A Message not only for the ditherers,
but for the decisive,
and all lost
LOST AND FOUND
To have lost something, like glasses so that it is hard to see without them, just where they might be, can lead to some soul searching. WHY did not one see that it is best to have a set place in a given room for setting down glasses, in view of this potential mini-disaster! for example, is a tune that may play. To BE the lost item, however, is far more vexatious, or intimidating or challenging, depending on the approach made.
As a child, one remembers trailing at about 4 or so years old, with some cricket stump or an item resembling it, after the beach tracks of the party ahead. Perhaps one was a little older, but the thing lurks in the memory. If it was not a question of being lost, entirely, yet it had some of the air of the thing. It is not a good feeling: romantic a little, perhaps, interesting, but not one to take at all lightly. At that age, the world is not small, though for one's own part, one is.
Define lost ? for a person. Not knowing where you are, or where to go, or how to proceed, or how to understand your place, or what is your place: these are items which would appear closely related to being lost. Even if you know something clear about the next step, you may not know why it seems so good, or why not, and with studious lack of perception, you may be as oriented as a small, ill-equipped plane on a dark night, when the horizon is close and the distance to the ground is unknown, as likewise, the height of relevant hills, or how soon such might become highly relevant.
This world, in terms of that definitional approach, is lost. Try any of those questions, and it is opaque, unenlightened, facing hills with darkened perception, and not even knowing which way is up, as its morals surge like drunken waves, off the edge of this world - if it had one! Intoxicated with power, or its lack or the desire for it, or with riches, or the desire for them, or predatory approaches to others adjudged to have something to shed, while inventing morals through the profound mixture and unenlightened darkness of the United Nations, which can agree in this field on nothing except what is baseless except in hope, it treads on endless crises as if mounting Mount Ruhapehu in New Zealand, wondering at the heat around, the sense of action and the times of its next volcanic seizure.
Actually, one climbed that mountain some time in the 1966-1967 area, when pastoring a church in that land; and it seems that in 2007 one of its various modes of eruption occurred, bursting the crater lake, and pouring down enormous quantities of lahar, a mixture of water and rock and debris, which fortunately the adjacent river was able to contain.
There then is simply an illustration of a further opening to lostness, when the very place where you are living has on its books, abundant scope for eruption, whether geological or social or financial. But what has none ? and many places on this earth are FILLED to overflowing with opportunities, built into the decadent cultures, for surging lahar of other kinds: ready to riot, murder, take offence and slaughter, give offence and be brazen, engage in disastrous mayhem and the like, often with an air of braggadocio, as if all this was such a sensible thing to do, and could be justified if only one were made judge as well as activist.
In his more and more obviously lost condition, man has only himself to thank. God first made him with equipment which is continually amazing scientists with its mathematical and sophisticated programming and utilisation of quite utterly brilliant modes of giving commands, the language of life to matter, and to other life. The language used for intimated this information, these commands to what suffers them to obey them, but has never been found making them: always it is only one: if you will, the same esperanto, for there is no other in this affair.
Made, man manoeuvred. That is the central point when you have not only equipment of body, materially, engineered, to re-formulate in births through transfer of information, but of mind, to analyse, test and consider, and of spirit, to will to be first or egocentric as individual or race. So laden with skills, and equipment,then man began to misuse it, starting as such things do, at the beginning, and then leaving a vaporous trail, by which the ramifications in turmoil and labour, rather like an horrendous accident, might be traced.
He does not like to admit that he is lost, and so finds all sorts of ways of being found; but he only founders. History is his litter; though it blends this with the work of the saints, those whom the Lord has called and cleansed and renewed and ... FOUND. He is often fond of telling his gods and man, for he is naturally inveterate in elevating what does NOT account for his construction, to heights of power and some kind of glory, how great he is, or could be, or would be if only this or that happened, which routinely it does not, since God being the creator of the constructions, the language and the communication and information*1 which makes life happen according to rule, is indispensable to orientation, and hence to being found.
Lost, man needs finding. As Creator, God has plans that have been activated, and mankind has been inundated through their proclamation (cf. Isaiah 52:7- 43:12, with 54-55), as foretold before God took that action. He not only gave the Gospel to come, the basis in the Messiah whose date of death was predicted, but the results of it, both in acceptance by many and rejection in increasing goonishness by this world, till the various climaxes would come and point to His return, all nations by then made well aware of that self-same Gospel.
The lost part is not strange to tell. The finding of what is a self-made foundling, however, that is a tale to tell.
In this setting, let us turn therefore to the only testable, verified and validated book that presents what is claimed to be the word of the living God to man*2, and in particular examine a parable of Jesus the Christ, setting the matter forth in inimitable mode, and penetrating simplicity.
THE PARABLE OF THE LOST AND THE FOUND
Often has this parable in Luke 15 been told. It touches the heart, to learn of abused affection, paternal kindness exploited, wild dreams of self-indulgent youth, descent into despair as the lively flames of hell wrap themselves about the misplaced carcass of the deluded; less often do we publicly hear of the delight of the father at the return of the displaced and misused, repentant and restored son. Perhaps less often still, do we gather that the staid and solid, serviceable and secure brother of the wastrel has entertained a grim opinion of his own labour, without much in the way of joy, so that he is ready to pounce like an expectant leopard on the returning vagrant, protesting the fuss made of him, who has merely dumped duty and lived in a soporific and sybaritic dream.
THE STORY OF THE PARABLE
First, let us re-tell the exact story of the parable. A young man, on a farm, wants his share of the patrimony NOW. He'll get it and goes into the fiasco of so-called 'wild' living. In this, many helped him spend in buckets, what his fathers had prepared with labours innumerable, till with no money, and the good-timers as fast gone as the money, no heart at any time having been involved in these ruthless and revolting sprees, he is reduced to caring for pigs and sharing their food. Realising the degradation and hopeless seeming nature of his new plight, he resolves that even a SERVANT of his father fared better than this, came to himself, saw his folly, and returned with a view to taking a servant's post at his father's farm, having aborted the kindness for his continuing life, and now willing just to live.
The father, whose heart HAD been in the life of his son, was not without hope and seeing him coming a long way off, came out to meet him, rejoiced, gave him signs of acceptance and renewal in his household, slew the prime calf for a feast, and met with the older son's dour displeasure. WHY this for that ... you could almost hear 'piece of muck.' Have I not served and laboured, continued and been stalwart and reliable, adding to the total takings over the farm over the years. I, even I have not received such signs of acceptance and rejoicing as this wastrel. How come! we seem to hear in modern jargon.
Son, says the father, you have been with me all through, our habitual comradeship, a virtual partnership, means that all that I have is yours. Why worry about that ? Don't you even realise that your brother was a dead loss, as one dead. Forget for a moment, the finance, and consider the human side, the relationship aspect and the fact that he, dead like a burnt out wire, now lives, once without communication, now speaks freely, once a ghastly memory, has become possessor of a happy face and enmembered once more in our midst.
THE MEANING OF THE PARABLE
Blood is thicker than water ? Is that all that it is ? It IS part of it, that what you have begotten is special, contains even aspects of your physical being, that it has been nurtured, watched, superintended as it grew, its hopes treasured, its needs met, its life aided; and for the Christian, its place in the kingdom of heaven has been sought strenuously, if perhaps it find God, and so live for ever, and be in the w ay which would make this eminently desirable at the same time, that is, be washed, redeemed and restored to the Father of spirits.
Thus, the procreation, though important, is but a small part of it; for the social, the shepherding, the envisagements, the inner work and prayer, all are there, all make a bond. More than even all of these, there is the responsibility: a child has been given to you, and the parents have occasion to prize this being, wrought in body on a pattern, individualised in a format, inter-related in a personality, vulnerable to sin and shame, hopeful for wisdom and peace, object of love, sought for as one to be loved of God. Then, that life is not only cherished, in prospect of wonderful good to come, but blessed with the filling of emptiness, with the Spirit of the Lord, adopted and nurtured by God Himself.
Hope is stronger than mere goodwill, for God lives, and so do we who know Him, and life without Him is as pebbles, which might have been a mountain, the sunshine of divine presence glowing on its top. How deeply therefore must the responsible parent seek at cost, to surround the child with godly influences, preserve it from hateful propaganda from the government, such as now routinely occurs in schools and colleges which it seeks to contain with its 'curriculum', filled with dead-beat virtual atheism (accounts which do not diverge in essence from the same, in their truncated or aborted reductionist accounts, whether in geology, biology, astronomy or history). It registers empty of wisdom concerning life's most important goals and values, intimations and manifestations.
To bring up children in the fear and admonition of the Lord is not a hope; it should become practice, as the case may demand. If they play truant, foul the care, rupture the realism, follow their penchants, indulge their fancies or simply want, through ambition 'to get somewhere' and hence pretend to follow the governmental traps and deviousness, then that is one thing. To dump them in whatever comes, that is another.
Even, however, with the best of every provision, a child may
play the fool, experience the tsunamis of rebellion, the volcanic thrust of
self-will, the tedium of self-importance. What then? With all of these
preliminaries done, what if there is STILL a failure, a recidivist, a ruin ?
Love hopes, piety prays, and the expectation of good at last does not die. Thus as in the parable, the father is able to see the return afar off. Ready for it, his heart there already, practical action from the father follows at once, with balm for the wound, pardon to the penitent, and restoration to the redeemed.
Where is this redemption in the parable ? As in the art-work of parables, there are things for intimations which occur in unexpected ways, as in a visual puzzle, and you have to seek it out, and in doing so, find an impact not so readily seen if you had simply been TOLD. The fatted calf is slain for a feast thus long made possible, perhaps in hope. A valuable item is lost and a more valuable one is gained. The animal is gone; the son is returned. It is like a sacrifice: the one needs it, and the other gives it. The beast is the cost of the fulfilment of the occasion's rejoicing. Thus the cross of Christ is the cost of the adoption of sinners, through grace and faith, on repentance, to belong to their new and celestial family.
The profile of the elder brother implies that some value their own work, do not do it out of love and with joy, for the kingdom of heaven, but count it out, like money at the merchant's, in order to buy or gain results and rewards. One can think of not much more horrible. Love is measured by gain ? You get out of it more than you put into it, and hence do it ? If it were more, you might do it even more readily ? You are bought, in will, by rewards ? The actual job is a mere means of increasing your moral, spiritual or similar CAPITAL, prize, eternal uppity-ness ? You are paying for what you want, as in the corner shop ?
IF you love someone, then to be nearer may indeed be a reward, and to please that party may be a treasure, and if this is the concept, then well: love seeks growth of love, joy in fellowship seeks its maturity in reality. It is pure. It is in its own domain. If however you put on a love and maintain a demeanour BECAUSE of the standing or uplift or personal profit or exultation, like a merchant, and use spiritual things and categories for personal uplift, how do you differ from the Pharisees, whose ways did not appeal to Christ at all (cf. Matthew 23). They too would manipulate the spiritual for their gain, and adopt godly posturing without even entering into the deeper matters of the law, such as justice and mercy (Matthew 23:23). It was all pretence, marshmallow, shallow, sallow, with no heart!
Thus the FIRST thing is to love God with ALL your heart. There is nothing left over for yourself. That is His care, while it does not mean disregard of your best way to live in the Lord by any means, it DOES mean that all your care is first for Him. For the rest, all is parity, your neighbour as yourself. Responsibilities and opportunities multiply in the family; but a due regard for all is in view, even if some by their dissidence from deity, make themselves either scarce, or mopishly or modishly unreachable, unteachable, and more sinks for uselessly given funds. The elder brother in the parable, therefore, is a warning blast on the trumpet of truth.
In reality, what met the wastrel, and moved his heart from mere woe, to realisation of his position ? What enabled him to swallow shame, eat pride, feast on disgrace and return like a skunk recently disregarded because of its smell danger, and return!
MANY are the other possible responses to his new situation. There is the room in the parable for the work of the Holy Spirit. Moving his heart to realism, encouraging him past mere defeatism, hastening in his heart, an awareness that there is reality in his father's love, making him willing to abase himself, he being convicted as he is humbled within. He begins to realise the nearness of the Lord, with a care and a grace which like a blue sky on a fair day, is THERE above and operative all the time. This is the SPIRITUAL blue sky, and in the clearing of his mind, the stormy grey clouds make way.
The father, standing of course for God, sees him a great way off. Thus God has forever known who will be His, and hoping with a longing not diminished by the presence of our centuries, He is ready to act in all solemnity and authority. That is set in terms of the needed sacrifice: for us, Christ crucified, yes who moreover is risen (Romans 8:34). Soon the sacrifice would enter into the returned, just as the bread of life, symbolising life, goes within. Then, as He says, the one who loves Him keeps His words, and He and the Father will indwell that one (John 14:21-23). You are thus returned to the family in all the intimacy of great rejoicing, fully accepted (Ephesians 1:6, literally, engraced, surrounded or imbued with grace in Christ).
Strong are the possible strainers, to remove you like an impurity when you come. If you have faith in the Lord, these will not deter you (cf. Luke 11:53). Some will want you to have what amounts to a repetitive sacrifice, as if entry were not once and for all secured by a once for all sacrifice, providing eternal redemption (Hebrews 9-10, 9:12,25-28, 10:10-14), and even have you worship symbols. It is not symbols but reality, however, which is gained, and remains in the new-bound family, and not imagination but God who is to be worshipped, and that in terms of the cross with all its meaning, and not a symbol of its advent.
Some will want you to add your pittance of imperfection to the cost, as if in part-payment, so insulting the father, and pretend you had not exhausted your merit bank by having only debt, for the wages of sin is debt, and with what will you repay ? increased debt as with Australia and China, only adds from your continued imperfection, each day as it comes and goes!
No, only Christ is the ransom, and the rest is to be in this spirit, but without human payment from sinners (Ephesians 2, Romans 3, Galatians 1, 3). Contribute at this level ? Nothing doing! You are ENTIRELY to wait upon the love of the Father, and the once only sacrifice, indeed that of the Son Himself, and add NOTHING to that lustre of perfection, as if to invent a meretricious heaven, more savouring of hell, and self-regard, self-effort as means of securing a place. Come in without hope or offering, but Christ, or stay out; for if you offer anything at all with Him, an addition, you will never enter through the needle-gate. Unless you forsake ALL you have, including self-praise and payment of part cost, you CANNOT even be one of His disciples (Luke 14:27ff.).
So devious and undesirable is the state of the human heart without Christ, that simple as the core of the Gospel is, people have great imagination with which to defile it, and like the elder brother, want personal worth to weigh as a ground of acceptance, and thus of exclusion of those without it. You may have to do penance, or make masses, or confess to a priest or cult leader, but not so is the simple Gospel acceptance. So far from being in need of some index, prize, portent, contribution, the Father not only freely but delightedly accepts the returned wastrel and shows that one at once every kind of respect and embrace!
Finally, what meaning attaches to the elder brother's protest that in all the years of his working on the farm, so conscientiously, the father had never even given him a young goat for celebration with his friends.
In view of the spiritual meaning which as in biblical parables, underlies the discourse, the meaning must move to sacrifice in parallel with the basic meaning of the fatted calf, the emblem of acceptance, the cost aspect, in reality betokening Christ. There simply IS no other sacrifice; there IS no other substitutionary sacrifice. The ONLY sacrifice in the New Covenant is the central theme in the Old Covenant, the coming Messiah and His dealings. There is neither any other foundation to this faith, thus fulfilled in that sacrificial unity from the second member of the Trinity, nor any other sacrifice, for this one sums up, contains and fulfils all the symbolism of all the other ones. The blood of animals, says Hebrews 9:12-14, can never take away sin; it betokens, symbolises it. Christ is the one who HAS what can pay it away, and this is even referred to, in terms of the incarnation as the redemption God has made by His own blood (Hebrews 9:6-12,22, Acts 20:28).
Hence, in the parable, ALL needed was already present in one sacrifice, and nothing else was needed, either young goats or other! When the occasion came for the display of the necessities, then that one fatted calf was used; and nothing else would ever suffice. Hence it was not given in this New Testament expression in its sublime simplicity, severance of symbols in favour or one reality, providing eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12). The human side ? the sacrifices of a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). Then is man receptive to God.
Thus do parables have their own intimations and beauty, their own artistry and ways of pinioning understanding, holding it down till it realises what is there, and then letting it arise with a smile of intense satisfaction, knowing the loving care with which the whole has been constructed, not in dogmatic deliverances, but astute and telling imprint that lingers in the mind and challenges the soul. Praise God for the parables of Jesus, and praise Him yet more, with the life of Christ, obtainable so simply, from Him who did so much to keep it simple; that then, and only then, you might start moving from milk food to meat, and savour to the full the entirety of depths in the love and wisdom of God (I Corinthians 3), in Him who does not confuse begetting a child, with its education, or founding a saint with the later labours of the same!
See on information, conformity, language, programming and life, Waiting for Wonder, Appendix, and its references, including Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed, Barrister of Bliss Ch. 4. See also, God is not only Great, but Glorious Ch. 5, *2, excerpted below.
See for example, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, *1A, with
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4.
In Possessing your Possessions, Vol. 9, Ch. 2, we have a review. An excerpt is presented below. When reason requires a result, here as in SMR esp. Ch.1, the eternal God and His word, in this world; and that result is found and is independently testable as to its unique criteria, then the verification of data becomes a validation of the method of reason, gift of God. What HAD to be, is! Not only is this revelation in the Bible unique, testable, verifiable, remedy-containing, but as having such qualities, and myriads more, it is THERE. Were it not there, this would be an anti-verification. What IS there is like Jesus Christ, incarnate as a Person, without parallel or competition in its field, alone in majestic solemnity, inciting test and performing as God alone can proceed to do.
It is like a particle or planet being indicated, and then the discovery: it is there! Here however, it is not the product merely of variable data, but of the very structure and nature of reason that it is both forecast and found, in one bundle of triumph.
Part of the Ch. 2 review noted appears below.
THE BEGINNING - when GOD ACTED
Nothing produces nothing*1. Nothing is not the product. Nothing cannot be the cause, when you consider it as the original and till creation, eternal state. Void at the first is the mother of nothing.
Matter is not the product of nothing, so it had a precursor. It was a matter producer. Matter cannot produce itself when it is not there to do it. It cannot be a non-product since it is not sufficient for itself: it has laws, limits, traceable procedures. It is not self-sufficient. To imagine it eternal is to abandon logic, which ever demands a cause, just as causality cannot be dispensed with, without dispensing with logic, by which argument is made (cf. Causes). The only logical possibility*1 is a self-sufficient source, eternal and not subjected to imposition or contrivance, free. Then causality, and then alone, is satisfied, by an eternal causeless, unconstrained and unrestricted Being. Then only is the demand of scientific method for cause adequate for result and interface for its occurrence, to be met. The thought process does not stop because the universe is big, as though grandeur made its origin irrelevant, or its magnificence eliminated institution, as if magic rules where operation of scale occur! The opposite is true.
It is merely an issue of total, self-explanatory basis for everything. It is the ever-vernal reality.
It cannot be material, since matter has the aforementioned liability to reason's demands. It must be free therefore to make what it wishes, and not be any type of constricted, constrained, contained and directed being, by program (who made that ?) or other grounding.
Reason requires this Being and when reason is followed, it finds the testimony, testable to an exceedingly great degree, of the Bible. Thus reason requires God as in SMR, and a unique validity is attested for the result of reason, in this, that when you get there (as with a scene of a crime with finger-prints), your work of investigation receives its confirmation. You not only find what meets reason, but what confirms it, the ultimate validity. What reason insists on, God has given. What of this testable book claiming His Almighty origin ? (cf. II Peter 2:19ff., I Corinthians 2:9ff., Matthew 5:17ff.). In detail, it is verified, making the investigation scientific in those aspects of scientific method applicable, and a number of these are. There are many other lines of testimony leading to God, but in this case we are looking at one only.
Scientific method*2 insists that if a thing be deemed to be so, there must be no contrary testimony in the areas of verification, and there should be convergent testimony in those areas. As shown in many volumes, this is the case. There is hence a ground for the reality of God found in logical, causal, scientific and validation areas. There is no other option. The way to test lies open; and it shows that God has not left this world to roam like children at a nuclear control tower, with no adequate ideas about the powers, privileges and duties of being here. He does not allow the ruin of young lives, active minds, peaceable people by the artisans of war and crime, cruelty and dishonesty as a systematic gift to innocent man (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Barbs ... 6 -7); but has told mankind so often, so much, in so many ways, summed in the Bible, personified in Jesus Christ, that the mere continuance of this race at all, is a miracle of mercy. But its term is set, known only to God (Matthew 24:22).
Signals of its end, as a period of grace, with the remedial Gospel of grace purchased in Christ (cf. Romans 3:23ff.) are numerous (Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
He gave the time for the arrival of the Remedy, in the Redeemer (Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2), but it is a matter of having the signals only for the arrival of the Royal Sovereign, who having suffered is to reign. It is a testing time, and why not ? Indeed, in this second case, that of His return, there is point in not telling, for that is part of the test. In mercy however, he does give multiplied signs and signals, when the time is near, as now (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Let us review. In this, a number of somewhat parallel formulations will be given, enabling nuances and aspects to be keenly visualised, felt and discerned with considerable care.
Shortly: reason requires, unique validity attests, scientific method attests (and it refuses organic evolution - cf. SMR pp. 140ff.), results singularise (multi-faceted correlation of cause and consequence with the appropriate scope), and verification consummates. It is not necessary to distrust reason; it is necessary to use it and find its testimony at the level of attestation, of things done and explicable, and then to verify. In that sense, verification is icing on the cake; and its breach, as for other ideas, is fatal. There is nothing outside the God of creation and revelation, in the testable Bible, which conforms to its Author, to meet these tests. There is no competition; what reason requires, only this gives. Not only does it confirm itself, but provides what attests, in perspective and approach, everything else demanding explication. It is not so hard when convention and rebellion die down, like an evening fire, at last. It is not so very hard to find the Lord ...
This is so, however, since we are not free minds roving in space, but sinful people, keeping to no totally perfect moral code, for the simple reason that divorced from God, man can find no such thing in the first place, but only subjective intimations, variable greatly. That of course is a predictable result of his rebellion, just as the degree of convergence, on the other hand, is a testimony to the underlying structure of man, in the image of God, but now sullied.
Thus the realm of the empirical merely confirms what reason requires. Without God, the absolute truth available, in any model of thought, no finding is possibly true. In any such case, theory then requires, but when the status of any such alleged finding be examined, the model insists that absolute truth be not available, so on this model, its affirmations are void. Instead, all things being mutually self-limiting, and in totality, self-inhibiting by the lack of an objective perspective: what is needed, is not there. It is a perpetual vacancy for such a model. If truth by your own model dies, then your own model cannot be defended. Omit it and you logically omit your talk.
With God, this impasse is avoided, and the positive features are confirmed. There is no problem. Since the Bible is essential as a ground for absolute truth (a non-communicative God does not improve man's position re truth, to have it, to speak it, to present it), and is utterly confirmed empirically and logically, and since it has no competitors at the validation and verification level, as has been presented numerous times, there is nothing more to be concerned about, but receiving the God of the Bible, His diagnosis of our affairs, world and universe and getting on with the remedy provided, which means Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
This is the ultra-presuppositional method:
rational, heuristic, investigatory-confirmatory,
It is as with Elijah at Mt Carmel: put things to the test. See what your gods can do, and we will show you what God does. The reason why it is NOT presuppositional, in any aspect, or does not depend on negations, in method is the great action of God in providing direct an d directly testable testimony, found uniquely in the Bible.
This He has provided, step by step. First, then is the Bible; then in it, the predictions of Christ to come; then thirdly, Christ, within this world, testable then and indirectly as well as vitally, now; and fourthly His own Messianic word, like that of a relay runner, who is also the King, constraining history to do precisely what He has said, just as wind and word, life and death were in His power while here He lived (cf. Christ, the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8).
Nothing else can validate past negation, with the affirmations of efficacy as reason applied. This is the point where the pursuit of what reason requires, proceeds to the point where empirical reality confirms it, and of course. The course of reason is confirmed in the findings when it is applied, in its ramifications. Thus this is not merely empirical, for it is systematic as well, leaving no confusion in its internal testimony, major gap in its coverage or alternative to the use of reason but incoherence, nor any blemish or irreconcilability, but the precise opposite in a honeyed harmony, not always so sweet, but not so sour either. It is the sin bin which as rubbish, tends to smell, and its odours are not purely olfactory... but significant!
Thus reason has no other testimony; revelation has no other testable path; logic has no other avenue; and the irrational is incapable of defence. THEN revelation provides the crown, the truth, the positivity in practice, the confirmation of intractability of reason, the conquest of the orientation need of man, and the knowledge of the very heart of God. Then all is explicable; not that there is nothing more, for when we see God, who know Him, then it is like noon after the dawn. However, even now, nothing systematic in principle, lies unresolved.
Here, at the gift of God, is the ultimate in self-consistency, since when it is found, not only is it attesting its rightness as a finding of reason, so that man is not a muddle of inconsistency (cf. Deity and Design ... 8), a self-obliterative void, but is given his place, diagnosis, prognosis, grounds for it, and testimony of its developments, often predicted, over the millenia. It has been a long, long day at the lab, but a good one, a nicely proportioned few thousand years, as shown in SMR Ch. 7.
In principle what then do we have ? it is yielding to reason, and an adornment with meta-reason, reason at work on the systematic self-consistency of what it has found, which also verification confirms. Reason to find, revelation as a finding, self-sufficiency of the word of God as testable, directive and testable again in that, as in the performance level of the crucial Word who came personally, and of His bequeathal of words about what would come, which has done so in large measure already, and is completing the tour as told, at a very fast clip at the present time. Instead of a query, it is a tour de force, like the Tour de France, each phase presenting the champion, always the same one, the whole sequence ending, this time not in Paris, but in objective, demonstrated, multi-tested truth.
As to the detail, the coverage, the fields of application, the verification crop: That is as found, for example, in the two-volume, over 2 million word work:
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God.
What then ? This method of Christian apologetics is not presuppositional but operational.