, but that is as in a cricket match, an event for interest and approbation, stimulus even, for others. In another setting, something very different may occur.

Well do I remember exhibit alas my tendency at school to arrive a little late (it took about 90 minutes to get there, and often I would be running down the long ramp my grandfather had built beside the Bowling Green, to catch a train before it escaped); and it happened that in the year 11 Mathematics III examination, the final one, worth double that of other terms, I arrived 10 minutes late. What pleasant joy to find that I finished 30 minutes early and gained 200 out of 200 for it! Such little joys of youth can arrive for different people in different phases of life, but the darting dynamic of youth is not necessarily limited to that season, and it all impresses with the thought how good is the God who makes man.

It is part of life to have something, someone excel somewhere in something, and it is important to nurture such natural outpourings, as each stirs the other here and there, to output and outcome and the spirit of enterprise and attainment, not for its own sake or reward, but for the glory which it brings to the Creator and the imprint it makes of the wonder of life. I often think of those who can remember the value of p to 10,000 decimal places, as an example or win simultaneously occurring chess games. It is splendid to think of what criteria and talent the Lord makes.

Indeed if you think of all the heights of human attainment in terms of the ideation and application of individuals in their spheres, it stirs the heart to be thankful for such energy of creative imagination and application given to man, who knows almost nothing of its genesis at the inward level. We see the product, realise things about the producer, but do not share the experience of actually DOING the creation. That is in one sense secret! Its works are manifest; its operation within is personal. We may see the fingers move, the brow frown, but not the heart. We  may come to realise things about the heart, but do not see it in its selective modes, dynamic arousings and deft decisions.

It is so, as in all creation; for even when you see the fingers of a milliner making some exotic hat with simple materials quickly, and voilâ, it is done, the creative act itself is seen, but not the dynamic within. This may involve various layers of thought, understanding and devisings, acting in marshalled concert, through the powers which God gave with vast gifts in these various integrated cosmoi of operation, each one with its own laws and spheres of creation in the first place, and creativity in the second, while personal oversight and intuition, insight and moulding perspective arrive from the fact man is ONE, as the work proceeds.

What then of pedestrian principles in examination ?

Excellence and exuberance, vitality and imaginative brilliance, facility and agility, this becomes an et cetera. It is as if Michelangelo were to declare something like this, It is all just colour and I could teach any Cretan to produce such a good show! So to act and to think lacks inspiration and application to the vast reaches of illumination available to man, and is in the final analysis,  the end-product of that hideous mediocrity which arises when faith in the God both of creation and of creativity, lies as a myth, dead in the arms of myth-makers, who make man or some other little thing, to be god. Man is the great myth-maker and is forever imagining ANYTHING to be the greatest, the actual, the ruling, the determinant, like some child having a fixation first on food, then on excitement, next on movies, then on cigarettes, these passions ruling now here, now then, until the dabs in the dark move the lines of his or her face to be that sad relic of unreason and residue of escapades so often found.

Truth is not a series of little stark darts into elements of creation, but the understanding of its entire composition from its composer and invention by its Maker, its beauty from its benefactor, its creativity from the supra-programmer, its verifications from the evidence on all sides, explicit and implicit;  and not from that dead non-entity, nothing, or its ilk.

(Cf. The gods of naturalism have no go! and with it

Secular Myths and Sacred Truth,

Downfall from Defamation Ch.   2 - the sad fad of the motherless child,

Gratitude for His Glorious Grace Ch.   4, includes  'mother nature', and in particular,

Deity and Design ... Preliminary Canter,

SMR pp. 380ff.)

Indeed, as Christ declared, it is the PERSON who makes who is the truth (John 14:6, 8:58). Thus truth is available and capable of being intimated in order that one may affirm or deny it, without being irrational in the process. It is because it has been verifiably so intimated that the intimacies of man become increasingly the oddities of creation and the perversities of devastation, physical, mental and moral.

 At last School was over. A prefect in 1946, I found the fellowship both enjoyable and interesting, being awarded the Economics Exhibition and a  General Exhibition as one of the top 5 students in the public examinations for Matriculation in the State of Victoria,  in 1946. This led to a substantial sum of molney, but nothing compared with the extreme poverty in terms of what mattered most, a lack to be found in the errant University, custodian of deplorable cultures not least, to which I then went.

Well do I remember the news concerning a doctor of science who was living next door, an affable Englishman labouring in Australia, that he could get me into Cambridge University in England. That might have held a splendid stimulus, but this I did not take up: little did I know to what spiritual depths, that of Melbourne had fallen.

 

UNIVERSITY of man and
LEARNING from the LORD

On my entering the University in Melbourne, storms arose. No longer were righteousness and truth taken for granted as criteria of life itself.

I found to my amazement, horror and shock, that it was in the grip of views so profoundly awful, illogical, rash and rabid in various departments that it was more than appalling. It was like watching the movements of a lake, rippling under the pines, only to find it suddenly replaced by a superficial puddle, and not a clean one at that.

Moving through this and that type of gross reductionist approach by this and that body, and finding no sympathy or useful study in the Economics of that day, which seemed hideously doctrinaire, in fact using mathematics as an excuse for poor philosophy, it provided us with an illusory picture. Prior questions seemed not to reach consciousness, and methods appeared to rule objectives out of sight.

It was like a vision of man as complex cash-registers responding to programmatic stimuli, if not in whole, then in principle, to use the seemingly derogatory phrase of a later Sydney Economics lecturer of some distinction; or at least a thrust of economic determinism, both pregnant and distorted with  the most shocking divorce from the complexities of versatile reality. In that broad domain,  some work for profit, some with it, some preferring to lose wealth to surrendering ethical principle, some simply securing their best in the light of a call, and with due diligence for discretion, as with Le Tourneau, letting a strong creativity adorn the tarmac. In such cases, this can be done for the sake of the welfare of many, with the responsible use of human talent under divine direction. That famed inventor of massive earth-moving equipment, once appearing if one recalls, on the cover page of Time Magazine, apparently had a waiting list for entry into his employment!

They did not despise his scrupulous care, just as he did not despise vast projects with much risk to his accumulating wealth, because of the vision splendid, his sense of commission.

Such things did not move much earth with the earthy, it seems. Their doctrinal noses scented no posies.

What then of the University ? To find such deformity of comprehension was like staring into a leprosarium in its pathos, and finding it billed as a tourist site. This could command neither respect nor attention (cf. SMR pp. 357-358 and context).

I read widely and started Medicine in 1948. Here more appalling things were found, including an incredible addiction to organic evolution in that sphere, as something simply taken for granted, and never given the slightest edge in the form of logic (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).

This and a realisation that practical things could never be my métier, led to my demission of Biology just before mid-year, while completing the other Science subjects. Interestingly, I found the Scientific Method course most stimulating, gaining first place in that with 90%. The Lecturer made some predictions about the top two students, which have to some extent been fulfilled in different ways. In neither case did it happen quickly, yet happen it did.

Though I thus and then left that field of medical studies, it did give me a basis for many things, extending my studies into fields of many kinds. This done, a vast desire to study many realms occupied me, and drama, philosophy and literature of various kinds drew me, but without distasteful, ideologically rampant university supervision.

Soon, about 1950, while studying philosophy at the University, which fortunately had a fine sort of Professor, I came into the most intense desire for truth. It was more important to me than life itself. My philosophy tutor, a pleasant person,  appeared to regard me highly in that field, deeming it ludicrous when I ceased the Honours section ('you'd be mad not to do Honours' was the sort of way he put it). Yet I did leave that Honours work at that time, feeling as I did  that it was too light and vain, too much this and that 'brilliant exercise' by this or that stellar person in the hall of fame, and not serious enough. The principle of the thing, I felt, deserved a different sort of honour and the realities had to be pursued. The truth had to be obtained at any cost, and I paid.

One day, not far from this time, the tutor, later a Monash Professor of Philosophy, told the Class to miss the lecture, as they would learn more by listening to me. That tutorial went on, if memory serves aright, for about 3 and three quarters hours instead of the normal one hour. However, it did seem strange that such adulation should exist, when I had found the University such a dump at the philosophic level in the various applied areas. Not all shared it.

At this time, I suddenly became aware that, by contrast,  the New Testament was clear, cogent, delightfully apt, intimately appealing, straight and sound, with an aura of verity and a simplicity and profundity that alike charmed me. I had joined the Church at 18, but the Gospel had not reached me, though I was perfectly sincere and most idealistic at the time.

Now the way lay open to seek God more personally still, and in 1952, my conversion occurred. It was just as dramatic as was that of St Augustine, for I was literally arrested, my whole life met, confronted, penetrated and illuminated with a light both final in authority and unyielding in truth, which was centred in Jesus Christ, who revealed personally to me my sinful condition, His own amazing Person and His sin-bearing function; and there He concluded in a dynamic fashion with me, my salvation. Here was life as it ought to be, the life of God made available, and that as no mere roving option, but a realistic vitality which carried inherent truth. Its loveliness and its august authority were alike a wonder. Moreover, He Himself was revealed as God, and as such, only Saviour, alive and in inalienable control.

About 14 days later, I was called to the Presbyterian Ministry, and despite some reservations on the part of some in view of the nature of my conversion, which included the vision of God, I was accepted and prepared in Hebrew, Greek and Bible knowledge for my first year. The Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Melbourne University wrote me a lovely letter, and talked about distinguishing myself there and abroad, and being convinced on scriptural grounds about not burying talents; but the call of God which would supplant these potentially pleasant pastures; and His truth having come direct in the word of God, the Bible, and the inward revelation from His Spirit, in perfect unison, there was nothing to do but go!

It was in one sense like being called up to war, when young. There is certainly a time to fight, and there is a time to seek to protect; and the Church of my forefathers, as I would soon find, was afflicted not with malaise, but with a passionate delirium concerning the word of God, which it sought to adjust - not the passion but the Bible! like plastic surgeons who lacked both the skill and the commission!

 

SEMINARIES - OF WHAT ARE THEY SEMINAL ?

Melbourne

Here once again, I was astounded. What sort of a seminary did the Presbyterian Church of my Scottish forefathers here provide in Melbourne ?

Had it entirely left all bounds, was it in name only ? or how could it be so defiled and none act to correct it! It had indeed been transformed negatively following about 1934. Later in 1974, when what was to be the Uniting Church split off, there was at last realisation in the Church of the extent of the corruption: one official paper deplored then that they had been in the wilderness for forty years.

That was much later around 1974. This was 1952. The facts had to be faced in more lonely fashion then. How COULD such wickedness be... in the Church. It was revelatory in a disgusting fashion.

Folly and deceit in prisons ? well perhaps yes, in alien juntas ruling in violence, yes again; but in a theological seminary of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria! So great was this maelstrom of virtual malediction on some of the Bible, carried on constantly before our very ears, that it seemed I had been in an open forest, and now visited a snake pit. It made the University seem almost ideationally chaste by contrast. I had moved from the soiled seas to the pit.

Being there, one had to work, and when they constantly attacked the Bible, many times per week, it became apparent from the extraordinary irrationality and imperception which seemed to control them, as from the obscurantism which seemed in nearly all of the instructors, to render them immune to reason, that this was an evil thing of the first water. Indeed, was it water at all, or slime! From time to time, I would protest, interrogate or challenge.

Hence when we were as students CHALLENGED to answer in terms of intellectual INTEGRITY, by a professor had finished a course, or was well advanced in it, concerning the book of Daniel - which he sought to show to be an erratic work of deceitful and devious kind, there was no other option but to answer. Will the word of God be attacked and one not answer ? or will a challenge concerning this be issued and no response be made! God forbid.

Since this seminary attack on the Bible had been irrational to the uttermost and internally inconsistent, here was another piece of amazement that any could be so gullible and apparently careless about facts, let alone a Professor and Principal, as to accept such a theory, let alone teach it or wield an axe with it. An answer had to come as day from night. God is not mocked, and truth is not to be impugned.

So I spoke. This rebuttal was briefly sketched in response to the challenge and before the Class. We had been told that the major thrust of the book was in no sense sound and true, and so in summing up my defenestration of that idle theory, I noted that the theory attacking it thus, itself, did not make sense. The case was the very opposite of that professorially suggested, namely that in this Book the Bible was gravely awry! Such was the tenor of my answer. If we were going to have debate as in Philosophy, very well, let's have it.

It was not the book of Daniel but the character of its ideational assault which did not make sense, add up, hold coherence and force. That was the CONCLUSION of my rebuttal to the clamour against the Book as presented in Class. The challenge being public, so was the reply.

What then was the impact of the reply. It was this. The presentation in Class was no challenge at all to integrity of intellect; hence that one should retain belief in the book thus in vain attacked, was perfectly consistent with intellectual integrity. That was the answer in terms of the question, on the basis of the invalidation of the attack on Daniel just given.

In fact, the Professor concerned had not invented the assailing theory, but merely asserted it. Nevertheless, he responded so personally to the answer to his own challenge, that one might have been forgiven for thinking it was his own Ph.D., if he had had one, that was in question!

In a remarkable ad hominem, the frustrated professor, not desiring the refutation of his attack on the Bible, erupted in passion.  He had told us of his annoyance with Professor James Orr in Scotland, who had defended the Bible in detail, and explained how this had exasperated him when he was a student under that same Professor Orr! The spirit of the Principal flared.  He proceeded yet further down the defiles or irrationality. He decided that to show the irrational character of the theory which he had attested, and by which he had challenged our integrity (to which  I had just duly responded), this would not do. It was a thing wholly unacceptable; and it was no less so, even under challenge issued by himself to the Class.

This was, he averred, equivalent to saying that HE had no sense. This therefore, a mischievous logical fallacy and personal folly of his, was uproariously and ingloriously asserted. If the University seemed depraved, what was this!

Was this Australia ?

It was of course quite disgraceful on three counts, just initially.

Firstly,  exposing a particular theory that someone holds, especially if he did not invent it, is an academic, not a personal exposure. If the question is what makes sense, then that is the nature of the answer. If the attack is to make what claims authority, to be banal, what seems true to be false, and what presents itself as coherent and correct to be fallacious and misleading, not meeting canons of evidence: then the answer is to show that notwithstanding all such claims, it still in fact stands valid, that the attack itself lacks validity. Thus, to answer adequately and entirely, the attacking theory itself may be shown invalid, incapable, and to lack cogency and correctness. Thus invalidated, it can have no purchase, like a dud weapon attacking the heart.

The entire refutation thus was properly to show where good sense remains, in the Bible. It was as it is, there and not in the assailing theory where evidence is not met, nor reason attended. It was in fact  in biblical terms that coherence, consistency within and without is found, and not  in the confines of the method of attack on it, being used. This is what was done and evidentially attested. Good sense was thus in the Bible, not in the forces of ideational assault.

What was criticising it, as a theory, was itself critically incorrect, crucially inadequate. A mistaken assault had been made on the Bible, and our own integrity was not violated by our adherence (as in my own case) to it. This was not only valid, but appropriate to show and in answer to verbal and public challenge, to show both verbally and publicly. If you want a contest in chess, is it a crime to win! If you CAN win, if an emotional explosion the best way to show it! It may, however, disadorn a loss. The significant thing was this, the Bible stood, in answer to attack number X, down the history of the ages. It had done so once again. Should a cost be exacted for this by a Church!

Secondly, there was not only an ISSUE, to be met, but there had been an explicit CHALLENGE to answer it. Does one receive a challenge to race, and apologise if one wins ? Moreover, this was not in the least personal from the perspective of faith (supposedly a necessity for students, not an inventive faith but one which held to the word of God as in the Bible, in terms of what the Westminster Confession's principles on that topic). It was of the very substance of faith, where it met and had familiar concourse with reason.

It was a matter of principle, and basic at that. It is not at all unheard of in the history of the Christian Church, starting with the apostles as in Acts 4-5, to put the word of God above that of Church authorities which attack it. Nor was it unusual for it to win. This was just another case in the history of Church degradation, and an upholding of truth in the face of it. One might, however, have been excused for imagining that defence of the faith had just newly been invented. The effect of doing this seemed almost catastrophic, as if the Twin Towers of humanism had just been destroyed for a humanist. Why should this be so, and in what perspective, and with what ethical validity, was this done! The ethical and the rational did not applaud this personal attack on a student.

Thirdly, as students for the Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, we students had been told that if we could NOT answer this challenge, and still believed the Book of Daniel in the face of the assault made, we lacked intellectual integrity. While this might have seemed - and was to a degree - a personal additive, yet its impact was clear. Not only was the ISSUE present, and not only the CHALLENGE concerning it, but there was an assault on the Bible such that no Minister to be, here in training, might justly proceed in open conscience and clear mind to present what was written as truth. It therefore had to be answered in the name of the Lord.

It was being asserted, in terms of the whole invective against Daniel over many weeks, that IT was devious, deceitful, using the name of God for political purposes and so forth. That was the teaching of the Professor, of the seminary. If WE did not accept this concept of devious deceit in the construction of the biblical book of Daniel, we too, like the book in this allegation,  lacked integrity. The basis was the point; this was a mere application. Yet could the Spirit of Truth stand by and not energise an answer to such an assault on the word of the living God, who rules this universe and from whom history gets its opportunities and come-uppance! Was Luke 21:15, for example an utterance of divine commission or its nullification ? Does not perfected praise come EVEN from the mouths of babes and sucklings! There is no excuse for watching spiritual defalcation in silence, when one is committed to the authority of the word of God, the Son of God and His testimony, as the Church ostensibly was.

The word of God is not only defensible but always true, and such one finds, has found and constantly discovers. It is like opening your eyes; for when you do so, you see. indeed, let God be true though every man be liar, as the apostle Paul declares. This IS how it works out, but it is also a work of faith to realise.

It always amazed this student how any could possibly fail to see the actual point and truth in case after case, of what the Bible was stating, yet repeatedly in these Classes, it was as if the obvious became obfuscated and the true incapable of being so much as seen. Most frequently, there appeared to be a continual, spinal squirming and burning in all kinds of distress and uncertainty, resulting from closed eyes, these effacing and the tongue not presenting what was there. Non sequiturs were so much the order of the day, that the experience was rather like that of boarding an air liner and finding the pilot proceeding to use it as a submarine. Where the skies had been clear, the waters were not only obscuring vision, but ruining the frame of the entire craft.

It was rather like being told that if there was one thing that could never be true, it was that one plus one made two. That. 1+1=2, it became an intolerable abuse of authority, and anyone thinking so could not be endured. This was the impact of the teaching!

The clear fact that it did so, however, did not alter for all this vociferation. It did so in numerous respects, practical, principial, intuitive and definitional. SO here. It seemed that blindness prevented even the glasses of logic from being operative. Of course this is precisely what the Bible teaches (Ephesians 4:17ff.), except where  God intervenes, in this realm. It is not an individual apparition but a category failure which here occurs. The individual does not create the disease, he catches it, and it afflicts him. That is the biblical nature of the case, and how many apt students have been caught in this spiritual influenza epidemic, where you do not seek the Physician but attack the orderly.

It is always pleasing to find truth verified, and the more so in the very midst of opposition to it; but grief is not the less to be experienced  when this abode of thousands was found with white ant disaster, with some feeding these destroyers, with those given a religious call!

By such means, then, and strategies has Satan long sought to conserve error, of which theological liberalism was in that case merely the issue at hand. We were being indoctrinated in it, and like an idol, it had no hands. It is however the most illiberal irrationality known to man (though some historically later freakishnesses of thought are more outstanding in the gibberish area, for now irrationality is confessedly a mainstay of many, who use argument against reason, while by reason they seek to establish their wares).

Let us consider that student case then. What might be said of anyone making a mistake, who taught. Are teachers infallible ? Are crusading and challenging teachers invulnerable ? If it is the Bible or the teacher's views, does the former fade by some kind of automatic reverence to the teacher ? Or does a theoretical error constitute an insult, when it has been used to attack the Bible, and then in answer to challenge is shown to be what it is, in terms of its own affirmations, namely untrue, invalid and unsound. Is this to be lacking, in answer to explicit challenge ? I showed that there was a failure in the theory  on which the attack on the integrity of the Bible was based, and showed what it was, pointing out that hence did not make sense. It gave no ground for this challenge and this view of the Bible!

What then ? Does anyone have no sense if endorsing at ANY point what lacks it ? Should David apologise to Goliath ? and if the Lord helped him, would that not be in any case lèse-majesté to the Lord Himself!

This would mean that Einstein had no sense, since he once in effect, divided by 0. Ludicrous as this logical fallacy was, it was used to evict me, and although I was offered restoration if I apologised, this could be no option. The challenge was on the integrity of the Bible in one major book cited with approval in particular, as all were in general,  by Christ (Matthew 24:15, 5:17-20).

What then ? It was an irrational challenge; it was contrary to faith as well; and it was adverse to the biblical standards of the church, as shown in general approach in the little work (Basic Documents on Presbyterian Polity - p. 91, footnote 2). Notes, of which this was one, we are advised in the preface, are those provided by their legal Procurator of the General Assembly of that day, Maxwell Bradshaw.

Of what then did this note in this little book inform us ? It is this. The word of God, in the Old and New Testaments, is to be construed in accord with the Westminster Confession as a subordinate standard, and hence means what that Confession says it is. This is of course, one can find by inspection of that document, that it is in written form co-extensive with those same testaments, infallible, immediately inspired by God. Anything FURTHER from this, it would be hard to imagine, than what was to be found at their own theological seminary. This was for a shame, and remains a parody of the purity that all ministers were obliged to seek in the Church. !

That however was in itself a subordinate if crucial point. The main principle was a challenge to the Bible, one contrary in logic and reality, to truth. It dared to challenge students in such a place, and indeed in any place on such a position; it had to be met. In fact, the whole aura of the place was continual assault, based on no logical ground, on the Bible. It appeared a putsch, and soon most of the Presbyterian Church decamped into another body, called the Uniting Church, which had no such biblical standards noted, from the outset.

Brought to the ruling body, I answered their query about the matter.

There could be no apology for having defended the absolute truth, I affirmed, when called to answer what appeared as the local Sanhedrin, the Theological Education Committee, which staggeringly allowed such a defective approach to breach both Bible and Church standards, and reason as well, in the arena, the seminary, under their survey, and for which they had responsibility. What responsibility is this which does not respond to its commitment, to the sanctions which it is to uphold! There seemed almost an intoxication, broad in impact, deep in kind, afflicting much of the Church. Respect for human authority had become disrespect for the Lord's. A former Minister of our local Church whom I later met, on being told of the situation, amazingly averred this: They are just doing this to test you. Do you speak lies to test ? or do you for years without relief, present for students, only error in order to instruct! On challenge by the professorial host, then, I indicated that I was on trial for the sake of the Bible, which being absolutely true, was something for which no apology could be considered!

At length, then, knowing their preference, and despite the outrage committed, they cut me off, removed the financial support, attacked my name, called me unpleasant names and proceeded to exterminate my ministry, just as they had suffered their seminary to attempt, audaciously and fallaciously to do with various books of the Bible itself. Indeed, on a day just before this Old Testament debacle, the New Testament Professor at that same seminary had summed up some of his lectures, declaring that Jesus COULD NOT know He would rise from the dead in 3 days, since no mere man could ever know precise things about the future.

Such a professorial announcement made all heresy reach its epitome. Here was another Jesus being manufactured before our very eyes on nil ground! Was this Aaron at work again with his fire, with Moses away on the mount ?

One could not allow such a new christ (cf. II Corinthians 11), to be invented on such an nullity (or indeed in any other way) as if this were some kind of party. A student does not cease to be a being, nor a Christian, nor subject to divine challenge to speak to the honour of the Lord, and not deny Him. He is not free to be faint, nor allowed to put the ministerial 'profession' above integrity of heart, truth of mind and fidelity to the word of God, as if man were his new mentor for gain's sake, or that of personal prosperity.

The fear of the Lord is CLEAN (Psalm 19). Its disruption in changing gods (since Christ IS God and a new christ is a new god) is not. Paul says far more on the topic in the Corinthians passage just noted! It cannot fail to apply where the criteria are met. It is good to remember Psalm 2, Rejoice with trembling! Do not allow irreverence to become the illegitimate offspring of joy.

This New Testament challenge in the other Class also was therefore met (the day before my eviction from Class as outlined above), by noting that in that case, the entire thrust of prophetic detail in the Old Testament would need deletion. Taking him, in the Class situation where this assault on the Christ of the Bible had occurred,  through Zechariah and the ass and the 30 pieces of silver, and varied parallels, one then showed in case after prophetic case,  the consequence of such an assertion. Either the entire Bible was wrong in a salient feature, essential to its revelation, or he was.

Of these two, what had the relevant attestation! Where did the evidence exhibit the answer ? Was it in a mere nostrum, or in the tested word that endured through 100 generations. Had not time given full scope to finding contrary evidence at any of its centuries, and had it not failed ? Is a word in a room to depute to the dump what stood in the light! Is the indisputable success of multiplied prophecies to be unhinged, because someone does not like the door! Such were the obvious implications of the simple challenge, that if this word were true, that of man, then a substantial portion and central area of the Bible was not. The weight of the matter could not be disguised.

One can imagine with what relish my removal was then accomplished, on the next day, after the already noted event in the Old  Testament arena concerning Daniel, brought this same student into 'discipline'. Historically, in one way or another, this has been a mode of address by heresy to truth, practised not least by Romanism, but by many in various moulds and modes over the tortuous years. Alas for truth. It is as in Isaiah 59! It was as if fallen in the streets.

Was it for this that church funds were dispensed to the seminary ?

Before my physical removal was accomplished from the seminary, one of the ostensibly more 'conservative' students unleashed a new weapon. As I approached another classroom, he announced concerning my coming, 'Here comes the least of the apostles!' It appeared an acme of the fall in that seminary, that such apparent submission should become laced with the arsenic of scoffing and scorn, when the word of God was at issue. Alas I was to find that 'conservative' forces, in New Zealand could be amazingly supine also.

I therefore was out, but the call of Christ was in. What was to be done ? God intervened. I had been at times visiting an old Anglican of notable sanctity, who had a vast library. In it, there was found a book called "The Infallible Word"! It was excellent and came from a Presbyterian Seminary in the USA.

 

Chapter 2

DEVELOPMENTS

 

Westminster Theological Seminary

This whole matter at last proceeded to the Lord's leading me to Westminster Theological Seminary, an independent Presbyterian one in the USA.  where a similar rupture of clergy from the apostasising body, The Presbyterian Church in the USA, had led to eviction for some of them, also. Since they were ordained, it was called an 'unfrocking', rather a shocking parody of the reality. Since the issues were sharp, public and well-known, in the mercy of God, they were able to form an independent seminary, and I was to be their first Australian student. Later more were to follow.

There, at this independent seminary in Philadelphia,  I met a delightful chap, Professor E.J. Young, whose sanity and scholarship, balance, wit and wisdom were such a joy after the turmoil of oppressive, aggressive, suppressive opinion-making which had preceded this deliverance, when one was yet in Australia. It appeared that he was regarded at that time, as the foremost conservative Old Testament scholar in the world. His knowledge in language in particular, was vast. He would sometimes complete some point, and then begin to peregrinate from side to side in the front of the Classroom, make some moral or ethical reflection, and these were splendid times of mellow wisdom.

We did not agree however in all things. Thus in the millenial area, there was a difference; but this appeared small in terms of the total reprobation of significant portions of the Old Testament statements which had been propounded in Class in Melbourne. Furthermore, the Professor actually praised my presentation in Class, on a point involving this very field, although it was not his own position.

This was a staggering alteration of approach, at the personal level. Indeed, at a point where I had to counter a claim he had made relative to Amos 9, from the text itself, instead of reacting in wrath, he graciously declared, 'You have a gift!' One of the students, with that candour one sometimes sees, then volunteered the thought, 'You'll be right!" This meant with just a little touch of humour, that since Westminster Seminary has a great emphasis on having relevant gifts, solid and sober things for service, this identification by the Professor was a solid thing. It augured well. The whole air of the thing was pleasant, congenial and almost always with very few exceptions, built on goodwill with the Staff.

Equally, a New Testament Professor at Westminster Theological Seminary, John Skilton proved a most sensitive and skilled teacher in his field, and in his Class came one of my First Class Honours (others being in Christian Apologetics and Public Speaking). This Bachelor of Divinity course, designed as a residue after the time spent at Ormond College, in Melbourne, took some 16 more months, over 3 semesters,  to complete. This Professor had an extraordinary gift of much grace, and tended to draw out of one, better work with more relish than ever!

With this, there were two other features here of interest. One concerned Professor John Murray, a most estimable gentleman, whose strong Calvinism met in me a resistance on one point, the love of God for those who would eventually be lost. Citing Colossians 1:19ff., and given 5 minutes to speak, I gave the challenge. Calvinism on that point was simply wrong. That presentation in Class was never answered. How could it be ? The Bible is quite categorical at this point.

To be sure, Calvin was right on his 5 points, narrowly conceived, but in the total biblical context they are presented in a way which is demissive of certain aspects of the Bible

(cf. The  Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 4,
Christ's Ineffable Peace and Grace
Ch. 2,
Great Execrations
... , Chs.   7 and   9,
The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 3,
Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host Ch. 2,
Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah
Ch. 8,
Deity and Design ... Section 10),

and nothing can alter that. He says one thing; the Bible says another. It is not enough to meet most biblical texts on an issue; you must meet ALL. Less is inadequate.

The stated good pleasure of God before heaven and earth, as shown in Colossians 1, is not to be interpreted as NOT being such a disposition. What He says is His purpose is not to be construed as NOT His purpose. What is the stated scope in heaven and on earth of His good pleasure for reconciliation, is not to be made to mean what it is not. We do not hear from God in order to select the desirable, or what conforms to our preconceptions. What is written is the criterion, and what is to interpret it has as a formal and final duty, this, to utilise and to be governed by ALL of it, without favour or organisational tilt, preferential clinch or philosophical simplification.

This testimony, unanswered in its point from the Bible, in the Class on theology at Westminster Seminary, before the Theology Professor, remained as it remains for that seminary and those who follow that particular approach. It is sad that Calvinism, which has done an enormous amount of good through Calvin's genius and perception, has been taken by many in a way FORBIDDEN in the Bible (I Cor. 3): that is, as a whole system to be adhered to, and used as a name for one's position. If "I of Paul" is not an apt or permissible approach, how much less "I of Calvin". It was the word of God THROUGH this or that party which is commissioned, not the party in himself.

Where it is NOT the word of God as such which is in view, then the criterion for ANY party is still that same word. What joy is conveyed WHEN the word of God is used as it is written, not as it is smitten! (cf. Light of Dawn Ch. 1). Even an apostle can be rebuked by an apostle in public (Galatians 2:14), but the word of God through his instruments, this can be rebuked by none! (cf. Isaiah 8:20). God is not built on men, but men are built on God. Christ as a man was also God as a man, and hence had the power of God and the irreproachability as Messiah (I Timothy 3:16, John 8:58, 12:48-50, 8:46).

If faults were to be ignored, and a man's position and gift to become the criterion, not only would the scriptural command against this use of a man's name in this manner be broken, but faults would be in danger of being sanctioned, for these occur at some point  in nearly every theological presentation somewhere (thus Luther had a few problems of a rather extreme kind with the Jews, Wesley with predestination, though he was goaded by the extremities in presenting it, which he seems to have met in his associations with others). As the above 7 references show clearly, harmony is possible only when the egregious, the unwarranted additions of this or that system are added to scripture; without them, its harmony is intense and composed, and its beauty is systematic as well as brilliant (cf. Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah Ch. 8).

While we are still in view of Professor Murray, an anecdote concerning him is of interest. On one occasion, I had given a youth address in the local Orthodox Presbyterian Church. It was on the topic of miraculous spiritual healing, with many cases and scriptural background. Since that body was not strong on this topic, preferring to localise it in the main to apostolic times, in the manner of B.B. Warfield, though this is not entirely warranted, there was some whirling of currents! However it went well. A short time later I seemed to get some sort of virus, possibly a mini-influenza. An event then occurred, impossible to forget.

With a few students about, John Murray entered my room with thermometer. My temperature had to be taken, presumably in order to put to rest (or otherwise) any thought that I might have been expecting some divine healing for such a mini-malady, and still be in some medical danger. The temperature being satisfactory or within bounds, the problem vanished. His practical concern, however, was a highlight, since he had been in the Black Watch, lost an eye, and had an intensely sober mien. Such were some of the joys in my foreign 'service'.

 

THE WORD OF GOD IS PURE, SEVEN TIMES REFINED
but how did MAN ACT ?

However, let us return to the question of Calvinism (which is just one example of an -ism having a forbidden place), and the dangers of truncating scripture in the light of someone's excellent presentation on a complex and deep issue such as predestination. It is then that a good thing can become a bane, since it is made critical of the topic, not a contribution, and that tends to become normative which should be ancillary at best.

It not man but GOD who is perfect; it is not the system of man but that of God's presentation which is to be without qualification endorsed. Following a brilliant light of learning is good to the extent that it is not in the name of the speaker but of the truth where and when uttered, that one acts.

Teaching must ALWAYS be under the protection and inspection, at every point and in every regard, of the word of God, the Bible, not as a collection of errors amid truth; it is the word of God not of man which is the sword which cuts. If indeed this biblical counsel had been followed as in I Corinthians 3, much sadness would have been avoided; for when one follows a fallible champion, then the opposition which may arise, can become inveterate and extreme, and tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee can do inglorious battle.

It is apparently in the very intent of God, as it is certainly in the historical result, that however great any man's gifts may be, however zealous his spirit, and however much he may be used in removing various errors, it is NEVER possible to glory in him; he is always a humble servant seeking to do the will of God. Only then can we afford to find the entire wonder of what someone does for the Church, looking to the Head, Jesus Christ Himself, and to the Bible  as criterion, not in nominal formality, but in actual fact.

It is heartening to reflect that the Presbyterian Church of Australia also saw through that particular error of Calvin, for in its Declaratory Statement, it made it clear that the Westminster Confession must be read IN THE LIGHT OF an additional statement which was made, including the stated fact that God is not willing that any should perish. This is bound as how it must be construed, not in some way which would be adverse to such a consideration (II Peter 3:9, cf. I Timothy 2 and    ).

Although this statement through Peter, cited in the Statement,  is just one part of the necessary amplification, regarding the outreach and sincerity of the love of God, even to be lost, its direction is clear; and it was statedly added for those of 'tender conscience'. It now appears to have been squashed, for the Church at a much later date, 1991, made the staggeringly insensitive and unjust claim that this Declaratory Statement added nothing to the Confession. It was precisely because it did, that it was added (cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 8).

Alas as that very time, it also made the Confession directly a criterion of what could be permitted (TBW loc. cit.), thus becoming to a significant degree, a confessional rather than a Biblical church. The approach to the love of God here implied merely illustrates this. Traditional tediums become travesties, and authoritarian posturing by any Church violates its integrity and dulls its future, excluding many. Thus was to come to the light ? yes rather to the sadness of dusk, the Confessional Captivity of the Church, the apparent reaction to its earlier enchainment in the desolations of liberalism. .

It is for all that, a thing for which to praise God that the PCA of Australia was originally in 1901 so tender-hearted and so keen on the word of God; and indeed it seems that up to 1934, it acted vigorously in defence of the faith, and this with some address. Yet it changed, and allowed what taunted truth to come freely into its midst, in theological liberalism,  as noted. After 'the ball was over', then there came disillusion with folly. Liberalism was out. !974 showed a great change of heart. It was no longer to be desired. What as a student, one had been used to show in the fifties, was now becoming almost normative!

What then ? Alas, it went from one extreme to the other. It moved next to Calvinism rather directly, and without the care of the forefathers, whose work had been so outstanding in so many ways. Indeed, a measure of a similar care was shown in the formulation,  back in 1903  of The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. As we read in the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopledia of Religious Knowledge, the revision of 1903 of the Westminster Confession expressly sought to disavow certain inferences that some might draw from the teaching on God's eternal decree, and the text of that*1, or something parallel,  is to be found in various churches, or some portion of it.

That however was the direction of flow in the PC of Australia, the simple fact being this, that in company with another elder, I met with one of the chief executive officers of this Church, who advised us that (as was freely confessed at that time in the 1970s) the Church having gone astray, the question was how to bring it back. ONLY Calvinism appeared to him a way that would succeed (perhaps in numbers and votes); and so ALTHOUGH HE DID NOT BELIEVE IT, this he would endorse (one gained the impression that part of this rejection of Calvinism was this, that it required one to believe in an infallible scripture, the Bible).

Hence he would vote for it, though his conviction was otherwise in alignment. This of course horrified me, since sincerity is of the essence of faith (cf. Mark 7:7ff., Psalm 119). Good intentions so often as even in Caiaphas in an extreme case, as far as they go, do not constitute wisdom. One needs rather to seek good with goodness at hand in all things, and truth and justice and mercy. It is in the truth that mercy is to be found.

Caiaphas wanted the Jewish State to SURVIVE. That seemed to him good; but so could a firm stealing -

bullet not the body of Christ
 
bullet as was done by the Jewish incendiaries seeking crucifixion
 
bullet and the Roman Governor permitting it,
 
bullet but the bank account of someone else -
 
bullet in order to do the same.

Survival may SEEM good, but that is with the Lord, and eternal life is not snuffable. Truth is the criterion to follow, mercy is the mode, not in opposition to it, but in apposition.

Let us however return to John Murray. He presented one approach in one phase of Calvinism, I another approach, from a simply biblical perspective, this time simply by his kind and evidently sincere invitation, in Class. What then ?

Was this 'dangerous' ? It could have been for me; but John Murray was a gentleman, and had a tendency to face facts which was pure joy after so much of the contrary character met in various domains before this; and his honourable action of not seeking to contravene the truth given from the word of God, but remaining silent when answered in this way, was an event of strong ethical significance.

It  helped to show that the world was not yet entirely spiritually bankrupt in the Christian scholarship area. Truth could bind tongues. It had a sanctity of its own, from the word of God, and could not be an assignment for fiddling, but remained, as it does remain, a commission for fidelity.

This world has however made quite a good attempt at being bankrupt in its counsels, many allowing much both irrational and superficial to stand, as if truth were an embarrassment or reason irrelevant. Praise God for the upright who stand, and do not bend, as if spiritual arthritis were de rigueur, and by all means to be desired.

On another occasion, a more dismal result occurred. A young professor in preaching heard a presentation from me on the area of John 3:16 and reacted ardently for rigid and unbending Calvinism. Amazingly, with painfully inept philosophy, he brought out irrelevant texts to the major issue of the love of God towards salvation, and its height and breadth, and having decided earlier not to permit me to speak in Class, he inveighed against the presentation which I had made.

It would not have been too difficult to answer this (cf. Questions and Answers Ch. 7, as marked, cf. The World Belongs ... Ch. 11, and Bay of Retractable Islands ... Ch. 3, *1, The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 4, To Know God ... Ch. 1), though there was much to learn on the topic, if one only bends one's mind to the word of God rather than to that of man; but when one considered the sacrificial love of one's parents and the duty-bound issues that had brought me to the USA in order to proceed and seek the deliverance of the PC of Australia from its tainted fall and failure, and to proceed in the work to which one was called on a sound basis for the blessing of many, together with the possible prohibition to speak which this teacher could impose once more at any time,  there seemed little point if indeed any opportunity.

To speak in so variable and suppressible a setting it might have been to trivialise on the one hand, the beauty of the word of God, as well as to jeopardise one's duty.

Since one had already given the challenge in the theology class, one that stood, and since the text on which one spoke was in itself categorical on the major point at issue, and could only be contradicted to avoid the issue, therefore, even when another student confronted the Professor on his behaviour towards me in binding to silence and then attacking, it seemed good to leave the matter behind. IT stood. The testimony was clear and incontrovertible on the main issue. For me to be paraded so did not really matter. The word of God here simply and clearly spoke for itself. It did however appal me that here this Australian student, already assailed in Melbourne for the word of God, would be treated in such a cavalier and superficial way, the very passing of the degree brought into question, in such a seminary as this, and for so illicit a reason.

Truly, the works of man are imperfect, but as to God, HIS work is perfect. It is in fact rather wonderful that this particular instructor was the only one in the seminary who behaved in an alien, or unfeeling and staggering way toward me while I was there, using such things as ban on speech or virtual threat concerning examination; and it is this on which one would dwell. Praise the Lord for that. The great bloc of Staff were a joy and with many, it was a privilege to be there with them, in their crusade.

Indeed, this whole matter of theological subordination to intrusive philosophy with its secularities and imperception, is of the utmost importance. Accordingly, a volume in our work, In Praise of Christ Jesus, traces some 20 different areas in which this being avoided, far more harmony and scriptural precision alike, is available to the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, than often is allowed to appear. Wonderful is His word and are His works; but to man must come discretion in being bound to what is written, without additives or adulteration.

The volume is named, The Bay of Retractable Islands, Mission for the Mainland, From Evanescent Extremes, Back to the Book of the Lord.

The other interest was Professor Cornelius van Til, whose humour and concern were of no small value. His realm of Christian Apologetics had many good features and was instructive. Thus in some 17 months, the B.A., B.D. completion of former academic preliminaries was complete.

At this point, it seems simplest to give some idea of a few of the other dramatic areas as the light of the Lord met the darkness of unbelief and an account of some of the above, in a chapter already written, and for some time on the Web. While a little is already noted above, this next Chapter will enable extension in its own mode. It was written in 1997, and now it has some adjustments to meet better the present purpose, without substantial change.

This which follows is substantially from Biblical Blessings, Ch. 11.

 

NOTE

*1

The relevant text of 1903 of this very large Presbyterian body, is as follows.

First, With reference to Chapter III. of the Confession of Faith: that concerning those who are saved in Christ, the doctrine of God's eternal decree is held in harmony with the doctrine of His love to all mankind, His gift of His Son to be the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and His readiness to bestow His saving grace on all who seek it. That concerning those who perish, the doctrine of God's eternal decree is held in harmony with the doctrine that God desires not the death of any sinner, but has provided in Christ a salvation sufficient for all, adapted to all, and freely offered in the Gospel to all; that men are fully responsible for their treatment of God's gracious offer; that His decree hinders no man from accepting that offer; and that no man is condemned except on the ground of his sin.

This resolution of Old and New Presbyterian interests (the former somewhat protected in the preamble) is neither new nor unnecessary, in essence. The emphasis placed in the Bible is not possible to lose, being so often repeated in so many ways, over so long a period. Spurgeon's thought on the topic is quite pithy (as cited in Appendix I). However the PC in Australia has removed anything to transform into scriptural reality, the error of Calvin, and suppressed the new amplitude as in the USA, as in the PC of Australia in its Constitution of 1901, as in the Bible Presbyterian Church in the 1930s, by its nullification of the provision at first made.

An error is one thing; a retrogression into one, alas, and it is a great grief, is quite another.

In such a case, to evidence the reality is one step in a hoped for reformation back to the point of origin, in 1901, to the Bible of vast date in ALL of its declarations, away from this partiality.

Slowness to correct was also seen rather broadly in the 1970s. Thus in conversation with the Church's legal procurator in this period, one pointed out that there was need for a restoration more generally of biblical fidelity. He, a conservative, agreed in principle, while declared that nothing could be done. Look, he asserted, at the PC US, and how it had failed to keep the line (in the early 1900s). It went on its rank way.

That, I replied, was due to failure to exercise discipline against the Auburn Affirmationists so as to apply the standards, rather than deviate or allow the promotion of deviation from them, as happened. Already, one pointed out, the Church in Australia has lost some two thirds of itself to a Uniting Church (which was and is of a thoroughly different creed and ambit, not even nominally holding to the infallible scripture); how much more damage is to be suffered while stark contradiction of the Bible is suffered!

Alas and alas, norms and forms, traditions and agreements do not suffer the word of God to this day to have its sway. A narrowing and constricting confessionalism comports with laxity on female elders which is a political and not a theological consideration. ALL being the same is not the point in the distribution of gifts and responsibilities, for these are varied by nature (Romans 12). Female counsellors in line with the deaconess concept is scriptural, functional and to be desired. When tradition (however recent) and desire mix, and deity is unmixed, you have precisely the sort of consolidated confusion which so often passes for Church work (cf. Assault on Timothy, The Biblical Workman Ch. 8, Questions and Answers  7, as marked, Appendix 1 infra, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Epilogue).

Hence is there a weakening, just as in the day of Christ (Mark 7:7ff.). When the very love of God, moreover, is delimited where He does the opposite, the odour is rank, and the ranks are misled.

This is but one of the extremes which abort elements of the word of God, and produce needless disharmony. On this, see The Bay of Retractable Islands, Mission for the Mainland, From Evanescent Extremes, Back to the Book of the Lord.

 

Chapter 3

OVERVIEW

 


AN OVERVIEW OF EVENTS PARTLY FROM A 1997 ACCOUNT

 

THE WORLD BELONGS TO GOD AND I AM HIS!
 

There follow nine accounts of divine deliverances,
which in turn related to Biblical promises and so come under this heading: BIBLICAL BLESSINGS. The first of these appears in this chapter.

 

THE FIRST DELIVERANCE

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S
BUT HE IS GOOD AT SHARING

 

THE ACTION BEGINS

Many years ago, indeed nearly 45, there was a student for the Ministry in Victoria, in a Presbyterian seminary. Long had the fires and follies of radical liberalism raged there, reducing much virgin forest to ashes; while as if this were not enough,  the pride of flesh had invented world-wide the fabrications of phantasmal man, and these held sway, like waves (*1) surging over the Dutch lowlands in dangerous times. It was like the case in Australia where an inferno of bushfires in Summer was seconded by massive floods in Winter. Many were not prepared for either, and some even acted as if nothing were happening, and the toils and growth of the years were facilely expendable, a thing of nothing.

The Old Testament had been systematically misinterpreted with the absurd follies of Welhausen, and although these were perhaps beginning to be seen as... inadequate, being increasingly obviously anti-historical as well as peremptory, arbitrary and inconsistent, those facts were merely heralded a little in the rank attacks in the Classroom, which appeared like a record needle well stuck.  We were told that in any case, one thing was sure (one might have hoped that this would
be the word of God, as written, as Jesus indicated and history has constantly confirmed, but
no!): it was this. Moses as the author of the body of the Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the
Bible would never be returned to.

How cutting were Christ's own words in sublime answer to such folly - John 5:43-47!

"I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me;
if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.

"How can you believe, who receive honor from one another,
and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?

Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you -
Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.
But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?"

Here we did not even have Moses believed! but certainly 'one who came in his own name' was believed with an unremittingly irrationality which bode ill for the church!

In fact, the manufacturers of religion, using God's name and that of Christ, dared to continue their toil and tirades alike. Many honour each other in the ecclesiastical ski-jumps of "inspiration" to follow some new thing, like the case of the men at Athens - Acts 17: but the honour of man is destruction when the word of God is the butt. Christ appealed to the writings of Moses as one of His own testimonies, for they testified of Him.

Now this positive approach concerning the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) has in fact been returned to with a conspicuously large and impressive sway of scholarship, due to logic and history, and in some cases because of faith as well.

Thus this seminary statement of disfaith, just cited, concerning Moses

a) is itself shown to be just as poor as a prophecy as, by contrast, the word of God is demonstrated on all sides to be acute and accurate: indeed, consistently authentic in its forecasts, each one in its place as history moves. (On this, see SMR Chs. 1, 3, 8, 9, for example, including pp. 68ff., 378ff..The patient scholarship of men like Gleason Archer and E.J. Young has done much to attest these facts concerning the word of God and the word of man in the Old Testament. Almost endless examples appear throughout In Praise of Christ Jesus, our 141 volume theological set now on the web at http://webwitness.org.au.)

b) appears in the broader setting,  in all its torrential passion, like a sudden cloud-burst.

That, incidentally, was how it sounded, back in the Classroom at that time. Anger seemed to furnish no bounds to fact, but even to replace it; and propositions without base appeared to flourish in this field, like unchecked weeds. Small wonder I was called on to attest the truth in the face of it all.
It was a costly procedure but as necessary in direction as the work of Phinehas.

Professor James Orr, Professor in Scotland, we were advised, had been a plague, or something like it, always seeking to show the harmony and consistency of Scripture. As a student, by courtesy of the Melbourne Principal, I was likened to him, in spirit: but it seems in one feature only: I was a pest. Did I not, though a lowly student, this candidate for the Ministry, have the brazen effrontery, the misguided "faith", the insidious certainty that constantly confronted and countered these attacks on the Bible with the text itself, with reality. "No doubt, Mr Donaldson will be able to tell us!", came one frustrated outburst from this, our instructor. Teaching was ... different in those days!
 
 

THE SURGING OF THE WAVES INCREASES BOLDLY

Meanwhile, exactly as a bacterial infection can follow a virus scourge, so a New Testament teacher came in to this blighted seminary, and to him, it seemed, the words of all four Gospels were mere symbols from which, shall we say, quasi-advanced scholarship could turn with confidence and with total power of reconstruction. When challenged as to the logical outcome of these desperate and unfounded surmises, these distant attempts at biography without the apostles, his answer was not apparent! The action of that institution, from the Class room of the Principal instead, however, this would soon become very apparent: indeed, it was to occur on the next day.

Thus the seminary was inconvenienced. Challenge interfered with its blithe program. Christ Himself inconvenienced the priests who killed him, who found that the people might follow the Lord just because of His speech and miracles, His benign presence and His remorseless power. What a disaster, they felt, this would have been. Lazarus' resurrection from their viewpoint, was completely intolerable therefore. However, history has been replete with disaster flowing from His neglect, for the Jew first, but also for the Gentile. Moreover in Luke 19 you find this same nuisance who had been getting in the way,  predicting that destruction with that exquisite combination of pathos, tenderness, lament and historical certainty which flowed from the grace of Christ.

If they did it to Him, then, and the servant is not greater than His master, as Christ put it, with delightful but realistic irony: one thing was clear. This particular servant had reached maturity date. I had to go.
 
 

LIGHTNING STRIKES

Soon in a thrust of irrational professorial fury, I had words put into my mouth: illicit logic at the personal level was indulged in, and as it were, bound and trussed with slander and libel,  with the consent of the other teachers, I was removed. First it was from Class, then from seminary, and from the financial support, and then from a good name as the libels mounted, again like the waves on the Dutch lowlands when the waters enter, or if you will, like the Yellow River, China's sorrow, in flood. Thus and therefore, the inexpedient pupil was extinguished, so it seemed, by the dragon's water supply (let him who has Revelation ears, esp. for its Chapter 12, hear). For a further account of this development and seminary event, see News 57, Endnote 3!

Now I say this for the encouragement of other students; for after all, we HAD BEEN EXPRESSLY CHALLENGED IN CLASS to resist and if we were able, falsify (*1A) this sort of teaching.
For the doctrinal arena involved, and its total destruction as false teaching, in this case in the book of Daniel, see Ancient Words: Modern Deeds Ch. 10, and for its general place in the devil's warehouse, see Ch. 12 op. cit.  The unanswerable character of the answer to this doctrinal deviation at the seminary, was doubtless no small part of the thrust behind the assault on myself as student, accepting and overthrowing challenge to the book of Daniel's integrity. There is as there was no answer to the exposure of this infamous false doctrine. Fury was the substitute. Answer to my counter-challenge never occurred. The waters of will overflowed the sand--bags, which many worked to remove, and flooded the ecclesiastical countryside.

The word of God, however, and this is what mattered, this still stood, untouched.

It stood as it always stands, since it is the word of God, and as to Him, He is alive (cf. Luke 21:15 cf. 12:11-12). Praise to Him is factual as well as fervent. Fact and fervour unite to praise Him and of course, His word, since although some seem to forget it, our God can speak. Indeed, our own utility with expressive symbols has arisen from His won, as has the equipment to record and the spirit with which to accord it personal meaning, that perquisite of spirit. The Lord is immensely and intensely praiseworthy, wholly faithful and of illimitable resource! Thus the book of Daniel stood and remained triumphant in the seminary, but this particular student, your present writer, was sacrificed.

What however is a solider for ? is he to be unexpendable who fights ? Let us then return to the battle.

This sort of teaching; THAT was an explicit test given to us on pain of acknowledging we lacked intellectual integrity. One might have hoped that a response would receive better than this, foul play. However, in all fidelity to the Lord whom I know, I did respond to that public challenge made to the students: I did that as permitted. Indeed, it seems, I did it much too well, by the grace of the Lord whose promises have never failed, never do fail and never will fail.  As later in the New Zealand of 1966, no other seemed from the Biblical basis, to meet the challenge. Why ? What had become of that very faith which the Westminster Confession as subordinate standard of the Church had outlined, and by which beyond that, in Biblical blessedness multitudes had lived, and in terms of which this very Church had been brought into being in 1901!

What now! I had been converted by the power of God to the Lord Jesus Christ, called most explicitly by the wisdom and grace of God into the ministry of the word of God and the proclamation of the Gospel, framed through Staff, betrayed by my fellow students (consciously or not); and with the tempests of outlandish attacks mounting against me, what hope was there for a continuance of that CALL to the MINISTRY which GOD ALMIGHTY in the name of JESUS CHRIST had given me! It looked grim, but my God lives for ever, has even conquered death, and He gave me a most exquisite joy, ebullient and radiant (cf. I Peter 4:13-14).

The interpretation of that Peter passage I found in my own heart with abundant vigour. How great is the living God and how reliable His word!

Would God Almighty call, and not effect His call ? would someone's temper and intemperance become an embargo on the call of God ? Scarcely, but faith was needed that the power of the living God being invoked, it should move mountains. Indeed, there is no mountain too much for Him, and the impossible is merely so in faithless systematics, constructed about man: it is not so before God! A near relative of mine, an unbeliever, once said at this period, that it would be a miracle (following the drastic action taken against me on false grounds), if I were ever to be returned to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church. I was returned, and it was a miracle! God is the God of miracle, and many have I seen in His profound mercy in my pilgrimage. They do not come cheap, but tend to occur in the midst of battle. Yet by grace they come when He will.

That reminds one of the case of an ophthalmologist of note, who seeing a serious condition in my right eye (following an impact) declared, as he considered three options in treatment, that NONE of them could rectify the matter.

I asked him if this meant that it would require a miracle for the eye to be restored without an operation (which would leave an unhealed hole in the eye, as the 'solution'). He affirmed that it would so require. No other solution was possible. In a day or two, my son  anointed me with oil (as an elder in line with James 5:14ff.), and we prayed with all solemnity, for I needed the eye if I were to continue writing as I had to do, labouring expressly for the love and glory of the Lord. A sound eye, despite my age, was needed for those very substantial ocular toils. It was this, and not a vulnerable basis as the doctor pointed out, for infection, which would result from the operation he had in mind as the only solution. You would have, he declared, to come in to see in any case, whether inflammation was that or infection! It was good that the Lord caused the matter to be put so baldly: the case was very plain.

Two or three days later, I returned to the specialist, with the operation hanging over my head like a crowd of wasps. Through miraculous healing, and divine grace, and that beautiful co-operation with which the Lord adorns friendship, and enlivens work, the pressure in the eye had reduced from around 40mm of mercury, to 18mm, within the normal range. Later it went down to around 12. Over time, indeed, so perfect was the healing that in a driver's licence test for eye capacity, not only did it reach the level of 20/20 vision, but in another scale, 6/5, or better than normal perfect vision. Assuredly the Lord is both good and thorough. But let us return to the time of the miracle. How I have appreciated this continued mercy in sight!

The specialist then identified it as a minor miracle, but my own Christian doctor had no doubt, 'That was a miracle!' he affirmed, in line with the specialist's own preliminary statement. Empirical facts are just that!

With God, NOTHING is impossible, and He can and does perform what is needed for His work, His glory and this as His mercy and wisdom desires. There are no limits to His power, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge and kindness, whether in creation or in restoration, in conversion or in regeneration, in things great or small, like the desert flowers.

It is however in the area of saving faith and His promises, that the thing is defined at this level!
 

 

THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE

WITHOUT REPENTANCE

As to the call to the Ministry which I had received before all this, because of which I was in seminary: it was a call which had been recognised by the Church before this confrontation, before this raising of a banner for the truth had been required of me (Isaiah 59 gives the concept of such a banner). After all, it is required of a man that he be faithful, and Peter and John have made it perfectly clear, even to the High Priest himself, that we ought to obey God rather than man (Acts 4:18-20, 5:26-29), and I had done this! What then would THE LORD do, in His mercy, grace, favour and faithfulness? He did what was necessary. He did it in His own way: it is GOD who does it HIS way.

Then came deliverance, for God does deliver, has delivered and will deliver, and from every evil work to His heavenly kingdom (II Corinthians 1:10, II Timothy 4:17-18). I have believed that, do believe that, have preached that even in seminary and act on it, finding it true, for He is faithful altogether.

At that time, a very old man was friendly to me, and he had a huge library which afterwards I believe he donated to an Anglican seminary. Amongst his books, which I found useful in my confrontation at the Presbyterian seminary in Christ's name, was one called The Infallible Word. In those days, such works of a contemporary and scholarly kind were not as common as undoubtedly they are today. In some ways, this was rather a 'darkest hour' situation.

To that seminary in the USA I wrote, and from them eventually, after I had by the power and mercy of God continued my University studies in Sydney (and that involved a separate deliverance), received an invitation to come in order to finish my course for the Bachelor of Divinity in Philadelphia, so qualifying for licensing and ordination. This, in fact duly, but not without more drama from assailants and detractors, ensued.

The delightful, and indeed I feel deliciously off-hand way in which this whole train of events came to pass is edifying. By simply seeking where I could find scholarly materials which were to the point in my conflict with unbelief about the Bible, as defined in the Westminster Confession and indeed within the Bible itself (see Appendix D and Ch.1 of the Confession), there it was. I had found the answer to the vocational question, following my expulsion. I did indeed meanwhile count it an honour to have been permitted to suffer, in name and in vocation, for so great a Person as that incarnation of the Godhead, Jesus Christ, who has in this neither predecessor nor successor, for there is no other name given among men under the whole heaven, by which we must be saved; and as to the Lord, He says: I am the Saviour, there is no other! (Acts 4:11-12, Isaiah 43:11, Ephesians 1:10).

It was for God Himself I had been acting; and in His faithful graces He acted for me, for He says, "Those who honour Me, I shall honour" (I Samuel 2:30). Hence when my cable went to Westminster Theological Seminary concerning my academic results, back came the thrifty deliverance:

'Westminster Acceptance Confirmed'.

Soon on the aircraft for scores of hours to Philadelphia, I was able to reflect also on the miracle of the supply of the necessary US currency (for US dollars were governmentally restricted in their supply to Australian citizens in those days, and I had to make application, which in the circumstances was not easy, but I told the Bank the facts, and they acted).
 
 

SO HE LED THEM
TO THE DESIRED HAVEN –

1st Instalment US

1956

On arrival in what looked vaguely like a snow-bound castle - I believe it was on a Saturday, I found no Staff, but an English student and others who showed me to the basement with its huge pipes conducting steam throughout the 'castle'. Soon I found that with 2 others, one of whom later became a Professor in the seminary, I was housed below the surface of the earth. In that land, however, perhaps these things are routine. In my final year, I even had a room with a view, looking across the snowy gardens, and with much pleasantness.

One day I resolved to do a little athletics, so ran on the oval, only to find on return that there was something lacking: I did not seem to possess any arms in terms at least of feeling: the snowy clime had little use for this health regimen.

In many matters, however, I prized the seminary instruction, which came from men like John Murray and E.J. Young, also John Skilton, whose vision and power were noteworthy; and from Meredith Kline whose kindliness and courtesy were so pleasant; as indeed from Cornelius Van Til, whose delicate and sometimes blatant humour and ironic oddities were such a relief and pleasure, just as his boldness in Christian Apologetics was so welcome.

In some other things, not so Biblically founded, I could not agree, giving reason; and in the Old Testament field, both professors for their part, were impressive in their willingness to hear non-amillenial presentation: but much good was done in the rigorous student climate, with strong expectations. Once I sat an examination, using only the Hebrew Bible, quite unaware that the English Bible was permitted in it. One seemed to think this very scholarly of me, perhaps, but in fact I was painfully disadvantaged by it in that case.

However, all was passed, and eventually the B.D. came, and the B.A. from Melbourne University, and the adventures of return to my oppressed homeland arose. It is oppressed still; but at least in the mercy of the Lord, it has had one more voice to call it to arms, to the arms of Christ, to the armour of Christ, and to enterprise in His name, as this belaboured country reels politically, morally and religiously (*2).

 

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Chapter 4

DUTY, DOCTRINE AND DRAMA

  1963   and the Foretaste of 1964...

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE SECOND DELIVERANCE
 

CANADIAN IRONY, AUSTRALIAN CAST IRON
and an OPERA outside the OPERA HOUSE

 

Before we come to the Sydney deliverance, which began the final routing of the assailants, first on the word of God and then on this particular servant of the Lord in that context, and the great New Zealand venture to which the Lord then assigned me, it is valuable to recall a little in the interval.

First, there was teaching in two Church schools. One was an Anglican one, under  a Bishop who indicated there was no need for him to keep to the 39 articles, and who had MASS in the school, even though that Anglican Standard has highly stringent condemnation of the practice*1.

Meanwhile,  the Headmaster was delightful and rapidly advanced me in the work intending to give me the highest level English literature course, before the Bishop intervened. I noted to this bishop the ironic fact that I was in basic agreement with the tenor of the Articles, whereas he, an Anglican was not. After pointing his fingers together, as if to make a tent, for some time, and knowing the keenness of the Headmaster for me to stay, he decided that if I did not come into disagreement with the Chaplain, or something of this kind which would shut my mouth in any instance where testimony should come to require it, then I could stay. My response involved the point that I could not sell my mouth, which was already committed to Jesus Christ. It was not as if I should be saying anything remarkable in this context, in view of my position vis-à-vis those 39 Articles, which in turn were keen on the Bible.

The closed mouth however was the episcopal desire; and to be sure I had consistently in the Classes kept to what the Bible declared in dealing with related topics. It would have, therefore, to open elsewhere, despite the 60% or so rise in salary, after the first year, and the most desirable place that was there.

How people can even GO to places where you cannot testify freely of Christ, or if they go, keep their mouths under virtual legal arrest in order to stay, is beyond me, as far as Christians are concerned. It is so much simpler, purer and better SIMPLY to do what we are told, and NEVER to be ashamed to testify of Christ (Luke 9:23-26). I well remember in the Victorian Education system, when I was considering some 'tent-making' supplement to the Ministry there, the effort to make me acknowledge that I THOUGHT the Bible was right, so that the objective character of the faith might be swallowed up in the sallow waters of subjectivity (Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer ).

I could not agree. Logic declares the answer (SMR), and while faith is the way to be saved in terms of the Biblical depiction, the Gospel, of Jesus Christ, truth is not dependent in the least on subjectivity. It is an objective occurrence and nothing else can even logically stand, but this same biblical testimony which it makes, and one seeks accurately at all times to reflect (cf. Barbs 6   -7, Swift Witness  6 and the three references above). The matter however proceeded.

The second school, in the context of moving on to the Canadian enterprise, was a Presbyterian one, where the 'liberal' approach of the very Principal who had led to my expulsion from the seminary, was held in the Headmaster's heart. Too late I found that that Principal had been the Headmaster's 'guiding star', and alas it showed. By the time I learned of this, I was already committed and so endured those two years. Two members of Presbytery would be sustaining my appeal to the General Assembly of Australia against exclusion from the Ministry of the Presbyterian Church. It was both a trial and a test, and if in this or that, I failed, as googly balls were bowled at me, and reckless seeming steps were taken by the Headmaster, yet the testimony stood, and was spread throughout school, to students and Staff alike.

Thus, this provided wonderful opportunities to give out the Gospel to the school, but there was a complete unreliability about the place, which disenabled the best results, and eventually a convulsion leading to the removal of 3 other members of the Staff, although I stayed.

It was not without relief that there came the next step, which came in Canada.

Through the mercies and faithfulness of the Lord, I was in 1962 called to preach in a country location in that nation, indeed in Prince Edward Island, of Ann of Green Gables fame (actually, I played on the golf course at that location!). In 1963, I arrived and before long had occasion to go to Toronto for a meeting of a central committee concerned about persons who might wish to enter the Ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. There, interested that their ordination subscription would include an acknowledgement that they held to the teaching of the Westminster Confession, I stated that I was glad to find a body who BELIEVED in the infallibility of the Holy Scriptures, the Bible (as stated in that Confession).

It is to be noted that this was to acknowledge that the Committee members  meant what they said
when they themselves were ordained. They could do so only by indicating this to be their belief. To an amazement with which I was rapidly learning to live, they could not abide such a statement as mine. Reference to actual facts was far from safe.

Thus, however comic or gravely seduced they might be, I heard the cry - 'Divisive!' It was apparently divisive of me to note a fact, and to indicate that it was pleasant to have a result of it. So incredible was the concept there ruling, concerning theological integrity, the keeping of commitments, that it was a cardinal error to assume that they meant what they had vowed! It seemed almost to resemble someone calling on a household where the husband was known to be committing adultery, and unwittingly referring to fidelity in marriage, without oneself knowing how that particular marriage stood - or fell.

In this Toronto case, the 'household' was horrified at the gaffe. Gaffe or not, it was true that they were bound, and apparently equally true that they had cut the cords and were particularly sensitive to anyone who dared to remind them of it! The final confrontation of the Age of the Gospel of Jesus Christ CANNOT come, said Paul, before this great falling away (II Thessalonians 2). I was thus multiply a witness to it in denomination after denomination.

Such sincerity as I found in Toronto, therefore,  did not leave me spellbound! In later years, that Church went from more to even more theological disparity with the Bible, with suave kinds of seduction ruling in their seminary. It was perhaps as well, then,  that for this reason, the testimony of the Bible and of Christ (as usual), that  the matter could proceed no further.

Immediately it is good to add this. In the very next year, 1964,  there was a resounding and perfectly miraculous deliverance for me, back in Australia, in the very central assembly of the Presbyterians in that country! It is NEVER necessary to temporise or compromise with flesh; and standing firm in both nations, I was nevertheless able to proceed in 1964 to my Honours M.A. by thesis and oral examination in the University of Melbourne, and to victory in Sydney in the Church, by the very clear grace and marvellous interposition of the Lord, later in that same year.

As to the Toronto preliminary of 1963, and the committee members with their 'Divisive!" cry:
perhaps chafing in their own position, they wanted no recruits who would hold what they
themselves were supposed to hold, and evidently in good part, did not! The Canadian year however provided me with another Presbytery from that land which would back my movement into the Ministry, against the pre-conceptions and dodgings, animus and wanderings in Australia. The Lord was building the preliminaries for the Carmel, if you will. HE knows what He is doing, always does, always did and always will. It is so good to trust Him, for He is reliable.

Yet in all this one sees the impact of the mounting apostasy of the Age, precisely as predetermined by scripture, when itching ears will lead many astray, as if the ONE THING which is INTOLERABLE is what is written (II Timothy 4:3, cf. II Peter 2). It was thus predicted that SOUND DOCTRINE would be disparaged and declined, with an increasing inability to 'stand' it; and so I found. The intemperance of the hatred of having it rule was like that of having the Son of God rule in Israel of old. The servant can scarcely hope to be better than his Master, in the treatment by this world, for Christ was perfect, and every servant among mankind of His, is not.

How exciting, then, to see the word of God fulfilled in these ways by those who denied it! How ironic and what a privilege could readily on this earth come to me,  comparable with actually seeing the power of God in another way, standing behind the Niagara Falls and watching their mighty flow from intimate quarters.  The Sydney episode was a watershed for wisdom, and a display for delight in the Lord. As the chorus says, How good is the God we adore!

Before tracing this, however, it seems good to look at some of the points that arise about Presbyterian abuse of the Westminster Confession, alas, on the one hand binding it in effect as determinative of doctrine, instead of being as it requires in its own text, a help, and on the other, claiming to hold to it, even in substance, while actively rejecting the integrity of whole books of the Bible. What a see-saw, the word ignore sort of situation. It might even in some ways be comic, were it not utterly tragic.

 

Confessional Matters and the Word of God, through the Years

Australian Cast-Iron

In due course I was to learn of a good way of handling slackness and connivance against truth on the part of some at their ordination. Actually, it was the Presbyterian Church in America which had an interesting formulation here, and one which is sound, if only they would keep it: in effect it indicates that the Bible is infallible (separate question for affirmation), and the teaching, the system of doctrine in the Westminster Confession is Biblical. It is not of course comprehensive, as I pointed out to Presbytery when the time for the USA Ministry arrived; but it is sound.

One other Presbyter at that time (1967) emphatically agreed, Dr Gordon Clark of fame in the field of philosophy, being Chairman at his University in that field, and a famous author (see Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 6).

It so happens that this formulation of the system in the Confession and the infallible scripture as sole and only ultimate basis works reasonably well as an approach.

The inadequate emphasis on love in the Westminster Confession is NOT a systematic failure, since the system is sound with or without it; and it operates coherently. The Biblical system of teaching, strictly so-called,  is well handled by the Confession. Unfortunately, unlike the case of the Presbyterian Church of Australia which at its advent in 1901, did better yet, this love of God was not adequately portrayed in the Westminster Confession. That love in its intensity and scope is pre-systematic: God so loved the world THAT ...  You can hold the system, but as seen in the PC in the USA (1903 Declaratory Statement) and later, it needs a supplement beyond the system, to cover the case.

Thus, whatever 'system' is unveiled, this love in logical sequence PRECEDES it; yet as to that same love,  its priority is vast. The PC of Australia wisely emphasised (past tense only) separately this love and cited it as necessary in its own so-called 'Declaratory Statement' from the time of its 1901 Union in this land. However even in this same, once so blessed Church, a 1991 General Assembly Statement ignores this and erroneously acts as if the Confession by itself had all covered, without any statement whatever. (Cf. The Biblical Workman Ch. 8 and Bible Translation 1, *3, 4, #41.)

The fact that this is contrary to the Declaratory Statement with which the Church was formed in the first place, is dismissed with just that peremptory assurance that Assembly majorities can so readily command. How often and how deeply we are reminded of our sinfulness, in order that we might seek sanctification and godliness with fresh vision and vigour. That is a message to any who slips: let the glimpse of the sinfulness of sin strengthen your backbone like tungsten steel.

How true it is, Blessed are the meek! and where more is this meekness needed than in dealing with, or rather being dealt with by, the word of the living God, not a poetic fable, not a pasture for kicking the heels, but what it declares, the thoughts of the living God for man, true and sufficient, just and bound. Meekness in reception, strength in propagation, truth in works, grace in action, godliness in all, this is the requirement.

It is therefore not at all surprising that we read in this same word of God, in Isaiah 66:2, that to this man will the Lord look, to him who is humble and of a contrite spirit, and who TREMBLES AT HIS WORD. You do not tremble at what you surgically alter, whether to plump out the chest or to remove what you deem fat! Small wonder also that Isaiah 8:20 tells us that if they do not speak according to the word in the book of the Lord, there is no light in them. What light is there in making light of the Light Himself! or in slighting  the product of His mouth, the fountain of His will, the expression of His thought (cf. Amos 4:13, Matthew 4:4)!

What then of life where the word of God is bound ? Some fret because of it, and seek to 'escape'. The II Timothy 4 case shows the prediction of this pathology reaching its heights in the period before the end of this Age. That is verified. It is now (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). But consider this ...

If freedom in this comes from being bound, is it not the same in the body ? It is when the bowels are dissolved, or the heart is loosed that freedom is lost. Man is bound to the Lord, and to unbind Him or His word, which is His, is like having an open heart surgery in which by some error, the heart itself is removed. After all, salvation also is bound to the believer in Him according to His word, as in John 5:24, II Timothy 1:8ff., and is that not freedom itself, to be a child of the living God, furnished with eternal life and saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8)!

It is in fact rather difficult so much as to find one reference to this love in the Westminster Confession, that very love of God for those ultimately to be lost; but the case as shown above, is very different in the Bible. What then do we discover ? It is this. As to that subordinate standard, the Westminster Confession,  it is fine in system, but needs indeed what the PC of Australia (PCA)  gave it, a boost beyond the system, to bring in another facet of Biblical teaching. The historic stress on this feature, in the 1901 Presbyterian Union is just, capable and good; its 1991 Assembly treatment in effect deletes the specific addition by indicating there is nothing there. It ignores the 'sensitive conscience' for which advisedly and expressly the provision was brought in.

This unhistoric departure from the historic PCA constitutional emphasis is to be deplored, for it limits the love of God to a system of man, instead of expanding it to the direct statements of the Bible, a truth found not only in II Peter 3:9, but I Timothy 2:1-5 and many such places

(cf. Predestination and Freewill, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.4,
Biblical Blessings
Ch.3,
Repent or Perish
Ch.1, esp. p. 18,
SMR Appendix B, pp. 1163A, *7,
The Merciful Might of the Majestic Messiah: Jesus
Ch. 5,
Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah
, Chs.   8,   9).

When scribal charms (cf. I Cor. 3) limit the word of God in its clear, unqualified and continual statements, there is trouble in the church, as Christ sharply witnessed to those so bound,  in the recorded event of Mark 7:7. It is the utmost of unwisdom and disproportion to be bound by man, one's peers, but the height of wisdom to be bound by God, one's Creator, who knows all, and in particular, always and altogether what He is doing. How great is His name and what joy to be bound to Him! The grandeur of His grace and the purity of His face, the liberties of assurance and the constraints of love all work together, as do all things for those who love God, those called according to His purpose.

Thus many are wrongly bound, and bind themselves to themselves, and others to them.

As to the word of God, however, it is not bound (II Timothy 2:9).

What makes that Confession so fine however, not least is this (Chs.XXXI, Part IV with XX, Part II): that it insists that no church council is to be obeyed as such, for many have erred; and that the Bible is the final criterion. Such forms of authority are always subjectible, the word of God ALONE being definitive; and any and all of them are always subject to rejection FROM the Bible, if they transgress in anything, this source, this word not of man but of God (cf. I Thessalonians 2:13, I Corinthians 2:9-13, Matthew 5:17ff.). It is not a case of showing this or that from the Confession, to obtain liberty, for that is the bondage of man; it is rather one of showing it from the Bible, and being helped from the Confession. To bind the word of man, in its systematics for resolution is to lose the liberty of God.

Theological Hitlers are not to be desired.

It is sad that now, in Australia, the Confessional humility is being lost in a repressive seeming word concerning it, as if the Union creators of the 1901 Constitution, in their Declaratory Statement,  had made quite unnecessary reference to the additional matters in the LIGHT of which the Confession was to be read, and provided quite unacceptable reference to the LIBERTY with which the Church was,  through this accommodating Statement,  to operate in matters of conscience.

Further, even the Confession itself refuses to used as a rule, but insists it is there as a help (XX,1 and XXXI, 4, for even synods and councils may not be given the place of rule). Helping is not ruling, and the abuse of the Confession in this augmentative manner in the Church, becomes thus multiple. There is no other final test but the word of God, and defiling it or adding, is simply to fail that test, faith defective, reason given dismissal. God is not susceptible to synthesis, nor is His word to pluses here or minuses here or there.

Indeed, if liberty was misused when the PCA gradually became apostate in the area 1935-1974, it was not by adding the love of God in the measure shown in the Declaratory Statement; but rather it was by illicitly subtracting large areas of the Bible itself without reason, warrant or integrity. THIS was not a freedom granted to ANY, for any reason or in any document, but dissembling and revolt, and long did it continue as a 1974 Victorian Church paper declared! naming some 40 years! Later, the Assembly in sad laxity making the Confession binding as such, in 1991, merely made a new way of damaging biblical liberty, this time by traditions (Mark 7:7). One extreme was replaced with the other, as in the days of Scribes and Pharisees.

In the Declaratory Statement, specified liberty was granted in understanding the scriptures, not in laying them waste by irreverential warfare on students, by false teaching or even as in my own case eviction, when an answer to assault on the Bible becoming open, it was used, and the assault on a whole book of the Bible shown to be illogical, and this without reply! And why ?  for there was none, the word of God, rock-like, smashing every smash hit of vagrant theology or philosophy. What then ? then student-removal replacing reason, the evil continued. Yet it was a privilege to attest the truth of the Bible with no answer to this, whatever the price, and the vindication of 1964 in the General Assembly of the PC of Australia amplified the testimony on that very occasion. So the Lord is good, was, is and will be (cf. II Timothy 4:8,17-18). HE never varies nor does His everlasting truth written, smitten or not. Just so, He Himself was resurrected in very body, smitten without success, only cruelty and unbelieving disdain which has cost peace in its reelings and dealings for millenia.

Where in practice the Bible does not have the manifest last word, and constitute the only basis for any final determination ALONE (helps being just that, not directions), then not only is Presbyterianism violated to the base, but Biblical Christianity as well. On this way, moreover is only irrationality. But what of the love of God ? What indeed!

The Declaratory Statement added to the Confession as the TERMS in which it is to be read (not vice versa) in the Constitution, does not remove the scope of biblical truth, but rectifies its emplacement.

In the 1991 debacle, instead, in terms of the love of God, it is as if ZERO liberty were an interpretation of ASSIGNED liberty, as in the Declaratory Statement. It is true that this liberty was not to be abused and the church was to safeguard this; but it would rather appear liberty here IS being abused by being equated with zero, the Confession itself coming to be REQUIRED UNLESS it could be shown from this man-made document, that this was not so! The Confession, if it could feel, would blush at this extravagance, for it excludes, as noted above, just such approaches! Violated is not only the word of God, the criterion, but the Constitution as well which REQUIRES the Confession to be read in terms of the Declaratory Statement.  Alas, when a good thing is found, how often some philosophy seeks to trash it. The philosophy, displaced, goes; but the damage may remain, except a heart for reform be found, as it should be.

So does confessionalism seek to eat up the church, even when an excellent Confession has to be mutilated, indeed mutated, to do it! Past all these reactions however, it is necessary, as Presbyterianism rightly holds, to put the Bible ABOVE all Confessions. How far removed is this from requiring one to show FROM the Confession that this or that is or is not  requisite, as the 1991 PC Australia required; but to the very contrary,  insistently are we assigned the position as subject to the word of God, to show FROM THE BIBLE that this or that IS required, or is not! The word of God is incomparably better than that of man.

Addition as here, to that word, is given short shrift in Proverbs 30:6 as in the things it portends, as in Revelation 22. Pluses and minuses, in practice, are perfidious and arrogant. Everything should be in its place, as are organs in the human body. Here man is before God and His word is over man.

These things are not small, and Spurgeon is one who has given no small sense of outrage at the dangers inherent in such additions (to the word of God). Thus in his sermon on Jacob and Esau he has much to say. This is treated in the Appendix I, drawn from Ch. 8 of Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah.

Alas, by such omissions of what the scripture contains, and additions of what it does not contain, in screening systems, grief comes, and aridity arrives. Soon the needs of one generation, in the warfare for Christ, become the assumed totality for another, so that the good work of one, being aggrandised, instead of being humbly used, is improperly elevated to the detriment of the word of God.

Did not Christ say it: in confrontation, He declared you are "making void the commandments by your traditions!" (Mark 7:13). On the contrary, it is the word of God which is to rule, and it rules the rules - Luke 6:46, Matthew 5:17-20. It is most fervently to be hoped that the PC of Australia will shed these chains, relatively recently fashioned - as if not satisfied with one bane, at its departure towards the laxities of liberalism, shamefully given absurd scope in the most sensitive training grounds of the Church,  it must create another, a bondage to man. Let it return to the Lord and to His word, and believe what it says, fashion what He says and follow Him and His word. It is not necessary to be a genius; the work is already done in the existing Constitution. It needs to be left unmolested by such 'adjustments' as have confined it, and the word of God alike.

Meanwhile, we come after the M.A. year of 1964, to the deliverance itself, in Sydney in 1964. Two things need to be noted before that dénouement.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE THIRD DELIVERANCE
 

Hunger in Canada and Biblical New Work for Honours M.A. in Australia

The first is something of a spiritual significance which is therefore germane to this account.

It was found that in the 1963 year in Canada, there was such a hunger for the word of God in some of the places, in the country, that it refreshed the heart. One could visit farms and find great interest, as if some medical specialist had come to test for a rampant heart disease.

It was my policy at one time there, to call and ask to see the young people (say 16 to 23 or so) and advise them solemnly that I was calling to ask them not to join the Church. This probably met with some surprise, but after a little I would continue ... "unless, of course, you are Christians." In that case, it would be delightful for them to join.

This led to a question. What IS a Christian ? They had little idea. Words like faith and repentance, regeneration in this context did not strike up an immediate rapport. They were as soil without seed. Perhaps one should add that they had had no minister for a few years, if I recall: perhaps 3.

Hence we held a Class to find out what it was to be a Christian (cf. SMR pp. 520ff.). This seemed to come to them like rain after drought, but it also generated, it seemed, a degree of amazement. Was this, all of this, actually THERE in a ... Church. Yes it was.

Some 17 then joined the Church, having shown an understanding and feeling it, and receiving on invitation the One about whom the Church is actually concerned, Jesus Christ, alive from the dead and as potent as ever. We did not skirt sin, but dealt with it; nor the atoning sacrifice to meet it, but focussed it and liberation from its clutches, and the cost of this grand victorious theme. One young man, a school teacher, came to make a beautiful announcement, which in similar circumstances I do not ever remember having heard. He declared: "I am not good enough!"

This was met through the loving Lord's grace, very simply. Are you good enough to be a sinner ? he was asked. He affirmed this with conviction. Are you bad enough to need the Saviour ? This too was incontestably true. Then, why not TAKE Him! was the third step for me to narrate! And I believe that he did, later joining the Church. Praise God for such realism.

Always in mind is the time when a snow storm started, and this Aussie decided not to let that phase him, but proceeded out to drive and visit, to get on with one's work. However experience grew.  In a very little the road lost itself in white and fences began to seem vague, as the covering grew. It became apparent that that Aussie could indeed set forth, in the fulness of Australian liberty; but where this would be, that would become an increasingly difficult question to answer.

The other occurrence for record occurred  on the way to preach, and on the hill preceding the target church, there was the slight problem of slithery, slippery, oozy mud - it may have been a Spring thing. Up this field-like road one proceeded, but the small, if lively car being driven did not gain the correct stability on both sides, so we went up at a 45 degree angle, or thereabouts, in a most interesting experience. The roads, when you have them in metal, can also leave a side part which having the underlying earth eroded, becomes just a crust, with result to be imagined.

But what of the spiritual erosion, and angular shift ?

Despite therefore the betrayal of Christ by many of the higher authorities, there was excellent opportunity for pastoral work. Yet the tragedy, sheer, colossally grievous, of the results of such departure by the official office holders was so great that one could well think of the lament of Christ for Jerusalem, and of Jeremiah's book of Lamentation.

Because of the obstruction of the Toronto group, who found in their official robes, that it was divisive for one to call on what was in their ordination vows, as a basis for talking together, it seemed necessary to the evangelical Minister with whom I was dealing in my assignments in Canada (the Clerk of the Maritime Synod, an estimable man), for me to return to Australia and 'have this thing out' - that is, the opposition of the Theological Education Authority.

Despite the Presbytery of Tasmania's support, a highly placed Minister in Prince Edward Island had questioned what had happened in Australia, and learning of it, did not forward the sending to Toronto re ordination. On the contrary, because of him,  it was passed on to the central authority as  'simpliciter', that is, with no particular endorsement. It was of great interest to learn later that this man who dressed in such formalistic refinement, and offered such obstruction to this work of the Lord, became diseased in something like a partial paralysis. The work however was not paralysed.

His obstruction could not stop what the Lord had planned, or the mission to which He had called. As it is written, let not man prevail against You! (II Chronicles 14:11).

In fact, the Lord forwarded it in yet another way. The Professor in the University of Melbourne, Chairman of the Department, who had been so keen on my pursuing Philosophy professionally, or internationally, or both, and had begged me to reconsider when I left for the Ministry, was still in Office. Writing to him, I found that my Westminster Degree with many Honours in it, taken with the result of an academic check by the University on Westminster made earlier for someone else, led to the conclusion: yes, I could take my M.A.. Moreover, my thought of taking it on the topic of the harmony of predestination and freewill, showing the harmonious uniqueness of the Bible, was accepted. If there was to be some confusion on this - for I had undertaken a work which was to be theoretical, not historical and it in fact kept to its domain - nevertheless, the work was allowed and it proceeded. (Eventually awarded Honours, it would permit Ph.D. work if desired.)  Instead, much later, a Th.D. thesis was completed as one pursued the demonstration of the truth in Christ Jesus.)

This meant that by the time of the 1964 Assembly in Sydney, to which our appeal for my reinstatement was going, I was well advanced on my M.A..

 

  THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE FOURTH DELIVERANCE

A CARMEL OF A KIND
 

THE MANNER OF THE LORD'S DELIVERANCE IS
OF HIS OWN CHOOSING: the SYDNEY OPERA

1964

One fascinating study remains. On my return from the USA in 1957, after various trials and vicissitudes, including School Teaching, and a period in Canada to which I had been invited to preach, eventually the time came when the exclusion which the princes of the church, with the professors, Jeremiah style, had visited on me, was to be challenged in the highest court of the Australian Presbyterian Church. It was Sydney, 1964. Would Harbour-land be hallowed in this, or would it be another Toronto ?

In this interim, as the year progressed, the Lord brought me into contact with  a very fine man, whose sense of equity, of justice, as indeed he proclaimed in the Assembly meeting itself, was greater than his sense of friendship for those who were acting amiss against me. He with two Presbyteries were witnesses, directly or indirectly on behalf of my cause. On the other side was the liberal establishment, then reigning in a not unusual way, in the enforced absence of opposition, at least to some extent, and certainly to my extent! Intimidation and exclusion alike were potent weapons, it seemed.

After all, if penalty attends opposition to opposition to the Bible, then such opposition as in my case, may not be heard in its ... absence.

However, now once more in the Lord's providence and grace, I was present. The Assembly was being given grounds by the 2 Presbyteries and the prominent pastor of the large Victorian congregation who was aiding the matter, for reviewing the exclusion zone in which the Theological Education Committee had placed me.

Question after question was put to me, until one dear Minister announced to the Assembly, that this person under review, myself, was flesh and blood and the trial was going on too long!

At this, I thought: Then there is heart left in the Assembly after all! It was delightful to hear something other than sadducaic sounding sophistication and superficiality, mockery and contempt. Bucking the Establishment for Christ is a long-historied affair, and it tends to have certain norms, which were duly displayed. One is about to be related.

One lawyer (literally so) asked if I still believed in the literal interpretation of all Scripture. Scorn seemed to drip from his legal lips, and a sardonic glance back to the 'audience' seemed ready to perform a surgical operation on the victim in the 'dock'.

However, the Lord was with me, and I had not merely no fear, but an amazing sense of repelling mockery with the power of the present Lord. After all, the promise was pled as in Luke 21:15). Thus I replied that this had never been the question: it did not turn on interpretation of the Bible. It was not about this topic, but another that the case was directed. That other point was this: was or was not the Bible was authoritative and infallible. THAT, I indicated, one would hope would be a view known to the elders, since it was, after all, to be found in the Westminster Confession, which was notable in their subordinate standard! The case had definite overtones reminiscent of the Toronto event! It seemed in this at least, to hold a similar spirit.

This point having been clarified, I proceeded. Despite this mistaken focus on what was not the issue, and since he asked this question about interpretation, irrelevant to the point at issue though it was: yes, I would answer it.

An English teacher, I said, I had occasion to interpret many literary documents. Do you know, I asked, that when I meet a metaphor, how I treat it ? Why, metaphorically! And I proceeded to trace various figures of speech which we all use on occasion, normally when it is perfectly clear to those whom we address, what is figure and what is fact.

In each case, I proceeded, I would interpret the figure according to its kind. That is the nature of symbolism and imagery: you use it when it is clear what it is, so there is no confusion. Such, I proceeded, is the richness of Holy Writ, that sometimes one comes upon a case when several figures of speech may be used simultaneously!

What then ? Then, I answered, one interprets each one, severally, after its kind! Again, often it is clear that the matter is to be taken literally: in that case, so is the interpretation, literal.

And may I, the divinely aided speech continued, add this piece of advice. When you are interpreting what is written, USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!

At that, and quite astonishingly, the Assembly with considerable force, applauded! It was quite an unusual experience in the rigours of 'the treatment'. It was decidedly pleasant to have the errant authorities at last operating in the light of common day.

What had been given was an answer to a trifling and misguided question; and in that answer, perhaps an element of sardonism appeared, the epitome of which would be Elijah's comments to the dancing priests of Baal on Mt Carmel!

This, however, was a just response to the years of folly which had been visited upon me, and at last allowed some clarification of the issues. Now in fact, we had carefully prayed before this Assembly, believing all the promises of God, that God would give me what to say, for this clearly was just such a case as was envisaged in Luke 21:15 or kindred passages.

Faithful is He who calls you who also will do it, says Paul (cf. I Thessalonians 5:24, Philippians 1:6); and faithful is His name! As He said, so He did! The answers came, on one occasion to my own amazement as if from nowhere; but they came. Glory be to the God of entire and utter faithfulness, as it was written for such a case, so it transpired. As always, He did what He said! This is a splendour of His simplicity for us redeemed sinners, that He does it.

Thus in one imbroglio, a question was put: Are all Presbyterian Ministers ordained of God ? asked one weighty worthy.

Now if anything ever seemed like a replica in spirit, of the assaults on the Lord from the quarter of the scribes and Pharisees, as expressed in Luke 11:53-54, this to my experience, was just such a thing. Let us heed it:

Nevertheless, there was a certain joy in His presence (I Peter 3:14, 4:14), in His sufficiency (II Cor. 4:1-3, 3:5): for "our sufficiency is of God", who for my sake and for that of all who are, were and would be Christians, had in Christ suffered such things, and that not once or twice! The servant is not greater than his Lord! If they did it to Him, they would not spare the mere servants! And so it was done... This had started with Class-room slander from a Principal who could not answer the reply to his explicit challenge to his class, that they should defend the Bible in the case of the book of Daniel, or else be guilty of intellectual dishonesty. His wrath substituted for an answer, though neither worthy nor weighty. Now the matter continued on the par course of contrivance.

Are they ? Are these Ministers ALL ordained of God ? The question quivered like a leaf in a storm.

As two professors joined in the quarry hunt, pressing the point, two elders (they may or may not have been Ministers of the Gospel), towards the back of the hundreds in voting attendance, were in the romp. Bouncing literally up and down in their seats, they decried: "Yes, or no! Yes or no!"

Into my mind and mouth almost if not entirely simultaneously came three little words.
"Jesus ordained Judas."

Luke 9:1-2 shows Judas with the rest being given "power and authority over all devils,
and to cure diseases."
Moreover "He sent them to preach the kingdom of God,
and to heal the sick."

Further, He told them, "Take nothing for your journey ... and whatever house you enter into,
there abide ... and whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city,
shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them"
(from Luke 9:2-4).

If that is not ordination, when it is the Lord who sends, what is ? If being chosen with 12 (Mark 3:19) and assigned specialised authority and power to work in His (physical) absence by His will and naming, if this be not it, where is it to be found ? If the Lord cannot ordain, what can men do!

These things being so, those 3 words stilled the chaotic seeming disturbance as if by a machine gun at the door.


The case ended.

The Assembly was stilled. It was to the heart, rather like the "Be muzzled!" or Be still! (Mark 4:39), addressed to the wind and waves BY THE LORD! What do we learn from this then, or to what does it give illustration ? He has delivered, He does deliver and He will deliver (II Corinthians 1:10), as Paul so beautifully announces it, and gloriously confirmed it:

"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me
to His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen"
-   II Timothy 4:18.

One seems to recall preaching on that at Westminster Seminary, in the midst of the restoration in which they played their blessed part, and of which this Sydney meeting was a culmination!

How can we adequately glorify such a Lord as this, who came and bore what we bear, and made a trail which we follow, and paid the price of entry, where we therefore on account of Him freely may come, to join with the martyrs and messengers of the covenant, in that glorious symphony of heart and spirit, the team of Christ! It is not necessary to be ordained, for that! However that was the question, and this was the answer. The three words fell and so did the noise.

If now, one had said: NO, not all Presbyterian Ministers are ordained by God, that trap would have surely snapped. How dare you insult the body to which you seek entry! If it had been: Yes, assuredly they are all ordained of God! then the snap might well have been: Then why did not you not believe your sanctified Professor when he imparted wisdom in his assault on the integrity of the entire book of Daniel! Many things might have been done, and the truth had to be said, but the need for victory without embroilment was enabled by the Lord, for my poor mind did no more invent the three words than did it invent the wind! HE DID IT.

Oh that this might enhance the courage of every heart of the many in many lands who in many ways, often with bruises and blood, must stand firm in the midst of the sinking, indeed the cavernous waters of deadly whirl-pools of subtle shame and inglorious treachery, indeed of twisted endeavours to overthrow Christian testimony from faithless friends like Judas, or fierce opponents like Herod, coming to admire but seeking to overthrow!

Down they go with wreckage of many a life, but the Lord enables in the midst of it all! The LORD IS OUR SUFFICIENCY (II Cor. 3:5), who are His!

·       "Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to think anything of ourselves,
but our sufficiency is of God."

·       NO GOOD THING does He withhold from those who walk uprightly,
and indeed such is His mercy that we read this dual deliverance and provision:

·       "What shall we say then, if God be for us, who shall be against us ? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things ? " (Romans 8:32).


Eventually it was over. The three of us on the platform, the eloquent orator who was at that time my pastor in Christ, the Presbytery representative from another State and myself, were there; and the 400 elders were on the floor; and the case was to be put.

Those in favour ... those against, came the call from the lace fronted and buckle-shoed Moderator, sitting on high, in the structure of the setting.

WOULD they allow me to resume the work of the ministry from which I had been cut off ? NO! said a loud-voiced segment. Yes! said some others. "DIVISION!" cried a number, and so it was arranged. The Assembly moved physically to two sides, and one colleague and supporter on the platform informed me that it looked about 3 to 1... in my favour! So the Lord enabled me to escape the false witness borne against me, and the failure of any witnesses to speak as necessary! Thus the LORD spoke Himself! After some time, and further adventures, and assaults, I was to go to New Zealand, to encounter a new opportunity to glorify the Lord in the midst of false doctrine and a falling church!

What a privilege it is to serve such a Lord as this; and how wonderful that the most powerful Being, and the most enthralling in the universe, is also the most glorious! How true is Isaiah 54:17:

" 'No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment,
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their  righteousness is from Me,'
Says the Lord.' "

His vindication was wrought through many, in many places, several nations, and an international collaboration, wrought first by the Lord direct and then in people was orchestrated from above!

If like Jeremiah, that tender pastor (Jeremiah 17:15, 9:1ff., Lamentations), one has to challenge, does not a doctor have to amputate in war, and to inject in peace, when plague comes! Is it some kind of superior thing to shut the eyes to disease, and profit by it! and this disease of unbelief within the church which names the Lord, it is spiritual and thus even more deadly than the physical. The Lord is the great Physician and His cures come from His word and the work of His Spirit, and the work of His pastors is shown most clearly in Ezekiel 34:4ff. (by implication from condemned omissions) and 34:14, directly. Blessed are they who follow Him, sowing His word by all waters (cf. Isaiah 32:20). Blessed is the Lord who enables it, and sovereignly sends whom He will where He will as the testimony mounts to its final crescendo (cf. Revelation 12:11, 12:16-17).

To serve Him, what could compare, and that He is God is the magnificent thing, God in 3 Persons, who sends, is sent and who imparts savour: "Whom have I in heaven beside you, and there is none on earth desire beside you!" (Psalm 73:25). This is the ultimate; and all human relationships are merciful and often beautiful additions from that vast, grand and gracious source!

 

NOTE

*1


  Article 31 of the 39 Articles declares this.

 
  The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were blasphemous fables, and dangerous deceits.

The statement is just (cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H, especially the last pages of this presentation) on the Mass.

For the rest, as in ancient Israel, the offering on the Day of Atonement was made on behalf of all, since all  were named Israel and the covenant was with that people; but it was quite irrelevant for any payment for sin,  cover for iniquity or place in pardon where it was not by faith accepted by someone of the people (as in Deuteronomy 29:14-21,cf. Isaiah 1, 29:13).

A cheque may be quite adequate for any recipient, but until received it does nothing to distribute wealth. Nothing it taken from the account. Thus in Romans 8:32, those for whom Christ is delivered up, not merely offered, have ALL THINGS. Rome makes Calvary virtually repetitive, whereas it is singularly singular, deity in human form dying once and once only; on the other hand, spray painting, as it were, with the blood of Christ, as if it covered those not only unregenerate, by ransom, but paid also for what has not and never will be acquired, makes it superficial. Many may speak and regard themselves as redeemed, but the redeemed are as inseparable from Christ as DNA from the body. It is written on them, and as I John 3 tells us, the new seed is theirs. As to the Lord, in such a case, "His seed remains in him." It cannot be excavated whether by machinery or otherwise!

Nothing can separate the believer, regenerate by the power of God, covered by the blood of Christ, from the love of God, and how Paul relishes the listing of what cannot secure the soul from its moorings, its construction and its Keeper (cf. Romans 8:36-38).

Straying in life and in making deep things superficial are complementary errors; some of which are found not only in individuals, but in some of their meanders, in nations.

It is as it always was for the general run of the nations, and the same applies  to  that spiritual nation of which Peter  speaks in I Peter 2:9-10 (cf. I Peter 1:7ff.), a matter of faith receiving its object, in Christ who now finally, utterly and once for all has fulfilled all, so that He  might give all the wonder of the covenant to those  who by faith receive Him (Hebrews 7-10, John 16:14-15), altogether (Luke 14), and not merely in notion.

The sacrificial requirements enmeshed pictorially in the law, and shown in blood, ended when "this He did once for all when He offered up Himself" - (Hebrews 7:27, 9:12, 10:10-14, John 10:17-18). Repetition as in mass, in this sacrificial sphere is insult both to the word of God and the achievement of Christ, and indeed, "without the shedding of blood there is no remission," (Hebrews 9:22 - cf. SMR ref. above, esp. as linked, at *9). Moreover, for any effect it must be applied (Hebrews 6:18-20, Exodus 12:22ff., Romans 3:22ff.). Blood trodden underfoot does not cover, but is itself covered by the foot.

The testimony concerning imputation of righteousness to faith (Romans 4:22-23, cf. 3:23-27) was not written, says Paul at  the  close of Romans 4, for Abraham alone (4:18), but "also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up on account of our offences, and was raised up for our justification."  As a RESULT to faith, "we have peace with God," as in Romans 5:1, "having been justified by faith,"
(cf. Romans 5:17-19, Philippians 3:20-21, Ephesians 1:5-13, John 10:27-28).

Thus 'many' are those for whom the effectual application of the blood of Christ relates, as in Matthew 26 at the Last Supper, and Isaiah 53. The 'we' in Isaiah is not only those whose sins are borne (v. 6), but equally those who by His stripes are actually healed. ALL the healed ones have had their sins borne by Him. Such is the teaching in this Chapter of the prophet.

Indeed, while many receive by faith what is then effectual for them, being foreknown; vast numbers do NOT, for which this opportunity being rejected, no more offering remains (Hebrews 10). As to the sprinkling of the blood of Christ, the application, is as I Peter 1:2 puts it, a matter of the elect, chosen beforehand, sanctified in the overall disposition of all things. Unbelief has no part in it (cf. Deuteronomy 29:18-22). 

Yes, a forthcoming obedience on the one hand and the sprinkling of the blood of Christ on the other, alike are part of the gracious inheritance God has given to them (Ephesians 1:11). We need constantly to be reminded, that it is not a lack of divine love which limits those foreknown as His, but as John 3:19 declares, their preference who reject and disbelieve Him (cf.  Secession from Supposition Ch. 7). As to His outgoing love, before all eventuation, before human history and election, it is that of this same Jesus, the exact representation of His Father, the case conclusive in Matthew 23:37 with Colossians 1:19, who mourned over Jerusalem. The results of this foreknowing may be cited by God at any time, and are not by any means the same as the grand scope of the desire of God as declared in Colossians and implied continually. Love baulks at mere use of force, and is chaste as I Corinthians 13 so wonderfully expounds.

All these things in the Bible are stated clearly, now here, in this setting, now there in that. To understand, it is always important never to short-circuit ANY of the word of God but to let each principle and each word stand, not to be redirected, but expressive of truth. When so taken in all its integrity, it all fits together gloriously, and indeed that is one of the testimonies to it!

 

 

Chapter 5

 

CONFRONTATION AND THE PRAISE OF CHRIST

 

NEW BATTLES FOR THE HONOUR OF THE LORD,

WHO IS THE TRUTH

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE FIFTH DELIVERANCE


CARMEL 2,
The Woeful but Triumphant Affair of Wellington

 

It is now time to come to the New Zealand encounter and labour.

Not long after I arrived, the nation was rocked by a movement away from the Rock of the resurrected Christ to a din from the Principal of their only Seminary, who publicly and sensationalistically would have the dust of Christ somewhere in or about Palestine. The affair went to the General Assembly. The bodily resurrection of Christ was not to be found in the armoury of whatever kind of a faith was in his heart. The national press was aflame, since the Presbyterian Church in NZ is, or was both large and influential.

There was one voice in the disastrous N.Z. Presbyterian Assembly of 1966, which demanded acknowledgment of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, registering formal dissent from the Assembly's caving in to apostasy and weakness unspeakable, while offering to the people the Biblical option (see our second item, 2) to follow). It came in the form of an Overture from the Session of the church where I was placed, one to which I had gone on express condition that each elder would affirm his belief that the Bible was the infallible record of the word of God Himself.

Thus, since I was authorised to present this Overture to the Assembly in the Session's name, the Lord did not lack a witness and a testimony, robustly given to that derelict body, as it proved itself to be. If he had to suffer for its part in meeting robustly and in total confrontation, the denial of the very heart of the Christian faith, what of that ? Are soldiers to be excused from fighting lest they grow callouses on their hands in the effort to deliver their families and the weak from the ravages of misplaced power! (See The Site of the Silent Sermon, No.1.)

How good it was that the time came for me, at last,  formally to challenge, to be able to proclaim there in that august but fallen body,  the truth concerning Jesus Christ. It was  perhaps the most negative assembly of all time, in that land. Yes and it was necessary to condemn in the name of Jesus Christ, its subversion to its face, in 1966. This was done with a will, a witness and a formal presentation. The Overture was overtured, the challenge was made, the evidence was put.

This was done both orally and in writing, with vigour and with a written record of the Overture to support the voice that presented the case. It was then supported further by dissent as an Assembly member from the godless Resurrection Statement, fallen to allow body or not at your pleasure to be resurrected, the 'resolution' which that treacherous group consigned to the Press. This formal dissent gave formal ground for presenting the grounds, which my written attestation in due course thus produced. Praise the Lord for that!

Consider then the wonder of the situation. Thank the Lord that He brought me there in timely fashion just  months before, to challenge, expose and condemn this apostasy. It later enabled me to offer the people of the pastorate the Biblical option (see our second item, 2) to follow). The Lord did not lack a witness and a testimony, robustly given to that derelict body, as it proved itself to be, suffering for its part the denial of the very heart of the Christian faith. (See The Site of the Silent Sermon, No.1.) How good it was for me formally to challenge, even in their very midst, with an Overture from our Session, and to be able to proclaim there the truth in perhaps the most negative assembly of all time, in that land. Yes and it was necessary to condemn in the name of Jesus Christ, its subversion to its face, in 1966. It was apt in the end to shake off the dust of my feet, as biblically provided, as a cover up was made by some, even of what had just happened.

For all  time and places,

bullet

their Resurrection Statement,
 

bullet

which disavowed the necessity of believing and proclaiming the body of Christ as not rotting,
 

bullet

was exposed  and condemned before hundreds of Assembly members,
 

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via formal Overture and its due presentation,
 

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the full report and presentation at considerable length also sent into the hands of the Clerk afterwards.

Thus publicly and ecclesiastically was their Resurrection Statement at length exposed as anti-biblical, anti-Christian, thrusting against the reality of Christ, a denial of the faith.
 

The devil is a liar, but he cannot in the end suppress the truth, any more than he could confine Christ to barracks, in the tomb. The powers that be wanted Him out, but in the tomb; the Lord came out, but from the tomb, and try as they might, they could not substantiate their claim of fraud, of falsity in Christ, as if His call on His Father were in vain, for the simple fact which was, and will forever remain was this: the body did not stay (cf. SMR Ch. 6).

It went. That is what God said would happen (Psalm 16,22). As usual, in such a case, it is what in its time, occurred, and none could stop it. He would not stop, and so they were stopped. His power in practical cases was always effective; that is why they 'had to' kill Him, since otherwise as Caiaphas the priest was told, all the world would follow Him. In this case, COULD they by barbaric horror, stop Him. Would the 'experiment' still work, in Christ versus the entire religious establishment backed by Roman power, when they killed Him ? Would this break His supernatural posture, stature and power, which it evidently was ?

No, in short, for the 'experiment' proceeded as usual. The predicted 3 days after death, so often foretold when He was with them, duly passed and He passed from the tomb. As usual, what He said would happen, did so. Death did not destroy His authoritative authenticity. His enemies were not given further opportunity to operate, but His friends were given further instruction as you see in Luke 24, as He built them up in this powerful experiment, this prophetic marvel, this supra-Lazarus arising, this teaching mission, before leaving this world for the time, to the operation of the Gospel which Isaiah predicted would be the case (Isaiah 53-55), and the power of His Spirit whom He would send (John 15:26, Luke 24).

His return from being glorified, this would be dramatic enough, as was His life (Zechariah 14, II Thessalonians 1), and He who bought the Church, would remove it altogether before the dénouement that would give yet one more attestation of divine power, when mercy for millenia despised, truth would prevail, as always, but now pervasively.

 Oblivious of the vital reality of the bodily resurrection, however, the NZ Presbyterian Assembly of 1966  paraded their ignorance and faithlessness to the Press.  Their failure was critical. It was as if Christ when answering a challenge to His pardoning a paralysed sinner BEFORE healing Him (Mark 2), had declared, as He did, that He would raise him up to verify the truth, and then palpably failed. What if the man had stayed steadfastly on the bed of a paralytic! There would then be no Christianity, the religion of verification and validity, of test and more test.

His claim to pardon him - which admittedly only God could do, could be assessed better when He used the very power of God, working with and through Him in His earthly setting,  to raise up the paralytic physically.

While then the Assembly lost its head, and revealed for the time at least, its heart, one thing God secured. The condemnation had been uttered by myself as a member of that Assembly, and the formal dissent required them to receive my protracted rebuttal. This would mean that in writing that corrupt communication and the will behind it, would be consigned to the flames. God is not without His witness; it is great to have someone there. Elijah was one; and one to one is not necessary with men, for if God be for you, who shall be against you! Suffering is not the point; fidelity is, and the results of it are to strengthen faith, and call to spiritual arms, those who wander.

The words of that Overture itself, duly presented to the Assembly while it was sitting as part of its work load, were strong and keen. We did not care what any philosopher, prince or pundit thought, for if the resurrection of Jesus Christ were in view, it was historic, factual and basic to the Church which used His name; and it was crucial that this Assembly expose the heretical dogma which had been propounded by its Principal of its seminary, so that order and truth might return to the Church. Such was the Overture from the Session of St Ninian's PC, in Blenheim NZ, in 1966, to the national Presbyterian Assembly, presented by its Minister, Rev. Robert Donaldson. If this was an un-Presbyterian action, so be it; it was a Christian one.

For interest, the BULLETIN which was printed at the Minister's expense, outlining the position before his eventual departure from that Church, is provided as given, in Appendix II.

 

It would flow readily if now we added some more detail on the historic and devastating New Zealand coup. Let us trace it in order.

 

DELIVERANCE, PAST, PRESENT AND TO COME;
A DIVINE SPECIALTY FOR HIS CHILDREN

THE NEW ZEALAND ERUPTION

Again, we come to something that actually happened.
Always it is fascinating, that IT HAPPENED!

You may think of Ministers of the faith as rather formal non-combatants in life. The truth is often far from this. We are invited to engage, all who are Christians (Ephesians 6) in what is no less than a spiritual warfare. In the heart is peace and love, but in the feet there may have to be agile movement, as the King commands His battalions, directed to enabling many to hear the Gospel and find a better life than that of turmoiled self-interest and international clash: more, to find God who made them, through Jesus Christ His express Saviour.

In 1966, one Minister, a Presbyterian of Australian citizenship, was in New Zealand. Two beautiful churches were to be the base, in Christ. An agreement was hammered out with the elders, as a condition of coming as pastor, that the Bible as defined in the Westminster Confession, would be in authority and rule. It is defined as "infallible truth" and "immediately inspired of God".

Time moved, as it has a habit of doing. Circumstances growled. A Professor in the Presbyterian Seminary had denied the power of God expressed categorically and essentially (I Corinthians 15, Luke 24:26-27,38-43, John 20:26-30), in the resurrection of the body of Jesus Christ. With anyone, hoax or holy is always crucial. It is eminently so with Jesus the Christ.
 

To deny this categorical Biblical truth is to invent a false Christ (II Cor. 11); for a Christian assembly to say, in effect, believe this or not as you please, is to disaffirm it as authoritative, God-given truth. Hence it is to reject the apostolic testimony (I Cor. 15 esp. vv.1-3, Romans 10:9, Acts 2:22-32), to contradict the doctrine given through them (Romans 16:17), and hence to become in this respect, parasitic (cf. Jeremiah 7:8-11), living on the name of Christ, contrary to specifications and permission, in violation of truth, in opposition to the master builders of the church (I Cor.3:10, Eph. 2:20ff.): in novelty and powerlessness, depriving the people of God of their heritage, and insulting the Lord.
 

Quite simply, making possible only what God makes certain, it is to dethrone God from His word;  and in the end, agreeing that this acceptance of mere possibility is the doctrine of the church, is in line to reject the word of God as simply and clearly as the Jewish nation  did when He proclaimed against them (Isaiah 30:8, cf. 8:20):
 

  • "Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book,
    that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
    that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:
    who say to the seers, Do not see! and to the prophets,
    Do not prophesy to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits..."


It is not a pleasant prospect, but for all that, some seem to prefer it to 'division' (cf. Matthew 10:33-37). Nevertheless, that prospect has worse in store, for those ashamed of Him, He notes in this very passage, of them He too will be ashamed. He is what He is and in no uncertain way did He correct Thomas' slowness (John 20:26-30 cf. 12:48-50).

What then was the result of this tension, this provocation, this innovation, this assault on the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3) ? It was myself who was that Presbyterian Minister. What transpired ?

The people split, the nation split, but most moved to be on the side decidedly not of the angels. Anti-faith roared. The Assembly took note, and the Session where I was occupied, took a stand: NOT this new philosophy, but the grand established creed of the church, of the Bible! That was the declaration, the challenge made. We did not, the Pastor with that 1966 Overture, declared, care for the words of prince or philosopher who knew not and did not obey the word of God.
 

No! Not that. NOT what you think, NOT what the Bible has, retorted the mood of the Assembly, but what we say... and that! It is that the body part doesn't matter. Believe, in this contest, whichever way you like! That certainly made being eaten by lions seem a little unnecessary, for early Christians. It was indeed a new way!

However, in the midst of seething Assembly and a ruling official’s rumbling challenge, 'Presbytery will deal with you!', which seemed to have rather a Mafia feeling at the time, I refused to agree, and when the crucial vote on whether or no the bodily resurrection would be adhered to (as if any Church assembly could change that! you might as well legislate the sun out of existence, a verbal folly), this Australian Minister in New Zealand now is writing to you, ordained indeed in that land,  voted against the betrayal, and for the bodily resurrection.

In fact, I gave an immediate, public, formal protest, duly registered by name in the Assembly; to which was to be added a written and extensive condemnation of the Assembly's betrayal of Jesus Christ, the Bible and the Church that is His. This was given to the powers that be, in the Church.

The newspaper, however,  could not be made to include this fact, that just one Minister had formally at this vote, opposed the Assembly, REGISTERING HIS DISSENT BY NAME! ONE HAD CERTIFIABLY CONDEMNED ON THE FLOOR OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE POSITION IT HAD TAKEN, THE DENIAL OF THE BODILY RESURRECTION AS INTEGRAL TO CHRISTIANITY. The much touted Resurrection Statement of the Assembly had been not only rejected, but rigorously so, to the point that this dissent from the ruling of the Assembly was 'recorded' that for all time the fact that it was not unanimous but strongly contested and condemned, might appear to all honest men.

Further, there came a demand that this Statement of Assembly be read in all churches. This I also  refused. To read that to our church, a Church belonging to Jesus Christ, to present the Assembly's  commanded new screed, would be betrayal of Christ. This outraged the Assembly official to whom it was told during Assembly's continuing time. In condemning this STATEMENT AS SUCH, I had condemned all uses of it in the Church. If you condemn arsenic, you condemn it here and there and anywhere. Such was the case.

The newspapers however breached the truth, ignoring the dramatic rejection and record of the negation of the Resurrection Statement, one which applied wherever the statement was to be considered. Repetition was not necessary. The issue had been categorically resolved: the statement concerning the resurrection of Christ which in the Assembly had been made, had one on the floor of the Assembly which condemned it in the most vigorous possible terms, and had his dissent recorded, this same Rev. Robert Donaldson, of their own number, ordained in their own land. Thus,  for all time, this was his avowal, this his despatch of that abomination, whatever any at any time might wish to do with it. Alone his dissent had been recorded. Always that will remain. Never can truth deny it. The dust of one's feet was cast off on this body in this act.

Thus this was both formal and it to be confirmed by writing to come. To present this as unanimous agreement was a folly of the newspapers, and they would not be corrected. To deny that it occurred is to ignore Session's action, the Overture and the fact, the highly charged dissent in the erupting Assembly, and to give yet more folly place.

That was real action. It was as if the antichrist were here already; but in practice, it was only a trial run for his 'best', macabre presentation. TRUTH in a 'Christian' country ! or one of some Christian past, not even allowed to be printed in the papers! Was this New Zealand ? It seemed at least like the worst of Russia, or some other Communist country, in political reconstruction of facts. Later a Christian magazine, called 'Challenge', did publish the facts and recount the dissent. Even if Churchill, I there indicated, might agree with the USSR, or other incredible combination, yet I never would just as I never did subscribe to this folly.

The results of these facts did not by any means please all. I had been threatened with the Presbytery in Wellington, that it would 'deal with you', and this duly came to pass. Dissenters are not desired. The antichrist desires rule. Many antichrists, said John are about and this whole matter was in this vein.

Thus the Presbytery DID indeed then come, and it DID seek to condemn and remove the Minister, but since the elders who were still a majority, the Session appealed to the 1967 Assembly (since they met in two halves, each annually), while the Minister warned the people of the appalling horror committed by their Assembly.

(For more on these events, in NZ, see Joy Comes in the Morning Ch. 9 and The Desire of the Nations ... Ch. 5 as marked,  and Appendix.)

Then one elder, appalled at a Presbyter who indicated that they would run by the Rule Book, and not by the Bible, as he understood the claim, decided it was time to leave so antichristian a situation as he deemed it. Indeed, to say it was unbiblical would be British understatement. With his departure, there went the majority of elders. It was by this lost; so this Minister, Robert Donaldson, having offered to the people a church without buildings, without success, was left to the operation of those gracious hands which were pierced by nails around A.D.30. Jesus Christ on whose name we call and have called, for whose sake all this was done, is not only alive but lively; and He acts for those who wait for Him. What then? He acted for this Minister.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE SIXTH DELIVERANCE

The 3-Day Way from NZ to USA
Ordination Intact

THIS! This is what happened. Within 3 days of departure, he was entered as an ordained Minister in another Presbyterian denomination in the United States, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. In view of the bodily resurrection in THREE DAYS, which Jesus repeatedly stressed in foretelling His movements, this was both ironic and triumphant.

It happened. I know that it happened, because I was that pastor, that Minister:  it happened to me. These  things I have seen and heard, and lived.

There was indeed a certain irony in this as well as a grand deliverance. In my deliverance, 3 days figured. In Christ's resurrection, 3 days figured. In the assault on the New Testament, irrationally perpetrated (when challenged, no rational answer was received from the Dunedin Professor responsible), the 3 days were philosophically dismissed. What God allegedly COULD not do, then, in the way of prediction - as if to mock the scornful and reject the rebellious, according to the unbelief pattern, He DID do now. I was delivered once again from an erring church body. The power of the resurrected Christ did indeed work, as time moved on towards the era of His return.

Further, the three days in which Christ's body was raised from the dead was not only as predicted, and performed, but was the very sort of thing which in the first persecution I suffered, at Ormond College, seminary in Melbourne, led to a professorial declaration that Christ in particular, and no mere man in general could know in advance such details. Only a general knowledge of God was possible (though how even this was known was not vouchsafed!).

Confronted with the fact that in that case, not only His verified prediction, but predictions of prophets such as Zechariah and others COULD not have been made, that indeed the whole revelatory thrust and precision of the Bible would have to be cancelled (although of course it had been verified - SMR Chs.  6,  8 -   9, what was predicted and what has happened being inseparable in all instances of trial), he had no rational answer, nor could there be any. I for my part, however, in similarly defending Daniel from irrational rejection by the Principal, this time, was almost at once cast out on false grounds, a not uncommon procedure. Thus the three day transfer from New Zealand to an ordained ministry in a Presbyterian denomination in the USA, was DOUBLY eloquent of the power of God in the face of inimical assault on His word, and attempted  'annulment' as far as the ministry was concerned, of His servant. It was a practical reproof both to Victorian and New Zealand assault on Christ, and action against me, simply at work as required of such, testifying biblically and evidentially.

 

What then ? of what does this remind us ?

 

It was as it is, as Paul presented it. It is not only in word, but in deed that it is crucial to contend for the faith and attest the truth of Jesus Christ, for He is of this world, the only hope, the source of truth and the experimental expression of the love of God, the redemptive reality of that love and the attestation of the power of God over all flesh, and any!

Thus we read in Philippians 3:8ff., these words.

"Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus..."

The Lord thus delivered me.  How grand is His goodness and how irresistible His power.

It was quite a feat in this instance, for the organised persecution of ecclesiastical wheels, which often run like tank tracks over those who dare to be both reasonable and Biblical, did not succeed. The assault forces, first on Christ and by continuation on His servant,  did succeed only in being overthrown: and that ? In 3 days. Blessed be the name of the Lord who, as Paul puts it in terms of BIBLICAL BLESSING: "delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust the He will still deliver us..." (II Corinthians 1:10).

It reminds of an equally delightful blessing in II Timothy:

" But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear.

"Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me form every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.

"To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!" - 3:17-18.


 
  Thus came yet another deliverance!

 

PRAISE HIM
BECAUSE IT IS HIS DUE,
WHO IS WONDERFUL

In all these deliverances, we praise the name of the Lord, whose mercy prevails for ever for His people, whose reliability is matched with His passion for purity, His honour and His everlasting arms. This is told to encourage and to stimulate others: NEVER compromise with the word of the Lord, with the work of the Lord. Take diseased meat if you must; but never pollute the word of God, never disorder your relationship to it, never take your eyes off the road of your pilgrimage, and be thankful that a highway of holiness (Isaiah 35) is provided, right there, just for you!

Blessing ?

The wayfarers on THAT highway, says the Lord, will not err - not though they be fools! In other words, it is NOT dependent on your astuteness or your insight, valuable as these can be. Like birth, it is a gift, and it is to be given and received BY FAITH! What blessing is in this, that the living God who gives, has the wisdom to present the gift from the undimmed splendour of His holy presence! It is for us to receive it, again, by faith.

If you are His, then follow Him: HE is your stay, and He is your exceedingly great reward, and HE will never leave you nor forsake you. WORK for the night is coming in which no man can work; WORK because He for whom you work is incomparably glorious in praises, fearful in action, wonderful in mercy, and the most delightful personality. It is in Him that love finds its author and base (I John 4:7), its action and redemption (Romans 5:1-11).

God in the flesh, Jesus Christ is literally worth anything; but to be permitted to ACT  (as for example in New Zealand, Sydney, Toronto, Melbourne), in His presence, and in His company, and in His covenant and in His power, for His sake, and with His provision: what more could you ask! except always to honour and worship Him to whom it is due, that Holy Trinity of praise and blazing glory.
 


 


 

Chapter 6

PROCEEDING TO THE PRESENT

LIKE TAKING A JOURNEY AND LAND,

AND THEN WATCHING IT FROM THE AIR

Use hyperlink below to continue

 

next

SELECT POINTS and MARCHING ORDERS to the PRESENT

 

Since those days in New Zealand, much has happened, and of this, some salient points are selected.

In turn, these things can now be put in something more like an overview which follows, to help overall perspective, in some ways moving up to the present time.  While some points have been noted above, here we can present matters in a broader scope of perspective, while missing data can to some extent be supplied in the process.

 

THE PROGRESSION IN THE MINISTRY

THAT ENDS WHERE IT BEGINS, IN JESUS CHRIST

AN OVERVIEW

 

THE START AND THE UNUSUAL

 

The beginning of what became quite a spiritual saga with vast powers of concerted opposition, was my conversion to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, with His word as His own, reliable, His Spirit as sent by Him, as provided and His task as assigned, the work of the Christian Ministry through the Presbyterian channel, my responsibility and His charge and care.

To meet the demands of Westminster Seminary, which was required after the explosive nature of the radical liberalism to be found in Ormond College, Melbourne, the recidivist residue of what had once been a fine seminary, it was necessary to extend my academic qualifications. Choosing Sydney University for this task, not least because of the state of Economics at Melbourne University, I found a new hurdle. After about 6 weeks of the first Term, the University decided that I could not take a course in Educational History (or some such name), which I had been taking and enjoying immensely, because it required a prior educational course. Why it took so long to discover this, is something unknown to this writer!

This created a problem. How could I leave this and start a new course in a new University with much of the First Term gone, including book selection and purchase, orientation and all preliminary indications of emphasis, not to mention the work covered ? This was a matter for the Lord who called me, as were and are all matters beyond human control, absolutely; for where was I to make the academic ends, unknown in good measure, to meet!

In the Lord's beautiful providence, just as the funds for going to the USA when such funds were governmentally rationed were quite miraculously obtained, so was this hurdle overturned. I found a most remarkable Lecturer in the second part of the Economics course, brilliant, dashing and even witty, and liberated from determinism to boot! (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7). Moreover he was kind.

Taking his only copy of the lecture notes so far (including such comments as 'laugh here'), he let me have them over Easter so that I could catch up! Not only so, but much later, he and another most congenial Lecturer met with me about something and we had a fascinating conversation about motivation, a topic important in Economics. It is instructive to note how it went.

One customary and rather quaint concept in much theory in economics is this, that man selfishly contrives to seek profit. If his procedure makes it, well; if not, not well. He seeks satisfaction moreover, even adjudging minute matters for their increment for satisfaction, so much of this versus so much of that,  and so much payment for this, and for that, in a complex, analytical marginal, machination. Thus is he moved. Ludicrous as it is, as almost a parody of the most debased of minds and the most robotised of residues of the human race, it has been in various forms, a sort of hedonistic commercialism, seriously taught. What would Gilbert and Sullivan have made of it, in terms of the very model of a modern hedonistic, profiteering, scientific marvel of modern humanity, who knew everything about what does not matter, to the point that he quite forgot what he was here for, the purpose of his life and its very meaning.

In Gilbert's satire, the modern major-general knows anything about anything, and quite abstrusely too, but his training, in view of his exalted rank, need not include much about war.

Our war is massively to be seen in terms of what is the perspective, the atmosphere, the point, the purpose, the origin, the destiny and the duty, the responsibility of man, and the requirement of the Author of life: how such preludes are faced. It includes in fact as we see in SMR,  what is the ditching of these things that might be done by nullifying the obvious and missing the point. To bypass such issues, does nothing to remove them, and they remain whatever short-cut or short-circuit may be preferred (cf. SMR pp. 349A-372, incl. 357).

To ignore this, without even considering the outcomes, is precisely what prejudice is all about. The things of man's spirit (cf. SMR pp. 348ff., It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things... Ch. 5, Deliverance from Disorientation ...Ch. 8), determine -

 often with decisions based on priorities, based on principles based on understanding, based on research and realisation, based on the nature of man,
based on the nature of God, based on reason and revelation,
graced with verification, often with choice, taken this way or that:

what man conceives to be the nature of things. These include commercial things. That embraces their actual value, in terms of purpose, and this in relation to the nature of man's soul, mind and life.

It was suggested in the conversation with these Lecturers, who seemed in this case models of courtesy, that even if you had certain moral, spiritual values, then these would be satisfied, and if so, why not marginally, according to the economic theory ? What did it matter what KIND of consideration led to the satisfaction, it was still satisfaction, and hence the theory was not really so much influenced, after all, by the nature of the source which sought satisfaction.

In reply, I noted that if we are to consider things from different perspectives, we need models (whether or not this was the language, this was the point, put this way or that). If we look at Biblical Christianity, which with good reason I took to be right, and operative - and I was PART of the whole of humanity which any theory about its nature MUST consider and cover, if it is to be more than systematised prejudice; and if we then considered this human unit, myself, what followed ? It was this. We had a systematic problem with such an approach. I for my part did not seek my own satisfaction. I was part of the field to be analysed and characterised! You cannot claim to be accurate in generalisation if you ignore things.

No, I do not act like that. This point was made.

Further, neither does the biblically defined Christian. That merely extends the significance of the impact of this contrary breed to any theory; but even one person of sound mind constitutes an exception which ruins a theory attempting to formalise an aspect of human behaviour. I do not cease to be human because I have not been dehumanised as I conceive the theory to have as the nature of its thrust. Moreover, however you conceive it, I stand as an exception; and you can add those among the professing Christians, who are in fact  so.

Do I not then seek the satisfaction of my spiritual preference ? Such was the tenor of the query I then faced.

No, I do not. While it is true that Christ is my spiritual preference, it is no less true that when I become a Christian, my own self as a criterion (that is, I prefer Christ, therefore I take Him - not the biblical mode, incidentally - John 1:12, Romans 9:16) ceases to be in charge, control and the criterion. Good or bad, that self is now subjected voluntarily, willingly and spiritually to another whose satisfaction I seek. I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), and if not, how am I a biblically defined Christian at all (Galatians 5:24), since those who ARE such,  are in fact so crucified! Moreover, this is my practice, I indicated. Does it satisfy the Lord, and if so, what does it really matter if it satisfies me (as a criterion)! I am not my own, but bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:20).

MY satisfaction as a human being of diverse preferences is NOT even relevant ultimately, to what I desire and hence, being directed by God (Psalm 32, Acts 16), what I need and so as required, buy, and buy not to a margin of desire, but to the extent needed for the purpose, program, propositions of the Almighty and fulfilment of my tasks. It is not an incremental desire but a categorical purpose and requirement, not subjectivised but observable that is in point. As to Him, He is not a man in His eternal form (Philippians 2), but simply became one in format to perform His own task of salvation, to make it freely (Romans 3:23ff.) available to every man (I John 2).

You cannot read out God on a complex computer program, or cash register composition. The Bible puts it like this (from I Corinthians 2:14-16), "But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him ? But we have the mind of Christ." In other words, we are in friendly and serviceable subjugation to Jesus Christ, who being God, has authority over us, commands, directs, guides, counsels, uplifts us, gives us priorities and purposes, commissions and enablements. We are specifically, in addition, told not to seek what to wear and so on (including of course, this on an incremental basis set for personal satisfaction dependent on price and what is lost if money is not spent elsewhere and so on), but rather first the kingdom of God.

No, but this is not all. We are told in this same passage in I Corinthians 2, that the natural man does NOT receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. That is, the man who has not as yet been illuminated, challenged, changed and regenerated by God so that he can act in a knowing and knowledgeable way with Him, is 'natural' and not 'spiritual'. This all is expressing the same theme.

Seeking to maximise, if you want to put it in that rather strange way at a personal level, the satisfaction of Christ, then, granted this use of the form for comparative purposes only with economic theory, you do not by DEFINITION maximise your own, since you are not He! Moreover, HE, being God, has vast domains of eternal and exhaustive wisdom which you do not have. The case, then, is not only different from meeting your own satisfaction, but categorically disparate; and the comparison is that between the finite and the infinite, which does not make for much in way of intimate, arithmetical comparison.

They were gracious enough to seem to conceive this and to see something of its point. It was a fascinating and valuable meeting.

However, in the end, the requirements of Westminster Seminary were met, I flew there, right down to the last resultant, alighting from the bus from the airport, to the gate in the snow, to carrying my two suitcases up the regal-seeming, upward path to the place. Then in three semesters, what was required was done, and in the main, most profitable it was.

Eventually, this led to the graduation in B.A. B.D. and this was almost small compared with the non-academic challenge to follow.

After graduation, academically, I took the Master of Arts with Honours at Melbourne University (1964), and the Diploma of Education with all Honours there also when it was needed (1977), and was awarded the Doctor of Theology Degree, at the instance of the Chairman of the Doctrine Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, from the Berean Graduate School of Divinity for my 165,000 word thesis in Christian Biblical Apologetics and sundry works. All this may sound routine, but its setting was far from that.

However, inside this exterior there was a vast conflict; and it was not within, but with those purporting to serve Jesus Christ, professors and their allies in the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. So vile was their teaching, so anti-biblical their theme, so enormous was the hideous defilement of the Bible, so irrational its clothing and so depraved its nature that one wondered why the other students did not equally risk their careers and stand for Christ and His word, in the midst of such a quisling operation as this CHURCH ASSAULT on the Bible. It was sometimes venomous, often emotionally highly charged: it sought to subvert, quite explicitly, the Bible as the written criterion of truth, Moreover, as often with such subversive thrusts, it was lofty and self-exalted; but when it was exposed as categorically false, there was a super-charged atmosphere of hostility which led to my excision from the Class.

 

 

THE CHALLENGE, THE CONSEQUENCE AND THE VICTORY

 

In testimony, therefore, the account is longer.

 

Before Westminster Seminary graduation in 1957, I challenged these liberal Professors in the Ormond College Seminary, Melbourne, in answer to their challenge to students as these academics attacked  the book of Daniel as being subterfuge, and tried to deny the powers of prediction of Jesus Christ. Instead of answer to my exposure of these errors, duly made, I was removed as a candidate for this Ministry in 1954.

After graduation, ecclesiastically, at Westminster Seminary, I found that the confrontation rolled on. Exclusion from the ministry rollicked on at the hand of my liberal opponents, in control of the body back in Australia, the one which decides candidature. This took its time to move to the final test in this world, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in 1964, but after I had taught for some years and proceeded to the work of my Master's degree, the time came for the meeting with hundreds of Ministers and elders present, in Sydney.

In this, I was backed by a Presbytery in Canada, a land in which I had preached both when at Westminster Theological Seminary and subsequently, and one in Tasmania, where I was teaching in a Church School (including religious studies) as also by  a large congregation in Victoria, giving a threefold cord. We acted against the Theological Education Committee of Victoria, which sought to exclude me from the Ministry following my testimony. The opportunity to fall from it, to cease this exclusion,  was presented and refused, and as is not uncommon, false charges had been added.

 In Sydney in 1964, we won on appeal to this General Assembly of Australia, in a most dramatic exchange when the Lord verified profoundly the promise of Luke 21:15; but that in itself is a separate story! It may be seen from this link, and others like it at this site. The important thing is this: that despite a 'congregation' of ministers and elders, a large proportion of whom would have been mis-educated by liberal teaching, the Lord undertook to uphold His servant, and overturned the false condemnation of 10 years or so standing, and even brought applause at the God-given answer to one of the probing questions of the opposition! Praise God because with Him, NOTHING is impossible!

The contest had a further phase, even after that, but it also led to a victory in the power and goodness of the Lord.

 The aftermath happened in this way. A required essay for licensing, on the virgin birth in Isaiah 7, a topic which was my choice, was rejected; but a copy sent to Professor E. J. Young of Westminster was given Honours. I had taken this precaution of sending an insurance copy to expose any wrong-doing from any Australian assessor, knowing from many year's experience, the volatility and fire of the opposition. On my presenting challenge to the Stated Clerk of that Assembly, the General Assembly of Australia,  on the ludicrous nature of this further persecution, and affirming that this was a grave dishonour to the Church, he agreed, and in fact, went further, and undertook to act.

Thus, he pledged that  if I provided another Essay, New Testament this time, he personally, being able, and under certain conditions, would call a special meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, just to cover the outrage of such a case.

 Thus assured, I agreed to write a further essay, and several copies of this were to be sent to scholars, including F.F. Bruce. The arrangement was that if the international scholars such as he, were happy with the essay, and the examiners in Australia sought to exclude me further, then that special meeting of the GAA would be called! It should be emphasised that not only were the Liberal academics in seminary making an entirely different book of Daniel, on a self-contradictory theory (the ground of my exclusion, when I showed this to be so,  in Class, a reply praise God, never answered!); but we as students were placed  under explicit challenge as to our integrity, if we still believed the book of Daniel.

 The case in fact was even worse than this. In New Testament studies, a new Christ who could not know He would rise from the dead in three days had been presented in Class, and when  as enabled by the Lord,  I exhibited this for what it was, in argumentation the day before my exclusion from Ministry training in the PC of Australia, the stage was set, and the official termination of that training duly arrived!

 F.F. Bruce and Professor John Skilton of Westminster Seminary both being happy with the new essay, no one in Australia tried any more to exclude me and I was licensed in 1965, sent to a Charge and eventually became a Presbyterian Minister when, called as a Visiting Preacher to a suburban Church in New Zealand, I was ordained by South Auckland Presbytery.

 At that time, Professor Geering, Principal of the only NZ Presbyterian seminary, was busy denying, with vast Press coverage, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. His words appeared simply based on his philosophical predilections, which seemed largely anti-supernaturalist and naturalist in disposition, but the people being ready to become free of Christ and perhaps, being deceived, to have a half-way house if possible, on the rampage towards straight unbelief, got into the business, on rather a large scale, of making a new christ, who would not bother to rise, to inspire, to fire, to teach, to astound, to consummate the resurrections wrought in his life-time, and to seal that of Lazarus, that succinct prelude of power.

It is in a way rather like rotting wood: at first the wood is sound, then ages, then flakes just a little, then gets grooves, then loses strength until underneath the superficial paint, it cracks. The crack may not be noticed for a time; then it snaps. Such in outline seems to have been the motion to apostasy in the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, and in many others of various religious persuasions, who enjoyed the spectacle of this shocking betrayal and jejune jumble sale.

There are many ways of selling Christ: one of the more popular recent ones is simply to retain the name and alter the reference. But let us proceed with the action in New Zealand in 1966.

I was then called to a pastorate in Blenheim on the South Island, just opposite Wellington where the challenge to this heresy, was presented via Overture by our congregation, to the Assembly of 1966.

 Given 7 minutes flat to speak, as commissioned as an Assembly representative, I duly delivered the Overture. In this event, I showed from the Greek in Acts 2, there was no possible other rendering than that which indicated that Christ’s flesh did not rot, and that any schoolboy understands what it is to rot; and likewise affirmed  that a prime apostle had so affirmed on a central occasion in the very establishment of the Church, and this for a central reason, and that to deny it was not merely to offend our official standards, but the Bible and the foundation of the Church. They refused the correction required by us, of this heresy. We indicated we would so hold to biblical truth, whatever they did.

 When it came to the vote, I alone (it sounds like Elijah’s prayer) made a request to have my DISSENT RECORDED,  from their Resurrection Statement, a fact not presented in the Press, but exhibited in a Christian Paper published in New Zealand, shortly afterwards. This covered of course all uses of it, applications, implications. The thing was horrendous and as my words on the Overture had shown, an internment of the apostolic and power basis of Christianity, biblical truth and the commitment of the Church.

After a few days, I duly presented a large and vigorous reply covering the official ground for my dissent from their heretical ‘Resurrection Statement’, which had made the body of Christ irrelevant to the ‘resurrection’, a pleasant option. The bodily resurrection was, I indicated, indispensable to the faith, incorrigible and indefeasible: apostasy alone could deny it. This meant that in all matters involving the Resurrection Statement, I condemned these also. The Stated Clerk told me that “the Presbytery will deal with you,” which in due course they did, coming by announcement in the secular Press, to examine my Ministry.

 

This meant that there was ONE dissident to the total apostasy of the PC of NZ, this my dissent recorded for all time, officially and formally, covering all matters involving the use, deployment  and nature of that deplorably devious Resurrection statement. Therefore alike exposed and condemned was what should find  it convenient to affirm it. The Assembly was thus irrevocably riven, exposed and condemned for this ruination for the reason for the Church, its basis as told at Pentecost. Would some like to distress this fact, ignoring or denying this non-rotting of the risen body of Jesus Christ (Acts 2) ? Then, whatever might be the devious, delinquent or other purposes, this denial of Jesus Christ according to His word, this implacable departure from the faith, has fallen into the abyss of the powers of deception. It is amazing that so simple a thing should be ignored by so many for so long; but it teaches the shudderingly horrid reality of the distortions of history which some even amongst areas of the Reformed in this matter,  appear to have contributed.

The Reformation was great, removing much dead and deadly tradition, the elevation of man as teacher and master, in contradiction of the claims of Christ (Matthew 23:8-10). But it did NOT provide a free pass to wring the neck of reality, as if it were a toy or a sparrow, because of some rankling spirit of dissent in the face of a testimony as clear as it was consistent, as demanding as it was insistent, where even the boulder of great weight, the witnesses who had seen where Christ was buried, the danger of the death penalty for soldiers who did not effectively guard and the plight of would-be liars, impossible pretenders, imagined to interfere with the great sacrifice of life and striking of death prepared for thousands of prophetic years (Psalm 2, Hosea 13:14), facing hell itself, as truth haters, as dabblers in doctrine and wolves among the sheep.

This, life's manifest triumph over death as per thousands of years of growing prophecy, amid the armed might of Rome and the soldiery of the ruling priesthood, was like some international games in its results, a thing not for sale to those who sought to profit from it, so seeking to gain souls who had no ground, and losing faith along with those whose business that has always been (cf. Psalm 16, 22, Hosea 13:14, Ezekiel 34, Isaiah 26:19, Job 19).

As to the New Zealand news cover-up, if it were proper, one would almost be drawn to congratulate the devil on a positive masterpiece of Press manipulation, human folly, gross carelessness and unwound tongues flapping like fallen flags. However, that fallen fiend need not imagine his lies will prevail. Though the wind seem fair, and hot, yet the vessel of truth will not yield to his heresies or his slanders alike. Facts cannot alter, only the face put on, like that of a seductress (cf. Proverbs 7).

But what is it like ? Such things are like arthritis in the body of religion, seeking to invade the body of Christ; but this, it is intact and in no need of a diet of met-worst, that spiritual parallel to metwurst. Our Bishop, Jesus Christ, cannot be suborned or deceived, and judgment will not fail to be according to truth (Romans 2:1ff.).

It is such morbidities, seductions and slurs which by contrast emphasise and underline the beauty of truth, just as it does the reality of that judgment which comes. There have even been reported two Ministers who (though wishing to remain anonymous) were stated to doubt that the condemnataory speech in the Assembly of 1966 was ever made, even though the Session of St Ninian's authorised the Overture to Assembly and the Minister, oneself, duly acted in that hyper-charged atmosphere to present it, amid many elders and ministers at the national assembly, and duly received the threats noted.

When will truth once more be revered, and evil speaking contain itself in much of what is called the Church! One is all too aware of the follies such as Paul was ready to correct in diseased misuse of the tongue, as seen in the end of II Corinthians 12, and of gossip,  in 12:20ff., or even Romans 1:29-30, where we meet at the end of the line of the fall syndrome, whisperers slithering into evil speaking. Such things, together with   II Timothy 3:3-5, trace some of the defections of the end of the Age. It is sad but necessary to meet them; for as in a Chemistry experiment on analysis of substances, so here in the history of this Age, if such things were not here, how would the Bible be true. Since however it is, as in the Handbook, so in history it befalls us.

But let us return to reality in NZ and watch the flow of actual events following the Assembly confrontation from St Ninian's via their Minister.

 

Since the heretical NZ Seminary  Principal had by this time also reportedly indicated that the supernatural was actually an obstacle to 20th century belief, I told the presbyterial representatives come to examine my Ministry, as the newspaper had duly announced for all to see: that in this respect, even Islam did better than those tolerating such infidelity! That was no compliment to Islam, as they were quite well aware ...

That led to our physical separation, they taking the rest of the elders, the Session, to indoctrinate them, while leaving myself alone. After half an hour, the medical specialist on our Session returned, announcing that he had told them that I had been given 3 minutes, whereas the Session had counter-charge made to it,  over the period of half an hour, and that in equity he could no longer participate. Later he resigned as Session Clerk. In his letter to this effect, he indicated that the number of cars at the congregational meeting with Presbytery, concerning my ministry,  was such that one would have thought it a wedding ... or a crucifixion. 

We as Session appealed to the next Assembly from the action by which Presbytery tried to remove me, and since Assembly then met in two halves over two years, this stood. I warned the people, but we lost a further elder who on understandable grounds, decided he could no longer stay in such a denomination, so losing our majority.

It was then that I transferred (in three days, rather interestingly in view of Christ's famous arising from the dead in the predicted three days) to the RPCES. Such touches are a blessing to the one in the war, for they have just that irony, confirmation of feeling and degree of lustrous humour so often found in the Lord! (cf. Psalm 2). This RPCES at that time was a stout-seeming little body calling itself true-blue Presbyterian, and therefore after preliminary correspondence, I proceeded to the USA, where various mission works were soon to be done. A little later, I was called to a pastorate in Hinsdale, Illinois, at The Church on the County Line.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE SEVENTH DELIVERANCE

A MATTER OF EPHESIANS 5

 

During the interim, spent in various centres from Denver to Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio to Indianapolis, largely in work for the National Presbyterian Missions, as well as for a short period in Colorado, I met and in due course married a missionary preparing for India. The story is of no small interest.

It was earlier, while at Mission Headquarters, not long after arrival at and reception into this Church in the USA, that I had met Margaret Cameron, missionary designate to India, who had been waiting for some time for the way to clear for her to go there. Later, when I had occasion to return to that same city, in order to preach for some months, we met again.

She was a person in whom my delight in virtue and spiritual grace could find expression, and our personal friendship, which at that stage could as well have been between two people of any gender, included walks in the famed Winterthur Gardens and her often hostessing in the Mission Headquarters, where I would eat and sometimes play the piano.

During the 3 and one half years that Margaret had then been with the Mission,  it had become apparent that India was not willing at that time to receive a white missionary. Thus,  when all this was carefully checked before God (for I had no call to India and we could scarcely be living in two continents as married), and all avenues we could discern had been considered for her to go there in any situation, all being negative,  things seemed to open. It was then that even a tentative proposal could be made, and indeed was made and accepted at her home at one Christmas season.

If there had been any residual avenue for India, it was quite clear, the Lord's work and will coming first, there would and could be no question of our marriage. The Lord however decided otherwise, and by steps we were able in faith to proceed towards it.

When the Mission director was called on the telephone and duly informed of our plans, making no objection, we felt at last free actually to proceed and marry, Lord willing. If one field and door for her work after so long had closed, this opened.

It had thus taken considerable preliminaries to reach this stage, but now it came. In fact, it was on our way to the wedding in Maine, that we received in passing the Post Office, an invitation to proceed to Virginia, on the part of a Church there, seeking a Pastor. To this we proceeded, after a brief honeymoon spent at Bar-Harbour, in a house belonging to Margaret's sister.

That is how this phase ended, with our proceeding to the beauties of Virginia and its quaint-seeming ways. Yet the spiritual side of the marriage had its own genesis.

Events proceeded in this way. On one occasion, we had been conversing about co-workers in a missionary perspective, and Margaret had theoretically been discussing problems which people may have with co-workers on the field. At this,  I had remarked that what one needs in the field is someone whose faith sparks your faith (iron sharpens iron). Margaret then realised that this was what I did for her, when we talked about spiritual things.

She did not disclose this, but at that moment had a sudden realisation. It included a conviction, as she afterwards called it, that I would be her husband at some unknown and future date (even if she had been called and proceeded to India and later come back!). Actually,  this came before any such thought had come to lodge in my mind. Indeed, she was given real peace about this matter; and as she was and is a most prayerful person, this was no small thing. To me, however, it was not at this stage disclosed.

How strange it seems,  that just as I had in general been talking about the complementarity of workers' skills and gifts, and how one may in the best case stir another's faith,  for best overall service, giving a sense of mutuality and more completeness, so in particular there was this personal result.

Earlier when we had met and had been talking over a cup of tea about India, I had asked what sort of call Margaret had. She replied that her call was simply to the mission field since she was single and had no ties. She felt this was a reasonable call, though I felt there should have been a definite call to India, and that in such a case as that, she would be sure to get there. As seen above, her call did become particular, but not then to India.

Indeed, when I left the Mission headquarters to go to the West for some possibilities and work there, we parted as good friends, and I undertook to write. But she knew! In her own most discrete way, she had said nothing of her conviction, nor had the topic arisen between us! Such is the beauty (and duty) of self-control ,and the Lord be praised for it. Indeed such was faith, for she did not need to stir, and the matter was not even broached, despite her conviction. The Lord would act in His own way in this matter. She waited for Him!

In this, as in so much of the Lord's good dealings, the case seemed remarkable.

Now we come to its development on my own side. This is how the Lord for His part in the matter, DID act.

Called quite suddenly (after some months of activities)  to prayer for some hours on this topic of marriage, unexpectedly while in Colorado, thousands of miles away, I became aware of a divine call to seek whether marriage indeed was now at last (I was some 40 years of age),  an open door from the Lord. I seemed suddenly to become as one brought to life on the issue. This challenging constraint to pray on this topic,  coming from His hands, took me quite by surprise; and it was caused to weigh heavily on me. Hour by hour I waited on the Lord, reviewing considerations, and receiving assurances, until it was clear that this was something He would have me pursue, as I sought to implement whatever He had in mind, who being a great Father is full of counsel.

Thus to Margaret I directed a 'phone call. Since it was a party line, and thus we could not speak very freely, I referred in this telephone conversation to the Bible Chapter in view (the first word to her, on such a topic), namely Ephesians 5, which speaks in exalted and precious terms, on marriage. It was in this way that the topic was introduced!

My wife-to-be had just at that time been studying this chapter, and knew at once the topic in view. It was in this way, step by blessed step, that the mind of Christ became apparent, as if leaf after leaf were placed together to make a fine polished table of certainty and stability.

After a Christmas visit to her home, when all could be and was decided, since there had already been due checking on the mission field situation, a fine and devoted old Orthodox Presbyterian Church Minister, well known and loved by my wife as a man of the Lord from much past experience,  married us in Houlton, Maine. In this, various family were attending from Prince Edward Island or elsewhere, the Principal of the old Bible College (New Brunswick Bible Institute) of my wife-to-be, acting as best man. She, he said to me - since my wife to be was one of his former students at the College - is out of the top drawer! Nor can I can doubt it! Virtue and wisdom, grace and goodness seemed to shine in her.

It was later to be found that Margaret's training and missionary talents were to be put to good use, not least as she ministered for years to local aboriginal children in Australia. That however was part of a later chapter in our lives.

It was shortly after the engagement was confirmed and our marriage ceremony completed,  that we proceeded  to 'candidate' as they call it in the USA, that is, to preach and see if we and they would like a pastorate to be formed; and while in Virginia we had a splendid time amid its luxuriance, I preaching nearly every night. At the end of the period of our stay, the matter was was left in abeyance for the time. We later heard when in Chicago of their continued interest, but by then other things had come.

The way this happened was this.

While still in Virginia, we received a call by telephone from Illinois, to see if we would be interested in the pastoring of an interesting sounding church in that State, in Chicago, The Church on the County Line. Thus we visited there, and after some time, being called,  accepted and were soon ensconced in a quite charming little home amid 4 acres of birches,  maples and the like, which shrouded it in a delightfully intimate way. The lady whose home was nearby in the same wooded area, was very kind and asked us if we would care to use her swimming pool. We assuredly loved this whole scene, and before long an amazingly receptive youth group being active, had reason to prepare material for them, present it and find how great was their interest.

Thus it was that  the beginnings of my Biblical Christian Apologetic work came. It was during that Summer that (from memory) that something like its first 50,000 words were written. These were quite a minor part of  what appeared in my subsequent Th.D. thesis. One of the Directors of the Church, himself 74 years of age,  and being sometimes enthusiastic, said he had never heard anything like that.

He was Jewish and an ebullient and even  youthful sort of person in some ways, and at the first we had splendid times with him, though alas secret society work, contrary to scripture, began to interfere with his Church work, and formed a gall, as it were, on the tree. On the good side,  were carefully challenged by the Board to make sure that if they erred from the Bible in any way, I should tell them.

This was to become rather a fateful and assuredly a sad matter later, since the whole issue of obedience to the Bible became at last too strong for them, and in a narrow division, they elected for a course out of line with Bible commands, but intensely in line with some of American culture. As is my duty in any case, and as requested, when the time came, they had to be adv ised of this, and this led to much.

Nevertheless, in the interim, a wonderful opportunity presented itself, and I even had occasion to present a spiritual and biblical lecture of some challenge to an interstate gathering in a neighbouring State, to some effect.

The marriage meanwhile, that had just preceded this pastorate was an exceedingly happy one, and my wife and I had had remarkably similar spiritual backgrounds, even though she had been born on a farm in Prince Edward Island, complete with sleigh for some journeys in the snow, and I in citified Melbourne. The Lord, as always, certainly knew what He was doing when He ordained this marriage; but then again, we sought Him in this, put Him first, and left the whole matter from the first in His hands. Indeed, it was a marriage born of prayer.

From this marriage over the years, came one son and one daughter, the former one of the chief technical agents, indeed the centre in technology for the hundreds of such hours needed to launch this site on the Web, and all that went before at that level. One cannot but be grateful to God for His grace in this, and my daughter has contributed quite a few of the larger drawings and sketches that appear on this same site. But this is to look ahead. Let us return to my appointment as pastor of the Church on the County Line, in Hinsdale, Illinois.

As noted, our youth work in this Church was prospering greatly, and the more I prepared to show the truth of the Bible, the more the young  heeded. However, the difficulty already noted arose. The Board of that independent Church moved from the Bible, critically refusing to cease having public prayer at political meetings open to all faiths and non-faiths. Paul in II Corinthians 6:14ff. makes it eminently clear that darkness does not have FELLOWSHIP with light. What fellowship, he asks, has darkness with light; or unbeliever with believer! It is apostolically FORBIDDEN explicitly, to have this spiritual reciprocity and alliance in such a case.

A weak rejoinder was attempted: prayer was not fellowship! Such distasteful prevarications do not appeal. Indeed,  the concept that prayer is not fellowship is so ludicrous, past all guffaw, when it is in fact at the most intense-level spiritual correlation of co-operatives, co-ordination of believers on a common basis, in the divine name of Jesus. As seen in Romans 8:26-27, Acts 4:11-12, sent from the Lord (John 15:26), the Spirit of the living God is livingly at work in the very Christians concerned, like a coachman for the horses, drawing the coach in  in common together.  

Spiritual horses do not neigh 'Nay!',  but in fellowship together, depict it when in harness, working for the Lord: the particular case here being that of praying, alert to his guidance and mutually stirring directions. Indeed such contention as this, which was attempted in our meeting was merely specious, worse than ludicrous, a contradiction in terms (cf. Acts 4:23-32). As with one heart and mind, "with one accord"  they lived, and they here prayed: and this record of early fundamentals of the faith  is for our edification.

Pray is not a featureless form, but a dynamic function of the body of Christ acting in one, seeking One, properly stirred by the Lord, who searches His people, while the Spirit of God brings the requests to Him (cf. Romans 8:26-27). To think otherwise is not only unscriptural, but is as if one held that one's own body did not have 'fellowship', part with part, under one head! To the contrary, Paul in the most intimate of ways, beings out its mutuality and singularity amidst its differentiation, speaks in Ephesians 4:16 in this way:

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"From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted
by what every joint supplies, according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love."

In prayer, the tuned whole is moulded, almost merged, impelled and moved to seek the Lord as His body approaching the head. It is not a BSA, bits stuck together, but a BODY in Christ who so acts in a profundity of spiritual integration, seeking its own Head. Prayer together with unbelievers (not those who have surrendered to the Lord) is thus like a two-headed monster.

In Psalm 94, David puts it this way:

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"Shall the throne of iniquity who frames mischief by a law, have fellowship with  Thee ? 
 

In Ephesians 4:17-19 we see that there is no question of spiritual alliance between those who are unbelievers, who do not accept the Lord's salvation, being alienated from His life, and those who begotten again, are members of His spiritual family (I John 3, Titus 3). To avoid this, is in the end, when you consider it biblically, to avoid the very mandate of Christ for His Church, its very nature and His!

Prayer in the Spirit of God is here in Acts to be seen, in exemplary fashion, in a profound attestation as those of "one heart and one mind" (Acts 4:32) sought the Lord. Of these,  this is said of their prayer:  they raised their voices to God  "with one accord and said...". (Acts 4:24). It is in accord with this, that we find in Romans 8, it is the Spirit of God who is operative in the heart in prayer, in the deepest profundities of life. At work in the earth-moving, mountain displacing realms of faith (cf. Luke 17:6ff.), man strives with one mind for the action of the Lord (cf. Ephesians 6:16-20).

Making for more difficulty in dealing with such things, it seemed that many of the leaders being business executives of one sort of another, had a concept of being directors of the Church, and did not have the Pastor as one of them! This is despite the fact that those who "rule well"  who labour in the word are supposedly especially the recipients of "double honour" (I Timothy 5:17), not displacement. While this is not directive either, it is not a spiritual severance from decision making! It is just that here there are two dimensions in the labour, rather than merely than of 'ruling' or organising and seeking to cause the functions to occur in order and with seemliness and equity.

It is elders who are to manage the affairs of the Church in the Lord (Acts 20:17,28, Titus 1:5ff.). The reason, says Paul in Titus, that elders are to be ordained in the cities concerned, is this: that a supervisor must be the possessor of various qualities, including aptitude to teach and power to rebut error. Teaching and preaching being essential and prominent in any Church, it is thus seen that one of these elders, supervisors, could not fail to be the pastor. Some as noted, are better at this than others; but all must supervise, superintend, rule. The elders are the resource for the pastoral function.

Indeed, Paul calls elders shepherds, in that they must in godly manliness protect and shepherd the flock. In Ephesians 4:11ff., he puts pastors in the list of related functions, with first apostles, then prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers. Moreover, as Thayer's famed Greek Dictionary points out, the very word for pastor, in the Greek, MEANS 'herdsman, shepherd' and is applied to mean 'the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly.' It is hard to make the presiding officer to be excluded, and indeed, the real presiding Officer, Jesus Christ, in His commands was sadly displaced in this affair, one of secularising the Church in politics and doctrine alike.

In Presbyterianism, thank goodness, the Minister is not 'over' them, but one of them, as is the requirement of Matthew 23:8-10, and all must be subject one to another as Peter proclaims. In  leadership however, elders as one body in the Lord, with various gifts, function especially when action is to come in that regard. It is not exclusive, but it is a characterisable specialty.

In all of this, then , the teaching function is obvious, and it is vested as part of the work of an elder, so that the outstanding cases for teaching, are a sub-category of eldership and are such as to adorn a pastor in his management capacity, along with the other elders.

Thus, elders are as such supervisors as you see in Acts 20, where Paul calls all of them just that. The pastor is merely a specialised elder; but the emphatic point for that specialty, is that the crucial ministration of the word of God is upon his shoulders distinctively. In terms of Titus, a pastor not an elder would be a sheep without wool, a type-writer without a keyboard.

As Paul moreover attests in Romans 11:29, you do not casually divorce a man from his call, because he moves from A to B. Indeed, ordination is of God, not of man, and so the call of which it is the formality continues, as I continued, in the RPCES denomination, as a Minister. Strangely, the directors of the Church to which I had come,  earlier had seemed plainly to agree to recognising the eldership function for all of us; but then, when I wrote to the Church people advising in all simplicity of truth of this delightful change, in a pastoral letter, there was a storm brewing. The Directors denied knowledge of such a change, despite my delight at the time when they made it!

There seemed to be some almost political kind of power play, and mere truth did not appear to rule. It seemed to be imagined that some kind of error had occurred in the Pastor telling the people that the eldership was now inclusive of this biblical facet in this Church, by decision of those concerned.

Not only in agreement, then, but in fact biblically, all being elders, pastor and ruling elders, with or without that teaching specialty to that extent, labour as one before the Lord. Confusion of commercial and spiritual identification was one dysfunction in this body; but alas, failure to obey the word of God was the solemn toll that brought separation.

If the word of God does not rule you, what does!

Neither the word of God regarding political prayer,  nor His will for administration regarding elders was, in the end, received, one of the 'directors' even insisting on being at a secret society. What was most sad was the fact that at an admittedly water-shed meeting of the Church, this sympathetic Director was at a secret society meeting instead; and the Church despite months of prayer about to be crowned by a consummation in faith, instead which went its own way. There was a great evangelical opportunity, but on that night, it was betrayed.

Earlier, hearing reason for the truth of the word of God, as presented at a youth meeting, this Director was most enthusiastic, the one who said that he had never heard anything like that; and yet at that meeting, he was absent for another.  indeed he was a lovable person for all that; yet in the end, he did not heed, declaring when the issue of in appropriate political prayer arose, that he would not alter his way of life in any way whatever. Though some were sympathetic to the call to follow the biblical prohibition in this issue, eventually a majority were not.

The matter of eldership was merely a preliminary, one that worked to distance the pastor from full participation, so removing for one thing, the relevant vote! and full standing for extended debate.

Although I wished the whole matter to be put before the congregation after a couple of months, being willing to confirm resignation if they agreed not to conform to the word of God in the basic matter, it was made clear that if I were to re-appear in the Church, I would be forcibly restrained from occupying the pulpit. Indeed, a particular sermon on biblical doctrine had been in view, and I was told that if this were preached, it would be the end! It was of course preached, and this merely added to the confrontation, which was really with the word of God, and that body, myself a mere agent for the Lord in the procedure.

That sermon, in substance,  may be found in SMR pp. 1176-1185. There was no rebuttal, and its content was necessary for edification.

However, not even the character of the conditional resignation was honoured, and so this body, truly tested by the Lord, proceeded where it had to go. Disobedience to the word of God and duress in practice combined to exclude them from further ministry. Sadly, disorder on disorder intervened in what had been a marvellous opportunity with youth.

This was one of the most delightful occasions, for they were most receptive, seemed highly intelligent and were responding excellently. One lad was later to become it seems, the youngest in the history of his University to complete the pre-med requirements for medical training. He had been passing tertiary subjects as an extra, while still at High School! And what an extraordinary medley of works, lights and action that School put on at the end of their year, not only professional in feeling, but exuberant, imaginative and invigorating.

Alas, though there had been spiritual results that would last, this input had then to come to its grievous end. The adults had acted otherwise.

Our policy, for both my wife and myself, is one: the Gospel of the grace and love of God is to be preached according to the Bible, which is also faithfully to be taught; the commandments are not optional, God does not change: His word is immutable as well as beautiful. We are not our own. Thus, whatever it costs, whatever the case, our charge as a body is to be obedient to the word of God, so that one must challenge, exhort and rebuke if necessary, and for me to preach,  one requires to have this liberty to follow the word of God.

To be sure, as one of our Westminster Seminaries of no small fame contended, if he had been asked to preach in a Romanist Church, he would; but he would assuredly not be asked to preach there again! In an ongoing situation, accordingly, it is liberty or severance, for the word of God is bound! (II Timothy 1:9).

Thus some will say YES, there is to be this following of the the biblical teaching, yet word and deed are so readily divorced. Alas, as I have found both in the USA and in New Zealand, and indeed earlier in Australia, the affirmation that this will be honoured, can be as far from the hearts and near  to the lips as Isaiah ever certified of ancient Israel, and Christ of the Israel of His day (Isaiah 27:13, Matthew 13:14-15, 15:8-9).

What then ? As in a business, you cannot remain where crookedness rules, so in a Church, you cannot do so where the word of God is clearly contradicted, and living is on another plane, as in the political capitulation to custom, noted. The matter is crucial when it is not a question of weakness and failing, but one of principle, procedure and settled plan, verified under due scrutiny and test. Again, it is like an aeroplane, if cracks appeared, perhaps through metal fatigue in the tail, it might be another tale if this is not rectified.  When life proceeds In such a plane where the management refuses to remedy such an evil, it is not wise to fly. It involves a complicity with false aerodynamics, just as at the spiritual level, departure from the commands of Christ constitutes, if pursued under due test, rebellion in which one cannot concur, or have complicity.

So the pastorate ended. After my preaching for some time, while visiting the afore-noted OPC Church in Maine, and in Los Angeles, we proceeded to Australia, where a separated Presbyterian Church was instituted. Before one notes the results, there was an exciting departure worthy of record, from Los Angeles, where we had been temporarily ministering.

I had found the lack of Baby Health Centres as they used to be called, in the section of the USA where I was, to be marked. It seemed you had to go on minor health matters for the child to a doctor who could charge, and it became a select situation. It had its good points for us, in this case however. The doctor had advised us NOT to have a smallpox injection for a child so young (a few weeks), and put this in writing. When therefore we arrived at the Los Angeles airport, ready to fly to Australia, there was an invisible barrier. Departing passengers at that time HAD to have such an injection. Careful of our child, and advised thus medically, I COULD not have it done.

This was a beautiful example of Australian-US co-operation. They most graciously telephoned the Sydney airport, and after some delay, secured the attention of a medical officer who declared that no, it was not in the case of such a young child, necessary to have the injection. Hence we were cleared for departure, and the plane which had been waiting on the tarmac for perhaps 15 minutes, as far as I understand it, engines roaring away, then enveloped us as we hurriedly mounted its residual steps! Such things are very heartening.

On arrival, one soon took a school-teaching job while our affairs were sorted out. It was a fascinating situation. There was in a rather industrial area, a secondary school which had been having a problem with a class of 15 year olds (or thereabouts). That teacher had departed and the Class was in some kind of ascendancy, one gathered. However, they seemed to me a pleasant and courteous sort of body, and one could not fail to have rapport as one considered the kinds of jobs they might take (such as working in an explosives factory); and soon I was amazed to find the Principal ask me to take the Easter message (in a secular school!). Later he asked me if the salary were really enough for me. I did not seek its alteration. They were very pleased and so was I, and we praise the Lord for such interventions.

After nearly a  year of school teaching, we were ready to proceed on our missionary task, with the separated, biblical Church. This was pursued during much of the 1970s, until it became necessary to do my Dip. Ed.  to enable my teaching tent-making to continue; and after this, some years were taken with the Th.D. and similar biblical work, including a closely researched 165,000 word thesis, until I was called as Principal of a Christian School in South Australia, and later during the eighties, proceeded to take a happy and peaceful Headmastership for a time back in Melbourne. In due course, we proceeded back to Adelaide and our home, to teaching and testifying in sundry posts, and then starting another separated Presbyterian Church, in Adelaide, which has continued from 1988 to the present, 2010. The former, my principalship in South Australia attested once more how hard it is to find a faithful man amongst a thousand! (Proverbs 20:6, Ecclesiastes 7:28).

It is worth noting in passing that there was a school pattern for teaching that some followed, involving a curriculum and philosophy which teachers had to audit. It included a quaint but ludicrous pseudo-hedonistic approach of stick and carrot for the student. One person in the school asked me if I had ever heard of a metaphor, a lady of some contrariety to I Peter 3 in this; but the point had to be rebutted. If you say, It is raining cats and dogs, you do not of course imply that your pluvial concept is of an animal character. This is not hard for a 10 year old to see. But you DO signify that there was rain in abundance, that possibly it was pelting down, that it was in unusual profusion. We do not disjoin meaning from reality because of a use of imagery, but the more vividly illustrate it.

Thus one had to meet the wriggle to avoid the fact that this was a form of hedonism, wrongly placed in a Christian school, which should deploy far more spiritual, loving and liberal concepts, with less stress on conditioning and conformity, and more on goodness and inspiration. I had made it clear to the Chairman who invited me to come to Adelaide to take this post that in no circumstances could I consider working in that method, which in any case had further defects in not spurring the imagination adequately, and having too much stress on rote learning. He explained that yes, it was notable that the School had severed itself recently from any subordination to that program for teaching, and that it was free, thus giving me no concern, and allowing me to consider coming.

When however I had been teaching a little while, and seeking to help pioneer this delightful prospect of a loving and yet disciplined and devoted school, with liveliness and vividness in the process of learning, it came to light that one of the elders had apparently without reference to the thoughts of the Chairman, as told to me, been extolling the School as holding to the curriculum approach, which had the rejected content, of which at the outset I had told the Chairman categorically that I could not proceed on any basis of such a kind. Now one might have thought that a man of honour, to say no more, would not have allowed himself, as school representative talking to me before I came, to become author of a breach of trust. Had I not come on the basis of liberty, and NO such philosophy or adoption of approach ? Had I not said that in no way could I consider coming if that were in place ? Undoubtedly. Now I was to ignore this item! and to continue as Principal on grounds impossible by faith to countenance, in total contradiction to my stated condition for coming. Is the moon made of whey ?

It was indicated that what the other elder had in the meantime been telling people, concerning continuity with the program,  would have to stay and could not be altered. It simply had to stay, it was convenient, there being no stay on proceedings; and I had to resign, I was told, if I did not conform. We therefore pursued our service to the Lord elsewhere, where His word was not required to be breached.

Later I learned, some decades following,  that despite the festival event, of an inaugural dinner for myself to meet the people, as the new Principal, that this was apparently a non-event, a sort of anti-matter deleting the matter. In that feast, I featured,  before the change in the School policy as expressed by the Chairman some time after my arrival, that it was good not to have the curriculum and philosophy to which I could not respond. I exhibited with some vigour its spiritual flaws, and educational inadequacy.

Despite this, it then appeared,  decades later,  that the first Principal was the next one following me. Such confusion of ordinal numbers was undesirable. Apparently, if you are made victim of a breach of trust, you do not exist, and a massive public welcome to a new Principal is wiped out of the mind, by some such process as wiped out the condition of my coming. WHERE may one find a faithful man ? WHEN will many Christian bodies realise to the full, that being a Christian DOES involve liberty from petty particulars which can be obsessive with some, but does NOT involve liberty with the truth, to defile it, or with conditions of co-operation, to annul them, or with trust,  to breach it.

For Christ's sake, I did not sue. It was a sad episode for the Church, if the School indeed had any relationship to it in fact and in reality; and I did not wish to bring a bad aroma just because I had been deceived, misused and abused; and because the vision for the School which I had made it my intention to follow, instead of the programmed one, was summarily annulled, by the only answer I got, for the purposes of social convenience.

It seems good now - at this distance, after finding the First Principal of the School deleted from the record, in that the advertisement for the Third, ignored the First and made the Second the First - to include this item. That is because of confusion which may result, and because this is done in a general way, to reveal the situation in the hope that it may stir others to esteem faithfulness, reliability and truthfulness highly, and to be willing to breach honourable agreements about as readily as cutting off a large tumour, without medical help.

Therefore I had once more to resume School-teaching, while testifying in various schools as enabled. One in the early eighties involved a Headmastership once more in Melbourne, a thing of some joy and peace, to assist a Baptist body in its early moves into the educational field.

Later, back in Adelaide, where we had kept our home,  work of writing in the field of Biblical Christian Apologetics began, this in the same year that we acted to found The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church, 1988, so that pastoral work and the writing could proceed jointly. This has been the case for the last  22 years, publishing and producing afresh nearly all of the 23 million or so words and 188 volumes that are listed on our Web site, for a missionary and evangelical testimony, the world the parish!

When earlier checking, it was found that hundreds of universities had used the site, scores of nations, and that perhaps 300,000 or so a year downloads of material from it, could appear involved. While this has been  heartening, an electronic missioning, teaching, preaching (and we later added both oral and written sermons, the latter to the hundreds), it was and is all done by faith for the Lord. The USA and China have vied for the most downloads, currently China well in the lead, with Europe, Brazil/Australia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Russian Federation,  and many others including Israel, appearing in the interest list in decreasing but still significant order. 

To demonstrate the truth of the Bible was a task both demanding, joyous and divinely aided, and it was an answer to the querulous, questing, permanently dissatisfied, subjectively oriented, meddling with unbelief which seemed to become obsessive in so many so-called churches, and sickening ones that were still standing a while. Uncertainty became an anodyne to faithlessness, so that a clarificatory action and a strengthening of the things that remain, allied to a missionary and evangelical method and purpose, was thrust upon me, and I responded. Praise the Lord for His goodness to the children of men! He IS good, and goodness is He, from Him it comes, and with it to His children He is lavish.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, the RPCES which one had joined as a Minister in 1967,  and in which continued as a Minister beyond the bounds of Presbytery, but still in it, was swallowed up in this period by the Presbyterian Church in America. Thus one's US Ministry remained sited, the whole covering 1967-1998, over 30 years, first in the RPCES and then in the PC in America, into which it merged as a tributary. Thus one found oneself to be a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. It was not at all the RPCES, which had a distinctive separation according to the Bible, orientation.  It was a large, new body instead.

This was the approach, and though that little denomination, that I had first joined in the USA, was small (around 10,000 members then), it felt rather like a family, where pomposity and formalism were not overwhelmingly present. However, the separation of some 400 churches from the Presbyterian Church in the US, in the South of the USA, had led to this new denomination, the PC in America, one which claimed the past 300 years or so for its life's journey. Long had they been with the doctrinally unsound southern church, and now they moved on.

Indeed on arrival in the USA in 1967, I had been approached as a possible pastor to one of these very churches in the South, from memory one of some 400 members, this being before the new denomination, the PC in America,  had formed.

On learning, however, that this southern Church had received those from another church, who being freemasons found in it a home, I asked further concerning this matter, and being not assured that this body of freemasons had no control, I could not pursue the opening further. Freemasonry has been rightly condemned as unbiblical by the PC of Australia and the RPCES. In fact, this was re-affirmed by the latter body, not very long after my arrival in the USA.

Indeed, as one pointed out to the medical specialist in the Session where I was pastor, in NZ, how can anyone who is a Christian become a freemason when you are allegedly proceeding out of darkness, or obscuration of light, into masonic light. Is Christ darkness ? Is the light of the world dark ? Is light obscured through greater force, in Him! So fundamental is this fact*1, that one can support no body which tolerates this heresy, be it an old school or other.

On this topic of freemasonry, an interesting event occurred early in my stay in the USA. I had found it necessary to bring to the attention of the Synod the fact that certain elders in the Home Mission (or National Mission) department had been installed, though they were freemasons. I pointed out that we were thus (as then a separated church) so 'pure' that we could not have spiritual fellowship with those who in larger US Presbyterian Churches  openly attacked the Bible, but here we were, with scope for elders in effect to have masonic idols*1, in their back-yards.

Admittedly the point made was strong and a trifle pungent; but for a denomination which had itself condemned freemasonry on excellent grounds much earlier, this sort of decline was not just one of ignorance! It was necessary to strike the chord of conscience, and that not with tweezers! At that, the Pastor in whose church this meeting was occurring, pulled out the microphone, so that my speech could not so well be heard. It was an interesting example of disorder and wilfulness, and in fact  that minister was not so far in the future, to depart from his church, not with wife, but with another lady.

It is strange how such things can occur, when for a time some monument to evil or error is permitted, and those who do not want anything unpleasant (like a tumour to be removed before death) act strangely rather than face it. It can be physical, mental or spiritual. Truth does not die, but is active, like a sword; and though it may spare physical life, that of the spirit is open to horror when truth is defiled.

As I left that Synod meeting, an older Minister of some note, who had joined the Church from Canada, sat outside the building, and pretended as I came out a little later, to be a beggar. It was a little play which apparently he elected to present as the members filed out of the building.

Identifying himself as if a freemason, he asked for help, as if to imply that my exposure of freemasonry as an evil meant that I lacked love for freemasons. On the contrary, when you bother to identify a tumour, it may well be that the love of the afflicted patient is the cause of this! Certainly the necessities of holiness left no option, for to fail to expose heresy is to truncate the word of God (cf. Romans 16:17, Ephesians 5:1ff., I Timothy 6:1ff., II Timothy 4:2ff.).

Thus I was given to reply to him, all this being in public,

My retort was this: If you are a freemason, you NEED help!

Such lively interchanges were at least expressive of some heart in things, rather than cold formalism; but alas, things smoothed down later, and as we shall see, harmoniousness rather than holiness became more and more a substitute for the word and the work which godliness and obedience requires. The word of God never has been an option, nor God being God, will it ever be (Isaiah 8:20, Matthew 5:17ff., 4:4ff.).

Thus over time, decline grew; for as to the new Presbyterian Church in America, though as noted, it claims continuation from the long-standing southern Presbyterian Church in USA, that is one which was less sure on separation. In leaving, they had merely departed from an increasingly radical body. Thus things changed and an uncertain sound came trembling on the air, in a few short years.

Accordingly, eventually this body moved to a radical degree itself. This had proceeded step by step, and not least in its fall to a less than biblical position, seemingly in its dominating desire to be well thought of, or even to survive. Many in the PC in America wanted to have broader relationships, and even in the RPCES stage, one Minister even went to a WCC meeting, a fact at which one had to protest to the Synod. It took so long, however, conscientiously to establish all the facts, before lodging the challenge, that by a formality (too much time had passed before the protest reached the relevant body), no action was taken. It was however acknowledged by the Committee concerned that the protest had basis!

Again, in the PC in America itself, relationships with a non-biblical body had been challenged and the church began to move to separate. However,  the party appointed to do the job, simply did not do it. Eventually, an arrangement was made not to proceed to rectify this failure. Things had begun to lapse further. Then the creation doctrine was challenged, and some wanted to keep to a strict biblical position; but others did not, and these prevailed.

At this time, being in Australia, one could not act in the Assembly, and the default in the USA duly occurred. They even proceeded to make a long statement on creation which was exposed in due course, that being on this site for years (Let God be God Ch. 12, the relevant part for this purpose of which is presented in Appendix III  below).

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE EIGHTH DELIVERANCE

The absorption of the RPCES into the PC in America had a further result. In the year of my first joining the former in 1967, there was a Synod at which I insisted, were I to remain in that Church, that there be acknowledgement, as in the Bible Presbyterian Church, that the atonement was offered to all, sufficient for all and adapted to all. I made it clear that unless this needed corrective was inserted in our doctrine, I would not continue in the Church. It was, after all, nothing new and it was entirely warranted (cf. references below).

This was accepted, and that fact constituted one more deliverance, for it meant that the transfer to the RPCES was after all, not aborted almost as soon as it happened!

Thus, and duly, a statement on these lines was declared by the 1967 RPCES Synod. Indeed, this was in conformity with much Presbyterian doctrine in history, when it enlivens Westminster Confession by avoiding the errors of Calvin, through emphasis on the Lord's seeking all, He who would have all to repent, in His love; and in particular with the 1903 revision of doctrine in the PC in the USA. 

This was in line with my own emphasis on the love of God as in the PC of Australia Declaratory Statement and in Colossians 1, I Timothy 1, Ezekiel 33:11 and multitudes of other declarations as noted in the relevant references above. This had already, together with insistence on keeping to the word of God in all its ways, led to no small lack of co-operation from some; and my protests at various degrees of failure to be biblical had been received small satisfaction.

Drift can be little at a time; yet in sum it can render a foundation no more the actual base, but make  of it merely a notional accommodation as a reference point.

Such appeared to occur, until separation became necessary. By that time, I had been in the Presbyterian Church in America (or a church stream entering it) for over 30 years. The time however, oddly enough as I reached 70 years of age, for more sacrifice. What had drawn me to it, sound doctrine and a flair for outreach with the word of God, now repulsed me, for the doctrine became unsound, adherence to what was sound episodic in no small matters, and it acted and reacted with more emphasis on staying alive, not failing, aggrandisement as in the union of the vigorous little RPCES with the larger PC in America.
 

Such appeared to occur, until separation became necessary.

 This action was based on three main thrusts. These were:

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1) the novelties in doctrine,
authorising what could by no means be deduced from the Bible
by good and necessary inference, 
 

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2) failures in the area of  slackness about ecumenism
as also to evangelise in the fallen  Australian situation with biblical fidelity, together with
 

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3) inadequate coverage of the biblical emphasis on the scope
of the love of God, following union with the PC in America,
 

the first point being decisive (I Thessalonians 2:15, 3:6, Romans 16:17, Mark 7:7-13).

 

This in sum led to our movement to  independence from such unbiblical departure from apostolic doctrine.

 

Not seldom, over the years,  did one protest to Presbytery about the slide and decline,  in this form or that, into false ecumenism and practice, and movements towards schism, whether in the USA or in Australia. There, alas,  the opportunity to present a vast challenge to the PC of Australia, so far from being pursued (as if in parallel to the initial development of the Free Church in Scotland in Chalmers' day), was dropped, and not only so.  The case was worse. The opposite in near synthesis between the two erring churches, in these two countries, proceeded with apparent relish, each appearing to bolster the daring in biblical departure of the other! Thus does the movement for reform, when in case of need, it is not followed, become a positive force to deform.

It is interesting to see how the change in the PC in America on creation doctrine occurred. One can construe this in the above noted time of Presbytery's repeated inaction. 

Eventually, as the case worsened, a new focus arose in another Presbytery in the PC in America. It had declined to accept a candidate for the Ministry on doctrinal grounds. This went to the Assembly which on the contrary, accepted him.

What had happened ? It was this. While I was in Australia, the PC in America Assembly overturned a Presbytery's decision NOT to accept a candidate deeming Genesis 1 'a poetic account' (a prelude to much more of this kind). With the inaction of Presbytery and the negative reaction of Assembly,  it became necessary simply to depart from what would never respond in substance or act, but merely speak and continue as it was. Patience was no more relevant, as now it was categorically contaminated, as the years had passed and the crux had been exposed in this case.

Therefore,  as neither Presbytery nor Assembly would act, and the case progressed backwards in doctrine, in the end, a simple severance from the denomination became the path of continuance in the biblical purity that is one's duty and joy. Many years of association as a Minister with this American body, changing as it went both in name and approach, thus ended.

Alas and accordingly, instead of reform on both sides of the Pacific, intimate relationships between the two denominations were fostered, each wallowing in its own departures from biblical truth, neither reforming from this, but sailing sadly away from the purity of former days. Indeed the PC of Australia itself moved from its own constitutional emphasis on the scope of the love of God, through Assembly declaration in 1991. This was attached to a closure concerning the Confession, making it with similar moves, rather a confessional than a biblical church (Mark  7:7ff. to the contrary). On this unhappy movement, one might turn to The World Belongs to Him and I am His, and to Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Epilogue.

Meanwhile, as to the PC in America, as seen above, the failure on ecumenism became failure in other doctrine and application, so that in the early 1980s,  the swallowing up of the RPCES into the PC in America, a church which developed much later than the RPCES, became one of the tragedies of the 21st century. It was so important to have a body which with moderation and care, would nevertheless proceed with integral realism to follow the biblical commands, and to have this,  whatever society or churches in their foretold failures in large numbers, would do. Now this opportunity in the realm of Presbyterianism was lost, and one could only like Micaiah among the 400 or so false prophets, stand firm; and in departing do so by simple severance.

In this way, it became necessary to sever from being a Minister of the PC in America, an association which by that time had extended, with the preliminary time in the RPCES, over a period of more than 30  years of ordained service. It was however by due and proper transfer to another Church of Presbyterian persuasion, that one moved, as a Minister in good and proper standing at that time,  with the PC in America (I have the dated card yet).

The move was to an Australian Church holding to the infallible Bible and to the kind of approach to the Westminster Confession in the Constitution, originally present in the PC of Australia. It is the Australian Presbyterian Bible Church, also having the shorter name,  Australian Bible Church. In so doing, one explicitly and in writing to Presbytery, appealed to the Lord, the faithful judge, and by faith so acted. In this, Matthew 18 is so relevant and blessed. It is not numbers that count, in their vastness, but faith which does so.

All through both Testaments, people have had to act by faith in the face of decline, and been pilloried. But what of this ? Truth matters, the Bible rules and whatever be the slander or slight that responds, spiritual life nevertheless proceeds in, by, for and with Christ according to the Bible, not in some hybrid.

 

There are times when not to be daring in faith, is daring out of it!

 

What is NOT of faith does not please God. This therefore was by faith, leaving the PC in America to do what it desired.

 

The Church to which one moved made, in other words, the substance of the Confession to be received, but added to it, on the love of God, the insistence on a due complementarity concerning its scope, together with the Confession, just as does the Constitution of the PC in Australia, in order that not a Confession but the Bible would rule without intermission, moderation or suppression.  All this was to be eminently clear and insusceptible to subversions. That was the essence of the matter. The Bible alone would always, in its own integrity right, determine all issues.

It was not that the PC of Australia had a bad basis, but that it had shamelessly left it in extremism that was not biblical, not part of  its original basis, and not tolerable. It is in this way that we are continuing the thrust and base of the PC of Australia on biblical lines; and indeed, it is not the past as such, but the Bible as such that rules. There is no need however for anything substantial to change; it is a matter of proceeding on the sound basis originally set up, and using as required, the Bible at all times to resolve all doctrines without addition or constraint outside it.

Thus two churches were moving in parallel, astray in the USA and in Australia, and ONE marvellous opportunity was cleverly but disastrously avoided, to bring a burning bush of truth, in united purging of error and continuance in soundness,  into the twenty first century.

These are not little things, the love of God, the truth of creation and the abridgement of spiritual fellowship to what follows all of the word of the living God. It is just that in this decadent day, it seems different. It is. It was so in the flood. Things were extreme, and a Noah had to appear decidedly strange, in building in this way on that day! There was however, point in it, and his company duly floated.

This bypassing of doctrine in creation on the part of the PC in America (see Appendix III), lapse from the emphasis on the love of God as noted, and its joining with the PC in Australia for practical purposes appeared jointly to become one more case of the imperial majesty of the Church becoming a ground of conflict with the spiritual majesty of the Lord and the SOLE doctrinal rule of His word. Indeed, the latter church even maintained female elders as if to make it ultra clear that the word of God did not rule, except where the Church found it convenient.

The later negative finding concerning this point by the PC in Victoria did nothing to improve the situation, since the matter was not applied; so that convenience continued  to the contrary of truth,  in the practical rule (cf. Assault on Timothy). Thought without action may be nice; ships still sink when nothing is done to repair the damage.

Thus does error coalesce, and so did the original statement from the highest official in the PC of Australia in the 1970s, to two of us elders - that though many in the PC of Australia did not believe in the infallible scripture, yet they would vote for a Calvinistic approach as they could see no practical alternative -  proceed to its conclusion.

It was to become prelude to a sad historical fact. Calvinism had the appeal for stability; it was used, and would in time lead to the Calvinist captivity of the PC of Australia, the constitutional provisions to protect against this being undermined in Assembly in 1991. It is not that Calvin was a bad theologian but that he made one particularly bad mistake which slanted away from the Bible, and made havoc of one important and wonderful biblical truth (cf. Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah Chs.    8 and    9, Great Execrations ... Chs.  7 and  9, The Biblical Workman Ch. 8, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Epilogue).

Despite this, the ecclesiastical procedure with the new slant were more and more implemented. Was it to be Christ or some new Peter, however keen ? You cannot have two masters, and there is only one word which can and must in the Church of Jesus Christ, directly, unremittingly and finally rule (cf. Mark  7:7ff.). It is the word of God Himself, inscripturated. How ironic that the Westminster Confession so energetic and right in declaring that no council was to be held as authoritative since all men err: but the scripture alone, should itself be USED to violate itself! that the Confession of liberty should become a crimping and a cramping co-existing the while with an erroneous ecumenism, as if to fling wildly on the one hand, and repress miserably on the other!

How often did Israel make decisions of convenience, worldly-wise, and suffer! How true it is that if you seek to save your life, you will lose it. Lost in Christ, only then, are you found. Cutting, trimming or adding to the mouth of God is neither good plastic surgery nor sound in principle.

 

It is not in this that one judges churches, but events; not people but doctrines; and this not by one's word, but by the Bible as one's ordination undertaking REQUIRES that one do; and for one's own part, this is not an option, popular or not. The Lord will have one, as He did by His grace in New Zealand in the resurrection affair, whoever he be and even if at any time there be no more, who will not bow to unbelief and biblical licence, to move from it. He did not lack a man to speak openly and to condemn justly in that apostate Assembly; and in bringing me to this position, which meant I lost my post in the Church, in the end, He did what one is delighted to report and to remember alike.

So do we trust in Him,  however many be the innovations; nor is this a personal fiefdom, but simply a spiritual necessity. It is the simplest and humblest of actions, like eating one's dinner when a child! After all, it is not in some way NECESSARY to insult one's employer, abort the word of one's Saviour or unhallow His name.

Nor is this some mere assertion, of which to be proud, for of Christ only is one duly proud. It is simply a necessity for testimony; and indeed, it is only and altogether through His grace, vitality and presence, than one has been kept faithful in so many of these conflicts.

Nor is it to say that one has done well, for that estimate is for another; but one can say this, that wherever one wonders if one could have done better in these confrontations, testimonies and endeavours to be valiant for the truth, indeed faithful to it, it is NEVER a matter of whether one should have gone so far, but only of this, could not not have done better by doing even more! That is the only question. Poor one may be, and less than this or that, yet that is not to the point: the Lord has unsearchable riches of glory, and to meet His eminence, one must go down as far as necessary, to the very ground of truth, and stay there.

There is only one opportunity to pass in this way, and it is necessary to make the most of it for Christ. It is HE ONLY who is the Saviour, and what defiles His word, defiles the way of salvation for some, as Christ made clear in Luke 11:40-54. The Gospel is the way, and the word defines the Gospel, so any endeavour to bypass Matthew 5:17-20 is merely a confusion. No other Gospel has ANY place (Galatians 1), and no other word has the authority of God (Isaiah 8:20), everything else being merely derivative and conditional on His word, concerning Himself, His will and His ways. Laxity on addition to or subtraction from the Bible is merely redefinition of the speech of God Almighty.

To be sure, nature itself teaches us much; but the definition is left to Him (Romans 1:17ff.). Of ways of orientation, information in deity and salvation, there is one source in writing, and one in Person; for the Bible is the sole definitive declaration of God in written form for man, just as Jesus Christ is the sole Saviour in human form, God Himself in flesh (cf. SMR pp. 532ff,).

 Judging this, that what the Bible says in instruction is to be obeyed, one does not have to condemn a church in order to leave it; but to watch the criteria and to follow them. In seeking fidelity, it is necessary to seek to follow Him, in obedience to His word; and not to lead, in departure from it. Nor does exposure of error does not substitute for faithfulness; for that, if the word of God declares it time to separate, one must do so (cf. Separation 1997). Far is this desire an implicit self-congratulation, for who could not hope to be far better than one is; it is merely an admission that battle orders from the Lord need to be followed, however few or lowly be the followers.

These sad movements from former soundness on the part of two denominations, now large and elevated, was a thing NOT from the Lord of the Bible, since it did not comport with it; but we were forced in integrity to act in  close dependence on Him who speaks; and indeed, He has continued to bless, with His mercy and favour as we serve Him. In fact, He is always faithful, gracious and understanding. Moreover, we seek as servants do well to do, to find out and do His will as He works in us, both to will and to do (Philippians 2), and to follow His word, not lead it. Let God be God, whoever else is whatever else.

One can the more empathise with Elijah, when the vast declivities of his own day and the intense betrayals of many who did not act for the truth as they should, that he only was left. Actually, as he learned, there were some 7000 left (a tiny percentage of the population nevertheless); but he had to ACT even when they did not show. That is the nature of faith, Noah did not seek a social quorum before proceeding to build his ark, nor Elijah a priestly one before confronting the king.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE NINTH DELIVERANCE

As noted, during this time, indeed since 1988, and especially since independence in 1998, I have had occasion to write a set of books on Biblical  Christian Apologetics, to which I felt distinctively called, and for which power and help with what has been an amazing degree of grace, has been given by the Lord. He has both constrained and enabled me to put my back into this task. Morning by morning He has, as it were, sat beside me to energise and illuminate, guide and lead. Never has He failed to answer my queries, resolve difficulties or assign answers. This set has hundreds of pages of index, and is now approaching 60,000 pages in extent, with 188 volumes so far published. It demonstrates in many ways that God is and that the Bible is the sole divinely authorised communication in writing of God to all mankind. It is as http://webwitness.org.au.

We have sought to check the data concerning the missionary outreach which is thus accomplished. Much remains unknown, but the will of the Lord to have this work done has been both arresting and constraining.

We did find in one survey over some weeks, that 76 nations had participated, downloading chapters, and that at the highest rate of reception appeared to be this, that around 300,000 chapters or similar works were downloaded in one year. While this is higher than the norm, which can vary from half that upwards, it is encouraging, and we praise God for His grace in this.

At times, someone will decide to challenge the presentation, and the record concerning some of these is to be found in Swift Witness. One of the more blatant came from a gentleman who had his master's degree but had grown weary, it seems of his doctoral studies. He would, he indicated, take us apart. This interesting intention was encouraged by us, to the extent that we had provided a presentation and expressed its criteria on the Web, and thus if he wanted to demolish it/us in this matter, why not try! He did. After some exchanges, he announced that he was giving up.

After all, we are but servants of the Lord, and the Lord being with us, and His word, it is His power that is available. While evidence and reason expose Him clearly (cf. Romans 1:17ff., Luke 1, Isaiah 41, 43, 48, I Peter 3:15), sin insinuates a suffocating smog, and it is to be understood that this is the nature of the undivine deception which is the plight of unsaved man (cf. Ephesians 4:17-19, John 8:44-47).

You cannot see, as Jesus pointed out, with your eyes shut (Matthew 13:14-15). The testimony however is not for that reason in vain, since it stands and like a tower, soaring into the skies, speaks what the Twin Towers in the USA could not say. On the other hand, wonderful indeed is it when the eyes open, the sight of the Lord is seen (cf. John 6:40) and realisation becomes reality in the new born soul of the Christian, as one alive from the dead (cf. Ephesians 2:1-2).

You cannot see, as Jesus pointed out, with your eyes shut (Matthew 13:14-15). The testimony however is not for that reason in vain, since it stands and like a tower, soaring into the skies, speaks what the Twin Towers in the USA could not say. On the other hand, wonderful indeed is it when the eyes open, the sight of the Lord is seen (cf. John 6:40) and realisation becomes reality in the new born soul of the Christian, as one alive from the dead (cf. Ephesians 2:1-2).

 

 

THE FASCINATING FEATURES

OF OUR DESIGN

ARITHMETICALLY and AESTHETICALLY

However we are dealing with design, and noting its pairings, along with the unities.

Thus the pairings in their sublime order, organisation and dextrous detail bespeak what is adequate to such a degree of precision, disdaining the inept as likewise the exotic, but insisting on specification-kind production like an engineer, for whom the devious or deviating is anathema.

It is preserved from childhood, through youth to maturity, this constantly revised and hence, throughout growth and its innumerable changes, continually devised pairing of features, this symmetry of conspectus; and yet it is not some mere duplicating machine concerned with pairs. On the contrary, the heart is but one, as is the liver, and all the digestive system in general. Moreover, the understanding of the acoustic input like that of the illuminative, sound and light alike, is one; and when it is not so, it is the distressing aberration called confusion, to be guarded against through the equipment provided for this purpose, by the active and resolute spirit gifted to man for this and other even more marvellous purposes.

The thoughts of the heart are one, except in mental disease or the precipices which precede it. There is one personality able to make one contour of aim, one monument to motivation, one peace of mind with one God in one way. That is as simply empirical as anything else in the totality. It works like the rest. It happens and can be noted, observed, considered as raw data.

Yet in God Himself, there is the emissary with the plans, the Word who became the Son through incarnation; and just as there is DNA and RNA in the coding structure physically, so spiritually in the supernal realities that caused those we see (as in Hebrews 11:1),  in the Engineer of all Himself, there is the Expressing and the Expressed, the Father and the Son, the Speaker and Spoken, and in this, the reader may find joy in reading of Proverbs 8, that magnificent disquisition from above. Indeed, there is also the Holy Spirit in the triune God; and we ourselves have been 'spoken' into form, in our DNA commands which are speech in coded form, direction in orders, and yet speak, and moreover, we have our spirit with which to comprehend what we apprehend.

Of course, in this Apologetics, we took care first to prove the Almighty's existence (as the Bible's truth, indeed)  before proceeding to the VERIFICATIONS which design and cell, word and speech all demonstrate (cf. SMR Ch. 2). However, if there WERE anything lacking (disease and its designed distress apart) in the original creation, if symmetry were awkward, if minds were muddied in nature, and not by misuse, if in the actual specification and template there were muddles, if distressed bungles at design littered the earth, that would be empirically significant. It is when the opposite, which is logically apposite for verification, is constantly found that scientific method rejoices (cf. SMR pp.140ff., 936ff.), throws parties and engages with diligent joy in conversation with the perceptive party-goers. How much wonder is constantly seen!

 

 

Indeed, as expressed in Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1, we are surrounded by cloisters of comprehensibility, palaces of profundity, cosmoi of conceptual cohesion in the whole realm of body, mind and spirit in man, giving not only apt meeting of the definition of design, but vast impact in the extent of it. An excerpt, slightly adapted to our present purpose, follows.

 

On design definition, the case is clear. You need what has integrity, or better integrality, oneness in multiplicity, so that many things minister to one result. You need the power to imagine it, since commands do not imagine themselves; the capacity to codify it if you want to use, as in DNA, programmatic devices, the comprehension to make code articulate with command, and command with the raw material for its implementation; you need a series and sequence so that the correct data come with the correct  matériel and the correct provision of it at the correct time, and the correct concept with which to edit any errors and rectify any oddments. So is it with the embryo, and indeed in much of the following growth, outside the womb.

This of course is precisely what is found in design, to make it so; and nowhere on earth is that of man as an object, surpassed in any visible realm. How is this so ? It is a question of

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complexity for the unity,
 

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differential divisions
of mind, spirit and matter for the components,
 

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inextricably interwoven for normal function,
 

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operational sufficiency and efficiency for the command centre
or operational agent to secure the results which are to be gained
from comprehensive USE of all the equipment and connections
and phases of life involved.

Nothing comes near such versatility, power and combination, synthesis of dynamic diversity in KIND, as this. Fulfilling the specifications for the definition of design, it yet surpasses all other visible examples.  To remove this example, this exemplar indeed, man,  from  design, would have to remove the concept; but the concept is based on billions of examples, systematically found and implemented by the designed unit himself, man. It is just that his observable case surpasses all in the various elements that constitute what is defined to be design.

There follow three citations from earlier works, to illustrate the ludicrous results which come when man tries to ignore the data, and invent by magical moments in thought (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9), what no moments in nature contrive to produce; for you may watch forever, for what lacks what it takes, to take what it has not got. Cars do not produce cars; you need the extra features to imagine and purpose, to contrive and to make them arrive. Man-maker has to have all of this, and for such a thing as man, inventor, creator and imaginer, comprehender and amender, you need as it were the machine tools correlative to that; but it is not machinery: it is imagination and all else that the formation and formulation of command exacts.

Correlative with this again is the obvious fact that INFORMATION does not  arrive, but in information science as seen below, we find that information tends to dissipate, like other design. What is based on the magical imagination of its autonomous arrival, when the law directs that the natural course of information is on the contrary,   its dissipation: this is not only UN-scientific; it is ANTI-scientific, and justly put into the realm of magic, where causes inadequate posited, with no evidence, are imagined to go with the results desired.

This may be pursued at The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God, the Bible True to Test Ch. 2 . It is set in a yet broader context of the designs in divine dealings both physical and historical, ancient and modern,  in Bon Voyage Ch. 2.

 

Pursuing yet further the integuments, the integralities and the implications of empirical reality, we turn to History, Review and Overview Ch. 5. For our present purpose, this is re-arranged somewhat and extended.

 

HISTORY, REVIEW AND OVERVIEW Ch. 5

 

It is all or nothing. It is not only

 irreducible complexity, but

indivisible integrity,

indissoluble co-operation,

inter-and intra-systematic proliferation,

coherence of logic and symbolic notation with
executive receptors, skilled to catch meaning and execute orders, 

continuity of sequence from

connotation, to denotation, to implementation,

in a series of systematics incomprehensible except in totality

(indeed see SMR pp. 332Gff., Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, in End-notes,    and   for further considerations!).

 

The path of true reductionism, false to science, of course, is always to ignore what you have got, and to explain what is not there. It is however the essence of the challenge to meet the case as it is, in all of its sequential, symbolic, integral and mutually intimate and pervasively singular procedures, whether in code type, implementation, co-ordination or exuberance of methodology; and to do so in a world which likes energy for construction and time for destruction. The other point about the construction ? it is direction. The third ? something to do as directed. In this world, and by any form of valid logic, the specifications of life parallel the requisites of intelligence, with available power.

The result, life, it matches nothing but mind, requires nothing less than something as far beyond mere genius as the heavens above the earth, requisitions an artist, artificer and maker down to the last electron and the least of the biota. Paintings do not paint themselves, Raphaels do not come by omission of the artist, and life is as far beyond these things in what it demands, as a genius beyond a talented toddler.

The perspectives and nuances of art, its undertones and its overtones, its sentiments and its modes of communications to receptors called human beings, who may decide to pretend not to like it as a competitive device, such is their programmatic liberty of will in certain arenas: these do not arise from what does not cognise them; but only in what goes far further than that. It must with enterprise not only appreciate but perform, and not only perform, but meaningfully perform, and activate the executive elements of the body of the artist to ensure that the result actually appears; and that the way in which it does so can be 'read'. Art is merely one facet of life. ALL functions must be accounted for in any reputable endeavour to present its basis.

As soon as one discovers one phase, feature or facet of human life in particular, there are realities within, meanings beyond, there is all the grooming of a thorough-bred horse, all the intestinal reality of a cathedral, the coherence of a great speech, the intricacy of superb mathematics, the intimacies as of love, such is the subtlety and the inter-dimensional as well as intra-dimensional sophistication, as if intelligence were easy, and brilliance a manner of life.

As if ? THIS is the testimony. If someone places a new Boeing 747 on your drive-way, it is not as if it had been built! It is not the nature of life, or logic, to give output without input; and what we see now as the centuries progress, is no more input, but the same residual decrement. In macro-design terms, there is to be found, as Gould emphasises, DECREASING residue. The progress of centuries in this system is the regress of design types. What is needed is simply NOT NATURE. It needs its author.

There is vast loss of the remains of output, one not now to be found, as is natural in creations, which tend to dissipate. As with creation in this world generally, on the part of human participants, this decrease follows the vast effort of bringing things to be; and as that is distanced,  forces work to the detriment of what one has made. All this is precisely as the Bible depicts (Isaiah 51:6 for example), and it is simply anti-scientific to dismiss the enduringly correct, and uniquely present solution, while appealing to the calamitously non-verified imaginations of the heart, which dismiss the eyes and dispense with their testimony.

That is quite literally anti-science, what is biblically called knowledge falsely so-called, one of the chief dimensions of that falsetto spuriousness, which infects much of modern 'science' to its profound detriment and everlasting shame. Do not misunderstand, science has not done this, for on its method as shown in SMR pp. 149ff. and TMR Ch. 1, this is the result: creation is indicated irrevocably by all the criteria of scientific method. It is the work of some who name 'science' as their trade or profession.

Scientific method is clear, and delightfully sure in its results in creation; but since science lives in culture, a pathological culture can even constrain it till the point comes that argument is substituted for admission, non-reality is explained by reductionism and pathetic propositions are constantly presented, which neither logic nor observation ever sanctioned.

In the intimacies of ever-more unravelled marvels in life's visible provisions, we find increasingly that everything provides for something else, and the more we dispense with ignorance, the more simplistic substitutes for empirical observation surge into the farcical.

For centuries now, man in his growing secularistic conceit, sham imaginations and shameful self-fulfilments, mere ferments of disorderly imagination, has tended to under-estimate all of creation, except himself.

What we are facing then, is not only all the above. It is also directional dynamic with integral meaning, once exceedingly fast-moving, now long arrested. As well have spare tyres and spanners and gear levers in incomprehensible confusion lying about, as think of this or that chemical as if this were at all to the point. The electrons have their partitions and procedures; the atoms likewise; as do the molecules; the compounds are characterisable; the genes have their task and the DNA its blueprint. Each is a construction. Each has required the art of the artifice and the power for the presentation. ALL require a totality of systematisation to render coherent their interaction, univocal their meaning and practical their interaction.

From Deity and Design ... Section 2, we move further:

In the light of our other concerns with excerpts and text above, we may now add to the above list, so that to preserve it all in one we repeat it:

 irreducible complexity, but

indivisible integrity,

indissoluble co-operation,

inter-and intra-systematic proliferation,

coherence of logic and symbolic notation with
executive receptors, skilled to catch meaning and execute orders, 

continuity of sequence from

connotation, to denotation, to implementation,

in a series of systematics incomprehensible except in totality

 

    To this we may now add:

physical, ethical, moral, aesthetic, discursive, ruminative, intellectually integrative, spiritually imaginative and metaphysically cohesive unity of perspective, operation and concentration,

unitary understanding explicative of all,
derived from the summit of experience and
comprehension in the Creator.

 

The last is as demonstrated in an earlier work, which it is pertinent to provide in its full dress on this occasion. It is -

LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST

WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES

AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS

Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God

What then for man ? In him, multiple cosmoi do not collide but co-operate in a spectacular series, sequence and monumental machination of multiplicity so daring as to be stunning, so imaginative as to be awesome, so wise as to be a wonder and so gracious as to evoke worship.

End of Adapted Excerpts

It is however when the grace is personalised as in the Gospel, made personal because the God of all personality has made an action both real and not surreal, practical and not merely theoretical, remedial and not simply creative, a machination of heart, a miracle of kindness and a testimony of love, that worship becomes multi-dimensional and praise a thrust into magnificence, with delight (cf. Deliverance from Disorientation ... Chs.   7 and   8, with A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12). At times this evocation of praise is to be found with a precise direction, as when a deliverance is wrought. In the case before us, that of the eye, we may therefore, being thus prepared, proceed.

As to physical seeing, the eye is not at all odd in its placement of parts, as Dr Jonathan Sarfati shows so well, but as medical eye specialist, Dr Peter Gurney presents in detail, it exquisitely exhibits the solution of inherent problems with exquisite method. As so often, thoughts of inefficiency yield to wonder at the ACTUAL astuteness of the ample mind beyond, each component exhibiting as beheld in concert with its immediate and broader organic environment, a lavishness of care.

Before however we proceed with more detail on this Ninth Deliverance, it would be well to point out that the very physical power to work in the seventies as I have been constrained to do, in one year for example authoring 20 volumes, required good eyes. They must rove and act, investigate and focus to a marvel, without stint.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE TENTH DELIVERANCE

Suddenly, when these things were moving relatively smoothly, a challenge came. One of my eyes received an impact from a car antenna, which soared happily into the space between eyelid and eye, impacting the latter with the force of a punch. It occurred on a cliff top where violent winds were thrusting, and the seas were lashed, as one moved under the bluster of it all. Soon amazing exploits of eye invention began to occur, oddities of changing focal length, remarkable 'sights' of distorted images. It was apparent that the design of the eye would in this case have a lot to do; for while it can meet wonderfully the harsh conditions which may  be imposed, grappling with steel thrust is a little much!

What was could be done ? A visit to an eye specialist was anything but reassuring!

First, however, let us get things into perspective. We will consider this from Sparkling Life ... Ch. 6, matters concerning the Lord's design of the eye, and His designs for my eye, in view of the work He had designated for me to do, and of this ocular accident which was threatening my whole ninth deliverance.

In this eye accident then, came a signal which could bring the train of events to a rapid halt. Before citing from this Chapter, it is to the point to note that the dilemma presented to me by the eye specialist was this. NO method he knew could fix my eye, now with atrocious pressure within it, except a non hi-tech piercing.

This he indicated, would have to be a hole kept open, so enable fluid to eject. Too big, and it would drain too much; too small and the pressure would not sufficiently abate. Moreover, if it grew red, the question whether it was inflammation or infection would send me scurrying in to find out! A miracle would be necessary to heal it. That was a delightful challenge. In the grace of the Lord's goodness, I took that up and sought Him who having made the eye, could heal it as required, so that His will could be completed by His servant. ALL that was needed was for the God of creation and the Lord of salvation to act to rectify what was a mountain range in the way of the progress of my work. To that point, we return shortly.

As to the design of the eye, a few words in this setting may be added from the same Chapter just cited, as the story develops concerning the eye accident suffered. Some additions to the Chapter are made for our present purpose.

 Dr Peter Gurny, a distinguished eye specialist in London, in an article on pp. 92-99 of the Technical Journal of Creation (15(3), late 2001, exposes with faithful and minute specifications, such a detail on the microscopic intricacies, operational mutual dependencies, sub-organic correlations, chemical specifications required even for tears, double usage as in the cornea, with some lens power, cell arrangements for physical results, antibodies, chemical composites to combat infection, brilliant conception and astounding capacities, each point in place and each place with a point, for the human eye that it is all but overwhelming.

The concept of some ill-design, specifically exposed in a recent and notable CD-ROM significantly featuring Dr John Sarfati, is seen this time with overview of actual function, as a testimony to twisting. Here, in "Creation ... a shattering critique of PBS-NOVA 'Evolution' series", the Answers in Genesis Ministries exhibit with no small aplomb, the seemingly sightless sentence passed by critiques of that most astute organ, the human eye. As the fallacious suppositions are exposed and the facts of design necessities considered for maximal functionality and complex series of adaptabilities; and as the alleged alternative option are dismissed as dysfunctional fantasy, on the one hand, and  Dr Gurny's diagrammatic expositions of the eye's structure and function are pondered  on the other; and then the two phases of the matter are seen together, it is most apparent that our definition of design in SMR  is here most abundantly met.

{In fact this matter is treated at length in one's more recent Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny, over some 2.7 million words, showing the realities of design in terms of Deity. In particular, to the present point are The Wisdom and Wit of the Word of God Ch. 2, and Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1, in which much on definitions of design of provided, and more broadly and discursively on the background theme,  The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of man and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 3..}

What is true of the body in general is sensationally true of the eye!

That definition ? One formulation is this.  "Multiplicity of parts, co-ordinated in simplicity of meaning; or layers of comprehensible integration of meaning and function, relative to a use; or the perspective of the whole: this together with mental acuity and intellectual discrimination, displayed in coherent, cumulative interaction with the product, its parts and its use ... such things would be the territory of design." There is more to be seen, but not less on pp. 113-116, the above on p. 115. (See also A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 6.)

As there is no source for information, conceptually organised and hence so interpretable, and investigable command or requisition, without intelligence, so there is no case to be found where such is formulated and instituted, originated and secured without it, directly or indirectly. Death does not create, matter does not speak, concepts do not lounge about: what is to be done needs what is to do it, not the beating of Darwinian drums, Gouldian retrogression or Nilsonnian arrivals out of the clouds. Only in children's books (and fallacious text manuals) does it happen thus (cf. SMR pp. 140ff., Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming 4 -6.).

What then ? Code and manipulation of mental concepts is not wrought by a dull intelligence, far less by none, for its very matrix is understanding, and language such as this exhibits, is irrelevant to the non-linguistic, since symbols in cohesion, correlation with comprehensibility for action is a domain of command, communication implying either the programmatic equivalent for a specialised purpose, or the actual power to program (cf. Jesus Christ Defaced, Unfazed, Barrister of Bliss Ch. 4). Symbol manipulation and competence to achieve specifiable and consistent results is a type of program. It does not have to be repetitive, though it may be. Speech is a code susceptible amongst other things, to command, and the body is a provision, amongst other things, to obey it.

Indeed superimposed command in much constitutive of DNA,  as such is per se an intrusion into a given set of systematics operating at its own level, and betokens of necessity the desire of what is not that system, given to fashion what it will using what is beneath it (cf. Evidence and Reality ... Chs. 2-3, 5-6, Deity and Design ... Section 3).

That accords fully with one reason why, as Professor Werner Gitt, specialist in this field,  points out, information is not evidenced as having power to produce itself (cf. Jesus Christ, Defaced ... Ch. 4 as above, and here marked). Nothing of this kind is to be found in 'Nature' except of course in intelligence, where codes are either comprehensible or wrought creatively. You do not see it happen, of its own accord. It needs production requisite and rationally correlative. That was the scientific assertion, now for many years presented by this high level specialist to any who cares to assail it!

In fact, the connecting link in the arena of commanding symbols and commanded matter is intelligence. Matter neither has the designate power nor the designated evidence of creating information. It is as simple as that. The cosmos of apprehension-comprehension, computerised or not, is not the domain of the merely constructed, like matter, but of what constructs.

The birth of the eye in every case known on this earth, is based on just such language, as it is spoken into existence. On this, see further The Pride of Life ... Ch. 5, where the topic is as follows. 

There is no argument if we are to objective. Thus in 'nature', design, and its counter-movement in the designated minds of man, the latter valid only because of the right design by the Truth, is so candidly featured that it is felicitously found in the empirical as in the logical realm to be wholly hostile to its additive oddities, inconsistencies and artless explosions, these the precise contradictory of production, let alone that of what would be required: the inadequate into the magnificent.

That is a domain of felicity of mutuality, implicit correlation of command and power to receive it, with ingredients to fulfil it, linked with constructive imagination solidified in produced moulding to vision. In practice, there is programmed hostility to interference, which as in all design, needs understanding of the original to avoid inconsequential or harmful clash. In the DNA it is almost as if a copyright had been taken out, so intense is the provision for perpetuation of the integrity of the whole command structure and its integral outcome.

Defining life is an exercise in mirroring the definition of design, in a highly specific case. When desire turns into observation, and chance which always pre-supposes system, is traded in for the source of system, you begin to find facts that cohere and considerations that are relevant to life as it is, its source, its ingredients and its implications. With this, dwelling especially on the implications of language, might be read: Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4.

 

Indeed, as noted in Deity or Design ... Section 7:

The false perspectives of unreason and the bouquets given to the not merely disabled dis-dynamics but to the nonentities of nothingness, whether seen at once or in stages of vacuity as source, are ludicrous to watch, astounding to observe, instructive to examine and a feat of modern fairy-tale so distinctive that it begins to demarcate this generation and to distinguish very well its grounds of devastation.

It matters not at all whether you invent nothing as a source, which by definition defies being anything, whether potentiated, poly-potentiated or merely lazily productive; or whether you make of it a continual additive basis for the invention of aspects of what you want, need or try to produce from the hat of vacuity. In stages or all at once, in logical principle, it is the same relative to causation: you are merely making nothing the origin and the origination, a begged question infected with fantasy and delinquent in deviousness as to method

Try again! if you want truth. If you have it, rejoice, it meets EVERY demand of reason, as you would expect when its existence is a pre-condition of valid thought.

The design for the salvation of deity, the sublime divine reality to become available to man, is as seen further in Ch. 9 below, prodigious in concept, grand in installation, perspicuous in plan, the plan of salvation. It is however, as we trace further in this Ch. 7, delightful in deposition in the prophet Isaiah, and has an inbuilt defence system against the theft of spiritual property by unscrupulous thieves, just as some seek to protect intellectual property in commerce! The word of God and His work, the Lord's Christ and His salvation: these do not bend to mountebanks, nor alter course at their hoarse voices (cf. SMR, TMR, Deity and Design ..., Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ).

On the eye, see also the last cited work, Ch. 7.

Meanwhile man lumbers ploddingly to try to begin to unravel some of the least components of life, the genome which lies as in much, as one of the physical directors of such operations (cf. News 45, Lord of Life ... Ch.   5, News  166News  153, Licence for Liberty Chs.   6,  8, Beauty of Holiness Chs. 7 ,  8 Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch.  10, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch.   9 ) - ... But operations ? It is far more than a mere question of how it functions.

In fact, the typologically fixed RE-MAKING of such things, in each generation, their architectural emplacement, their growth adaptation as various site construction works grow in size or even shape, after birth (and indeed before), the arrival of energy from the culinary factory areas of digestion, adapted to the various engines, cellular and organic, the provision of directional power via bone emplacements, themselves a world of combination, continuity and constant mutual geometric adjustment during growth over years, the copying of information (which does not create itself, since it is a reflection of what is, ordered and organised, and in this case also, a data bank suffused with integral correlation linguistic and directive, for minute and maximal, micro- and macro-function), the copying of director-roles, themselves: all this and far more is inherent in what then must simply function when it IS made.

Function ? But that too is staggeringly complex. The eye article (ocular dissertation, ophthalmological depiction) of Peter Gurney is an excellent illustration of what 'function' means, even in so short but so compressed an article. A world of maintenance and provisions for maintenance then unfolds likewise. One eye specialist once told the author that in his view, the human eye was not meant for much more than 70 years in its design, the term he used, since various things tend to become very vulnerable after that time.

In the meantime, as in a highly sophisticated luxury automobile, staggeringly complex and delicately intimate proceedings and procedures team to make eye life pleasant, profoundly competent and what is often complacently received, marvellously stable. The provisions for arrival and dispersal of moisture, including tears, leaves one delighted to see that such psychological needs as crying, such grubby hands in the child's eyes as may arrive at such times, are all provided for with a sensitivity of chemical and architectural products which work in their designated ways, to a marvel.

How long and under what conditions does it go ? As with all design, there is always purpose. Some manufactured goods are MADE for a period, after which, if they continue (like the author's more than 30 year old car - still very comfortable), then it is a thing of some remark!

This brings us back to my damaged eye and its ocular distress. An earlier review will add detail.

Thus if one may be permitted one more personal eye reference, when one found an eye pressure about the lens nearly 3 times too much, SUDDENLY, some time after a car aerial penetrated the eye (not its matrix, but prodding vigorously into the space between the lid and the eye itself, thus of necessity impacting the eye ball ... like a fist in this case!), there was later some malfunction.

One could still see (a feat which seem to impress the specialist, in view of the huge pressure which built up), but there were oddities of focal length and specificities of changes observable in some circumstances. When laser was considered helpless, drugs were deemed inadequate, and the details of what to the author seemed a horrendously simplistic (but normal) operation to pierce the eyeball and keep it pierced despite all prospective healing efforts, described by the specialist as a generic but non-hi-tech operation: then the woe of the plight appeared. The prospect was dim.

It was, as the specialist conceded, on the basis of all expectation, a matter for piercing or miracle. However, with less than the drugs, put in for some hope, since one medicine was a rather disorienting seeming one, one found in 2 days that the pressure was normal. It stayed so, being checked months later, proceeding from 43 or some such figure in mm of mercury as to pressure, to around 18, then the same for both eyes.

In the meantime, the author had communicated with the Creator in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord. Pianists need hands, authors need eyes, especially on demanding computer situations, with the only office worker oneself! The pleadings with the Maker were answered with the staggeringly sudden and complete remedy of a condition which had been developing for weeks, and demanding action of the compromising character, vulnerable to repeated infection, as described. One doctor deemed it a miracle, the other a minor miracle.

However one had been careful to establish with the specialist that the only plausible way, short of operation,  to get it better was a miracle. This would then become a set case, and be an inherent testimony to truth on its own. Experiment ? by all means. These are the conditions and these are the foretold results, depending on the case. Miracle only ? Let us see then what happened.

Thus when the restoration did actually come, and on time, to obviate any impending operation  or even any quandary about one (a failure to have remedy, under such pressure could have led in a comparatively short time to blindness, one was informed), what was the result within the terms of reference given ? It was this.

it appeared as the exhibition of the power of the Maker, a miracle. It was not the first by any means; but it was one here publicly attested.

The living option had made the mechanical one unnecessary. For this, one can only praise the resource for all things at all times, the Redeemer, who never fails, and who, one must add, solves problems with a view to all the information and wisdom which is His; and this time, acted in this way.

It is not a part of this complex and amazing creation, the human eye, to provide in its programmatic base of conceived and coded information, for intrusion of radio antennae of automobiles! Thus the intelligence that made it, the personal and communicating God, acted direct: this is the testimony  on the basis of the evidence. It was even more apparent in the asking room, that preceded this gracious restoration, where one sought from the profound mercy of the Creator of man, this ocular need for the worker in the kingdom of heaven at this time.

More had yet to be written, and in mercy, He acted with grace.

Design, designers and their power and morals: these things are current topics with atomic and genome research moving with all self-assurance into what they are inadequate to control. It is only when the designer is known, that His work can be discerned. It is only when His work is discerned that it can properly be done. Not being on speaking terms with one's employer is most unwise; and with THIS employer, the Maker, in view of His total redemptive provisions for the spirit of man, yes and in the end, his resurrection, is a choice sort of folly. Where love is concerned, there is no other option. Where grace is sought, there is no other effectual source. Where life is in view, there is no other Designer... not one.

Thus the challenge of my marred eye was solved by the same divine power that created this maestro for sight, and it was done in a few hours, by following the prescription from James 5. As my Christian GP confirmed, here was a miracle indeed. Set to time, meeting empirical test, total in change, adequate in scope, precise in operation.

How often one finds that someone is sure about something being a miracle or an act of the Lord, until the result overturns desire. It did not however overturn my desire and supplication; but it fulfilled it with a precision and a mercy which none of us deserve, but which is merely the more munificent for that! As Lord Christ is lovable, as Saviour He has no limits.

How amazing to arrive two days after the first interview, at the office of the eye specialist and to find that the pressure was over well over two times less! and normal. God gives faith for such things as He pleases, and in this case He wanted the work to be done, now in 142 volumes; and then,  in kindness, He facilitated in this way its completion.

Is it not then as in Psalm 107: Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men! It is not hard to do when the heart acknowledges, like a horse given a rub-down after a gallop, the kindness of the Master, Creator of all and of personality in particular, which so often pathologically affirms the truth while denying any way to find it. We however affirm the truth because it is nowhere to be found in principle, in reason, or in practice, or in authorised revelation,  except in the well-attested testimony of Truth, focussed in the incarnate Christ, and featured in the brilliantly verified Bible.

We have looked at some length then, at the TENTH DELIVERANCE; but then this is relevant to what may be the largest theological work in one set, ever devised in any religion: this IN PRAISE OF CHRIST JESUS, set now on the Web at this site. For this, result and means to it, we praise the Lord. It was deliverance for a purpose.

 

SOME RESULTS OF THE WEB PUBLICATION

 

It is time to review some of the results of this large Web publication. Sometimes amazing things happen, such as hundreds of downloads from our site,  per night from Sweden, and that over a period of some months, quite apart from all the other nations; but the main interest is from the USA, then Australia, followed by Canada and Europe. This last is now at times nearly equal with Canada, with significant results also in Singapore and Taiwan, and interest from China, Hong Kong and India in varying amounts, as well as from many smaller amounts in various countries. Europe itself of course accounts for many nations within itself, such as Britain and France,  Germany and Estonia, Sweden and Norway.

There is another statistical fact of interest.

Rather interestingly, about 5 of these 142 volumes were published before the severance from the PC in America and transfer to the Ministry of the Australian Bible Church; about 136 have been published since - that is from that time in 1998, when the severance was made. Put for impact in terms of one's age, this meant that 5 were published before my 70thj year, and 137 after it on the way to 80.

Indeed, next January becomes the end of the decade since severance from the PC in America, as one set out in a small bark, in the fleet of Christ, by His strength, grace and enablement, to do what was required, to strengthen what remains, and serve as directed. May His name be forever praised and blessed. Further results of the publication are to be found at the Home Page as marked.

So the Lord has poured out His strength in a way which in retrospect, seems a most gracious and kindly thing for Him to do. Again and again, one feels it necessary to say, state and declare it: the Lord IS good! This is a vast ocean of wonder, just HOW good He is. His presence in composition since 1988, and help before that (a matter of 40,000 hours perhaps, if one extends to the theses included), His faithful availability has made this work not only a travail, but a travelling experience with a distinct feeling of that haven and rock which is He, of that river of strength which is His, of that comradeship which He confers with a purity and peace which reminds of roses and lavender, of wistaria and rock, of surging seas and still rivers. It is friendship sublime, not without discipline, but with a comfortable concord.

What then is a major emphasis in these 142 volumes that He has helped to provide, indeed stirred me up to write, and enabling, blessed. Consider this.

 

Is the Bible, the sole authorised word of God to man, demonstrably His ? Yes.

 

Is it infallible as His own ? of course it is. Does it work ? Every time. Does He honour it ? Nothing less, for it expresses His mind to man. Is His spiritual power abiding in it ? and is His love found through it ? In Christ, its basis and focus, it is all to be found, just as it is written. He lives as He loves and acts as He declares.

 

His divine nature and work, being incarnate as Jesus Christ, are in these volumes shown to be demonstrable, verifiable and in every domain listed, commanding in testimony. This then is shown.  It is all freely available on the Web, and has been so for over a decade as it developed, the address now being: http://webwitness.org.au Faith apprehends and possesses, but reason insists, whatever disfaith does.

It has been well to present this aspect of apologetics with force, because it is one which the cultural declivities of the Age make some almost forget as to its very existence; which is rather like forgetting which country you live in (I Peter 3:15, II Corinthians 10:5, Romans 1:17ff., Luke 1, Isaiah 41, 43, 45, 36, 48).

We praise God that as far as the evidence goes, it seems well over one million calls for chapters or similar sites in this work may well have been made by students, surfers or others on the Web, since its institution; but it varies in popularity over time, in nations and in degree, action sometimes being intense. It has received much attention from the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England, and the American Biographical Institute who have freely included the pastor's name as author in various reference volumes in this and that category.  Details are listed on the Web, under author. The method of procedure is provided in What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4, and other places. The former appears in Appendix IV .

Thus my ordination was transferred to this separated Church, The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church (the shorter name - Australian Bible Church), in 1998, and remains in it.

Meanwhile, I have just the same passion for Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour and Son of God, and bodily resurrected, for the power of God and for the written word of God, the Bible, as ever. The yearning that people escape perdition and find God where the door is open, in Jesus Christ alone,  does not change.

The skies may fall, and lovely they are; but the word of God remains for ever. Wise is the one who follows it. Friends may betray, but the Son of God remains faithful in all things for ever. The Lord is good in truth, covenant, grace, mercy, wisdom and power, and to taste Him is to find the acme of wonder and the ground of worship; to know Him is to relinquish any other knowledge, while yet to give knowledge its own basis, and to escape the paroxysms of a failing earth and the necrosis of a fallen race. While we stay, we attest and pray: for deliverance for man is on a one by one basis.

This testimony to the authenticity, infallibility and demonstrability of the biblical testimony to and from God, in Christ, remains a product of His grace.

 

Brethren who follow His word (John 17:8-9, Matthew 5:19ff.), whose heart is in Him, pray for us.

Those who do not yet believe, look, taste and see!

 

 

 

NOTE

*1

From SMR p. 721, comes this to the point of freemasonry and allied phenomena. It is slightly adapted and extended in the present site for its purposes.

As Jeremiah put it in his climacteric day, for the Jewish people (5:31):

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end ?

What is a major thrust of contemporary approach to 'faith' ?

'Believe it ? Oh if you want to! But as a basic, never!' That is the way of this denial; and it is denial, if what God binds, you loose... Increasingly, man is saying of God, to man:

'Oh believe what you like, so long as you do not think that it is true!'

This is the blasphemy of lampooning indifference, sardonic scepticism veiled in form, but insidious like virus infection in fact. The ostensible Christian may be happy with it.

Man is shouting at God, the God of the Bible; and it is that same God who so accurately predicted this dénouement in the form of a falling, where what had stood fails, through wilfulness, fails any more to be believed or done.

What still stands is the Christian Church; what has fallen is much masonry which had surrounded it. Large and lavish national churches, prestigious churches, rich churches are increasingly finding faith, and indeed the faith either undesirable or at least unnecessary, wondering with almost inane seeming credulity ... what is up, as the world loses much of the light it had, and blunders with a blind and increasingly exasperated belligerence, in the dark. (Cf. Jeremiah 13:15-18!)

The deity of Christ is similarly denied by many using the name Christian, denied by J.W.'s and Christadelphians, who do not acknowledge the one God with His Redeemer, His everlasting co-partner (Isaiah 48:16 - see Trinity, Chapter 7, Section 4); as it is also by many Presbyterians and 'advanced' thinkers, such as those following the Theology of Liberation, and by many Masons indeed. In fact, in the last case, the clear teaching in the preface of the Holman Masonic Bible has been that there are many roads to God, and sacred 'scriptures' include the Koran. (On sects and error, see here.)

In that case, a Mason is committed, in the end, to the view that Christ cannot be God, for one of the Masonic teachings is that the Koran is a wholly acceptable sacred scripture. If Christ be God, then this is blasphemy, and blasphemy is scarcely worship; yet they do not appear to desire to be called blasphemers, though explicitly acknowledging that a religion which explicitly2 denies the deity of Christ, is an authentic and proper thing to be followed. Indeed in one of the Masonic approaches, they reveal the JBO concept, Jehovah, Baal and Osiris, something leaving yet more depraved concepts of the deity, to supervene beyond 'mere' denial of the deity of Jesus Christ.

Some even would follow with the disciples of Bultmann, a blitz of the very personality of God,  as in Deity and Design ... Section  8 cf. Barbs  6   -7,  removing  thus any ground of validity in the blitz itself!  Now in all these things, you have large fractured fragments of what regards itself as portion of ... the church of God, or closely allied! The term 'falling away' seems inadequate by itself. Again the scripture is exact: it is "the falling away". Not merely is it a case of falling, it is the case of it, the climacteric pre-parousia epoch. This is the ... mature case, the vast undoing before Christ returns; and you recall that He questioned:

When the Son of man comes, will He really find faith on earth ?
(Luke 18:8, cf. Matthew 24:5,11-12).

Meanwhile, there may be seen 'famous' riverlands of silted soil, in which every new thing that alas is as old as the dirt of the devil, is aroused, stirred and used. They range from the 'wholly other' god who is of course unknowable (colliding fascinatingly with the minimum condition of eternal life as defined by Jesus Christ in John 17:3), such as that of Barth; to the wholly interior New Age symbols, with their preludes in Schleiermacher or Kierkegaard (cf. SMR pp. 867ff., 846-864, 683-687) either in flamboyant ascents to the unknowable, of which they become eloquent orators or the passionate will, in which they move mountains that are not there, either in the reconstruction business of christs by imagination or in the developmental branch, new imaginations for religious figures to fit in due course. It is eloquence in assiduity, bypass with utility, grand imagination with futility.

Not only have theological students in many Protestant seminaries been mistaught, treated to a constant if variable diet of blasphemies, but disciplined for the logical exposure of the same, indeed "framed" or dismissed, something experienced by the author (cf. p. 1083 infra)...

Perhaps 'mercy' of some species may be offered by some, if a man follows the apostasy by collapsing with his colleagues, instead of righteously resisting blasphemy! But such an offer is worse than worthless; for Christ as redeemer, and as the truth, is worth infinitely more than any merely human 'mercy', bogged in its own follies. What with Luther, and many before him, was a lead to the Reformation, now in this day leads to an apostasy from which comparatively few escape. It is not total, to be sure. There may indeed be multitudes who escape, amid the hundreds of millions of professing Christians, enmeshed in the entanglements of theological nets; but their percentage, if one considers the doctrine and practice of churches cozily denying much validated and established by God for millenia, as many of them agree together ... may be small. (Cf. pp. 1088H; 726-729, 857-873 infra, TMR Ch. 3, Barbs ... 17.)

The falling away is reaching quite a velocity of descent, and is a spectacle. This is illustrated by the famed Missouri Synod Lutheran Church split, at seminary level, with one seminary segment continuing its studies in the premises of the Roman Catholics (cf. SMR pp.1032-1088H - Missouri was noted for its evangelical tone!); and indeed, many Lutheran bodies co-operate more and more extensively with Rome. It is also well exemplified by the fact that Presbyterian and Baptist churches have likewise divided on the issue of the infallibility and divine authority of the Bible, instituting entirely new church bodies as a result.

There have indeed been more or less notable or even notorious cases, like that of the redoubtable Professor J. Gresham Machen. With others, he was removed from the ministry while fighting for the Bible, once taken as basic in the face of an inclusivistic approach: indeed so great was the estrangement on the one hand from the Bible and on the other from the 'church' which defiled it by addition and subtraction in effect, that a new Presbyterian missionary organisation was founded.

This was done for the very good reason that if one is preaching, it had better be the gospel that is preached! Amid blatant departure from the infallibility of the Bible, such as the author personally verified in a central committee in the Presbyterian Church of Canada (although it was formally required), there are niceties of rebellion, such as having women ministers and elders, with the provision that if after so many years, ministers who did not believe in women elders could not participate in sincerity in such things, they themselves would be removed from the ministry. (On this, see Assault on Timothy.)

This is merely one practical evidence, for Paul (Acts 20:17, 28) made it plain that elders exercise authority over the church, while women (1 Timothy 2:9 ff.) may not do so; founding the teaching on historical considerations affecting all men, as ground, on facts which are not changeable, since they have happened. Indeed, it is specifically while dealing with the question of the relation of women in the church, that Paul quite explicitly notes, ''the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord'' (I Corinthians 14:37 and above), whether this might be the defining of options or the 'laying down of the law'.

 

{For more on sects, see for example:

Barbs...  Appendix III,
Joyful Jottings
  14
(esp. J.W., but many others in category);
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ,
  9
Tender Times for Timely Truth
Ch.   8 -  (review with reference to Satanic plan),
Dastardly Dynamics Ch.   6 (correlative with the above),
SMR p. 701, Know the Lord ...  31 
(freemasonry); 
Things Old and New
Ch.  9, Epilogue,
Appendix
(sects, politics and philosophies, their tedious, torturous tapestries);
Barbs ...
    2. verbal sects'
Errors - more broadly.
}

 

 

 

 

Chapter 7

The POLITICAL OFFSHOOT:

The Secular-Religious State

and the Spiritual Estate

 

It is not our normal task to task politics, but when those in government assail the truth vigorously, pervasively and purposefully over decades, and legislate on folly as if religion were their domain, providing nothing in the way of evidence, so act in the field of education and promote anti-Christianity by a wave of the verbal wand, it is clear that if someone does not act, the anti-testimony to the claims of Jesus Christ and the folly of arrogated educational indoctrination will both cause damage.

Tests are not for aversion and avoidance, but for faithful response (cf. Isaiah 59:19). Concern for the afflicted is not limited to victuals, for spiritual food is the most important of all (Proverbs 24:11-12, John 6:50ff.) Hence we have had to act. As appalling as amazing has  been the lack of support from Churches, though to be fair, there has been some from time to time, and a few hundred gave signatures in protest.

Thus, while in The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church, we have not been inactive, so that apart from the 142 books published on the Web, there are hundreds of Sermon Notes (usually around 1600 upwards in words), and a Podcast Corner, where mp3 files may be downloaded, and the preaching is provided twice on Sundays, there has been this additional field.

There has been some occasion to give tertiary lectures in Communications at what was to become the University of South Australia, various contract work to supplement the Ministry, in schools, and a considerable outreach to the University of Adelaide, at about the time of the first publication of our initial three volumes, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock. In terms of The Truth and Life Club, this went on for several years, and something of this is noted at  Adelaide Tertiary. Though publicly presenting the systematic reason for the biblical Christian faith, and seeking on our weekly or periodic meetings to have any confrontation or argumentation, yet over years, never once did we have anyone arrive at the lecture room to overturn it. That is what is to be expected, for on the one hand, it IS the truth, and on the other hand, the Lord is strong who helps His people.

One materialist having found no way to succeed in open debate, assured us he would come again, but did not materialise, presumably because he could not find material with which to prevail, and absenting himself from the arena, played his game elsewhere, for reasons immaterial but controlling his material being. It is easy to set up goal sticks in your own back yard, but where it counts is where the arena is. The would-be fighters fled, fugitives from confrontation.

A treatment of this phase of issues occurs at Repent or Perish Ch. 7. It is always amusing that just as materialists present their material on the assumption of valid mind outside the control of matter, and absolute truth available outside of that relativity which would make truth noises meaningless, so do Communists make the State most to be esteemed, and the necessarily potent being, by the thought of individuals. Even Einstein, not a Christian, could see that material concepts, that is relativity in the field in which he presented it,  are not the foundation of truth, but rather the opposite, though he needed to go further for logical validity here, and apparently realised this (cf. SMR pp. 299ff., with That Magnificent Rock Ch. 5). Indeed, what his mind told him, his will did not bend as far as we know of his last times, to the answer he envisaged, though it was looking at him with more clarity than all the stars, and more force than that in all matter (cf. SMR, TMR, Swift Witness   6, Barbs 6     -7,  Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny  ).

These steps are natural to Christian Apologetics, one of the most notable features of which is the explication of enigmas and the resolution of what elsewhere becomes antinomy, antilogy or antithesis (cf. Deity and Design ...Section  8). Truth is like that: it has a voice and it speaks to man who is made both for truth, and BY the Truth (John 14:6, Colossians 1:15). That is WHY it all fits uniquely together in mind; it does so in fact, and both facts and minds are the product of one mind, one will and one Being. Hence arrives their delicate, symbolic, systematic, neural, logical multi-cosmos sustained and sustaining sympathy and correlation of cosmoi, whether conceptual, or articulating verbally or physically.

For this reason, assaults on biblical truth fail, both systematically and in time, empirically; and while this annoys the devil, his trouble also is systematic; for to be against a political government is one thing: to be against your Creator is another, while to despise or  trifle with the Saviour for mankind, it is to flirt with folly in a sort of dynamic or desultory passion. The message to Israel has been clear enough for long enough (cf. Israel 1, and The Bay of Retractable Islands ... Chs. 18, 19). That to the Gentiles is no less clear (Matthew 24, cf. Walking in the Light and Keeping Your Eyes Open Ch. 4).

 

It is worth noting that for various multiple volumes on our site, or single ones, on specialised fields such as truth, demonstration, remedy, validity, suffering (Job in focus), naturalism, predestination (6 volumes), one can consult Search, which lists those which I have authored, and provides hyperlinks to each. One of these collections concerns the composition of verifications which is found written or wrought throughout all fields one investigates, a work of some millions of words, 

Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ
who Answers Riddles
and where He is, Darkness Departs
,

and another deals with

Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny.

being slightly longer and exposing something of the depth and cohesive character  of the works of God.

Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer deals with the certainty of biblical revelation of remedy.

In passing one may note that recently, one had occasion to take a one day Government course relating to the question of emotional, verbal or physical abuse of children, and the responsibilities teachers have as 'mandated' to report. In such cases, we were taught, no thought should be given to the school's reputation. If the child says it is true that something happened, BELIEVE the child. This was the stricture. FEEL no emotions. This can interfere with the child's divulgements. REPORT the thing, using NO discretion concerning matters, as to their veracity, validity. Just act, speak, report.

As was pointed out, what if a particular child has a deserved reputation as a congenital liar, as the phrase has it ? Does one ignore the impact on the party alleged to have caused the trouble, and that of the school, in order to relay, like some moronic zombi, whatever is said ? Is wisdom to have no place, test no avenue, thought for all parties to be dismissed! Does one pretend that investigations of this quasi-moronic insensitivity cannot compromise persons, cause baseless rumours, achieving precisely the folly which thoughtlessness normally does. Is a child to be so isolated from the entire environment of persons and functions, that allegations are of no account except in one regard, that a child makes them...

Sensitivity for the vulnerable is a great asset; but insensitivity to a comprehensive consideration of every feature, the laws of evidence and the need to test is merely a prelude to irresponsibility. Having one's morals sketched in by the State is the outcome of such ludicrous philosophy, which not only puts that body first over all morals, principles and precepts, but whatever it does not deem to the point, into the bin.

As one other teacher attending the course, also pointed out, what if people use this provision in order to vent hatred, jealousy: this was the type of consideration. Big Brother, however, would like doctors, teachers, all concerned with children, to REPORT first and think and emote later. If this is actually the case, then it is clear that the particular skills and wills, discretionary judgments and responsibilities of all concerned are subject to governmental control.

Moreover, are emotions to be excluded ? Has it not occurred to their governmental eminences that there are gracious, wise and constructive emotions, even elements of spiritual atmosphere and dynamic ? Some are not only beneficial, but instructive, inspiring in the spirit which nurtures them!

It reminds one of the horrid fact that in the materialistic delusion, many who work with the mind, do not KNOW of the spirit. It is like being asked to amputate a leg, or heal one, when you do not know what a leg is (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5, SMR pp. 348ff., Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 8). Such is the transcendental wisdom which can appear in State direction, on an amorphous, unspiritual and psychically delusive basis. State self-aggrandisement becomes the prelude to social direction from emptiness, to adorn the make-believe world, where as so often in the past, whether with the Roman Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the day and way of Hitler or Mao, Stalin or Krushchev, it is not what is the case which matters, but what is said to be. Force forges what truth cannot contemplate.

On such things, at different levels of dynamic, more or less deadly, the reader may wish to see Highway to Hell, Divine Agenda Chs.    6 3 - an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran;  Dastardly Dynamics Ch.   6 , The Christian Pilgrimage Ch.    9  From Grace Triumphant to Face Divine Ch.   9 (at a deeper level);  Red Alert Chs.  3, 10, *4, More Marvels... Ch. 4, Deity and Design ... Section 9, *3

To all of this, however,  there is an end (Revelation 16,19). Cause and consequence are then well matched (cf. II Peter 3). Meanwhile the condition spreads like mould.

Indeed, medical students are in this State being made the butt of a preliminary test at the oral level, an interview. One disgusted and experienced professional pointed out in the newspaper that this in his opinion, was being used with artful discrimination, to remove those who, for example, do not view sexual perversion as a matter of moral indifference, or who have certain political slants.

In other words, medical students - one knows of one with a score over overall 98%, one point short of a scholarship,  who was not accepted, following the interview - are in double danger,  at the first  through any such culturally slanted selections, and later, if they are accepted,  through 'mandated' requirements on reporting:  but of what are they in danger ? Why, simply of being pressurised to become State objects, thus paralleling the case of teachers. The differentials of approach, training and morals in individuals are thus to be subsumed under one heading: The Government Knows. YOU DO it; we work it out.

This might be used as a ploy, and when objection is made that the sale of the soul was not part of the election undertaking or donation to the Government in its role, the point is made, perhaps, that such is the state of society that this fate of society is unavoidable.

It might thus be urged that people are becoming so unreliable that the State now wants to use only its select forces to deal with topics like these. It is the same of course in the area of creation, where even a year 12 examination can be so slanted into the ludicrous naturalism of organic evolution, that one cannot think Hitler in his early stages of Hitler youth, did much worse at this ideational level.

In ATTITUDE. In schools, not to say Universities, harassment, selective deprival of equal teaching services to all phases of thought on the topic, especially to one of the two main ones, prejudicial assumptions used as tools of trade in teaching, social consequences of the virtual didactic apartheid and so on: all of course appear decisively to transgress the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination*1.

Apart from that, it is Big Brother in his science smock, or his pseudo-religious robe, in this or that phase of society, using the secular and often anti-religious, socially directive, amorally presumptuous approach, deploying this or that proposition like the 11th commandment at will, and calling it good because desired. This is the apparition inglorious which of course is just a few spiritual kilometres away from that economic, social manipulation which Revelation 13 for the last 2 millenia or so, has forecast.

This does not make it any better! it gladdens the heart to see the divine diagnosis confirmed and prognosis verified before one's eyes; but it is grievous to consider the empty-headed arrogance in man and his current thoughts (now here, but in a few years, there, like new washing on an old line) as he seeks to use liberty to remove liberty, through long years of indoctrination and yielding to pagan forces.

Thus there is work to be done*2 for the oncoming of night, does not mean that you shut the windows and draw the blinds while the day lasts. The night, after all, as Christ said, comes; but afterwards is His day. All day and any day one must walk in the light and not give place or regard to the darkness (cf. John 9:4-5, 812, Isaiah 21:11, Revelation 19). 

Not least among the work done, then, in our Church life, has been this approach to Government, in which hundreds of petitioners have joined with us, and for which and such works, the Evangelical Presbyterian Alliance has been formed. Thus there has come to mind the pseudo-political-papacy in which, without first putting the matter to the electorate, the SA Government has shamelessly proceeded, alleging that no religion has testable, verifiable, rationally defensible doctrine, and that all such things are outré, are other than scientific, while proceeding to make this flimsy humanist fantasy and shameless seduction, a basis for the school curriculum! Fantasy-land would appear here to have moved from fiction to fact.

This assault on the Bible's teaching and record has been exposed by our Alliance, challenged and duly shown to be irrational and presumptuous, gratuitous and unsupported by the slightest evidence of scholarship (cf. Appendix IV below, esp. *1, Ch. 1 above, Deity and Design ...
Section 8).

Many such approaches have been made, in the interests of delivering the children from such shameless and continual abuse, molestation of minds. Many offers of public debate have been made. Yet no answer has ever been made explicitly to such challenges, nor any reasoning offered to support the political disenfranchisement of the testable Christ. It is of course not a matter of disseminating religious truth, for without faith this can be nauseous; it is one of not precluding it, of not stampeding against its implications, of examining and helping students to examine evidence without preclusive exclusions, like a spasm of the negative nerve.

No acknowledgement has ever been made of the confrontation offer, for debate, or of the irrational assault so obtrusively made on religion in general, AND HENCE on Christianity in particular. No refutation of any particle of the reasoned reviews of the distortion and the facts presented. The inexcusable is not, and cannot be excused. Silence however is not justification. If they have on occasion listened; yet they have not to the rational point, answered.

Irrelevances have been engaged in, as when the Minister for Education (Children's Services, or this functionary by whatever name) replied that religious people could on occasion make presentation in the schools. It could not, however, as the Circular to principals shows, contradict their curriculum. As to that, it is BASED not least on this misalliance with fraudulent claims and anti-biblical approach, and MUST be adhered to, so that the children will not be 'subjected' to what is contrary to it. You START with exclusions, including creation in science, virtually at all, elsewhere as a rational option. Hence it is ALL based in no small part on negative assumption, no grounds given, no debate permitted, no response to the point ever received, in terms of meeting of argumentation.

A religious phalanx, quite simply, has invaded the State, and the heat of Summer with its increasing over 40 C temperatures, is like a parable or a parody indeed, of this irrational and discriminatory heat from the political field, running rampant through the ranks of children, and into the ranks of teachers.

It is to be deplored that only once has any other Church as such joined in this work, though numbers of individuals have done so. Never let it be said that this molestation of children's spirits and minds has gone without note by Christians however! It has not, however,  been subjected to overwhelming challenge by sheer numbers of those who bear that name. One trembles to consider the plight of some in that day; for if this is not to be ashamed of the Lord, it is so close that like the snick on a bat in cricket, to miss it would take a huge effort. It is recorded. The small sound has large implications.

While the Lord is gracious, there is work to be done. Christ did not let folly parade without countermanding it; and His disciples are not free to be bound by convention, convenience or concord when others are being drawn to death (Proverbs 24:11-12). Pity has a place; love has a mission, truth has a command (cf. Isaiah 59:19).

Extensive and detailed data on this field are provided in Appendix V.

Slavery was removed from England only after enormous and sustained effort. This contemporary mental and spiritual slavery in the schools, through curricular constraints even moving in part to independent schools, has to be confronted, and many should pray. How horrible it was, in a spiritual sense, when recently some official in an Independent Schools group, spoke in a servile- seeming way of meeting the government requirements concerning virtual monopolising of organic evolution in the precise field of teaching and the grand one of perspective!

If parents have to pay to get that, it becomes a morbid comedy of errors, leading to a mocking tragedy for the young. If some escape, they are yet being put through the fires. Confrontation with the Government on this whole topic we have repeatedly made; but it slips away, like mice before a cat, and consistently is evasive while the thundering silence of many large religious bodies is like a rebellious canon that will not fire.

Speaking generally, it matters not in the least what the antichrist may think he is doing, or the spirit of antichrist essays: that is the power which seeks to contravene Christ, and motives are are not unknown, nor are results invisible; or how he seeks to phrase it. It is the phase more than the phrase that matters.

The destruction of spiritual life proceeds in its double-tongued and sly way, with the young sequestered, sedated and pre-emptively primed with the nature myth. Vastly beyond that, it is important that Christians do their duty, and do not sling the children to the wolves, in whatever uniform those gourmandising creatures may appear (cf. Acts 20:28-31). It is indeed in sheep's clothing that wolves are notorious for appearing, the better to increase the outcome of their intense appetite, natural to the species. Study therefore not the clothing, but the mouths. Consider what Jeremiah had to say in his day, from the Lord (Jeremiah 2, 23). The parallel is profound.

Seek to deliver the children from them, and educate them in truth and uprightness, so that scientific method does not become a virtual laughing stock, reverentially presented, while deviously distorted (cf.   SCIENTIFIC METHOD, SATANIC METHOD AND THE MODEL OF SALVATION), and the rational realities join the religious background in the ranks of those given marching orders ... to go!

 It is not enough to say that everybody is doing it; it is time that everyone who names the name of Christ act in the way of His works (John 14:21). It is time to act.

 

Let the glory of the Lord be not merely spoken of, but demonstrated through His own power, as His word is obeyed. Paul's words to the Ephesians elders, provided in Acts 20,  remain and ring today as then:

 

"But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself,
so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry
which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

"And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

"For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified."

 

 

NOTES

*1

The Evangelical Presbyterian Alliance has drawn up a short summary
which includes attention to this point.

It follows.

 

EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN ALLIANCE

 

SOME ACTUALITIES RE POSSIBLE APPROACH TO OMBUDSMAN

 

There follows a summary of governmental failure/trespass
in the Religion and Science Field.

 

BREACH – see in detail TMR Ch. 8

 

1)      In attacking all religions by a generalisation, the DECS document, Circular to Principals, January 1988, attacks Biblical Christianity in particular as one of these.

2)      In affirming a set of theological dogmas, as a base for the educational attitude to Creationism/Evolutionism, those responsible and who endorse and require this approach, have asserted and scripted a presuppositional religion of their own, with no trace of support provided; and their continued refusal to face what they have done in any written reply constitutes an avoidance/evasion/negligence on a matter of the highest import, since it involves ultimate perspectives and motives.

3)      In subsuming all religions under their own created religious criteria, they have not only set their authority behind one world view, but done so irresponsibly as an aside or commencement exercise, derogating by implication, through what they require and stipulate to be so.

4)      By so doing, they have violated the federally adopted UN document:  

"THE DECLARATION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF INTOLERANCE AND OF DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RELIGION OR BELIEF,"

which requires no discrimination of what is available, which is based on religion or belief. In particular, Article 5, 3 indicates that “the child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief.” He is to be brought in an atmosphere of understanding, whereas the current approach precludes and prejudices, predetermines and applies the direct opposite of the same for the schools of this government.

5)      Likewise, they appear to have violated the Commonwealth Constitution which forbids the governmental establishment of a religion, to the extent that the Commonwealth is involved in any of the State educational enterprises in its schools, or affairs.

6)       Moreover, by these means they have violated SCIENTIFIC METHOD by limiting it to the domain of their pre-determined religious and world philosophy, rather than approaching the matter by experimental verification and inter-locking finesse with all scientific theory and laws.

7)      In excluding creation views from relevance for enquiry, research or rational evaluation, and with these, developments from the hundreds of Ph.D. scientists indisputably of the Biblical Creationist approach, not to mention the much larger number who are creationists of a wider domain, which must include all their notable professional results, work, verifications and perspectives: they are in a secondary way violating this same UN Declaration on discrimination.

In particular they fail to meet its Article 2,2 concerning impairments suffered either from a purpose or result of action taken by a State. Not only are students of such a creationist persuasion limited socially, as to their place in the scientific aspect of the curriculum, but in their information on its aspects and materiél for enquiry. This has both a secondary and third element of breach, in that there is a social as well as a directly educational omission, exclusion and abstraction of data.

8)      Further, those responsible for enforcing this approach (the term used by the DECS upon enquiry as to its current application), by these means, exclude from government schools those teachers who insist on honest coverage of science, not pre-determined by indoctrinative media and principles: since this constitutes an abuse of science, schools and students, choosing for students what they should choose for themselves, when being educated, not indoctrinated.

It is germane that this last point that was strenuously affirmed by Dr Dmitri Kouznetsov when he gave a Lecture on this topic at the University of Adelaide. Relevant is the fact that he asserted that he became convinced of creationism years before his conversion to Christianity, while researching in Russia, where he received the Lenin Prize for Science along with three bio-science doctorates.       

This exclusivistic result for such teachers, constitutes the fourth breach of the UN  Declaration.

9)      This governmental approach also violates the equitable availability of resources, teaching skills and practical media not only for students, but to the extent of their due professional address to syllabi, that also for teachers. If these are lost for the student in their reception, they are lost for the teacher in their deployment. It is therefore not only the inequitable atmosphere, set of presuppositions, preliminary understanding, exclusivistic approach, but the discriminatory approach to skill and access of all kinds, which is of concern. What is excluded, does not have support in time.

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE FAILURE

 

There has also been an administrative failure of large dimensions in that over some 15 months, the issues directly and indirectly concerned in this governmental characterisation of all religions have never once been faced and granted any relevant written acknowledgement. This is despite the fact that the nature of this failure was succinctly pointed out to the Premier, after delays of months from his office, before it was simply repeated.

 

Further, the Minister for DECS not only did not address this primary issue in the first reply, when the matter was directed to her from the Premier, but after the latter received a letter noting this failure, and redirected it to the Minister, that Minister in reply again omitted in a manner almost identical, the crucial religious point that was made, while at the same time not addressing any of the substantive issues.

 

As pointed out, what schools may provide ONCE the criteria of religion and science are defined in this way,  or defiled, a priori, is not relevant. It is the definitions in religion relative to science, themselves,  which constitute the error, imposition, authoritarian assault with pervasive results. Provisions made on that basis do nothing to remove it or rectify the authoritarian, derogatory perspective, set up over all religion as basic to Curriculum. It is indeed this, which is not merely gratuitous and ludicrous, in that dealing in this peremptory and unscholarly manner with such issues is almost past scholarly belief, but expressly forms a basis for dealing with the creation/evolution issues.  

 

This is readily seen on survey of the Circular for Principals itself, which doubly confuses things, first mischaracterising religions, all being made the same in this field, and then mischaracterising creationism, all being made religious. 

 

Failure even to address this basic consideration and primary concern over 14 months, is one thing; refusal of interview WHILE this failure recurs is the next. Reference unresolved to the DECS, when it is specifically religious in its basic concern, is third; but the finale is the REPETITION of avoidance of this basic issue, by the Minister for Education after this very failure had been noted to the Premier, himself refusing interview.

 

As there is no minister for religion, he himself appeared most relevant, the more so in that, as noted to him, he had on TV expressed himself in favour of a free-thinking South Australia. The net result is failure to meet the issues, profound loss of time and repetitious error with months passing between the first and second occurrence, and bypassing of issues, even if primary.

 

It is desirable that
 

bullet

1)     the abuse of religion by means of generalisation should be removed
as presumptuous, and the more so in view of its unsupported nature,
in the field of Education;
 

bullet

2)     that the misuse of this misdefinition should cease to be used as a basis
for an approach to the teaching of evolution/creation in schools;
 

bullet

3)     that the free place in science - itself deeply divided even within evolutionary circles,
which attack and counter-attack with extreme vigour within that domain -
of all forms of qualified research should return to schools as an example; and
 

bullet

4)     that students and teachers alike should cease to be subjects
of a discrimination so intense that it appears not only as miseducation
and indoctrination, but a close approach to victimisation.

 

 

*2

 

As an illustration, we might cite an event in S.A. some years ago. At times one sees in various magazines, cases where someone has been told, or the thought has been evoked, that if such and such views are not promoted, or such and such are demoted, then dismissal is inevitable, tenure impossible and so on. Amazingly, some seem to regard this ultimatum from irrationality (since not the reason but the fact is paraded), as a mandate for submission. How on earth anyone could knowingly teach what is incorrect is a fearsome, yes awesome consideration, and it involves priorities! 

 

 

For me, to live knowingly apart from truth for whatever call, with or without the added responsibility of not shining with the light of the Lord but instead misleading others,  is not only worse than not living at all, but incomparably worse: better a dead child of God than a living rat, a fatuous fiasco or dereliction in deadness! When you fear God, it is in principle impossible to fear anyone or anything else; and the fear of the Lord is clean (Psalm 19), for wholesome awe at Him is both delightful and dutiful. In the resurrection of the body, life is unperturbed, its designs consummated; in this world, it is to be given wholeheartedly to God (Romans 12:1).

Below, an explosive confrontation in one's own life, in the arena of tertiary teaching, is outlined. It is taken from Questions and Answers Ch. 7, where much on parallel topics of government is provided.

Q:  What about Universities? If you were in power, what would you do with freedom there; and what about Colleges at the secondary level?

A: Universities should be places where truth is sacred. When it comes to God, I have never found places less like what they should be. In what is now a University in S.A., I once lectured in Communications. Special permission was granted to me to present material on scientific method, and of course this showed that creation was the apt contender, in terms of procedure. (See That Magnificent Rock, Ch.1,The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, pp. 140ff., and so on.) Enormous hostility arose, and the Head of the Department asked me to account.

This I did: No better case illustrating scientific method could I find than this abortion of it, so commonly met in the area of organic evolutionism. The errors of method met here, these helped to focus and feature what scientific method should be. Thus, by bringing up a well-known case, and allowing us systematically to show the foibles which substituted for clear and correct application of scientific method to the case, we had an excellent stimulus to thought and understanding.

I indicated that in fact the opposite position to this careful methodology was common, endemic and unwarranted; that proper freedom of thought was not in place, that all that could be said for and against meant it was high time that someone would present what had been neglected; that what I had presented was correct, available for overturning; that it had not been overturned, and if it could be, then it was appropriate for it to be overturned in my presence. What time better than the present! This was the tenor of my reply to investigating authority.

The response was this: IT IS NOT CONVENIENT to teach otherwise, like this. Therefore, STOP IT!   {You could see further on such things, and on this, in News 51, Scoop of the Universe pp. 248ff..}

Q: Did you? Or did you have enough principle to avoid what could be construed perhaps as a power putsch!

A: No I rejected the request, and hence in a little when the tasks required were done, left the institution. It would not be possible to abide by such a request, in integrity. The calibre of the answer to my truth-based request echoes like a gun-shot through the vaults of history:  It is not convenient.

Q: So you recommend that people should not hold on to positions, but rather hold on to the truth?

A: This is so. The Bible declares: Buy the truth and do not sell it. Sell truth! Without truth a person is scarcely human - but especially if the result is voluntary! But this has been an interesting case, the University one.

Q: Why?

A: This is PRECISELY the sort of area where an abuse of power arises - any teaching place, or site of instruction. However, at a University, people must be prepared to throw away arrogance about philosophies, and put them to the test, not abusing lecturers' powers by failing you, or harassing your responses if they have merit, because they do not fit the current flirtation with culture, which is modish.

 

See

Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Savlation

In fact, the train of this volume being spiritual in focus, and specialising in major thrusts and topics, one has not mentioned in the basic text the various teaching posts held either as supplemental to the Ministry (as with Paul in his tent-making, though this had more dimensions), or as in the case of a Headmastership and Principalship in Christian Schools, parallel to it. It is astounding what foreign principles can be used to invade the biblical doctrine in some schools, even spiritual hedonism, carrot and stick. I have made it a point where relevant, to dissociate myself from such unspiritual oddities which so resoundingly clash with being crucified with Christ, and not seeking to please oneself (Romans 15:1, Galatians 2:20). On such topics, see also SMR Ch. 4, Sections 1 and 2.

 

 

APPENDIX PLACE

 I

APPENDIX on Grace, the Human Race
and Impious Calumnies against the Divine Name

Conscious or not, Far from Desired, or Desired

 

Appendix I

 

* On Spurgeon, the following both to concur and to go beyond, is of interest.


It is taken from Predestination and Freewill, and extended.

 

Spurgeon next ponders the text: "Jacob have I loved; Esau have I hated." The context states that before the birth and irrespective of the works of either, their divine destiny was dispensed. Thrusting aside two hermeneutic infertilities is a preliminary. He rejects the effort to equate "hated" with "loved less". If "hate" is a somewhat strong translation, it is nearer the original than is the amendment: and use what word you will, Esau was not directed? blessed or treated with divine affection. Nor is the pinch of predestination escaped by equating "Esau" with a tribe. First, the context is concentrated on individual considerations; furthermore, is not a nation composed of individuals? Even if it were not so, this selective type of principle is not the less operative because vaster in scope. Let us face it, he says, there was a decisive divine difference in approach portrayed as predestination.

That word! Its mention is like the tang of doom to the Arminian who reacts with flashing eye. But is this response consistent for him? Surely such a man would assert that his own salvation depended on an effusion of divine grace. that it was grace which brought him in; that he will glory in that; that he could not reach it and but for this grace, he would have remained blind.

Wait! says Spurgeon. If it was the superabundance of divine grace which drew you, how is it that that unconverted man is not also so drawn? Are you sure that you do not intend that you were simply sharper than he? Never! comes the swift responses he has not as yet received so gracious an effusion as I was blessed to obtain. Spurgeon is implacable: If he never does, is he not therefore separated from you by a decisive difference in divine approach and by nothing else? And is this not precisely what I called predestination? Thus we agree ­ but you are less happy to consider these consequences of your own emphasis.

As here indicated, Spurgeon wishes to clarify thinking, to establish principles but he has no intention of carrying them to the further point where there is a gratuitous addition to Scripture, or a collision with it. In this respect, he asserts, much harm is done by considering positive and negative predestination as determined by the one principle. The procedure is mistaken. The two types of apportionment of destiny should be seen to be governed by two appropriate principles.

With the (positive) election of grace, it is this:

The sinner in debt to God with his life, can expect ­ short of grace ­
to pay with the condign consignment of that life beyond the presence of God.
A rifling (not self­dependent but yet self­directive) renegade,
his is just exclusion.

But God will have mercy; delights in it; shows it;
the man is swamped in grace, restored by forgiveness,
penalty is lifted and life is restored.
The principle is one of grace: pure, unmerited, unsearchable, unattainable, but bestowed.

We have no problem: divine discretion engenders delightsome bounty in this positive case.

A new principle applies in the case of negative election: it is justice, a pure justice not to be confused with the vindictiveness, spite or bitter ebullitions of parting personalities, retaliatory after injury rather than pursuant of equity. The will of the reprobate wanted what it got, with respect to God: that is, none of Him. Is not preference as well as justice catered for? for he has got what he wanted. Who shall complain?

These are two principles: grace and justice each appropriate to its subject, and neither to be applied to the subject matter of the other. Where now is controversy ?

But the truth­loving Spurgeon does not ignore a possible appearance of inconsistency. We may divide; but have we conquered? Would it not appear that the electing God has declined to pour out a necessary and efficacious grace upon some men ­ like Esau; and does not this abstention raise the anomalous thought that He specifically created some souls with the purpose of damning them!

Is not this, counters Spurgeon, to libel the Lord? It is contrary to the principles which God reveals of His character: and it is mere inference. Can we infer in these supernal regions which directly move upon the divine personality? he asks. Do we not recall the dangers of shallow doctors of limited mind but unlimited "understanding" whose shallowness brings, through a misleading sophistication, not triumph but defeat! No. Just as God's word, in promise form, staggered even faith to believe it, when Abraham heard it seem to surpass normal providence in promising him a child at his great age, so here God's word in the form of doctrine seems to surpass logic in its propositions.

With our premises of the greatness of His excellence above us, we may consistently postulate that in some such way this apparent deficiency43* (not after all an express statement) may be filled up, and the difficulty overcome with a like power in the regions of understanding. But for the present, let us adhere to what we know and pursue it.

 

(End of citation.)

 

Spurgeon rightly regards it as blasphemy to attribute the withholding of saving grace from a man as an initiative for which God in sovereign simplicity of action and desire, is responsible. In the sermon on Jacob and Esau, he declares this (colour added).

 

Why does God hate any man ? I defy anyone to give any answer but this, because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. There are some who answer, divine sovereignty; but I challenge them to look that doctrine  in the face. Do you believe that God created man and arbitrarily, sovereignly - it is the same thing - created that man, with no other intention, than that of damning him ? Made him, and yet, for no other reason than that of destroying him for ever ? Well, if you can believe it, I pity you, that is all I can say: you deserve pity, that you should think so meanly of God, whose mercy endureth for ever. You are quite right when you say the reason why God loved man, is because God does do so; there is no reason in the man. But do not give the same answer as to why God hates a man. If God deal with any man severely, it is because that man deserves all he gets. In hell there will not be a solitary soul that will say to God, O Lord, thou hast created me worse than I deserve! But every lost spirit will be made to feel that he has got his deserts, that his destruction lies at his own door  and not at the door of God, that God had nothing to do with his condemnation, except as the Judge concerns the criminal, but the himself brought  damnation upon his own head, as the result of his own evil works. Justice is that which damns a man; it is mercy, it is free grace that saves; sovereignty holds the scale of love; it is justice holds the other scale. Who can put that into the hand of sovereignty ? That were to libel God and to dishonour him ... My soul revolts at the idea of a doctrine that lays the blood of man's soul at God's door. I cannot conceive how any human mind, at least any Christian mind, can hold any such blasphemy as that.. . Salvation is of God ... if you perish, at your own hands must your blood be required.

 

 

The concept of simple  sovereign damnation Spurgeon rejects in terms aptly summed as being a hideous caricature, as 'blasphemy', in terms of mean-minded and so forth. Man when reprobate is entirely responsible for his own damnation in a way which is therefore not a mirror-image of the fact that God is entirely responsible for his salvation.

 

Spurgeon, as shown in Predestination and Freewill, while going well in making this distinction and emphasis, well indeed, does not go far enough. It is shown there as in other of the reference chapters given above, that in fact the LOVE of God is towards all, even to the point of wishing them to be saved, but not to the point of requiring it by force. Love has restraint, and no meaning when it is merely contrived. He knows what He is doing in predestinative mode as well as in historical appeal, whether through Christ Himself or the prophets. While the human will is decisively not operative in this as shown in the above work, and clear from scripture, it is decidedly relevant (cf. SMR Appendix B).

 

It is thus responsible, even though because of its pathology it was dysfunctional to the point at issue; for God is able to know the heart of a man beyond sin, beyond all things, in reality, and to comprehend where love is apt and where it would be a perverted intrusion masquerading as love, when love it is not.

 

These things are expounded at length within the references given. They are continually seen in the scriptures where the appalled grief of God and the intensively yearning love are conjoined with consequential and condign punishment, alone apt where love is reviled, remedy is disregarded as in the infinite and pre-temporal knowledge of God (Ephesians 1:4, II Chronicles 36, Ezekiel 33:11, Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2, John 3:16, Luke 19:42ff., Isaiah 48:18ff., and see Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Supplement 6).

See moreover DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY Section 10, including *1.

 

 

 

Appendix II

The Resurrection of the Resurrection Action

in Assembly

There follows, after the introduction,

 the 1967 St Ninian's Church Bulletin.

 

 INTRODUCTION

 

Followed by the Historic Bulletin in the NZ Affair of 1966-1967

in two parts

 

The case of Wairau Parish, New Zealand, where the Session in 1966 made an Overture to the apostasising Assembly in Wellington, presented by Rev. Robert E. Donaldson as Assembly representative, is here given in terms of the Bulletin as sent to the congregation in 1967.

The public denial of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Principal of the NZ seminary, while one was a New Zealand Presbyterian Minister (ordained as such in 1966), meant that this intolerable situation had to be addressed. Having secured from the Session as assurance before accepting the call to this congregation, that they were convinced of the infallibility of the Bible, one called on them to challenge the evil words against the resurrection, in Assembly. This was done by means of what is called in Presbyterian circles, an Overture, or formal statement to the Assembly by this Church body. This was duly sent, and the matter duly presented in 1966 at Assembly.

Perhaps some slept so long that they did not hear it; or found the SEVEN MINUTES which alone were given for the presentation, to pass while they had other business, but nothing will ever alter this most costly fact!

Many things following, the Lord did not allow that denomination, the PC of NZ, to be without a witness, or without a speaker or one to denounce its God-forsaking ways at that very self-same Assembly.

In due course, as this reproduction of the St Ninian's Church Bulletin of 1967 makes evident, one put forth by the Church Session, in June 1967,  there was a total confrontation in the Church, just as there had been in the Assembly. While the devil loves to cover up this indisputable fact, the Bulletin itself having been circulated to the entire congregation at the time, and the Overture presented in to the preceding national Presbyterian Assembly in 1966, one using TRAFFIC LIGHTS on its floor, with red  for stop,  orange for caution and green for go,  its robust challenge set forth by this Minister in the service of the Session and of Jesus Christ: only slander can seek to distort the fact, or by its blaspheming utterance, seek to delete it.

You might as well seek to eliminate Auschwitz, or by mere words, the persecution of the Jews. As to the devil, he was, on the highest authority (John 8:44), a liar, for  "there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own; for he is  liar, and the father of it".

This testimony and official, formal Assembly confrontation, authorised by Session, and presented to the PCNZ Assembly, by this, its Minister in the service of the grossly and outrageously assaulted Jesus Christ, in 1966, yes even in those more modern times,  assuredly occurred; for it was a work of the Lord which was done to and for His necessary and great honour and glory. It stood, as it will stand for all time as a condemnation of that folly when a formerly great Church in NZ denied the faith, making what is crucial, to become optional, and hence not a part of the faith. So did it fail on that day, refusing to make the declaration requested in the overture. That fallen Assembly however did not escape the denunciation which followed, given  as 'dissent' in that Wellington body in its meeting,  before one left the land and the Church.

From there, one proceeded in 1967  to join, as noted, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod in the USA, in fact in St Louis, Mo..

In New Zealand, however, the faith, thus denuded, is at that level no faith at all; and the approximately 17,000 word document which was lodged with the 1966 Assembly in NZ, BECAUSE this same Minister, Robert Donaldson,  had FORMALLY DISSENTED from the Resurrection Statement as such in that Assembly,  and on that ground, is the result of that action.

It is to the greater glory of God first of all to speak the truth, and secondly, not to act as in some alien countries, where the work of Christians is distorted or denied by those who may seek to deface and defame the glory of the Lord. The Lord in His glory first appeared to this same Minister, and then sent Him into many a fray for the faith, as here, of which this is a testimony even to the alien or to the defiled; and of course this has meant the loss of congregations as they strayed, or as here, a national church where we had two delightful buildings, one in town and one in the country.

The cost is great; the Lord is infinitely greater. Glory be to the Lord, who both gives and takes away; but NOTHING will ever take away from HIS glory or HIS name or HIS power by which He sends and sustains His servants, as this same Minister, to the Lord's glory, @solemnly attests.

 

For more on these NZ events, see
Joy Comes in the Morning Ch. 9, and
The World Belongs to Me, and I am His.

 

 

WAIRAU PARISH BULLETIN - JUNE '67

 

20th CENTURY CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCHES

 

WAIRAU PARISH

 

20TH CENTURY CHALLENGE IN THE CHURCHES

 

Internationally, 1967 is a fateful year for the Presbyterian Churches.

In Canada, new doctrinal approach is being brought forward; in U.S.A. the so-called Confession of '67 is likely to be accepted, radically departing from the standards of absolute truth to which that Church has been committed for a vast period; in Australia, Church Union is to he reviewed further in the General Assembly meeting once again this year for the nation, while active provision is already far advanced for that part of the Church which is not expected to join when eventually Union comes. In Australia, the Church of England is not included as yet, so that the breadth to be covered is less.

In N.Z_ the Chairman of the Association of Presbyterian Laymen, Mr Robert Wardlaw has indicated his resolve to leave the Church if a satisfactory settlement is not this year obtained in regard to unscriptural statements attributed to Principal Geering; while the numerous Ministers in the Westminster Fellowship (about 92) within the Presbyterian Church of N.Z. , are speaking of the possibility of departure - or rather their Chairman is voicing this - if cardinal matters continue to lapse at Assembly. Many may not follow. But some almost certainly will act unless radical action is taken...Meanwhile, 7 accepted students fox the Ministry in Auckland are now refusing to train at Knox Presbyterian College in Dunedin, and a distinguished Minister is preparing to return to Great Britain.

Thus two thirds way through the century, it seems many Presbyterian Churches are more than two thirds way through their spiritual inheritance. Popular opinion cannot forever pretend that THE OLD INSTITUTION is still the same. It may become more popular with the world... but if so, that would be a deadly condemnation : "Friendship with the world is enmity with God," says James. But evangelical opinion will be more resistant; while those among evangelicals who believe that faith without works is dead, will be faced either with major Church reform now, or events no less sacrificial perhaps than was the disruption within the Church of Scotland in 1843. At that time some 400 members of Assembly WALKED OUT AND FOUNDED A NEW CHURCH. They left Manse and salary. There is still salt which has not lost its savour. To God be the glory for that.

The rot, however, has set in throughout many Churches throughout the world. But what of our own "house"? By way of analogy, let us remark that adultery is common ... but this does not excuse it in any home.

NATIONAL STRESS

In the past year, you in particular may feel that you have been subjected to pressures outside the ordinary. In one way, you may be right.

After all. it is scarcely ordinary for clergymen inside and outside our Church to be belittling truths so basic as to amount to a denial of the Christian religion ... In the Press. It is indeed true that often before, many in the Ministry have done this - but far less openly. It is also true that Ministers-in-training have been subjected to expressly anti-Biblical teachings for decades now, in many institutions throughout the world, run by the Churches.' Indeed, your Pastor, when a teenager or thereabouts, heard a former Knox College Professor unwisely teaching the anti-Christian philosophy that the changeless and ever blessed God EVOLVES !! This - at a Youth Camp!

 We must be prepared to be challenged now if never before if we are Christians. The Bible indicates that the world lies in the wicked one, that we are to be in it, not of it, friends with God and enemies of the world. If you were of the world, said Jesus, the world would love you. But now you are not of the world. Therefore, the world hates you.

Currently worldliness is entering the Church and many people in the pews seem uncertain as to their response. Others seem almost to sympathise. All this is woeful. But it happened even In the first century (see Colossians and II Corinthians). However, the early Church generally and the apostles in particular reacted sharply, suddenly and successfully against it, trusting in the Lord (...just read through Jude).

Yet when the world enters the Church (through Its pagan philosophies such as some in the Church now recommend shamelessly); and the Church then goes into the world, being with and of the world, we must ask one thing. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THE CHURCH!

Other people have had to ask this question before now, and we do not always condemn them for that ... Rather are we astonished in our readings of history at many who apparently lived contentedly through wicked days in earlier Church times! And will we astonish our children, and appal our descendants through our own sheer relaxed religious conventionality, as we follow whatever mob happens to he talking THE OFFICIAL WORDS ... ? Or were you ever an admirer of the Sadducees or a supporter of the Pharisees in the New Testament? Despising healing truth if it meant Christ's criticism of the corruption in the Church, they shamelessly attacked Christ Jesus Himself, stung past endurance by His fearless and final application of THE WORD OF GOD.

The servant is not greater than his Master. We in our own day must resist the unconverted efforts of "the twentieth century man" to capture the Church for his convenience.

We must be prepared to be different for Christ; to conform to Him only.

 

LOCAL TENSION

So LOCALLY in particular, events have placed pressures upon you. You see however that you are not the first Christians in history to experience this. Yet if you succumb to these present evils, in the long run that will prove that you do not believe. The born again man "does not make a practice of sin."

These pressures, then, are your Christian "birthright". They are strong now. You can react by taking an "easy" and popular way of one kind or another; or respond by seeking in mutual love the will of God with courage and conviction, abiding in the changeless Christ who still commands the Churches, and keeps His words.

A TIME TO SPEAK

We of Session, rather slightly in our view, have been seeking to meet these current evils as we can. When not only Professor Geering, but a highly placed Anglican and an academic Baptist Minister can snigger, jeer or smile at the resurrection of our LORD'S body or the Creation (with equal irrationality and presumption, from a Biblical point of view) and be so reported in the Press: clearly we cannot as Christians sit down and hope "all will be well", and the smog will blow itself away. As in the days of Queen Esther, God will certainly deliver His people; but woe to those who sit on the side-lines and refuse to be courageous for the faith!

Last year we held, for example, a Public Meeting on the Resurrection. Unfortunately, the Report on this was subjected to misleading misprints (errata) in the Press. Thus the proof read: "Peter and Paul refused to allow the noted word "corruption" to describe what happened to Jesus' body, while affirming that it was precisely this that happened to David's body, which certainly did rot." But in the Press, that last word "rot" appeared as "not"! of course that made the whole paragraph unintelligible - except to someone quick enough to see that there had been a rather obvious misprint. Moreover, several other departures from the proof copy appeared ...

Thus someone of opposing views, Press Report in hand went enquiring if anyone could understand it. Mutilated as it was, it could readily provide some grounds for a little confusion. As COWPER puts it :

"A single erratum can knock out the brains of a whole passage."

But when in one passage you have a whole series of misprints.!

Had the persistent enquirer allocated time to the Minister of the relevant Church, then might he have seen the truth of the matter, and gained insight by studying the real text.

This confusion is too typical of what has been happening in and about Wairau Parish and we cite it as an illustration.

Personal remarks often arise following inadequate information, or the bias people sometimes succumb to when they wish just to be at ease and untroubled. But at these times, to "let things slide" is not so much cowardice as betrayal. The SLEEPING DISCIPLES were reproved by Jesus, although He loved them: we cannot afford to sleep. And in saying these things, we speak to ourselves no less than to you. We are all 'on trial'.

And we must act uncurbed by contentious personal criticism. If we do not always reply, we have an example in NEHEMIAH.

 

THE RUMBLINGS OF MASONRY

Masonry has been one particular issue creating tension. Frankly, we disapprove of some of-its leading principles; but let us be quite clear, we are talking of principles, not people.

In Christ, we look for a city having foundations, whose builder and maker is God. We must look for something better, then, than a club uniting believers and unbelievers in activities including the spiritual, thereby compromising the only LORD JESUS CHRIST. (II Corinthians 6:14-18). You who love Him, will you mix your worship of Him with the gods of those who call Him in question? CAN you treat HIM like that! Jesus said: "I am the way; no man comes to the father but by me." Would you insinuate that He is a liar? that there is another way? that GOD can he approached and found without Christ... without putting your-trust in Him... by agnostics and other unbelievers? The Scripture says: "Exhort one another". (Hebrews 10:25) Let us not live unto ourselves but really feel aware that Christians are members one of another and of Christ. The Christian is not free, except to conform to Christ.

Christian you are never free to go anywhere except in His name (Colossians 3:17): to 'respect' and let-be the 'religions' of others is INTOLERANCE OF THE TRUTH. Yes, God has a place, Christ has a place: it must be first and final! There is one faith (Acts 4:12, Ephesians 4:5); there is one bond of unity, this is in Christ. Christ excludes competition. You cannot patronise Him; with gratitude unspeakable you must surrender to His entire government. But truth weeps, while "freedom" bounds.

Thus while the Church grows cold, members link in spiritual exercises acceptable to confessed unbelievers in that only Lord Jesus Christ, and WITH THEM commit themselves by oath (!) in advance to 'secret' mysteries, forbidden in Scripture (John 3:20-21, Deuteronomy 6:4-5) necessarily not based on Christ as the only foundation (I Corinthians 3:11) and hence condemned. Again this commitment to the unknown is mode while they yet call on Christ's name and have professed a prior commitment to Him AS TRUE GOD, THE KNOWN LORD WITH A WRITTEN AND BINDING REVELATION.

Further, if it is Christianity, its testimonies are clear, it 'comes into the light', its nature is public. If however it is not so, then it lies exposed to a further fault. It is a libel on the Lord for this 'craft' to proceed in its own chosen way (Proverbs 30:6) in its own name (Colossians 3:17) at the hand of some who also name that ONLY commander Jesus Christ, who said: Call no man on earth Master, for one is your Master, even Christ. Do we want to invite the wrath of God?

We are God-fearing men, and we receive clear cut Scriptures and a given Gospel (Galatians 1:10-12). While we do not presume to judge men - and therefore Masons - it is part of our Scriptural task to expose in principle what compromises in the Church the Christ of the Bible, the Lord's Christ (Titus 1:9).

In principle, then it must be Christ or the Craft. Let your eye be single. In practice, be strong (Matthew 5:29).

Small wonder such men as Oswald J. Sanders, some years ago General Director of the China Inland Mission; and world famous evangelists Charles Finney and Torrey former and evacuated members themselves have written so keenly against Masonry. But the ultimate test is the Bible. Colliding with Masonry, its testimonies themselves provide the indictment.

And Jesus calls.

 

BUTTED UNDER THE BELT

Again, however, we regret to report that widespread rumours have arisen on this point, and the ninth commandment - let us face it - has been freely broken. AT NO TIME, FOR EXAMPLE, HAVE WE OR ANY OF US ASKED ANY SESSION MEMBER TO LEAVE EITHER MASONRY OR THE SESSION. Yet this false report has evidently travelled town and brought a whole hos7of erroneous "judging" on the head of the Session or the Minister. While we seek strictly to judge issues not people, evidence shows that many in the town and almost certainly the Church have been seeking to judge us as people, while forgetting the issues which in fact have provoked them!! This is the blow "under the belt".

If a thing is right let it come into the light as Jesus showed: and let there be an end of all these lower body blows. Backbiting, by the way is vigorously condemned in Scripture. If you love life, in love we say it for your sake. avoid it (Psalm 15:3 : 1 Peter 3:10 : Leviticus 19:17; Matthew 18:15; Proverbs 24:28).

For our part, while we are here, through His grace we will apply the word of God; and we remain available ... as ever. Nor is this 'criticising parishioners'. Rather it is applying God's precepts. When a "Church" rejects the word in their midst, and wants an airy-fairy glamour religion which only praises, it has ceased to be a Church. SO this too we must surely avoid.

 

THE RESURRECTION IS AN AXE

A vastly greater issue is that of the Resurrection. In view of the many denials of the faith coming in Church publications and in the Press from Ministers, we last year overtured the Assembly seeking for a clear and Scriptural statement, to rebut these blows on the Church's escutcheon. We could do no less. We were nevertheless refused by the Assembly in Wellington.

However it undertook to review the Overtures and reconsider the matters this year.

It is only because of this review being undertaken by Assembly that we come to be still in this Presbyterian Church of N.Z. as it is at present constituted.

We are not free to fool with the facts of the faith. They must be stated clearly and kept clear. A declaration on this Overture is the responsibility of the '67 Assembly. No possibility exists for us to remain in this institution, if the Assembly statement is not brought up to the level of Scripture.

 

BAPTISM - OF FIRE OR WATER ?

Also, we have taken a strong line, advisedly, on the subject of Baptism. Almost incredible abuse has fallen on one of our number follow ing his adherence to the Church Rules, which in turn are well based on Scripture here. Shortly after his arrival on a visit to a member, his greeting was an angry and agitated confrontation... and THIS BASED ON UNCHECKED AND UNFACTUAL OBSERVATIONS ... Thus not help but hindrance arose!

A restlessness in resistance to right was already arising in the Parish ...

Now in all this we have sought simply to do the work committed to us. We do not mind the anger and the abuse; but we do mind that the flock should be confused by it. We do not want you to suffer through false understanding.

 

THE FUTURE ... ?

The future has an extremely interesting look, Some in our midst, a minority of the elders and some others - took the step of calling on the local Presbytery to "solve" our "problems". (A Presbytery is rather like an official regional council). Instead of solving them, this action has led to the almost certain loss of £5000 from the Church, the resignation of the Session Clerk and the departure of no small amount of mutual confidence.

The real problems honest in themselves and a good test and challenge for us all as a people seemed to be twisted into a nearly tragic shape for this little Charge. Our little 'Jerusalem' was engaging in jousts and jibes ... and even something which, though called 'criticism' looked more like accusation, began to appear in the brotherhood, and the sister- hood ...

Session, meanwhile, all committed to the infallible Scripture before our Pastor would consent to come, saw Scriptural commands violated as a Presbytery of alien views on vital doctrine was brought to our hearth.

To put trust in a Presbytery of this view - at such a time! - was like a mouse putting trust in a cat. Certainly to our understanding, it betrayed a joint commitment with our Pastor, to the Scripture. It did this, further, at the top level. Instead of "avoiding" this Court in its present doctrinally backslidden position, as far as we were free to do so, we were asking it in as a presence from God to settle the pressures.

But what had precipitated such a breach?

 

HIGH EXPLOSIVES AT EASTER

These pressures arise continually from reactions to the word of God. However, they actually `blew up' at the Easter Camp issue, which logically and Scripturally-was surely a very simple one.

Here Session resolved to hold a separate Camp for our own Church, because of the attitude of the other local Session, that of St. Andrew's.

The St. Andrew's Session statement, as it appeared in the Press, refused to take from the Scripture the physical fact of the bodily resurrection of Christ Jesus. The St. Ninian's Session therefore sought a separate Camp, breaking the tradition of combination with that of the other Church. This Scripture absolutely requires.

However, we are flesh and blood. Many changes occurred as different points came into view; but eventually the second Camp was established. Before this, however, owing to the lateness of the time and the extent of the initial confusion with emotional chain reactions an offer of compromise had been made. By this, each teacher in the combined Camp should simply subscribe to the full authority of Scripture and the physical fact of the resurrection of Christ's body; and for '67 the matter would be left at that.

This proposal however was turned down. If this had been accepted, a combined Camp would have been allowed as satisfactory for '67. But no - it was not accepted.

So the separate Camp was forced upon us. The Scriptural principle was, after all, transparently clear: and we are not masters but servants. God is our Master. His words are orders.

This separation did a lot of good. It made people realise that all this is not a matter of words. It is a matter of flesh and blood, of life. Doctrine gives God's directions concerning life. We can accept it or reject it; but it is no use saying we accept it, and yet not doing it. This is the sin which Jesus, and the prophets, expose to their strongest condemnation.

We are glad we eventually did establish that Second Camp, for we fear God, not men.

 

THAT MURDERER - THE TONGUE

There were other results.

It seems those unfortunate gossip makers blew dust. Was it not suggested that St. Andrew's were not Christian! It would appear so. And so the author of confusion, the devil, got into top gear.

However, we had made it most clear publicly that the separation hinged on TWO PUBLIC PRESS STATEMENTS OF THE TWO SESSIONS. In view of this, we would certainly violate Scripture, simply to hold a combined Camp. But in so doing we made it exceptionally clear from the outset that we passed no comment whatever on Bible Class Teachers or members of either Church... It was a matter of Session, the local governing body; and more particularly of a statement of doctrine to which they had committed themselves. Thus, in the name of St. Andrew's Session, there had appeared a public profession or STATEMENT so disastrous, from a Biblical point of view, that for us to ignore this at the practical level would be gross negligence. That Statement has never been denied ... it was reportedly unanimous.

Now all this upsets some people - including those who want Scripture and doctrine to be forgotten in the practical world of events, and to go on their same old ways regardless, treating the word of God as a doormat while they do as they please. It also troubles those people who fear the loss of friends more than the offence offered to God.

 

WHY NOT CONFORM TO CHRIST

Actually, as with Abraham, you may well find that a courageous stand here will bring new depth to what you had thought to lose : to some of your friendships, and to your own life (Luke 14:26). It is only indeed kind to warn people and to set an example. If you believe it, you must act on it. And unless you are WILLING to put all friendships and relationships on the altar, you compromise Christ.

None of this is personal. We do not judge men. we repeat.

We are dealing with statements, with doctrine - JOHN 7:17 is from Jesus' lips! We are making no comment on anyone as a person. We are dealing simply with a Statement; and we are applying the Scriptures locally.

 

ASSEMBLY REFUSES AND RESTS AWHILE

Had Assembly however kept its house in order, and made clear statements of these vital doc trines when we asked in '66, this upset COULD NOT have happened over Easter Camp. And if you are upset at there being an upset, come now, reflect that there was an 'upset' at the first great Easter, when the savage fury of a Church which had consolidated its refusal to Jesus Christ, broke out as it sought to break HIM!

 This Assembly slowness, we say led to these events here. For consider the case if they had acted on our OVERTURE IN '66 - acted either way, but acted clearly and finally ... EITHER we would have been out of a Church which had rejected the whole authority of Scripture, OR the Scriptural truth of the Resurrection would have been binding on ALL SESSIONS.

But Assembly rested awhile! Thus in the meantime, its refusal to affirm these vital Scriptures on the Resurrection has led to local results.

Whilst it must bear its own responsibility for this, we appeal to you to keep straight vision. We are free to follow Scripture; and while we are here or elsewhere, in the Lord we intend to do - JUST THAT!
If any of you do not like this. there is certainly a dividing of the ways
between us ... After all, it is at the local level, is it not, that you are going to be tested - and we! \

 

THE FIERY FURNACE

So the 'powder' exploded after Easter. Some pursued the path of inviting in Presbytery, leaping over the wall of the Session's refusal to do this; and Presbytery agreed, in its haste summoning us by telegram!

We as a Session however have refused to acknowledge the ability of this uninvited Presbytery to 'judge'. In this Presbytery, we can place no trust because of its doctrinal condition as shown in its clear cut actions during the past year ... actions indeed involving this very matter, this very central matter of the Resurrection which is here in view. Perhaps you may be growing the least bit weary of hearing about this Resurrection; but just reflect that if a Church commences to throw out any Scripturally defined basic doctrine about the Saviour, there is sure to be talk about it ... at least, until reform or separation sets in.

 The point therefore is simple. While the Presbytery has followed the admittedly disastrous temporary Assembly 'line' on this basic issue - basic locally and basic to Christianity - how can it 'judge' our actions based as they are on the opposing and Scriptural view of it? For this cause we have refused to present our cause, or case to the Presbytery to determine. On the contrary, we have in writing advised them from the outset that except they as a Presbytery could affirm sound Scriptural doctrine, and so change their earlier stand we should be compelled to go to Assembly. Accordingly, the 'judgments' of Presbytery we formally rejected in advance, quite irrespective of the libellous character to be assumed by so many of their remarks - remarks indeed presented without evidence, or even contrary to evidence ...

We as SESSION, and Session only, have appealed to Assembly - FIRST to settle IN TERMS OF SCRIPTURE the doctrines already brought to it in 1966 and so far so woefully rejected; and then, IF it first do this, to cover the issue referred from Presbytery IN TERMS OF these stable standards of Scripture. But the first MUST necessarily come first. Principles PRECEDE their application.

While we have applied Scripture, then, some seeming to put their trust in a Presbytery radically moving from Scripture, have thereby subjected us and our Pastor to a barrage of "hot" unreasoned adjectives, a modern "furnace". Sound together in this Ministry, we are unimpressed by this personal abuse, this virtual clanging brass following our careful avoidance of personal judgments on men's characters, and following of principles.

Interestingly enough, the comments of Presbytery followed almost exactly the sort of line which in view of Scriptural principles we imagined would be likely, as noted in our last Session letter (q.v.) ... It had seemed that their reactions to Scriptural conscience and authority could be virtually predictable' And so it has come to pass!

We, however, COMMIT OUR CAUSE TO CHRIST, whose apostles say : "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? ... and Grumble not against one another, that you yourselves be not judged. Behold, the Judge is standing right at the door."

The "slants" of subjectivism are unsightly. We desire not this, but to enlighten you with sufficient information to release you all from the bondage which confusion can bring and rumour can release.

Let those who will apply Scripture with its valid standards in these days, join now in a new Season of prayer and fellowship, avoiding all subjective judging of men, but following the true doctrine with meekness of heart and strength of conviction; and let us all criticise ourselves (justly) and not others (in ignorance); and let us keep to the narrow way which is advocated by and found in Jesus Christ.

 

 LOOKING BEYOND

In China under the Communists, in Europe where their regime holds, and indeed in the experience of Paul, a great example, we find all this sort of libellous labelling, dark dabbling in reputations, disreputably, this work of the tongue a great gambit in dealing with Christians who are inconvenient. Often indeed, while the true topic is disregarded, a~ trifling or untrue criticism is made: this prevents a dangerous 'martyrdom', but can still remove the nuisance! Thus Paul himself can say: "In everything commending ourselves as servants of God... in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, by glory and dishonour, by evil report and good report, regarded as deceivers and yet true, as unknown and yet well known," and again: "When we are reviled we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; when we are slandered, we entreat; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as beloved children."

 

MANHANDLING PROFESSOR MACHEN

It was some decades ago now, that Professor Machen in the U.S. spoke clearly, forcibly and arrestingly for truth. Indeed, in 1923 he published a book called "Christianity and Liberalism" in which the Scriptural position of Christianity was sharply separated from the 'new look' religion called Liberalism, which dabbled in the Bible here and there, but did not bother to follow it through.

Highly regarded at ultra-famous Princeton seminary for Ministry students, the Professor made it clear that these two "camps" arising within the Church, were in fact two different religions: Christianity and Liberalism... And so they are! To subject the Scriptural Ministry to this other "Camp" is an act at worst of betrayal; at best, of unbelief or confusion. If we do not take these things seriously, how can it be said that we believe them?

The Church, said Machen, had to be cleared of those in pulpits and professorial chairs, who spent Church brains, time and money in a training programme for a quite different religion. Was it not a takeover bid for the Christian Church which was going on, to use the power of Christians to propagate an opposite religion within their own Church! "If the liberal party," he said, "really obtains full control of the councils of the Church, then no evangelical Christian can continue to support the Church's work... If the liberal party, therefore, really obtains control of the Church, evangelical Christians must be prepared to withdraw no matter what it costs."  If all is not peaceful in the heart of the Church, is not this because "nothing engenders strife so much as a forced unity, within the same organisation, of those who disagree fundamentally in aim."

Of course, this is increasingly our own position certainly with Presbytery; and, unless there be immediate reform and a blessed change right away from last year's Statement and action on the Resurrection, it applies also to Assembly.

Professor Machen, then was subjected to attack in various ways.

As is usual in such cases. the effort was made to make it appear personal. One attack was popular ... It is not a matter of doctrine. his enemies said. Of course. we are all conservative,w are all Scriptural. No one is. questioning that. It is the man himself. He is 'loud'. too vocal. He is too vehement or withering in approach. He does not know the gentle method. He creates foes by his manner. He lacks the necessary gentility and sensibility of utterance and approach. It is all a matter of the man. they said.

And so they insulted this saint of God, this warm-hearted and exceedingly gentlemanly man who later founded a new Theological College (Westminster), and whose books are still world famous.

They ousted him from a great position at Princeton. They attacked him for founding a separate missionary organisation, by which he had sought to protect the interests of the Gospel and the field. They eventually removed him from the Ministry. At that time it was said: It would be a disgrace NOT to be thrown out of such a Church!

 

PLAYING THE MAN

Meanwhile, before this climax, his foes told the Assembly that Princeton Seminary would stay Biblical. It was just a matter of getting a man of a different kind! Assembly agreed. Shortly afterwards, representatives of the opposite 'camp' appeared on Princeton's governing body, and the whole bearing of the place was changed. Views not unlike those of our own Assembly of '66, the 'opposite camp', gained place. Princeton's doctrine ceased then to be what it was.

It had not been. you see "the man" at all. They had been "playing the man'*, instead of "playing the ball". When the man vent, so however did the ball.

In fact, Machen's rugged and practical insistence on living up to what we believe, when many in the Church are departing from It openly and notoriously: this WAS doctrine. You MUST if you mean business; and you MUST mean business if you take it seriously; and you MUST take it seriously; and you must believe it if you are to form a Church.  

 

PLAYING THE GAME

Let us then who WILL follow the words of God written in Scripture, let us follow this narrow way at whatever cost, coolly and faithfully. Let "judging" cease, and fellowship IN CHRIST with warm mutual exhortations arise. Let us be getting on, and forget lesser things, lest some lose all by their fateful short-sightedness.

May God bless you!

 

THIS IS A PERSONAL COMMUNICATION PROM WAIRAU SESSION TO EACH AND EVERY MEMBER OF THE CHARGE, AND WE COMMEND AS REALLY HELPFUL THE REVIEW FOLLOWING.

 

(Signed) R. Upton Acting Clerk 6/6/67

 

TWENTIETH CENTURY PROPHET

- A Postscript -

In his noted book, "Christianity and Liberalism", Machen shows almost uncanny insight into the course of disease which was to spread like an epidemic throughout much of the Christian Church. Tuned by God to the times, Machen however did not capitulate to current crazes. Instead he reviewed them by Scripture. Speaking of Liberalism, that departure from Christian truth which denies the supernatural, which was so common forty five years ago in U.S., he made some points we do well to heed.

Liberalism he said, believes In applied Christianity. But first, he reminded us, let there be a Christianity to apply. "The liberal believes that applied Christianity is all there is of Christianity, Christianity being merely a way of life; the Christian man believes that applied Christianity is the result of an initial act of God." The liberal says: Enough of the supernatural, the bodily resurrection, the miracles, the inspiration by God's express authority of all Scripture, of individual souls being saved, and individual immortality and the double destinies of men... It is rather weary of all this. To action it says. Let us apply. Apply what? asks Machen. If you deny what you are to apply, how then can you apply it?

He makes a delightful and needful challenge : "We are not dealing here with delicate personal questions: we are not presuming to say whether such and such an individual man is a Christian or not. God only can decide such questions; no man can say with assurance whether the attitude of certain individual 'liberals' toward Christ is saving faith or not.  But one thing to perfectly plain - whether or no liberals are Christians, it is at any rate perfectly clear that liberalism is not Christianity. And that being the case, it is highly undesirable that liberalism and Christianity should continue to be propagated within the bounds of the same organisation. A separation between the two parties in the Church is the crying need of the hour."

Again, he reminded us that the Church is voluntary, so that it must keep up what it is devoted to do: "Involuntary organisation ought to be tolerant , but voluntary organisations so far as the fundamental purpose of their existence is concerned, must be intolerant or else cease to exist!'

Financially: "The Christian man discovers to his consternation that the agencies of the Church are propagating not only the gospel as found in the Bible and in the historic creeds, but also a type of religious teaching which is at every conceivable point the diametrical opposite of the gospel. The question naturally arises whether there is any reason for contributing to such agencies at all... If part of our gifts is to be used to neutralise the other part, is not contribution to mission boards altogether absurd?"

What of those who complain about "the defence of the faith"? Quietly, quietly, they say, let everything be .... Let us have "smooth words" and "fair speeches". (Isaiah 30:10; Romans 16:18). Machen speaks of "those who call for less defence and more propagation of the gospel."  

Usually, he says,

"What they really intend is the discouragement of the whole intellectual defence of the faith. And their words come as a blow in the face of those who are fighting the great battle. As a matter of fact. not less time but more time, should be devoted to the defence of the gospel ... Thus a large part of the New Testament is polemic; the enunciation of evangelical truth was occasioned by the errors which had arisen in the churches. So it will always be ... There may have been a time when there could be propagation of Christianity without defence. But such a day at any rate is past. At the present time. when the opponents of the gospel are almost in control of our Churches the slightest avoidance of the defence of the Gospel is just sheer unfaithfulness to the Lord. There have been previous great crises in the history of the Church, crises almost comparable to this. One appeared in the second century, when the very life of Christendom was threatened by the Gnostics. Another cam in the Middle Ages when the gospel of God's grace seemed forgotten. In such times of crisis, God has always saved the Church. But He has always saved it not by the theological pacifists. but by sturdy contenders for the truth."

Speaking of the change from quiet turning from the Scripture, as If it were all a matter of interpretation, to open rejection of Parts of it by Ministers, he says: "And now there are some indications that the fiction of conformity to the past is to be thrown off, and the real meaning of what has been taking place is to be allowed to appear."

 

ATTENTION NEW ZEALAND ...

He continues: "The Church. it is now apparently supposed. has almost been educated up to the point where the shackles of the Bible can openly be cast away."

Union... ?  "One hears much, it is true, about Christian union and harmony and co-operation. But the union that is meant is often a union with the world against the Lord, or at best a forced union of machinery and tyrannical committees. How different is the true unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!"

This is our own experience. And how blessed is union not in the "Flesh", but in the faith!

This book, Christianity and Liberalism, above slightly reviewed# well repays reading. The case is, as already indicated, that the Presbyterian Church of N.Z. 1967 has errors in its midst at least as gross as those in the U.S. in the twenties, errors which now seem to be settling down to undisturbed rest while so-called evangelicals quarrel about the best way to blast each other with verbal grape-shot, in some cases; or how best to avoid a j show-down" ust now, in doctrine in the Church.

To Truth, many would feed tranquillisers, it would almost seem; whilst giving pep pills to those who would attack with the missiles of pugnacity the preacher who seeks to present the issuea with the gravity they demand, or to apply the truth with the faithfulness which Christ demands ...

"When the Son of man returns, shall He find faith on earth?" - LUKE 18:8

But there will be exceptions.

Are you one?

 

 

Appendix III

Creation and the PC in America

 

SECTION A

See also

The Pride of Life, the Prince of Life and the Destiny of Man Ch. 1 and concerning Churches involved in various ways, see News 97 at this point.

For a broad overview of relevant issues, propositional and personal for the servant of the Lord, see THY WORD IS WONDERFUL Ch. 6.

 

THE QUESTION OF DAYS AND DAZE - DICTUM NOT DREAM
DID GOD MAKE DAYS IN DAYS OR IN DREAM-TIME ?

Is the thought unpleasant ? Yes, but the answer is more to the point.

(Note that all excerpts from our own works,
may be adapted or expanded as seems best for this use).

THE REPORT OF THE CREATION STUDY COMMITTEE
of the Presbyterian Church in America

allows magnificent but intrusive liberty for the human spirit;
and moves with flamboyant ebullience into the realm of special permission,
even concerning the word of God.
It is time to pause and ponder, to revert to what is written.

It is not philosophy reading the word of God, and appreciating it,
in its own light,
that is wanted,
but the eyes of understanding
giving to Him the honour that is His due,
and leaving philosophy with other vain things.
 
 

1. Let us hear how the thing has progressed, quoting near its end
    (a 90 page report, presented to Assembly):

Presently, we can admit that as recent creationists we are defending a very natural biblical account, at the cost of abandoning a very plausible scientific picture of an "old" cosmos.  But over the long term, this is not a tenable position.  In our opinion, old earth creationism combines a less natural textual reading with a much more plausible scientific version.  They have fewer "problems of science."  At the moment, this would seem to be the more rational position to adopt.

Recent creationism must develop better scientific accounts if it is to remain viable against old earth creationism.  On the other hand, the reading of Scripture (e.g., a real Flood, meaningful genealogies, and actual dividing of languages) is so natural that it seems worth saving.  Since we believe recent creation cosmologies are improving, we are encouraged to continue the effort.

Here is the old Presbyterian unwillingness to be clear, which has ruined its history in various places for almost a century. Its scholarship, once a dream of endeavour, now turns to philosophic options, as though the word of God were not in itself as clear as it says it is (Proverbs 8:8). If Paul could produce deep things to challenge, there is nothing of creation which is put as astonishing; and it is NEVER the Bible which is unclear. Instability in the expositors it is which is a chief thrust of the forces for divorces of the word from itself (II Peter 3:16).

Actually, as shown in such sites as

That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1, 7 E,  8,

in SMR Chs. 1,  2,  3,

in A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9,

in Stepping Out for Christ Chs.  2,  7,  8,  9, 10,

and Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming Chs.  4,  5,  6,

Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium  Ch. 13,

Joyful Jottings   3  -

the due use of scientific method leaves nothing to be desired in the way of clarity concerning creation. Indeed, logic positively shouts with joy in the presence of the word of God, not only as demonstrably so, but as impregnable in stability, and coherent in concept in the presence of the myths of the 20th century which developed into the mental manacles of the 21st.,  with their insoluble logical problems, born of their fallacious model  (cf. Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host, The gods of naturalism have no go!).

The due approach to the text, as the justly famed author and Professor E.J. Young used to say, is to take it as it stands without regard for the special pleading of 'wisdom' from this world. That changes like a baby's nappy; the word of God never changes. Moreover, the more it is imposed on, whether by conservative philosophers or radical punters with thoughts, the less glory is done to Him who SAID IT, because it was RIGHT; and He who sent it because IT IS TRUE,  speaks it with CLARITY as He declares (Proverbs 8:8), He being the source of the very brightness of light. If sometimes a thing must be searched out, this is a test and a challenge, by no means insoluble; and does one not do this with one's own students at times, in order that they may the better understand and more deeply construe! Yet one does not leave in doubt, what one is about...

As to His word: some of it is harder than other parts; but there is never any excuse for delinquency with what is written, as though a wise supplement from current society were necessary. At present, the ludicrous character of the wisdom of society in the special area of creation is so vast as to make mockery its very name (cf. Aviary of Idolatry and Laughing Stock, with Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6); while the sobriety and scientific rigour, logical coherence and vigour found in what the Bible says, both in principle and in practice, makes any thought of a problem, hard to distinguish from cultural captivity, or mere lassitude (cf. TMR Ch. 1).
 
 

2. Now let us taste another point made in this special committee's
REPORT for the PC in America.
(See also in this topic, Spiritual Refreshings for the Digitial Millenium Ch. 2)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

There have been various attempts to resolve the dilemma of "solar days" without the sun.  One suggestion is that perhaps the light bearers were actually created on the first day and only "appointed" to their respective roles on the fourth day.  Those who pursue this line of argument usually propose that these heavenly bodies were hidden (from whom?) by some sort of cloud cover until the fourth day.  Except for the fact that this assumption contradicts the clear statement in verses 14-19, such a scenario would pose no difficulty*1 to the Calendar-Day view, as it clearly does to those who posit "days" of eons in length.  An alternative view (dating back at least as far as Basil), that is much more consistent with that proposed above, is that the light of the first three days was light emanating from God Himself, just as the description of the final state indicates that God will be the light, not the sun or moon.  "And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb." (Rev 21:22)  Thus the Bible opens with God shedding His light upon the creation and closes with the same.


COMMENT: There are various errors in this. In part but with considerable amplification, we shall quote from SMR.

The chief point is simply that it is NOT a matter of the Lord having presented these luminaries and then appointed them to their roles on day 4, as if there is some DIFFICULTY. It is a FASHIONING or MAKING that is in the text, not a CREATING in verse 16. There is a PURPOSIVE creation, or a moulding of FUNCTIONALITY for the purpose, and it is this which is emphatically in view.

In verse 14, they are to BE in the firmament

with the purpose of dividing night from day,
for being signs and for seasons,
covering days and years.
 

They are also to give light on the earth (v. 15).

It is not our present purpose again in depth to review the length of days 1, 2 and 3 on the consideration, noted by Professor Gleason Archer in his A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, that the text may signify the sun disclosed, rather than created in the fourth day (op.cit. pp. 177-178): the results we found were, practically, not diverse in kind from the normal day conception we experience seven times per week.
 

The days might be different mechanically, if the mechanics were different; but their character and kind, we have reasoned (cf. SMR pp. 168-179, 190-197), is clear, even if they are to be treated with care and precision, where the motions of these bodies (sun and moon, conceivably, on one interpretation), might not then have operated. Days however without their mechanics, indeed without proto-mechanics designed but not yet fully operational would be like papier maché substitutes for furniture, mere verbal machinations deployed for effect, not in this eminently practical account, for meaning where words do not change like the seasons of the year, or the works of French fashion designers.

Biblical days are correlated, then, quite explicitly with our world and its inhabitants, and in the divine action, there is a certainty of sequence that relates closely to the condensed coverage in Genesis 2:4. Present is no sense of arresting process. On the contrary: there is a sense of immediacy, there is a sublime monergistic or sole-worker emphasis, staccato commands coming like light into darkness, plenary power dictating and action happening to match with despatch. There is the utmost correlation between the divine power, mind and result in a manner which intimately associates with the use of the verb 'bara', indicating as its basic position, what we call creation, as distinct from mere forming. Thus Colossians 1 uses a most emphatic Greek term, in indicating that Jesus Christ created all things. Interspersed in Genesis are the formative actions, with the different verb we have in verse 14,16, which may mean making, forming.

When one refers to the Creator, in such a function, one is in the vein of what His power performs, as it is deployed in executing what He has in mind. We ourselves use such terms similarly, such that in our 'creations', process is not to the point: the idea and its outcome are closely related, and the more powerful the mind that has the idea, and the more profound, the more intense and intimate is its correlation, in general, with the outcome; and the more entirely irrelevant to the contribution in what is depicted, is anything else. Creation is a derivation of the one who creates; and where it is to God that we refer, it is to infinitude of creative power. Forming or moulding is then in another domain, less intense, not in the least presupposing anything such as what 'creating' constitutes.

We have earlier reasoned that the days of Genesis 1 are of a kind which correlates not with ages but with our rotational days. In the case of days 2-3, where there is not necessarily the same rotational mechanisms at work, this is nevertheless the basic situation. We are speaking of the prima facie requirements of the text at this point. Day one, we reasoned, while not divorced from such a conception, held somewhat more richness of meaning, because of the institutional element, as distinct from the constitutional processes coming later; yet it also, in its monergistic irruption (Genesis 1:3), is not to be divorced from the character of the declaration.

The days of Genesis 1 are in line with the days we now have, once instituted, in their character. This fact correlates intensely with the monergism of method, the infinity of power of the Creator, and the terminology, so that anything further from patient, inventive process would be extraordinarily difficult to express. The presentation was first the institution of the platform, and then of the different parts upon it, all in the area of creation; this to be followed in each case by performance of the thing created. There is crisp, sovereign, undeterrable fluency combined with the eloquent dynamism of speech.

To deny such things is merely to distort the words provided, which are as radical in terms of utter power performing, without restraint from anything or anyone, of utter resolve at work with exalted and majestic specifications fully fulfilled, as one could wish. It is nothing to do with vague nugatory thoughts, elements of distilled possibility, structural analyses abstracted, or even logical constructions outside the camp of actuality*1A. To imagine such sublimations would be like subliminal advertisements: ludicrous intrusions. Here there is neither money for it, nor good from it.

To continue: Archer, as noted,  states that the Hebrew in Genesis 1:14 may be rendered,

  • "Let the luminaries in the firmament of heaven
    be for the purpose of separating between day and night,
    in order that they may be for signs, etc."

        (
    This professor with Laird Harris has produced


  •      The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament.)


Then verse 15 signifies their basic function as giving light (apart from being seasonal and signalising), once again, a verse on fire with purpose relative to BEING, verse 16 following with the performance, also stipulating purpose with specifics. IN verse 17, we find that

"God appointed them in the firmament of the heaven
to give light on the earth,
and to rule over the day and over the night,
and to divide the light from the darkness..."


WHY ? What is the point in so amazingly, so impactively precise and so strenuously brief a piece of writing, a very celebrity of terseness, in what could appear repetition ?

It is necessary for any view of the Bible which proceeds FROM plenary and immediate inspiration from God, as author to face this matter. If it were a mere matter of making and setting, while giving purpose, why not at least condense vv.15-18 ?

What however if the EMPHASIS and extensive specification coverage, be designed systematically to CLARIFY the situation, so that the DAY-DARKNESS alternation is now

 
bullet

a) given a multiple CALLING (verse 14), in terms of purpose and celestial specifications;
 

bullet

b) sequential with, but separated from the concept of the basic LIGHT GIVING function,
 

bullet

c) made distinct from the IMPLEMENTATION ('and it was so') of the matter (verse 15), yet
 

bullet

d)  embedded in context with verses 16-18!
 

These  last verses bear the responsibility of focussing interest on the precise WORK DONE IN FASHIONING THEM in the context of THESE 6 STATED PURPOSES, v. 16: while this with vv. 17-18 shows their being set in the framework of RULING, as the overall purpose. That, in turn,  in the amplitude of the constellation of stars as likewise formed, remains relevant to the point of decisive direction  knit with inimitable sovereignty! It is coded in majesty, styled in thrust,  incisive in imprint, flowing in thought, developmental in dynamic.

We move from vast but simple illuminative fluctuation to multi-purpose rule in the domain of light, nothing wasted all meaningful. Thus,  there is correlation with 1:1-3, differentiation, purposive definition and reflective oversight at the end, as of a work sought, wrought and now taught, clear, concise, particular, not to be confused with anything else, sui generis in the domain of forming and purpose for what is there.    

   

THEN there is comprehensibility. One can understand the addition of all in verses 16-18 if this be so. We are seeing the work done to implement the purposes, to get transition from the verse 1 situation with the 'create' verb, to this with the 'make or form' verb. It is not a mere parallel in this precise and brief account, to the "it was so", but has an explicative force, otherwise not present.
 

 

Equally, it could read, He fashioned them. Thus Harris, Archer and Waltke, in their Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, note that relative to the alternations of the Hebrew term arb specialising as 'create' and the one we now are considering, hc[ - 'to do' with all the similar options, this point concerning the latter, that it "may simply connote the act of fashioning the objects involved in the whole creative process."  On the other hand, they point out, the other term, arb, alternating in Genesis 1 with this one,  "carries the thought of the initiation of the object" The heaven and the earth are initially brought to our eyes, in terms of arb and we observe the forms, fashionings, formulations and insertions that are required.

 

In the vast tapestry of meaning available for hc[, we must choose what best fits the total and specific, the overall and the intimate context, with due regard for any contrasts and alternations, as just noted. Hence this translation of v . 16, as will appear yet more obviously in terms of the stress on purposes, in vv. 14-18, fits delicately and deftly.

In the next sequence, in verse  20, to follow this episode, the waters, already present, are in parallel to this, given a purpose: to abound with living creatures. In vv. 14-16, light and expanse already being noted as present, the former with the normal pulsation denotable, of darkness and light, the new purposes are presented with new action to that point.

Each of these three verses is saturated with purpose, forged with the verb to make,  form, fashion, or ordain, relating to that purpose, and the series is consecutive to this end. In translation, not only is each word, but each phrase, clause, intent, purpose and background to be considered. Collision of concepts or accretion of means unmentioned needs explanation; and where this is provided only by the translator, we are looking at something scarcely distinguishable from eisegesis.

When the translation is made without supplementary or contrary assumption, there is no apparent option. Day and night being terms used, and normalised, light being present in this domain, purpose being signified in this complex now past, the forging or forming must be seen relative to the purpose provided.

Fitting to consider too is the amazing majesty of it all: in v. 16, stars are added simply to the notation of the two significant heavenly bodies, sun and moon, "for ruling the night". The stars are merely part of the same sentence that has just been referring to the moon being formed. Each of the three has the same accusative prefix. Their parallel is intensive in the sentence.

The purpose of the moon being to rule the night, the sentence being one, it appears that the stars are here arraigned for the same purpose: ruling the night. Thus purpose embraces all three domains, sun, moon and stars, forming is the verb and ruling is the result: day and night. God does things, at His good pleasure, in scale, whether in the Exodus, the creation of space, or that of man!

This then in v, 16  is the simple narration of the fulfilment of purpose. This is the correlative of the movement from existence to purpose as the chief ingredient. For existence, it is so; for purpose, it is cited as fulfilled. That is all. Verses 17-18 further intensify the purpose and the setting in the expanse combination, as if to make it not only implausible but virtually incomprehensible if anyone should miss the transition of notation!

Here accordingly,  in v. 16, the PURPOSIVE element is strikingly presented, repeated in the sense of ruling, amplifying in the domain of stars. Without doubt this must be one of the most purposive, multiply purposeful three verses in the Bible: 14-16. 17-18 makes it a quintet!  Indeed, vv. 17-18 are quite explicit in showing this as a development from verses 3-5, there now being a RULING function, correlative to the new fashioning and formative work. Thus fashioning and the multiple purposes are jointly  proclaimed, then the action of establishing them is exhibited, and then their effective dominion in their purposed function is shown. That is the voice of the quintet choir.

Five verses are insisting, persisting, decisively, incisively and concisely, in the most minimal of coverages, rich in grandeur, on PURPOSE to the point that it is amazing. It states it in intention, in multiple performance accordingly, in retrospect. This disjunction and conjunction - diversity from what preceded and combination with its own formula and format - is as apparent as a cat beside an elephant. It is impossible to miss, or to negate; and what is never here present in Genesis 1, it is mere verbosity. This is the PURPOSE section.

Purpose and the fabrication of the means, the appointment, the performance, the setting in functional place, all are dominant. The point is merely amplified by the consideration that verse 15, in terms which do not stress the purpose, unlike the context, already has, "and it was so", before verse 16 comes to the light, with its focus on fashioning! Having met the basic alternation, we now find the precise configuration and removal of obscuration, the casting forth of the light in designated fields of operation, with the functional precision for the purpose, amplified and re-stated.

This is the purposive arena, and what is being constructed is the fulfilment of purpose, in the already existing domain of distinguishable night and light, day and night so-called, in an arena of terminological clarity. If the light had been relatively diffuse, there is no call to attempt to make the terminology appear similar. That, it would be presumption itself!

Thus,  the basic point is rampantly clear. DAY and NIGHT had already been ANNOUNCED in the ONE CONTEXT as OCCURRING BEFORE THIS ACTION OF VERSE 14, so that while the MEANS prima facie may have been missing and the thing direct and supernatural (i.e. light modulation without natural means), even though this whole account  is the expression of things natural derived from the Supernatural One, in their created form and formulation: yet the terminology is coherent with the normal usage of 'day' which flows onto our present system, as the account proceeds.

Accordingly, it would be a flat contradiction of  genre, meaning, deposition and descriptive procedure, if there were verbal mutation, terminological truancy: there is the phraseology used, and it does not alter in KIND, any more than the living creations later on. We are dealing with specifics as appointed and found, and their commencement. What it is that commences is the thing in view, in each case: KIND of day or KIND of animal, or image bearer.

Thus Poole in his biblical commentary of such just and due fame, notes of v. 14, the "lights", that these appear condensations of the first light, more effective and functional. This is precisely the testimony of the text: the processive, the progressive, here in verse 14, shown in precise, multiple and multiplied functions.

In view of this, and the ordinal nomenclature of each, with its bipartite, morning and evening character, definitive of the meaning of the term, not only is assault on this development erratic; indeed, the very concept is contrary to the entire nature of the divine declaration.

The Lord is not suggesting scenarios, nor is He giving new meaning to the terms of everyday use, emphasised by the WAY they are used, and that repetitively. On the contrary, He is simply, decisively and sequentially declaring in understandable terms what is what and how what is, came to be at His instance. He shows how, why and in what order it came, with what contiguous developments, as if it were a manual for scholars on the one hand, and a statement for the layman on the other.

Into early history, it therefore progresses without interruption, but rather with situation cementing links, so that precisely that same sense of development from what is at the outset instituted, continues into human history: in each case, whether matter or man, the thing in view being exhibited in its nature, and with the repercussions of it, under divine control.

The Lord is not teaching us how to become spiritual entrepreneurs, using the raw material of His word, but students of grace, preferring the divine original to the traditions, so suppressive, autonomous, obscure and varied, of men. It is as in Mark 7:7ff.. What is needed is to take what is given; not to fashion it like mini-creators, into something else!

The word of God is clear to the one who understands (Proverbs 8:8); and the way to understand, sublime and functional, because wholly dependent on the speech of God, is this: Take it as it comes. Don't try to marry it, but rather receive it. Don't make it a basis for having a parade of the children of your own brain, but allow it to TELL you. It is then that its own intrinsic light, attested, unmolested by vagrant imagination, makes it so clear. It is then that on all sides it resounds with other scriptures, displaying one unchanging perspective, at peace with itself, as so many theologians are not with the text!

Let us then return to the point of terminology in Genesis 1.

If the purpose is to be clear (as in Proverbs 8:8) and not contrived, wreathed and so forth, as there indicated of the wisdom of God, then the result is this: there is no slide in the usage of these terms.

Real darkness such as we know in KIND at least was the nature of the case before the lights were fashioned to be for the purposes as outlined in verses 15-16: aims which are multiple and permanent in type.

That darkness and light could have been separated enough, at least to be in the pattern and mould of day and night, is obvious, their modes penetrating in the successive ordering of things. Even if there were a vaporous tumult or movement in the newly made heaven above the earth, the heavens distinct above the earth, the light pulsing, the waters divided successively, until the relevant movement in vv. 14-18 completed the fashion and fashioning of it, indeed an ensemble being formulated and now formed into full operative efficiency:  this merely explains the better, the force of the purposes found in 14-18.

Genesis 1:1 starts the creation with the heavens and the earth, 1:2ff. proceeds with the better formation of the RELATIVELY inchoate in more precise shape and serviceability, and the population of life into the unbound resources thus formed, while Genesis 1:!4ff. proceeds with the heavenly side of things, the terrestrial by this time having been greatly advanced in form. In this, similarly to the case with the earth, the time has come for more express moulding with precision for the purposes here stated in such amazing detail, and so we come to the light of common day, its purposes clarified, its means refined.

Nor is it some species of effort to make it easier, in didactic or metaphorical steps: the purpose is at the outset clear. There is statedly to be light with alternation from evening to the day it produces. Then when the other matters are set rapidly in place, there is to be an abundance of purposive intensity regarding the light, and a work of vigour ensues in meeting purposes now in order for the light, so that the environment is shocked into recipiency.

All is now endued with eminent practicality, sequence is sated and the environment is functionally constructed, not waiting for absurd periods which do not allow the synthesis of living activities, or manipulation by some intrusive prating about imaginary purposes.

The divine purposes are stated with the utmost clarity, and in form, severity. The actions are sober and direct. It is no more a new form of literary expression than is any other chronology; it is merely in the grandeur of the scope that it surveys. This contrasts with a stylistic majesty of its own, with the simplicity and imperial character of the orders, and the notation of results and pruposes.

The actions read precisely like those of a Josiah; but this time it is not a nation, but the universe which is in view. All that is needed is faith to receive it; and humility not to reconstruct it. It is enough to construct the universe and say how; it is too much to do it again in verbal form, on the part of one of the creations, as in turning precise, monergistic, sequential prose in a stated program into some kind of abstracted innovation, set in a class by itself, to allow manipulation, and divided into what is there and what is not, but is added. So do traditions arise to defy what is written, whether in 2000 AD or 100 BC!

Further, it is profitable to note more on verse 16. The action here is a MOULDING one which would lead on to a PURPOSIVE specification: rather like making a car that moves in structure, but then later,  as a concentrated and applied act,  completing all the specifications so that the whole gamut of its operations is possible.

Indeed, the  stage is set for the heavens, not only verbally, but in parallel intimation with the earth.

Just as, following the creation of the heavens and the earth in Genesis 1:1, there was some kind of earth, an entity requiring action, so we are in simple parallel from the one set of directions, to expect some kind of heavens, also and likewise requiring action. Verses 14-16 supply this, when the rest is ready.

When therefore their turn comes for attention, at Genesis 1:14-18,  the inchoate state of the heavens is in its own turn, given moulding, and subjected to due forming to enable its full working order, just as was the earth, quite definitely present and  ready as recipient for fabrication, was wrought on in verses 6ff..

Just what purposes were in view for the earth were in part duly spelled out and executed in 1:1-13; and so now at 1:14, is it the parallel case for the heavens, they too operative but only in a rudimentary way.

As the earth has its rudiments and so was a base for action (1:2),  including light and its divine deployment (1:3-5); so is it with the heavens, already seen in operation in the specified light variation of 1:5, and now to be subjected to vigorous, sequential action as was the earth in 1:6ff..

The functional purposes clear, in both the domains stated in 1:1, namely the heavens and the earth. First there is the basic institution, with light, and its humanly normative fluctuation, set in the normal terminology for the same. Then each domain is focussed with detail and dynamic, in which the divine does not pause to dabble in needless detail, but in ample proportions, sets forth the immediate history of these foundlings, heaven and earth.

In the case of the earth, the movements of the divine on the creation are specified and collated. Then starting in verse 14, the divine attention is given to the astronomical aspect. Now we have the parallel in the processive, progressive work labelled, done and considered in review.

The simple fact is that Genesis 1:2 specifies that the earth WAS existence following verse 1, just as verse 14 takes up the celestial parallel. Forming in each case then proceeds. The text excludes any other option.

God created heaven  and earth, done: we proceed to the earth case, as a topic, and are shown the divine actions and reasons, and then to the heavens case, as a focus, and are shown the actions and reasons. In each case, what is said to have been created, was; in each case, what was done about what was there, follows.

Hence the heavens were there at verse 2's inception, like the earth;  and thus there is no excuse any plausible, even conceivable, for pretending they were not, and that the evening and morning were a divine exercise in rambling exegesis, a flit of thought or a fit of forgetfulness. Being there, their exercise in whatever initial state, as paralleled in that of the earth, morning and evening can flow readily enough, for God knows what He is doing, and those who wish to indicate He could not have put them in a state which could in His view indicate light and darkness are clearly more knowledgeable than God. Such is the way of entrance for those who, entranced with the sophisticated follies of unbelief, set their hats and direct their thoughts to the horror of combining man's ever evanescent thought with the clear depictions of the divine.

This is then the clear intimation of the text regarding the reality of day and night, and its ready formulation in those terms, without difficulty of any kind. There is no excuse or ground for departing from the text, whether one conceives of the light and darkness this way or that. It is the permission for departure as if some problem warranted it, which is wrong, awry, amiss and perilous. To actually sanction (splitting the infinitive reminds one of splitting from the doctrine of the Bible) things underivable from the text, is merely to add tradition to the text, and make a neo-Protestant Romanesque lunge. Let us be clear, the word of God is in authority and NOTHING else in doctrine. NO church has power to sanction may not be gained by good and necessary inference from the text; and in this, the stress of the Westminster Confession is just (Ch.  1, VI).

Setting out such things in the name of the church for church comfort, connivance or acceptance is a breach not merely of agreement, alien to the word and spirit of the Confession's teaching, but of condition of membership. Worse, it is to use a church as an pseudo-autonomous entity, and bring in offence, on the one hand, and decline on the other. Against such things, exhortation must be made, and if not accepted, it becomes necessary to leave.

We therefore must cleave to the days as they go, so when they come, in basic notion. In this way, the author is not induced, if it were possible, to retract or to add or to differentiate without saying so, in his use of terms. It is true some  thought does need to be given to the direct, miraculous, operations in days 1-3, including the institution at the first, as with regard to light; but it is also true that any real movement imported into that frame merely invents a novel feature, makes the account which is of ACTION AND RESULT to be divorced from its whole context, and passing by the specification of nature, becomes an incursive doctrine. "ADD NOT to His words lest He rebuke you and you become a liar," says Proverbs 30:6.

Sensitivity of conscience in any such domain is not merely permissible, but to be desired! From lack of the same, many churches have fallen into the mud, the thud scarcely noted as the delusive cultural approval of compromise resounds in the socially sated ear.

Indeed, in that way, the record would become not really an account but a combination of what it purports to be, a creation account, and what it neither purports to be nor presents at any demonstrable point: a series of partly explicated and partly submerged operations not noted, but operative nonetheless in the most basic of levels.

Such a diffuse concept contradicts the entire formulation and formula used throughout. Yet unfortunate as that appears, it is as nothing compared with the next step, where imagination gains no rein. It is then that we find, with these or such unwarranted preliminaries, the next and fateful step:  the clear, well-known and normal usage of day and night which in verse 15 is EXPRESSLY designated in terms of the WORK of the formation and fashioning of the luminaries, is to be set against some entirely different sort of thing, not merely miraculously brought about by intrusive supervention in the laid out scenario, not only without announcement of that fact, but with total transformation of type from what follows*1B

Day becomes daze.

This begets a conception in which the same terminology in the same mini-context is to be attributed to NON-day and NON-night: the same vocabulary becoming stupefyingly mutant, and within a few words of each other. Day and night in the context of sun and moon AFTER day four, which is a virtual DEFINITION of the meaning, are now to be revised into an erratic concept, which junks these indications, before. Terminology becomes like an evolutionary dream, and clarity becomes an oddity at the will or taunt of the 'scholarship' which ignores the testimony continually made, in the text.

Who could pass such a paper at the most elementary of levels! Its slides are a slither and a wandering. Worse, to imagine that because God is great, He is not great on clarity in giving HISTORY, is merely a contradiction in terms, an evacuation of meaning, a nullification of phraseology, and of Proverbs 8:8. Moreover it comes close to lending insult to our Maker, as gratuitous as unguarded. It has, then,  nothing whatever to do with interpretation of the biblical text either in its immediate or in its overall aspects.

Clearly therefore it is necessary to see genuine light and darkness gradings diurnal in portion, before day four; and while it is not a priori  necessary to have these performed by the luminaries in precisely the present way: yet it is sufficient that they should loom and contribute something after this kind, although doubtless lacking in decisiveness just as the purpose of verse 14 had not yet been propounded and met. It could be argued that God could have turned OFF the light to create darkness, but this is to add to the text. The darkness-light progression is INSTITUTED, and proceeds as a specifically created thing, entity, duality, process following divine procedure antecedent to it, without alteration in kind, but with alternation of progress, as a thing in place, and working.

Darkness was. Day was. Day and darkness are both definable in terms at least in kind, of what we know as we find in the overall context. Though naturally the importation of more divine action than stated is unfortunate, its main danger is that it leads on as a precedent in principle. Like tripping on the sidewalk, it can lead to death by impact from a car when you are where you do not belong. It is, then,  what follows that is fatal in this arena. It is the discordant divisiveness of double dealing with 'day'.

Thus, if we are to invent, then as soon as terms are arbitrarily defined to mean what they do not mean in the context, because of some desire, we are merely inventing the word of God, and may as well make a new gospel, in principle while at it. It is NOT WISE so to abuse the text. However, to reduce the term 'day' to a pair of discordant twins, this leaves the rest as mere fibrillation by comparison!

Let us then differentiate yet more completely. Thus, even if  it were to be imagined that the darkness and light were supernaturally made to vary without the means in the first 3 days, it still remains that they were there. They happened. That is not in itself a DIFFICULTY initially. It is only difficult to the point that  the Report INSISTS that the luminaries be not said to be there; and even then, it is so only to the point that this involves a completely gratuitous, stylistically obfuscatory intrusion into what is required by the text, and an alienation from the tenor of cause and effect duly following from supernatural invention, being outlined before our watching eyes. Only to that point!

Perhaps the extreme error of the situation makes one take enormity as almost pleasantry, by COMPARISON with what must and does follow.

Even though, accordingly, it is not at the critical outset,  a FLAT contradiction of the dayspring indications, merely a truculent seeming metamorphosis into imagination without human exhibit, flat contradiction however is what it becomes in the light of the subsequent indications of day and night in their commencement specifications and functional code, as is the case with other commencements: plants, fish, flying things, cattle, man.

Therefore, by this time, the austere majesty of the text is humbled to the vision of the variable; its account of origins, which it claims to be, is made something else. The scaffolding of man is added to the word of God, and the imaginations of flesh become the focus. The word of God, nevertheless, remains. Humiliation brings no alteration, and all, in the end, all that is humbled, is the hapless and puny panzers of man.

The blitzkrieg brings fury, but no light.
 

 Energy for the Erratic is Not Parallel with Grounds for such Liberties

Let us survey the scene, then. The Hebrew, Let luminaries be in the heavens  for the purpose of separating (Archer's rendering, op.cit.) is purposively introduced, and completely harmonisable with the concept that the creation of the heavens and the earth included the cosmologically requisite elements, which in verse 14 are given a fashioning towards their precise specifications, one and all, as multiply announced in v. 15. The progressive institution mode is thus continued.

Their formation for the purpose stated in verse 16, is then merely summarising. Created at the point of stating creation in v. 1, they are formed for a purpose in vv. 14-16; nor is there is the slightest contradiction of the text in so saying, but in fact this provides the simplest of readings of it in conjunction with what went before; while it equally provides grounds for the special features of the text as noted above. It thus reads coherently and in an integrity of fluency:

Hence this PCA excuse for delving with considerable approval, at a formal teaching level, into various figurative and imaginative substitutes for the clear account of things in terms of terminology which is expressly set in the astronomical realm, with stated purpose such as we see, is without ground or verification. It is mere textual intrusion. It is regrettably a case of setting at nought, or making vain, or making of no account the word of God through your traditions, as Christ put it (Mark 7:7).

Indeed, one has the advantage that rarely before has the sheer effrontery of the matter of tradition (outside Roman Catholicism) appeared as much as in this case. Here the creation lab book  is stated in practical and simple terms, and yet it seems they have such trouble that all the worlds of philosophy have to be entreated into it, lest it should be clear, lest they should understand and proceed with wisdom!
 

The facts ...

The facts are these: heaven and earth created; formations and formulations added; light and darkness from day one, so named, and purpose-making functionalities made apparent with their specifications stated and fully operative, in day four. The Hebrew admits of either view at this point - making in toto or forming for the purpose on day four; but the emphasis is without doubt on specialised purpose, which is the entire framework of this day and on any formation relative to it, letting the heavenly aspect now receive attention, after its initial specification, just as earlier in the Chapter, the earthly formings were noted. This is the happy order of progression, both for each, and from the one to the other in one of the most orderly discourses one could find.

This together with the fact that verbally, this is a matter of formation and the original is creation as noted, and the terminological ‘problem’ for those who want a darkness and light in the context of day and night to mean something radically different from what it means when it is used some words later - an eisegesis extraordinaire, an inventive attention, a mutilation obstructive and invasive, what does it imply ? It means that there is in the end no liberty at all. Specifications for light and darkness, day and night are provided. Imagined by some, to have been different though the same terms were used, they are nevertheless developed formed as is the continual mode in the chapter after the expression of creation:  and the purposive emphasis which directs and indeed alone explains the otherwise repetitive character of the text in verses 14-16, matches the text in its clarity and pith.

Thus, the earth is not taken as requiring a new statement in v. 2, but is there for action after v. 1; and so with the heavens, after v. 1, when their turn comes, they too are there for action, the forming as specified, with the vastly directive purposive content provided, almost in case anyone should forget so soon, the duality and the complementarity of proceedings, heaven and earth created, then earth's modes, then those of the heavens, till all is fully formed and ready.

Problems invented mean text dissented, terms made mutant mean text disputed, structure ignored means stricture implied. It is a hideous assault.

That is, as far as day is concerned,
uniformity of basic concept remains,
and pad of performance origination
institutes such
known items from the first in an account via creation,

like the rocket pad before it takes off;
and difficulty is as unclear as the cloudy heavens in the beginning when the waters were gathered.

They are not other in kind, in capacity, in coherence, in meaning, in time, in chronological notation, in system, in stuttering, in staggering, in revision minor or major. In the end, it seems the liberals have made some latter-day captives after all, with some afraid to adhere to the text, apparently lest someone be offended: but with scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees in modern garb, and social Herodians, what does it matter ? Some will bring up straw men; it is only a matter of a match and they are gone.

What however has no match is the clarity and force, the power and the endurance, the indefeasibility and the joyous factuality of the word of God.  Snivelling sleight of hand is irrelevant to its majesty; clarity comes with reverence for its integrity. This is a reward: adhere to it, and it sings with harmony and grandeur, accuracy and adequacy. Leave it one joy, and as with a medical prescription, you are quickly displaying nothing so much as your own ignorance, in daring to dabble in the divine (for the mouth of God is … divine, its utterance clad with divine competence), and inherit a host of evils.

There is one great and flaring exception to that direct simplicity. This, however, is not an exegetical option but an energetic work of the flesh, thrust into the text like a tornado into a community.

This, it is to move from what is written to some construction at odds with the stated fact that this is the history of the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 2:1-4). It is presented as history; it is stated that THUS it was done. On the other view, it is NOT done thus, the terms do NOT mean what they are used to mean in the very context without intermission, so that they are charged with mutation, and the purposive thrust in v.14-15, being bypassed in thrust,  is turned in effect, into initial creation without warrant. Some would even go further and junk the whole precisely defined 'day' in verses 4ff., altogether, allegorise them, or accord to their definitive repetitiveness, a systematic hiatus.  It almost seems that anything is acceptable so long as it is not deducible from the text.

If you can do such things, you can do anything. We can turn parables into literal works, literal works into parables, either into anything at the liberty and command of the reader: if such can be done, then writers are left mere midgets in the hungry maw of the concepts promoted for the readership in such approaches as that of the Report. Definitions depart. It is in such cases, that one readily finds allegories enter with Origen. Originality becomes man's; longsuffering comes to the Author. If this be the case for authors, why write at all !

Indeed, when God is back of the writing, it is more than unwise: it is invasive and cumbrous, to say no more, so to intrude into His word, who is perfection, and to manufacture structural imaginations without textual warrant of any kind, to alter definitions, to invent grounds other than those given, with enormous emphasis and total explicatory power. To do this in the face of clarity and cohesion, in stated purposive precincts is an enormity which to suffer, makes the gigantesque the minuscule.

  • It is indeed intolerable to have
     

  • this area and arena presented

  • as ground, therefore, for the usage of various fictional, arbitrary, variable, intrusive IDEAS about what MIGHT be meant,

  • about what parable, parody, pre-fabrication of structure from the mind of man, the reader, is to find accepted as sound and reasonable:
     

  • when there is no slightest ground for moving from the concept of consistent use of terminology,

  • clear use in terms of stated purpose of the narrative and the light,

  • and the fact that the creation’s history has been given.


If it were possible to turn from such parameters, in innocence, as if they were mere figments and the imagination of man was paramount, then no text could be ‘safe’ from the ‘inventions’ which alas Israel was all too prone to make in dealing with things divine, in its own time likewise (Psalm 99:8). Of this, we find it written: HE the Lord, took vengeance on their inventions. In fact this sort of instability leads on to whatever downfall may be in view, unless revival comes; it is like eating too much fat.

It is, alas,  presumptuous and it can lead to pride and parody in short time. It is not that those who say some of these things are of necessity heretics and so outside the faith; it is that they are departing from the text and such PRINCIPLES of departure as these, allow heresy in short order. No longer does the word of God RULE. It is a basis for thought, no more. It is moreover a departure from Biblical truth, which, however much one seeks to allay its significance, since it requires thought, yet is here not a case of intrinsic difficulty, but one of CREATING difficulty by justifying an additive framework (and once you start, there is no end).

It blatantly contradicts the divine specifications about His speech in Proverbs 8:8. It takes things into its own hands. It is as if it were intrinsically a hard thing to understand; whereas hard only if anything at all, it is to understand the various confusing, or confused, variable and attenuated concepts, now meaning this, now that, now moving further now not so far, that are adduced, induced and produced, propounded and compounded in this PC in America Committee Report on Creation.

If it were a philosophical treatise, or liberal excursion FROM the text, it could contain interest for those who follow those modes; but as an option viewed for formal teaching in the church, it is appalling. It invites evil; it does not do what a Presbytery well might, provide pastoral delicacy for each according as there is need and it is able, in seeking to bring fidelity to the Bible. Then private views gradually forming might be understood and quietly proceed. Instead, it formally OPENS the DOOR to vague erraticism, while making erroneous criticism of what the text does teach in one of the most  emphatically directive, systematic and chronologically precise depictions imaginable! Such action is principial error, not pastoral grace; and the thing is a great grief.

It is really rather ludicrous so that to keep, as it were, a straight face is a work of  self-discipline. Indeed, from a slightly different aspect, this is to reject categorically, as unacceptable because of imaginary difficulties, what is the only solution in kind, to the meaning of the Bible in this arena. It alone requires no attenuation, addition or departure either from biblical usage in ordinal numbers, or consistency of terminology.

Ignoring this culturally disdained but factually accurate position, oddities are sanctioned by the church, or by the one in question here. What is it that this is, or how might it be characterised ?

It is to make novel ideas not in the least deducible from the text, to be acceptable teaching, and not to be content with what is either directly stated or is demonstrable by good and necessary inference (the Westminster Confession's just and apt depiction of interpretation). Thirdly, it is to bring disrepute on the word of God by having a body called a 'church', exhibit either uncertain ambivalence on uncertain ideas relative to the word of God, as if it were itself a creation of some diffidence, or else to adduce ideas not deducible from the text, as if these were the meaning of the text, imaginations for the word of God. It is not a good exchange.

To take the last: In the analogy of a day the actual world was created, but it was not actually created in this way, for it was the analogy of a system, and it was not actually systematised in the way stated! How much more vain could be made, the word of God, in this new creation, alas not of a new heavens and a new earth, of a new tradition of man, culturally manufactured and thrust in with all the old disregard for reverence where the mouth of God has spoken.

What more nonsensical than this patronising pomp of inert phraseology! If a name could be manufactured to meet it, could it be neo-liberalism, that liberal attitude to the word of God which suppressing what is there, introduces what is not, to the applause of various cultural pundits or principles! The addition: you do not SAY what you are doing; you just do it.

Could one endure in fellowship with such things ? Not organically, for the PRINCIPLE of departure inventively from the word of God is an intrinsic defect too profound for safety. If such things are to be TAUGHT, then one would need to depart (Romans 16:17*2). One could not consider that Biblical discipline was being kept when such things are allowed as FORMAL POSSIBILITIES FOR THE ELDERSHIP OF THE CHURCH, and FORMAL PRESENTATIONS BY THE CHURCH.

They can by no means being shown by good and necessary inference to be what the scripture declares, and their formal authorisation represents a breach of covenant, an outlandish innovation, a movement on the part of the PCA into a realm wholly diverse from that envisaged in the system of doctrine in the Westminster Confession, to its very heart. Continuance in it could be gained only by sacrificing the elemental provision that one adheres ONLY in official mode and authority, to what is declared in or deducible from the Bible. Proverbs 30:6 arises like thunder. Whatever the thunder of covenant-breaking man, one prefers this to the displeasure of disregarding the fear of God, whose holiness is felicity and whose word, without admixture or addition, subtraction or qualification, is truth.
 

A case of putting off the day ...  or procrastination ?

For years now the PC in America has allowed the sad statement, first rejected by a Presbytery but favourably over-ruled by the Assembly,  not differentiating clearly between Genesis and poetry. This was virtually inconceivable laxity.

Not for one hour, says Paul! (Galatians 2:5).

For years, said this Church!

Now its Committee appointed for the purpose has presented its appeal on vacuous grounds for variety, such as is now being formalised into acceptance. In such a milieu one would not dare to tread. In this, the word no longer rules, and when this occurs, where shall the righteous flee ?  Assuredly, one must regretfully reflect, not wisely into such doors as these. If it does not rule in one place, what is the rule of the Ruler ?

It is adding to the word of God to add these interpretations which, in the laity, might be allowed with all the liberty in the world, while they ponder; but in those called to teach and to impart, not at all should such things be, lest those who should be encouraged, be subverted, and subversion moving on the waters of such principles, strike reefs without limit or cease. Instead, for years, the folly concerning Genesis as poetic was permitted! (Cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 9, The Biblical Workman Ch. 7, TMR Appendix.)

When the Biblical  doctrine of separation is similarly contravened, however (as attested of the PC in America, in Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium, Ch. 3, p. 44), it is clear that a church which takes the commands and the concepts of the Bible, at least in its teaching arena, more strictly, is needed. This is the case, for liberty FROM the word and BEYOND the word is not the one which is to be sought; but rather LIBERTY WITHIN the word! In Australia, we do not need such additions as these.

It is not wise to have fellowship where this proceeds unabated; for even if a church body is simply departing from the basics of the faith, in such a case as this, it is still the teaching that the word of God is to be honoured and received or the believer is to depart. Re-invention of  Genesis 1 in man's terms of addition to the statements, definitions and structure of the text, is not an option; and where some poetical Genesis 1 is in view, after years, the defilement precludes persistence.

Where the foundations are destroyed, where shall the righteous flee! (Psalm 11). It is to the Lord and His word, and to continue in them, that one flees. That is where one has begun, there by His grace, where one continues*2.

Watchmen must warn, but must also heed their own warning! (Ezekiel 33). Failure to observe this has caused untold failure, as if continuing in a corrupt firm were an option for the sake of the partners, when the very continuation is a toleration which the law, to take the parallel, might not appreciate in an honest man! What you are bound to is God or man; and where man departs, you have no option to become a rebellious watchman yourself!

We need the discipline of the word, in the word,  from the word, and nothing added. In this, the realm of 'science' merely catches up, and has been doing quite a job of it in the last 50 years, as more and more of the simplistic substitutes for scientific method of many of its exponents, wrought by the philosophically passionate majority, are unveiled. The mechanism phase, the chance and wandering phase, the irrationalist phase come and go, and nothing changes except their popularity over time, and as to this, it not only happens but has to happen as first the one, and then the next, and so on, is shown ludicrous (cf. SMR Chs. 1, 2, 3, Little Things Ch. 5, Earth Spasm, Ch. 1, Secular Myths and  Sacred Truth  Ch. 7, Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, News 100, Stepping Out ... Ch. 9, Ancient Words ... Chs.  9,  13).

In high contrast, the biblical statement is constantly verified in ways which would be amazing were it not for the fact of God, which such pseudo-science, yielding now here, now there to philosophy's vagrancies, ignores. That, it is like ignoring the ground on which you stand, which in word at least, is airy, but not apt.

In this way,  religious, agnostic and irrational propositions come like insurgents into science, and these invaders have become terminally ill, while confusion in the most explicit terms has resulted in some of the disciplines concerned.  It has its comic side indeed (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3, 8, 9 ), and its feeling of intrigue (cf. Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Ch. 13).

With such we do not wish to walk or work, and indeed dare not (Romans 16:17, Isaiah 8:20), nor to be conjoined in the comradeship of pilgrimage, though it is not for us to condemn such institutions, but merely the teaching (II Timothy 4:2, Proverbs 24:11), and to keep the commandments: for the fear of God is clean and enduring, not craven but delighted. It is as when one contemplates a warming, blazing and energised fire, embraced by the wonder with which it is imbued. Reverential adoration in practical dress is to Him whose it is, and majesty, purity seven times sure, is the character of His word.

Before such immutability of truth, the concept that SCIENCE itself presents some difficulty is as ludicrous as blind. It is SCIENCE in its philosophic clothes which is in perplexity amid comic muddles, and  mutations in virtual multitudes. It is the Bible which does not move. Not any one of the multitudes of its own words moves.

The difficulty of the Report being an invented oddity from roving imagination or confusion, itself an invasive source of difficulties, contrary to the text and its structure, has one all but humorous feature. Its own words indicate that the result would be easy (interpretation) if the text were read with straightforward simplicity. This at least are verified. Unfortunately they add contra-textual fallacies to invent difficulty; but their initial acknowledgement, when these are subtracted, being obtuse, and invented, leaves their initial thought correct. It IS easy.

Harmony of the biblical verses is immense, intense and cohesive in structure, definition and detail, succinctly clear, decisive in presentation, abhorring addition as is fit for the word of God (cf. Proverbs 30:6). Read as it is, it gives reality as it is, with sublime and sovereign directness, without the webs of complexity woven only by the human mind.

There are then no difficulties, but those of disfaith (q.v.), proudly sporting the manacles of philosophic invasion, or 'faith' fidgeting in confusion. Even this might be difficult to explain, were it not both so common over the ages, and so clear from prophecy that it would come to be (Deuteronomy 32, II Timothy 3:5 with I Timothy 6:16, II Peter 2:1).

As to the concern with time,  we shall consider this further, but at the more prosaic level of dating, an extensive review of this topic*3 in TMR Ch. 7 E and associated references there found, reveals that there is no problem with the young earth concept, the bulk of simple, straightforward attestations of relevance being crisp, clear and remarkable; that the radiometric assumptions which have sometimes seemed other, are in fact grossly presumptuous in kind, unreliable in performance, being merely proof by assuming what is to be proved, in the forms of antecedent and processive criteria, and then applying this. The assessment of the movements of the velocity of light in particular has now moved to new dimensions of enquiry, and underlying assumptions of uniformity here are merely erratic.

In sum, what is direct, is for a young earth; while what is radiometric for large ages, is falsified by begging the question in a point now revealed as not even susceptible to that*4. One has found upon multi-partite review, that one COULD NOT rationally believe otherwise except by forsaking reason. A time of thousands of years sits like a crown on the undenuded mountains of the earth, the contents of the oceans, the supernovas of the heavens, the cooling of the globe, the magnetic manifestations of its past, as also the surface of the moon and the quaint self-contradictions of geology on any other basis. It is just a matter of examining what is there, in terms of scientific method, and following it, allowing cohesion, consensus and NO rule by assumption.

While this is merely peripheral to questions of interpreting the text of Genesis 1, it is best to remove illicit and delusive concepts and presuppositions from the arena, while we are at it, since so few seem able or willing or both, to consider what is written, rather than what is smitten by the invasive pre-conceptions of marauding man (cf. Mark 7:7ff.).

 

3.  A FURTHER ASPECT OF THE DIVERGENCE
FROM THE TEXT AND THE ISSUE

 
Now before we turn to point 3, the historical aspect as noted in the PC in America Report, let us add here some further aspects of the presentation, as found above. We find some peripheral material that in thoroughness it might be well to expose.

Thus it is in the PC of America report, indicated "that the light of the first three days was light emanating from God Himself, just as the description of the final state indicates that God will be the light, not the sun or moon.  'And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb.' (Rev 21:22)  Thus the Bible opens with God shedding His light upon the creation and closes with the same."

Such a view, whoever may or may not have held it, in no way is tantamount to turning the day notation kept throughout Genesis, into something undefined and different. Let us however look at the concept, which taken by itself is wholly different in divergence from the aeon concept.

As presented in the Report, however, this "light emanating from God Himself" is ambiguous. If it is meant to suggest non-created light, we note merely that this is a record of creation, using the terminology of norm, to inform. In the book of Revelation, this creation is past as a process, even the new heavens and the new earth having been created (cf. Isaiah 65). Here, moreover, the emphasis is "face to face" with God, not on the topic of created media.

Thus instead of this unity of uncreated light and uncreated light (on such an interpretation of Genesis with Revelation), from first to last, we come in fact to a diversity:
 
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1) uncreated light being brought into being (a strange concept for the 'uncreated' indeed
to inhere in what is expressly said to have been in the realm of the 'created' in Genesis 1:1;
but let us say, being brought into application where it was not so before - Let there be light!).

Quite simply, since this is CREATION, it is not fitting for an inventory including uncreated light.
 
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2) uncreated light BEING, which is far more fitting! but still contrary, since creation is not akin to what is uncreated, whether by irrational contradiction, or irrelevant insertion. 

If on the other hand, the concept is created light without using a luminary or light resource from the newly invented 'heavens' adequate for the day and night variation,  something material in its nature, then we are being told to add to the word of God and to postulate a light source not stated, when we are shortly acquainted with light sources which ARE available. What makes such a postulate far more amazing is this, that on such a basis, LIGHT is pronounced, DAY AND NIGHT (opposite in order) are announced, and then light sources are announced, whereas this philosophy of man would have us insert into the text a light source of some other kind, kept secret in the very midst of what is proclaimed, named and specified, while vast operations on water and cloud proceed, which, being done, in fact allow light to assume its normal purposive functions. Such is the beautiful logic of the text.

To say no more, this is scarcely an adornment to any theory! It tends to allegorise, or spiritualise a record of what God did in bringing to pass that specific entity called creation, to add, to dispense, to proceed with a certain knowledgeable, insertive  assertion.

Further, if it is meant, this light, in the earlier verses of Genesis 1, to be a created light, then the unannounced method of correlating  with 'day' and 'night' in a manner of presentation, a style which is emphasising the sequence from creation throughout the record, would be misleading. Terms and settings indicative of one thing, would be used to be indicative of another. Before such an insertion could be tolerated for one moment, in terms of competence in communication, one would have to annul the stylistic portent, predominance and procedure, and to bring in a mystic strangeness, and a collision of concepts.

This can be done, often is done, one fears, for example in political speeches; however to import it into the word of God is intractably contrary to the perfection of diction implied. In any case, to butcher and push, both  for expository purposes, is actually to introduce an addition from one's own mind; and when the text requires nothing added, then this is what should be added! This then is what is to be done, and the terms are to be interpreted consistently, the explanations consistently with the terms, and the purposes consistently with the actions, whether CREATION or FORMATION relative to purpose, or even OPERATION according to purpose.

In must be stressed in this case, that since the waters under the heaven were first in need of a spacious expanse (1:7-8), and then of a distancing from land, nothing could be more obvious than the degree of obscuration at first total of course in the watery complex, and then vastly affected by enormous water movements. In verse 14, this question of degree is clarified and the instruments appear, in literary as in astronomical sequence, with their purpose to match their appearance, while its modulation is stringently, multiply and emphatically announced to cover the need in function, as formerly in formation. Things are cleared up, both atmospherically, hence enabling luminary and illumination purposes to proceed, and structurally, the grounds of the afore-stated alternation and action, brought to light with the light itself.

Thus created light potentiated for its purposes comes into full primal force at the commencement of creation, just as uncreated light comes in Revelation, into full functional force in the new creation, relative to man, where means give way to immediacy, so making the DEVELOPMENT from the creation to its consummation.

Thus the parallel made, by the PC in America document, falls in its own terms, and in the nature of movement from creation back to immediate presence before the Creator, which otherwise is merely dimmed and damaged with a spiritual obscuration.

The contrast, not the parallel, is both important and imperative. It is the essence of the culmination to have it so!

The comedy, which is another feature in this aspect of the report just noted, and linked above, comes in the little aside - 'hidden from whom'. The idea is to be satirical against those who consider that the manifestation of what had been hidden by water, of necessity, is now announced together with the purposes which such manifestation of light, in its orderly procedure and stated means, implies.

This sort of comedy, when as here it is a red herring, is most revealing about the nature of the presentation. It has with propaganda this in common, that it is irrelevant, that it is ad hominem (that is, it tries to bring an assault on the presenter which would disqualify or embarrass), and that it is absurd.

It is, in this arbitrary seeming Church report to bolster this new philosophical deviation from the orderly development and presentation of the text, here is a case of ignoratio elench, a bypassing of the point at issue without seeming to do so, a commendable form of propaganda for those who approve such things.

The fact that the light sources, till announced,  are unavailable for all the purposes structurally and functionally assigned to them, and that is so of necessity in the interim after "Let there be light", even though they be present continually in primordial operation (e.g. in verses 4-5), is to be seen in the context. Thus, this is so when at first there was literally no terrestrial space which would enable visibility FROM the earth,  to provide for the growing awareness of how our earth and its human functionality and astral features came to be:  this is the point. It is not to some non-present human viewer that the report is given, but to human viewers caused to see how their own situation developed, so that what was obscure is now clear, and what could not at first operate in the assigned features, did then in form as it does now operate. Thus is the text light and the perspective it imparts visibility.

Such irrelevances as this in the Report, which mocks the idea of anything being hidden (‘from whom’) are an excellent testimony to the devious character of such gross distortion of the text as this programme pursued, wittingly or otherwise, and hopefully the latter. It misses the ENTIRE point of the program. God did, and now reveals to the eye of faith what the act divine wrought.

The space having been created, as noted in Genesis 1, the stretched out expanse between the waters of sea and cloud, and the earth doubly detached, first from mere liquidity, with clearing skies, and then from overall liquidity, with clearing land, these solar and astral bodies with their roles in space and for earth, and the nature of these roles, the formation and the information, are dually and intimately disclosed.

In this way you see an excellent example of neo-evangelicalism, which tends always to depart from what is written, and with the special feature of strong affirmation of it, constitute the modern day traditionalism with affirmation, that is so rife in Romanism, was so rife in Pharisaism, and is always a buttress for those who want to have FORM of godliness, whatever may happen to the text itself! In so doing, of course, there is a fulfilment, a verification of the prophetic stipulation of II Timothy 3:1-5.

What else is indicative of such a trend, even where some measure of orthodoxy, is at times
maintained ?

It is in this way that female elders become increasingly tolerated in such settings, for fellowship, ordination or both; that separation as a divine directive concerning false teaching,  is separated from (as occurred in the PC in America when one of those DIRECTED to withdraw the denomination from what in the Assembly's opinion was a polluted ecumenical organisation,  DID NOT DO IT, and was afterwards not disciplined, but rather commended); or that the love of God is encased in a narrower scope than Colossians 1:19ff. could ever tolerate or accept, as in severe Calvinism, so that oddities of theology are stressed and before you can well realise it, you have a confessional church, not a biblical one, a formal religion and not a dynamic one. Tradition being satisfied, there is far more tolerance of mere divergence from the text of the word of God.

This is the trend with many, and it is a stop-gap only on the broad way to amalgamation through misinformation and disinformation, confusion and psychological mechanisms.

Often it is a question, as apparently in this case, with whatever confusion and combinations of conscious purposes,  of suppressing what is written to achieve a prepared policy and polity, contrary to scripture and in accord with secular thought, which for its part changes almost like the movement of a bees' wings, with its fashions. This, in turn, is precisely similar to the situation laceratingly exposed by Christ, like a surgeon showing students a cancer just dissected, as in the record of Mark 7:7ff.. Small wonder such became perhaps Christ's most bitter enemies, for their cover-up was a specious dissemblance, a combination of man and God, philosophy and scripture, for all the world like taking someone to 'Niagara Falls' (word perfect), but changing the definition, by various devices. Where one then would arrive is anybody's guess.

 Let us however revert to the Genesis reality.

Day and night, heaven and earth, features an life, their origin from God, to adorn the light of common day and form our habitable globe, these things are the sure and orderly passage of events. Its components, the aqueous, the geological, the biological, the spirit of man, and so forth, are the topic, and the terms are used with a precise, factual formulation in total parallel to the actual events, that coming, made what is here a form fit for and embodying life; and the explication is in the terms in use for our universe, hence meaningful and instructive.

The idea that terms change meaning, are mutable, exotic, is simply a dictator in exegetical clothing, an intrusion of secular hope into spiritual account, and a defilement of sound communication. God however, in His word, is clear (Proverbs 8:8, John 8:43), if you follow carefully by His grace WHAT HE SAYS.

Thus, in this derivation for the purpose of understanding, carefully gained from the divine account, the terms relate to what is known, not only to introduce us to what was NOT known, but to the derivation. Terms do not wander like lost stars, slipping, sliding into philosophical permutations and combinations, but those used with explicatory fore are bound from first to last, following each phase of creation, the thing intrinsically explaining itself, not asking for supplementary answers to compete with those given in the text. DO NOT ADD! is the word continually to be held in mind with the word of the Almighty; and the other is this, DO NOT SUBTRACT. With these two sign posts followed, straight indeed is the way, and narrow (cf.  Matthew 7:15).

To assume sloppy writing is both unwise and unnecessary, and does not constitute exegesis, but criticism, one which however not merely assaults the text, but renders it so self-contradictory in usage, as to make it meaningless.

It is one procedure of neo-evangelicalism in practice, to do such things. Whatever the purpose, the result is obvious, since what is made meaningless can have any desired meaning inserted, and what is the word of God, thus becomes the word of man, marvellously affirmed and meaninglessly held. Small wonder does it appear that the wrath of Christ was against such actions to the extent it was, as seen with such divine energy of condemnation in scriptures such as Matthew 23, 22:41ff - or that they sought to drill Him (Luke 11:52), and later to kill Him (John 8:40), and were not satisfied till, doing this, they had unwittingly activated the divine plan of salvation which had millenia before surveyed the scene in prophecy and foretold their hatred (Isaiah 49:7, 52-53), their killing, its mode and His resurrection of body! (cf. Joyful Jottings 22 -25).


4.  Now let us turn to the historical aspect
as noted in the PC in America Report, for a little,
in order to see those particular things more clearly.

First let us cite it once again:

Out of all of this literature it is possible to distinguish two general schools of thought on the nature of the six days. One class of interpreters tends to interpret the days figuratively or allegorically (e.g., Origen and Augustine), while another class interprets the days as normal calendar days (e.g., Basil, Ambrose, Bede and Calvin). From the early church, however, the views of Origen, Basil, Augustine and Bede seem to have had the greatest influence on later thinking.  While they vary in their interpretation of the days, all recognize the difficulty presented by the creation of the sun on the fourth day.

 Puzzled as to when God created time, with the sun (by which our normal days are measured) created only on the fourth day, Augustine opted for instantaneous creation, with the "days" of Genesis 1 being treated as six repetitions of a single day or days of angelic knowledge or some other symbolic representation.  Augustine’s view, with its emphasis on instantaneous creation, would have an influence through the Middle Ages and still be held by some, such as Sir Thomas Browne, at the time of the Westminster Assembly.
 

In noting these things we shall look at some expanded and adapted excerpts from other works on our site. The first, being short, is indented.
 

1) From News 51

As shown in the above reference to Cosmology, there was a whole school of theology, in the early centuries of the Christian Church: the Alexandrian. It was strongly emphasising that God needed no more than an instant to institute and complete creation. Clement affirmed that the world did not come into creation IN time, since time was something created with the world. The time may be whatever it was, is the emphasis of Augustine, and at ANY time, man might ask,


Why not sooner ?

But in the infinitude of God's being, not limited, any time is insignificant compared with all of ours: this is Augustine's stress. Always, in his City of God, we find him quite assured about the exact creation coming to be. It is never anything processive, but rather, always magnificently and utterly deposited. It is to him a more academic, or if you like, non-creation aspect of time which fascinates him. HOW does time arrive for man in relation to the existence of God ? NONE is needed, and time is invented with man! This however is NOT to say that none is used; merely that it is a virtual irrelevance when one is in the domain of the foreknowledge, total conceptual completion and action of one so great as God.

When it comes to the text however as on p. 364,  we learn that God "knows all times with a knowledge that time cannot measure" , which is true, but NOT that time therefore was not relevant to the creation. Rather  Augustine is removing misunderstandings about what it was that was being done, since it was God who did it! We learn this, he says, that GOD MADE LIGHT and that He made it by HIS WORD, and found it good, and this, says Augustine, was nothing new to Him, but such is the perfection of His work, that this did not add to His knowledge but - in effect - implemented it.

Anything further from long ages or for that matter, evolution, it would be hard to imagine.

Fully formed thought, independent in its own form of all processive time, acts with consummate maturity, and needs nothing as it does it. Non-processive time is a good description of the time that scholar envisages. Augustine himself could perhaps have spared himself some trouble if he had realised more clearly, that time is being brought into existence with the other creation, so that the initial processes of creation, as now known, before they are designated in our terms, are conceivably far removed from those aroused during the institution of time, that is, of serial, progressive time, where you wait one moment for the next to arrive, a wonderful novelty from eternity's all-embracive knowledge of the Almighty (Acts 15, Isaiah 42:9, 46:9-10).

Time was being manufactured with all else; and its processes were successively evoked, by which its passage is often measured! Humpheys touches on this matter in a practical manner, but it is there in necessary essence at all times! In Augustine's City of God, we find numerous expressions of this fait accompli character of creation, as far as conception, knowledge and prior standards and certainties are concerned (e.g. see op.cit. pp. 373, 378, 364, 381, 393, 395, 397, 409).

In reality, there is dominion and there is actuality which needs neither subject nor situation. God can make, like an artist, ever so many pictures of times; and possibilities actualise as and how He will. There is simply no limit.

Our type of time is to be understood as to its institution in only one way: the way which the only One who knows, being there at the inception of this sort of time, describes. The Biblical description is meticulously clear and decisive. There is however nothing even approaching a problem; merely a delight to the imagination to consider the other things that might have been. In science, however, our concern is with what is, something systematically 'forgotten' in the whole ludicrous episode of Darwinianism.

Yet let us not attack science properly so-called, which follows scientific method (cf. That Magnificent Rock Ch.1) .

  • It is merely

  • this parasitic philosophy

  • in terms of which many scientists have become preachers of illusion

  • rather than  observers of fact

  • and makers of theories to accord with it:

  • which is to be attacked.

Indeed, many are the great scientists, and even ones great in the history of science, who have been decisive in their insistence on the fixity of the created kinds, with no concession to imagination and myth. Kepler, Robert Boyle, Sir Isaac Newton, Jule, Lord Kelvin, Clerk Maxwell, Michael Faraday, all appear as maintainers of God's own divine action in creation.

 

2) FROM SMR SUPPLEMENT Ch. 2

Naturally, there were some early church impacts. However even in those quoted by Ross, there is a tendency for the 'thousand years is as a day' approach to the days of Genesis 1, on the part of some; while the early church Bishop Ambrose from the same quotations, is clear in his Genesis 1 24-hour reference, simply and properly allowing the usage of 'day' in appropriate settings, for other purposes, as it is with us.


In the thousand year approach, moreover, the time in view is co-ordinate with the life-spans of the first men Biblically addressed, and not of a disproportion wholly alien. Whatever philosophic or fanciful inputs may have affected some here, they did not in such cases wholly violate the sense of the record.


This is so, even if at this point, some disregarded with the blinking of momentary little faith, or
inadequate application, the clear evidence of the text. The issues, though of real interest, were less pointed than is now the case, the bundle less compiled, with philosophic naturalism.

This is despite the fact that some had as they have,  a reputed tendency towards the allegorical! The discursive though, indeed, is far different from ecclesiastical formulation and acceptance. Thinking is not teaching.

In fact, the case, as the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia points out (vol. 3, p. 302), is that the Alexandrian school, influenced by Philo, tended to disregard time, emphasising that God needed "no more than an instant for the creation of the world". Clement, it is noted, denies that "the world was created in time, since time came into existence with created things", a view closely followed by Augustine at this point, he notably emphasising the conception that "the world was made, not in time, but with time", in his City of God (p. 350, Ch. 11).

This he deems to follow from his (very limited) definition of time, though at that, himself strangely ignoring his own definition's clear fulfilment during the processes of the days as they brought the paraphernalia of process into being. Such is the impact of philosophy, which had a major and notorious invasion in the case of Origen. A large insistence on the part of those so influenced is noted in Schaff, such that there was for this school, a conception of a "practically instantaneous" Creation.

This is rather different from the concept of vast ages... as is the "literal interpretation of six days as six periods of twenty-four hours, generally given in orthodox dogmatics from Luther on" (Schaff, loc.cit.) in much post-Reformation work. Indeed, to turn now to J.D. Davis of Princeton, in his famed 4th. Edition (rev.) Bible Dictionary, pp. 157-158, we find this statement relative to the historical emphasis following the Reformation: "During the next 300 years the narrative was understood to mean that God created the universe in one week of seven consecutive days of twenty-four hours each. At any rate, the works of the six days were more than six acts; God spake, to use a significant Biblical term, eight times (verses 3, 6, 9, 1, 14, 20, 24, 26)."

Accordingly, we find in the most scholarly 24 vol. work of Keil and Delitzsch, Commentaries on the Old Testament (1864-1868) p. 51, on Genesis:

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But if the days of creation are regulated by the recurring interchange of light and darkness, they must be regarded not as periods of time of incalculable duration, or years of thousands of years,   but as simple earthly days.

Matthew Henry in his notable Commentary (1710) states of the first day:

This was not only the first day of the world but the first day of the week. I observe it to the    honour of that day, because the new world began on the first day of the week likewise, in the    resurrection of Christ, as the light of the world, early in the morning.

Schaff-Herzog (op.cit., p. 301) also notes of "Judaism Proper" that:

Here not only is the creation of heaven and earth out of nothing strongly emphasized, but special  stress is laid on the relative nothingness of weakness of the creature in comparison with God... In harmony with the unconditional supernaturalism... it is not surprising to find the six creative days of Genesis taken in the strict literal sense...

Such matters scarcely affect the current issue of 'time' being used in utter severance from the Genesis explication; for a fresh young earth is still in view, even after 7000 years, for the more 'adventurous' of those noted!

Certainly the merely allegorical case departs from the scripture, though some like to use a complex of allegory and actuality; and the emphasis is on the immediate, in the most wholesome departure from the modern stretch-socks desire, not the naturalistically annexed. In the case of many, there is this vast trend to take the days as modern in style, OR LESS! In the case of Ambrose, we look at rotational days for the fiats.

Thus much of the variation is not so apparently constrained by  consideration of time needed for evolution in general, but of time NOT needed for divinity in particular! The former constraint is merely an abutting adjunct to the word of God, suitable for those who do not know the scope of the divine mind, which invented our own, and who imagine that Moses wrote to primitives, or unenlightened minds, whereas the scope of human knowledge, mathematics, law and culture at Ebla, long before Abraham, is such as befits laws such as Moses wrote, obviously to a people of capacity to comprehend.

No, neither is God, nor was man incapable; and all that is incapable appears to be the mind of modern man, via his culture, to realise the power of God, the strength of His never pitted word, and the weakness of the ever erratic mutabilities of science, made far worse as it seeks to find from the present the abyss of the past, let alone creation, so that endless naturalistic theories pile themselves, layer on layer, as if there were nothing better to do than to dream.

Without reason, they misuse reason, and hence never agree either with each other or with the truth. How could they ? They are born in rebellion, and raised in unreason! This is so well attested elsewhere in this site, that merely the index references will be given at this point, to naturalism, evolution. Nevertheless, one could note TMR, Wake Up World! Chs.  4-6, Earth Spasms ... Secular Myths ..., and for dating, see Models and Marvels Ch. 7 E and related references there given.

At that, with Aristotle behind them, it would scarcely be surprising if some older scholars stooped so far as to be naturalistically enchanted. (Aristotle was clear on the fixity of species now, less so on their origination, with the tendency of Plato towards some 'stuff' on which action could occur.)

Indeed, It is to be noted that the 'thousand year' clan moreover are using one scripture on another, rather than obviously alien premises to depart from what is written. At that, the irrelevance of the TIME WE FEEL as the Lord delays His return till He is ready, which must be constrained by His purposes, and relates to our perception of waiting, to the TIME HE TOOK when He specifies the mechanics, which relates to His power as He depicts it, is gross. In purpose and style, these are in contrast, the one to show our need of patience, the other to show His irresistible and divine power to create.

When David calls on the name of the Lord, when the Psalmist indicates that he is heard on the day he cries, we are not to be assuming thousand year days! When the Lord indicates morning and evening in a structured setting leading on to normal history, we are not to assume dissident days. What the Lord does in His overview of history in terms of our expectation, topic one, is not what the Lord does in His institution of days, topic two. In the former case, we may expect thousands of years, and have had two (but little more seems indicated - see Answers to Questions Ch. 5). In the latter, we are TOLD in terms of evening and morning days, associated with the astronomical instrumentalities used for the purpose; and our expectation accordingly is in terms of what the text says.

It is precisely the enormity of such transference of topic and purpose which evokes astonishment; but for all that, it is only when it is linked to making peace with the secular mechanics, which philosophy not science has invented, that one sees not only indifferent exegesis, but direction invasion of the text.
 

Augustine far from contemporary idiosyncrasies

Finally, it is important to realise from the references given, that Augustine is not in the least looking to the processive, as in some of these pseudo-creative fantasies wrought and brought into Genesis. It is the opposite. Everything is already worked out in God, nothing changes in his conception of heaven, and earth is the mere recipient. It is NOT the case either that he is saying that creation was instantaneous, though it is a word-result case, as creation fiats come. He merely asserts that it is nothing whether it was or not, in terms of power and majesty, planning and perfection prior to the event. He is keenly aware of the passage of process in the days, but never even begins to assert that the days are to be extended, or dismissed; merely that it is difficult to find a formula that fits them all.

He allegorises a little, yet not as an interpretation of the creative process, but in seeking underlying understanding of any message inherent in the text. Augustine and his school cannot be accurately used to assemble resemblance to any of the current options being proposed. He seems a little obscure at times in his treatment of time, as if change is impossible in heaven, even as a preferred or entertained mode: for in the end, God is the Lord and heaven is a vast conglomerate of souls, indeed one in which war is stated to have occurred in Revelation 12. Again, Augustine tends to bog down in treating time’s institution, for after all, what is involved is merely the institution of created, serial time where waiting is endemic, process normative and normally not optional. He even begins to transgress into eternity for created beings, though he tries to curb the process, as if angels cannot be treated as made in time, and hence are beyond time.

However, they CAN be treated as invented in any creative formula or format for the time mode or component which God proposed and was pleased to make operative. They must be regarded as subject to demand, command and hence to execution of intent, or failure, in some sort of capacity for sequence. This requires FOR THEM, some kind of time.  Their institution is to a realm in which time has constraints and commands take effect, including their own effecting of commands.

All that is under command by nature, is not God, is created, and is subjectible to time constraints of a variety of possible modes, and doubtless more of these, also, than may be thought. Their institution in such modes is creation, and what is not so subjectible by its own nature is God. What He subjects in whatever mode, being created, is however subjectible at His will, and by His word, both written and effectual, as in the word of God and by the word of God. So the chasm is complete, creature and creator, command and sequence, knowledge and totality.

Indeed, if there can be war in heaven, there can be forms of time at the divine good pleasure, though of course never as an intrusion or necessity, merely as an invention for any good purpose of creative kind. WE are not the only creation; it is nonetheless the creation  of the heavens and the earth which Genesis indicates. There ARE angels, which are not there mentioned.

The universe is one domain. Angelic powers are another. In Genesis, it is not indicated that angels were not made, but rather how the universe of heavens and earth, cosmological, astronomical, terrestrial, were made. There is CREATOR and CREATION, and Christ, Himself increate, made all in the made category, whether in the realm of visible or invisible (Colossians 1:16). That is the nature of the position. Of Creator there is but ONE as Isaiah indicates. Of the subjectible to His declared mode of existence, and to His command, there are many. These, the rest are what He made. FROM HIM are all things, says Romans 11:33. ALL THINGS were created for Him (says Revelation 4:11). HOW He created is the current question, and the time frame is the current mode of enquiry.

Hence there is much made; and time is made as in Romans 8:29ff., and all that is not God is created. In and WITH time is the universe made. It is having episodes from day one, as in the creation of light, its division from darkness (indicated in the form of institution, not some mere intrusion), and the summary, evening and morning, day one.

This in series with the rest, thus is making the days an ensemble of kind, being even serially numbered and listed as a temporary entity. THIS is the mode of time which the divine mind has construed, and construing, constructed. It is not at all possible to make them a divergent kind, in listing them. GOD has listed them as one. It is assuredly not for our imaginations to list them as diverse, far less in invasive disregard of precise definition that duly comes.  What! And shall we make new modes for angels as well, and more thoroughly intrude human thoughts into the Creator’s mind!

Augustine, himself most true about the completion of the matters beforehand in the divine mind, about the invention of time, about time being created, the world with it, about the instantaneity which is quite easy for God, nevertheless neither affirms no process, nor distances process in the least, but if anything, he constricts it. Yet for all that,  he is rather pedantic seeming in his insistences on time as being so odd, so that its institution makes for verbal play and at times obscurity in his writing, where he becomes ambivalent in appearance, between divine knowledge and human knowledge, seeking some kind of cognisance as the criterion: but this only in that there is something to know! And that, it is the step in view, to which he tends to look with a virtual, if not actual, instantaneity. He is, nevertheless, emphasising the irrelevance of time to the power and majesty of God, prepared and all powerful, rather than dismissing its occurrence.

Hence the view of Augustine and that school is not so far from that of Basil and Ambrose and Bede, who move on the basic actual day approach, with whatever frills and flounces. Indeed, we must realise quite categorically, that modes of approach to the 4th day are of interest, but they are not in the same domain at all, as modes of approach to the days per se! This is diversification within a common basis of straightforward days, with whatever adornment; or ditching of the definition in the context of creation of kinds of things to the present array; or both!

TIME FOR PROCESS of a natural kind to manifest itself is a characteristically modern demand, based on modern appetite. It is opposite both in terminology and thrust, to the text, which allows nothing to impede, delay, a command, but only for further steps, as in the clearing of obscuration of water relative to the enumerated purposes of light, which are to be sought as wrought, from the text.
 

Let us then revert to time.
 

5. A DAY of Darkness and Not Light (Amos 5:18)

Modes and Methods

There can be a phase in the divine apportionment in the mind of the Lord which, while not our time, is a time related or sequence-conceived thing, or a sequentially oriented mode for some purpose conceived. This He may implement at will, in any time-domain. There is no slightest difficulty about that. There can be a sequence of events in which serial time is instituted, processively, progressively if the divine will is to that effect. The instruments of natural measurement do not need to be complete at first, if the desire is to indicate divine lessons about structure and function, or purpose and preliminary.

But THEY DO need to be as stated, a formal, basically homogeneous thing for the series called ‘day’ to be anything other than a slide, a contortion and an obscurantist medley of thought, barren of clarity.
 

WHO, after all,  is TELLING this history ? Is it man, or God! The actual use of the SAME pattern of words, and not merely a numerical enclosure, for the continuing days past one to the end, makes it abundantly clear that if the thing could be called day once, it has a substantial reality so akin to the rest as to belong to that family of events. This in itself does not require that the sun as an object minus precise and consummate function, came before the day four; but it moves greatly in that direction.

It is the fact that the darkness is specified on the one hand, as an interval between successive and succeeding light, and as a thing instituted, and formally divided from light, and that this is continued after the purposive indications about the moulding of the luminaries for their multiple purpose function, in conjunction with the stars, that makes the interpretation that the sun was earlier created but not in its full effectuality for chronological purpose, so important. By this time, no loop-hole is left. The continuity, which incidentally goes right on to normal history after creation, is simply there, as we are told that this is the work God did in creation, and the vocabulary continues.
 

Difficulties !  Excuses ?

The main point is this: there is no ‘difficulty’ about the days, as what they become in the account, indicating how we got what we have, which of course includes the thing called ‘days’. That is merely the transition from origin to actualities so originated, with terms in common.

Even if you want to have some supernatural, miraculous, anti-natural, non-processive action making the curtains of light to be swung back, for darkness, which erupts into the context like a hidden volcano: even this is no excuse for imagining that the days are some unearthly thing, some strange event, which we really must scratch our heads about and tinker with ... It is not as if the Lord had not spoken, as if He had no series, were not accounting for the creation of the heavens and the earth, and were in some kind of clutch of verbal desire, to use common terms, commonly and clearly designated, in strange esoteric senses, even in the midst of a series, interrupting with supernatural invasion not mentioned, and natural means not stated.

Therefore, whatever one’s preference, to intrude or not, to obscure the clear concept of sequence and basic homogeneity or not, to utilise the supernatural itself as means in a common setting of creation in some irresolvable way, in the days after one, there is no vestige of excuse for compressing the days, or expanding them into some alien thing, with some hidden means, when the point of the account is to make clear the history of the thing (Genesis 2:1-4): the commencement exercises of God in erecting that College called earth, so that we understand how what is, came to be. Unhistorical historians may be so if they wish, and they form a genre, a fantasy arena of co-creators in any discipline, romancers with reality, producing not figures but fantasies as if fact.

There can be such; but the Lord is not one of them. If He indicates history, history it is. If He were using an account of how it all came to be, to use His terms, carefully integrated, in the clearest POSSIBLE manner into the present, to mean something wholly diverse, what would it resemble ? it would be like someone being married, who, when signing the register, declares: But of course this signature does not relate to that marriage. I suppose that could be done; anything could be done; but not with reason.

In fact, there are times when it begins to appear that the Lord’s word is taken under tutelage, as if HE could not or was not disposed to do what Proverbs 8:8 says of WISDOM. However HE has said the way we are to follow His word. It is clear, not twisted, contrived; it is all clear to him who understands. It COULD NOT POSSIBLY be clear when romancing enters without the textual discipline. In that way, the sky is the limit, the earth its orphan.

How do we follow His word ? ONE way in which that happens is this: it is followed as it comes, not invaded as it goes. The way to keep it so, therefore,  is not to so patronise the Almighty’s expression that it is mere butt for our exploration of our own thoughts, but to regard it as a decisive, assured and certain deposition of what He wants us to understand. True it is, to be sure, that some may at times try to press OUT of His word, what He did not plan to put into it, and hence there are numerous quarrels as some try to insert this, or that, or talk of lack of clarity, when there is lack of conformity to what He HAS stated, and no more. It is like brigands: if you do not keep the law, originality is free!

However, in this case, it is the HISTORY which He is telling, and the COMMANDS and the DAY, like the MAN, are the thing created with which we have to do, the items which He is explaining as to its commencement, placing in their genre. Therefore, to assume He is not using the term indicating the genre, when He proceeds to employ it in the most categorical of terms to indicate, as with man, the present situation, and when in this chronological case, He even compresses it all into an event- labelled and logically cohesive series: this is to create.

Yes man then becomes a creator too. He is a creator of meanings contrary to the word of God; and all his efforts to be ‘nice’ and tolerant of this and that, become an intolerance of what is written, and the clarity in which it is statedly written, and the purpose for which it is statedly written.

What however of the nature of a church in its stand, posture, doctrine,
and that of a single member ?

 

Distinctions

A discursive thrust in some church member is one thing; however a failure to deal with the domain of poetry once invoked by a licentiate, relative to Genesis, in the biblical arena of an historical declaration on creation commencement exercises, and a mere verbal slap followed by theoretical inclinations, dignified into codification: this is another. That is the thing, in principle, which happened in the PC in America, and its defilement was merely a beginning.

What is laxity for a young ordinand, in permitting such violation of the textual integrity and development, becomes outrage and dissidence from the divine when the church which overruled the rightly concerned Presbytery in that case, makes its own notions a clarification, a code or an acceptable consensus.

It becomes a luke warm ‘handling’ of the word of God from which one does well to distance oneself, keeping rather to what is written. As to day, it is not a question of 24 hours, but of the TYPE of day we now have, with the SIGNIFICANCE we now have, whether the earth rotated more or less slowly, and whether the signals went out in this or that way. It is the genre, the movement in kind with our own, which is in view. From that one can vary only with danger to wisdom and weakening to others.

To teach such things is an inconceivable step from ecclesiastical purity and fidelity towards that incremental traditionalism which reflects with complacency on its own and its adopted scribes, who in the former days were such that not only did they not enter into the kingdom, but they hindered those who would do so. Indeed, said Christ in that highly matured case:
 
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"Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge.
You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered"
- Luke 11:53.

Again in Mark 7:7, we find the other perilous precipice to which this additive and authorising phenomenon leads, has lead and will lead till He come:
 
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"... in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

Alas the contemporary trends of weakening, in the reformed faith areas, are but one more illustration of the falling away. Special to them - though they are not alone, are various special areas of weakness. For this see  The Biblical Workman Ch. 8, End-note *2. These include creation, women elders in violation of the Biblical mandate (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 10-11), and separation. The failure to separate from a body indulging in one or more of these Biblically forbidden areas (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 7) of course is a large part of the reason for the cultural dominion which begins to be seen in the conformity to the form of this world, despite its irrationality. Churches concerned for culture pills, themselves arid and acid, are already in the grip of folly: for the wisdom of this world, as Paul precisely declares, is vain and void.

Evil company does not promote good customs, as Paul declaims! Here a little, there a little, it is downgraded. Where it WILL not depart, then that action is left to the believer him/herself!

One can understand the sorrow of Jeremiah (9:1), both before and after the destruction of Jerusalem, which was marvellously proficient at hearing the word of God like a lovely song (as noted in Ezekiel 33:31-33); and then disregarding it with glorious aplomb. Glory however does not remain in that mode of address... Isaiah's challenge of 8:20 remains as true today as it was then. It is not for churches to authorise as 'acceptable' what the word of God does not present; or to ignore what it does. They are not divine adjusters, but divine executives, bound by the word of the Master. Their song must be as He directs it, whether the people hear or not.

This is a spiritual and not a psychological engagement. One may think in many ways, but when it comes to teaching, authority resides ONLY in what is incorrigibly written, and is not found in imagination... even less so, if it were possible, when one is ecclesiastically cautioned about the absurdities of scientific philosophies of paganism, as if they had any logical standing of a "more plausible scientific version."

Here one sees both an erroneous motivation, and an uninformed susceptibility to the current impasses of science falsely-so-called, which are in crisis and confusion, whereas creation is clearly attested by all major scientific law, observation of process, and application of scientific method (cf. TMR Chs.  1,   7,  8).

Alas the implausibility of the philosophy of our times, already in mutually colliding parties, never satisfying the facts, always ignoring much so that the other parties can correct them: this is revered despite its patent irrationality, and  cleaving to this idol is too well here seen as one motivation, and its propaganda style détente as worse; while the invasion of the scripture to match it to these already ageing errors of philosophy in science, merely makes a fracture from friction, that between naturalism and text, to become one more lifeless concession to the erratic and anti-verified thoughts of those who start without God, and seem too easily to appeal, to those who know better.

Theories of patent absurdity are enthroned like Dagons. Such submissions of the force of what is written in the word of God, to the dimness of what is the passing shadow of the fraudulent form of this world, erratic, inconstant and blatant, are amongst the Babylonian captivities of many, who might have been freed. It would be improper not to warn. It would be unscriptural to join them*1 when that Jerusalem which is above, is yet free, nor shall the gates of hell prevail against it!

This, then, is one illustration of the trend which has much earlier been noted (The Biblical Workman Ch. 8, End-note 2), and indeed set in the Index under Theological Ism-itis, with special reference to "the Reformed Faith", in its contemporary movements of head and style.
See these references for further on this aspect.

It is not at all that this IS the Reformed Faith (an undesirable term in that it tends to congeal with some ambiguity, about this or that - it is always better to refer to the Biblical faith, or entirely subordinately to the system in the Westminster Confession, to the compilation of this with the Declaratory Statement as FORMALLY if not functionally, in the Presbyterian Church of Australia, since 1991 or some other clear construction). It is however a contemporary trend amongst many who, making much of the phrase, make less of its portent and import, by the appearance of relative indifferentism on basic Biblical issues such as
 
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creation,
 

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female authority in the church (A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 10-11),
 

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the endemic and traditional danger of many to act as if to summarily short-circuit the love of God for the ultimately lost (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 1, End-note 1, Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch. 11),
 

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and a conception at times seeming almost implicit, that the errors of former times alone are worthy of debunking at the systematic level, and that organic growth in doing the same now is not needed.

That of course is traditionalism; and it was fatal to the Pharisees (Mark 7:7). You stylise some philosophic additive to the scripture, to help, then make it rule, then officially or actually, simply feel content if this is kept, the word of God in the interim losing its OWN SUFFICIENCY and domain, to your own thoughts, as a church or other body, or a person.

The word of God however has not lost its ancient power. It is not powerful because it is ancient, but ancient because it is God's. As such, the millenia fail to mutilate it, only the friends within seeming to succeed, and this not by reason, but often by a treason as irrational as it is intrusive.

A living church is to be constantly aligning; not idolatrising some who did some things, and sharing in their errors; or adding to their errors in a listless obliterative focus on good things, as if other good things could by no means be found. Thus the Lutheran testimony on justification by faith was excellent, following Paul; but a failure to be ample enough in continuing application of the word on all sides has now led to this infamous declaration with the Roman Catholics, 1999, in which, with all but grim humour - say gaunt - this VERY THING, this Lutheran emphasis,  is now in recession through accommodation to what condemns it, has condemned it and continues to condemn it at Trent. (Cf. SMR pp. 1045ff., 1059ff..)

If that is not irony, if that is not the very ground of exhortation, what then would be!

This preoccupation without adequate fidelity on all sides, as if one element were a substitute for all, or some for all, or some system for all the word, this complacency which can so readily arise and which needs constant watchfulness from all to avoid, is now leading, it would seem, a large and 'conservative' Presbyterian Church, my own former denomination, one of the last sizeable bastions of obvious populous power in this field, into a slack attitude to the word of God. Far from their own standards and further from the Bible. So does the 'ism-itis' infect. Its ravages do not cease out of courtesy: it is not a courteous infection, but a grave infraction.

This IS ONE ILLUSTRATION of that trend in some Reformed circles, then, noted long ago as detailed above, which we would be happy to live without!

Nevertheless it is a WARNING! The Lutherans (Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 4) had something similar in peril from undue specialisation (though the emphasis was excellent); and  they have gone ... even further! they make intimate postulations with dogmatically unrepentant Rome. It is NOT at all the case in many of these affairs, that there is ERROR in the original emphasis, as in the Lutheran stress on justification by faith; but rather it comes in the undue lack of other emphasis. Indeed, even this can proceed to the point of some ambivalence on the infallibility of the word of God which has been exhibited relative to the PC of Australia (cf. The Biblical Workman, Ch. 8, pp. 125ff.), even in its most reformed and renovative mode!
 

  • This is the peril of being safe in the arms of a shibboleth - or two.

 There are other arms with which, and into which, the church of the living God must go.

The pathology and its ways, of these trends to omissions and commissions,  are all too apparent. It is time to heed and not time to follow such things! The word of God must not lie fallow while fellows philosophise. Indeed, it is by no means trendy, shallowly to follow trends; and if it were, it would by no means make it better. In fact, the ways of this world need antidote constantly from the pure word of God, not from quotable traditions, let alone such out of context or inadequately expounded, as men receive honour from one another (John 5:44-45).

 
6. SUMMARY AND TRANSITION

This then is the first example, taken while the mutation was occurring, seen in the failure of men to accept the witness of Christ in His word, who of course in Matthew 19 made it clear that God was speaking and speaking truth in the account of creation, as indeed likewise in Matthew 5:17ff..

Here is creation being re-cast in a way so ludicrous, in the misuse of terminology and irrelevant argument including propaganda technique, and the use of example illicitly to extend beyond its actual contribution, that one sees the necessity of getting to the WITNESS which is Christ, and taking the word of God without dilution or false imputation or tradition or philosophy (I Corinthians 1), just as it comes.

As to such ecclesiastical mutation: Not thus is one dutifully and for the glory of the Lord to fulfil one’s ordination vows to seek the purity of the church, and to safeguard it. Not thus is one to beware of the LEAVEN of the Pharisees, or to avoid the neo-missionary revisionism of the Sadducees. The word of God by itself, of itself, from Himself, this is the core; and quietness in Him and in it is the only quietus. It is the written revelation of His mind, the sole authorised communication of God to man in written form. It needs no help. Its integrity is its own. Its reward is spectacular, for in this way, the thing goes, nothing loose, nothing missing, all explained; the oak paneling is now not painted white, and the natural grain of His speech being conserved, its full force and beauty is experienced, its logic stability, its law truth.

Next, in Chapter 13,  we turn to the United Nations case, to which one writer directed this author, and here it is not a church, but something with much of the sound of one that is talking, and talking so suavely and subtly that one is at once reminded of the nature of that socio-political power, and of its devious dabblings in religion, predicted for the Devil's Antichrist, the Devil's Messiah, to come. He is of course all talk, and this is not he; but it is reminiscent in style, and a good advance opportunity to test the waters.

Can such things really be ? One might wish not, but the fact is that until all this is done, this final blare of evil, then the wonder of being with the Witness Himself, and not only His word (cf. II Peter 1:19), with Christ at the coming resurrection of which His is the guarantee, portent and preliminary (cf. Isaiah 26:19, I Corinthians 15), must wait. Let all this therefore come, and let us lift up our hearts as instructed, and as we are moved by the light within (Colossians 1:27, Luke 21:28) and the word of God written, without.
 
 

 


 


NOTES

*1
As the following presentation, in the text above, demonstrates at length, there is no such contradiction, but rather the most intimate correlation of concepts in terms of revolutionary days.

It is therefore ironic and rather prophetic to find in the formulation of this disastrous document of the PCA, this categorical admission. SINCE there is no such trouble as is vacuously affirmed, therefore the reality remains even in this document, that "such a scenario would pose no difficulty to the Calendar-Day view, as it clearly does to those who posit 'days' of eons in length"!

It is quite true, it does not. This is in substance indeed the ONLY understanding that is not eisegetical intrusion. It lacks all problems for that simple reason.


UPDATE: The error of the PCA Report of the Creation Study Committee, we find from  the issue of CREATION, Sept-.Nov. 2000, p. 6, has been compounded by the decision of the June General Assembly of that body, instead of remitting the Report to lower courts in the Church for 2 years of study, to do something quite different. It "voted instead to immediately accept ‘diversity of views’ on the days of Creation."

This seals this erratic departure from the teaching of scripture, found in some of the more exotic presentations of the Report, into formalised coverage, hence subverting the scripture by tradition, a performance which, whatever they 'find' of the days of creation, was indeed in this case at Assembly level, for its own part, of the ‘instant’ variety. How we hasten to that great day of the Lord when He shall cry no more delay, and return AS the LIVING word, unmolested, ineluctable and righteous! How do the apostasies rise like the great swellings of vanity which rage towards the nether shore (II Peter 2:18). It is not mere personal error here, on the part of some individual, but consolidated ecclesiastical ruling.

 

*1A

See http://www.presbyteriannews.org/volumes/v9/1/pr35.pdf

where some of the types of errors noted here and elsewhere in this Chapter may be found.

It is good to note that there is seen to be history in the creation, the fall and the redemption, but that the creation is re-made or re-modelled beyond the text, which is invaded by imagination, in the end becomes perilous as well as a distancing of the divine from the human. When dealing with God, one must always realise that one must be DEALT WITH, in instruction, discipline, formation, information. While this in no way limits the fellowship, it does remove autonomy.

Sometimes, as in this case, it is less gross than in many; but the results of this sort of chronology conversion into logical concepts instead, a sort of architecture of the mind instead of that  of history, has not only the principial error of adding to the word of God (Proverbs 30:6). It has procedural consequences.

If God should have liked to waft thoughts of the type invented in the PCA, to us in words of a different type and clear presentation, then if in this, why not in more ? When the principal of the land of Nod is found, that of wandering, as in stealing a cent, why not more ? If it is not directive, who then IS ? If it be a man or church, this is the beginning of the end. It is necessary to let God be God, and when He or His word is subdued to mortal imagination, confrontation, be it never so smooth, then His majesty is offended, and His purity is polluted in the practice of such a body, which, as in bodily health, has its results in due time.

The word of God is so pure that one prefers, as in this author's own case, to divest oneself of any denomination which finds this sort of practice acceptable, rather than enjoy the fruits of belonging where fellowship can no longer be without one's becoming an accessory (see Separation 1997). It is sad, and the solution is so simple: Remove this unfortunate document, the Creation Report, so that it is not a document favoured by Assembly, repent of the overturning of the Assembly's overturning of the Presbytery's ruling, which excluded from the ministry a young person who saw Genesis in terms of poetry, and make that repentance public. Make the biblical text the direct Church rule and let the Presbyteries resolve on a case by case basis what to do with variations.

After all, some may be confused, some unscholarly, some unable on examination to defend their ideas, and these may repent; again, others may in the refining milieu of discussion, break from inventions thrust IN God's word. While it is indeed true that an Assembly can resolve matters which do not resolve themselves, yet when it does, there is no need for a construction of available heresies. It is a matter of allowing the free roving of sincere thought on the one hand, and disallowing any formulation which is not point by point REQUIRED by the Bible. If people have private thoughts, and they discuss them that is their affair; but if they are going to publicise them as truth, let alone ecclesiastical formulations, this has to stop. It is the word of God which is truth. There is no other basis for belief.

 

 *1B

Let it be a day of miracle in a structure of method and structure, let it be a day of imaginative marvel, digesting the statements as if they were food and the mind of man a digestive apparatus, making the pabulum palatable to the taste, it is all one. Fiasco imparts its presence to faith, and God is co-author. This in no way presupposes the intent of anyone; it merely looks at the results of adding human light to the divine one, and making a medley. Alas, it is always odious and often dangerous, never to be suffered. Again, it is one thing if someone has loose or vague or intemperate views on some feature in himself; it is another when it is actively taught, presented at the formal level, or even issued with some measure of incitement!

 

*2
For the Biblical teaching on separation, in detail and categories, see The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.7 Ch.7. Not only  Romans 16:17, Isaiah 8:20, but many commands bear on this. II Thessalonians 2:15 advises us to stand fast in what has been taught, whether by Paul or the things received, and 3:6 proceeds to ask people to withdraw where there is disorder and failure to keep to this standard.

The fact that there is a particular exemplification of this does not alter the principle in view at all; indeed it reinforces it.

Thus

It is not a matter of the simple roving thought of the individual saint. Where the church adopts a position, takes a stand and the stand is a fall from the word of God, it is time to warn, as one has done in the case of the PC in America in many things over decades, and if necessary as the position grips and does not depart, to depart oneself to cleave to those where the word of God is not abased, nor the thought of man exalted.

In that day, of judgment, the Lord ALONE will be exalted. It is well to begin... now!

Isaiah 2:12-17 teaches with a beautiful aptness, agility and intensity:
 

"For the day of the Lord of hosts
Shall come upon everything proud and lofty,
Upon everything lifted up -
And it shall be brought low -
Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up,
And upon all the oaks of Bashan;
Upon all the high mountains,
And upon all the hills that are lifted up;
Upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall;
Upon the ships of Tarshish and upon all the beautiful sloops.


"The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
And the haughtiness of man shall be brought low:
The LORD alone shall be exalted in that day,
But the idols He shall surely abolish."

It is hard to cease quoting from this passionate purity and fiery beauty of truth; but it is well to read on!
 


 

One can warn and depart as one has had in all faith and conscience to do, and continue where it is not so defiled; but rather where the word of God rules without compromise in its warm intensity and immensity of conspectus, beauty of scope and certainty of utterance. It HAS STOOD and will stand, for it is of the LORD!

 

*3

Let us note from TMR Ch. 7, part of the conclusions there found to be attested, below.

 

From a strictly scientific point of view, the writer would have to say:

1. The date is not at all known.

2. The preponderance of evidence favours a young earth.

3. The difficulties of dealing with the divergence on dates, among evidences, are not great for a young earth, but seem insurmountable for an older one.

4. Much more would need to be known before any idea could be given.

From a Biblical viewpoint, the read-out might be this:

5. The Biblical date for life is certainly in thousands of years only.

6. The absolute initiation date is unsure, but almost certainly the same.

7. The huge agreement of the great mass of evidence with these propositions is what is to be expected; and the lack of concurrence on all sides is equally what is to be expected when knowledge is making such sciences outdated in a few years.

However:

There is no systematic problem whatever on a Biblical perspective, whereas the other option has insuperable difficulties at the outset with its cosmology leaving total ignorance in many spheres. Failure to recognise this, and nothing else, is making the scientific problem. No problem in this field exists for the Bible believer. Where science keeps within its competence, its accord with the Bible is notable. As shown in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, 3 MAJOR PHYSICAL LAWS are IMPLIED! (pp.330ff. in that work).

As to the First, The Law of Conservation of Mass and Energy, Scriptures fundamental to this include: Isaiah 45:12, 48:12-13, Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:3, 11:3.As to the Second, The Second Law of Thermodynamics (see the above cited work, pp. 330ff., and Index), Scriptures to the point include: Isaiah 51:6, Psalm 102:25-27, Hebrews12:25-27 with II Peter 3:10. As to the Third, the Law of Biogenesis, consult Genesis 1:11,21,25,28. Also relevant here are Matthew 24:35, 19:4ff., Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24.

For a production dating back well over three millenia, its irrefutable statements to this effect show prodigious performance characteristics, not merely unparalleled, in their total prophetic setting, but in sharp contrast to any production of any science. Contemporary Science, in comparison with this BASIC LAW SIGNIFYING BIBLE, is an infant in arms as to constancy and consistency.

The Bible does not change, goes deep, and stays there. It gave knowledge from thousands of years ago, duly confirming this in the New Testament: knowledge of what ? Of the basic character of the 3 crucial laws of physical science taught to it through the scientific methodology: information, observation, data based laws.

The Bible spoke, science echoes. Science is after all the ordered thought of man in such areas; and where it keeps to its mandate of method, such agreement is not surprising.

It is of course fascinating as a commentary on recent generations of philosophically gyrating thought (contemporary models in vogue), that evolutionism, organic naturalism is neither confirmed by categorical evidence, sustained by correlative laws, implemented to the eyes of observation nor available for test, as it cringes in the twilights of time, wanting, always wanting something to redeem it from its lost estate. What has not got it, will not produce it! ... is far to simple! The Bible however does not however alter. There is never a reason why it should.

It may be noticed that one used the term 'Science'. The actual science, however, not as a philosophic substitute for thought, but as a disciplined procedure in observation, inference, creation of hypotheses, verification, refinement, validation and rejection or confirmation: this continues (*4)  as it has for so long, quite a useful pursuit. It has the wit not to play God, or to tell Him it doesn't want to play with Him any more, because of aspirations of its own. That is for the quasi-respectable pseudo-'Science'.

As to that, and consequences of not taking God to heart: notice that the Bible declares that man as he is, is blighted both by sin and the curse on the earth, and needs redemption. Re-creation (not mere recreation) is declared as a fundamental necessity for the inhabitants of the earth to so much as continue in their order and their function here. Further, it is stated that this fact is to appear with increasing obviousness over time... our time! The creation and what was done in this sphere subsequently in the curse (SMR Ch.2, S1-S33, pp. 179-190, 472-498), require a further act of creation for which the parameters are clear, were long stated, and without which the climax will duly arrive (like a medical prognosis, but this one is certain). Then, said Christ: "Except those days were shortened, there should no flesh be saved" - Matthew 24:22.

These laws of denying the dominion of Jesus Christ and their results ("the law of sin and death" - Romans 8:1), they with the others, they progress and continue as stated... in the Bible. The mouth of Jesus Christ is the mouth of a truth which is invariably verified under due test.


 
*4        

See on dating, TMR Ch. 7 E, with references. However, the changing weft of scientific formulations, and the enormous confrontational collision of hundreds of Ph.Ds on both sides of the divide, together with the false premises and question-begging procedures involved, do not even press the necessity, in any case, to abide by what is written when interpreting it, not to re-write for the sake of someone else's desires ... or one's own. In fact, on  dating, one cannot find any way rationally to meet ALL the facts, except in the case of an earth some thousands of years old, only. The implications and ramifications are treated in the reference above, and its subsidiaries in detail.   

See also    The Defining Drama Ch.    3, Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch.    9, Cascade of Mercy, Torrent of Truth Ch.   6

 

 

Appendix IV

METHOD of APPROACH

Biblical Christian Apologetics

This is sketched in the following two chapters from

What is the Chaff to the Wheat!

 

Chapter 3

of What is the Chaff to the Wheat!

 

GODLESS MUSINGS ARE BUT CHAFF,

WHILE WHEAT GROWS OF ITSELF

For convenience, this is broken into two chapters;
but it is in fact one whole.
Ch. 4 completes it.

PROCEDURES AND METHODS

On this occasion, we are outlining some matters of approach in Biblical Christian Apologetics, each one of which is abundantly exhibited in the Site; but here the compilation focusses method only, as a perspective platform in this area, and arena.

I

When acting, you need meaning for your mentality.  Without God, it is not there.  If you declare it void, you are perforce to be equipped with necessary meaningfulness in order to make such a statement, so that it is an antilogy. If you seek a viable basis, then you first need God for any meaning, since His objective knowledge alone is able to transcend ignorance, constraint and limit,  and supply actuality; and you need validity for any logically allowable consequence to it. Truth does not grow on thistles, nor does it find its lair in thin air.

As to validity, see Ch. 10 and Ch. 11 below, as also Ch. 8 and Licence for Liberty Ch. 2.

As to procedure,  first as in SMR Chs.1-3,5, 8-1 0, we prove that God is there, and then that He must have spoken. This is a process of following reason, the absence of which leads to inability to argue at all. While its omission is irrationality, and models denying or defying it need not other contradiction than their own self-contradiction, on the other hand, what includes reason as it is used continually, even in efforts to state why it is not valid! is so far rational. Its validation proceeds as we shall see. It is therefore a barrier to what denies it, annuls its objective significance or makes travesty of its powers, but a triumphant victor over what omits it.

bullet

This latter includes the Irrevocable and Rewarded Results of Rationality consideration (I),
and it stands happily bereft of contrary models:
since the denial of reason makes reasoning vapid against those
who do not chose such a model,
and similarly the denial of objective causation similarly requires
an antilogism on top of antinomy,
and is impossible even for any rational speech,
that very verbalisation requiring this same causality
to enable the very category of definition. All of this has been shown at length
(cf.  SMR Ch. 1, Ch. 3).

We cannot, however, even on such a basis, read the mind of God for His plans; yet our created minds both can and should follow the work "of His fingers" of His deity in functional action, including action to find His word and face.  To be sure, this would be impossible if He did not choose to disclose such things; but as His word shows, He has done it. 

But where is His word ? As to His word,  it is irrevocably identified 

1) by the necessity that He speak in such a world as this (cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy), and

2) the fact that objectively and scientifically both, there is no match but this, not even anything in the field claiming to be the word of God, for test at this level, whatsoever.

Indeed, there are many other ways to proceed in Biblical Christian Apologetics, including
X-XII below. These are complementary.

Next, from SMR Ch. 3, we present a short coverage of this aspect of our procedures in reasoning for the faith, as provided for in I Peter 3:15, for all who are interested in such a thrust. In any rational consideration, this will include all who ever argue against the Bible or Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God. In this excerpt, there is addition for our present purpose.

 

*18 THE METHOD IS THIS.

Logic has its own validity, laws and principles. These work in our ordinary lives and as shown earlier, and are not subject to rejection by reason, for that assumes them. By logic we show that God is, is Almighty, may be known, and by Him only is truth to be known. By logic, we also show that those who reject that proposition are involved in irresolvable antinomies, are in an irrational and self-contradictory position, and can make no logical affirmation concerning the truth. Since we do not reject it, we are not so involved and our rational demonstration is unrestricted. It is in fact also confirmed and attested, as in ordinary processes or reasoning, by total and absolute verification. Moreover this is shown to be multi-dimensional, rollicking, and exuberant with the self-attesting dynamics of reality. The independent power to prevail, in attested ways, of both the identified word of God and the God of this word, in ordered experience and in history, provides an unlimited flush of a fortiori demonstration. (Cf. pp. 36, 265, 291-315 supra, 934-936, and 437-445, 592, 755-843, 316C, 332E infra.)
 
 

 

Notation on Reason and Revelation
Reason
Declares Treason:
Except it's used aright.
When used - and not abused -
To Divinity
(Not Mulched Infinity)
It Leads,
Divinity with words -
(Not intellectual surds)
Called Revelation,
That cause considerable
Consternation,
disinclination or
Desire:

But abide and override.


That Biblical Revelation
addressed to any nation,
person, individual
puts in focus
not hocus-pocus,
But Jesus Christ
who by word and Spirit leads,
like water to its source,
back on its rushing course
those who wash in Him
and come . . .

to life in, by,
and with
that Trinity
called God.


 

*19

IDENTIFIABLE COMMUNICATION . . . REMEDY : THE GOSPEL

It may be useful to prompt the mind on this topic of communication and remedy from the Almighty, as developed in some detail in Chs. 1, 2 and elsewhere. (Cf. pp. 28-36, 43-48, 81-87, 89-91, 127, 580, 592 ff., 1186B; and Index - 'Remedy'.)

It is shown in Chapter 1 et al., that there must be, of logical necessity, a remedy for the situation man makes and finds - on the part of God. It is useless to argue that man is dead, or God is dead, or both are dead, or that nothing matters. That is to deny the conditions of discourse, and simply sidestep the issues made. The mobile character of mankind does not remove his deadly operational functionality and facility. It is in vain to imagine that man does not live, move, operate, torture, contrive, create, construct AND deviate, caricature truth with gusto on millions of occasions, often on purpose, fraudulently crush justice in demeaning death, destroying reality and living in squalid and often sordid substitutes for the dignity and profundity which life may provide.


This action, multiplied amidst mankind, constitutes a perpetual thrust
against the God of creation. It is moment by moment, idea by idea,
perverted practice against truth by its fellow, polluted squirming of mind, moral and spirit by its mate, fiery thrust against God Himself and against His creatures by its companion, as against His principles, name, character and people:

while history itself is frequently distorted, truth lies fallen, equity is slain,
lies rage and ravage, and the world watches, misleading and misled.


(Refer : Psalm 50:17-23; also Jeremiah 7:8-15, 23:14-30.)


Some may worship the dead, but in terms of the living God, as demonstrated, this is distortion of Himself and/or His creation by His still living creation: like berserk moral mongols, or devastating inert moguls, run amok. As has been demonstrated at the outset, this DEMANDS a GOD who is not there; or divine response (either remedy for, or removal of - man). We established the presence of God, so we came for this continuing world to the latter:
divine response incorporating remedy
.

It is a case of WAR on God at the most basic level; of being contrary to what we saw at the minimum God is and must be; of misrepresentation not only of God but of man in philosophies, various spurious religions - labelling and libelling man, God and the divine remedy itself. Either God is negated or remedy is affirmed. Since God has power, the remedy is found: identified as the Bible. (Cf. pp. 44-60, 422S-T, 644, 973A; Chs. 5-6, 8.)

The logical consistency of these divine affairs, in a world for the time being permitted to continue (II Peter 3:9), is in the most marked contrast to the enduring hilarity of contrary philosophy: not so much meanly, as necessarily exposed by successive generations of the disillusioned. The communication of God however needs neither extenuation nor alteration. It simply stands from each standpoint. Refer pp. 384-385, 873, 973A, 999-1002C infra; Index - Remedy; Psalm 50:17-23.

Thus reason is a necessity for thought and words (cf. SMR pp. 3ff.); and with it you proceed where our abilities show and the creation requires us to go; but without it, or with a system which does not provide objective truth and ground for its accurate and adequate conveyal to man, you deny the possibility of objective or absolutely true discourse, so removing irremediably your own theory, model or view from rational consideration. On the other hand, using logic, and so being rational, by this method as in SMR Chs. 1, 3, 5, 10, you find God's word, and hence the depiction of His mind, on which see also Barbs, Arrows and Balms -7.

Reason, on finding the word of God, is validated, so that rationality joins hands with validity, all being enhanced by the find of the word of God, which then verifies and validates itself by its intrinsic and verifiable properties.

II

This of course is not what is called presuppositionalism, which requires that one start with God, or else confess that anything characterisable as truth be forgotten, including argumentation to abort it or capture it. Reactions are not actualities, but responses of one governed thing to another. That says you cannot get as knowable, a rational reality without starting with God

It is better to go much further. There is nothing else reason will suffer, as you proceed with it, in its own terms of validity, but God. This is no mere thrust to require a given beginning, but one to show there is no other end. It has a greater scope for procedure, and no less for possibility. It is not: Start here or end nowhere (which is true, but not entirely sufficient); but when you start with the very reason with which you argue, you ALSO find there is NOWHERE else valid reason CAN let you go. It is therefore a more exclusive schedule in terms of reason.

One could proceed: Further, you cannot logically abuse what is determinative, or there is no determination and hence your argumentation has all the substance of vacuity. What is itself baseless is base for nothing. If you are going to use reason, you cannot abuse it as a method. Once of course, you find by reason what, because of our construction and that of the world, it requires unless violated, that is the God of the Bible and the Bible of God, then you  need to validate this. ONLY the Bible and the Lord are required by reason; but then, this done, we require reason to show its standing. This cannot be done except by two means. First, it must be consistent and coherent in itself, and correlate with consequences, showing itself empirically sufficient; and then the result of its finding must validate itself in its own performance criteria. 

To be sure, we cannot argue AT ALL, without using reason in its internal validity and empirical justification; but more also, we cannot argue against its use WITH IT. That is out from the beginning, while reason's own operational validity shows itself in its works and pellucid ways. THEN we show that this instrument, in its result at so great a level as showing and requiring God (for not without reason are we made with reason), is validated externally in this, that His Being and Revelation alike, the knowledge in Him, which results, and of Him, which is shown, and the impact of His declarations are as unvoidable as impactive,  as consistent as secure, as beyond all other production means as indicative of His own.

This external validity added to the internal validity, the latter in the result of reason in its identification procedure, through the result, and the former in the internal conformity, coherence and power to perform, leaves no other option. You abandon reason and so cease all argument about truth (including argument that absolute truth does not exist); or you receive its results. Reason demands God; God's existence,  nay His word to mankind can be proved, is proved and is so presented here in this site. 

His divine nature and power are indeed manifest, as Paul declares (Romans 1:17ff.). The only alternative is irrationality, which of course can prove nothing, and disprove the same amount, nor even be relevant to such thing. Ignore reason, and all cause and effect, characterisation and definition departs, as well as power to argue, for characteristics and criteria are themselves codes and nodes, which have results of which they are the occasion and cause, moving us with irrevocable reason on and back, to all levels, and at last to that of the institutive cause of these causes, and of temporal causality itself, where one must await the delimited dynamics, in their outcome, because they are there and operative (unless the Creator chooses to act in direct power in His creation, as empirically, beyond the laws of restriction, He does at His will).

It is God or nothing; and it assuredly is not nothing.

What then ? Of course, this itself IS argumentation, so that you cannot ignore or outlaw or bypass reason; but it becomes in this qualified manner, a thrust of a kind apt and appropriate when conjoined with the other positive aspects of following reason and finding ultimate verification on arrival at the end of that quest. In reality, it is not that reason is defunct or unavailable, but subject to licence which must be validated from its basis when its job is done and this infinite eminence is reached, from its source, confirmation and creator in this universe of man, from that eternity which in self-existence has made possible all that is delimited and defined, for which qualities it is the cause, as of all the others.

Creation is for Him not a mere invasion of possibility, but the institution of actuality for which we see the scope, and for which we admire the choice - not a choice among what is there, but FOR what is to be there, with its parameters as they are made to be, that it might have character, its beginning as wrought and its destiny as seems fit. In this is freedom for man but not autonomy, in this too is its befouling by human will and His redemption by HIS will; yet this without His either indulging its lapses or devouring its reality. Of this we shall see more, but it is fitting at this early stage to realise that functional place of reason in such dower and construction, so that according to our image-bearing function before the God of creation, it is able to mirror but not to engulf aspects of the very mind of God, who according makes its journey felicitous, and when He is found, its place both secure and efficacious in all realms.

What then of presuppositionalism ? If of limited application constructively, nevertheless, on the negative side, this (II) is a sound procedure, and is used here in harmony with I above; for that shows not merely that without God you are involved in antinomy, but that BY REASON you cannot fail to reach Him and His word. Thus these two are in obverse relationship, complementary and harmonious in the process.

bullet

We could call this the Place of Presuppositionalism. That is, it is that in which it has a place accorded it, without constituting the essence. Its point: Irrevocable Reason for Christian Faith.

In this method, it does not at all depend on this; but it uses it as part of the mutually confirmatory totality which is apparent on all sides, not merely one.

 

III

bullet

The Salient of Scientific Method enters in because

bullet

firstly, there is no other religion but that of the Bible which is able to meet the requirements of rigorous, relevant test;

bullet

secondly, because this is exposed in many fields to such tests;

bullet

thirdly, because some of these tests, such as infallible performance are exceedingly exacting
for counterfeit, and decisive against it, but not too hard for God!;

bullet

fourthly, because this was personalised when Jesus Christ came as God in flesh,
for sacrificial and illlustrative purposes, and healing power, so that the test could be
immediate and historical at a contemporary level; and

bullet

fifthly, because there had been and has been ONLY ONE thing needed to falsify
the claim of divine word in the Bible,  in ANY field, personal or historical reaching backwards
to statements about former times, or reaching forwards to falsifiable prophecies;
and this is even intensified in the person of Christ, since any failure to meet ANY prophetic requirement under the searing eye of those who hated Him would be at once apparent, fatally damaging and able to be found, if available, from the profound resources
of the entire Rabbinical body at the time. Not merely is this so, but ANYONE on ANY
topic, and ANYTHING, in ANY realm of power, wisdom or fact, would suffice to overthrow
the Christ, just as this applies to the written word of God. In fact, the more it is tried and
tested, the more it is staggering in the immensity of its irrefutable assertions, fulfilled
to the jot, in its multiplicious predictions and confirmed in unchanging principles.

Not merely is this so, but

bullet

sixthly, Jesus the Christ had to meet personal requirements as a person,
in terms of knowing enough to counter on the spot
any attack at levels personal or propositional alike,
in challenges historically, culturally or scripturally based,

and to possess power to meet any word of promise, such as "ARISE!" (Mark 2:1ff.),
His command to a paralytic when the Sabbath people challenged Him;
and there are many such things. For the believing Jew, the standard is to be
that of deity. To the enemy, the standard exactable of One making such claims
(John 10:29ff.), is no less.

Weakness is not a quality of God, in terms of what HE STATES,
whether in person or in a written form: the Bible. The tolerance was zero; and it is for this
reason, that such a standard being met and met majestically, death became the outright
favourite of His enemies. That seemed sure; but then predicted resurrection, with the arithmetical
correlate of having to occur on the third day after the murder, not merely answered the new
assault test, but did so while simultaneously verifying not only the point of the murder, which
in God's millenial message, was as a sacrificial atonement for man, since Christ was willing,
but the additional prediction of the result.

Nor is this all: the totality became the predicted Gospel
as Isaiah made clear, and then circled the globe, taking kings in its course, as this same prophet
forecast from centuries before. The more God is tested, either in His incarnate or His written
word, the more unyieldingly He fulfils who He is and what He is, before the eyes of all, whether they
believe or not.

bullet

Disfaith neither alters faith's credentials
nor constitutes less than still further verification,
since this too is forecast both of Israel in its dealings
as a nation with Christ (49:7),
and of the final Gentile trend to discard truth
and find satisfaction in naturalistic follies
(cf. Romans 1 with II Timothy 3:5, II Peter 2, 3:3-5),
such irrationalities coming even into the purlieus of many churches,
as covered by parallel prediction.

These testable aspects are myriad; the results are one. This is the SCIENTIFIC PHASE.

Further, in the whole gamut of philosophy, the Bible, as the word of God written, has to be able to stand in the face of any threat to its validity, knowledgeability, perception, perspicuity or power in practical promises. It has not merely done so, but as has been shown repeatedly (cf. SMR Chs.   3, 5, Wake Up World... Chs. 4-6), it leaves all contestants rather like Autumn leaves, slightly ridiculous at this level; except for this qualification, that it is perhaps more normal for it to leave them utterly nonsensical in their claims (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).

On the other side, this same Bible shows a capacity to give an all-encompassing perspective which explains all with nothing left over (cf. SMR Ch. 5), and beyond even that, as shown in The PQ, it even provides a solution with the ingredients both necessary for validity and unique in the same field, in such fields as predestination, freewill, responsibility and natural law. To this we turn in the next Chapter, near
its end.

Having successfully stated directly or otherwise what became, according to Professor Tom Barnes, Physics Head some  time  ago, at El Paso University of Texas, the three most important laws of science at the most fundamental level (cf. TMR Ch. 1), the Bible stands the maestro of science. It does not allow man to escape the work (and delight) of finding out more of His laws; but it sets the tone and gives the perspective from the outset.

THIS is the sort of achievement which one would EXPECT at the level of knowledge and majesty from the ACTUAL God, and it is there; and such is all and in every facet  and department noted, a scientifically relevant VERIFICATION: indeed it constitutes a realm of verifications which multiplies in its constituents and components on every side. One has merely to look.

Indeed, SMR in no more measure, includes an attestation of verifications in multiplied fields, of the accuracy of biblical perspective and depiction whether in archeology or psychology, sociology or in history, morals or disasters, revivification of the Jewish Israel, or the defence of Jerusalem; and other volumes continue these pursuits, and add to them. In moving into so many fields, we come to a new emphasis on method.

 

IV

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This we call the Exhaustive Resolution Phase, in apologetic method for Biblical Christian Theism.

Sub-sets of this may be considered. These include the Historical Prognosis Phase, itself in close harmony with the Prophetic Prognosis aspect of the Scientific Verification Phase in Method. All these relate in turn, intimately, with the Exhibitive Resolution sub-set of the Exhaustive Resolution Phase. There is in all truth precisely what is both naturally and necessarily lacking in all the incoherence of monism, a distinguishability on the one hand, of elements, and a congregation in integrity on the other, so that nothing is missing, and ALL relates, and that closely. One aspect of this field is that very dismissive rebellion - an aspect of liberty which can arise as we shall remind ourselves in the next Chapter, only because of love, or else that reciprocity to love which betokens an inclusive unity in the Source which is the Author and Creator and Redeemer, which also confirms the operability of liberty as noted in The PQ, the Predestination Quaternion and constitutes its ground of action.

Whether however we consider the scientific, the qualitative, the quantitative, the prophetic or the resolving aspects, there is in this field an EXHAUSTIVE resolution which by being so categorically, constitutes one aspect of method for the apologetics of Biblical Christian theism.

V

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Now we come to the Consistent Corollary Phase of method.

Thus the very seasons illustrate the LIVING pulse of a power which having created, remains creative, just as does the mind of man which, having being created creative, creates: and how it creates, for good and for evil, whether marshalling thoughts or trains in the tumultuous megapolis, mechanical marvels or astute legal diction, musical exultancy or pathos, tender brilliance or appalling self-demonstration!

 Creativity is a MUST FOR MAN, and he cannot stop; so that where good is too hard, evil is as vast as the oceans, which currently, as is fitting in intimate corollary with man's exalted place as made in the image of God, he pollutes almost to extinction, along with the atmosphere and the waters of the globe; just as he has long done in philosophy, now able to find a physical reminder and adequate venue for its folly. This it does as knowledge increases, as Daniel predicted for the long-range depiction of the world as its last days should come before devastation and judgment (Daniel 12). So does prediction and principle unite, and so do the tartans of truth continue their eloquence.

It all fits and it all runs like a team of greyhounds that know nothing but winning, getting to the lure; and with man it is not very different; for having forsaken God, he NATURALLY ruins nature, which God made, and his own in the process; and to add to the correlative deployment of it all, he does so very often in the grip of gods without meaning or evidence, which he erects in the very ebullience of his imagination, as if nothing but arrogance could suffice for what is made in the image of God. Yet, without His self-sufficiency, man looks rather ludicrous in the process, like a verbal bubble bag, which also is predicted as one massive ingredient of the last days before the Lord comes in person to deal with the sheep and the goats (II Peter 2:10,18, Matthew 25).

Indeed, one cannot help feeling like a doctor being shown by the patient every conceivable symptom of some intricate syndrome, classically signifying his disease, and having in all honesty to TELL him. In this case, fortunately, the remedy is at hand! Indeed, it is this which is in the very sub-title of the preceding work: The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy.

 Everywhere and in everything, the caps fit on the bobbing heads, and man insists on wearing them, while using the blackened glasses of obscuration to frustrate realisation of his folly.

Folly runs, however fast one runs. Man is mastering speed, but not direction. This too is not only in line with the analysis of his condition in the Bible, but fulfilment of its specific prophecies, giving but one more illustration of the immense, intense intimacy of correlation of all the phases, as is fitting for truth.

Isaiah 30:15-16 puts it of ancient Israel, but God does not change, nor yet His principles (Psalm 102, Hebrews 1, Malachi 3): hence His words remain. These words as so often are applicable now to the Gentiles as to the Jews then, and indeed to all who forsake the Lord and His word:

                                      "For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:

 

'In returning and rest you shall be saved;

In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

 

But you would not,

And you said,

'No, for we will flee on horses"—

Therefore you shall flee!

And, "We will ride on swift horses'—

 

"Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!

One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,

At the threat of five you shall flee,

Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain

And as a banner on a hill.

 

"Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;

And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

                           Blessed are all those who wait for Him."

 

 

VI

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These things then closely relate to the Qualitative Explication Phase of apologetic method
for Biblical Christian Theism.

Not only are things RESOLVED which secular, humanist, irrationalist, or rationalistic philosophy seeks over millenia in vain to comprehend cohesively, but there is a certain facility in the process and procedure. You see this illustrated in SMR Ch. 5. It becomes furthermore intriguing and entrancing, like watching a careful construction of cards all collapse almost momentarily, into a heap, to find no resistance to the perspective which explains. There is nothing left; the issue is over. Only heat can proceed; the issue of light is long past.

Again, in the word and work of God,  the more you burrow, the more ore you find; and what had been mere ground of swamps, becomes on a little drainage and investigation, the repository of a wealth of understanding so direct and dire to confusion, that it is like a Summer breeze in Winter, rose perfume in the desert and a fountain in the very midst of  the aridities of thought, transforming all into a terrain of incalculable utility, beauty and productivity.

In turn, this allows you to see WHY philosophy failed, and WHERE! while at the same time delighting in finding HOW truth prevails and in what way! Indeed it is surpassing wonder to behold it all, coming into place, just as when a mathematical conundrum on being rightly viewed becomes so simple that one wonders how it ever became a problem at all! Ah! but that is the point, to see the elements as they are, and not as they are not!

For this light is needed; reason loves it, but God gives it.

VII

If however there is an intimate and brilliant perspective which shows how failure became such and triumph is so, as to quality, there is also the sheer QUANTITY of the explication.

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This becomes the Quantitative Explication Phase.

Here you find that the entire realms of morality, aesthetics, liberty, program and determinism, love, reason's integrity and so forth, are resolved like so many mice caught in a bevy of traps. Before they ran wild in the house, a menace to health and tripping on all sides; now they are departed, not being desired.

See for example

 News 19, Wake Up World!... Chs. 4, 5, 6,

Little Things Ch. 5, The gods of naturalism ... Ch. 14,

Stepping out for Christ Ch. 8, Licence for Liberty Ch. 9,

Red Alert ... Ch. 9, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs. 7,   12,

Question and Answer esp. Excursion, 3;

Beauty for Ashes Ch. 5, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 3.

We can go into any level in this way, rightly based. Thus you not only find it relatively easy to define what BEAUTY IS, but what is its MEANING. In other words, there is even scope for what may be a new subject, the Metaphysics of Aesthetics! Everything yields not merely as if painfully to a victor, but far more readily to the perspicuity of the word of God: it does so even  artistically, as a view yields its INTRINSIC WONDER to the investigatory eye! You find what is THERE! This aspect is found in Ancient Words ... Ch. 7 for example. Again, metaphysics revels in SMR Ch. 3, as validity in SMR Ch. 5 and TMR Ch. 5, while monism writhes in Repent or Perish Ch. 7, which unleashes the vision of truth, rather as one releases a beautiful setter, long held in captivity! Liberty finds itself a delight, as we see in The PQ and in Licence for Liberty and such things we shall consider a little further on.

Like lightning, the light flashes everywhere you turn, when you first turn to the God who made you, and then to the recognition and realisation of what He desires, the way He works and how He is to be found. This leads on to the personal aspect.

VIII

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Eighthly, in terms of method, this allows for Irresistible Reason for Certain Faith
in Practice.

This is not only because of its logical uniqueness in meeting and surpassing every test,
consideration and requirement; but because in the personal level, it CAN only be verified
by having faith
and applying it.

Since millions do this, many in the most conspicuous fashion, from Moses to Elijah, from David to the very day of that Christ who Himself as predicted, embodied deity but used it towards the heavenly realm from which He came while in the format of mankind: it is not difficult to test. The many works of Corrie ten Boom are a good illustration of this as is that delicious little work of the wife of Chinese missionary, Jonathan Goforth, namely Rosalind, who gives staggering and eminently practical expression of this fact in How I Know God Answers Prayer! The works of the great Orphanage promoter and exponent, George Mueller is similar, detailed, practical, constant, as promises made declare themselves the same met.

It is when not comfort or convenience, not 'success' in carnal terms but service and spirituality are goals, and the love of God constrains that answers to prayer become as natural as breathing: not the hot breath of lusty desire, but the organised breathing of the one who runs a race ... wisely!

It is virtually normal in this Age, for people to seek to use Christianity for their comfort or pleasure, rather than to be used for the glory of God; but this, though predicted (II Timothy 3),  is merely irrelevant to the point here in view. We are looking at what is, at what is spiritual and godly and hence effective and realisable.

Faith grasps invisible reality, and through it man is grasped by the same, so that in the concourse, the power of God works as specified in the Bible, His word. It does not mean pleasure without pain, success without travail (the Cross of Christ was acute travail and was so specified in Isaiah 53, while taking it up becomes mandatory not optional for His people - Luke 14:27ff.), nor does it give funds or wealth, prosperity or prestige; but as is the nature of a cross, emblem of execution by social means, it rather guarantees assault of one form or another.

IX

THIS too is promised (John 16:2, Matthew 10:18ff.); but the power and presence of God is the point (Luke 21:15), and when you love Him, this suffices. His peace overflows when you walk in His way, and His wisdom is on hand for HIS purposes in the same realm (as promised in James 1). In this, it all works, and faith thus leads to faith, while pious fraud leads predictedly, to leanness and darkness. These things are illustrated daily.

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This becomes Irresistible Reason for Certain Faith in Vitality, principle or quality.

It is one thing to behold EXAMPLES of faith at work and promises paid up from the Lord; it is another to find life itself exemplary of such spiritual quality, such divine comradeship and such empowering equipment that it becomes rather at times like some pounding waterfall which breaking on the rocks below, thus bringing such a flourish of spray and the rainbows of mercy that it is not even comparable to living without such exultant melodies of delight, replacing the maladies of confusion or corruption.

 

X

At the personal level, we follow the scripture to Christ as a vast focus of many prophecies.

In this we find not only spectacular confirmation at every level of archeology and history, logic and law, but in this, that no one of the almost innumerable features He had to fulfil as identification and exhibit of God on earth as man (an infinitely difficult task in principle, when the God is infinite), has ever been shown false. When one adds the circumstance that the nation of Israel killed Him (via Pilate), was that Israel in which He stirred the Jewish traditional nest to the uttermost, showing invulnerability in knowledge or logic to all attacks which were of course only a prelude to death if they failed (there then being no other way for removal of the 'threat' of truth), so that motivation to discredit was maximal, we find what science relishes and reason approves.

His triumphs were of course, then, fatal; but this fatality was temporary only; and it was designed to demonstrate power over death, as proclaimed and placarded in the prophets for centuries before, even the date for it being specifically set (and of course fulfilled - see Highway of Holiness Ch. 4).

Thus even His mortal enemies could not show ANY inconsistency with prophecy or morality or power or healing thrust, and when His works were so numerous, the challenges so frequent, the power required so divine (cf. Mark 2, John 11), His words often preceding His actions: then this becomes a vast mountain of testimony.

Not only was there for Jesus Christ a veritable cauldron of potential for being 'burnt', but the facts in contrast to this liability,  never even fail to nourish when they are investigated. Surpassing vigour, supernal rigour and total triumph are the continual and unvarying testimony which in turn was the warrant for death in those contending; since that was one avenue available!
 

Similarly, to the smallest detail, nothing is able to be shown wrong in millenia of intensive hatred and research alike; and the scope is like the great valleys, the height of requirements like the mighty summits in the huge ranges. Thus the scripture is logically required, evidentially confirmed, in terms of its major focus, a fortiori re-confirmed, in the scope of vulnerability, uniquely maximal, in the field of rebuttal, uniquely inviolate.

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This is the Lineage of Christ Phase.

See SMR Ch. 6, Christ the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8, Repent or Perish Ch. 2 for example. See also SMR Appendix C, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 2.

Thus the personal experience of God, and the Person who as God by prediction and detailed prophecy came to earth and by power did what was required to make a testimony unequalable in principle and invulnerable in practice: these meet in an intimacy of correlation which is its own field.

 

 

XI-XII

Turning now from the personal, and in particular the historical testimony of the Christ, 

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that wonder of a subject enabling man to experience direct,  the self-demonstrating objective reality
(cf.  TMR Ch. 5),

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who also has become the self-revealing exhibit to man in his own terms:

we come to the criteria of the demonstrable word of God, the Bible, the sole authorised word from Him to mankind.

This matches and correlates with VIII above, but has the beauty of being His own diction, not the living of life on the part of an imperfect being, such as each of us is. As such it has its own intense and intensive contribution to method.

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In method, then, here we come to

Sublimity for the Sublime
, in Scripture,

which in measure has already been noted, in terms of the just expectation that if GOD is back of this book, if GOD is the Father uniquely of Christ, from whom come adoption papers, if you will, for His brothers by their faith in His Gospel, then there should be a majestic
and all but immeasurable might and lustre, superiority beyond mere calculation
in the exhibition of His power and wisdom, in the Book.


As already noted and often expounded on this site in detail,
this is precisely the case.

This phase is
more than mathematical measurements, and predictive flourish including dates and names:
it concerns the surpassing splendour of the totality.

Just as the walk of an athlete is not entirely
what displays his skill or power, nor yet his face, though both relate,
but rather the composite capacities
wrought for the purpose of his speciality,
so here it is not merely this or that aspect,
but the impression of the whole,
where features and facets, foci and powers
intermingle with the facility and naturalness of a family given to one aim, one purpose, one love, who love moreover each other.

Here that impression is of a sublimity which stops nowhere,
hates display, delights in teaching and opens up time and space,
heart and spirit as if a mere library item taken for loan.

(See for example, Let God be God Ch. 6, The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 5 and Highway of Hoiness as one whole. These aspects are almost pervasive on the site.)

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One of these aspects includes what is called here the

Resonance Phase
.

This refers to the way in which one scripture presents a similar impact to another,  yet with all the reality of individuality, even though each comes from a different writer in a different period of history, or even culture. There is a certain intimacy of correlation, precisely as one would expect of a single author of incisive purpose and unitary mode!   Answers to Questions Ch.  9, Light of Dawn ...  1; Pall of Smoke, Diamond of Joy Ch.  11 give numerous illustrations, and these may come in the form of verbal parallel, phrased ricochets, resumed expansions of concepts or prefigurings, as if a century merely was a pause before the 'lecturer' resumed, of  historical illustrations of principles or depiction of principles applicable to cases, so that foci on Christ that arise so frequently, may repeatedly be adumbrated by foreshadowings, with different degrees of directness (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 10). It is like a family, each member accustomed to the other, all in one purpose with one language and one insight into what is denied to all others!

Let us however resume now our more general dissertation on the majesty of the utterance, reflected in myriadfold manners in the writings.

Naturally, at this point, we are merely considering the phases in TYPE, of method. In this, both at the personal level and in the written one, there is just that supernal marvel which excites delight and stirs worship, being objectively beyond all that might be expected, but in the very level to which one might in general terms, have looked. What is found in the ricocheting verbal modes, is likewise seen in the connotational and principial exhibits.

Thus meaning comes into harmony with assertion, not contrariety, knowledge has its basis, truth its origin for man, order its genesis, brilliance of originality in the universe as in the mind of man, its security of causative conception, freedom its fabric; and the varied orders and liberties observable in man, and ready for realisation logically (cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy), these gain their validity of source just as this matches their insistence in application. There is no need to seek to make one particle, one sort of personality, one dynamic, such as an elimination concept for an 'explanation' of an arrival requirement for all the brilliance and diversity of life. All things lie bare in this light, and more you look in any corner, the more both simplicity and abundance of coverage are found. This is one of the characteristics of truth, both scientific and other, in its various fields.

In this respect, to use analogy, it is like a case in tennis, when you not only see the amazing score line, in verification of truth, reality, but witness the shots, their classic proportions, abundant brilliance and intelligent design, evocative of more than admiration, for here is a Champion indeed, come as man but so far surpassing him as to constitute the very standard and inspiration both!

FOR METHODOLOGICAL PHASE  XIII see below, next Chapter.



 

 

Chapter 4

of What is the Chaff to the Wheat!

This is in fact the completion of Ch. 3, for both constitute one whole.


 

A MORE INTIMATE COVERAGE

Now that we have seen some headings and outlines, let us luxuriate a little. First, some might like to survey in a slightly more specialised way, some aspects of validity and reason, and for this an Appendix is provided. However, it is good to proceed in the precise vein above for pleasantness, so let us now do so.

 

AT THE OUTSET

Thus we see that Reason for the Faith, as provided for in I Peter 3:15, with its earthly setting shown in Romans 1:17ff., as also the result, can be phrased and phased into a

Comprehensive Bible Christian Apologetic Method

This in turn is self-confirmatory on every side, as in science ideally various hypotheses are sought to be intertwining, each approbative and sometimes even illustrative of the other.

In general perspective, if you pre-suppose no God, because it suits you, then you find no rationality or validity*1.  Presuppositionalism specialises in this fact.

If you pre-suppose God, antilogies disappear.

However it is not our path merely to do this, grievous as it is to all unbelief at the outset. This is merely one phase.

In our next step, instead of adding to the presuppositional, beyond the first aspect, we proceed to follow reason, which after all for anyone seeing man in the image of God has no problems, rationalism being merely a debasement of a facility into an idol.

If then you set out to follow reason in order to inspect results, while also affirming any model which destroys its own validity, then you find antinomy, its voidance and deletion of argument, meaning and even words. If reason were an oddity of correlation merely, then it would be in a self-contained system of thought which would breed nothing of truth, merely of happenstance.

Thus again if causality were denied, then even the meaning of words would become insupportable, since characteristics are necessary for definition, and these in turn have their innate grounds and nature, which instead of being erratic, in order to become describable, are affirmable so that a source of results is correlative to a possibility of definition. Remove the one and you remove the other, so leaving yourself speechless, and hence unfit for argumentation. See Causes.

Character must BE in order that DEFINITION might be! Character must have ground, and does, in order that it might become characterisable. The process is a causative one, in which what is  produces what appears, through sufficient ground. Science being built on this, finds its matrix in it, and hence its power. A realm of causality caused by some imaginary cause, does not thereby become void; for on the contrary, IN ORDER to imagine a cause for causality, you have to ASSUME IT OPERATIONAL FIRST, so that something or other may CAUSE IT. The concept of such a thing is thus merely illusory and self-contradictory.

The mere fact that you are imagining a cause for causation does not alter the fact that you are using it in order to derive it, which has the common name in logic, of begging the question. This is an entirely vain thing, suitable only for school-masters who seek to teach the elements of logic to fledgings in Year 11 High School.

If however you avoid the voidance of reason and of causality, then no longer are you barred and harried, harassed and impotent at the outset by compulsory, pervasive irrationalism (cf. SMR Ch. 5). If you FOUND yourself on irrationalism, you cannot escape its quality, merely immersing yourself in the magic of its cessation.

If then you follow reason as shown in SMR Ch. 1 for example, you are forced to find God. This it does, even moving to His only authorised word to mankind, the Bible, by irrevocable necessity (cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy). This Bible in turn confronts you on inescapable terms with the Christ of God, the remedy of God, and the Gospel of grace, of which it is full (cf. SMR Ch. 7, and pp. 520ff.). This becomes then an entire solution to seeking, involving metaphysical, epistemological, aesthetic, moral, political and physical resolution of mutual and specific principles (cf. SMR Ch. 4, Question and Answer   7, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 7, Little Things Ch. 5, It Bubbles... Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Chs.   7,   2).

It resolves antinomies, excludes antilogies, and institutes not only individual meaning, but a nexus of meaning, coherent and integrated, while dependent and created.

This result is then subjectible methodologically (though it is already sure) to scientific method and is left alone with the criteria it requires, so validating reason, as is normal practice in other spheres. There being no competition in religious fields in this specific level, there are no issues; but the different heights and depths of verification when there, constitute an integral and personal answer; and since we are personal, this is necessary as one aspect.

Simplicity and integrity of all fields and powers of man, in resultant is its own additive to verification and integrity, and in fact, this could be looked on as aspect XIII in method, since it not only, as in VII above is a quantitative corollary to truth, but a systematic one in depth as well, a methodological surplus.

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This then is the METHODOLOGICAL SURPLUS PHASE, which juts into view.

It is a matter of total structure in architectural simplicity, and its wings not only meeting logical need, but surpassing it in just that way that the mind of the Author of man in His own image might be expected to do. It has the savour of regality and the originality of the unlimited, with the cohesion of coherent thought and the superb correlations of design at the metaphysical level, as in the more apparent meeting places of thought's envisagement that are correlative to power without limit and understanding that is majestic. To look and learn is privilege and wonder both!

Let us now amplify a little.

Since the Bible, verified and validated as from God, is both a revealing of His plans, personal nature and purposes, and of His actions towards man and his environment, it opens a new test, that is likewise an opportunity. Truth loves and rushes to its exhibition, for that is one of the most conspicuous aspects of light: it reveals by nature!

Thus, through these inscripturated words, the Bible, validated as authentic in every way and wise, the Creator provides a way for a stable platform of communication with God, in the plan of salvation. More, these same words provide personal access to  God as by children to a father, and even, in Christ authenticated therein as Saviour of mankind, it provides reasonable grounds for such access (cf. SMR pp. 582ff, 611ff., 620ff.). It provides personal supervision to ensure adequacy and fidelity of the communication, and grounds for this being not only possible, but actual in a coherence of concept brilliant in disposition, all-encompassing its provision, like a prodigy of mountain peaks, each an independent summit, all a glorious totality, beyond need, superb in configuration and elevation.

In this way, the necessity of absolute truth revealing itself willingly is met, and at the same time, a rationally affirmed procedure is in place. It is not as if reason creates, but that in its fossicking and ascertaining office, it LOCATES the word of God! Further, in making available such a thing as becoming children of this God  of creation, there is from this same word provided a change of nature to the dashed image of God in sinful man, so that freedom has meaning to its very depths, and one's nature is not one's ultimate at all, merely a phase for consideration! So does liberty become meaningful; and in love, which is willing to do such work on man, there is the basis of the change for it is costly to redeem, restore and re-make.

It always is! (cf. Question and Answer   2).

This means of access provides for the negation of the offer (cf. John 3:19, Matthew 23:37ff.), which makes it meaningful in terms of liberty. If indeed, sin precludes the healthy operation of will, yet God in love is able to know and find His own, having desired all, while willing to violate none (cf. Luke 19:42ff., John 1:12ff.). In the end, as for creation, so for re-creation or regeneration as it is called (cf. Colossians 3:10, Titus 3:5ff.), God is author of initiative; but having founded man in His image, He is also with authority, the exponent of a love which never defiles itself by becoming force. Hence the endless seeming parade of paternal laments in the scriptures. You see this for example in as in Isaiah 48:16, and Jeremiah 48:36 -

"Therefore My heart will sound for Moab like pipes, and My heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kirheres:
because the riches that he has gained are perished."

It is the LORD who is speaking as announced in 48:35. Poignant likewise and expressive of love in its integrity is the Isaiah passage:

"Come near to Me, hear this:

I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;

From the time that it was, I was there.

And now the Lord God and His Spirit

Have sent Me."

 

"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,

The Holy One of Israel:

'I am the Lord your God,

Who teaches you to profit,

Who leads you by the way you should go.

 

'Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!

Then your peace would have been like a river,

And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Your descendants also would have been like the sand,

And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;

His name would not have been cut off

                           Nor destroyed from before Me.' "

There incidentally, in 48:16 you see the sending of the Saviour from the Godhead as in the book of Isaiah, God the Father sending God the Son here prefigured with that majestic ease that relates to absolute truth speaking beyond time, and into it, so that we may listen! This example, while confirming our present purpose, also and in turn finds its place in XII as exhibiting the phenomenon of resonance. Facility without being facile, multiplicity of truth without strenuousness: here are some of the criteria of that majesty for whom truth is more than environment. It is His own nature!

Thus we are considering the divine provision in the Bible, the word of God validated and verified, so that this not only gives scope for liberty as noted above, in order to allow people to NEGATE (John 3:19), but provides personal VERIFICATION of the reality of what is freely supplied in practice to believers: and that in the special case of PERSONAL inter-relationship with this God, which as in knowing the artist and not merely surveying his works, is of the most intense and intrinsic gain.

It is an integral reality and a valid integrality, not in terms of parts as gods, an office they writhe to avoid despite the most invasive experiments over long years (cf. TMR Ch.  1), but as a created system inter-active indeed, but a derivative of design, each agent and aspect having place not by it own power, but by imaginative construction and deft correlation. On such part is man; all of whose personal aspects are explained in the ways we have begun to exhibit under XIII, and have often exhibited before

(cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9,
Little Things
Ch. 5,
Earth Spasm ...
   6,   7,
SMR Ch. 4,
Calibrating Myths
...Ch. 3,
Spiritual Refreshings
... Ch. 16, Ch. 13,
Predestination and Freewill).

To this we shall return near the end of this Chapter.

Meanwhile, let us perceive that it is for this reason, again in verification, that you find one such as Paul the apostle saying this:

"For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is far better;
nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you,
and being confident of this,
I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith,
that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again."

(Bold added.)

IN THE ONSET

Thus at the level of test (not that faith needs this, but method supplies it!), there is verification scope at the personal and inter-personal level with no less a personal being than the infinite God; and it is not in terms of His promises and principles, which merge like mountains on the horizon, the way and the result being correlative in intimacy.

These aspects include that chastening as required from any father (Hebrews 12), but the more especially from the Father of spirits; and this is present also: for it is not pleasure but company in the beauty of holiness which is at issue, and no more can the child of God fiddle about than can the scientist fool with his records or the athlete with his training. The fact that the end result is guaranteed (John 5:24), when it is LIFE which is operative, is no more relevant than is the knowledge that if one follows a path one will not get lost. It is not a question of motive but merely the characteristic of a highway, in fact the highway of holiness described as such in Isaiah 35.

This provides greater richness and depth of test, for love is as far removed from pleasure as is gluttony from appetite.

Now this liberty for man, however corrupted and polluted, implies and denotes, and indeed this the more from the pollution, a spiritual evil and disease in man without God, by which freedom, in excess of pathological zeal, frequently elevates man to god. It is not so actually, but in spirit; and often is this found in practice but without the power or the wisdom! It is indeed to pseudo-god-like status that he elevates himself, if you desire it expressed more fully. Thus is created collision, confusion and vast evil. This in turn expressly as well as logically by implication, is prelude to a rebellion which has results in every phase of human life.

This is an application of the onset, of the scope of liberty despite love, in the realm of creation.

One result of the rebellion is mental, so that men invents countless philosophies, none of which endures, any more than fashion does (cf. I Corinthians 7:31, Romans 1:17ff., I John 2:16, II Chronicles 36, II Kings 17, Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.), so accentuating and aggravating man's rebellion. These are predictable, since man has mind and warped spirit; and it is predictably invalid, as succeeding generations continually attest of the failed mental flights of predecessors without the governance of God in their thinking (cf. SMR Ch. 3, News 82, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, with Spiritual Refreshings 13 and 16).

Thus these mental paradigms of pollution called philosophy, be it moral or political, metaphysical or epistemological, logical or other, when secular and without God as is usual, often lead to imaginary gods to enshrine their ambits (cf. Deuteronomy 32:17ff.), which can arise in detached hearts and so create the confusion which, to overview it in biblical terms, merely confirms the pollution.

The results are inoperable logically, politically as being seen the more in recent times with the militant Moslem phenomenon, abundantly provided for in much of its excesses in the Koran (cf. More Marvels... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda ... Ch. 6); and indeed, it is precisely the folly of ignoring the invisible (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9) which has led so such visible results in our philosophically debauched generation (cf. TMR Ch. 8, News 121, 122). If you ignore basics, then your ignorance will lead to what become for you increasingly, insoluble puzzles and ultimate vulnerabilities.

Blindness that is wilful always has this result that is woeful, whether mentally or morally with its aids in Aids, or politically as with aides-de-decamp in Hitler and Stalin, Mao and Lenin.

It does not work, for man simply is not so made; you can FORCE it for a while, and when as biblically predicted, such a method is used by a world power based in Europe (cf. Cascade ... Ch. 12, News 151, With Heart ... Ch. 10, His Wounds ... Ch. 3), it may last as did Hitler for a little while. Then it may seem that this power of pollution is ultimate; but it is merely an asininity of the highest order, and its overthrow temporarily by man or finally by God, by reality at last, is as assured ... as is its coming. As to that, it is soon (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), in terms of the biblical criteria.

Already the world has had two millenia to experience the power of God and the fulfilment of the Messianic thrust to the uttermost in Jesus Christ; God is not impatient, but utterly sure (cf. II Peter 3:9). It will come. It is invested in His word, with a place; and it will meet this race as did the rest of His declarations.

The increasing numerical power of Europe, the rise of its currency relative to the US dollar in stark contrast, its increasing concern about its Constitution, its divorce from real ideals in this, in favour of pragmatic devices (cf. Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 4) : all these features are in line with the predictions, as this growing Euro-cluster is faithfully following the follies of dead philosophies, which become morbid mortuaries for the deceased in the long run, because truth hurts, and its avoidance assures collision, as throughout human history.

Thus the liberty in the concave of unbelief leads to erratic philosophy, conformable politics, oppression and antagonism between false religions and false versions of religion, all using force here or there; and these mutually antagonistic power blocs, continually re-emerging as if a kaleidoscope of very certain parts has been well shaken. This has accelerated since in particular, the German invasion of France in 1870, in the Franco-Prussian war, through 1914-18, 1939-45 and the 1945-1990 cold War with its partition problem for Europe,  and now through its increasing directive status (as in the Madrid Quartet - towards Israel of all places!): all these features of development confirm the mass of mess which folly invents and obstinacy consummates, so accounting for no small measure, on the negative side, of modern European history.

Episodes of desolation have led to an era of mutual co-operation and even co-ordination. Power, unity and religious vagueness with vagaries of 'destiny', this is the documented situation now facing us in Europe (Christ the Cumulative ... Ch. 4), an ideal preparation for the power to come and its devastating destruction in its day. Europe is a pivot to be; but it is its coming incumbent who is crucial (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 2, SMR pp. 683ff., His Wounds... Ch. 4,   *5, Let God be God Ch. 8, Biblical Blessings Ch. 2, SMR pp. 904ff., 886ff.).

More generally, racial hatred, survival of the fittest as a new political game, through pride as in World War I cardinally, through aspiration as in World War II, through the heat of ideological desire on the part of a defunct system parasitic on others, in the Cold War, the resurgence of money for oil with Islamic triumphalism, as was present not a little from the capture of Mecca on, with Muhammad (he was not ASKED to rule them by all! but invaded with power and passion), the exploitation of moral barbarism in the name of religious immunity, the pragmatic KGB-style utilisation of resources as they may be found, with results as they may occur: this and that, these and those, and many more such framed philosophic putsches have polluted the air of this earth till it becomes more and more difficult to breathe at all.

This is metaphorical, but it even has literal application for some! Sour power becomes glower power which brings nearer that hell which life without God comprises.

This development and direction of flow of course is specifically predicted in overview in Matthew 24, Luke 21 (cf. Matthew 24:7-8,12,21-22), but it is the DIRECTION of flow which is our current interest, and its predictability on the biblical basis to which we are attending!

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Incidentally, this is an example of the PRINCIPIAL-PRACTICAL CORRELATION (XIV) which is a fourteenth feature of our method, in that it is forced on our attention by reality!

If XIII is architectural, structural: then this phase is dynamic, functional.

This differs from V above, in that that was an episodic matter, whilst this is a systematic one; and it differs from other aspects in this, that it belongs to the application of biblical data to the world in two concordant phases. It differs from the qualitative and quantitative aspects in that it is inter-systematic. Indeed, it is the very plethora of considerations and the intrinsic-extrinsic relationships between them which is like a texture or fabric, and is the very testimony of the substantial and underlying reality which one would expect. This, in turn, is verification of the biblical perspective all over again, at this precise level as well as in correlative other ones. Indeed, it is doubtful if there is any limit to such phases; and it is here merely a selection which is made for the purpose of showing method, and marvel simultaneously; but then again, when you know God, while it is no less marvellous to SEE such things, it is far less surprising.

Champions serve aces, may not be universally true in the tennis world, but it is near it. Deity deals in depths and heights that reveal themselves from infinitude without cease to the finite mind: this for one in the image of God, is not merely unsurprising, but in accord with expectation!

 

AT THE UPSET

These and many such features seen frequently on this site, then, not only further verification, something that is quite pervasive, but fulfil specific biblical analysis and prediction, as does a vast area of the scope, sequence and underlying content of modern history, not least with the noted elevation of Europe on the one hand, and even more marked, the Jewish presence once again in Israel. This is found together with  the inveterate detestation of the same as seen both in the UN's invidious and destabilising negativity (cf. His Time is Near  Ch. 10), and in the camp of the false prophets, such as the Muhammad fanatical camp of fundamentalistic militants.

Zechariah 12 forecast just such pre-occupation with 'dealing' with Jerusalem (cf. SMR Appendix A, It Bubbles ... Ch. 10), and just such cost for the presumption! Ezekiel predicted just such restoration into the very wantonry of the nations (as did Moses in Leviticus 26 with Deuteronomy 32), for an Israel restored to its national place. This however, it is most clearly and emphatically depicted in the Bible,  in God's faithfulness because of His desire and word, not because of their honour or faithfulness (cf. Ezekiel 36:22, cf. 37:28, 39:27); and if it to one, then it is to all that the message will come. When the mind of God is expressly set on a target, it is not man who alters it (Ephesians 1:11).

 It is thus a divine vigour which is being enacted, and the issue is not in the end what who will 'do' to or 'for' Israel, but the mind of God. This being written and propositional in scripture, the waves of horror killing become mere flagrancies of human obstinacy, which like all other, have dim and dismal future awaiting them (Ezekiel 38-39, Joel 3, Habakkuk 3, Micah 7).

Moreover, it is not only the Jewish presence in Israel (cf. SMR Ch. 9, Appendix A), but in Jerusalem which Zechariah and Christ (Luke 21:24) connote; it was to be a return after many days before they reach their Messiah, first rejected (Zech. 12:10) at last. Many indeed were these to be, in its exile (cf. Leviticus 26:37-42, Deuteronomy 32:35-42, Hosea 3:1-5). For how long has the curse, not causeless, come (cf. Deuteronomy 32:22-29, Proverbs 26:2)!

Now after so long a time, after 1900 years it has come. Indeed, it is the Jewish re-take of Jerusalem which is, as seen there in Luke, the signal extraordinary, of the near return of Christ. THIS HAD TO HAPPEN FIRST; so here we find not only the general character of modern history, the return of the Jews, and indeed their glorious triumphs as forecast by that same Zechariah (loc. cit., cf.  SMR Ch. 9), but the Jerusalem re-capture (1948, first 'half', 1967 the rest) as a specific index to fit with the rest of the historic tartan of colours and strands predicted; and both compose together the signal of coming culmination.

It is here shown definitively that the river is near the mouth to the sea... It is sea-side time, but alas, not in any holiday sense! The signal here notable is one occurring once in nearly two millenia It is not a repetitive phenomenon in the Christian era, but a single and singular one, hotly disputed, burningly denounced, but divinely ensured. Jerusalem is Jewish again.

Thus explained in spiritual pollution, and predicted in divine power, both, is this world's disrelish of this Jewish fact in Jerusalem, and the UN's inveterate hostility to a Jewish national presence there. The nations have been thus and were predicted to be thus, to the end (cf. Psalm 2). WHY do the nations rage ? It is against the LORD and against His Christ, says the Psalm; but the end is clear, as that Psalm shows. It is a hostility which not only led to the crucifixion of Christ, but leads on to the very rebuke of God among the nations, which was to come and now approaches with all the energetic throb of a distant express train, ever now more clearly heard on the echoing rails.

Pragmatically as well as principially, no Physics text book is as sure as the Bible; it never errs. Physics - for all its to-do, a study with which modern man loves in his own inveterate declension from God and desire to 'handle' the universe as if it were is own construction, whereas he cannot even construct himself - is a discipline which varies its theories to meet ever-challenging facts. The Bible, by contrast,  in over three millenia controls facts, and hence has no need empirically, just as there is no scope spiritually, to change! (cf. Matthew 23:35, Isaiah 55). That of course, and this is further verification because it is a TESTABLE matter, was just what Christ said. Not a jot or tittle will pass till what ? It is till ALL is fulfilled. Hence ONE error and He is wrong. That is a standard no other branch of knowledge can or does meet.

THAT in turn is further verification: it would be unreasonable to impose such a requirement of man; it would be unreasonable NOT to do so with God when He so speaks, a fact which Christ indicates clearly enough in Matthew 5:17-20 in His famous jot and tittle statement, as in 24:35 in His God beyond the universe declaration!

Rebellion, biblically posited of man,  does not relish reality discordant with its hopes and dreams. Adolescent dreams are by NO means the only ones! (Jeremiah 23:25!). Thus this return of the Jews both confirms long-range prophecy over millenia (from Moses in Deuteronomy 32, Leviticus 26), something far more notable than successfully targeting a small moon from billions of miles away, and rebukes illicit hopes and puerile dreams lingeringly attached to errant manhood!

Since man is so potently destructive by INTENTION, and frequently in sad and even grievous actuality, and since he is so variable and creative in thought and deed, this scramble of human thrust against divine diction, in this eventual Jewish outcome patently connotes that this Age is nearly over. Therefore and quite predictably - indeed predictedly as in Psalm 2 and Deuteronomy 32 with Zechariah 12 - this antagonises the rebels against God, who see the writing on the wall, and can read.

This fact in turn arouses both fear and further hatred, as is normal in rebellion when authority is undented; and redoubled efforts to quash that Jewish State arise not only from Palestinian murder squads, Islamically financed assassins of children, whose punishment by Israel the Press rarely ceases to focus. It comes also from the UN, and  from the Madrid Quartet of the UN, EU, US and Russia. To be sure that name for the unholy alliance it denotes is now rather anachronistic;  but the intention is not! This group with its Road Map have a road to further removal by international power of more of what the Jews gained despite international armies, at the first in 1948.

These things jointly show not only a pervasive coverage of giant movements in history over vast ages, from the word of God written, the Bible, but a majestic splendour in scope, detail and accuracy, atmosphere, perspective and detail. This provides the MAJESTIC PERSPECTIVE, a major face of Biblical Christian Apologetics (No. XI above). We see in the predicting word of God the atmosphere of sustained shame for the Jew, shameless intervention by the Gentile, passion aroused and military victory against all 'odds' by the Jew by virtue of divine action, the seizing of Jerusalem and its embroiling in intervening busybodies who cannot leave alone what God has ordained. We see the case of one of Israel like a thousand as Zech. 12 declared would occur before they repented of the murder of the Christ (12:10), which follows. It is all there, in its zeal, its passions, it sequence and its style.

It is so like looking down on mountains from peaks, that the comparison is strangely arresting. It is the Lord who looks down on man in his place and sees him as he is (Isaiah 40:21ff.), and His word majestically attests this fact, just as it graciously directs man to the divine remedy (Isaiah 40:9-10, 52:7-55:6).

 

 ON THE FACE OF IT

Nor is the scientific verification at all levels testable (and as on mountains that one is climbing, there are MANY faces to survey and surmount), by any means, all! Problems insoluble without God, the revealed and known God, not some flummery of mere invention or calumny of idle contention, are resolved by the specifically biblical data about Him, His purpose and plans, and concerning man. Not merely is this without residue (the Exhaustive Resolution phase of Biblical Christian Apologetics), but it is with facility (another, more specialised aspect of the Majestic Perspective aspect of the method).

This applies to the fields of the meaning and nature of beauty, freedom, morals, responsibility, guilt, law and love, folly and arbitrariness, good and evil, meaning and 'Nature',  and many others that arise on this site and in the mind of man, and have done so for millenia; and some of these are given condensed reference in

SMR Ch. 5, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13,
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic
Ch. 3,
Earth Spasm
... Ch. 1,
Defining Drama
...Ch. 4 (cf. list above at
VII).

Problems man proposes, God disposes by revealing the reality in terms of which alone they are resolvable. Their resolution is so relatively simple when the blinders are off, that the scruffy discourses outside His truth become like dust of stallions kicking, in contrast to the peace of comprehensively resolving perspective when the word of God becomes the base for thought, and the stage for action of the mind.

Through the word of God, the Bible, not only are these chronic problems of philosophy without exception seen voided into clarity in composite collation and single perspective with meaning and substance, but they are so solved without that reductionism which is a mere evasion of issues, as common as deceit, and as useless as lies. Moreover, through His word and its principles and perspective, this resolution is wrought with facility, as if mountain ranges from a highest peak were seen in their relative domains, their river beds and correlations clear, as is the case at the South Australian Wilpena Pound, from St Mary's Peak.

In fact, the biblical perspective like such a summit of and for all, makes it easy to disentangle and review philosophic errors as shown for example in SMR Ch. 3 in general, and 307ff. in particular. Here then is rest for the mind as well as stimulus, delight for the question reason as well as a shield of reality for the seeker who finds in this a rock not only higher than he, but an eyrie which exposes from its sublimity, what the plain loses in its dust. (Cf. Isaiah 33:14ff. with 55).

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That is the Therapeutic Aspect  (XV)

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of the Exhaustive Resolution Phase (IV),

one more illustration of the intense and singular coherence of the whole body of method, since it but reflects the massive coherence of the realities when viewed from the word of God, like ranges spread out before the inspired eye. Made for man, it matches man and so enhances him, in internal verification.

Thus the inspiration of being able to see all things in coherent, rationally delicious, spiritually triumphant, explicatory penetration becomes an ease to the mind, a joy to the heart and a radical lift to the spirit, a thing of peace and nourishment, fortifying the personal; while the Spirit of Him whose word it is, at the same time brings personal meaning to the inter-relationship of the things, which are His, with one's own person. It is like some Summer cruise, with unending bliss on all sides. Not that there is no taking up of one's cross to follow Christ, since the world is hostile and it is war! (Ephesians 6); but there is an inward reality and a rational thrill which matches the depth of the spiritual experience of the One to whom all these things relate (John 14:21-23).

As is usual when the truth is exposed concerning a puzzle, mathematical, geometrical, or other, it becomes hard to see how on earth people could so have butchered the matter! That however is the nature of blindness, that it does not see; and when as biblically predicated of mankind without God, it is wilful, then shut eyes make sight the more difficult yet, as Christ indicated for many (Matthew 13:14-15). On the other hand, not only does God reveal to His children what He has done, as who He actually is, but He even strengthens them with might in the inner man, giving them illumination in a personal way (Ephesians 3:16, 1:17-19), as if a painter were meticulously to explain to an apprentice the wonders of his art.

When it is God who acts to instruct His creation, naturally, this supernatural zest becomes an illimitable privilege and delight. How clearly He shows that there is nothing too hard for the Lord! That too is verification, since just as He claims, so He does (Genesis 18:14). It is as natural to the supernatural as the light is to the sun.

Just as there is report that some who are physically deaf have come to consider their plight an advance or advantage, and delight in its usages, so here but in this case culpably, people tend to create a 'culture' which like a rampant vulture, pecks on, yes seeks to swallow up what is not desired (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 8, SMR 252Aff., 252Iff.). In this way, convenient myths are created (cf. Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 7), as a substitute for the actual and demonstrable creation of creative minds such as those of men (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth). These then become quagmires which trap the young, festering philosophies disadorning the swamplands they create, so leading to traditions which defile their possessors and render frustrated their victims.

However such vain cultures are unstable and fatally vulnerable, and their ludicrous tenor limits even in this world, their intrusive tenure, so that they writhe in discomfort abundantly deserved (cf. SMR pp. 380ff., Earth Chasm ... Ch. 1, SMR pp. 307ff.). This has the advantage however of showing more stunningly majestic in contrast, the purity of truth and its eminent functionality in the mind and heart of man, made by it, and for it, and not efficacious in the end, at all, without it, either practically or logically. With an irrational chip on his shoulder, to use computerese, man is scheduled for disaster, his vain visions becoming the foster-fathers of bedraggled splendours, arrested developments, endless collisions both with 'nature' and with the rest of his race, until the entirety becomes more like an object lesson for the guilt of declivity from God, than a life to be lived. From the first, death was the penalty of sin, and without its remedy, in the redemption the Bible reveals in Jesus Christ, time is no balm, and effort is no resolution.

Let us however look further.

On a nearby and parallel face, we find that all the resolutions duly made of the philosophic mess that man richly deserves, just as they explain all, so also they fit as one (cf. Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13, Acme, Alpha and Omega ... Ch. 9). In stark contrast are the misdirected efforts, aspiring to  categorically impossible substitutes for God, involving 'this unit' or 'that unit' of this kind or other, like making this part or that of an automobile its imaginary factory! They lead merely to frustration and impotence, as Einstein found readily enough (cf. SMR pp. 299 -303, Spiritual Refreshings loc. cit.), both in principle and in practice! Even profound genius cannot second guess God, or re-invent Him. What is made, remains in just that category in all its inabilities and abilities.

Of this kind are the hapless constructions of Marx, Freud and Darwin, all seeking explanations within what is made, and ignoring the making, the Maker and the design matrix in all of its operative features.

On this, see Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9, esp. *1, The gods of naturalism have no go Ch. 25, Aviary of Idolatry,  SMR pp. 925ff., and *2 below. Programmatic, they remove the validity of their own internalisation, like refuges from reason, and by their own modelling, become part of the processes which determine, not overlords able to inspect. Determination by forces is not determination by truth, but conformity to process.

To get beyond it, you need both liberty and absolute truth as shown. Man has both, but defiles the one and tends to ignore the other. Hence comes culture. While some of this may be beneficial, its trends in these last centuries has become lethal, just as at times it has been carnal, sensual, subversive, submersive and whatever other debasing thing appeals to man who, on the broad way, double checks his cheques but not his direction, so having a chequered career which assuredly does not bring down the chequered flag of victory, but the bankruptcy of careering downhill.

 

This is as it has been, was to be, and is eminent as it was foretold eminently to become (cf. Romans 1, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, II Peter 3:5-8, Joyful Jottings   8).

It is in line with specific prediction, generic analysis and tendential indications from the Bible, all three. In terms of method, this is one of the endless seeming ways, in which one rich vein of ore makes contact with ramifying parallels on all sides.

This is negative verification; but in terms of therapeutic release from such follies, which is likewise an arena of cohesion, see the inspiring flight into reality as in Little Things Ch. 5, or It Bubbles Ch. 9. This does not dissipate, being interlocked, strand on strand. Again, it is seated on the rock of reason, reality and revelation, but this in reverse order! The first points, the last is the culmination that becomes the basis!

Thus the return to intrinsic significance without reductionism or antinomy, in operable realism, then, as in the above references, enables avoidance of the monistic folly of trying to elevate the impersonal to final status (cf. SMR pp. 307 in its exhibit of the fantasy of folly), and this ludicrously by subversion of the personal, on which it heedlessly seeks to seat its validity.

What is contained in system is not its arbiter; and what is driven by dynamics of meaninglessness is no arbiter of meaning (cf. SMR pp. 294ff.). Such a basis becomes a pervasive limit to the status of its results; and what is derivative from the impersonal, by the logic of the personal, is irrational for that very reason. What you defile you cannot use as basis, without being defiled; and what you dismiss, you cannot make rock, when it is stricken from the model's register. If you do, however, you are merely irrational and nothing more remains but to pursue realities with those who do not dump reason. For what gives to thought no intrinsically valid status, its logical status is null; for intra-systematics have no means of becoming their surveyor and judge (cf. SMR p. 305ff.).

In other words, you cannot logically abuse what is determinative, and be valid. Whatever sees must be capable, not subordinated by alien realities that dismiss its integrity, or else sight is without the significance assigned it.  If then PERSON is adequate for discerning truth, it needs valid basis; but if not, it but spouts. Moreover,  you cannot dispense with person's integrity by person. If it lacks it, it can do nothing here, so the dismissal is vain. If it has it, however, it needs assignable basis, not mere affirmation in fancy.

This must first unveil absolute truth outside any urgings and limits of internal systematics, and then make available this same truth in its own integrity, without subordination even in the process! As seen, this is precisely what biblical revelation provides; and in so doing, it exhibits in this, as in all other aspects, the requisites of coherence, validity and integrity. Because it is not only moving where these logical necessities repose, but where their verification mixes with multiplicitous confirmations and singular logical cogency, lacking nothing, and in this is alone, the case is as shut as open: for it opens to the view only to be closure of the case.

In this, it is alone, being assessable by many means, as this Chapter is at some pains to exhibit. As nothing else meets the systematics of the case, moreover, this meets them with a fluency and flourish that is a finale to thought, indeed establishes it with the result.

Thus Biblical Christian Theism (BCT) having all these ingredients, the METHOD for the apologetics for the same exhibits this counter-distinguishing fact, and gathering relish with its sheer profundity and multiplicity, uncovers the sheer wonder of it all.

Let us then be clear. It is because BCT HAS these things that apologetics for it has and has had soaring success, and on the other hand, wilful follies seeking to avoid these realities naturally fail, have failed and so made the reputation of philosophy! It is categorically easier to be counsel for the truth than for fiction, let alone devious devices; and when the truth is made manifest as a Person with power and instruction, then the case advances to delectable heights.

It is a matter of rebellion not invalidity, which bewitches man, for the invalidities he faces are but a byproduct of his glide from God and slide from significance that results. The first, rebellion in spirit,  produces the second, invalidity of thought; it is this and not the creation which achieves such a dismal destiny! Restored by remedy, man once more is engaged in the crystalline beauty of validity of thought as virtue of life.

What is actual miscreancy has the mischief that accompanies it, and so whether in reason, logic, or any other discipline of understanding, there is endless TALK of progress; but in fact where this is so, mere regress or re-circulation ensures. If you do not have the horse-power to take your car up the hill, what are you do to ? Push it ? or ... invent something that will. Nothing that can be invented has infinity and beyond the temporal which is delimited; so the only alternative is to take what is there, which being eternal, actually requires no invention.

To be sure, man in his almost inerrant deviationism seeks still to invent (cf. Ecclesiastes 7:29, Romans 1:17ff.); but the advent of his inventions is always a stirring and a burring and a whirring, though with whatever ingredient, however illicit, it often seems culturally or psychologically proper  for the age concerned (cf. A and F Schools), until its failure becomes a swift witness against its odium.

On a biblical perspective, such errors are not only predictable (cf. Ephesians 4:17-19 with Romans 1), but predicated of the end of our Age, in tumultuous proportions (Matthew 24). Put someone in the fire and it may not be too scorching at first, when just lit, but in time its ravages appear.

This cumulative and culminating aspect of man's errors as the Age reaches maturity, provides a double verification, a dual one indeed, with an integrity in its overall oneness of vision which is additional verification.

It is not only WHAT verifies alone which matters, it is HOW it does so; and the BCT has not only both, but facet upon facet, such as the WAY in which the fulfilments occur, rambunctious with rebellion and rampaging with blood (cf. the forecast of Revelation 6), as if they could not wait to fulfil anything and everything possible of the biblical analysis!

This is the Historical Prognosis Phase of BCT, which is dynamically allied to the Prophetic Prognosis Phase, a more generic aspect of prophecy as simple verification. These are really covered in IV above,
but here given some further enrichment in concept. It also relates to
VIII and XI, since God and not particles being ONE and ONE ONLY, there is always a blending and mutual fortification of aspects of His truth, which is yet another verification, that of essence.

A further aspect of this category of method, or phase, is this, and it is in one sense positive. Just as say England and America, the USA, show a trend to advance formally and formerly when each was distinctive in the world for its (comparative) Christian emphasis,  whether with literature, science, power, victory and liberty ascending like an eagle in flight, so now is its opposing dynamic found. This is one of disarray because of increasing withdrawal from the things, principles, morals and ways of God. It is like a nail further and further from its magnet, more and more weakly drawn to attachment. So do they advance again, but this time it is towards perdition.

So does the internal and erosive dynamic resulting from the breach of morals, truth and certainty, bring down with such advance whatever is high, to where it places itself below, in the realm of the increasingly spiritually sick and idolatrous, as occurred in the Roman Empire. (Cf. Pall of Smoke ... Ch. 9,  News 73, 13, Joyful Jottings 14, 21, Secular Myths ...  Ch. 3, Galloping Events Ch. 7). Britain soared when its basis was at least in form, biblical, and much in fact, from 1600-1940 or so; and USA did no less from its most Puritanical beginnings to the time of its dissociation from Biblical emphasis into various idealisms and ideologies to which it was always vulnerable, so that freedom gradually became virtual god or goddess, and truth and righteousness optional derivatives for many. Its fall if it continues in this line of dissolution of duty and bereavement from beauty, does not rest on more than grease, which unlike rock, not only moves readily but aids movement.

Alas for excellence of spirit, and delight in spiritual things, that what makes a civilisation seem an example to the world, dominant indeed, can become through entanglements as if it were of its own doing, or its own excellence, the very occasion of downfall. It was indeed so with many before, as with Tyre, when the rendering is this: "You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness" (Ezekiel 28:17 - "by reason of your splendour" as it may be rendered).

Biblically, the saints will temporarily have a hostile and alien world in the ascendency, and this is clearly coming like the wind of stupour from the blazing desert of corrupt, irrational and erosive philosophy (cf. Revelation 13:7) and religious mockery (cf. II Peter 2:1ff., Matthew 24:11,24). God is however not mocked, and the end of the Beast or international consortium of stupefied power pushers is distinctive, although not distinguished (cf. Revelation 19:15-20, II Thessalonians 2); for doom is never desirable. Indeed,  if it has taken a time for the international aspect of grisly world rule to come, yet it is visibly coming in fulfilment of that intense realism which is a hallmark of the Bible.

 

MORE FACES

This illustrates (in terms of VI above, but in a specialised sense) the fact that the biblical perspective and word not only EXPLAINS all the facets and functions of historical development over time, but exhibits WHY this is so. It does so not only in terms of rational principles, that is things surveyable and appreciable by reason, provided by revelation, but it terms of a close nexus of practicality and principle that becomes like a laboratory lesson, as distinct from the lecture that precedes it!

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We could call this the GROUND PHASE (XVI)

Here, although it is close to the Explication Phases, Qualitative and Quantitative, there is the emphasis on the actual accounting for things at the personal level, at the acme, so that it not merely shows WHAT happens, and HOW it happens, but more expressly WHY it does so and the practicalities of its eventuation. If the former categories are the multitudinous and the intermingling phases, this is the dramatically directive and the accounting phase.

Here, inside the counsel of God (cf. Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4, SMR pp. 623ff.), you see the moral movements, the spiritual accruements, the patience and the discipline of God, as so often shown directly in the Bible as in II Chronicles 36, II Kings 17, Isaiah 1, 6. God does not always show all of His specialised intentions, but when He does, one gains the inestimable advantage of seeing examples of majesty at work.

Such is the atmosphere in Ezekiel 29,  for example, where Egypt is given to Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, as reward and price for performing the Lord's discipline on other nations; before his own time comes up! (cf. Ezekiel 29:18ff., Jeremiah 50:29ff.). You see it in Psalm 2, in the interstices of God's gift and man's rebellion, in Micah 7 in the final resolution of the Israel question, where much love, much discipline and eventual faith and deliverance accrue; and again you find it in Romans 11, in the overall viewing of the justice and ground of the entire movement of God's actions with Jew first, and then Gentile, over a vast span of history, and you see the quality of mercy with the input of judgment with a certitude that mingling with practicalities, becomes shocking in intimacy mingled with scope. it is like seeing on operation on video, with all the blood vessels being cut and tied, and the bones cut for opening up, before the remedy is applied.

Not merely, then, does the biblical perspective explain and validate such aspects in creation, as beauty, morals, liberty, reason and felicity, peace and disquiet, guilt and grace and so forth, as listed and referenced above: it actually exhibits their nature and significance in their final repose. It portrays developments in time, in history and these with explanations and descriptions at the level of ultimate direction.

It is one thing to solve a problem; it is another to comprehend its elements or elemental aspects and function in its field; and indeed, it is  yet a further to find the personal basis of them all in their engaging and remarkable unity in God, from whom they come, to whom men need to come to have any idea of their way (cf. Psalm1); from whom, not coming, they inherit their desires (Proverbs 1), This, it is that vacuity which proudly masquerades as wisdom, but not in reality, and which, history, is failed furiously as it flails.

In one sense, in method, this is going from metaphysics to ontology, and from this to deity! In another formulation, this means that we are moving from seeing these things as FROM God, to seeing them, by His revelation, WITHIN Him, proceeding from Him in His own oversight and control, personal manifestation and exhibition. Such things are to be found only in revelation that is explicitly His own, which gives us this huge bonus for finding His word in the first place.

Treasure found has new limits for the finder, and new liberties. God once found has no limits being infinite, that is when He is found as He offers Himself which He, being personal is in His own way only; and it is then, according to His word, that things are comprehensible to the uttermost. This does not mean that mystery is absent, in the sense that for now, we know in part (I Cor. 13); but it does mean that what is shown covers the case magnificently, and what more is to be found in heaven, is not contrary but consummative, being beyond the test, the smog of persecution and the scenes of sin, without impediment in its wonder: for then, it is beheld directly  in its beatific reality (I Corinthians 13), when His children know as they are known.

Finally let us look at two more FACES, the LIBERTY, LAW and LOVE one and the CONSISTENT COROLLARY one. The former is an example of XVI (Ground Phase) and the latter of V above, with more detail for delight to the heart and mind that knows God, and verificatory to the one who does not.

 

TWO DELIGHTFUL FACES

Like a mountain range being climbed, this has many faces; and now we survey two in a little more magnification.

We come now to what is really an exhibit in the field of IV and in particular XVI above, the GROUND PHASE of explication, as attestation of source of the word, and hence verification. Here we find an area where, without these precise ingredients, resolution of the potential antinomies would have been impossible. That is the sort of thing which by its unique validation, beyond all competition, is an expected resultant of reality, and the more so when the same has been found personal.

A

Our visit then is to elements of the arena of predestination and freewill, as have been presented already in The PQ.

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By these, we find explication of the aspects involved in this field, without reductionism, that sallow avoidance of issues which is more psychological than logical.

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We find no less the necessity of such elements for any understanding of the subject matter

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and hence,

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thirdly, validate that man is not insane in his imaginations of guilt, responsibility and shame,
liberty and the capacity to cast thought freely, but a product of the God, without whom liberty is impossible, life is self-contradictory frustration, its parameters a pool of death.

Indeed, here we find why perfectly inveterate is the human tendency to affirm as truth what he has to say, whether concerning this or that ultimate, and this no less when the alleged 'truth' is some denial of this or that. It occurs even when man wishes to deny truth with the 'truth' that it is not there! He is not insane, merely reduced to inanity by departure from design.

It is explained fully from the fact that truth is the design opportunity for man, and freedom is the designed option, allowing divorce that leaves the design drive intact, but not its destiny! When in the revelation of God, one can look at what is there, it is interminable in its explication and undeviating in its coverage, this owing not merely to the realities themselves, but to the dynamic of life which sourced in God, has there its base, power and paragon.

When owing to unremedied rebellion, one cannot so look, then the form remains but the function and facility is departed. Hence the behaviour of man in this in a way which is virtually endemic!

These are some of the resultants of divine revelation, showing the relationship of liberty, lord and love, truth and law.

This could equally be called
an aspect of the PERSPECTIVE PHASE of Biblical Christian Apologetics,
but the two are so closely interwoven that it seems best to make this part of
the GROUND PHASE,
so making this

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the GROUND AND PERSPECTIVE PHASE as XVI.

This then becomes simply an explicit extension or expression of its coverage.

 

In this, because of man's tendency to reject the word of God, some even going so far as formally or formalistically to accept it, while retaining rejection of its advice, so that the 'acceptance' is mere appearance and not reality (cf. John 5:39-40),  a drawing near with the lips but not with the heart, with the form but not with the fact: there is a resultant both predicted and verifiable in historical actuality.

It is this.

Such omission shows why man, becoming frustrated, rebels the more, why false vision - with an obstinacy resultant from abstinence from the living God to whom His word inexorably leads, which would be courage and wisdom if correctly set - leads to rivers of blood. This readily becomes both metaphorical and messy, and in both cases tragic.

It shows moreover why inferior because false religions, like other adventures outside reality but here with more impetus, lead to aggression, their exponents seeking to dominate with force. Inferiority loves domination, and to domineer, because quite simply there is no other way, truth being void to it.

If maximal intensity focusses because of the significance of the area in view, its imagined ultimacy in thought and life, then maximal folly can result readily. And it does, our generation generating such rivers of violence in the name of false of intemperate religion that its rebuke for undervaluing the entire reality of the ocularly invisible, for so long in tepid irrationalities,  becomes heavy indeed! Ignore soil erosion and your crops will fail; ignore spiritual erosion and your blindness will tell. It is telling, spelling it out with letters as high as man.

Why however should this specific field be noted, when other facets of the omitted faith which deals with reality as it is, as demonstrated, could lead to much the same resultant ? namely, frustration, desperation and this with deluded dedication, domineering and violence. Let us give an answer to this question.

It is of special acuity here because when the deterministic fallacy (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7) has man by person declare person invalid because externally constrained beyond its own parameters and essence, and without understanding of it, then the self-contradiction makes light of what man is, and so induces desperation, futility and disturbance. On the other hand, where liberty is so exalted, in the other extreme resulting from missing the truth of the word of God, that it becomes a virtual god in itself, as is the case increasingly in the United States, then flights of fervour without limit seem the more interesting, significant and apt for man; and the resulting frustration of finding these no better than that of doomed Icarus, leads to more eruptions defeated desire.

It is as if lassoed libido in fury seeks to break its ropes, for it never realises its hopes.

To pursue the image of Icarus: when flying too high, man finds the wax on his wings melt under the heat of the sun, while then the waters of the Aegean, being metaphorical only in this case, produce a reaction and response. Humbled man, as if  laughed at by life, determines at whatever cost, that he WILL prevail. When WILL won't have God and won't accept defeat, there is a resultant conflict ignoble and ultimate. This is seen in the scene of mankind at present; and this aspect is one very significant contributor, one animus for increase of adversity, escalation of horror and rampant slides of the lavas of the unexpected, for when rumblings disturb the land, stability shows more keenly by its absence, the beauty its presence had provided.

Where thought cannot prevail, blood may be paid by opponents; and where culture collapses, someone must pay: but this is the more so, when the cause of its collapse, this beyond all others, becomes the fixation of thought and the desideratum of the heart, so that it is like someone who is drunk, becoming convinced that only more alcohol can help. Thus does man come to bind himself, blinded in spiritual arrogance, profane in polluted heart and seized by inebriated will.

Freedom CANNOT be found despite all the political theories that are as waste matter, recovered from the drain and put on the throne; and force MUST be used to replace what actuality cannot contribute. Such is the dilemma of man in this rebellious phase, and not few are those who both do, and have done this, whether in the appalling molested Sudan, in Biafra, in Rwanda, in India, China or Russia in its former merciless magnificence as the USSR, in the Inquisition or the Holy Roman Empire, most unholy, and vainly imperial, whether in al Qaeda with its allies, their beheadings and their bombs, in the selection of children for suffering, as when PLO operatives blow up Israeli school buses with minimal media coverage, or when Chechen fundamental Moslem extremists fashion their thoughts on the operating table of the bodies of partially or totally murdered children. You cannot partially murder ? Not physically, but mentally and morally, you may, when the ... residue is a lifetime of anguish.

Man so acts. He acts in rebellion against God first of all. It leaves him swamped in oily marshes, red-tinged, but not with sunset.

Freedom however can be found, and this has been gloried in, inside the cover of the covenant of Christ, for millenia. It is simple and simply unbelief which, refusing the solution, insists on imposing the error, like some child in mathematics class who in error, by pride and force seeks to 'convert' the class to his views, and so spoil all. Such is the nature not only of the current Moslem menace (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6, More Marvels ... Ch. 4), but of  the address of the sects to confused humanity. In the midst of man's various, sometimes furious and sometimes tepid and tedious rebellions, this brings no small additive also; for freedom in chains to the slavery of false prophets becomes a voluntary obsession with force, often used psychologically by varied religious leaders, so that the heart's fixation removes all possible liberty and leaves that inconstancy of mind which politicians can the better use.

That in turn can readily lead to force whether of 'control' or arms; and to the denial of freedom as we shall see, is in great danger of arising like a poised dagger, even in Britain! (cf. Ch. 5 below).

Truth has no options; you take it or leave it. If you leave it, error has no reward and its cumulative consequences, often indirect, make fodder of man.

Man without God is like a swimmer without shore. It is tiresome and leads to desperation.

When however man accepts his place as product of God, and his eminence as a personal product, and receives with joy his choice emplacement as made in the image of God who not being spatial  imparts in this to man, power to communicate with Him and to relate personally: then there is first of all hope. (As to space, it is one of God's creations along with time - Romans 8:37-39, as inspection of these verses biblically demonstrates.)

What is this relationship biblically, and how does it verify by its uniqueness, the validity which has been demonstrated in the realm of revelation ?

It is one in which man finds pardon for sin, which being wrong is an oppressive intrusion into truth, and hence both a destabilising force and a frustrating fulmination. It is one in which man finds power for living, and hence to avoid inept frustration through impossible aspiration or desperate despair. Again, here is to be found a companionship with the Creator, who being intensely creative, is fascinating as Father. Further, no more is the vain aspiration for total autonomy, liberty for man to be 'god' in view, so that the inane antics of the various unimpeded philosophies of right and power such as the Nazi and the Communist, brothers in shame, become mere emblems of error, not invasive engines.

Again, there is no gloom such as is apt in deterministic imaginations, which removing significance from man, or else leading to unviable bursts of hope to manage the universe and make it become what will make man be  what he autonomously wants to be, merely contradict themselves. If indeed, this were so, then man would be unable to know it, or the truth: for truth to be known, it must both exist, not contrary to the assumed model, and be able to communicate itself, lest in the act, the recipient exclude by its own parameters, the very thing being transmitted.

Biblically, these conditions are met; and are testable so that it is with reason and not lofty dream, founded on exactly nothing, that conviction acts (not BECAUSE of it, but with it, since faith has its own ambit). With this, the anomaly of man loudly proclaiming the truth, while divorcing himself from its very existence, is avoided. The folly of voiding freedom while displaying it in error and the model in which error must inhere, since those who differ are deemed in error, is equally avoided. Manifest muddle is replaced in biblical declaration by coherent, cohesive, comprehensive and explicative conditions.

Thus a determined man is a slave in essence and by nature, even before he seems to implement visions in his slavery. The more he strives, the more he illustrates what he is, on this model. Determinate by fiction (but far more than good for him, because of his anti-divine divorce, cf. Psalm 1:4-5), determined by desire, he is the very antidote of rest and the contrary of composure. Small wonder psychiatric horrors surge in the world, like marauding star-fish, destroying the reefs of beauty. They are but a natural outcome, in much, of the disorienation through desire which is a cultural pandemic.

Such is rebellion; but there is also the way of peace, first with God and then in heart cf. Isaiah 26:1ff.).

All these frustrations and impulsions and compulsions being gone, the man of God can have peace (Philippians 4:1-6, Ephesians 2:14). But does he ? Yes, for in addition to the pardon and the power, there is the perspective. Now guilt has meaning and the masses are not mad, but merely sleepy in spirit or unconscious, because unaware of the Lord, and so dulled and dimmed in heart. The reality is true; the feeling may be diverse, for when equipment is misused there is little limit to the awkwardness and oddity of the result: hence despite the depth and basic impotence of modern psychiatry, it is leaning increasingly on drugs of varied impact and uncertain value (cf. SMR Ch. 4).

In his new perspective, man sees God as Creator, as good, as loving, as kind, as sacrificial incumbent of the post of Saviour, as becoming man and so enabling man to see purity in its source, truth in its personal reality, power in its place and peace from this truth in the mercy which enables such a despatch. Not dealing with less than God, since ONLY God is Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11), and Christ is the Saviour whose name has no other conjoined (Acts 4:10-11), man has direct access not to bureaux and officials, not to priests and clamour, but to deity Himself, where is a peace from infinity, as when one swims in some vast fresh-water lake, surrounded by wandering paths directing to snow-clad mountainous heights, all composed and constant. So seeking and thus discovering truth, and finding it by this provision, the man, woman or child of God has the peace of a reality beyond all that he COULD create, had he the power: for it is eternal and constitutive for the very composition of his own being.

Where however is love to act ?

Where love is present, and ONLY THEN, the necessary action of God in selecting those who are to be His children, or more accurately, implementing His eternal selection (Ephesians 1:4), becomes not a self-trip but a truth circuit. Thus the God who WOULD HAVE ALL (I Timothy 2, Colossians 1) to be reconciled to Himself, whether in heaven or on earth, becomes the One whose love as all but ceaselessly shown in the Bible (cf. Matthew 23:;37, SMR Appendix B, Hosea 7:1, Jeremiah 51:9, 48:36, Jonah 4:10-11, Ezekiel 33:11) WILL NOT force, but will rather desist: yet not lightly!

Thus the integrity of truth, not the fulfilment of personalised satiation of desire becomes the criterion of divine selection; and in truth, since God is love (I John 4:7-8), not merely a possessor, this love is consigned by nothing ulterior. Hence, both as a result of this reality, and by direct affirmation of God,  any outside the kingdom are so by their own preference (John 3:19). This love of God, while allowing their persons to be fulfilled in their false advocacy, not merely does not initiate this deranging process, but knowing to the uttermost, does not let it happen awry, amiss. It occurs before Him, and it has its finales of horror (cf. II Thessalonians 2:10),  but only with great grief. It is as when a son refusing to cease smoking, finds himself soon bound in the resultant grip of cancer.

Thus even the Christ Himself actually wept for the city which refusing His advocacy, doomed itself. This it did by exposure of its sin to truth without the mercy God persistently had offered, a mercy despatched on the Cross, and yet awaiting that same nation, until it repents (Luke 19:42ff., 23:27ff., Isaiah 30:15-18).

In this way, the innate sinfulness of man without God, who cannot choose what his state excludes (I Corinthians 2:14, John 1:12ff., Romans 9:16), cannot elevate himself above what he is, or choose in terms which contradict his spoiled structure and spiritual strictures, becomes no adequate barrier against love; while God choosing, overturns all dangers of time or season, psychological oddities or other ingredients unworthy of the dignity of eternity or such results; and so ensures no 'misses'.

No one therefore enters hell except over the dead body of Christ, in this, that it is a gift sufficient for all, apt for all, offered to all and on behalf of all (I John 2:1-2). Moreover, although it does not of course PAY for all (Romans 8:32, Matthew 26:28, Isaiah 53:1-6 - the 'healed' being the 'we' whose sins are laid on Him), but is applied only for 'many': this is not an exclusion for the God of love, but a redemptive fact.

None being paid for can fail, since whom He justified He glorified (Romans 8:29ff., 17); and indeed, there is eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), and what payment of the infinite is inadequate!

However, none who do not come can be paid for, on the same ground; for if paid for, they are redeemed and His BY redemption! If they do not come, how are they His ? and if they elect to be excluded, how can they be paid for, and how does anyone pay for what he does not own! When God owns by ransom, it is not merely eternal redemption, but inalienable by mutation, a transformation back to the image of God as first placed in man (I John 3:9, Colossians 3:10), so that (Romans 5:1-11, 8:1-10), it would be like trying to make a flow turn into a mosquito. It is simply no more of that type. What God redeems has His 'seed', His spiritual nature ingrained.

Man is either redeemed or not; and if redeemed is kept (John 10:9,27-28); but  if shutting the eyes, and alienated ultimately, his is neither place nor mutation, neither transformation nor truth, neither pardon nor peace. His debts unpayable, his peace forfeit, such are compared by God to the marshy wastes not flushed by fresh water (Ezekiel 47 cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 5). There is nothing hybrid.

Not so is the love of God, who knowing His own, pays for them; but with weeping in the Messiah, shows grief at the refusal of many who thus excluding themselves, have nothing put to their emptily sustained accounts! Appearance may masquerade and affirmation protest, but transactional analysis is void. Such are those who in appearance may even deceive themselves, living their own lives, and placing a spare tag about themselves which transforms nothing but their integrity!

In this way the love of God is not an aristocratic manipulation, but a sincere seeking; and not another name for force either, but a glowing reality from which all human love in man, made in  God's image, takes its source. This in turn explains why man loves, loves to die for another man, and so on; for although the devices of sin make devils of many, the intrinsic realities of man's origin and construction lead to many actions of worth and wonder, angelic in disposition and delightful in aspect. As with truth, so with love, man has difficulty in total divorce from that for which, and by which ... he is made! This is yet further verification, which like water in flood, flows on all sides.

By such things, man's life is shown, like snow on the peaks of mountains arid below, and becomes a thing of far more excellence than the cynic will allow, in his reductionist fantasy. Indeed, now there is simply no need, however evasive and corrupt, to try to paint man in this or that obviously fantasising and delusive caricature; for his evil is all but fathomless, and the good he often seeks and shows has heights of wonder attached to it, remnants of the glory from which he was formed, before sin deformed him.

The cleavage of good and evil, and of goodness and evil in the ranks of man is likewise explained, as is the passion for beauty to be found in the world, amidst the unclean and the repugnant, resultants of a curse MADE ON wonderful creation, which declares forth its wonder constantly (cf. Beauty in indexes, and Beauty for Ashes, with Beauty of Holiness), just as corrosion and corruption blare their fearful music as well.

Man's dignity if you will, or exalted meaning if you won't, becomes now a thing not for frustration and desperation, improvisation and innovation in nonsensical desperation, as is common throughout history. Rather there is a past and a present for the man of God. As to the past,  his siting is in this schema: that goodness is his source, evil is his selection, yet goodness churns within him by virtue of his construction, while evil yearns by force of his corruption. This itself might even lead to violence of some dimension, through a sense of violation or vileness; but instead, the God of love provides the power to triumph over the evil and implement the good (cf. Romans 6-8), so that victory, not defeat, meaning not muddle, vision not mere vigour, comes and reality shines like an impossible dream (which it was for the deluded who deemed it but a dream), come true.

The determined aspects of the creation which make for the stage setting in which personality and meaning can translate themselves with relative ease, these become as desirable, just as automatic gears in a car which far from defeating driving liberty, the more enable it. This aspect, again, is like a platform for performers; and it is good to have it for setting and stability, when once the folly of imagining oneself to be part of it, is past.

For much in man, this is not past, and he fritters his time in inane pursuits which inflame his heart and pollute his mind, emptying his pocket of billions, as he reels in his dreams of the impossible, trying to force life out of the inanimate, will out of the willed, liberty out of the constrained and love out of stone. Saying to a tree, You are my father! and to a stone, You gave birth to me! laughs Jeremiah of such self-destructive affirmations, themselves the very means of annihilation of the validity of the thoughts they think! (Jeremiah 2:27).

Can the bound be free to think ? can thought arise from objects of sequence and happening ? Does logic inhere in happening, as if its internal constraints removed, its imaginative construction personalised and essentialised, its product-status could become that of producer, whilst matter unmindful of such thoughts,  languishes without any power to do anything in this direction
whatever ?

Is reality to be invented, is the empirical as likewise the rational to be ignored, so that the deadness of soul-less insatiability for dream can be indulged ? Is the bound to be free to validate its binding, being bound, and is nought to equal infinity ? Is not hell precisely what is PREFERRED in kind, so that its camp is the kinship of calling ? Would not heaven be horror for such, since truth is intolerably tedious! In time when our time is distilled away, and the constraints of the temporal yield to those of eternity, the very realities themselves become the more impactive, having no shield in eventive*e cover.

But let us return to the issue more directly.

Is this contra-factual dream of pseudo-science to continue, while logic laughs ? and is prodded matter to become the source of itself, when nothing vomited clay, clay squirmed into thought, and thought found will to add, out of the summoned regions of nothing, that contemporary garland which but exhibits the emptiness of alienated thought, as if Punch Magazine were alive from the dead, and this its first new volume of wit.

Truth is not found on trees, in stones or in the whole panorama of creation except in this, that it requires for Maker the One who has it, without whom man is a muddle of meaninglessness, only with effrontery and logical antilogy declaring even this, since on any such model,  he fails to reach credit rating in the truth stakes, at all. You cannot have what on your own model, is not there.

No so is the case with those persons who find in a Father of dimensions sufficient for their trilogy of mind, matter and spirit, the wisdom of truth, and in the Saviour He has sent, the way to abide in it.

These are no more confused with the driver, or the driven, taking rather their place as neither gods without power or glory, nor as objects without basis or cause. Rather are they now those who can then delight in the facets of creation, no longer confusing them with their own persons, in the image of God (cf. Romans 1:22ff., 28ff.). No more is man what the Bible calls a fool! (Psalm 57). Instead of defiling wisdom into folly, he forsakes folly as wisdom becomes the gift of God to him. This delightful provision is as with the wisdom so zealously offered in Proverbs 1, where however after the passionate offer of peace in truth, the case becomes negative, the fool becomes fastidious in his clouds of wilfulness,  and the journey following in this chapter,  reveals the spotted fruits of rejection.

What however where this appeal is not rejected ? Now man CAN be different, without his HAVING FIRST to BE better in order to choose the better; and the guarantee is the love of God. It is God who chooses (Romans 9:16), but in love that would have all (Colossians 1:19ff.), He chooses, and He chooses what He has foreknown before the creation (Ephesians 1:4), where sin does not require superiority to other sin, or sinner to other sinner,  to do better, since its presence is not in designate force before man is created. Indeed, it is intended that this very love divine should be the topic of a compendium from our site, the next volume for the set, In Praise of Christ Jesus! Small wonder, for here is the key which the power of God moves to open the door to peace and truth for man.

Nothing less than this divine selection can achieve the result; nothing else can remove the incredible horror and forcible intrusion of the extraneous into the ultimacy, as would occur if a slightly better man, being better parented and educated, could achieve a decision which would lead to a better eternity: so that he could boast (or perhaps even gloat) of his accomplishments; and such a channel would be a contrary bane even in heaven! His 'flesh' would be better and his eternity correlative, so that liberty would be null, and a species of spiritually aristocratic unreality, at a premium. The better man wins, being better.

This is not the biblical depiction and it contradicts it at every point. That in turn is one of the interminable verifications of the wit of Holy Writ, which never fails in its consistency, coherence and  comprehensive coverage.

Not only does Holy Writ depict what stands, but it avoids what falls, as any equipped with infinite knowledge would know to do, not in the perils of avoiding error, but with the frank and robust certainty of KNOWING what he is doing. It is only God who is, as shown, in this position (SMR), and it is only here, in His word,  that eminently testable results are available, as likewise in Christ, the epitome and crux of the word of the Book.

What then ? Naturally, and this again, that becomes one more verification and validation of the truth of the Bible at this GROUND and PERSPECTIVE  level  Indeed,  Paul speaks of just such a madness of gloating, and excluding it from the truth of God, pours upon any such thing, a wholly justified contempt. For this see Romans 3:27ff., with Ephesians 2:1-12).

Being a better being is a RESULT, and not a cause of the election, the choice of God! (Ephesians 2:8-10). Freedom with its responsibility overtone, guilt-wrap for sin and need of pardon nestles into this situation, and although sins mars its operation, it does not at all mar the operation of God.

Again, nothing less than paid for pardon can allow justice with munificent and magnificent mercy to be without dint or deviation, and so truth without harassment; and nothing less than the payment of Christ in the form of man can justly remit the sin of man, when the infinite in finite format took what was coming to the finite sinners whom He redeemed.

For further on this aspect, see for example:

Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch.   6, *2, will and meritless operation;

Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch.  11, esp. pp.172ff.

Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Ch.   9;

His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch.   4 (also contrasted with Islamic deficiencies);

Sparkling Life ... Ch.   7, Earth Spasm ...Ch.   6.

 

NOTE

*e 

If 'eventive' was not till now a 'word', then it is so now: there is a word in Webster's, eventless, so we can take the positive, meaning in the realm of events, the latter as normally defined.

B

Finally, we give further attention in the CONSISTENT COROLLARY PHASE (  V above).

Let us take a further illustration in this sphere.

In this world,  the seasons themselves pulse with creative power, installed cyclically within the very structure and ambit of creation, so that Spring a thousand times arrests cessation, and dynamising afresh, spreads forth the diligent and often delicate abundance of beauty and strength, while Winter exposes the basics and Autumn signifies rest.

Here thought dominates in law, which casts its line over diversities like imaginations, held in forms, the very stuff of design itself; and contrary to anything contrary, it persists. Intelligence in its main strength is conferred on man, with which to appreciate the divine exhibits, of which he himself is one. Thus arise in turn his dilemmas and antilogies, when he seeks to act as if god and truth in his own right, or seeks to depress his status to that of mere object, without knowledge, and yet knowing it to be so!

It is the catch 22 situation in which whatever he does, becomes self-contradiction, until he returns to fact and faith alike, in the God of creation. In this, is there is both a delightful irony, and a telling rebuke. It is moreover a display of the impotence of pollution before purity, and of misused imagination before reality.

Let us however return to the seasons, for such revolt in man is ever unseasonable. Thus shelved in situ in creation are the more and the less aspects of its Author's depiction, like the throb of a creator's heart, and reminders of creation come in each birth, each flower, each fresh herb awakening in Spring as from sleep, and at that, festooning the creation with fresh tenderness and strength, but this always within the parameters of the often most intricate and ingenious designs (cf. SMR p. 211ff.).

Yet to those who, forgetful in vision as in reason,  imagine things just as He in His infinitude imagined them, but do so in a riot of unreasonable self-affirmation, like a puny, pugilistic baby, in wilful disease of volition: to these comes the confirmed defilement of His image as they seek wildly to construct gods of their own, to invent them in the midst of their own impotence, to import them from nowhere and imagine them anywhere. So they make their gods, whether barren and austere, as blank as the face of the shocked, or garlanded with useless glories. These are the  gods which demonstrably lack the gifts of creation (cf. TMR Ch. 1), but not the facility for molestation of the same, through the distorted mind of subverted man.

As Jeremiah was inspired to put it, "the gods which did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from  the earth and from under these heavens" (Jeremiah 10:11). Unfortunately, there are many who will perish with them, these inane creations of creatively minded image-bearers of the God of creation; they shall fail like sailors in canoes in mid-Atlantic, in wilful insubordination amid the thrashing elements where they cannot abide, trusting themselves to floating graves.

These developments are far from being merely individual, but afflict races, civilisations and cultures, sometimes repetitively as the mercy of God allows more time (cf. II Chronicles 36), sometimes over centuries before the end comes. Further, the career of the whole humankind, now increasing and in more and more ways and in more and more examples,  most unkind, moves like a turgid stream to the river mouth.

False gods and frustrated man, in passionate decline, and obsessive obscuration wedded to obfuscation, move together to their dénouement as if a play in Shakespeare, where Act V allows no successor!

In this, they excel. In this, the twenty first century is the exponent extraordinaire!

Thus does even rebellion exemplify in the heights of its liberties and the depths of its defilement, the massive power and active singularity of its divinely dowered gifts. Man is geared in the image of God to handle many levers, and futilely at times imagining himself one more, seeks to relax in the muddle and so bring disaster; or imagining himself god, seeks to make more or fondle fetiches and then revolt because it is all so impersonal, as programs tend to be! So does creation reflect at its peak, the mind of its Maker, while the judgments that afflict the earth, more personal than mere parallels to refusal to respond to reality, as with failure to add more oil to a labouring engine, in increasing disconformities, alike attest man's active decline.

Now we see what even patience does to evil effrontery, sustained over each generation. God is patient, but not futile; and when His power acts, man is apt to complain, or to exult in God his Saviour as the case may be. It is rather like insisting on being on the wrong side of the road. It is not that tragedy is unfortunate in such a case; it is that any continuation is fortunate!

This generation is seeking the accelerator, as has been provided for good, and uses it vapidly for the acme of mockery; but alas, such but accelerates their own godless doom.

(Cf. News 51, Divine Agenda ... Ch. 2,

Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix I,

It Bubbles ... Ch. 11,

Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 3.)

Indeed, no sooner does affliction pass than spiritual effrontery returns which, having had its day, eventually passes as did the "three frogs" *3  . What of these ? In 2 anointing wars, filled with hope, man was by such hopping madness accelerating to the end, the coming of the dénouement itself as righteousness paid and wickedness costed its charts. In that twentieth century was the time when mannerless madness in company with morally skeletal cadavers sought to prevail for super-races or super-systems which merely, in retrospect, evoke laughter at morbid delusions; and how those delusions bit (cf. Aviary of Idolatry, SMR pp. 127ff.)!

Even judgment grows to the predicted crises as one more aspect of the Consistent Corollary Phase. This is seen not merely in the predicted raging waters (Luke 21), the hearts failing for fear, the "distress of nations with perplexity", the current coin of the twenty first century, but in the intemperance and violence sought even where once freedom flourished. Examples abound, but one takes merely three.

These examples are firstly,  the New Vikings in England: this virtual war on freedom is a movement which merely epitomises what has long been in the making. And what is that ? It is irrationality plus effrontery heavy-handedly impaling the famed British liberty with broken javelins, in the field of education (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3).

Secondly, we come to the Australian defilement of religion in urbane ignorance, in South Australia, which so few seem to mind, in what was the Education Department: it is this together with intolerant subversion of academic liberty (cf. TMR Ch. 8). The mixture is implosive, gaining in appalling sequence a disorientation for the subjected student victims which is difficult to imagine, except in such a setting as this generation has now become. Its culture vultures appear voracious, though those who train them appear ignorant of their capacities. Thus, with such illustrations merely of widespread evils, the world lurches not only in physical climate, but spiritual status as well. You cannot feed in this illiberal fashion, in substitution for education, without results; and where truth is bound by directive, liberty is derailed.

The third is the al Qaeda form of religious persuasion, which makes blood of sacrifice to be supplied by the plaintiff, not a novel though a ghastly and pagan concept of abuse of liberty and meaningless vileness. Here the conviction and the imposition is not legal, but directly spiritual in kind (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6). It does not merely detach truth from the whole, and implant a philosophy; it executes in both senses, in terms of its religion. This is not new, but new is its twenty first century efflorescence in a destructiveness which acts as if to turn the tables on civilisation by death, and to evacuate the power of life in its entrails of destruction. 

A fourth example, already noted, we plan to expose in a subsequent chapter, Ch. 5 below, and this, once again, is in England, where the very pith of intolerance of truth in favour of 'survival' comes unblushingly to surface; or should we say, drops into the ocean, since it comes from 'higher up'!

So do these phases all unite in one, inventive of collaborative confirmations, both myriadfold and interweaving, so providing that saliently customary attestation of truth.

In all the deviations from this word of God, man is as one play-acting 'God', an imposture that is definitionally fatal, just as it is observable with predictable results. These accrue with justice, as the day of mercy slowly passes, like Autumn leaves, reluctant to leave but sure to do so, at the onset of Winter.

{There follows an internal Appendix in What is the Chaff to the Wheat!}

 

APPENDIX

This is taken from It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, and placed here for convenience. It has been however expanded for our present purpose. See also here TMR Ch. 5, SMR Chs. 3 and 10.  

 

*1 VALIDITY CRIES, TRUTH HEARS, REASON RELISHES

How strange that those who excise truth by having no absolute truth available, are so absolutely sure of the truth of what they as if in a dream, propound!

It must be there, truth, and available as such, to be inhabitant of one's discourse.

There must be a valid reality which IS this, and it must be willing for you to have what it has, and you must be enabled to receive it, for any such delight as propounding TRUTH about the nature of things, to be even possible.

This means that you need the objective source (demonstrated as in SMR cf. TMR Ch. 5), AND His demonstrated diction, and in this, His sure affirmation of its availability by His own decision. Together with this, there is necessity that you actually gain the use of this to find what then verifies itself with the reason God has provided to each of us. This involves a personal readying (cf. John 5:39-40), for this cannot prevail or avail as an exercise in imagination, any more can an imaginary rocket reach the actual moon; for rather does it need action that acquires. Without this, the possibility is not the actuality, and becomes but one more dream. Existence of objective truth, its availability, and the conditions of its consignment, these are the sina qua non, the indispensable ground for meeting reason with truth.

Deny this, and at this level, you merely deny the grounds of your own discourse. Affirm it, and you find the consistency, harmony, absence uniquely both of antilogies and antinomies, together with the rigour of the rational, without the rigors of rationalism.

 

A Little Methodological Survey

In other words, if you follow reason and affirm truth, there must BE truth for you to affirm it. It is no use affirming something to have a quality which your own presuppositions delete in advance!

Your model cannot consistently preclude truth while you as if asleep, affirm that it is true. Mere reaction is not truth, but a happening without the capacity to evaluate. Conceived of in a world of simple events, transpirings and occurrences, it is irrelevant to the necessity back of any attempt to affirm truth, as distinct from occurrence.

A good preliminary to this point is found in Secular Myths, Sacred Truth Ch. 7, as included inset, below. (See also SMR Ch. 3, Barbs, Arrows and Balms   6  -7.)

This refers to the nature of preliminary assumptions, their legitimacy or otherwise and results.

This may take the form of excluding the SUPER- natural because the NATURAL is the god of the heart. Thus it is felt by some, or intuited, that it MUST be natural because this is captivating, limiting, manipulable, without control, merely a challenge. This being desired, the supernatural, despite its inescapable, its ineluctable rational requirement (cf. SMR, TMR, Repent or Perish), produces fear, apprehension, guilt, unsteadiness on the well-known feet, a desire to escape, resist or repel and so on. It is just that the natural becomes the worshipped thing, the ultimate and it is MADE so by someone whose denial of absolute truth makes it absolutely impossible to make any absolute statement about anything, except of course, because of desire, and in all caprice against reason, in the case in hand. Supernatural must be out because it is not the NATURAL. Naturalism is the god (as in Aviary of Idolatry).

Again, the commands of this god  may be presented as needing to deal with things that repeat themselves (the way, in significant regards, individual man does NOT). We have already seen the fallacy of that, but it does in a pinch.

Or instead, the appeal may be to things you can measure. This produces logical positivism, the inane appeal to a standard which can be measured, as the ONLY  ground for the view, while this very criterion itself is in nothing which can be measured, and hence excludes ITSELF at once.

Further, the appeal may be to things visible, though the thought about it is not visible, for no one has even begun to show, the length, the colour, the weight or the contours of abstract thought. The fact, as in a tape-recorder, that methods of imprinting RESULTS of the thing may be found, has nothing to do with it, itself, any more than the artistic production in an opera, the temper, the thought, the penetration involved, is in any way comparable with the recording mode which simply produces a method of conveying the RESULT of such thought (cf. SMR pp. 316Dff.).