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Dialogue for Seekers
All men are sinners.
How do you know that ?
Listen Frank, you are a sinner.
That is part of it.
Do you know God ?
I don't know what you are talking about.
Have you sought Him more than your daily bread ?
Of course not, what do you take me for, some kind of a saint.
What is a saint, since this is the stated option from your own lips ?
Oh, someone who is so keen on this God of yours that constant desire and discipline to that end, to find and know Him, is a constant burden.
Does this mean that you acknowledge that God exists ?
No, it is just that he or she, the saint, does this, and that sort of flurry of action is what defines the state and person.
So a saint is someone who is deluded and seeks a God who is not there ? and you are not such a person ?
I would not quite say that. It seems to be that if He is there, you could not know that, so the saint might for all I know, be deluded.
If God were there, and you were not sure, would you be a sinner ?
Of course, I would be an abandoned, useless, ungoverned, negligent, unwatchful, wretch.
Then we need to examine this.
Why ? I am perfectly comfortable.
Even if you MAY be negligent and a wretch, casually acting as if truth were not as you have just stated it to be ?
I admit that this would be folly, I need to know.
Let's go then.
Where ? somewhere in particular ?
Do you admit causality ?
What precisely do you mean by that ?
When you reason, do you so so for fun, or because you deem the subject matter to be susceptible to it ?
Obviously the latter.
I find it so. I may not solve all things but I know the way to go.
How COULD your subject matter, you, others, the world, the nature of time and space, both material and immaterial, mental and physical, be susceptible to reason if it be basically unreasonable ?
It could not be. Some hold that. If so, however, their reasoning would be irrational, irrelevant, and they would not pose a source for truth, being mere bagatelles, irrelevant I believe in getting places and trying what goes, not nonsense.
So you do not believe in fairies ?
What in the world has that got to do with it ?
Well these are beings without evidence who do things without definition and are a concept which has no grounds for its bounds. Hence if you DO believe that things need bounds and grounds, you would not believe in them. I was trying you out for consistency.
I insist that I do not. Things I do not know do not constitute grounds.
You do not believe in nothing ?
What does that mean ? It is ambiguous. DO you mean, do I believe that everything began with that, or that I have no belief system, deposit or operational fixture within me ?
It is already obvious from what you have said, that the latter is not the case, in terms of causality, reason and its pursuit, for that IS an operational system. Hence it is the former.
Well I admit to a hankering after nothing as the source of all things, since it seems assumed in so many texts along with irrationalism, surrealism in evolutionary and naturalistic expositions, which we were fed for dozens of years by our cultural masters, that it would almost seem an act of faith not to believe in it. On the other hand ...
DO you believe in nothing ?
As the eventual and ultimate, first order basis of all things, their father, their mentor, their actualiser, their basis ?
Good. Reason prevails. Nothing has neither being nor future nor potential, or it would be for example, something-with-potential and so on, so that it is impossible for it to be the base.
Yes, I agree, now you mention it.
Do you believe then, that this same paraphernalia of system singularly susceptible to reason, that we inhabit, in progressive discovery, has SOMETHING for a cause ?
Yes, of course. Abandon causes as a condition and you abandon reason, since it has no means, and abandon that and you are already irrelevant to research. If it is not true, why use it ? If it is, why abandon it!
The positing of irrationalism as basic is unsustainable systematically.
Yes, you are right on this occasion.
Is the something, then, a thing ?
What do you mean by a thing ?
A deposit, an item, an object for review which is not a dynamic for construction ?
Could you not have a thing for construction ?
Not in this mode of definition.
What is this so wonderful mode of definition ?
I did not say it was wonderful.
What is it ?
I am for clarity's sake, dividing entities into those which are simply there, not constructional in character - since the object of our discourse is God, to find such a One - on the one hand, and entities which are constructional, on the other.
I see, you mean, constructional relative to our theme, that is, in ways capable of giving actuality and constitution to the universe, including you and me for example ?
Precisely, I must say you are coming ahead.
Don't sound so patronising.
Why not ?
It is odious and nauseous and ... well that is enough.
Why is it odious ?
Because it presupposes that you know and I do not. Is that not begging the question ?
No, for in this case, my knowing is up for checking, and only if I were wrong would that be true.
Well do you have to sound so overbearing ?
No. I am sorry if I seem that way to you: my MEANING is that we are moving where I have already gone and found verification and validation of what I have been brought to hold. It is no merit of mine that I am there.
That sounds good, so let us see, and proceed then.
WE had reached the point where I do not believe in nothing as the ultimate basis, but in something, later defined more specifically as something of the constructive variety, in the universe context, because if it were not, where would the construction come from, since that is the topic!
Good. There is then a constructive reality, that is basic.
Yes, and furthermore, since I like to participate a little, it is not just a bit of a thing or entity which is both itself and enmembered in a universe which without cause just is sticking around; for that is contrary to reason and not to be so much as considered.
Right. So we have an eternal entity of a constructive character, as distinct from being constructed ...
Wait a minute. Who said anything about its not being constructed.
If it were, it could not be the source. Our topic is the source. You need to have this, and it therefore needs to be unconstructed.
Yes, that is so. Is it then an eternally existent entity ?
If not, you would have to seek its constructor, and the constructor of that, and keep searching until you reached this conclusion at the gun-point of reason.
Then THAT would be the eternal non-constructed constructor ?
I am glad you did not say, 'Of course!'
It is agreeable that you are glad. But could we pursue the logical instead of the psychological ?
Why not ?
If we did that, it would amount to wreckage on the rocks of the irrelevant, for our object is not how we feel, here, but what we find.
Still, I am glad you feel it necessary to be at least aware that I have feelings.
I am aware.
An eternal, non-constructed entity, not a member of a system of which it is a component, since that then needs ITS ground, and the componency needs a cause for the other bit and their conjunction, and so is not the ultimate basis.
We need an ultimate, rationally disposing, causatively active, sufficient (insufficient by definition does not get there) and uncaused entity, capable of creating the universe.
What is this creating bit ?
Just this. Here is the eternal and adequate entity. It depends on nothing, so filling the bill for a sufficient ground for the universe, instead of having it an irrational entity at the first, which is still in need of a cause. The entity is sufficient in itself, necessary as the origin of causation for the universe, so that we are not founded on question begging unreason, so capitulating to the charge of irrationality and hence irrelevance and inadequacy in pursuit by reason of what is the case.
That is so.
Hence we have an eternal, self-sufficient, adequate being relative to the universe. That is the basis. We do not just irrationally stick the universe there, with all its abilities and functions and laws a prop from nowhere. As to the Entity, for the universe, which is there, we need that Being logically, and since that is our propulsion, we so proceed. We test the procedure however, since we are seeking and seeing where we get to be.
Could you formulate that ?
It differs from the universe in that it CAN construct it, whereas the universe itself shows no such power, to make itself from nothing, when it therefore was not there.
That is so. You speak with restraint. Good.
If then it is there, and is the eternal reality preceding logically, the laws and forms and functions which are not self-generating, since we never find them endowed beyond being, and they show no such powers, what then ? Not being of this kind, it is rather of a making-being character, or creative at the relevant level, and in our endeavour to find in exploratory mode, if God is there, we have had to acknowledge it. In this way, in testing, the universe being attributed to it, the result from it, is so through reason conceived.
You mean that it is not engaged in a being arena, itself plus bits of itself and so on, since then there then is no creation, merely division, which then being aspects of the eternal Being, now semi-dissociated, and still strangely operative, ignores what we are seeking to account for. If the bits are not associated, it is merely a form of speech, if one were to refer to them as disjoined.
Yes precisely. Thus, in that case, there is still only one being. If they are not associated, then we have either non-God making God, or gods. If the former, then God becomes derivative in fact, and so not God. If the latter, once more the same. If the gods have an inter-connective system, we need logically the source for the same; and if not, they are merely an alternative series of bits needing creation, just like the universe! They all fail relative to our search for the causative source of creation. In both cases, what logically precedes the other means that the other is not ultimate, and so not God in the domain and definition we require to satisfy reason.
In other words, the action of the Eternal Being must be one which does not make things out of itself, since its nature is generative, not merely a matter of confined and defined existence as an entity. We are looking for what, must be capable to provide what is not itself, namely the universe, the creation.
What has that got to do with it ?
We are seeking to account for it logically. If it not a matter of forming from itself, then it must be something from its power, from its devisings or thoughts or application of resources in causative mode, and the name for that, whether of hats or hatreds or wealth or bridges, is creation.
Yes, I suppose so ... is it ?
Creation is an act of a body sufficient for it, which causes what was not there, to be there, what was not operative, to be operative, what had no entity to have an entity, what was nothing at all, to be brought into being. It is not nothing as such, or it could not act, but nothing of the kind about to be created, so that the thing IS creation. In all things, you create either in a part (like writing on an already created exercise book), or in whole. We do not do the latter, not having access to the whole, and being within it anyway. When the whole is the burden for causation, creation is the mode.
Yes so we have the Creator as necessary.
Then I should know that Eternal Being.
Since you obviously CAN know about such causative considerations (see Causes on the Web), then you ought to do so, yes.
What if I fail to know the EB ?
Then you are like a car without manufacturer's handbook, aloof since you are a person.
But what if I want to know EB?
Then you had better succeed in doing so, since ignorance of your generative basis and oversight is perilous.
How do you know that ?
Put any entity without knowledge in an operating situation, and give it power to understand, then if it does not, it is in peril.
I understand that there must be the Creator, an overseeing Being.
EB and OB.
What if I do not have the power to reach EOB ?
Then this would mean that - I will use the term 'He' as a convenient designation of a Being capable of
personalities like you and me, and
capacity to reason, with a universe susceptible to reason,
through one composite plan in various acts, and hence capable of
|remembering and showing initiative;|
and one uses the capital 'H' so that we know without confusion, to what we refer...
You were going to say then ?
This would mean, if there were no equivalent to a handbook, or at least reliable and definable information source to the point, that the Creator would have made you without that discriminating and wise power in the midst of what can slay or ruin or bring horrendous pain to you. That would involve breaching and designating you for tragedy, or making such a situation. Hence, such a Being would be inadequate in Himself, with a constitution needing such outgoings for its completion, which is contrary to definition as causal at the final level, or else ...
Or else what ?
Or else that you and I and the rest of us, this globeful ..
Be serious. It would mean that you and I and the rest ...
This globeful ?
Yes, it must be adverse to Him in some way, since such a situation could not be constitutive, original. Sand must have got in the works. It could not be simply a birth set-up merely, in which we were so placed, not only vulnerably, not in paths past our capacity to control them.
Ah that explains much.
How so ?
The world is like an amphitheatre, in which some things are so delicious, detailed, magnificent, splendid, detailed, brilliant, ingenious, like flowers and DNA and beauty and moral loveliness here or there, this on the one hand, and others so devious, devilish, disastrous, undermining, virtually cursing, that one at once has grounds for seeking a magnificent creator and an ultra-unholy desecrator, one or more, in that case, since it is not an ultimate.
It does, at once.
Yes our appalling and strangely mixed situation becomes in need then, not only of a magnificent cause, but in desecration, an appalling cause from within it. What is that ?
Ah, so that is where sin comes in.
Yes, it is. We are ALL SINNERS.
What is this 'all'?
Suppose that some were not, then they would know this Being, and so not be placed in such a condition of exposure without supervisory accomplishments from Him.
Do they ? Do we find people whofg are sinless and knowledgeable and walking with the wisdom of God - well the EOB, we can use such a term for convenience, it is commonly so understood, and if anyone does not understand it, then the foregoing conversation would define it here ?
Sinless ? No. I have not met babies with consideration, or children without fault.
All then are sinners, and the universal situation for man is just so, and so he needs a resolution of this in order to have rationally realistic relationship with his Creator.
What of the atheist ?
He has no grounds for reason, reality, and just asserts, IT IS. That abandons reason and when you do that, there is no power to reason. Hence it is irrelevant.
What of the agnostic ?
If he asserts that you CANNOT know God, then he has an absolute knowledge of reality WITHOUT God, and this is a contradiction in terms. If there IS no basis for knowledge past interaction and the intimacies of composing terms which are all, then knowing the truth is not an option. It is not there.
What if he merely asserts that men DO not know God, as an empirical fact.
How could he KNOW that ? By what rational process can he come to this conclusion ? If it were absolute truth, he has as before, no access to it since it would not be there.
Hmm. If people say the universe itself is the ultimate ground of itself, then that is causatively nul, and irrational, right ?
Certainly. If you want to account for the presence of something by reason, and simply assert that it is there, you merely flunk the rational test and beg the question.
What if some say that they do not know but just do the best they can ?
This is simply a sub-type of agnosticism, and hence irrational. Doing the best they can, moreover, is illusory, since a failure to pursue the cause of it all is obviously to circumvent the necessary, and hence an irresponsible negligence; and how can that possibly be the best they can ?
No, it cannot be.
So you are a sinner.
This is so.
So am I.
That is very true. What is this sin ?
Failure to find the God who created and His specifications for living in such a world as this.
Is it anything else ?
Much else, but this is the source. It is also any failure to keep what you DO find when you DO known Him.
It is not merely episodic, but situational and dispositional.
I see what you mean: actions are items, like flashes of lightning, but there is the whole meteorological system in which those flashes occur, and which gives rise for them and reason back of them.
It covers the atheist, agnostic, the one who knows but does not seek or find God, the feelie who seeks something somewhere within something that has no causative power to make it all, since that merely presupposes an everything-without-cause.
You therefore need, in this communication from the Creator, something for man which is not dependent on his power and works, without works, since what would do the working would itself be defiled.
That is the point of dispositional. You need something by grace only, since by this alone is elevation to be found, from the standards of the source, in this case, conceived as man.
I left it to you so say it.
What more then ?
You need a mode of communication from the all-sufficient God, to cover the case. It is inadequate to have anything which is not as it were in quotation marks, since then the dispositional mars or jars, or static or interference renders it a composite with what is inadequate to cover such a case as this.
That should not be so hard to find. A rationally identifiable, direct speech communication from God of long advent, covering the first as the case is never found to differ, nor do the results of such sin, and providing a total-grace solution to the present plight of mankind. We look and survey. Is there one. Ah, I see one. There is only one.
This is not all. You have to have something ordered and sure, since God is not an arbitrary source of pain and problems insoluble, in that case extracting from creation what by its continuing nature, it CANNOT solve, so making Him insufficient in Himself, in need of addition, even contrary to Himself in man's sinfulness, which would mean He were just a creation, with limits and parameters.
That makes finding the information about ourselves from God far easier to find.
Yes. If man, as sinner, is not destroyed - and he is still here - but continues and yet CANNOT meet with Him, or be informed of the relevant specifications, his problem solved, but is in himself not least a continuing source of evil and contra-divine dealings, then the impasse with reason is reached. This would amount on the part of Creator in so creating, to a deliberately continued confrontation with Himself, a progressive annulment of His glory and modes. This is not so. God has no necessities, by definition.
He has not ditched it, so He must have plans for it ?
Right, and this plan, this information, this transmission from Creator to creation, to man in particular, it cannot be by selective finding by man, as if only some could possibly find it, since then a whole host would be selectively disenabled systematically, with the results which we have just seen. Now many might OPT to avoid it, or fight it, or deliberately ignore, bypass or have no interest in it, and that would be man's sin. But to have it not THERE would be attributable to God, thus burdening Him with such atrocities, such resources for Him of pain and horror, as if these were a complement to His Being, which in that case would be defective in itself, requiring such noxious nurture from creation for its satisfaction.
That would not possibly be God, for such a being would be only a delimited derivative in a self-augmentative situation.
Correct. Since man, the creation, with his discursive and rational powers, without the divine, not just to create him, but to instruct him, without that further information, would be unselectively defunct in the knowledge of God, what would result ?
What would then ?
Creation and hence Creator would be defective. That bespeaks an inadequate Creator, inventing from His completeness, the incomplete that tangles and wrangles, when in Him is knowledge and power, so that this jars on His nature and reflects on His power, and presupposes that He needed something which is unlike Himself, to make Himself sufficient.
So we have even more by which to identify the information from God to man which is needed ? We need a corrective for the defective ?
Yes, that is so. If man were to lack the corrective of an act of grace that covers sin, not only the episodic but the dispositional, in order to correct the slant even in reading information and opening the mind to it, and the operations of soiled will, then the Creator would be defective, in need of nurture outside Himself, and hence a mere contradiction in terms.
I see. Since He cannot be like that, hence there must be such information and it must contain a meeting of ALL these considerations, as rationally to be expected.
That in turn makes its definition easy, and its discovery certain.
Why do you say that ?
Already we have noted it is the Bible. What else does all these things ?
Without the cover of all these ingredients in the situation, what would the information be ? Not divine. That would corrupt communication. The gift of information must be direct and clear, and with it comes the power to alter the downward drift. That is, man the slanter has to be unslanted. The sinner has to be informed past interruption, static or swerving.
We need the effectual answer. That would take some doing.
So did creation.
True, but not long.
God cannot hate man, as such, since He made him and has not dispensed with the race. Yet He may hate or be averse to its condition, and in view of its operational realities, it must be hateful, or governed in a mode of odium.
You can say that again.
Good, it must be hateful in its condition to be in such a situation.
The continuance of the human race - and it DOES continue - requires a remedy, information, a resolution, sufficient, sound, recognisable, without limit in its provision, since the need is total and the power is the same in the Creator.
What about beauty and nice things ?
This condition of man is not removed by beauty and fine actions, since it is the whole which persists, and no fine thing can alter the dispositional reality, and the indictment of pervasive ignorance, of Him and His word. Only there, only in that, is exception to be found.
You mean that a murderer can love art and paint ? and a saint so-called can be a hypocrite, and vain, and that a doer of good can do it for kicks and so forth ?
Not just that. There is no need to be cynical, as if no good thing exists, just because our race as one whole is defective towards God, needs to find Him, not itself, being unidentifiable without Him, as is a picture without its artist, a mere pretence.
So whatever our human differences ... there is the situational totality on the one hand, and God on the other.
Which means that there must be a position to find, information to broach, a plan divine to find.
Where are those plans ? They must be public and sustainable since God has given us intellect by creation, and this is a testimony to people not to angels.
Moreover, they must show that the will of man is the cause, since if it were his original constitution, God would be the defective cause. Moreover, because of our race's condition which is the problem, man cannot supervise the solution, as if to be a subordinate creator of it. It must be inviolable (as is the Gospel in Galatians 1). It must be infallible, or principles fail, and God is almighty. Hence there must be foreknowledge by God so that the actual will of each living person is known by God, not distorted through skewing and sinful condition, to man. Nevertheless, this disposition of the will of man must BE a matter of knowledge on the part of the Creator, so that it is as real as if it were operational, that is, run by man on his own account.
That is a very tall order.
That is precisely why it is so magnificently kind of God to put it in the Bible, along with all the other met specifications, by which He even allows us to identify faithfully His word to man.
There must be an actual and reliable and genuine knowledge of the will of man toward the God of creation and His plan for man, and this must reside in God, apart from the sinful state of man and its pathological consequences. Only thus is man 'free' to find God, or deliberately, consciously or even unconsciously by a defiled nature; and only thus is the non-extorting nature of God fulfilled.
This begins to sound like a theological lecture, but I see your point.
This is indeed precisely what the Bible teaches. It is just what nothing else teaches: all of grace, man's will relevant as sinner, but the result of it at this level, something wrought in truth by God, so that HE KNOWS its choice. That is in itself verification that such as we find, is such as is sent and meant. It is just like that in Romans 8:28ff., II Timothy 1:8-10, in His sovereign disposition and foreknowledge, from which He in logical order then predestines, and in John 3:19, in which the will of man contradistinct from the saving willingness of God, and action indeed, is made the culprit. Nothing does God allow to interfere with His desire as expressed in Ezekiel 33:11, and so often, as in Luke 19:42 and Colossians 1, for man, all of the race.
What then does this mean of the human will IN its relationship to God ?
It is responsible in reality, but not to dispose of itself, rather to be activated as actuated in the sight of God.
Man CANNOT accept God by a fallen will (John 1:12 has just that, as a matter of fact), but for all that, God who knew each one before creation itself, before therefore the fouling up of the will, even before created time (Romans 8:39), knowing the reality of it from the first, implements it to the last (as in John 13:1) Before the eccentricities of time and the curse on sin, before limited time as we know it, from the first, what HE knew was the actual, concerning the will of each, the FACTUAL. For this the eternally adequate remedy, wrought in finale at Calvary, is applied. Thus it is precisely AS man wills in truth, but not as he would by himself dispose, in history, in which eternal reality leaps from the arms of God, to take home the sinner to salvation.
It's divine discretion dealing with knowledge of the actuality of unsmitten man, from the first, each foreseen, foreknown, realised by God, way beyond and before time and all its works. Neither therefore was He inducing man to come against his will, nor excluding him if he did so will. If you called that the Creator's pure love for His creation, you would not be wrong. As always, when the thing is resolved, the power comes and it is done.
What a splendid thing that what we look for, is precisely, though so deep in nature, what we find when we inspect the Bible! The fallen will is known beyond the fall, and the loving Father finds it after it has fallen, realising its depth, even when it has been drained to look merely superficial! Grace prevails, divine knowledge prevails, pre-set sin does not usurp all remedy, character is not the exclusion but will, and will is not the sovereign, but God, who puts each in place, by grace, interpreting all things aright.
Do you know something more ?
What is that ?
We had, for one thing, to find a way for liberty to be more than the expression of unfettered character, for then the character would be the ground and cause, and so those so granted would be simply another way of mere selection by Another, with no liberty at all.
That is true. Will has to be active without the dynamic conformism of character. It may help to DEVELOP character by acting for its own part, but then this is derivative not constitutional character. How can the will be so free ? It is by being so created, with commands allied to capacity to reject these.
How can this be done ?
By divine injection of will in a spirit which has as simple attribute, the capacity to conceive, relish, evaluate and apply, prioritising as desired, desiring as a personal being with untied wings, unchained preference, able to become an epi-centre of volition on personal terms.
But how can this be accomplished in a sinful situation ? without constraints from environmental, psychic or social duress ?
By ensuring that past sin does not preclude present application.
How is this done ?
it can only be done by remedy applied, or through divine knowledge that is equivalent, so that logically prior to that application in liberty, there must be a result co-ordinate with remedy applied. Virtual or actual liberty is then in view, contained, preserved, applied as fallen man is elevated in inspiration, guaranteed in foreknowledge. That, it has to be what is thus foreknown to God Himself, not as a thing compressed or constrained as man becomes, when fallen into sinful mould.
Then His power becomes our authentication, the basis of our experience, devising liberty and sustaining it, and where in sin it is squandered, then in the Redeemer it is not lost. How ludicrous it always is, to use the elements of an irrelevant model, in trying to apply another! The same is done with a will by relativistic, humanistic philosophers, who imagine they can draw on absolute truth to tell us their story, their model of actuality, when on that basis, there simply is no such truth about things and their nature! How then in the necessary absence, on that model, of that truth can they pronounce it for us, astray though it is also! How often this is done. The Bible also answers that, their conundrum, by presenting the God of truth as not only available, but operational,
Here, on this biblical basis, in terms of God as heart of the model, we find God, and see in truth how we can know Him in Christ as a brother, relish Him as a friend, in all integrity and sincerity, a due outcome by a magnificent salvation, installing what was true from the first, but lost, simply lost in the hearts of those who moving out, loose out. All are in that condition now, but those who return, and for one as for all, objectively, find the information and the truth in the Bible, as written repository, in Christ, as focussed remedy.
What God foreknew, God thus can do!
What then ? Foreknowing, without reference to works, God then applies and liberty is rescued. He can move a soul in stages of insight till the moment comes and the transition occurs; but the psychic barriers or prejudicial chains He can simply disperse, as light enters, the whole governed by His foreknowledge of the truth for each, which in turn is merely releasing realisation as fitting for that person, now in history, where the uncontaminated does not rule, for God does. Hence truth is preserved, liberty is unfallen and divine faithfulness is unfurled.
What was required for liberty, so that you do not try to blame the Almighty for the sin of man, is just what is found in the Bible, in life, then.
Precisely. Preconditions for liberty, in the Bible are provided as conditions and methods. What was needed, is what is found. The fit is exact. There are no antinomies as in the naturalistic model, which is bound to them precisely because they try to unbind the God from their ways, which depend on Him.
Indeed. Thus what of the reductionist desire to make in its evaluation man to be a freedom nought, someone without liberty, even though his rebellion prerogative is clear every day, and his guilt is overwhelming in vast tracts of mankind, and his fits of imaginative madness are as broad as the skies, and his deliberations include variable moral elements, disposable according to desire and preferred perspective, often obtained by systematic and even conscious dismissal of evidence ? It is rightly to be left abandoned.
Yes, yet man even co-operates often, with this febrile fact, reductionist surrealism, in a further fall, emphasising the evil that he has just accomplished by fawning on non-fact which he has sought and used, being in free fall. Then, prompted by the Lord who can penetrate any and all fog (cf. I Corinthians 1:18,2:14), to whom all things are manifest, he may suddenly awaken. Some people seem in a contra-model confusion to forget the transformative power of the Lord as He acts, but this does not prevent it! Natural barriers can all fall when the Lord act personally, like lightning amazingly enlightening the brooding sky. He can expose what part of His foreknowledge He wills, even make dramatic the current position, so giving to many varied insights of the events of change.
Now is the sinner astounded at such abuse of liberty as he has perpetrated, and clarified as if out of a drug constraint. Instead of having no centre from which to know anything, being a mere reactor, he now has ground for knowledge, including self-knowledge, and so consistently is liberty attuned to man. Meanwhile, a fallen world with responsible man is nearing extinction as planned, because sin is found in all, and rules most. This too the Bible covers to perfection, answering all problem areas systematically with its perspective and the power of God, on which, man as built, operates.
Hence all fits to perfection, like a tailor-made suit. Responsibility is man's. Liberty in love is the Creator's enablement. The presentation of the Bible is internally consistent, explains the ground of antinomy found where God is omitted, resolves in light what is elsewhere irresolvable, providing practical remedy and rational grounds. Unending darkness is the result of not receiving remedy, just as terminable darkness was the result of sin.
It is all a wonder, like a delicate dawning of increasing light, surging with strength, though delicate in texture.
In fact, In each and every category, then, as we seek God, and now seek His information folder or entity, we find there is but one answer. What answers one challenge, uniquely as with all the rest, answers all. Where there was famine, logically, now there is fillet mignon.
That is most satisfying.
When it is a matter of meeting all the categories simultaneously, there is a fortiori, one answer. Where is this word of God, this information, then, placed ? Empirically it is notoriously, famously, uniquely, as correlative to all these things, the Bible. There is no competition. It gives moreover grounds for its acceptance in multiple testings (as in Isaiah 41, 43, 48), and inviting them, sends out its salvation empirically also, in changing the hearts that receive the key, the solution, the Saviour. It has the remedy. Man has the responsibility. God ensures no errors and many are found.
So that is the Bible, once more. What about its coming in steps of divine revelation ?
It may be given in stages, but each on each, none retrospectively contradictory, but it comes complementary stages. This is just what happened with it.
What do you mean ?
What we look for, in seeking God, leads to criteria. When we finally see the need of a divine plan, we gradually gain many tests for it. One of these is non-self-contradictory arrival, however many were the steps.
Ah I see: and then there it is, the Bible, with just such solution, in just such a way, verifying itself in meeting the case in every point, and doing so uniquely. In the case of will ... the ultimate effect of the matter is this, that God ensures, as wanting to resolve the poignant and grievous issue of man, that in the very face of His desire ...
Yes, His desire to save, there is no impediment in the last resort, for what was the case from the first, is preserved to the last. The Lord knows who are His, as in II Timothy 2:19.
That is really restful to the spirit, for it means that if you WANT God, it is not He who will stop you! What more COULD one want than that!
It is sure, and indeed it is His desire that all be methodically brought back to functionality, and far from the sovereign results of sin in a sinful disposition. Toward that end, having created this delicious thing called freedom, He has given to the uttermost, what covers to the ultimate as in John 3:15-19, with from the outset, NO desire to judge, but rather to obtain salvation. Nothing seeking Him with all the heart escapes His net, though many are foreknown as NOT having any such desire whatever. The devil has his cohorts, and exports to help them come to him, and so fail. This they may freely do.
That is sad, but just the obverse side of freedom, then.
In fact, the Creator-Redeemer has known in advance and beyond sin, the will of each and implements that by sovereign power, so that it is as if the hen is calling to all the chicks, but some are enabled to hear, contrary to nature, but not contrary to will. In other words, He supervenes the damage and enables action on a reality minus pathology, and then like a surgeon, sews it up.
So He sows and sews ?
Yes, His plan is public, unchanging, capital, unconditional, effectual, all of grace, dealing with integrity with human will towards Himself, confirmed by prophecy TO and IN Christ, by prophecy THROUGH and FROM Christ, yes just as in your SMR p. 973A , and thus it is all sewn up.
AND the individual's salvation is all sewn up.
And that is why it can be written ...
True, I know what you are about to say...
Then let me say it.
Go ahead, good to see you confident. Let's have it.
It is this: God so loved, He did not send His Saving Servant, revealed in the Bible as His only begotten Son, to condemn the world. Instead He sent Him that whoever believes in Him should not perish, and the object in view is the world.
Yes, precisely as in Colossians 1:19ff., where God would have ALL to be reconciled and come to repentance.
Thus we come to the verse on the tip of my tongue.
Don't say it, I will say it. John 3:19. Yes, in VIEW of the desire of God NOT to condemn the world and to provide in love for any and for all, He so sent the sacrifice of the Saviour to bear the judicial penalty of sin, and breaking this in form, force and dynamic, confer life beyond that barrier. From this, there is a result.
And that ?
It is this. God states what is the new and final condemnation.
True. Without salvation being available, there is condemnation for sin.
But with it, there is condemnation for rejecting the remedy, since after all, that in itself can take care of the sin.
Thus: "This is the
condemnation, that light has come into the world
and men loved darkness rather than light."
But has not that always been the case ? I mean way back in Eden, with the first man as in Romans 5, to pursue the information in this meta-indicated Bible, did not God make His will clear, His way, His situation as divinely conceived, quite clear!
That is so, but then man was on simple probation, as simple as could be, for God or not, obey or disobey. He did what he wanted and got what he asked for.
So it WAS a case of preference then ?
Yes but preference when IN the light, and not from OUTSIDE the light, in darkness, so that you then needed a resolution of the problem, How to gain man when in this regard, his hand is too paralysed to reach out and gain your own ? In that case, your preference for darkness is for your THEN EXISTING realm, not for one you knew almost nothing about, parallel to Eden, a site where the irony was intense. Instead of becoming like God, according to the devil's prospective, he rather knew the meaning of good and evil by himself becoming evil, a sad jaunt to condemnation, and indeed, to what was worthy of condemnation.
So now, sin being ready for an existing total cover, there is but one way to get away from God and so live in a created universe in a created soul in a created situation without the Creator.
Yes, what is it ?
Turn down the Saviour.
Yes, and then the condemnation is once more as simple as could be, but the state has advanced: sinner and due for condemnation that you are, yet in the love of the Creator you are not liable if you accept the cancellation of liability in Christ's sacrifice unadorned; but if you do not, then you are.
And God knowing you through and through, even in reality before man or sin ever entered this world, ensures that no evil pathological sin, or muddled will functioning on this earth, prevents your will from its ultimate option.
It cannot work in this, but God who made it, works in it to have it truly represent what before sin came, was its way ?
Yes, and in so interpreting it, He KNOWS it, and since this is before all time, removing all merely transient things from an eternally important alignment, He KNOWS what He is talking about, and implements it. Whom He FOREKNEW, He predestinated. He knows what He wants, that is all, as to His disposition, what He does not want, what is not willing in reality; and He knows how to ensure that each is where it should be, granting salvation where it fits the underlying reality of the willing as in John 6:65. Based on (fore) knowledge, God gets whom He knows, and grants salvation, just as He stirs the spirit of those who are His, that they are moved toward Him, the reality unleashed. What is not so conformed in heart and in reality, receives no grant, and would never do so in a million years. With it, its spirit, will, mind, its disposition and perspective so disposed, that is emphatically out.
You see ALMOST cases in Hebrews 6 and 10, don't you, where some have been stirred to the point of tasting - for God can penetrate just as He will. but not swallowing, so remaining not converted. They have no stomach for it.
Indeed. Adam found how to get out; now man has to get in. Though sin damps the will, God knows the heart from of yore, and enlivening the spirit, does what light always does, transforms the situation (except where there is obscuration to make the light irrelevant, and it stays)!
So then is man responsible for the continuation of the horror which alongside wonder and beauty and kindness and pity, is in this world, because as a race mankind does not repent but instead turns in numbers far from God, oblivious to all rescue from eternity to time, and reaping the result from time to eternity.
There was often a great revival toward God, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, was there not, but now the nations turn and spurn, instead of yearning and learning, and passion play of humanity nears its end.
Yes, some come, but then in many a land, in the coming generation, the people or nation gyrates away, and overall, now this world of conflict and cadavers is approaching the end of the play. God with man has laboured, some indeed finding God; but the whole system now tends to go as if He were not there, or did not care, or was not worth the marble, or was irrelevant.
Yes, Christ did not even pray for this world, the system, the evilly passionate, self-serving pattern, the humanistic, the dissident, the self-elevating collection of little horrors who do their godless stuff and seek to cover this world, but manage only its pollution, amid murders innumerable, and hideous morals, if any.
What did He pray for ?
It was for those who out of this world, ungoverned by its systems and pawns of its direction, are found, are delivered, are enabled to escape (Hebrews 6:19), for those who are already found and who in coming times, will be. It is those for whom He has paid and who therefore have as children of God, ALL things (Romans 8:32): it was for these that He was not merely offered up, but delivered up so that they are HIS. These are not merely offered to purchaser, with adequate funds in hand, but secured by their personal payment as assigned to them, received, to cover their cost. They are many (Matthew 20:28), but not shanghaied; found and not seized. So the Lord secures His own, and this world holds in thrall its own, and the ways of this world work their devices to deceive (cf. Revelation 20:3). The word of God, the word for life, has it all there.
It is good to have children if you can manage.
He can (Galatians 3:26-27).
He acts according to the written word and through the incarnate word: the one tells, the other both tells and does.
How simple, the DNA for the body, the Bible for the life.
It never changes. Cultures do not alter it, merely confront it subtly or otherwise. The kingdom of heaven, on the other hand, exemplifies, exhibits and demonstrates it.
This is further means of identification.
It is a necessary confirmation that it is the word of God: it does not change and it does act according to specifications.
But it develops, this written word, it has grown ?
As does man from child to maturity, but no part is rescinded, merely built on.
That is its unchanging message to man, to come to God, and this whether as sinless in Eden's day, at the outset, or as sinner as now.
And the plan is the same as from the first: the Messiah to come and crushing the evil, free up man. Right from Genesis 3, you have that. It is One so far above man, that instead of being judicially and energically trapped, as if in prison, He taking the form of man, can crush even the devil, source and inspiration, executive and proponent of evil.
So the Bible presents the entire picture: not all knowledge, but the entire system from creation to salvation.
Yes, indeed. Its centrepiece in solution, which is called salvation, is Jesus the Christ who came at a pre-stated date (Christ the Citadel Ch. 2), for His death, the means of this salvation, and to show God so that people might see, and feel, and taste and see, and be put above and beyond cogitation into direct cognition. If man delays, the opportunity may be lost; and worse, the Age will end, and Jesus is specific about being caught napping, or worse fighting the wrong war!
Let's put it together. In addition to alone meeting the requirements of reason and truth, this same Christ has been provided with the verificatory testimony of the many prophecies which acted as criteria to establish His identity. He added His own prophecies to establish down the ages, confirmation of His attestation when on earth and demonstrated His healing power (as you would expect in the Creator in the first place) to such a staggering extent that His fame spread to surrounding peoples who came streaming to catch the opportunity of a life time (cf. Matthew 14:13-14,34-36). Healing He taught; and teaching, He healed as never before seen (John 7:31).
It all validates the search, the method, providing what is required, with what God has done to meet it, so that reason and history meet in a grand and exalted voyage, at the end of it.
So history is a player too ?
Yes, history is one of His agencies to the point, as He said, that every jot and tittle of the word of God is fulfilled, as in Matthew 5:17-20, and you see it when it looks unlikely, still come as a morning mist, you know not from where. Then suddenly, it chants, like a chorus continually singing His praises and attesting the wonder of His actions. He acts. We see, and comparing find the consummation of verification in validation itself.
Is history presented then in just one bundle ?
There is a whole, yes. However, in sequence, the Jews are one of the main strands, but the Gentile world is another, the spiritual state, developments and details of the entire world to view a third. Logic is a fourth and psychology a fifth, if by this you refer to the inward, conscious, purposive and planning, ideationally perceptive side of man. In all, and far more, there it is as it was in the predicted prelude. Now it occurs; but if the eyes be blinded by will, then man becomes responsible for not noticing, indeed for despatching truth with an ardour to distant plains or even planes. It becomes like the actions of Obama in removing defensive atomic weapons from play, while the world boils. It loves to be free from defence, even from God! and trusting in man, finding again and again, the full riot of sin. Meanwhile, with guileful smiles, other prepare... So they squall.
GOD so loved, the world so hated, and in seeking with endless fraudulent and fake philosophies to grab this world, or his neighbour's land or statehood, or power, or pride, or pretension, even to imagine that being made by God, he may yet become like God in status, in a searing sally of ambitious, rationally forlorn pride, this world has signified its hatred. It wants, just as Satan offered from the first, to be up there, at the top wherever that is, to soar in ambition, to be replete in supremacy.
Yes, it is so. I do not fail to notice how mankind seems either in being led or leading, in crusader or chorus, to want to be the first nation, the first professional, the first inventor, the first to be replete in satisfaction, the first to stand incomparable in deal or even distorted ideal, the first in attainment, the first in control and so forth. This is the kind of a spirit which seems to grab at it; and when it moves as it often does, in accord with this, then it can do so with such a revolting repetition that you can see why Christ did not pray for it. He preferred to pay, not for it, whose end in unfathomable, but for those who being His, opt out of the spirit of this world, and into the kingdom by ineffable grace.
God does not call and not do; there is never lack of means.
There is no limit, then to salvation, as if it cannot pass a certain number.
God SO loved that He sent His ONLY begotten that WHOSOEVER! There is no limit. Of course that is, in terms of the outreach of love. When the RESULTS are in, already foreknown, not fore-forced, then it does of course turn out that a certain number is there, who came in foreknown fact. If they are there, you could, if able, count them. That is not to be confused with a limit on the seeking, only a certainty about the result.
How I love to avoid confusion. Pray to God that we follow His word, for then we CANNOT become confused.
No, as He says, it is all clear to the one who understands (Proverbs 8:8), for although the mind of man can spoil and soil it, it remains clear as written, and this is its characteristic.
But what of deep things as Paul describes them ?
In I Corinthians 2, we learn that even the DEEP THINGS of God, He has revealed.
Does that then mean everything ?
Not at all: it does mean however SYSTEMATIC certainty so that nothing is merely shallowly misunderstood. Truth in all things is the criterion.
I love to be a child of God.
Have you repented ?
I did even as we spoke.
Yes, it is wonderful, as if a screen is removed, and seeing God at work, you find yourself utterly removed, even with revulsion, from sin and its very apparatus, so that God working in you, moves the heart, and opening the eyes, grants eternal life as your faith is moved to acclaim Him
And so it remains, for He will never leave or forsake the One who has come to Him, never cast out (John 6:37). Even if someone runs like Jonah, SINCE He never leaves or forsakes, therefore the run cannot be fast or far enough to get away. If it did, He would forsake, who having all power, did not run after! That this could ever occur to one of His sheep, He denies (John 10:9,27-28). He KNOWS who they are, and THEY follow Him, transformed into the components of His flock.
The rich young ruler, Christ did not run after; but then HE moved away mourning, because he himself WOULD NOT COME. If this is your way, indeed there is no running after by any rule; and if the Lord perseveres, be thankful, for there is a cut-off time (Isaiah 57:15ff.), where the human soul is no longer free to come, like scar tissue, spoiled for recovery. Against this danger, God loves and no such result will ever occur to prevent Him, only to EXPRESS the reality!
Ah, so that's why in John 5:24, the one who believes Christ's word and believes on Him who sent Him, even from His eternal life in heaven, does not come into condemnation. There is no such stop on the line as that for him.
Yes and what more ?
In John 5:24 ? It is that such a person has this already has eternal life and has passed from a condition or state of death into one of life, a constructional, situational and intrinsic change.
That is why, is it not, in I John 3:9, we find that when you are born of God, His seed, His spiritual re-creation, this remains in you, just as your birth genes do in ordinary life on earth.
That's for me.
Good brother, good.