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FOUNDED ON THE BIBLE,
PURGED FROM DISRUPTIVE ERROR
as in Ch. 6,
THERE IS A TIME OF PROSPERITY
FOR BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS,
SO PRAISE THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD!
His Word does the Works of Wisdom,
just as it gives the Ways of Wit
May 27, 2011,
Creation Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 33, 2011
THE FIDELITY OF THE WORD OF GOD IS INTENSE,
BUT CARE MUST BE CORRELATIVE
Note that this insistence on fidelity to the word of God, which God has made to have fidelity to truth by His own power (I Cor. 2:9-13, II Timothy 3:16, I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 2:19ff., Matthew 5:17ff., Isaiah 34:16ff.), releases Biblical Christian Apologetics (BCA) into its true splendour of opportunity. It is like offering a Boeing 737, when the only competition is a pushbike with flat tyres. What the Bible actually depicts, denotes and declares removes the ridiculous log-jam which so many seem to invent in one way or another, in Calvinism, Arminianism, synergism and Pelagianism, for example, from the wonder of the predestinative provision from God. Biblical foreknowledge and predestination, however, It is not a vulnerability but a virtue, not an enslavement, but an access, not a gloom but a guarantee*1.
There are many ways to befoul the Bible by failure to follow it, but following it except in this particular leaves splinters from the log jam caused by this arrest of its provisions, and so a delightful resultant. ALL the ways of the Lord are good, and there is neither in Him, iniquity nor any variation of His merciful disposition, nor any ground. We may be tested, but that is a sound provision as we consider later, and not a glitch, nor does it alter His steadfast love.
Thus where is the match, as the purely practical level, for this which the Bible presents. Its reasonableness is extraordinary, unique. The word of God has neither peer nor near partner, but wholly pure amid pollution, it is quite simply what God has to say to this race from the reservoirs of truth by the testimony of power and knowledge, in the massif of His love, overshadowing it.
To follow this, His word, amid the jangling of man's attempts and tirades, it is like being released in some vast forest of glades and waterfalls, wending brooks and scattered flowers, amid nectars and gentleness, with oaks aplenty and areas where blue skies look down amid the shades. On our present investigation of it, then, what does it tell us ?
THE RATIONALE IS BEYOND COMPARISON
There is the Creator. We do not lack His signature in the commands in our genetic structure, just as it is stated, it began with HIS WORD. The word is obvious (cf. Romans 1:17ff.). It is not always admired, but stultification is also here shown, and its reasons, and it is in man that it is to be found, in this sphere.
There is the sin, which is likewise prominent, with scenes such as those of Stalin's murdered millions (for a better world of course), those of Mao (for the good of the people, who rule as a dictatorship, never so forlorn, of course), Hitler's machinations to make a better and a governed world, minus some of the most intelligent ghoulishly despatched, plus desired colour features, murdering his own chosen millions for such a bounty, a world to be delightful, as Russian slaves would minister to the master race, a dream reported of Himmler. There are smaller scenes of drunken government, women with breasts shaved off in Syria, people given sex-arousal drugs to rape the better, in order that someone in Libya, it seems, might rule a little longer. In World War I, many a poor and natural soldier, English or German, could scarcely contain the wonder that these nice brotherly people had to be killed. Someone, somehow had set them against each other.
Sin, in divorces and rages, in cheating and theft, white or blue collar, in assaults as from the specialised Chinese Brigade, which seeks to rape the sites of other people in order ... to do what ? to make peace ? Scarcely. There is reported a specialist core of select, advanced workers to secure such ... prominent invasion, power to attack and to defend, to ruin and to rupture. It has been likened to a ping-pong dual, as if an electronic rapier thrust were some game. The Australian, May 27,2011 has this to report:
CHINA has admitted for the first time that it had poured massive investment into the formation of a 30-strong commando unit of cyberwarriors - a team supposedly trained to protect the People's Liberation Army from outside assault on its networks.
While the unit, known as the "Blue Army", is nominally defensive, the revelation is likely to confirm the worst fears of governments across the globe who already suspect that their systems and secrets may come under regular and co-ordinated Chinese cyberattack.
In a chilling reminder of China's potential cyberwarfare capabilities, a former PLA general told The Times that the unit had been drawn from an exceptionally deep talent pool.
"It is just like ping-pong. We have more people playing it, so we are very good at it," he said.
While in depth attacks are attributed to China, it is reported, on many bases outside its shores, it is hard to distinguish this from theft and assault, normal modes operative in war. It surges in the Middle East, and urges from the East, ravages in Africa and seeks to molest perhaps millions in the Sudan.
Again, we are aware amid the gamut of the nations, and within them, of sin in unfaithfulness politically, domestically, academically, of vengeance and envy, of slaughter of reputations for personal advancement, of the whole gamut of gamesmanship, where the spirit of competition as in a race, can degenerate into another failed component, ruthless war to get to the top!
Sin spreads like mould.
So sin is met by the God who created.
He made with wisdom, staggeringly attested*2 (cf. The Lie Has a Limited Shelf-Life Ch. 1, ), and then, having structured salvation from the domain of sin by wisdom, He acted. It was just the same in action, by word to command creation, and by word to despatch the eternal Word of God to secure salvation. There is nothing of the arm-chair about it: it is work!
This He did with courage and the beauty of holiness, bearing the brunt of it in order to present a free and cleansed sheet to the miserable offenders - a gift to those not thinking they confer honour on God by stooping to pick up His gift, but those who REPENT.
He took hold, before history, to find His own people, where such love would be received, and before any Fall of man, had His accounts in order, even those also where payment was placed into unresisting accounts, for pardon's cost. What He did in mind, He translated into fact, having minded the mode of man from the first, knowing full well what man in His image is, and not even violating the sanctity of the human situation, which in essence and principle allowed alignment for or against God, as against many other things.
He presented the Gospel in history, that man, whether individual or nation, in the form of woman or child, tribe or task-force, could receive pardon and by power. Such at the unlimited level required, was exhibited in the personal resurrection of the body of Christ, following His own resurrection of Lazarus, a prelude, and exemplar and ground of a good resurrection for those justified by grace through faith.
There is no raid here; for the hypocrite is exposed (as in Isaiah 33, Matthew 7:21ff.), and the simple are saved, in whom faith is not mixed awry with the wine of intoxication, whether of philosophy, or misplaced theology, of false prophets or frauds, distillate of chemical foxes or wandering wolves. It is a provision, like the cells in the cortex*1 . It is obtained by divine work, given by divine grace and those who receive it constitute a new race, reconstituted from the ravages of sin, regenerated to become children of God (Titus 2-3, I John 3, John 3).
In sin, man is so stricken, that no animal could begin to imitate his wantonness, madness and pride. Indeed a cursed world has in it the very mockery of man, who wilfully often imagines he surges to his own destiny by chance, as creator, by nothing as initiator, and by ultra-moronic non-intellect as the guiding light. He dreams, but reality does not dream; and the two interact like vast ocean currents, making whirl-pools which drag to the depths.
In salvation, man is so enlightened that the entirety of truth opens up, now in outline and in principle, covering every case with light, every issue with resolution, ready for its pregnancy to bring the child of delight, when the Lord returns to claim what He has reclaimed, and bring to the place which He has prepared, those who have been prepared for it (John 14).
Sin and shame, sham and worry, fiascos and flurry stir the world, like bubbling oil, spilling over, till some attack others, many grow tense, horrid sights unreel, earthquakes erupt, hunger surges, over-eating splurges, and the earth becomes for many a vast concentration camp as far as they are concerned, while places like Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Libya, India, China, Afghanistan. numerous sections of Africa, yes and even some Pacific Islands have contention, convections of swirling psyches, immersed in ambition, intrigue, unrest and a restlessness born of ignoring the only place where rest for such magnificent creations as man, soul, mind, spirit and body, can be found.
It is bloody with appalling sacrifices of many to power lust, blood boil and mind delusion, in many places; but it is in spirit and intent, not far different in many more restrained places, where man wonder at their tensions and trials (cf. Luke 21). The evil has come and is found because it has, like man, been founded. It has ground. The curse causeless will not come, says Proverbs 26:2.
Not to curb, but to deliver, the Lord acted, planned, programmed, pursued and performed all necessary (cf. Micah 5:1-3, John 1-3). The Lord having come, has made it clear who He is, on all sides with power and peace and precision about the propositions in the Bible which the Messiah had to, and did fulfil, thus confirming the identikit, enabling man to know if he cared to do so, and so to come where this action had its remedy ready.
This same Messiah, Jesus Christ, coming at the date predicted centuries before (cf. Christ the Citadel... Ch. 2), had His own words supplementing those of the Old Testament (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9); and now both of these are being fulfilled with the speed and impact of a giant steam-roller, careering downhill through minor trees, smashed like match-sticks.
The entire globe is being treated with two massive ingredients: mercy and judgment, the latter aroused, arising like a storm-cloud as foretold (cf. the principle of it, in Amos 4, the strength of it in Revelation 6-9, 13, 17). While these things issue invitation to thought, many disdain it as foretold (cf. Revelation 9:20-21), that increasing the sense of cyclotron acceleration in the products of the curse (Galatians 3). Despite the wonder of the way of God to overcome the blight, it is thus merely increased.
Yet the same unchanged mercy, from the God who for this, His creation, delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:19ff.), continually invites man.
Truth is vindicated; repentance is indicated; the way is not hidden by prevarications, but often misted out by the turmoil from indecisive philanderings with philosophy and catholicity of taste, which is quite useless when the issue is as clear as boarding, or not boarding, an aircraft of escape.
THE MIND MUST WORK IF YOU WANT CONFIRMATION
NOT SIMPLY LURCH INTO EMOTIONAL LAPSES
The Bible reminds us of such things as it makes reference to the ark (I Peter 3:19ff.), offered, but not believed in, used and sealed, delivering for a rescued world. Few entered. Long was the opportunity. Much would be the mockery. Was there not land about, and hence why a ship for non-water ? So it would appear. But laughter is not wisdom, when reality is not perceived.
Now the case is overpoweringly obvious. Indeed, this time, it is for a matter of restoration to the Lord who died and rose again that He might rule over all: and who wants the dictators and frauds of this earth, the clever scoundrels and the impressive rogues, whether as leader or as assistant, bravely secured in hideously high salaries, or plied with secretly selfish accounts, while spouting ideas, pretending ideals, when not breaching faith, and raiding their own lands!
The assault is not only physical, as in our own poor land, itself increasingly like a September 11 disaster scene, as marriage is proposed for same gender participants, and God is increasingly deposed with a certain lack-lustre indifference, as though you could play games with Him. Often done elsewhere, the temper and tempo of our own decline, with children in this State, taught myths by force, not by reason, and disallowed in their science, to retort, is mere symbol and symptom of renegacy from a better beginning, in a better name, as is noted in the Preamble to our Constitution.
There God Almighty is the sponsor of the land, so singularly blessed. Now movement from this to the naturalistic fallacy is more and more under way, as the place is eyed as by a lynx, for scavenging should it fall. Perhaps some other race made our land, and owns it ? Perhaps you take a sports car you find, and it is yours for that reason ? There is no end to the fatuity of opportunity, as people grasp as a dying man for water, at ANYTHING to distance the God of majesty, who owns all by creation, and saves some by invitation: yet one made to all.
This is typical. It not here alone, even amid the less violent nations.
Decline in spirit and truth, in reliability and restraint, it moves like that in a TB patient, not so very fast, not so very slow, but inexorably, when the cure is ignored and the disease is even venerated, as symbolically it is here and in many lands.
This is the biblical prognosis for sin uncured, by stultifying defiance and suppression of the truth, a procedure typical in principle in man (as in Romans 1:17ff.). This is traced out in such passages as this, and is occurring as if in a physics experiment. On all sides the folly of sin, the work of faith, the gift of grace and the scenario of salvation, with the lip of damnation pouting, is to be seen. The cyclotron is hot. It proceeds for the biblical cause noted, in the manner described in advance, with the results foretold. While man becomes treasonable, seeking unity without the Lord, or with another lord, or to be lordless, like a cordless telephone without battery, or with nature as if awareness of the collateral could substitute for the reality of the Creator of both, God remains reasonable.
It is not only foretold. What would you expect!
Where is the trouble then, and why the discord with the much placarded divine reality ? Is there fairness, something laid into our own structure, so that people go to enormous lengths when they feel this is not maintained, or that injustice is done ? Yes, there is; for the only way to find eternal separation from the God of all grace and of salvation, is to pass by the free remedy shown in revelation, vindicated in history, personalised in Jesus Christ, and to rely on oneself or one's appointees other than God. The divergence from need is in that case infinite, and the loss matches this. There is trouble, but with the reason for it all. That is clear as the streams that bask in sunshine as they gently move down from the heights, and present pellucidity that is profound.
To be finally condemned, you not only sin, but reject the remedy (directly or indirectly as before the all-knowing and utterly searching God, operative with the motivation of launching salvation with love for the world). This must be done in such a way that it is not merely circumstantial, as at a confused incident, but to fulfil the specifications of John 15:22ff. IF, said Christ, you had not HEARD and SEEN the unique things He had done, then they would not have "had sin", that is ground of judgment in the context. Now ? no excuse. Those are the conditions in that mode or the equivalent. That is the model ? And so ? Complaint ? for what. It is a prodigy of purposeful love.
What then of the cost, correlative to the loss ? Is it expected that such steps from the Saviour were of small value!
With such elevation as man has, such loss as awaits him is the reverse side of reversing from the Lord, in painful follies of absurd imaginations. One might as well run into a light pole with fury and assurance, as proceed without the Lord. In spirit; and it resembles what would be the case, in intellect, if one decided to do without most of the brain, being weary of it!
Where is mercy then ? It is freely available in Christ. But how can a person be judged for having a worse upbringing than someone else and showing it in conduct ? Quite easily: for if the person, in the foreknowledge of God, as in the structure and stricture of history in due time, rejects the Lord, then the mercy being without limit, and the regeneration offered being without tasking, there is no loss. He was here, in sin; he is there, in salvation with "all things" provided (Romans 8:32). Is this not enough ? There is more than one way of proceeding, once rescued in salvation, but there is one image of God in man, to which he is restored (Colossians 3:10). There are many gifts which God gives; but there is one salvation in which each individual is brought to the gates of grace, and dowered with the very presence of God, infinitely beyond all creation has to offer, and the basis for living effectively within it.
But if man's sacred freedom is to be voided by a divine compulsion how is this either free, or fair or even meaningful ?
It is not, however, so voided. Such a voiding it is not what happens biblically, where the verified and validated word of God is to be found (as in
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY).
Your freedom is preserved in this, that before the Fall of man, before the elements of contention and invention and profusion and delusion and illusion were differentially to be found, over the generations, God did the choosing of His own. His people were, each one, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, says Ephesians 1:4. That is what we are looking at, in the biblical model; not something else.
HOW He did it, we have discussed above, by divine knowledge, NOT based on performance; it was all done in divine understanding, apart from the differential works of man and before the Fall. Some want him, when the freedom given is used; some do not. Accordingly some, the same ones, have Him, and those not so disposed, do not. Beyond sin and circumstance, God foreknows, and ensures the result accords with truth, as He in His love, so profound and unprejudicial, has shown.
It is fair. It is just. It is merciful, and not one who cannot stand God and Christians and Churches and the Bible, and imposed morals, and ways of operating the equipment given, and discipline, and standards of conduct, and love for the Creator and for one's neighbour as oneself, in his own life and being, needs to toe the line in some monstrous boot-camp, as the unregenerate may conceive it to be! NONE is commandeered, though none, equally, makes contribution of merit, apparent or implied. The work is His, the glory is His, even the fouling of man's mind in sin, is removed from tainting the truth of the operation. God thus knows who are His, where His love reaches, and it is with this sweep and scope in view that anyone is to be lost. THIS therefore is the condemnation for preferring not-God, darkness. Many take it. Having no lord but what you prefer can seem fun; but as in all reality, there more than fun to it. It is an awesome responsibility, and one where there are no mistakes made.
You may even take parts of the biblical prescription, to taste, rejecting some, and of course so reject the manual's wisdom, and the word of God (John 12:48-50), or this in various combinations of a individual kind. This is then your own innovation, and you can attempt to live by it, here and later, if you wish. It is an option, your own crusade, code and power. You are free to try it. The preference is available, and though much hangs on it, it is there to take (John 3:19).
What then of those who reject the mouth and the remedy, the word and the way of God, to make in part or in whole their own resolution ? They are free to wander where wonder takes them, free of the care of their Creator, of the love of the Lord, of the deliverance He provides, the discipline of the beauty of holiness and the development from the divine dynamic, listed for the Christian life. Never need they subordinate themselves to anything. To be sure, their sin, which is the sponsor of the movement, otherwise called rebellion, like that of a thinking car against its manufacturer, jars; but you cannot make God, only leave Him for your own sake, or that of your appointed made-up guardians.
Certainly, their sins, those who discard the Lord, here on the grand scale, will subordinate them; but even so, it will be THEIR OWN chosen sin. Other sins may intrude, like bacterial infections and viral plagues; but then these relate to the special sins they value, and have a certain, if decreasingly obvious, relationship to their now barren estate. They went their own way, trusting in it, or themselves, or appointees. So be it. That is the way. They are warned but not forced.
Salvation in mercy is there. The Saviour is there, once dead but now alive for evermore (Revelation 1:18ff.).
This is securely available. He is ready. It is this which may be chosen (John 3:19). It is Christ personally to whom one is positively invited to come (John 5:39ff., Matthew 22:1-14), and indeed He searches.
Where is the problem with that ?
Sin brings suffering, and men exploit its possibilities increasing, with a reckless abandon, as with a check-list savagery that astounds, appals and give pause to horror. They then suffer the more. Is it wrong for someone making a practice of ignoring the specifications for running the given life, to suffer for the irresponsibility ?
Why ? Is it not just ? But you want mercy ? Good, it is as of now, immediately available on application to the Prince of Peace and Commander Jesus Christ. You have to get to know Him, as with any other employer, if you want to serve Him; but what is so difficult about that ? and this is the more so since biblically - and we are speaking of its offering, He created you. It is He Himself, the Word of God, eternal and expressive totally of the God Himself who made you. It is no oddity, strange person, devious brigand, subtle politician, untrustworthy bureaucrat. It is God with whom you deal direct. For my part, I would in such a matter as that, trust NO ONE ELSE.
It is in the
form of Deity that He, who came as Jesus Christ, was from the first; and
between Himself and God there was no disparity (Philippians 2, cf. John 8:58).
In Him then, you deal with no bustling bureaucrat, or top-heavy functionary, nor
one whose works stop with words. The Cross was work! Its antecedents were
intense labour, whether in healing or confrontation, in challenge or in
necessary power, wrought in poverty, reclaiming riches, giving grace (cf. II
TRIALS ARE NOT ONLY OF AIRCRAFT IN
BUT OF EACH ONE OF US: IS THIS THEN INTOLERABLE!
Salvation brings trials, that is true; you can read about it for example in the book of Acts, or I Peter 4. But what is the rational trouble there, for God is most reasonable! There is no place where He is not (cf. Let us be Reasonable, for God is). To be sure, He deals with the treacherous and the treasonable, but that too, it is most understandable, posing no problem for comprehension. Treachery makes its way to overturn, and since there is nothing outside God, which has His wisdom, pity, knowledge or adequate capacity, it must itself be overturned (cf. Ezekiel 21:27).
It is however, even at that, this treachery against God, given enormous licence just to show where it ends! Think how long Judas had! Israel is a magnificent example of where it ends, and you have only to study its history briefly, to discover that (cf. Red Alert Ch.10, Journey to God Ch. 6, SMR Ch. 8). At that, sad though this is, God has a triumphant end to the whole matter of Israel, to be brought back to its point of demission of deity with the work of Calvary, like any other being or body, and alone there able to find Him, by the same repentance as all need, and with the same result for many at that day (cf. Zechariah 12:10-13:1, Romans 11).
What is the difficulty about test ? It is like having a fine aircraft, given its trials. Does not a strong man rejoice to run in a race ? But here, it is even better than that, for if you become weak, through challenge, test or trial, then the "bruised reed" like the "smoking flax" has its special care, as from a nurse, the very image used by the apostle Paul (I Thess. 2:7). Is not II Corinthians 1 an example of the nature of the Lord's provision for those whom He has purchased, when floundering in trouble ? Once redeemed, a person is His then twice over! from creation and redemption and great is His faithfulness (cf. Romans 8:33ff., II Timothy 1:8ff., Ephesians 1:11, Matthew 20:28, Galatians 3, I Corinthians 6:15).
If you love God, then what is the trouble about serving Him ? For my part, I delight in serving Him because He is Himself, delightful and faithful, just and merciful, reliable and reasonable, leading with largesse to the mind and the spirit, trying with developmental exercises, challenging when one is wrong, disciplining when necessary, near in trouble, overpowering to what prevents and enabling to what is required for His service, able to move mountains, and willing to act for those who wait for Him (Isaiah 64:5). These are not only promises and premises for living for the Christian, but applications more sure than any crutch for the broken leg, or any financial security in the bluest of chips: these indeed are things found out in experience as written out in promise.
Is it too hard
to live for eternity ? Is it to be a challenge to the entire reasonableness and
wisdom of the ways of God, that someone does not want to HAVE to live forever,
because it is too long, and the burden or distress of things would at the last
This is a case of ignoring the model of the Master. Certainly, the pangs and problems of mortality have an effect on an ageing body, and it would be difficult to live forever without the modes of immortality, with the corruptibility of things hanging on one like a heavy weight, or sitting on one's brow. However, biblically, we are now in test mode, and this is in one sense a beta version, not because it is incomplete, but because as a trial, it is not yet fitted formally for eternity (cf. I Corinthians 15:42-52).
The trials we face are not simply for God to find out, but as a testimony, an evidence. They require man to move this way or that, for this reason or that, with faith or without it, and to show the glory of God, that forever it might be seen even in an experimental light for the Thomases of this world (cf. Ephesians 3:9ff.). When the trial is past, and in particular when the Lord returns to pick up the parcel, or the grain, the wheat, and not the weeds (Matthew 13:24ff.), then this mortal framework is replaced, we are shown in Christ, in His own resurrection. Mortality, we are told in Paul, is then swallowed in our resurrection as believers, with immortality, and this corruptible puts on incorruption.
For me, I can find no slightest hint of a problem in that. It is good to be tested, to be tried to the uttermost for sincerity and reality, so that one is not bogus, to be cleansed and to be refined; why not ? Is not a beautiful vase better than an ugly broken one of dismal artistry and rough nature ? What is wrong with being refined ? I am all for it, but admit freely that it can be costly, most! Yet to be woeful or in error, to me that is intolerable, if a better thing may be found. Why not take it ? What is wrong with receiving freely the very best!
Thus removing from the Calvin camp in the matter of his weakness, that flaw which spoils understanding, but also is intolerable for truth and its application as in Biblical Christian Apologetics, one finds what answers all problems, questions, and can stand all investigation, even over millions of words, as in Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, in SMR and TMR.
I t is good to be where the light shines: it is given in two major elements: propositionally in the Bible, and personally in Jesus Christ, the everlasting Word of God who became flesh, and died, rose and prevails in His word to this day. It is also, however, given in the attesting power of the Holy Spirit, who can open the eyes, shame sham, expose sin, encourage hearts, enlighten minds, apply the Gospel and bring great joy.
It is not so
hard: the weights are not burdensome (I John 5:1-3). As to work, if it be labour, what is wrong
with that ? What a privilege to be able to work for such a Master as this, and
it is never in vain (cf. Isaiah 50), for one who abides in Him. Indeed, the
Lord, who by His Spirit lives in all Christians (Romans 8:9), gives a certain fulness to those who obey Him (Acts 5:31), and this is productive of a solid
joy, not a mere emotional experience, but one which like the sparkle of light on
clear water, is fitting, belongs as love in a good family.
TOLERATION IS BUT A POOR NAME FOR THE RELISH OF TRUTH
AND THE REVELATION OF DEITY HIMSELF
Praise God that He has made it clear; that one must be FAITHFUL and willing to be corrected in understanding His word, and yet must be persuaded inwardly of it, so it is no mere dictation from this or that sinner, who is saved. As one proceeds, let each be persuaded in his own mind: for God has made us such, and we are not pawns, but as sheep with a Shepherd. Each Christian must be able to find the mind of the Lord (I John 2:27). As to that, seek and you will find, but let it be with the whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13-14).
It is a wonderful thing to belong to the family of God, who is most reasonable, and the marvel and the mystery is this, HOW could He be so kind, faithful and delightful ? There is no problem in this, the Eternal God who is the basis of all, is just like that. He says, I AM WHO I AM, and to know this One surpasses all. Here to have the open door to eternity in this relationship, so far from being merely tolerable or an answer to a query, is so grand that were it denied, it would be worse than the destruction of the entire world. SUCH however is not only not required of man, but the eternity is precisely what has been bought, even for such a life as that of those to whom God sends His Son, the whole world invited.
Romans 5 and 8 show something of the grandeur of the wonder that such could be. Even that would be great. The Christian knows that it not only could be, but as the summit, actually is, and just as the price was paid, the thing sought found, so the reality exceeds what might be imagined. It is like pictures of the sea-shore in its magnificence; for the reality surpasses even the picture.
Look now to Ch. 9 for a consideration at the more purely personal level, of the impact of these things, and finding the Lord amidst the fraying, braying, straying world, where He IS to be found (as in Isaiah 55)!
Calvinism has a sovereign without the biblical depiction and fidelity to utterances both generic and particular as shown in Ch. 6 above; and so has unruly rulings. Arminianism leaves collision with John 1:12 for example, and a blinded soul awake for decision on an obscured basis (against I Corinthians 2:14), subject to its distortions, inversions and deprivations; synergism has such a soul actively involved in its own selection contrary to Romans 9:16, and with the same distortion as just noted.
However, the RELEVANCE of the human will (Ï would, you would not), and the operational resolution of the matter, not in the sin-smitten relic itself, man as he is today, but in the Lord before time (Romans 8:30, Ephesians 1:4), removes on the one hand, the sovereignty which is secret and averse from its own stated principles, so making peace with the Bible and, on the other hand, a situation where eternal choice depends on a spoiled will in itself, a deviation which Pelagianism merely emphasises.
Biblically you have intrinsic liberty towards God in man, made in His image, extrinsic failure because not only the heart and head but the will and spirit are all embroiled in ignorance and distortion that allows moods, modes, psychic tics, sudden rages, foolish stages and the like, to surge; so that eternity's vast value is not consignable by the mere bubbling of the will of man in his own hand. Yet in the hand of God, it is known and penetrated before time and sin and fall, where no sin means no differentiation of virtue, so that freedom reigns, and the freedom to will as you will is not spoiled. God knows the will and secures what is foreknown, love not dragging its prey, but taking its recipient.
To have the reality of freedom, in the original making of man, the responsibility, the delight, the wonder of it, the distemper of the Fall, which does not end for man where it began! and the ensurance that the result will not be a matter of the degree of sin as conditions waver and opportunities are different for different people in different times and situations, but one of reality given certainty from God: this is the elixir of reality, equity, mercy and love all in one. The freedom is real, the result is sealed, the love is generic, the sovereignty is entire, and neither sin nor slither affect the outcome.
The invitation to all, the offer to all, and the desire for all is as stated; the deficiency in fallen terms and diverse deficiencies of will and its distortions (Ephesians 4:17-19) makes mercy overcome this, but not overturn the reality of the will; and predestination gives assurance that the general outgoing love of God desiring all to be saved, and the power and wisdom of God, with His knowledge of all before time began, will not fail to secure to the uttermost, those who are His. These are neither changed in order to make them willing, as if chloroformed and shanghaied, nor able to enter for occasional reasons that vary, but known as they are, by their Maker, by grace alone, brought to be bought, their heart's desire not delayed or diverted, but known and implemented.
The biblical depiction in such ways as these, and they are many, solves all difficulties, removes all problems (cf. Predestination and Freewill), and shows that the divine insistence on the scope of His outgoing love, which has led to His persistence in the Gospel call and in making its basis to be secured in time, is matched by the consistency of these actions WITH THE VERY PRINCIPLES WHICH GOD ITEMISES AS HIS OWN. To be persistent, insistent and consistent shows love with its wisdom, and the very heart of God seeking to spare His creation, willing to pay for it, and unwilling to be deceived or to have those who deceive themselves, wrongly placed. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is; and God KNOWS beyond all variation, the whole truth, and in truth has love rush like air into a vacuum, to secure the life of each of those who become His children.
Recent revelations concerning the nature of the content and organisation of the human brain reveal some specifications which no man can match. Even to the extent man could ever begin to follow the examples given in his own construction, it would only be copying what begins him in the beginning.
Thus in Creation Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 33, 2011 we find a heading, "Amazing new brain facts." It refers to a study in Stanford University, and cites the study's senior author, Stephen Smith. The brain's complexity, he is reported to declare, is beyond anything imagined, "almost to the point of being beyond belief."
Consider the cerebral cortex alone: in this it is found now that there are over 125 trillion synapses, in star terms, enough to fill 1500 Milky Way galaxies.
Each one of these has the extended function of serving like a micro-processor.
But what of each of these 125 trillion neurological synapses ? EACH, it is declared, contains about 1.000 molecular switches of its own. In mathematical terms, we thus reach the complexity in one cerebral cortex, in this feature alone, of 125 quadrillion.
The conclusion is this: "a single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth."
These organisational feats and functional features, leaving the best of man's intelligent work, even in teams, even over the centuries, for dead, even given the stark brilliance made freely available, to copy (if you define brilliance by attainment rather than in some obscure fashion). These all copy from the static (although it is with some address, degenerating as designs tend to do in hostile environments) basis, babes by the billion having each one, its copy installed freely, so that it can be, begin and wail its way into a life that beckons.
As to the degeneration of the genome in man, opposite of ludicrous theory contrary to observation and experimentation, concerning self-making from nothing, with nothing to show it ever in anything, see Waiting for Wonder, Appendix for revealing work from Cornell University, from Dr Sanford.
It is long since the time when facts should not be muted, definitions used disputed, as though words had to be trained to match non-facts, and avoid their normal usage. What makes such things, investigable by intellect, composed in the forms of intellect, using the concepts of intellect, conformed in the mode of applied vision, insertive of what is asserted, constructions by viewable command, coded in control as it is found, is what so moves. It is what has what this requires in its generative department. Mind is such. Matter is not. Man's mind is not of this calibre, but it is able slowly to investigate and find its mirror-image in TYPE, in the forms, formulations, functions and modes that constitute its physical organ for use. You need engineering facility too, to get the things into matter and make it do what is planned and programmed.
Programming itself, even of far simpler things is most demanding, being a world of symbolism of its own. Symbol-command concentration is an abstract thought exercise, involving knowledge of meanings and applications of directions to what is receptive of the same with the equivalent of comprehension, even if it be put in the even more exacting format of code. Code is a type, moreover, of language, a species of verbal manipulation and knowledge, on a mutually appreciated basis for action (cf. The Christian Prescription Ch. 3, The Lord of Longsuffering ... Chs. 1 and 2). It implies knowledge of the actualities to which it refers, their susceptibility to what it commands, a language of mutuality of symbol-reality content, a universe of discourse correlative to the composition and results, and thus, what has what it takes so to engage.
To attribute what lacks such features, matter, as source of such features, what never displays such observable constructions, and does not in itself make even information (The Desire of the Nations Ch. 2, Epilogue), is merely delusive. To invent the matter itself, from nowhere is not better. This double acting fallacy makes fools of many, who should by now be wise. It is a spiritual delusion aborting the normal function of intellect (cf. Romans 1:17ff., Ephesians 4:17-19). That is the biblical explanation (cf. II Timothy 4:1-4, II Peter 3). It has nothing more to do with science than 2 plus 2 equals three, or thereabouts. It is worse. It is intellectually illiterate, scientifically irrelevant and theoretically null.