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THE DILAPIDATED DETRITUS OF THE AGES
OR THE LIVING GOD
Jeremiah 10:11, Isaiah 43:12-15, Jeremiah 2:27, Romans 1:17ff.,
Romans 5:1-21, Titus 2-3
RELIGIONS OF IRRATIONALITY,
CONVENIENCE AND CONQUEST,
CONNIVANCE WITH CULTURE
AND IRRESOLUTION OF CHALLENGE
FISH IN THE POOL AND THE FISHERMAN BEYOND IT
Biblical Christianity is demonstrably true, singularly rational, eminently verifiable, solely validatable*1.
At these levels, there are no competitors*2 .Those religions which lack God, the criterion and basis of all truth, lack truth likewise, and so cannot proclaim it rationally, being caught in a nexus either of imagination or relativity without reasonable or even arguable basis.
Those religions which have an all-knowing God need a basis from the first for a sinful world*3, at odds with itself, crying variously avaunt and avast to its myths, man-made religions and its own welfare: for all need to find from Him, both Author and original, eternal and unmade, everlastingly competent, never quashed what He has to say on remedy for their plight, Magnificently made is man, and everlastingly fading till the day is done.
Where is the solution, what is the resolution, from where does help come ? None other does provide this remedy, but biblical Christianity, and it has done so for millenia, and its prelude in the Old Testament, telling of the creation and the coming of the Messiah, for millenia more. On the other hand, gods of mystic might alone, merely become a part of nature, chained to their own lairs. Fallen gods only add to the muddle, being part of the problem, whether fictional or other. God needs to be identified, and has left massive means; like an all-squandering youth, man flourishes but in vain, his whole inner and outer environment a monument to wild imagination, lustreless degradation and exalting ambition, amid the pit. He dreams and departs; he makes haste and makes waste. He languishes in millions, without truth, inured to a lack of desire for it, trusting where his eye rests, stricken in heart, elevated in lifeless thrust by false physicians.
Gods that use force for matters of faith, like Islam*4, for example, make faith a myth and themselves an imposture. Let us follow this theme for any such, Islam an illustration.
Faith is not the same as force, and confusing the two is unutterably confused. A god who in the last analysis is like nothing known to us, and hence not of any likeness to logical laws, like Allah*5, cannot communicate truth, for until he is both known and has shown man his nature, truth is the one thing sure to be lost. But his nature is SO unknown, variable and prone to retractable pronunciamento coming, going, edicted, evicted, that it becomes indistinguishable from moveable man.
WITHOUT that loving opening to and for man, that the God of creation-remedy has, no more than mystery opens up its misty way for the understanding of God or man in the final deposits: indeed, even systematic mystery is in view to the uttermost in those temporary lodging places of transient revelation. Thus seeking to reason with any such god as this (Aristotle's had points in common), is almost an auto-da-fé, an arrogation of the totally hidden ultimates for viewing! You are left bereft, without the ultimate, but just will, an unbreachable will in its own terms, telling you as if from some spiritual loud-speaker what you are to do; but not why, or on what basis.
Nothing, says Surah 42:11, of its Allah, is like his likeness. Strenuous is the denial of anything like God to be found in man. Here we find that man can be TOLD, but is not said to be loved; can receive a resultant, but is never consulted; can go to hell or not, as Allah wills, but there is no provision in overview of all for objectively loving, saving principles. Such is that system of religion, and such, in the end, are the parameters of that model. 'Allah' is absolute, imperious, impervious and incomparable.
Let us review. What is like him in man is STATEDLY NOTHING. Hence this god's reason, as Dr Jason Lisle points out (p. 56, The Ultimate Proof of Creation), is not comparable to man's, there being no company in correspondence. Hence when Allah reasons, it is not in the vein of man; and when man reasons, it is not in the vein of Allah. If it were otherwise, there would assuredly be true that SOMETHING, man's reason, was in His likeness. There would be consonance, pursuit in the same domain, with a decisive degree of mutual relevance. True, God is superior to man in logic, and is foundation for man; but the result for man is utterly different in the Bible; for man is there shown to have been made so much in the very image of God, that each may reason with the other, with expectation of meaningfulness and mutual penetration of points made. Indeed, ultimate meaning is another of the identity problems for man resolved in the Bible and not in such religions as Islam.
The MEANING is that God made us, in His image, shares His nature, will, thought, reasons, information, cogitation, not the technically beyond us, or the initial eternity which is His alone, or the infinitude of power and understanding, but the capacity for meaningful companionship, mutual understanding and illumination concerning the whole point, purpose, program for and destiny of life and its components (cf. Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Thus a vast array of delightful comprehensibility comes from Him, readily in mind for man, as He tells us His ultimates, His intimates, His wishes, desires, provisions, excisions of rampancies, reasons for the same, our destinies, giving us His how-to manual, and His why-for work in the Bible, His explanatory, reformative, remedial and gracious word. Equipping us with reason, and giving identification, unique and adequate, He provides us revelation with a glory of its own, a clarity to dismiss doubt and a verifiability to confirm the mentality He gave us, and the conditions for our relationship with Himself. How to reach the practical or the problematic, the high or the low, He shows, even for glory or shame; how to reach one or the other. He appeals for the one; notes the other. He has everything in hand from the first and tells us so; but this for each of mankind, in such a way that in His exposing who is His and who rather desires His absence, in foreknowledge, our preference is found, and later instituted.
Guiltless, He is gracious; guilty man is stripped bare in sin; his see-through soul cannot hide him; only God can provide cover. The marvel in the Bible, this uniquely validated word, is that this is precisely what He does, has indeed done; but of this more anon.
Our meaning as a race ? What is the meaning for mankind ? It is to love or hate Him who is love's propounder and founder for man, and whose own whole nature never contradicts it (I John 4:7-10), even the damned going only on their own way from where they had left, when they refused the love of God, the truth of God, which our image enabled us to know, this initially being His by His own work (Genesis 1, 3, Romans 5). Once this is clear, our meaning for each one is to serve whatever we move to in our hearts, either Him or the adversary, either our psychic disposition, preference, appointees, idols and the rest, or our Advocate (I John 2:1-2), through His work, which He has done.
If we take this latter course, our meaning is as soldiers and athletes (I Timothy 1:18, II Timothy 2:3ff.) for the Creator-Redeemer. It is then so to serve Him with relish, that the heart found, bounds in life. It is because in His love, mercy and truth, His sacrificial act in princely substitution of His own incarnate flesh for ours in vicarious substitution available to faith, He has provided and in this many have resided, their meaning and His mastery, His mission and our remission provided. Then it is matter of seeking what might be done in His wisdom and through His Spirit and word, to bring blessing, the remedial and glorious Gospel of truth to others.
Each person on this earth has an appointment, whether for God or other, alternates chosen or found because God was or was NOT taken. There are no guarantees whether for divorce, as with Israel (till her return time comes as in Romans 11:15ff.), or for aversion from the first (Proverbs 1). These are available lines. Guarantees ? There are then none, that is, except for the right to be like chaff which the wind drives away, because a foundation by faith in the Lord the Creator has been refused (Psalm 1 tells us about this, so that there is no uncertainty).
What is certain in the far-removing case from the God of salvation, is the life of uncertainty, and that is very certain. When you walk out of a play-theatre, it is to most intents and purposes, the same as curtains! "All," says Proverbs 8, "who hate Me, love death." His is life and its origin for man, its destiny, and His is the largesse of provision for its ransom with the durable riches of Christ (Proverbs 8:18), His unsearchable riches (Ephesians 3:8)
In contrast, love and logic alike fail in the Koran, and effort to create an absolutely incomprehensible God leaves man at the mercy of whatever goes on in Allah. Provisions are pushed in hope; but at any moment, a decree, decision or directive can come. Hence settled character is unknown, for despite various qualities attributed to Allah, something new can at any time be deemed not to be taken in this way, but rather in that, and THAT is final (till the next time, since Muhammad announced from time to time, certain withdrawals of what was said*5A): then it is no more to be received.
This, it is just as an imperious spirit, with limited knowledge, would be expected to do. The prophets of the Bible were of God, who is not wrong, and yet their essential message of remission as basic through sacrifice, before and beyond all else is not to be found replicated, but ridden in the Koran. Novelty is the way; but not from the living God, who made time as one of the components of creation, sees past it, and speaks only truth. He increases knowledge; but He does not display ignorance, dabble in contradiction, let alone of Himself, which would bring infinitude to the destruction of infinitude, in a ludicrous model, not to be logically touched.
In the Bible, however, the exact opposite, foundation for freedom is to be found, and man can be seen in a full coverage of his various components on which he effectively operates, however much he abuses them, and however far God goes to redeem them, so that the gift of liberty at the first, is by foreknowledge effectually kept to the last. Man's character is abased from sin, but its construction is what it is, in the image of God, who knows how to move through it, preserving not only His own, but its own freedom, a capable, a clear, a competent, a loving, gracious and understanding Creator and King.
Again in Islam and that type of religion, there is no settled disposition to love, which would put the welfare of the creation beyond Allah's own comfort; but with Christ the Lord, there is so much anguish is suffered by the Saviour, God coming as man (Isaiah 48:15ff., Titus 2-3, John 8:58), that not mere concern, but concentrated desire for man is displayed. Thus, it is shown not in glory only, but in the gory, the price to pay to liberate, not this time from Hitler, on the continent, but from a worse foe, sin within, in the heart, in the movement from gallows to glory.
Small wonder that this is unique in the God of redemption, since it is infinitely precious.
On the other side, without this pure, loving and faithful provision, liberty is lost when imperious impositions are acts of utter displacement, given to man without ground, from the incomparable unknowable. There can, however, be no second or secretive motives for selection from among men by a god, when desires, other than for the reception of man, work to the fulfilment of what is not love, in a being set on getting this or that additive. Christ rejected the entire world and all in it as payment for worship of the irrational, the evil, the king of composites and mixed motives, a worship centring on a sublimity which is not there (cf. Matthew 4). For nothing would HE move from truth, including the whole world, and in nothing would He give concenr and consideration, worship to what is impure, unholy, ravished with itself, or concerned for its own being and place, like a nervous athlete on contest day.
How vast is the difference of this system, model and set-up, to the biblical case where love, not seeking its own is the pre-condition of the purity of desire for man, making his freedom real, based on the uttermost and stated desire of God, so that nothing either masks or blasts the essential liberty given to man, in its final outcome; so that man is responsible, not as a word, but as a fact. Without that installed liberty for man, however, this Allah becomes the source of sin or evil or both, involved in an edictive outcome, with no loving input stated or implied. Conformity evokes love in Allah, though how much ? it gives results like any mere reward system. Man on this Moslem model becomes then in principle a mere dependency, not only in this world, but in principle in the MODE of being in this world.
With the God of the Bible, there is no motivation which makes rewards a substitute for liberty, and actually doing what is required, to be the condition for the arrival of love. The love precedes and proceeds on its own (Deuteronomy 6:7-8). Increments follow, but love proceeds sui generis.
That however is not found in themes of Islam and works-righteousness regimes in general (cf. Judaism as in Romans 10:1-3)*5B. To get the love that rewards, you have to have the obedience that first evokes it; and since all is Allah's will without consultation with man AT ALL, it depends in the end on works, so that the old trouble, what percentage pass mark ? arises. If there is some sort of cut-off, what is it ? and why is it ? One mark or point or placement under the cut off keeps you out, one inside it puts you in, for eternity! If your works control it, not things like liberty between you and the god (or God) concerned, then YOU are not the author of sin, man is not, but this Allah is. No one else is allowed even to be likened to Him in his utter, absolute and apart grandeur. True God, however, rests in inviolable integrity. Yet He has opened His heart to man, having first made him in His own image, so that sovereignty does not rule, in His abstraction of ultimate unknowability, but the Sovereign rules, in His revealed love and call to man to respond, even to the point of weeping if he does not.
Thus in leaving such models, we escape a constructed god, an idol, who cannot even give ground for the responsibilities even to eternity of man, this clash a conundrum parallel to the use of force in faith matters, a contradiction in terms, and the contradiction of the Old Testament centrality of sacrifice. We must emphasise the especially relevant feature here about the latter is this: Muhammad in the Koran is explicitly accepting the Jewish prophets down time, in utter disregard of their castigation of any such system as he himself then seeks to add on, in new transmissions, purportedly since them, from the same source, but with very different, divergent and contrary content (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff., 809ff., 829ff., 978ff., 986-990). Things come and go, principles, essences, claims are made: it is no more a thing of God, divine, but of the law-carving propensities of man, adding, subtracting, drawing near, denying altogether.
Such a god is no god, and such a source is but a contradiction, an invention with bits of Old, New Testament, and various stories - the last pointed out by Encyclopedia Britannica*5C on the Koran. The biblical Christian escapes this series of contradictions of late-comer Allah, flitting in and out of the Bible; the Islamic does not, but is left in the brew of a fatal redraft of the Bible, rejected from its own appeal to the prophets of Israel, for every aborting of the necessary features of the Bible to verify, validate and apply it, whether in a sinless Jesus Christ, or a changeless word of God.
Grievously, then, even in any love in the Koran, there is this performance criterion, so that love rests on it, though not necessarily is it found even then. "Say, If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins". Surah 3:31*5. Here it is clear that the love is not unconditional, but after the nature of an attainment and a reward, a performance consequence. That fits with man not being in the image of God in the sense of any direct correlation, communication both ways, logical interchange. Thus it removes any question of a God who of necessity will never utilise man extraneously for his own purposes, and hence any question of freedom, for man, leaving the Koran once more stranded as a revelation that does not resolve.
In it, it is not a matter of ultimate and all-answering truth, in principle, but of obedience, submission and imposition, with whatever glee for obedience; just as there is a second rate citizenship for those who submit to the rule of Islam, without acceptance. It is one thing for one country to make it this or that way for its people; but when it comes to all the world, then there is no shadow of propriety in such humiliation. Indeed, even though a country may leave room for escape from its malign or murderous ministrations, to other lands without thereby being justified, in what it does to those remaining, the insatiable persists. Thus when it comes to the rule of the world, it the more obviously becomes a matter of capitulation to a capture of mind, soul and body, for no reason, unless fear of the scimitar (atomically updated or not), or a drifting dynamic, which attracts to empty sound.
The ONLY ground for glad and free surrender in the spirit of man, is verifiable truth, and wonderful provisions for all that man has been made to have in his composition, whether it be love or liberty or imagination or friendship. Thus all-comprehending and systematically comprehensive resolution of all principial issues in philosophy and ultimate understanding is the unique preserve of truth, and it is verifiably found exclusively in biblical Christianity, for the one is source of the other, and Jesus the Christ is both the exemplar of the vicarious surrender (Luke 22:42) and the sent foundation of the truth (John 14:, Isaiah 48:15ff.).
ESSENTIAL MYSTERY AND FORCE
Accordingly, the use of force in Islam even in salvation matters, forcing people to adhere to the religion, as with Muhammad, has the same failure. It is a cohesion of disparates, an arrangement of opposites, a pragmatic intrusion into religion, a hammer instead of happiness, and a set of directives without the ground of love as their source and divine offer. it is because this is what God is like (cf. SMR 1088D, *17, p. 1080, *3, 829, *2), and Allah is not at all shown to be, too apart and aloof for that, that no ground for liberty is found in him. Rather there is in that model, just a ground for hope that such and such additional rewards may perhaps accrue, as man seeks to conform to get into some kind of acceptance, such that even his performance is providing only a hope, the ultimate ground unknown.
Selection for a nice destiny relates here to a man's works, these to his creation, that to Allah's thoughts, and these for various victories to be obtained, no more a preserve for man's liberty, but for his submission. This in turn is to lead the the submission to him of his victims as he captures this or that in conflict with 'infidels', gained through the militancy of this religion over several millenia.
Thus Allah, totally responsible for man in all facets, is so for man's evils and the sufferings gained, for evil, leaving liberty and orphan, faith a fiction and force a fulcrum. This provides neither rational explanation, moral ground, bedrock for liberty, nor therefore exculpation for works of shameless farce and horror and cruelty, attributable to this so-called god who, desiring to gain much for his own desire from man, is not sufficient in himself, incapable either of contest or comparison with the endless, immutable, self-sufficient and Eternal Creator.
The Bible is super-self-sufficient in the God of creation, redemption and testable prophecy and fulfilment in the Messiah. It has been fulfilled with precision and profundity alike in the Messiah, already come, and not some idea of something that is hoped to happen maybe some time.
Late religions are already distanced by the prior coming of Jesus Christ, the King, as predicted, with precisely foretold date of Christ's death foretold some 6 centuries before Muhammad ever put pen to paper (cf. The Christian Prescription Ch. 2). That is too soon to rate Muhammad except as a fraud (Matthew 24:24), since this was the finale and crux (Galatians 1, Hebrews 8-10, Micah 7), the King to come, to die, to rise, to return all in ONE PERSON, at ONE time on earth, always the same, continuing unchanged to return from heaven (Acts 1:7ff., 3:19ff., Hebrews 12, Revelation 5, 19). No mistletoe could live on this eucalypt! It is not adapted to subversion by partial raiders, whether on caravans, like Muhammad, or on its scriptural concepts and predictions, finale and dynamic detail.
Despite his lateness on the religious scene, Muhammad did not fail to berate the infidels who did not follow his religion of force and power, his followers themselves precipitating utter moral guilt, in the persons of the actions of this misled thrust of many among mankind, to create foes and subvert nations, intimidate the unwary and issue bombast against the true.
You cannot have it both ways: if the Allah for whom Muhammad delusively therefore served, has nothing that can be shared with man, and his own inscrutable, personal will is final in himself alone, so that man is not separable as a free agent in any sense from himself, who is kept in his own arcane and apart site, then all the actions of man are as covered by that will of his, and his is their shame. In entire contrast, is the gracious parallel in scope in the Messiah; for here, in the functional case, final in its grace (Galatians 1), all the need of mankind is covered in Jesus Christ. What remedy required, He has done; what is left is for man to come.
As the god of the Koran takes all the government and guilt on himself as the unrelating source of the evil, without option, consultation or opportunity, for man, doing so in no way relatable to the deaths, desires and determinations among man, so in glorious contrast, through the application in its day and way, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, opportunity for free restoration, does the Love of God act in utter divergence and blessed contradiction. It is He who gives scope for freedom and love, mercy and peace, where any would have it. It is He, the Lord, who would have all men come to a knowledge of the truth through His pure love (Colossians 1, John 3), rejected though it be. Indeed, He does not abort it, through force in whatever name or formation. In fact, He talks and reasons with man, and in His own deep way, is willing to take account of entreaty (cf. Exodus 33:11, Deuteronomy 32:30-33, 33:16-17).
In the last case, doubtless God knew what He would do before Moses interceded, but the ACT of intercession was an exercise in itself worthy of weight. The case of Peter, in Matthew 16, met short shrift: right is right and wrong is wrong and man in in the image of God is expected to know the principles, edicts, understand the conditions, and be ready for correction as well as to make a weighed supplication. The case is revelatory, progressively so; remedial, progressively shown in more detail; fulfilled, progressively so and in much spate of divine action in this field of divine performance in pre-stated events, in our own generation, as in none except the first (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9 for example).
THE CONTINUING CONTRAST FORCE AND FAITH,
REASON AND SELF-REALISATION
The results are foreknown from the first, sustained in history, enacted to the last (cf. Isaiah 46:10, Acts 15:18, Revelation 1, 4:13); and all things depend on Him (Romans 11:36). He looks, sees, tries, and knowing all, determines in counsel. Yet He listens, and where the desired communication comes, so does the gracious response (cf. Matthew 17:20). There is none like this from whose will and word all problems are solved; there are no cacaphonies of system, nor are there any contradictions in concepts or word, in His words. There nothing is found to fail to be verified in its time. The word of God, reason insists that it is (as in SMR, TMR), while the Bible confirms by its presence and quality jointly, what reason required, and thus provides validation. Moreover, this schema is validated all over again in Jesus Christ. Equal it has not. Parallel it lacks. Unique in its functions and features it remains. SO knowing, God predicts, His promises seen on every side, in every type. There is no such other.
Thus, by contrast, when God says what will happen in Israel and it does (as in *2 above noted), and over much history the allegedly almighty Allah, of a different disposition towards Jews and Israel, and indeed mankind, has a failure while God in every detail prevails, it is time to realise that almighty is as almighty does!
Further, love is as love does, and the two together, the might and the love, being of the omnipotent uniqueness and all-knowing kindness, are as the Bible says - and it says, so it does; while what fails in its own untempered will, is neither unique nor verificatory of its claims, but fails utterly in all these things. In that, it is as with all men, even their science changing if not like women's fashions, then frequently, with various admissions from time to time of chicanery or fraud or refusals based on tradition; for as Lord Zuckerman pointed out in his work, Beyond the Ivory Tower, white coats do not honest or willing men make, or even ready learners, when pride and intolerance smirk and work their way to warp. If even in secular subjects like climate change, they can wax and wane, making mutual challenges not only about the topic, but about the truthfulness of those who speak it AS scientists, what can be done when the ultimate test of integrity, religion, basics and eternities, values and reasons, identity and meaning, comes on the scene from such a self-identifying source! What you can expect is what we have abundantly found, in a macro-assault on the minds of youth (cf. Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, TMR Ch. 8, Government Submission).
What happens has been seen in detail (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth), and it is as virulent in inflicting unscientific philosophies on the assailed minds of unprotected children as any witch doctors appear ever to have managed!
But with God, there is that totality of truth, that One who with a will does what He will, and unconstrained by conditions, which from time to time He has made in the origination of His creation, whatever He says, goes; unique, holly a fitting testimony through the ages of the One who IS eternal, time His park, retinue, station, which He owns.
What then ? There is an ostensible revelation in the Koran so lacking that though elements of its Allah's will are provided, his character in action is past knowledge. God, on the other hand, asks us to reason to together, and reasons continually with Israel, and the Christian, Christ in the flesh declaring this, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father," John 14:9. You need the One who is it and has it and shows it. Without that, you are merely lost in ramblings. Nor does the lack of verification and validation help*1, nor can the anti-verification find atonement (cf. SMR pp. 140ff.).
God has not given us reason in order that we should cavort with all such religious rambling, wanderings, as which He has characterised them in Jeremiah 23, but rather in wisdom abort them (cf. II Corinthians 10:5), with worse for them in II Corinthians 10-11 as noted, especially in the case where Christ is not deleted entirely, but given a new role, in a new non-gospel, with a new spirit. If you want warning, this is a repeated one: the soul is worth it!
Neither unknown universes nor unknown gods help, if you want the truth, even if they share a little. Neither what fails to explain or render coherent this world, nor can attest itself to reason can be received without a crucial negligence which is its own warning. Many in Islam use the force theme and its various whips of intimidation and sacrifice (of others), and their bodily parts; and live in definitional error as well, of what faith is and force is. Indeed, if this self-contradiction is practised, it reduces to rational relevance to zero in this province, for this reason alone. If you behead or remove members for this and that in surges of glorifying Allah, then the least to avoid murder-charge that you could do, is first prove the force to be warranted, by the Koran (not always difficult cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6) and then that the Koran is warranted by verification and validation in reason. That lacks as does air in a vacuum, for in nothing is it to be found; and in fact, force is the last resort of unreason, when it itself has become barren and made itself as here, irrelevant, except for condemnation.
As noted in SMR pp. 49ff., 62ff., not only is force contrary to faith, not only is religion indulging in this misdirective, in this confusion inconceivable as instructive because of this, but there is only one religion, one utterly different, producing just acceptance, one which sets verification as a continual, adequate feast, and validation as a singular, a unique feature*1. It speaks of love, and putting up the sword, and salvation by the love of the Creator God, not of sinners capturing sinners and reducing them to subjection, if not to death for victory's sake, that providing a swag on earth, apparently hedonistic, allegedly in paradise. Who or what is this victory so all congratulatory that it makes of God more of a passer out of rewards than a moral being, far from One seeking nothing but to give love to creation, judgment only when this is irresponsibly rejected, leading to due evils to, by and in nature! It is but a conception of man, a bravado of armies, unable to show its basis, to establish it, or to be used to explain in any coherent form the realities of life, in their various textures, tenors, qualities, features and functions.
You want validity ? You need substance, as in any set of experiments, and continuity as in any coherent approach, and the witness of reason confirmed in the discovery of facts that meet specifications which reason warrants. It not idolatrising eyes, to use them, any more than to do so to reason, to use it. God gave it. You use it or lose its mercy and demarcations, ready for deception. God has provided for it all it needs, BOTH in its functioning and in WHAT HE HAS PROVIDED for it to find, as in a paper chase; and the chase is here not long, resistance and revolt the extensions which never extenuate.
God has not left us to variable revelations, with withdrawals, and forcible substitutes for faith, inadequate testability for reason, singular vulnerability to deception; but given us reason to test, and realities to attest, such as the Bible, which did not start in AD 600, though sin enslaved many millions, millenia before it came! God did not wait many centuries before sending word, nor showing evidence of having done so. He does not condemn unjustly, nor desire less than that through the Messiah announced from the very day of sin, He might win all freely; losing only those who forsake or its equivalent, that very love which moves man to leave sin, abandon evil, and relate to the always right, never retracting, always loving God.
Anyone can copy copiously or selectively, and often present errors concerning apparent base material; but to be inerrant and open to continual and drastic test, for millenia before the false prophet Muhammad opened his mouth to cry , is unique, and it needs to be. These are not small issues; and small change is obtained from the worship of a late-comer on the scene of declarations of Deity; let alone those which grossly contradict their own bases or assertions.
Any gods that are inherent in a totality, or totalities which just happen to come out of nothing, as in Buddhism, if you think at all about it, or out of Buddha who detested gods hanging about and preferred lesser beings on moral trips of some kind, in the all-is-one or one-is-all situation, gods inhering as this and that, creators or dowers of this and that in some totality: these lack the beginning for the inter-systematic totalities. They lack it likewise for their communications networks and overarching, overall totality of disposition, placement and interaction. In fact, Hinduism and Buddhism are variants of monism, one thing as ultimately all, with additives, or none, lacking all ground for the totality in its failings, and laws, and evils, and disputatious gods, or absent ones, with laws limping about as in Buddhism, there being marvels of construction about living in a world of which the origin and ground and power and provision have no answer, from no god, with no rational ground but ignoring.
This has the normal lack for any such model: if you are in a world of reacting and interacting gods and men, then the ultimate reality which embraces the lost, knows them all, has made them all, and is beyond any, so making itself able to give the truth, does not exist. Such a Being is in such models drowned in a natural world, with additives, or is removed surgically from a void one, with pincers which do not exist, leaving a world baseless, or instead, subject to laws in an abortive reform of polytheism which fails as badly as simple omission or negation does, lacking any basis, but ignorance that speaks, and an absent knowledge which tells us nothing*5C.
Naturalistic substitutes*6 for God lack
1) the source of matter.
2) the source of laws for matter.
3) the source of mind to find the sourced laws that are in matter,
as is increasingly being done.
4) the source of spirit to desire truth, pretend truth,
or to seek to prevaricate at will, with motivation, aspiration and prioritisation,
irrespective of the work of mind, which spirit may betray for ulterior motives.
These things all need account, for they happen.
They simply beg all questions, ignore all reason and act on false assumptions. The Big Bang nostrum*7, for example:
1) has no source for matter and energy, with their laws,
including the run-down laws re available energy;
2) no source for mind;
3) no source for spirit;
4) no source for their coalition;
5) no source for their unification in personality;
6) no ground for the initial pressure assumed, so make it happen,
or the space or time involved in the outworking of the project;
with anti-verifications*8 of the first order constantly at work;
7) constitutes merely a more difficult basis for the entire assembly
of law, order, space, time, causation on which it sometimes works,
so that instead of its cause giving it existence,
it has to start with monstrous pressures, extant time and space,
explosions which create law, laws which are inherent in non-law,
and potentials thrust into a materialistic nonentity,
subject to vast pressures and mathematical point for its origin, from nothing.
Who did the thrusting, made the potential, put it into practice! It is just an unordered jumble of bits and ideas, no basis, no confirmation, a creatIon of imagination which does not have enough to create universes, except in the mind of deluded man.
THAT OF CHRIST, OF LOVE AND MERCY, PEACE
AND HOLY PASSION
SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT BY GOD HIMSELF,
GIVING MEANING, RESPONSIBILITY
AND DESTINY OPEN TO FAITH
Christianity starts with the activity of the supernal cause of a causally connective world, time, space, law, interaction of a matrix of laws*8, containing the moving tissue of connected time, imparted from an eternal Being who hence does not have to invent either himself or others or the law-abiding matter or mind or spirit or components. He created it, desiring so to do, being able so to do, with purposes which He revealed clearly.
It is good to know who you are, whose you are, if you have options, and what they are and why. For all these and many more basic questions, biblical Christianity supplies clear answers. Increasingly, over all the world, there is no excuse for ignorance, though many are so slanted by idle passion, unwilling hearts, toiling spirits sweating with spiritual lust or obesity, culled by captors, there is a whirl-pool of dizziness, near to drowning.
It is a popular scene for the moribund, but no place for the seekers of truth.
The Gospel of the grace of God in Jesus Christ provides a ready reversal and restoration to a peace which has grounds, but no bounds.
Let us look then.
God, the Creator, makes from His own eternal spiritual adequacy, whatever energy, matter, format transition mathematics and life formats He will*9. We are mere images, the beginning of whom needs a source. . HE is there from the first*10 as the sufficient and efficient cause, making our type of causation in a passing series of constructed cosmoi, with it inventing creative and created personalities and the liberties which without Him, cannot be. Either you have a series of things in themselves, subject to themselves, without cause, blind and irrational in conception, without ground, or you have the God who both verifies Himself by His word and His work*11. We have the latter, and so avoid the former, and keep to reason, a joint coinage of correspondence, which relates to the Greek word LOGOS, found in John1:1 *12, for example.
Reason works because God uses it, and made for man a version that works in a created scenario. It enables man to dig up the laws, already formulable, and some of the created criteria, and so the reason of man is able to understand in measure, till finding what God has to say, he gains more information, finds more brilliant laws, 'discovers' them, and yet not himself... Yet information in turn is a carefully co-ordinated series of concepts, commands and co-ordinations which is not made by matter without intelligence, and if by intelligence, then by the creativity of mind. It is not found, naturally enough, to act without mind*13, a product of which it precisely parallels. The information for the physical basis for the operation of man's mind is set significantly in his DNA; but even this series of interlocking systems and sub-systems, does not tell man who he is, and why, and for what.
The brain sector alone, when duly and automatically grown after pro-creation between male and female, is awesome in its action, direction, management, initiatives, circuits, contacts, contracts, impacts, inducements, connections and preparations. To take but one illustrative figure from the book, In His Image (pp. 142ff.), by medical specialist and famous medical pioneer, Dr Paul Brand, consider this, in the acme of the systematic. One cubic millimeter , the size of a pin-point, can contain one billion connections amongst cells. One cell can have up to 10,000 varied connections, likened to a private telephone. These communicate in multiple order, with other systems of hormones operative and contributing to apt recognition of chemicals, with the decision to accept or reject them, depending on the surrounding circumstances and the total, multiply interactive information system. He sums up research to the effect that there are some ten billion brain cells, alone, and with each with up to ten thousand private connections for other cells, there is an ultimate in system, some sending, some receiving, and that such is the connectivity for the vast parade of messages that one gram of brain tissue may contain as many as 400,000,000,000 junctions between the synapses of the cells. There are preparations, intimations, records, enterprises afoot. It is, to use his image, as if each nerve cell has up to ten thousand of its private lines to use.
No such sheer intellectual, engineering, communication, directible system has been even near to man's own creation, his own creativity itself a creation, as shown in the Chapter on definitions. When you add to this, that it is alive and responsive and reactive in itself, then you major on marvel, and when further, you realise that this massive centre, leaving the CIA structure like a child's postage stamp collection by comparison, is itself an organ available for the institution of purpose, aim, desire, vision, imagination, design, and the record of decisions, developments, ideas and thoughts of many orders of magnitude of coverage in multiplied and related fields, and indeed, for bypass of the same, and its findings, if so desired by the person whose brain it is, like a bow to be used as desired*13A, then the beginning of an understanding of creation creeps into even the most dedicated blindness. Indeed, a culmination of realisation is due for recognition; but that is a further marvel, we can wilfully or for strategic purpose de-recognise what the brain attests, and what the logic underlying both brain and spirit in man, suggests.
Small wonder man without God is like an army without a commander, with section leaders squalling and squawking, spoiling as they toil, and toiling in exasperation, contemplation, frustration and irritation, in the midst of wars of disjunction from reality, and conjunction with meddlesome arrogances, that lead to more pain, anguish and folly. Ephesians 4:17-19 sums it up most pithily.
Man, then, is made both for and with information, crucial parts of which in overall perspective, as the record book and handbook, the Bible notes, declares, reviews, applies and resolves. Here we come to the nature of the divine enterprise, and the place for man in it.
One piece of such information is the love of God*14 and the work He did to remedy the follies of man, work not forced, but divinely done, freely available and enabling freedom from a mesh of encompassing circumstances, through the direct creation of God. Freedom itself is a creation that God's own freedom can make - necessarily in line with His will, so that it cannot replace Him in its ignorance, for He being eternal, cannot be replaced by what merely arises in due time. It would be simply a lie.
Spoiled by submission to lie and circumstances, this freedom is restored where the Remedy is received; and the remedy is both personal and practical, having been given divine press in the Bible, for millenia before He came*15, a detailed and abundant historical fulfilment both of His words and those which came from God before His incarnation. Thus and thus only is freedom possible: like man, it was created and in him may be re-created (cf. II Corinthians 3:17).
There is no species of problem which remains irresolvable on the biblical basis, and nothing is anti-verified*16, its verifiable exposure being confirmed, and nowadays, this is being done in sweeping flourishes as the predicted interim before the return of the Redeemer to rule, draws near (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9, Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
These things are unique testimonies to the truth which reason demands, history verifies, and the presence of the Bible, in its scope, testability and fulfilments, validates.
ALL THINGS ARE CLEAR FROM THE SUMMIT,
BOTH THE POSITIVE AND THE NEGATIVE
THE WHY AND THE WHEREFORE
THE LOVE AND THE SIGNIFICANCE
1) Thus we gain meaning, through this provision of available mercy to man, for it allows truth to flourish or be dispersed, and it is double mercy, that there is such a way out of judgment at all, and then that it may be refused!
The third element in it is that it is prodigious in character, the Creator dying for the creature, the fourth that it is precise, the death penalty borne for the earner of it, the fifth that it was predicted repetitively, as the preceding centuries drew near, at first more in outline in Genesis 3, and then on in detail, in Genesis 12, 15, 22, with various teaching methods to show its significance, then in the Psalms around 1000 B.C..
The prophets provided from God for man, large slabs of information, in deeply moving passages, in strongly emotional contemplation, in divine depths of presentation and appeal as in Isaiah 49-55, while even littler prophecies such as those of Habakkuk 3, Nahum 1:15, which last has an unforgettable phrase that appears also in the larger treatment of Isaiah 52 at verse 7; and indeed what is it like ?
It resembles a continuing report from a Lincoln bomber going over Germany in the reprisals of 1945, continually reporting the town, river, wind speed, smoke, flares, anti-aircraft fire, enemy fighters and the like, raging fires or misplaced guidance flares, so that the picture builds up graphically. and in depth as well as height, with crashes reported as it passes.
The depths are indeed reported, when Christ crash landed through the virtual bullets of man, thrust down from His celestial place of healing, holiness and royal love, wonders of wisdom and saving strength. This He did, AS prophesied, in the WAY prophesied, at the TIME prophesied, and after three days AS prophesied was raised, so that no rotting corpse could be round AS prophesied, but He had walked away, liberated in His own complete innocence of sin from the guilt-bearing prodigies which He performed for many (Isaiah 53:6).
It can hardly be repeated too often that this deliverance which He wrought, though offered freely and really to all, was to cover the case of MANY, even those of whom it was written, "by His stripes were healed." "We" are the company in view in 53:5, and so of US ALL, those so spiritually healed, is He the sin bearer. Those so healed in spirit, are ALL liberated from their iniquity, not one lost, and that is how it is. As in Romans 8:32, those for whom He had been delivered up have ALL THINGS; but those of course on whose part He has merely been offered up, this on their behalf, like a sacrifice made available to Israel in the Old Testament on the Day of Atonement, any could reject it so that it did not apply at all (as in Deuteronomy 29). Its grandeur lay in grace, not statistics, in government, not empty directives, in realities wrought, not in nominalities inanely rested on, which occurs in formalism and nominalism. Christ is life and He has to be known, and known as He is, and is presented, not in some ideational factory, which seeks to submerge into synthesis whatever appeals (cf. II Cor. 10-11, II Timothy 3, 4, II Peter 2).
The profundity and meaning and deity-directive path of the sublime, sacrificial substitute thus given at vast cost to the Lord, underlines the entire honesty, integrity, purity of heart in so providing for us, without payment or mere personal satisfaction of any kind but rather fulfilment of a love which needed nothing, for in God there is no gap; but gave all.
Thus has freedom surged in every particular, depth, height and wonder, one of the very greatest of the creations in the spirit of man; for without it there CAN be no love, only reaction or submission, or fight; and this love of God does not demand, for to demand with force is to negate faith, separating it from fact; and force has no love. Thus love has no force beyond the spiritual, the moral, the dispositional, the ache of admiration, the appeal of wonder, the grace of goodness, and the instruction of circumstances (as progressively shown for example in Amos 4). The Spirit of God can open the eyes to the lost, illuminate the mind by divine power, and show the truth and lead out of darkness to light, in the face of the Gospel of the Bible. It is a very penetrating, but not commandeering love.
On this love of God, it is therefore necessary to dwell somewhat, and this may be done using such writings as are listed*17.
Especially relevant in terms of implications, explanations and review in this field and overview indeed,
is His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4.
It is because of this amazing love aspect of the wonder of God that conforming to this, God prescribes unchanging fidelity in love to one's spouse, not divorcing for anything but adultery (Matthew 19), and even that at option, and having only one wife as the norm and criterion because of interpersonal relations (Ephesians 5), fair to one as to the other, as complete for the one as for the other, as absorbing for the one as for the other. This is in line with the same manner of quality, as shown in the love between Christ for His one Church of invisible believers, most visible in results, as it moves towards loving one another, which is not the same as mawkish sentimentality or indulgent folly. Indeed, it staggeringly involves loving as you love yourself. This distinctive love comes from above, and in those who receive Him, comes as an atmosphere along with Him when He is received in heart by faith (John 1:12-14), showing on earth the ways of heaven (I Corinthians 13).
2) From this spiritual spectrum noted in 1) above, we also gain, then,
due awareness of profundity and lucidity of divine character.
Shown is not just a matter of bound performance, for the gate to the highway of holiness, abundant life and the knowledge of God Himself personally, opens with offer to the uttermost to all. Far more is given, licence for liberty*18 , precision to justice (there are no grey areas where light shines brightly, in principle, only in practice in finding the facts), all this leading on to the acme of adoration of the Creator; for it is He who did not stop short at will, merely to want to do something to help this afflicted and dis-affianced race, but instead came and attested in the laboratory of history, what He had in mind. This was the ample sufficiency of His love to cover all cases, with different applications but the same basis, one for all, that all might be for One (John 17).
It is not a matter of having empty theories about His death*19 . For example, the 6-centuries-too-late-Koran invents two divergent ones about this crucial murder, and seems unsure of what it is talking about, romancing and dreaming about the topic. This it does just after the manner of the false prophets whom the Lord so richly rebukes in Jeremiah 23, concerning their delusive and unauthorised work.
There He predicts that this sort of false prophetic work of impostors misusing His name, will come in to the uttermost as the end of the Age comes near; as is the case with sects and substitutes, parades and hates, as devil worship and deviations of all kind crash against the very ramparts of such civilisation as remains, in this most misled race. Yet it is of its own volition; though it is not for all that is this so. Freedom is not in vain; love is not wholly forgotten; many are those saved, and to each comes what would otherwise never have been; a wonder of creation, in body, in heart, in spirit, in understanding in a thematic wonder leading on to the end of sin, the atmosphere of love and the beauty of holiness in a realm fitting for the post-test rest, worship and divine creativities, in the light.
But what of the true God and Lord ? He was as in all things, thorough.
Indeed, in the biblical terms of the testimonies of His time on this earth, it was not even enough to be the manifest mouth of the Deity (John 1:1, 12:48-50, 5:19-23), working at all times with His Father (John 8:29). Instead, not in raids on others like Muhammad, but in being raided in Himself for His enduring riches, thought those guilty of it did not know what they were doing, He went to the uttermost. When Christ came and healed multitudes, demanded attention by His very deeds, while avoiding publicity, and raised the dead as a prelude to His own ransoming of many from death in His guilt-overcoming procedure, then it went on triumphantly to resurrection (Romans 1:4, John 11). He did the work of which He spoke; He ONLY could do it, DID it and FINISHED it (Hebrews 9:12).
The intent and the offer was for all (Col. 1:19ff.), the gift for many, the results responsibility, the end eternal life. SO far from being not like man in any way, God has liked to be called the friend of Abraham (as in James 4), and called His disciples to a friendship relationship (John 15, John 21). With God, friendship is beyond the ultimates, love and splendour mixed with humility and delight.
Thus does His incomparable wonder of God and His exuberant love and ardent love of truth and justice, which proceed from Himself, make gift of eternal life (Ephesians 2). No payment from man is there, no works but His appear as the criterion or even relevant, not even the work of faith, by which one receives it, for that too is His gift right back from foreknowledge which was worked out in the same love and desire for all (Ephesians 1:4, John 3:19, Colossians 1:19ff., Ephesians 2:1-12).
That gift, life through eternity with Him whose it is (I John 1:1-4), is available and provided for just as the initial gift of life was decreed, as entered securely in our DNA, which involves the copy-machinery for new generations. Just as in His love He brought these two steps, natural and spiritual live in redemption, from His own life, and brought in His incandescent innocence of heart and Spirit and mind, death itself into oblivion after He had first endured it, so He will bring the victory over the forces and powers of evil and antagonism to His own people, as now in spirit, and in heart, and in mind, then in the very new creation of heaven and earth. He has, first left His Church to illustrate, demonstrate and activate in the laboratory of history the ways of His wonder, all taught, all nations given the Gospel; then God proceeds simply to overcome the evils which have had enough time to illustrate THEMSELVES, by that last era, not too far from now.
It is as this present world, as Paul calls it*20, would become unlivable if He did not come, that He arrives (Matthew 24:22). Thus it is as in Revelation 19, where the case if concluded by His advent, who is Faithful and True, having given lie rein for all practical purposes, to show itself and its ilk, to be exposed and to be ready for ruin.
He does it all: creation, redemption, deliverance, restitution of a pure world, not renovation but a new heavens and earth to match the new creation in people, not patched up but reproduced, with that in their celestial lives, personality and individuality of His own, now persevering in eternal format, special to the case (II Corinthians 5), just as individually each was saved (cf. Zechariah 12, John 1, 6).
Morbid fascination with power and rule whether by false churches, governments, megalomaniacs or others, all doomed to end, gives way to rule by Him precisely, whose right it is (Ezekiel 21:26), as seen in Daniel 7:8-28. The evil continues until as in Daniel 7:9ff.,25-26, the judgment is set and it works ruin for the rabble of aspiring gods. This moves as in II Thessalonians 1 and 2, in which latter case the obliteration proceeds just as the man of sin is at his height in the Temple, blasphemy at its international centre. There is no relief till God in judgment acts on raw, regal power, to engulf in its own due fires, the vicious centre in a stricken world. There is no room for alleviation except in the Gospel. There is no place for those wilfully outside it, except where there is no peace.
The imperial beasts have proceeded till the Stone Struck (as in Daniel 2), and until the world issues its proceedings against God in express war on Him (Revelation 19). It is as His witnesses (Matthew 28:19-20) that we proceed for now, until He acts as Judge at His coming! So vast is His love, so clear is His rule, so provocative is the contention of man, so responsible is this race for its own actions, that evil of unenlightened hell is the outcome of voidance of invitation (Matthew 22). Till the end, weed and wheat often look alike as in young crops; when mature, and He reaps, THEN is the reality shown, and then the judgment rules, none tarnished from outside, but all apparent in striking array of just TWO kinds, one rejecting the kindness of God and the other receiving it. one garbed in a divinely donated righteousness of relish (Romans 5:17), one unprotected, being self-sufficient, or reliant on what is not. (Matthew 22:1-14).
Actually, the divine donated robes of righteousness are a fair thing, a divine dower, a dowry of delight and as such they are seen way back in Isaiah 61:10.
So was liberty given, environment disposed toward it, sin striving, judgment not final imposed upon it, remedy found, not required, made available in love. So is beauty and the beauty of truth and peace sustained amid the riot of rebellion, each attesting its own ways; and so does love prevail and liberty find its responsibility, and its due conclusion to match. The vast wonder is this that the way out is available, the way in to the glory of God is presented and in hallowed kindness urged on man (Titus 2), and this the way, is found more precious when found, than any diamond to the eye of the jeweller, or fair one to the lover.
3) Clear and most manifest is the singular love.
Indeed, this love is seen to the very end as in Revelation 23:17: if any one thirsts, let that one drink of the water of life freely! There has been plenty of time (cf. II Peter 3:9), so that none should be missed as all of history unravels (as in Revelation 6:11).
Thus another god, masquerading as God, solves nothing but increases the problems, pinpointed and resolved by the word of the God of creation, redemption and destiny. It adds to the problems as a failed proponent, a non-component, a contrary to cumulative harmony and a baseless figment without function but to satisfy rebellion without reason (cf. Romans 1:17ff., Jeremiah 10:11). This failure is just the same as that of that from the exclusion at the initial level, of the information-life-creating God, whose is objective warrant for glory, because He was always there, infinitely better than nothing and ignorance as a basis; and what He has done has been a marvel of contrivance, consistency, liberty, conceptual singularity, functional uniqueness and loving offering in every sense.
You do not even HAVE to go with Him, but may elect to go from Him. This receives hearty stress in Hosea 11:1-8*21, which shows the poignancy of such choices, the intimacy of the love of God, the repeated calling (as also in Matthew 23:37) ... "How shall I give you up?" But if need be, He does, satisfied; for love is like that, not desiring to suppress and violate what was made in the image of God, while doing the utmost short of abortion, to deliver it.
So goes what insists, to its desired exclusion.
4) Clear also are manifest results for rebellion from reality, at last, amid the lasting abundance and purity of the love put away, by many, but set in the heart of His people with desire (cf. Haggai 2:6-9).
What is shakeable will be shaken, and what is unshakeable will remain (as in Hebrews 12:26-28).
All that uses or has used force to the contrary of this love and liberty, whether using falsely the name of Christ (as in the Inquisition, and elsewhere, formerly, as now in the Chinese use of officially sanctioned church under State control and persecution of what will not join it, if it must join something of that name), has at once one thing in common. It is as far off as what denies Him altogether.
Indeed, when using the name of Christ in doing it, as Romanism has done thousands and thousands of times, it resembles Peter before he was corrected and rebuked by Christ, when he tried to tell God what to do (Matthew 16:22-23); and resembles an incorrigible Peter, contrary to the most teachable one of history, who was entirely to the contrary as in I Peter 5:1-5. The actual, and not the pompous surrogate for Peter, was perceptive because God made him so; but if need be, could be rebuked even by another apostle without ill-will (Galatians 2:13-14, II Peter 3:16), because his was no eminence of state, but care in service (cf. Matthew 20:25-28), in decisive steps taken, as concerning the Gospel to Samaria (Acts 8), the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10,15), Paul's recognition as a writer of holy Scripture and the reception of Mark, whose name appeared on one of the Gospels.
This last occurred, even after the initial clash concerning Mark, between Barnabus and Paul, in view of young John Mark's leaving an active mission early (Acts 15:37ff.). In terms of II Timothy 4:11, we see that Paul and Mark were more than completely reconciled in the love and work of Christ.
All the apostles had similar position (John 20:23) in binding in the WAY that Christ did ONLY (as in John 20:21, 12:48-50), in line not with His own but with His Father's will. This was, despite His pre-eminent action on this earth, , not in arbitrary power or assumed prerogative, but in submission to His word as led by the Holy Spirit, as one and for all, dedicated and yet not dominating, being Lord by virtue of the very One whom He was and is. It was even as God that He was sent as in Isaiah 48:15ff., spoke (John 8:58), and acted (John 5:19-23). Yet His was a humility not only figured in being seated on entry into Jerusalem, on an ass's colt, but in the entire work-out, where He had often not even a place for His head. He was not dominating, but dominant in dynamic, holy in character, gracious in manner, implacable against pride and self-elevation (Matthew 23), and deadly on hypocrisy (Luke 7:45).
The ONLY pre-eminence is that of Christ (Matthew 23:8-10, Ephesians 1:20-21); the rest is forced. PHYSICAL force is only the MORE excluded (John 18:36) in the very nature of the kingdom, for its operation by mankind. Such things are for what denies Him altogether, for it is useless to say Lord, Lord! is pseudo-servility, and then not do what He says as a POLICY and PRINCIPLE and PRACTICE.
WHO IS Lord ! (Luke 6:46)! for it is neither tradition (Mark 7:7ff.), nor force nor self-created eminence which can ultimately rule,. As in the kingdom of heaven*22, truth rules, in love. As to these smidgeons of self in man, it not that kind of a Kingdom, but the only one that salves, solves and in purity, has peace, to be perfected when HE rules direct, and later, when resurrection is over, sin is excluded as from the heart, so from the environment.
The truth of the Lord's sincere and practical desire to win the souls of men to His own holiness and loveliness. Galatians 6:16ff. is showing the crux of the performance with Romans 10:9, its twin in truth - that Christ died for us, (John 3:15-18, Romans 5). This was so, He did this noble thing, EVEN WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, and while not all receive or will receive Him, yet He would receive them (Matthew 23:37, 11:27ff., Luke 14:22). Thus THIS being the condemnation (John 3:19), when He is not so received, though present in His own light (cf. John 1522ff.), and He is most just and fair, indeed most desirous. Accordingly, those fleeing truth are in the end self-made doubly odious, neither repenting of meaningless and wilful breach of truth, nor of rejecting its remedy which afflicts the whole heart. From this, there are occasioned wars and schemes at every level, the first and foremost of all being rejected! It is like taking the wrong major highway; all route roads leading off it are wrong in advance also.
Thus these, the renegades till the last, were not mysteriously rejected in a hidden agenda and a vain arbitrage of no known reason or ground, with no projectible responsibility or ground, but will, on the part of the divine. Such an unholy and vastly crass thought is far from the testimony of truth in the Bible. Instead in truth it is by a non-tilted but discovered preference for darkness, that is found in them, in the midst of a God-created liberty from the first, that they go as they will. Thus are they meaningfully, utterly and truculently responsible, or supinely satisfied to lie about in indifference or disdain, before the invitation of the Lord. It is they who are valued, valuable, but are consigning themselves to dross.
Only the uttermost gift of life and love could save the hidden soul, the soiled soul, the retreating soul, the self-obsessed soul; for in damage to the image of God given to man, only God Himself can avail for restoration at the life level, where choice and heart and mind cohere, even if only in turbulence instead of truth. The penalty of SUCH error is death, life-extinction at such a level, which being pointed to sharing the divine, as in His image, requires that death be covered, condensed into one infinite, for many finite, and overcome by its redemption in such ransom as this! (Hebrews 9:12-10:14).
That God is not only far from being a summary and unexplained exclusion agent, but an ardent seeker of man, most reluctantly allowing his withdrawal into temporal and temporary life, amid the consequences of sedition at this level, makes for a testimony which informs all parts of life, which otherwise, whether in politics or principle, leads only to power balances, power onrushes, deceit, deviousness, complacency, self-love, self-aspiration, jealousy and the like, on which history never finds time to close its books. As His love is neither imperious nor impervious to entreaty (as in Luke 23:42-43, Mark 140ff.), heaven is open to all, and those who would in perversity find it a hell of suffusing horror to their souls, will not need to suffer for that, but for what they are and choose to be; for that CANNOT please or satisfy truth or reality or comfort or what they are.
From that which they would not know at any price, they are thus lost for all price.
For those who love Him, His who made them has unsearchable riches for His redeemed, and these belong, since He made them with them and for them (Ephesians 3:8).
Note Isaiah 41:21-24, 44:6-8,24-28, 45:21-22, 46:8ff., Romans 1:17ff..
See for example:
TMR 5, 7 , It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, esp. *1A,
The Bright Light ... 7,
Repent or Perish, Ch. 7, pp. 152ff.; Ch. 2;
Christ, the Wisdom ... Ch. 6;
Barbs, Arrows and Blessings 29, 19;
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3; SMR 3,
Little Things Ch. 5, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 5, End-Note 1A,
Tender Times ... Ch. 11;
Barbs ... 29, 19;
TMR 9, Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3, 4, 10, 11,
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny Chs. 3, *3, 8.
*2 See for example: SMR Ch. 1, pp. 50ff..
*3 See Possess Your Possessions Vol. 3, Ch. 6 The Great Divide Ch. 4, News 87, The Divine Symphony, Barbs, Arrows ... Ch. 17.
*4 See for example: More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6. See also *5 below.
On Islam more generally, see such Chapters as:
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 50ff., 62ff., 829ff. , 1080
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
Pilgrims and Strangers ... 8 (Islam, attestation as false prophecy, news and prohibitions proposed, Sept. 2012);
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
See Divine Agenda Chs. 6
with 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran)
and Highway to Hell - (Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the latter two; and in the former, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings);
1493 (esp. Britain and sharia);
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7
BARBLISS 5, Acme ... Ch. 9 , Great Execrations ... Ch. 3, SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7, SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(These latter show this religion, with the other three major conspiracies towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.). Other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels.)
News 97, 98.
PP 8, app., PP 11, 4, 11, 5 (national character and character of Islam).
See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.
*5 See http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/love.html at point 2. See also Ultimate Proof of Creation, Dr Jason Lisle, p. 56. See also Highway to Hell. and *5A and *5B below.
There are at least 5 cases of this withdrawal, with possibly rather more, in the Koran, according to the analysis of cases in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
"Works-righteousness domains" are those of whatever basis in mind or spirit, which in the end make glory conditional on human performance, superiority the accord for achievement on this earth, and God the recipient of worthy man, in whatever manner or condition, steps or powers or éclat, man may decide to honour, whether for his own part, or making God the observer on leave so to act.
Classical Judaism at least - and it is rather a large least - does not excise from and contradict widely and even wildly the prophets of the Old Testament, en bloc at will; this is so for it, but not so for Islam. In the conservative Judaistic case, whole passages though in some cases ignored, are not actually removed. However, it is to be noted that by means of additive traditions such as the Talmud, as Christ showed, it is possible to gain EFFECTUAL annulment, for they can nullify the entire message. In Mark 7:8, we find the divine dictum: "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men... All too well, you set aside the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition." Later the matter is spiritually essentialised by the Lord, for His hearers, as for all involved in such disastrous and intrusive perks:
"You annul God's word through your tradition that you have handed down.
And you do many things of that kind,"
Mark 7:13 (The Berkeley Version in Modern English).
Islam here is like many such works-righteousness sects, which all lower the standard of the divine standards of incandescent righteousness, as if by their own imagination they can be acceptable in heaven with just that as a basis. Far below the infinite purity of God, as to be irrelevant at this level, are their own limited accomplishments without regeneration, transformation, as without pardon through the ransom which keeps up standards, but has them paid for on behalf of His people by God Himself (Matthew 20:28, Acts 7:28).
Many are such sects, many are such false prophets, cheapening the charity of God by carnal aspirations, ignoring the central theme of the prophets of the Old Testament and the New; and those words, being His, except fulfilled in precision (Matthew 5:17-20), remain so, as Isaiah 59:21. Isaiah 49-55, of course, precedes these and this remains central as in I Peter 2, which cites from them. Sacrifice, not by sinful men, works, not by proud man, but both by the self-humbling God (Philippians 2) atone; pardon is procured, but by God. Men procuring it with victory and works have worked spiritual, physical and physiological horror on the earth, whatever their variety of combinations, synthesis of the spiritual and the carnal, and disobedience to clear commands.
There is no peace without the Prince of Peace; and no room to remould God by the word of someone or persons subsequent to the Lord in His own saving actions, whether this be 600 years later, as with Muhammad, or as increasingly with Romanism, 1000 or so later in its papal claims, or as now some 2000 years later. Such retrospective biographies have all the force of dream, and such workers are biblicall deemed deceitful - makers of a new Jesus, or spirit, or Gospel, in II Corinthians 10-11, even false apostles. God does not change, nor does He make man in bits as some sects imagine, nor truth in ever replaced bits, whether through millenia or micro-seconds. GOD, the true and the living God, knows what He is doing from the first, and carries it from foreknowledge to destiny, to the last, attesting it richly by verified predictions on the way.
The Word and the Ways of God and the Wisdom of Men Ch. 8, and Department of Bible ... Vol. 1, Ch. 11 and Department of Bible ... Vol. 1, Ch. 11,
along with SMR pp. 995-1026 and the multi-religion and single groundwork composite,
RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST.
The gods of naturalism have no go! Why Not ... Ch. 12, Ch. 6 in the preceding volume.
See *8 below which includes this at the outset..
The Defining Drama Ch. 3,
Christ the Cumulative and the Consummation, Ch. 9,
Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy Ch. 6,
Lively Lessons ... Ch. 5, Dig Deeper, Higher Soar ..., Ch. 1
The Way of Truth and the Way of Error, Ch. 8.
The gods of naturalism have no go! 28.
Deity and Design ...
Why Not ... Ch. 12.
Department of Bible ... Vol. 1, Ch. 11, Vol. 2, Chs, 5, 8, Epilogue
See THE DEPARTMENT OF BIBLE ... VOL. 3, Chap. 6, Vol. 2, Chs, 5, 8, Epilogue, TMR Ch. 1, and
*6 and *8 above.
*10 See The Department of Bible, Vol. 2, Epilogue, SMR Chs. 1, 10, Revelation 1-2, 4:11, Colossians 1:15ff., Genesis 1, Isaiah 44-46, 43:10-11..
See What is the Chaff to the Wheat, Chs. 3 - 4,
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.
See THE BRIGHT LIGHT ... Ch. 10
See for example-
Waiting for Wonder Appendix,
The Desire of the Nations Ch. 2, Epilogue,
Little Things Ch. 3 (esp. *3),
Dancers, Prancers Chs. 3, 5,
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4,
Thy Word is Wonderful, Ch. 5,
Not Only is God Great, but Glorious Ch. 5.
BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE AND PROVISIONS ARE LIKE A MICROSCOPE FOR THE MIND,
EXPOSING REASONS, RELATIONSHIPOS AND FUNCTIONALITIES
The resolutions of philosophical marshes, turning them into cogitational highways and convenient routes, which come from the biblical declarations and perspective, as seen, for example, in
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ,
Who Answers Riddles
and Where He is, Darkness Departs,
and also in Deity and Design ...,
are virtually endless.
Thus consciousness is shown in its simplicity for what it is, when it is faced, instead of being submerged in the materialistic, deterministic substitute for rationality (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2) that has laws without cause and truth (to proclaim) without basis.
Spirit and consciousness are two areas which spring to life when seen outside the broken models which seek to contain them.
The capacity to be whimsical or 'cranky' is one phase of man; but there is a more serious capacity, less of fun or adventure. It is that to face the requirements of reason underlying the organic capacities of the brain, and the reports of logic found on investigation, and then reject them. This may be done with intent on the part of man, this intent being honest, dishonest, subversive, self-exalting or dutiful to the last iota; and the rejection may appeal to any of a whole rainbow of desire, delusion, illusion, aspiration, intense seeking for truth or devious deceitfulness enough to make even devils feel outstripped.
The enormous provisions in the brain and the enormous desires in the spirit of man may attune; may become disparate, without obvious lunacy, on the part of millions who enjoy delusion because it fits their comfort, culture, tradition, eccentricities or education, maverick impulses or genuine concern. It is folly to ignore any of the functions of man, far worse to smile at the name given, this being an excellent illustration of the work of the most fundamental aspect of man, his spirit. At the purely human level, this is where decisions and dreams, hopes and intents, parameters and priorities, envisagements and models are set in terms of purpose and imagination. This aspect is often given treatment on this site, and in particular at SMR pp. 348ff., there is attention to it; but it has many areas such as that below, which need to be discovered or better, reviewed and faced.
Of course, it is when sheer mountains, massifs of attestations in man are ignored that you get unsolvable mysteries, as TIME magazine once seemed to project, in the issue of consciousness. Where does it lie, how does it come, why is it in existence, what is its significance, on what does it rely, how is it a focus and in what lies its ingenuity, individuality and functionality ? These are questions such as might occur if you did not recognise that cars exist, and were to ask, as you see displacements of persons: Why has this person moved from one city to another, one beach to another, what is the basis of this movement, how has it come and what is its focus, what is its significance and how CAN it happen ?
Ludicrous questions can even sound slightly academic, when the obvious is mordantly evicted from having any part in one's thought.
The spirit of man is the name given to the basics of personality, individuality, will, imagination, capacity for disparity from or conformity to logic, deliberate adventure of mind or body, or cowardice, resolution or rejection, honesty or trickiness, the whole direction of the paraphernalia of body and brain, to this or that end. It is subordinate to the Spirit of God, who having the infinite liberty of no constraints, yet gives to it, as we have seen, this image-of-God, derivative but evocative opportunity. It is in his spirit that man has consciousness, using indeed the physical equipment given, as a pianist the piano. To be sure, the piano is more obvious than the mind, heart and spirit, inspiration and aspiration of the pianist, and it is a profoundly useful piece of musical equipment, but it does not at all generate the music, any more than the fingers do. They serve. That is all.
As to his conscience (cf. News 19), and the rigors of righteousness, the imbuements of the font for the spirit of man from the first, and the background in its Maker: deviations from these things are by freedom enabled, and conscience is an attestation, like a spiritual species of pain, a super-psychic awareness of evil, one however mangled by misuse, bruised by indifference or ruined by cultural invasions, in type, in some perhaps like sagging springs, yet one that is still there. Even Lady Macbeth could not evict it, nor could psychiatry control its guilt, moving to chemicals to chain the modes of the conditions.
It is these things invisible to the mere sensory equipment, a thing in its own domain, which though often open, can become mandatory to cover what equipment is able at times to implement. The visible is a form of expression; the invisible is the domain of directives not in mere law or program, though these may be included, but in the preludes, interludes and call of vision, understanding and penetration past format, into the heart of life (cf. It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls, Ch. 9).
However, our concern mainly here is consciousness, these considerations, an aspect of that, and to this we return.
Two excerpts follow to allow thought and orientation to be realistic. The first, marked in red, AFTER is taken from Afterburner, Afterglow and Afterwards Ch. 1, and the second, marked in red, GOODNESS, is from Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 2.
Consciousness is not some stream whether of atoms or thoughts or culture or hope. Its various possible contents are not what it is, but what it conveys, like any other entity made in specifiable form. Its results are relevant to what it is; but not the same. Its functions help to define it, but are not identical with what it is. Doing is part; being is part, and they relate, but they are not identical.
Consciousness may contain thought, or its dispersion, order or its disruption, reason or its distemper. It is susceptible to both aspects in each case. But these are not what it is, but that of which it treats.
Human consciousness is an orientative facility which like sight, may become disorientated. In this, it is like a compass, with power to point, but susceptibility to be disappointing, though always for a reason, if this be the case.
Consciousness is similarly, not determinative. It does not act as lord of one's life. It is however greatly facilitative. It enables awareness of occurrences within, without, above, below, of marvels, of sorrows, of griefs and of gladnesses, and often of the reasons. In this, however, it is not simply inert, as if the eye were beholding what is there, more or less accurately. It is inhabited not only by content, but by content cursors, which enable focus on features, functions, within or without, below or above. This may be well done or poorly, and become helpful or a hindrance to purpose
Consciousness gives scope for the manufacture, consideration and variation of purpose, and challenge to the same.
In short, consciousness is the TV which possesses many channels, but is not in itself a channel. The channels are available for consultation, but that is but one function of consciousness.
This collaborative, conceptual, imaginative, evaluative, perceptive, inspective facility is the street address of the person concerned. It is the focus for thought, tablet for perception, exhibitor of ideas, whatever their source. In it,man has a console to consult, a composer to consider, a graphic, dull or vivid carry-bag of considerations which reach up and down to the controllable to the uncontrollable, to things mighty in significance, or midget in mission.
Consciousness is the appointed way to consider appointment or disappointment, the exhibit of thought, the manifester of will, the parade ground of ideas, the experient of wars of attrition from temptation, where the specialised phase of conscience is at work, this an arm of personality, and its parade ground. Back of it, lies scope for deep thought, which may be summoned without requiring it at all times to be articulated, while it is working in the background.
It not only perceives, but relates to sensor, and in this, it enables review to be imposed on it by will, for a purpose, and things visible and invisible, beyond it or before it, to be considered openly, ready for assessment or investment alike.
It is not a part of a brain, or a nerve, or a neurological system, though it can use all of these, just as a tape recording is not a part of an opera star, say her throat, or head, or ambience. It is a diligent recording of RESULTS of the occurrence, without the slightest awareness of or contribution to the production of the same. Genesis and gyration are not the same.
SCOPE AND HINTERLAND
Consciousness is available for much, but in itself, bound to nothing except the limits and criteria of its own nature. This is not of a material kind, though it can both view and review matter, being beyond it in contemplative power and irruptive capacity. It is used to subordinate matter, but can be embarrassed by it, since the person is set in a matrix of much which is physical, the consciousness of which can be clear and impelling, or confused and dispelling to urbanity.
The kind of conceptual power found in consciousness is in the orb of the logical-voluntary-irruptive-personal-purposive. That is its nature. In fact, it is its explicit nature and efforts to bury it in something else are not merely the folly of reductionism, but of perversion. It is what it is, and material criteria are not that, just as an aeroplane is not the ground on which it sits, or for that matter, assorted bits or contributions. It has a manifest and statable purpose, securable through its functions, and this has nothing to do with the nature of the bits per se, provided. These are subordinated by plan, articulated by purpose, built from imagination and exhibit what is behind them just as utility and futility come from purposes in general, means procured, inured or directed as the case may be.
Beyond consciousness is the power to survey, which may be found active in it, to purpose, which may arrest it, and imagination, which may grip it. The gripping is not, however, what is gripped. The functions are not the entrants, but the site for treatment. The nature of the human person is what consciousness tends to exhibit, for it is here that the forces and purposes, both inscribed and inscribing, both as received and as worked out, are on display. It may be distorted by desire, so that it may even appear that something is so when it is not. It may be distorted, like a face from a fist, when d desire is seeking to direct it, clandestinely or openly. From many sources come its components in composition; but it is no grab bag. It is a site for conflict or concussion, contempt or conclusion.
Because of its many sending contributors, and amending powers, its facilities and potential imbecilities, wards of desire, whether misconceived or mutinous, consciousness is vulnerable. It is not merely so as is a TV if it be vigorously shaken, but if subtle changes are made in its configuration. Nor is this all. It may be disturbed by assault on its memory banks, lodged in the brain, just as might a tape be compromised by excessive heat, for the simple reason that the receptors are not made to withstand that. There is nothing mysterious about it.
In considering a functionality it is necessary to consider a number of features, if one wants comprehensive knowledge of it. Thus there is, as above, the consideration of its facilities, types of input, modes of deployment and response, scope for purpose and so on. Then there is its mode of entry into existence, its genesis, and next the cause of that. If there is fudged confusion about this, because of desire, as is common, then the (relatively) simple becomes complex and the readily resolvable becomes immune to comprehension. Such is normal in any scientific or organised enquiry. It is so, for example, in the current debate about the arrival of our earth and of our lives.
Shrink the evidence and you shrink (your awareness of) the realities. This is shown simply at the outset in SMR pp. 140ff., for example, with The Original ... Chs. 4 and 10, Agitation, Cogitation ... Chs. 1 and 8 and multitudinously thereafter, as in the list below, for example.
Dig Deeper ... Ch. 1, Ch. 2,
Deity and Design, 2 and 8.
Possess Your Possessions Volume 7, Ch. 1, esp. *1A, (PP), PP Volume 12, Ch. 6,
The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God Ch. 2, Ch. 7 (words, works, wit), Ch. 6,
Ch. 1 (review reductionisms, matter, mind and spirit),
Calibrating Myths ... Ch. 2 (machining mind, avoiding mindless machinations),
Stepping Out for Christ, Ch. 8 (dialogue),
Not Only is God Great, but Glorious Ch. 5, esp. *2,
SMR Ch. 4, Extension,
The gods of naturalism have no go! 20 (dialogue), cf. PP Volume 9, Ch. 2,
Op. cit. 36 (day-dreaming and nano-fragment), 37, 21
Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 8 (includes Davies, Mark 2),
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 7, dialogue, gospel application, Ch. 6 (moron),
Ch. 4 (versified with multiple exposures of naturalism),
Redemption or Revolt, Chs. 5 and 7,
1504 (The Bible ... Ch. 4),
One Only but Not Alone ... Ch. 9 (dialogue, includes slavation and trinity),
History, Review and Overview Chs. 4 (multiple exposures), 5,
The Defining Drama Ch. 3 (includes work about Genesis 1, and Reference to Let God be God Ch. 12, covering some recent mouthings contrary to the word of God infesting where it has no place),
Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 9 (words of no mean import about nothing),
Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service Ch. 5 (includes Hartnett), Ch. 3,
Cascade of Mercy, Torrent of Truth Ch. 6 (pointed),
Hallowed be Thy Name, Ch. 8 (father and son),
Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 2
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6, Ch. 4,
Ch. 2 (variety of quotations),
The Desire of the Nations ... Ch. 2 Epilogue (angelic conversations), Ch. 2 (dialogue),
Sums, Summits and in Sum Ch. 12 (wide-ranging dialogue).
Agitation, Cogitation, Aspiration and Conclusion Ch. 1 (stupour and the stupendous, creation and creativity), and Ch. 8, a dialogue on dynamics, form and function.
ESSENTIALISING THE BREADTH
AND CONCEPTUALISING THE HEIGHTS
However, when these things are re-organised and faced scientifically, by scientific method, and logically, then there is an answer for the vulnerability of consciousness, both in theory and in practice. Answers are always relevant, and the more so when no other option is present.
Man's spirit is equipment for consideration, ramification, appreciation, volition, purpose, comprehension, composure, and of course the various diseases which afflict it, just as they do the body. As with the body, this is often for the most obvious of reasons, including intemperance, listlessness, forlorn indifference and other asthenic or super-vital thrusts of loose laxity or inane ambition as the case may be.
It deals with things logical, spiritually stratospheric, in the bases of spirit, and spiritually debased, as in selling its very powers for some one pleasure or desire that demands satisfaction, long or short term. Its domain is conceptual as well as perceptive, imaginative as well as purposive. Moreover, its facility in finding the logos order of the universe ready for matching with the logical order of the mind it deploys, is both gstark and remarkable.
Its place is subordinate; its powers can make it seem inordinate. The confusion, wilful or otherwise, between the two contains in a capsule much of the mischief of human history, right from the very first (Genesis 3).
It loves to exalt itself to the heavens (concerning which it can in its own way, assuredly deal) or to pretend it is mere earth (though the earth was never so earthy), being ready to be angelic or devilish, ultruistic or sadistic.
Its limits are as normal with man - enough to enable vast enterprises, and to cancel even competence at a stroke. Its volatility is met by its vulnerability. Like all designs in this world (cf. Deity and Design ... Sections 2 and 8, The Divine Sublimity ...Ch.2), it is subject to attrition, and unlike some, to contrition, having access to the sublime and the infernal, to its construction as to its destruction.
When its genesis is made subject to irrationality, and it pretends itself a lost cause, or a pseudo-divine one, at odd times or in oscillation, being confused, naturally there is a trend to dependence on mazes of inchoate thought, or physical medicaments, medical drugs which displace psycho-analysis and its expense and dubious reputation, on this or that in confusion as a brother; and this not a little (cf. SMR Ch. 4). There is a sense of triviality, bathos or cynicism (cf. SMR Ch. 3 ): a certain rawness may even enter, a dyspepsia of the spirit, confined instead of sublime, denatured instead of redeemed. This is as with any disease, a sad and in this case, a wilting thing, leading to endless literature and non-gliterati literati. Despite the profundity of such sorrows however (and who better than Dostoevsky among the novelists to depict them in their delusive horror)., this disease is dispensable. It requires reality as with most disorientations.
So too thought is given meaning, not for erratic, erotic, despotic dynamics of self-contradictory mis-splendour, vainglorious and unvictorious in all touched: but for the reasonable, the cogent, the wise and the sure-footed paths which lead to God, and then with His word secure, from Him to applications and deployments, services and mercies innumerable, lustrous with undivided light.
In Chapter 1 above (*2A), we considered the methods of discovery and the domains of discovery, all features of spirit's overview and phases of its labour, and available essays in application by which its work is done. It is simply dysfunctional to disregard what does the labour, performs the function, achieves the result in a multiply structured, intimately inter-related fashion,
Empirically these realities have been available for thousands of years, have populated literature and intruded themselves, now in this, now in that approach, over the turbulent centuries, even in millenia past. It is easy to be so intent on measuring trees that you forget they are there, have long been there, and that your pre-occupation with quantity is merely an almost hypnotic phase, valuable perhaps in some ways, but grossly inflated.
Conscience, recharged beyond sin, and through salvation, now re-finds the will and the word, the law and the lessons of God, and becomes not a changeable will-o'-the-wisp, with much atmosphere but unreliable light, but a morally mandated mission, to help correct man's waywardness and guide his journeyings. It needs, to be sure, not a little re-calibration as truth detects its distortions over the years; but its operation is now not only meaningful but as useful as brakes, respecting the need to be valiant for the truth.
Majesty, felt in the spirit of man as an almost elemental thing, instead of being visited on often disgraceful kings and queens (and Charles Dickens excoriates many of them! in his work for the young on the history of England), as if by divine right, becomes a lustre of light, given meaning in God whose it is. Meanwhile, it is given meek responsibility in man, definitively expressed in Christ*3 , who having all power, suffered crucifixion to secure redemption. Now for man, justice and equity, love and grace, vision and victory within are chief attributes of majesty. Better have control over your own spirit, says Proverbs, than take a city!
Praise becomes not an implement of competition, and self-advancement through its judicious bestowal, the better to survive and bring deceit, vanity or desire to perfection, but rather a response to what is near to the elemental wonders of God, and finds grace from these, so that men should rejoice in the attainments of ANY ONE, whose flight of spirit, use of mind and action of body bring together something of the aura of light, the depth of love and the manifestation of wisdom, drawn from God Himself.
In short, when the spirit of man is where it belongs, and is not trying to find bits and pieces, all through illicit reductionism, itself really an example of anti-empirical passion, with here some inexplicable consciousness, here some erratic morality, there some mutable range for the beautiful, there some delirious misrepresented guise for the dutiful, if by any means man's sense of right might be misdirected into doing wrong dutifully: then*4 reality abounds and reason is rewarded, then righteousness flourishes and wisdom rejoices.
Then there is meaning in all things, integration of all the aspects and understanding for that functionality, the spirit of man, in its ontological reality.
See for example SMR Ch. 9, Joyful Jottings 22-25.
The volumes noted in *11 above show a broad exposure of this fact, with system and oversight of topic. The structure of SMR, after identifying the Bible in Ch. 1, deals at length with many areas and arenas of verification, confirmation, attestation and brooding application as the time comes to fulfilment. This current chapter like Ch. 4 of the preceding volume, and Predestination and Freewill, shows the fact that without the Biblical provision there is no way even liberty for man can be founded. Determinism has no basis for law (or anything else ultimately cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7), while voluntarism has no means of obtaining truth for willing, as distinct from desire for reacting, without God. It becomes a matter of mere captivity of will to response, of criteria without truth and option for it.
Will may heave on that inferior basis, with some freedom to do as it will, but not to will as it will: will captive, contained, meaningless on that model.
In fact, God only CAN and does provide freedom according to His word and our deliberations, immersed in guilt and not always unfounded accusations to which often enough, many are sensitive because they recognise the justice of them (though of course, often this is not so). It is the principle here that counts. A new man, in Christ, instead of a spoiled one, in sin, being on offer, and the freedom being enabled by God from the first, and implemented to the last, you may then gain what sin first blinded you from seeing in your fallen estate. In His wisdom and grace, a man may then even become able to discern what is not seen by unsolicited eyes, when God having chosen each of His own before sin tamed man (Ephesians 1:4), now in truth, opens eyes without prejudice, man moving this way or that (cf. Hebrews 6:5). Some even taste the powers of the world to come, we read, but they do not swallow. They may play but do not pray, and may seem to ghost raid heaven, only to find ashes as in a broken helicopter raid.
But God as in love, freely imparts to those who have desired it, the reality of returning where your captive will could not take you, so overcoming the impasse. It cost the earth; and the earth is no more the home of those saved by God, nor will it even endure, this vast scene of tragedy and triumph, the last the best (II Peter 3, Matthew 24:35). Anyone in reality desiring God cannot fail to find Him, since the provision is eternal, and the door is open (John 10:9). That is not only favourable to man, but fair, not only gracious and not dominating, but beautiful in tenderness.
That is not all.
With this freedom, comes responsibility, and with that justice and meaning. To that impasse before the God of comfort and liberty, law and truth, the Gospel comes as the summary of the trouble and the answer to the necessity, leading on to the perspective for penetration and resolution of the nature of man, that of 'nature, the universe, destiny, desire, intellect, reason and sovereignty, for example.
See on this underlying, undergirding, meaning-creating love of God the following, on this site.
SMR Appendix B, and
ANCIENT WORDS : MODERN DEEDS Ch. 8,
GREAT EXECRATIONS ... GREATER GRACE Chs. 7 and 9,
BEAUTY OF HOLINESS, Ch. 2,
GLOW ...Chs. 1, 4, 8,
SMR Appendix B,
THE UNCOMPREHENDING DARKNESS AND THE SELF-REVEALING LIGHT Ch. 11
THE CHRISTIAN PILGRIMAGE FROM GRACE TRIUMPHANT TO FACE DIVINE Ch. 3, including Appendix;
HOW GREAT IS THE GOD WE ADORE Ch. . 3, 3 Epilogue.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN Ch. 3;
TO KNOW GOD, THE POWER OF CHRIST'S RESURRECTION
AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, Ch. 7,
(a very broad coverage of many issues with emphasis on the core and uniqueness of it, Peter an expository pivot, Christ the pearl), also Ch. 1;
HOW GREAT IS THE GOD WE ADORE, Ch. 3, 3 Epilogue.
KEYS TO THE COMFORT OF THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST ... Ch. 7,
HAPLESS HITCHES ... AND DIVINE DEALINGS Ch. 2 ,
THE OPEN DOOR, THE CLOSED MIND AND THE CALL OF CHRIST Ch. 1. 1492.
See the separate volume: Licence for Liberty.
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A
Here are found misconceptions about the Cross, with variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran.
See Galatians 1:4, II Timothy 4:10 and Titus 2:12. In the first of these, it is called, even more descriptively, "this present evil world."
The plaint is sad here in Hosea. The more God called Israel in their many sites to Himself, the more they went from Him... Such was the poignancy, as practised perhaps billions of times by many since.
.See the volume, The Kingdom of Heaven.