THE FINDINGS OF A QUARTER OF A CENTURY'S LABOURS
IN THE BIBLE AND LIFE
For the last 25 years, I have searched the scriptures, studied the Bible, pondered the issues and found the following 10 things, among others.
1) There is NO problem of philosophy
the Biblical depiction does not solve.
In its light, we see light, both in word, and principle, perspective and foci.
2) In it, internal harmony is complete. In this it differs from all philosophic systems, whether secular or religious.
3) The problem of freedom and its opponents, whether spiritual, moral or secular, is not only resolved, but this in a way by its very nature, as with the whole biblical presentation*UNM , is unique and unmatched*BP. Without these ingredients, there is no answer in the sphere of freedom but a tangle of irreconcilables which has kept unbelieving philosophy in futile turmoil for centuries.
4)The issue of beginnings and endings, here alone is fully met*1, amid secular and spiritual roamings*2, themselves logically a ludicrous failure.
5) Here alone is a prophetic attestation of the foreknowledge of the Author*3 of creation in general, and man in particular, that cynicism cannot rationally dismiss, nor scepticism disperse*4.
6) Here action and principle are aligned, both at the highest level, not segregated into unmeeting schemas*5, often unmatched like floating roofs and foundations, all floating insubstantially aloft, with no substantial connection. In this biblical sphere, it is no mere musing, but a verified testimony of a revealed and active personal Being, the matching of word and work, in principle and prophecy alike, and this, constant and systematic*6.
7) Here a face is found, set and
sent from Eternity, before our time was. It belongs to a Person able to see
before and after it, and to show the paths both to and from our affairs in this
world. Coming for divine purposes, predicted and performed plan, with
pre-set scenario, it leaves no room for refutation, at any level, at any time.
Exposed with this divine action of
purposeful incarnation is the reason for it, the method in it and the predicted and
fulfilled outcomes of it*7, all in a testable scenario where one
fault would be fatal*8.
The personal in man is in this way shown to have a personal basis, instead of being a conflation of irreconcilably other forces; for its nature is not a bar-room for reductionistic revellings, beside the point. Instead, the Bible in proposition and Christ in performance furnish a rationale for reality as it is found, and is operative, functional and attested by results. Here realism replaces unscientific gaping, as also the contradiction of logical and scientific law in the nullity-as-base irrationality, and is satisfied*9.
8) Here then is a testimony to truth, in the Bible alone given adequate, logical basis, test of outcome and ground in its provision for conferring peace amid vapid wars of contestant follies, since it is personal as well as objective*10, and gracious in disposition, as well as clean in discipline and direction.
Similarly, understanding is shown to have a rational basis*11 for its earthly existence, while now truth has ground for its resource*12, meaning for its power and provides rational ground for those who would in contrary confusion, USE it, though in calamitous self-contradiction, disclaiming it at the same time. How often is it forgotten that in a model where there IS no truth, one which excludes it, you cannot then tell that this model itself is true. It defeats itself at the outset. If on the other hand, your model admits truth AND give grounds for it consistent with it, then you can consistently announce, and should properly test it, as has been done, by many for long, and this writer for over a quarter of a century, amid the various ingredients of this demonstration.
This provision objectively from the Bible is the more singular, if possible, in this, that this present world is increasingly attested as a chronically disturbed one, irruptive with undeniable devilries, way past mere badness, and eruptive in international strife and strivings, amid banal belligerence of spirit*13. The devil on this earth is being given increasing competition in sheer evil amid peoples, and indeed is the source of a vast dynamic of it (as in Revelation 20:3, 12:12,17).
9) There is an available reservoir for strength of spirit, courage of heart and freedom of spirit, of which the covenant of Jesus Christ*14 is the basis, the power of the Trinity the enablement exhibited in incarnation, and the narrow way from it to and for us, that commanded by Christ the Lord*15. This path (cf. Isaiah 35, John 14:6) is both clear and reliable, being narrow enough for no ambiguity and sufficiently conspicuous for ready testing*16.
10) The eternal life divinely made available by stark and unqualified gift*17, an eternal grant (Romans 5:1-12,6:23, Galatians 1,3) is in the sheer understanding of the Almighty, neither shoved into one's personal mail-box, nor given by duress. Its availability is through the atoning work focussed in the cross, one of the predicted, sin-satisfying pardon, provided for reception through the mauled atonement wrought by the Messiah, whose death date was carefully provided*18, by prophecy half a millenium before it happened, preventing any confusion with things thousands of years later, or before (cf. John 10:3-8, 8:58, Matthew 24:24).
Similarly, His life is attested, by the resurrection of His vicariously bashed body*19, to be One that is in itself both eternal and available (Romans 1:4, I John 1:1-4). Similarly, it was available for discount in myriads of available tests, but it manifested itself in power, healing, authority, minute fulfilment of prophecy never able to be refuted, then or later, leaving no place for even wilful dismissal except in dreams, meeting all with the same victorious liberty which was evident in Christ Himself. There was a lavishness in His use of power to pardon and heal, to speak and refute, to point to pith and to act, that was both in free relationship to the miraculous and exceedingly apt for the natural.
Its way is love and so its people come neither by force nor intimidation (which are ludicrous options for truth on which love is based and attested), but do come by a divinely generated liberty. Nor on the other hand, are they daunted and disenabled by weakness or inadequacy, for the work is His and the reception is our own (John 1:12-14). The crucial matters are wrought in eternity and applied in due time (Ephesians 1:4), so that eternal issues have eternal grounds and results (John 6;65 with Isaiah 48:15ff., Luke 19:42ff.). No one is excluded whom love can reach since the Almighty has stated His attitude (Colossians 1:19ff.), nor included whose guilty guile would seek entrance.
Thus there is grace and goodness instead of tyranny, and cure instead of curse, the saving singularity of God proficient, efficient, abundant and sure, as wide as the world and as narrow as the truth. God is never mocked; but He Himself took mockery on the way to deliverance for those who seek His own mercy, where it may be found (Isaiah 55).
It remains biblically to be added, that informed failure to receive this same Jesus Christ (John 15:21ff.), the Messiah, as Lord and Saviour is to disgorge all hope, put a ban on applied reason*20, secure the post of a voluntary spiritual orphan and break all bond of attachment to the only God there is, the original and eternal singularity. It is explicit divorce from Him who is for and before all, alone basis for the reliability of life and logic, love and grace, meaning and the unquenchable quiet of living truth.
Anything else is found to be like trying to drive a car on a train track, perverse and progressively ruinous.
Thus the Trinity warrants a profundity of thanksgiving, praise and attribution of glory, for personally making freely available to man a haven for spirit and a personal life to eternity in His own presence.
N.B. The end-notes here provided are for immediate aid only. The hundreds of pages of indexes installed on this site provide detailed direction over hundreds of pages of listings, re scriptures and topics for personal research. These and the itemisation of major sub-sets in this approx. 25 million word structure, are to be found in Search, as also on the margin in the home page. Bible translations have proved helpful and so over 60 in relevant points have been provided.
AN ITEM OF INTEREST
In a relatively recent notable debate, contestants in the apologetic sphere used the method of presuppositions, in the sense that it was accepted that each had an underlying presupposition, or perspective, and as it were fielded from that position, so that it became more like a cricket match, with both sides initially and ostensibly equal in principle, the matter relying on thing incidental.
However, it is not necessary for presuppositional approaches to become so indecisive and invasive as this, and it is assuredly a major weakness to which that approach is susceptible. This is very far from casting down imaginations (II Corinthians 10:5), as Paul (II Cor. 11:1) as example was engaged in doing.
That is, in other words, far removed from abolishing
idolatrous substitutes for what alone is adequate to account for all things.
These are themselves demonstrably not self-sufficient, being never shown to make themselves. 'Nature' making itself, let alone when it is not even there to do it, and all has to be imported from nothing or from begging the question, one of the derangements of the anti-God case. That simply means this: there IS no answer here, for all such models, but a quibbling morass of self-contradiction, definitional confusion and equivocation while simply inserting an irrational answer without ground).
Let us finish the quotation from II Corinthians 10:5: Paul, whose example as noted we are to follow, NOT ONLY referred to his casting down imaginations, but likewise the end result: namely, bringing every thought into captivity to Christ.
Theories are to lie strewn like cut flowers; the unique rational grounds demonstrating the truth of the Bible is to exhibited like a vast mountain, while whatever still cries, is left vacant of validity.
That is the systematic method employed (not exclusivistically, but characteristically in this Biblical Christian Apologetics, presented on this site). Given the Bible, it works, it acts, it removes any alternative validity, allowing the ready achievement of incomparable verification superiority, past all measure. It is like having atomic power instead of candle power. So has the Lord provided.
The Bible is dealing with things obvious, such as Romans 1:17ff. indicates to be present, and proceeds with the confirmation and defence of the Gospel again, after the method of Paul as shown in Philippians 1:7. It is not a matter of how well a thing is done, here, but of the method and the principles which are applied.
As shown in Apologetic Orchestra, various approaches can be helpful; the point here is that this one should be included in the orchestra, for its special values and characteristics. In What is the Chaff to the Wheat, Chs. 3 and 4, the method is presented in some detail. See also, Department of Bible ... Vol. 9, Ch. 3, and That Magnificent Rock. Ch. 5 and in more detailed terms, at the processive level, in the same volume at Ch. 1.
During the course of presenting the 235 volumes now on line in this labour, there have been numerous species of the generic approach, forms, figures, sequences, direct confrontations, exposes of folly, applications from closely related angles, and as in Hosea 12:10, this is deliberate. It is not least so that the thing may be viewed as might a star, in such a way that through many approaches, in the end, the total available dimensions may the more readily be sensed and then seen. The gods of nature have no go! is a compendium of much of this, itself covering several million words.
*UNM See for example below, *1, *5, *6, *9. *11.
See also Highway to Hell.
*1 See Department of Bible ... Vol. 8, Chs. 13 and 14, and Vol. 7, Ch. 10 for example.
*2 See SMR Chs. 3-4, contrasted with Ch. 5, Ch. 10 and Secular Myths and Sacred Truth for example.
*3 See Isaiah 41, 44-48, SMR pp. 931-943, 973A, *24
*4 See such items as SMR Ch. 3, Ch. 4 Extension, Dizzy Dashes and... the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6.
*5 See The gods of naturalism have no go! with
REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER,
and Department of Bible ... Vol. 5. 9 App., incl. Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Whitehead. On Aquinas see ... Vol. 6, 8 (this including Aristotle), On Kant see Predestination and Freewill, Section 4.
*6 See for example The Magnificence of the Messiah, and Christ Jesus, the Wisdom and the Power of God ... Ch. 8. See John 3, Titus 2-3.
*7 See Isaiah 7, 9, 11, 22, 28-29, 32, 40, 42, 49-55, 61, 66 for example, with Psalms 2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 49, 110. Consult also Joyful Jottings 22-25. See also Micah 5-7, Zechariah 12-14, Daniel 2,8,9 and Ezekiel 34.
*8 When the issue is in childhood, your times tables, one mistake means you are slightly less than perfect. When, however, the issue is whether a person is or is not the Son of God, a man in whom the Godhead dwells in bodily form, One who was in the form of God and equal with Him (Philippians 2, John 16:15), then one mistake is sufficient. It would reveal inadequacy.
The means of the test depend on what you are testing for. Hence it was infuriating and the impetus for murderous passions in those who COULD not and WOULD not bear what was contrary to their highly contrary approach to the word of God already given to them, that He could not be induced to err! Of this we see evidence in Mark 3:6, John 11:48-53 and the irritation in Matthew 22:15,44-46.
It might be compared in spirit with the mafia having a man in their telescopic rifle sights time after time, but finding that EVERY time they pull the trigger, it jams. Murder alone was found to quash Him, and when even that did not work, inflicting agony but not defeat, exhibiting eternal life in its assault, the Christian Church was founded, the personal adherents multiplying to the derangement of the opponents, as you see progressively in Acts 1-5.
Whether, said the apostles when summonsed, it is right in the sight of God to obey you rather than God, you be the judge! Their message included these elements. You murdered the Christ, they fearlessly told the 'judges'. WE, however, attest the message the apostles declaimed, of Him whom God raised, and cannot but declare the things we have seen and heard.
In terms of scientific law, entropy is not the same as impartation of information, not only at all, but progressively in command code, implying form, syntax, systematic correlation of purpose and product in a mental sphere. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is destructive overall, not constructive, desolatory not dynamic, decremental, not incremental. So the appeal to chance is merely a misfit. Chance indicates in context what is to be found from a given system (where, that is, this or that MAY happen according to its tested nature). In a material system, what is not found is the production of mind, and the production of purposive spirit, nor are means for it discernible, for one kind of system is merely wafted into action from another, contrary to both the empirical and the causative. Wafting is not a substitute for doing.
As to causation (cf. SMR Ch. 5, Predestination and Freewill Section 4), every endeavour to explain it away in reductionistic terms (the usual evasion technique relative to logic - that is, ignore the premises), requires it to be in operation even in order to STATE WHY. Why what ? why causation is really only this or that! Logically, you have to use it in order to lose it!
That is precisely the school-boy fault of begging the question. It is amazing how far man can go in the pursuit of his own will, when things far below his normal level of understanding are freely committed, almost as if absent-mindedly. Unfortunately, in this type of spiritual syndrome, the mind is often so harassed by desire, that the sight of the eyes and the reasoning of the spirit are as things lost to the impassioned.
See for example, That Magnificent Rock Ch. 5
Just as causality operates, indissoluble, so understanding is crucial as a facility or faculty, to any attempt to see the correct perspective whether of things human or divine. Misunderstandings illustrate the necessity.
To comprehend, apprehend in truth, seek, pursue and even understand that this is truth requires understanding, even to seek. This is far removed from mere operation, the movement of means, as in matter, and is even more necessary than a body for human life. Without it, man is all pretension, his quests a delusion, his spirit a farce. However, the reality of understanding, whether in things human or divine, is readily tested, and indeed SMR is one presentation that carries this through from beginning to end. See especially Chs. 3, 4, 4 Extension and 10.
Of course if you deemed yourself unable to apprehend or comprehend in anything, then your contrary teaching at any point would be self-condemned, needing no further answer.
See SMR pp. 998ff., including Endnote 4, East-West, God's Best; The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 5, Barbs ... at *p2.
See Department of Bible ... Vol. 9, Ch. 10, Vol. 8, Ch. 8, with SMR pp. 707ff. and 648ff.. Wars, irrevocable in men's minds, matters of honour and dishonour, patriotic pretence and avaricious seizure, rectification of rights and violation of the same, definitions reversible, hatred of religions, races, works, personalities, modes of living, all these seek in rapid and sometimes rabid revilements to use force to gain, execute revenge, respond, impress, as a prelude to seizure; while Islamic State seems to be wanting to make the horror headlines in total disregard of all feeling and sense of response to the Maker, in unmaking as much as possible, as ruthlessly as possible for as long as possible. But behold, now another Islamic body is saying: No! this will not do.
But it has done exceedingly much already!
See even some years back, Divine Agenda Ch. 6. The force mode for a god of forces is too clear to eliminate, whatever some may think of other parts of the Moslem script. This is then to be merged in concept with the Communist frenzies, such as those of Stalin, of Mao, the slaughters of Cambodia, the war on human bodies from within, as drugs and promoted violence for survival become watchwords for damnation, ways to promote folly and enable irrational frenzy for life, to be grabbed while defiling it to the uttermost.
Disorientation and confusion are natural by-products of ramblings, ravings or chronic resistances to the God of creation and salvation; for He has told us so often, that HIS salvation is both available and necessary, and squandering it has entailed consequences (like trying to walk for miles on your hands). Man can try to save himself, but being the problem, he is not able. God who made Him alone has the power and the desire to do this effectually, and spurned, becomes no less essential (Isaiah 1, Ephesians 2 and 4, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 6:23,Luke 19:42ff.).
See also Highway to Hell.
*14 See Hebrews 8, Jeremiah 31:31ff., Matthew 26:27-30, Hebrews 7-10.
*15 The closeness of commandments to the love of God is nowadays often forgotten, as if a coach in a modern football team suddenly decided that recommended training discipline was no longer needed. It is a callow corruption by culture. He who has My commandments and keeps them, said Christ, is the one who loves ME! (John 14:21).
Personal devotion is not contrary to devotion to duty, and this to promotion of abundance of life, whether for others (cf. Jeremiah 34:17ff.), or oneself (John 10:10), in the INTERESTS of the Creator who seeks good for His image-bearers with all His heart, but neither connivance with evil nor its hallowing. Justification is a gift (Romans 5:17-18), provided as base. Sanctification is a combined work (I Thessalonians 5:23ff.), as the new-born child of God now works delightedly with his new-found Father. Just as DNA provides a physical bond, gene-wise, so regeneration provides a spiritual one, for which the Sermon on the Mount for example, comes as bugle music.
The Sermon on the Mount provides an excellent test in motive, spirit, attitude of heart, and the sanctity from the Lord to move at that level.
It contains within itself demarcations for test.
Tests may be most penetrating as in the case of Job, where his fidelity to God personally, and not to the resultant rewards that came to him, was acutely searched out, this answering the devil's sneer (Job 1). It led in this case to a testimony that has spanned millenia, as found in Job 19, I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES. In the latter days, he would see Him, yes through his own eyes, without intermediary, thus enshrining by faith the vision of the Christ who would literally redeem, in a payment so grand and a mission so magnificent and terrible, that it is never to be forgotten (cf. Psalm 73, Isaiah 52-53, 61, Galatians 6:14, Revelation 5). History could scarcely contain it, nor poetry comprehend. It was something DONE.
See Romans 3 and 6:23, Ephesians 2, Galatians 1, 3, 5, II Corinthians 9:11,15. If part of man were to have to co-operate with the infinite purity of God in saving his soul from blemish, his spirit from debasement, his mind from pride, the things visible and invisible that offend the Lord, then the purity of heaven would be unattainable. It is precisely because God gives from His own perfection the basis and in His own purity the gift that there is a joy that is unmarginalised, a delight that is undimmed. God's selection is not based on merit, but through the merits of Christ (Romans 5:1-18, I Corinthians 1:29ff.), achieved in the truth-filled love of Christ, who would have all, and reaches whom love finds with perfect freedom. Actuated before time, it is activated in due season..
See Mini-Messages with Maxi-Point Ch. 10, The Christian Prescription Ch. 2 and Christ the Citadel Ch. 2, for example.
See for example The Magnificence of the Messiah, SMR Ch. 6, Jesus Christ, Defaced ..Ch. 1, The gods of naturalism have no go! Ch. 9,
Dizzy Dashes ... and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 2.
See for example, SMR in its overall scope of demonstration of the word of God as identified by reason. See Christian Apologetics in Search, in the Alphabetical listings for Apologetics. Man is not wiser or better or more discerning or more sensitive than his own Maker, and the attribution of indifference to His own name to God, is identical in type to the annihilation of His rule, making Him merely a part of some system, which then lacks its ground and grounding. When God speaks, it is easy to test His word at the deity level, since there is none either equal or higher. That provides validation of reason, for His word is THERE in quality TO TEST, as well as tested, so that verification is merely one of the tests. Validation is crucial and present.
Naturalism fails both tests, since neither does reason support it (cf. *5 above), nor does any offering to hand even verify it, but it lags like a slug next to a race horse, unable quite to understand the true nature of test: things foretold must happen, whether by person or by law, or by hypothetical mist. See SMR pp. 140ff., What is the Chaff to the Wheat Ch. 3, Models and Marvels in TMR, as well as Ch. 1.