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THE OVEN AND THE DOOR
Avoiding the cultural trap, the sacredness of
culture equalling the
worship of mankind, which is far from worshipful,
it is necessary to use the entire liberty of thought,
and finding what is binding logically, to follow it,
and hence find resolution of every intellectual type
of problem, with infinite advantage to the human race.
It does not need to get above itself, like morning mist,
which rising disappears, but back to its foundation,
which is attested incomparably, in the
Father of spirits and the Lord of glory,
Jesus Christ. Judgment is no mystery,
and naturalism and lurid imagination
is no excuse, but an indictment.
We make engines at the mechanical and material level, we make programs at the mental level, we make language at the level of understanding, thoughts at the conceptual level, haste at the spiritual level (cf. Isaiah 28:16), and where does this race of mankind think it is going, and from what does it imagine itself to have come ?
Did the mind come from nothing, from a total absence of order, where order had no meaning! did the body come from a total lack of law, though run by laws of many kinds and formatting constraints ? did the imagination come with its joint service of reality and aspiration, cogitation and combination, from the mentally void! did the progress of intellect come from a basis of negligible intelligence, yes from none ... and did concatenation come from relentless disorder, and that from nothing at all, in order that it might be so that it might become disordered ?
This is not a contest. It is a joke, hollow as marrowless bone. Here what is the opposite of testimony is sent for its ground, what lacks relevance is with all the nonchalance of a youthful mocker in his most assiduous follies of evanescent thought, a rebel without cause and a speaker without wisdom, not yet grown, touted as if it were intoxicated with fantasy.
What is not only not near, but as far away as can be, is posted for consideration.
If you have a set of multiplication tables found in a deep pit, is this evidence that only bacteria ever lived or went there, or that only such products even touched that scene ? Do such tables tabulate as a diversion from nothing, or an offshoot of matter ? Does the coding of intellect bespeak its absence, or the collation of concepts attest no mentality ? Does the absence of a basis give base for construction ? And does the presence of a basis not have to be acknowledged ?
When you find a basis relevant to such constructions (myriad-fold in superiority to multiplication tables and their small rules, reaching to life and its diversified grounds all integrated in one), then is it to be ignored when you consider the results ? Is causality to be dismissed, and a cause to be attributed to its dismissal ? Is reason to be provided for its own demise or if used, is it not to be applied ?
There is nothing to it! says competence, BECAUSE it is competent. It is not literally nothing, such an idiom, such a saying, which is in mind; but rather that there is no great burden or difficulty for the speaker in this regard because he has everything that is needed to get such a result in what is simply his normal function. He COULD not in such a case literally mean that nothing was the origin, since he just did it, and he is not nothing. The testimony is what he did. That is the topic. Its source is being indirectly noted, in that it was easy for him. Why ? because he had what it took.
When you look more broadly at greatness on a level well beyond the most potent efforts of man, including the power to make existence at all, in its limited, legal, legislated, legislating modes (as when DNA gets new beings in a new generation), then there is everything to it. It is more than everything visible because nothing visible has the demonstrated, observable power to do this, or anything like it. Cars do not make cars; books do not write books; pens do not make ink; cars do not make roads, and matter does not make man, nor man the origin and source of all of it. What ignoring these facts often means is just making hay while the sun shines. But it goes out.
Characterisability is not made by the meaningless, for meaning is its kind. Everything requires its source, or else a magical world, where causality is removed, though its operation is what science pursues in accounting for anything.
It is not science as such which accounts however for everything; for its venue is the observable and all that may be found from this through logic, in special modes of testing, verifying and coherence. It can only say, coherently, that if you use what it uses at the macro-scale, then the cause must be proportionate to the product, relevant to it and sufficient for it.
That is rarely heard these days in what is called science, but instead, frequently there is actually a popular misapplication of it, that assumes what it uses to evaporate at the macro-scale. That is like a great tennis player trying to start teaching the young by saying that tennis does not actually exist (cf. Causes).
Metaphysics began to get a bad name precisely because it flung ideas about, often vapid and astutely stultified, combining brilliance and obvious self-contradiction as in Kant for example (cf. SMR Ch. 5, Predestination and Freewill Section IV); and he was one of the more coherent (cf. SMR Ch. 3, Ch. 4 Extension). Small wonder Paul warns concerning philosophy in Colossians 2:8 (cf. Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13). That however is not an apostolic assault on thought, but on rampaging thought seeking to found man on a diversity of bits of things natural, as if the result were to become the cause, contrary to all observation and reason. Such proligacy of thought does not hesitate to proceed even to making even gods at will, by imagination, and not giving grounds that could stand for their particular productions.
Where there is no testable outcome in view, ideas can be cheap. Science is ostensibly concerned with testable outcome and co-ordinate causes. It is not concerned with knowing them in advance, where and what they are (cf. The Cult of the Forbidden), but in finding them out. WHen it ceases this mode, it is no longer science, but philosophy, and those in science who allow this, are subject to philosophy as a priority, hence expositors in this, rather than investigators. Materialism, often the kind in view, is in itself impossible, as well as a philosophic substitute for enquiry (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7).
In its sphere, not of philosophic dictation irrationally indeed, but a posterior investigation, science has a place. When it comes to a broader level of causality, it is not for it to declare the execution of the cause and category it uses, as if it knew the answer to all because it dealt with results. Applying its method leads as in SMR, with normal logical methodology of care and confirmation, to God and this to the Bible as there shown. There is the testable outcome of coherent and cohesive thought, as to its finding; and it IS tested, and it does provide what nature cannot, namely an account of all things in the causal vein, with a base sufficient for the results and testable among them. Nothing else is in existence at this level which does this, as SMR shows, Deity and Design ... evidences and Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ attests. .
Here is the normal cause, consequence, verification with validation added, since here reason points to what in turn points to modes of verification, and in itself, confirms thought, so that its demands are met in testable reality. The Bible is there and its personal core, the Messiah, has come as described, done as specified, left the precise Gospel as forecast, and this with the following consequence as inscribed in it, and left results on all sides in the process, eminently testable just as it indicated, in specifying grounds for believing it (Isaiah 4l, 44, 48 cf. SMR Chs. 8-9).
Many are the types of test on the one hand, and creative thought to probe on the other, which are available (cf. Evidence and Reality Ch. 2 and The Divine Sublimity ...Ch. 7), but the further these are applied, the more total is the result in confirmation, as shown in no little detail in Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ.
When you examine rocks, you need eyes to see, hands to feel, thought to recall, modes to apply, classifications to compare and so on. When you examine reason, you need reasoning ability and power to inspect, penetrate, mentally probe, having facility in the arena of thought, experimentation ideationally, with imagination to look at options and sobriety to assess them as to workability and adequacy for the affair in hand. When you examine the cause of things, you need a particular phase of penetration of particulars to their generics, modes of thought as to their validity, and methods of discovery as to their relevance. There are similarities of method, but diversities of sphere.
To ignore a specific type of thing in order to make it really something else, is merely a short cut. To propose what is in one sphere as the source of another can only be relevant if it encompasses or overarches the sphere in question. Otherwise you have to show how the one sphere is IN FACT in that superior domain of accountability without more ado.
Matter is not of this kind for mind; and mind is not of this kind for spirit, which holds the keys to imagination and will, liberty and desire whether to lacerate or institute, be rational or wilful.
What encompasses all these things which cohere, to make them be and then do so is not one of these elements, but the verifiable sufficiency for the job at hand. This requires not only mind but the creative power to make it; not only reason but the assigning acuity to institute in point objects like man; not only creativity, to imagine integralities of wonder, in the myriad components of the simplest living things, but practical capacity to institute the matter and method, the capacity and miniaturisation, sequences and codes, engineered cohesions and empowered efficiencies, so to act. Normally called God, this Inventor of Facility and Base for Existence has to be for what is caused to be. The removal of cause in a desperate effort to avoid God, merely removes all relevance in argument, which deals with the cause for believing this or that. Only God can meet all argument rationally, cohesively, in verification and in validation. The Bible and the Christ stand over the millenia unabashed giving not only explanation, but direction, providing not only understanding, but rational grounds for accepting this (cf. RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST).
.Indeed our laws are not only intrinsic in our bodies, and extrinsic for our minds, but directional for our wills; but these, they are written, not this time in code, but in language of a kind directly impactive on the mind, conveying meaning direct for man, that unlike his body in its procreation, he need not accept. This is the completion of the task of creation, to give to will the grounds and ways for its operation, and to liberty the meaning of its decisions and the results of its misuse. Without liberty there is no love; without cause there is no result; and results are our masterpiece, for we live by them, with them, and make them.
Hence man loves to love; but often hates to be told; loves to be free, but often hates to be instructed; loves to wander but often hates to be brought to reason. Freedom becomes a disease, and options become mere thrusts of will. This leads to disaster such as the nations now find for their play, whether or not in merely inventive sexuality, corruption in politics, dictatorial attitudes as a fillip to will, whether in moral inventions sickening to the order apparent, or in god-things made from the mind and then made mandatory, ignoring the while the evidential reality of the God who made mind and matter and the power to rebel, and if so desired, to love, even the love of truth or each other.
Time is short now. Wildness is not just in some empire, but in the earth like filling to a cake, a filler of poison. It brings nations to destitution, bankruptcy, mutual power and subjection, order to devastation, guns to heads, millions to death, torture as a preferred norm to many, pretence as a procedure and the destruction of the young by forcibly fed folly, as a touchstone of education (cf. TMR Ch. 8, Ch. 1).
This brings degradation progressively, and would do more were not the truth so obvious (as in Romans 1:17ff.), and God so merciful (cf. Ezekiel 20, 33:11). Such systematic destruction cannot last for ever, and as man increases in power and knowledge, and seeks control more and more with computing and other techniques, as they become more invasive, so the dismal dynamic makes greater claim to the end. It is the end which Christ foretold, unless He returns (Matthew 24:8-14,22). When Germany in WW II was systematically bombed, it was time for an end of it or entire destruction which was in view. The world is now bombing itself, and the result is more widespread. Hatred and ill-will, ambition and deceit, glory as an object with its ground merely in the mind, or excited will, these things using power, abuse life and pollute the environment in spirit long before they invade it with radioactivity and massive murders, sanctified ostensibly by ludicrously ambitious or seditious thoughts.
Progress to ruin becomes a new kind of rush, beyond even regress from attainment. It is more commanding and complete. It gallops with rush, it challenges with verbal explosions, it threatens, it ramps up its rampancy and runs down its rationality, till a murderous malodour of masterful malices storms from thought to action. It does not go on for ever. It comes to its rest or ruin phase.
Since there is cause for man, and He who provides this has acted in speech to man, action for man, and specifications concerning his destiny, its cause and its characteristics, it is therefore not really a cause for any ultimate form of anxiety, any more than is the smell of something burning in the oven. You simply take it out.
In this world, you cannot take it out of itself, so you take yourself out of its ways, by finding the Saviour before He comes back, and finding the peace of God where it may be found, within your own spirit as in Isaiah 55, II Corinthians 5, John 3 and 5.
Just because the bowl is in the oven, you do not need to stay with it. There is a door. Leaving the oven, let's go to His entrance. When you enter this door (John 10:9), the oven is not to be seen, merely a scene apart. It is the door of Jesus Christ, who IS the way: that is, He constitutes it, for in Him is not only example but entry to peace through His personal sacrifice, to replace ourselves set for judgment, by the judgment He vicariously bore (Isaiah 53:1-6, Romans 8:32, John 3:1-19). It is not hard. He did it. What may seem hard is abandoning the oven, and so living in the world, without sharing its heat, ways and woes.
It is not a question of avoiding mere suffering. It is one of being rightly placed before and in and with the Lord, so that what you were made for, is what you are doing, freely out of appreciation and desire. The salvation that puts you in this place being free (Romans 3:23ff., 6:23), its acceptance is not costly except to vagrancy, wantonry and the various phases of paranoia and lustful will. The transition is testing, yet it is not ruinous, like this world, but redemptive (Matthew 16:24ff.). Moving back to the quarters supplied by God the Creator, may seem strange when you have been living in unholiness, but it is in fact the return to reason, to revelation, to the place of creation (Colossians 3:10), and this in the love of the God who receives back even what is spoiled (Titus 2-3), and pardons even what is guilty, upon repentance and trust in Him and in HIS ways.
Surely it is infinitely better than any or all of this world and its inflamed, exploitative, deceptive, roving and rebellious ways. Why join the rebels ? It is only a slow method of ruin.