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There is a record of invitation which has a flash of glory in it, and a thrust of splendour.

Let us now return to what may seem the vague, distant world of yesteryear - since with computers as with much else, the world is moving like a child on a mudslide, rapidly to new territories. It is doing it continually so much better in so many things, that the fact that the human direction in morals, spirit and constancy, reliability, truth, mercy and restraint, understanding, wisdom and peace is DOWN, always overall down, seems almost lost. Yes, September 1997 seems almost a world away! Yet it is back there that we will look.

The world continues to educate its kids as if they were indeed the offspring of goats in so many things: be yourself, cultivate your self-esteem BECAUSE it is good for you, gives you more drive to drive where you WANT to go, and get what you WANT to get. Don't be too moral, for that way can inhibit the life-thrust which must carry you to somewhere interesting. Otherwise you could become a society-drag, needing mental and other help, and that helps no-one. So be yourself, hold up a school or shoot a teacher, hold up a bank or use the pokies, drain your resources for self-fulfilment, abort and murder kids by the million - why worry, are they not the children of goats? Have new 'enlightened' attitudes showing RESPECT for human dignity, while you are murdering unborn kids for no better reason than this: that it gives a sense of self-direction, self-fulfilment and ceases putting mothers in a more dependent and less autonomous position than fathers seem to have.

No wonder the 'kids' tend to act the goat. They may or may not be the children of 'goats' Biblically; for in the Bible, Matthew 25, that is the designation for what are no sheep of the Governor and Creator of the universe, and the metaphorical point is simple. It means that some WILL not conform to GOD, but rather conform to their own antics and ways, so neither desiring nor being able to find place next to their Maker: they are too busy making themselves, without the power to do the job, so that instead of what their actual Maker made them for, is a mere distorted dishevelment, an anguished or perhaps anon complacent COMPOSITION by an incompetent 'artist' or 'artiste'.

We will look back on the article on the uprooted young in Time Magazine, September 1, 1997, then, and take up some the material from my Questions and Answers, No.7, with adaptations, and looking back, look on. Barbs enough, there is balm.
We considered a poor, deluded 'kid' who was getting so used to braying to the moon like a donkey, that the imaginary conversation was recorded. We shall adapt it a little and extend it a lot, in the dialogue.

Q. How can I know God?

A: First by believing in Him.

Q: Oh I have no trouble about that - the trouble is this: I tend to make my own. I find it cheaper in cigarettes too.

A: Any 'god' you make is a word, or possibly a psychic fragment, a mental spawn, dependent on you; except that it may be of interest to the fraud friends who love to invade human kind, not only in wars on earth but in wars for the life of man. The sheer, fermented LUST which man often finds within him, not sexual, that is small by comparison in some ways, but spiritual - to be, to find, to know, to direct, to have the vision, to implement it at the cost of a few tens of millions of lives if necessary, as with Hitler and Mao. He KNOWS all except this, that his knowledge, being self-derivative, is self-confined, and what is needed is knowledge unconfined to the culture, history, genetics and prejudice of the latest artisan of mankind.

Q: All right. I am not as blind as all that. I KNOW there is someone out there, but I do not know how to find and identify that being.

A: Suppose you thought a little more efficiently. If YOU were the greatest, endued with magnificent and certain truth, there might be some point in seeing what YOU could do. As you are not, but esteem yourself a sort of contrivance of cultural, psychic, historical and so forth elements, why not look for action by the BEING HIMSELF. After all, YOU are one of the results of it!

Q: That seems sensible. Is there any evidence of such action by THE BEING?

A: Yes. Read No. 7 above - pp. 23-30, and then The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Chs.1-3, 5-6 to start with; then Questions and Answers No. 1 on Why you should WANT eternal life ... and then ...

Q: Yes I know. All right, so there is one almighty being who has spoken. Fine. If I had a sort of spiritual geographical yen or lust, I might investigate. But what is all that to me?

A: I do not know if you have any autistic tendencies?

Q: Me? Man of the moment, inhabitant of the world, interested in what happens, lover of what is, to nut it out...

A: So far, not so bad! Well, let us have some applied yen, and see whether the BEING has expressed what you want; and if so, you may find the answer to all your questions in the MAKER of the questioner.

Q: That seems good. What then is the set-up?

A: There is an arrangement by which man may come to accept what God is presenting in His covenant offered to the race. It is very deep in its innermost heart, since it is a gift of God; but in your relationship to it, while it will do intense sonar sounding in your depths, the actual result is not difficult to understand.
Q: What then is a covenant?

A: It is a solemn and binding agreement between two parties, and when one is divine, the covenant has His sovereign imprint, is not a subject to bargaining, but may be rejected on earth with assigned consequences.

Q: Why should I deal with the Almighty at all?

A: Because

a) He made you.

b) you would have no meaning at all to play with, no will to utilise, no bodily powers to display your will - if He did not sustain you and keep you in a world given meaning only by Him.

c) His is the most marvellous mercy ever to be, the most excellent care and concern imaginable, and then more; He has provided even for your evils, errors yes, and even your pride, if you prefer to imagine yourself something great (though, goodness knows, HE made you - so what is that!).

Q: I don't find these reasons irresistible. Why then should I bother?

A: Because, in addition, the world as you see, is going to blazes fast, the races are becoming mad in their independence of ANYTHING and ANYONE who is found to be there, and their DEPENDENCE on what is not there, so that the independence fever is grasping the human race, which has never been further from being the humane race.

Individual, racial, national autonomy is close to becoming a ritual. However, as we see reported in Time magazine (September 1, 1997, p. 57), there is coming to some a realisation of the obverse side of liberty. In fact, many of the generation that tried to enjoy its flush of bloom in the 1960s, to step out and on to whatever, with indifference to the cost and the precise character of the quest, to diverge into existential innovation, often find now, a 'strange' development. With more mature attainment or experience and freedom grasped, to quote from one of them in the Time article, there ...

Experimenting with many liberties, the world is in irons, ready to be cut at any time, and minds are failing as more seek drugs, authorised and other, to control themselves; wars are like a thick blanket of smog, while atrocities are becoming the work of grown men, with serious faces, pulverising opposition because of - well, as to its formulation, you name it, they'll think of it! It may take them a little while.

Q: That is a significant reason to think. But it does not motivate me. Show me why I should be motivated to relate to the Almighty at all! Why!

A: Because, 5thly - isn't that abbreviation ghastly, but so is sin, which is an abbreviation of our functions, like a Jaguar car being used to draw a plough, possible but absurd! Fifthly, then, because sin against the Maker's specifications is degraded, debasing, ruinous and irrational.

Q: That has weight. But what if He does not stir me?

A: Do you want that written with a capital 'M'? and God with a small 'g'?

Q: No thank you. I do see the relationship, believe me. However, I ask you this: WHY should I feel it right to regard Him - not just what is convenient, or appropriate, or fitting or functional or something else - more than all!

A: That is quite a good point. It is for this reason: THAT if He makes you and you ruin it, you should have a good reason ... or else quite simply be a ruinous, a degraded and degrading person whose fit end - to represent the nature of your life's work, and activities - would really quite justly be hell.

Q: This is shameful, I grant. Maybe I have existential inertia, maybe its reaction against an earlier generation's existential frenzies. I have no good reason. But then shame just does not drive me - not enough anyway. What else?

A: This then: this GOD whose name is great, whose works speak (as in your own case, literally, just now!) for themselves, has acted. HE for HIS part did something. He made a choice if you like. He decided constructively to satisfy His justice by enduring the shame sinners deserve, but to do so selectively, for just those sinners who would receive this gift: it is called eternal life. The offer is to all, the cost-coverage is for those relevant, and relevance is NOT for the wounded who refuse hospital!

Q: What is so wonderful about that? Oh, I grant you it is generous, loving too, and marvellously perceptive. But then, HE did make me! Is it not just about the ticket for me, then, that He would do that - a sort of customer service situation?

A: No! Customers do not expect service when they use a carving knife to shape cement on bricks, do they? That would be extortion.

Q: Good point! Well, it still just does not reach me. What can I do?

A: Listen then to this. He, as Christ Jesus the Lord, became a man - that is the advantage of being a Trinity with

and its death for all to be His;

That person, Jesus Christ, God-as-man, SHOWED what it is to be poor in spirit. HE COULD have called legions, armies of angels; but He CHOSE to meet the case as man would have (and should have) met it, by becoming 'vulnerable' without falling. Indeed He chose this fragility of form as a man, while remaining holy with a heavenliness both immovable and intangible, impenetrable and alert with unimpugnable purity.

It was just as atrocious, despite the fact that it had long been prophesied that THIS was to be the very substitutionary death, in the place of repentant sinners - He even prayed for the evil-doers while they did it -
that would be the expression of His love, care, concern and ...

Q: You interest me, now. Of His what?

A: Of His satisfaction of justice (Romans 3:23ff., Galatians 3:10ff.).
God is just, and thank goodness for that, for if He were not, it would be an arbitrary and scatty universe. As it is, sin makes it rough enough; but the grace of God brings peace, blessing and godly power to those who accept this offering of the Father's Son, Jesus Christ as sin-bearer, to remove that barrier between them and their God.

Q: I hate to say this. You are making me feel embarrassed. The fact, however is this: I still do not find it in my heart to repent - least of all of being myself. I just want to me myself. Why not? What's wrong with me?

A: You just said you were becoming embarrassed. Small wonder. You seriously ask me what is wrong with you when the offer of infinite power for your puny sinful and sick soul is not enough to stir you! You ask me what is wrong with being yourself, merely. What if HE had been satisfied with that ? YOU would JUSTLY be in hell.

Q: I think the missing word is love. WHY did HE do this? To get more workers for heaven, or something like that, or because of some personal attraction to us?

A: You are inventing a dilemma. NEITHER. HE has enough power to work anything; HE is self-sufficient and can have no necessity, personal need for us. HE WILLS to give us delight in His presence, because HE IS delightful, IS loving (I John 4:7-10, John 3:16). And you are not stirred by that; even when the cost to Him was infinite in this, that an infinite Being cast His resources to such a pittance, a pitiable and pitiful pittance as we are as sinners, to redeem us from the power and penalty and scope and destiny and folly and narrowness of sin!

Q: I am beginning to be stirred. But DOES He love? If it is not pragmatic, and it is not a matter of our being irresistibly lovely (and I confess to more than a little doubt about that) - is it REALLY love! I respond to love, it is a fine thing, nothing finer, especially when it is inextricably bound to truth; I loathe pretence.

A: We are, realistically, NOT irresistibly lovely; and ONLY in the immovable God is there any loveliness, where our harbour and marina is. HIS waters make loveliness in the sheer peace and joy of it (read Isaiah 32-33). It is quite simply, love.

Q: Then can I love Him back ? I would like to do that.

A: You CANNOT, but you MAY. Let me explain. In sin, and without God, you cannot love. You can be fine, impressive, but without the basis of love, you are a spiritual bonzai, at best, and your outlook is fluted with sin, self and admirations of various lesser kinds. In ignoring God to start with, you show hate, not love. And if you do not FEEL hate to Him, then you SHOW it by so treating Him and yourself without His care, , who made you and did so much for your deliverance from trashy stuntedness and flashy sin.

Q: I INSIST on loving Him! Why not ?

A: Because you must be clean.

Q: I acknowledge that. It is better to be prepared for love; and I am certainly no angel. But how to love my Maker, tell me - how ?

A: THANK Him for His grace, His love, His gift, for His Son, His sacrifice, His concern, His planning it all, His DOING it all, His dying that you might have redemption from sin and death, His resurrection from the dead, for His concern to demonstrate His power in so many ways, and so personally: and then COME.

Just COME to Him with your sins, unload, and tell Him, with those gone on the Cross garbage collection unit, that this is why you love Him (II Corinthians 5:19-21). HE DID IT; YOU NEEDED IT: and for this above all, He has granted you to join HIM, who IS love, with sins pardoned, power granted and life abundant like a mountain stream, WITHIN YOU (John 14:6, I John 4:7,10), as well as beyond you.

Q: Good! But weren't we going to talk about covenants?

A: We were. We draw nearer. There are two points we need just now.

1st: THIS IS A COVENANT. Christ said that the blood He shed in covering the sin which deserves death and claims life (His life - because of its purity, adequacy and wise love for those who receive it - John 1:12-14, Romans 8:32, Isaiah 53:1-6, II Corinthians 5:19-21) - is what?

Q: I seem to remember that from a church I once attended - is it THE BLOOD OF THE NEW COVENANT or testament ? Didn't He show that in the Last Supper - isn't that where He broke the bread, but simultaneously stayed intact till much later, on the Cross - providing in this preliminary ceremony, a symbol of reality to come ?

A: It is. There is a signature if you like. It is in blood. It is by blood. What it signifies IS blood, blood and life shed, granted in abundant pain and yet more abundant desire to rescue you. There is the solemn agreement you most need: Christ has given HIMSELF and signed it with His blood, which is pictured in the grape juice in the Lord's Supper, which is a sacrament like baptism - that juice does not save, nor does baptism; but it shows you in no uncertain terms, WHAT DOES: and HIM WHO DOES SAVE (Isaiah 63:1, Titus 2:14)...

Q: But what was the other thing you had in mind ?

A: The 2nd ? It is this. Being poor in spirit. Do you realise that it says: BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT! HE said THAT!

No: BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT. NOT, blessed are the self-esteeming, the libido experts, the self-confident, the self-assured! BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT. Do you realise that this is one of the beatitudes, or statements of the way of intense divine blessing ?

Q: No. Should I ? I never hear about it. They told me in school to look after number one, to be nice because it helps others to be nice, and to make sure I got what I wanted. Is that being rich
in spirit ?

A: Millionaire class, hot air class, no CLASS! HE, though He was rich, became poor for our sakes, so that "we through His poverty, should be rich." That is in II Corinthians 8:9. That is poverty of spirit. HE made HIMSELF poor (lowly in form, acting as a servant to perform what it took to do what love proclaimed necessary). HE DID NOT CARE what He looked like, in the end, even on the Cross. He did not mind (though it HURT! Hebrews 5:7), what it felt like: He wanted to serve, and if it meant being a servant instead of appearing as a King, so be it! THAT is being poor in spirit.

Q: It surely is. How can I be poor in spirit ?

A: By likewise not CARING what you look like, not minding what you feel like, provided you PLEASE GOD and satisfy His loving heart. Then it is no more a matter of your rich self doing what it will for its own purposes, but lovingly doing what it may, for HIS loving purposes. You are subordinated willingly and voluntarily to HIM, but as a friend; and He, being so friendly, He raises you to His face, blessing and dealing with you as His own poverty of Spirit shows.
What then if you become His ?

This too means that you accept your place in His team, voluntarily, assured that such a Captain will show you how best to serve, with whom, when and how. You seek earnestly to find the best in your associates, help them develop it without fuss or intrusion, and hope for the utmost, considering others better than yourself, as an attitude, without personal vying for place and face (Philippians 2:3, II Corinthians 12:20, James 3:16). After all, HE is the judge. Let HIM do it! You wait upon Him for the best use of your talents to His glory, since He MADE them and REDEEMED you, that is your pleasure.

Q: I seem to remember another statement like that now!

It also says, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." What is that ?

A: Some want to GRAB the earth, and fight, killing millions. Or they want to INHABIT the earth with people who ALWAYS MUST believe what they do, as the Roman Catholics did in the Inquisition, seeking to break or bend the will that resisted, and the Moslems set about doing likewise for some hundreds of years, and as Hitler sought to do, and as Stalin and as Napoleon - and so on. THEY did not inherit the earth. (Cf, SMR pp. 809, 904ff., 924-929, 949-954, 968-972, 986-991, 1033-1041, 1077-1082.) Earth they inherited, but 6 feet under. This was not their inheritance to give; and as for Christ, He declared,

Christ's kingdom does not crucify, but follows One who was voluntarily crucified, electing not to flee, or even not to stay in heaven, but respecting the need of man, made in His image, resolved to take that image so that it might be restored to original condition, yes and enhanced with assured eternity which, placed in our hearts, is always a desire, direct or indirect, diverted, perverted, contorted, disported, abased, insanely elevated to the elevators of the UN or some worldly pseudo-church, whose servants DO fight for their 'faith' and whose kingdom IS of this world, and who let the world know all about that, in no uncertain terms!

What pride and arrogance for this-world 'churches' so to deal with the people God has made, and of whom Jesus Christ said: DO NOT BE CALLED RABBI, FOR ONE IS YOUR MASTER, EVEN CHRIST, AND YOU ARE ALL BROTHERS. AND He added: CALL NO MAN YOUR FATHER ON EARTH, FOR ONE IS YOUR FATHER, WHO IS IN HEAVEN (Matthew 23:8-10).

Incidentally, that relates to God's people; for as to those who follow the adversary, Satan, Christ said to them: "YOU are of your father, the devil" (John 8:44). Their world-dominating blind leaders with some philosophy buzzing like a saw in their heads, go berserk in the jewel of a world God made, seeking to eradicate the curse on sin with power and impenitence mixed in a froth of pride. However, that can wait. (See Questions and Answers 5, SMR pp. 750Bff.)

Q: As far as I am concerned, it can wait a long, long time.

But tell me more HOW can I be poor in spirit? I want to be. It seems eminently reasonable and decidedly attractive. It has a sense of reality which when it is merely a lost and forlorn thing, seems weak; but if related to THE BEING, it would seem great, somehow grand, because He is ... in an utter way true of no one else ... uniquely worth-while.

A: Do you remember what we said about ABIDING? THAT is poor in spirit because this is practical living in which CHRIST is your beloved LORD, and His desire is your delight. His grace, you wish not only to have, but to give; and His service, you not only appreciate now, but wish to apply in moving mountains if need be, so that your own life may be godly, and His mercies may reach others. Remember here also these five delightful parts of the word of God - Colossians 1:18, 3:17, Philippians 1:20-21, 3:9-10 and 4:10-13. They are poverty-in-spirit tonic par excellence! The first says -


The second -


The third:


Q: Is that good solid practice?

A: As to that, listen! Then? When you have done all, count yourself an unworthy servant (Luke 17:10). What does this imply? That the time to become complacent and self-congratulatory is when? It is NEVER!

By all means soar, but soar without affectation, like a glider, which without noise rises on the rising air currents, and moves aloft, where the view is superb, the air fresh, the outlook wonderful. The Bible refers to this as SITTING IN HEAVENLY PLACES (Ephesians 2:6). It is not only PLACE but GRACE, and in this we live and move and have our being. Consider fifthly, Ephesians 2:8:

Q: Saved?

A: From

1) yourself as a derivative divorced from the point of origin, when the
origin is infinitely more important than a point, and

2) your errors, of insight, understanding, perspective - you are like a glass car driving on jagged edges which you neither understand to avoid, nor appreciate to interpret.

3) your world, which has a series of inputs which come from anything varying from the straight-faced insane pomposities of power, to the inane, crooked spirited verbosities of delusion, to the rat-like survival antics of the spiritually uprooted, the ultimate dispossessed to ...

4) your due judgment, not the least part of which is to "eat the fruit of your own doings" - that can really be an incandescent anti-feast, and

Q: Yes and so on. However, while it would be good to be saved from this, why should I embark on a ship which might carry me anywhere?

A: God will carry you to God, the utterly self-sufficient God (cf. Questions and Answers, Section VII, SMR Ch.1) . It is His good pleasure is to give ... beyond creation, to the redeemed - Himself, in friendship. Abraham was called the friend of God, and such a friend there never was, as the Lord is. He abundantly surpasses all. THAT is in the very depths of the meaning of the covenant, of the Cross, of the Bible, of the entire revelation.

Q: But what if I should grow sick of Him?

A: The point rather is, that it is covenantal that HE will not grow sick of you.

Q: Answer please my question. Even granted that He is rather wonderful and splendid and sacrificial and non-surviving as His aim, and so forth, but continues with His almighty power because it is His, showing love in His willingness to use it as He did, not like some crazy dictator, or distant bureaucrat ...

A: Now it is my turn to interrupt. Granted He is fine, why worry about dissatisfaction with what is fine! If you WERE able to become this, dissatisfied with that! it would be a sign that it was time you were restored from such pseudo-autonomous self-indulgence. When you are dealing with the truth, and the truth is personal in this way, it is the TRUTH which is thus healingly dealing with you, and what could be better than that. In the end, you are either going to "hate" your own life...

Q: Hate it? Come on!

A: Yes, it is in a sense a figure, but what you can figure from Christ's words in Luke 14, to this effect is this. You have to be willing to distance yourself from autonomy, where YOU are the centre of the universe, YOUR word is the distillate of wisdom, YOUR will is the most important thing in the world. Now there are many force-philosophies which, duly engaged to politics and married to inglorious grandeur, will do this for you, with prison as the option. Here you are in the presence of your Maker, the Redeemer who knows how BOTH to distance you from delusion and to enable you to be the person you were made to be IN HIS IMAGE.

Q: All right! I'll surrender to Him. How ?

A: You have to go deeper. I am sorry. Do you see the superficial character of your self-bounded living?

Q: Yes, but it is rather short-circuiting for my vision.

A: Precisely. Repent of that. Repent of having indulged in it. Seek the Lord, place your past before Him as a matter for decisive regret, yourself before Him as one for decisive acceptance, and claim the blood of Christ as the ground of acceptance, since it was offered for precisely that.

Q: Done! What more?

A: Place your evils, errors, sins ON Jesus Christ the Saviour, whose death, the just for the unjust, was to bring us to God.

Q: Done! What else?

A: Place yourself in His hands without reservation, because you trust in your Maker-Redeemer, and leave nothing out of the transaction, your future, present, past, talents, gifts, dreams, life.

Q: Done! What else?

A: Since you are trusting in Him, accept His covenant, His word and His life as the basis for your own, the authority in heaven for your life on earth, the declaration on earth for your life to come in heaven.

Q: Done! What next?

A: Realise then that the power of God was quite sufficient to raise the dead body of Christ, because the plan for His sacrifice was not complete in mere penalty bearing, but included the concept of power to dispense with death and to create eternal life for His own people.

Q: Done? Yes done! I see God did not make a mess of things, we did! How handsomely simple to have it all like that, the bridge built on earth, with specifications from heaven, so that I might tread it on - what do you call it ? - my pilgrimage.


Is it because man needs light within him, to secure any understanding of this world, its basis and creation, its procedures and destiny, and because no less he is a denizen not only of it, the world of mental criteria which are also seen frozen or implanted in it, but also of a spiritual domain of will, value, assessment of aims and origin in its own right - not to mention destiny for its own wrongs or according to grace from the Giver of it all ...

The question is an interesting one. One can see, in reading through some contributions to Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal, that there is an almost spiritual reverence for physical light which obtrudes into discussion from time to time. LIGHT, light man! it is pure, it is almost holy, it is invariant, invariable: such one might almost feel, at times, to be the overtones. Light, it seems to imply, it is instrumental for nothing, has, if not oversight over everything as a non-mutant inordinate thing of wonder, then at least a respectable distancing from such ... demoted dishonour as ... mere decay in velocity.


Light's velocity change! If there are any marines left from World War II to whom the idiom may be acceptable, Tell it to the Marines! That seems one of the leading fervours in the case.

Now in all this one can have a certain (admittedly oblique) sympathy. Einstein himself, as Robert Jastrow, one time NASA Director, tells us in his article on origins and destiny (SMR pp. 39, 73-74, cf. 299 ff. ), had a very distinct desire for a nicely settled universe that did not do clumsy looking things like expand. He draws attention to an unthinkable division by zero and a perceptive Dutch astronomer who showed the more accurate mode in the particular area of discussion. Our point here is not at all to review these things, already given sufficient attention as noted above. It is to note the enduring and all but fascinating idée fixée which so readily inhabits the mind of man.

Light, says one, it will not change! One could all but hear the vespers, the sermon, the charge to the congregation, or even to the elect! Light ? Change ? Not while I'm here!

So poor Barry Setterfield (the epithet relates to an article of Malcolm Bowden in Ex Nihilo, Technical Journal Vol. 12, no.1, 1998), according to this portrait, has grown weary of the need to repeat and correct errors and misconceptions as his presentations are dismissed, misunderstood and so forth. Nevertheless, it is by no means impossible that his poverty will turn to riches of a better sort than gold in the end. It is true the issues are extremely technical, that opinions are as rife as wharf worker strife in ageing Australia's inventive maritime pastimes and that views so noble, assured and obvious, on various sides, make sallies and frays, almost at times as if headless and wandering in a twilight after too hard a day. They WILL bring decease for ever to this, or that, unbelievably obvious if not infantile folly of which this or that person is, or is deemed to be ... guilty.

It rather reminds one of phlogiston days, when it was incredibly obvious that any child or person even of minimal learning could, would or should see, especially if properly and duly instructed, that phlogiston of course went off from a substance undergoing what we now call oxidation, metal to oxide. The very idea that oxygen was being added, rather than a lighter than air gas being given off with the resultant addition to weight of the residue: the idea! What NEXT will the ignorant proclaim ?

So it goes.

But where does it go ?


In such areas of science as this, there are a number of obstacles to learning.

1) The extremely difficult area of measurement. It is one thing to measure a velocity of propagation, another to measure a velocity through various conditions with dynamics of their own.

2) The fact that what makes it so difficult, it is not merely the topic, light, to be measured; it is the topic history, to be considered in the light of measurement, and in the light of possible movements in the velocity criterion on what is being measured - which, by now, probably the reader will know, is light.

3) The fact that the results are enormous in an area where much vexed evolutionists, already hammered by hostile facts and unyielding logic, are understandably sensitive: that of dating. We have covered this, not only in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock ('SMR', pp. 73-87, Ch.2 esp.159-171, 226-251, 226-251, S16-33 and Index, Dating), but also in That Magnificent Rock Ch.7 in some depth and detail.

For the moment, it is just that this yields fascinating considerations in that area.

In fact, it is just ONE of the models which brings the age of the earth - wholly unknown to science, a fact sometimes confused by some scientists with a god-like assurance - to dimensions far smaller than some would like to think. LIKE? Yes, like. As shown in the places noted above, the variabilities and mutations from theory in practice make the area something of a laughing stock. Let us refine that statement: the area is not so much a laughing stock as the obvious manipulative mesmerisms pontificated with such folies extraordinaires, such brio, by the ancestral orchestra, those who KNOW. HOW they know has long ceased to be a logical question: it is a cultural area for research.

4) The fact that various dating models are being proposed, one singular young-earth-age one, for example by highly qualified physicist, Dr Russell Humphreys (see e.g. Starlight and Time cf. SMR, pp. S21-32, and That Magnificent Rock, esp. pp. 166-187), and their diversity of outcome and bases are such that it shows that the almost meaningless haste to declare this scientifically unknown datum*1, which so many have followed with all the brigandage of a Darwin, is like so much static amidst the logic of reality. This it is taking more and more time to ... time. Opinions on various issues are by no means confined to this or that school. Nevertheless, variability is of the essence, while dynamics are multiple and co-ordinated effort is needed. One thing remains apparent, as argued elsewhere: time is reducible to young age for the earth scenarios without known impediment; but the more it is forced elsewhere, the more profound are the indices of indictment.

In view of all this, then, it is not surprising to see this velocity of light issue - put away perhaps in disdain by some, in apprehension by others, lest they be made to appear un-scientific - re-opened. It would seem likely it will often be re-opened with increasing perspectives, while man fiddles with the super-abundant data, which in fact are met by only one assumption, an early age, with any satisfaction to all the criteria of scientific method, as things stand. But that is another story, told elsewhere as above noted. We return to the darkness - thick darkness in some areas - covering the issue of light.

It is humorous, to be sure with a sage and grave humour, to consider that light is of course a metaphorical emblem for understanding and one can see that if people were to be afraid on that score, then light might seem a nice illuminating sort of thing to find stable. At least if minds are dark in the alienation from God (Ephesians 4:18-19, Romans 1:19ff.), there is some slight re-assurance in seeing some kind of immutable light shining away for all it's worth, around the place. It is HE who is immutable as demonstrated in SMR Chs.1, 10 and elsewhere. It is for HIM that the human soul looks, often with closed eyes, while it taps out the insignificant substitutes for logical necessities with querulous rovings (see SMR Chs. 3, 9-10).

Do not misunderstand: this is BY NO MEANS to assume that constant light velocity people are either fools, foolhardy or non-Christian. It IS to indicate that known criteria of misconception and irrational unbelief, for their part, could and no doubt do, in some quarters find realisation in such an approach. Others may find it for other reasons. That is their privilege. We are currently examining some of the syndromes which MAY and often do attach to this area. We need therefore to be cautious. Even Einstein once made fundamental error in the romance of hope, despite the drama of reality in one exceedingly significant area, one all but dictated by his underlying philosophy, as shown in SMR, where indicated. Reefs abound.


Now it is rather fun to read the article of Malcolm Bowden, an engineer of some zest for life in this field (Ex Nihilo, Technical Journal, op.cit., pp. 48-54).

In one sally, he considers the criteria where there is ground to consider the possibility than some value or other is a variable one. Here of course, the issue is one concerning light's velocity; but what of a more general case? He draws graphs of expectations where, over decades or even centuries, measurement is becoming more refined. What would one expect, he asks? A funnel shaped graph indicative of a spread, results above and below he line to which the eventual trend approaches.

One would not expect the results to be ONLY in one direction without SPECIFIC grounds being offered to cover such a statistical actuality. Nor would one expect, in examining past readings for this velocity of light (c), that there to be a "broad consistency of the majority of readings to be above the present value for c". He shows what has in fact been found and asks, Why then this, if there is a mere increase in accuracy, this clear trend in only one direction! Further, he insists, there must be answer to the Russian (astrophysicist) Troitskii and what he has said in support of the possibility of decreasing c. (This in fact is noted in SMR pp. 243. It is not just that Troitskii, a secular scientist, claimed a declining velocity of light fitted the observations better, but, as Bowden declares, he used a "completely different approach" in reaching this position.)

To revert to Bowden's primary point: It might seem heartless and really déclassé to bring in common sense, but there it is, some have a taste for it. In vain will pedants decry its value, perhaps, indicating perhaps that it is for grandmothers of another generation, for now we KNOW! However one thing that is perfectly clear is this: the more that is "known" by secular substitutes for knowledge, statistical improvisers and the like, the less is sure. Without understanding, statistics can play havoc with the imagination; and with understanding, the actualities of rule and order can be verified... unless, of course, as with light, you begin to reach entities for observation which challenge your measuring apparatus, so that your understanding of the phenomenon itself which is light, comes to be challenged.

Certainly, if we keep to what we know, we do well as indicated in Ch. 4, SMR. That however is not always the desire, and the results can even reach that acme of hilarity, the concept that everything comes from "nothing". Is it nothing to you? becomes a new vein of physical mirth, in this case, rather than spiritual sadness and aching empathy (Lamentations 1:12). When what is defined out of existence, nothing, becomes the rational ground for existence, we have surely reached the point where it is time to think, rather than bow to "science"; to realise that science is merely, yes 'merely' (instant heresy?) what people think about what they find. It is scientific method which has the status, simply and ONLY because it is capable of a measure of impartiality which only the vagaries of intrusion can rend.

That intrusion however is what NORMALLY happens in areas sensitive to the human soul, because as the Bible states, so observation confirms, in no spiritual medium only, but logically,

Bowden does an interesting job of assessing flames as students now call them, or ad hominem breaches of logic, as we used to call them, in various past articles on this topic, and makes what bids fair to be a useful comparison of the academic heights or otherwise in the relevant specialities involved in this case of estimating from current and historical data, the apparent movement (if any) in the velocity of light. Certainly, it would not appear from his article that there is any marked deficiency in the academic standing in the field concerned, of those involved in the innovation concerning light's velocity.

This of course, as he rightly asserts, does NOT AT ALL settle the issue; but it might put some brake on mere pillorying without actually covering, carefully, conscientiously and systematically EVERY SINGLE ONE of the criteria evoked by those who believe that the evidence is for a diminishing velocity of light. Certainly, nature of the created material universe in general has a most mathematically interesting trend over time, as is endemic in created things not equipped per se with eternity. It is this which the never once disproved Second Law of Thermodynamics merely formalises.

In terms of the normal flux of uncertain science, we now find a proposal (noted in Creation, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2000, p. 9) found in New Scientist, July 24, 1999, that 'faster initial speed of light' be postulated, to 'overcome {some} problems in big bang' type theories'. It would be rather like overcoming infantile paralysis by taking more vitamins, such is the route of that rationalistic foray into reality (cf. That Magnificent Rock pp. 168ff., in E of Ch.7). However, of even more interest in this regard is the reference (p. 6, Creation Technical Journal, Vol. 9, Part 1, 1995, "Apparent velocities greater than the speed of light have been claimed before in radio-emitting components in some distant quasars and active galactic nuclei. These claims have been uncertain because of the extreme distances surmised for these exotic objects. Now, however , it is claimed that apparent velocities greater than the speed of light have been detected with our own Milky Way Galaxy". (The source noted is Mitabei, I.F. and Rodriguez L.F., 1994, in Nature, 371:46-48.)

This would be one more case of the invariable varying, under certain conditions, within the creation, and exposing mere assumptions to the rigours of reality, instead of basing them on the rigueur of philosophic preference.

Varied variabilities, it is true, are one of the criteria of creations, and they are often unpredictable, the more so when, as here, the mind at work gives evidence of such towering superiority over the mathematics of man as to render the comparison discomforting to human pride.(Cf. Isaiah 51:6, SMR Ch.2.) The magnificence of the same Creator is such that the mind of man, one of His creations, is by no means incapable, once it is well set in the pathways of reality, and not scuttled by the frogmen of disfaith (cf. SMR pp. 172, 774, 999-1002C). Nevertheless, where there is a major law (of deterioration as is usual indeed, within a creation - ours being larger, but still a creation), and where that law is so exceedingly uniform in so varied a line of creation, one does well to consider its force with more than a jocund smile.

Like paper, even for the most creative artist,
there are sometimes things which change but little.
And that ? At the author level, it is at the option of the creative being concerned.

Some things however may and do age; and the creativity impressed has its own ageing, as well as the information on it, in its material setting.

The ageing of the paper however is no key to the creative influx; nor. on the other hand,  is it to be ignored because it differs. All things are as they are, and blindness is better for opticians than the bucolic for the facts.

As to the one who creates, it is necessary to watch what he does: and what God has done is often formulated in laws, like that of Thermodynamics which is so stolidly conservative. Downward is the path of what here having been made, continues within its prescriptions. It does not show itself to "arise", but to decline. Unmade here a little, there a little, its "entropy" increases, its specificity declines, its ways show the grinding of events. That is science. That is why it is a LAW of the most basic kind in science.

What does not vary is the logic which insists that stark creation takes creativity and its launching into a non-nurturing environment takes its toll rather than its tithe! It is rather like being the son of a rich man: the fact that he built 10 houses, when he passes on or ceases to have interest, does not make for any probability that the eleventh will build itself, or that the 10 will be excused, because of his initial interest, from decay.

Nor does it render reason why the ten should gradually add new stories*2.

Nor does it substitute for their absence ... scientifically, any more than for their (imaginary) presence, logically!

Time has its limits, like other creations. What happens in it, however, is far more than the material. It is the occupants... the futile imaginations of whom, as the Bible characterises it, are a cause of very real concern (Romans 1:18-25), neither heeding creativity nor decay, turning from their own observed laws and their own continual capacities, they junk both in a heap of carnally composed inadequacies, the idols of today. They do not differ profoundly from those of yesteryear (as Jeremiah 2:13,27-28 shows). Here we survey it a little more at length, starting nearer to the beginning, which is always useful, if you desire the right end:

¨     "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrigheousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness... they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools ... who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen."


Eternity forward is not too readily dispensed; even spiritually, the way is narrow for what is to last in its integrity. The clothing of mere physical life and its substructures is not noted for immutability, even though its laws are, pending the time of its institution, as now! Comparative permanence of sub-structuring is the issue; and whilst it is all statedly to grow old, as observably it does - hence the law, the question here is this: in what way is this to apply to one of the ingredients, the highly symbolic seeming 'light' ? will it also decay in velocity over time, or simply be removed at ... its time? The character of ageing is often addressed in physiology, and some pay fortunes to delay its onset; the onset, however, is a law in this regime!

Man grows old, his genes do not re-manufacture their original specifications. It is wonderful enough that their conservation mechanisms are so wonderful, though over time subject to some decay in the normal way. It is the nature of nature to grow old, when placed in a created universe where contra-design elements have their sway and place, amidst the curse on sin and the increasing rush towards that judgment on the actors, which befits an ageing stage which has seen much!

The word of God however does not grow old, for it is ever young with the truth which nothing ever undermines or erodes, ebullient with the power which made the universe, enormously and ultimately knowing about all things. That is its factual testimony, and in this it is unique. Heaven and earth will assuredly pass away, and currently man is helping this along with some ingenuity. The end however will be perhaps no less dramatic than the beginning (II Peter 3:10-13).

As to the natural light, one of the services Bowden achieves in the various investigations to be found in his article, is the individual signalising of areas which need attention, one by one. They require, his general thrust indicates, not oversight but address, not diversion but inspection, so that all the data and systematics have an interface. This, he concludes, is what is needed; and not mere repetition (ad nauseam, as Norman appears to feel - p. 54), without adequate and scholarly answer with the necessary address to all the detail and to each issue in its turn, to what has been presented. For his part, he concludes (using the term CDK to indicate 'speed of light decay':

It would certainly be interesting to see something better than the incredible misnomers in the area of radioactive dating, which are so carefully documented by Professor E.H. Andrews, no mean scholar, in such works as his From Nothing to Nature, and God, Science and Evolution. In the end, the resolution of 'anomalies', whether by this or that means, or by many means, is one of the disciplines of scientific method, and that head does not rest easy which lives with them as constant companions, in the midst of philosophies surcharged with unreality.



*1 See p. 167ff., That Magnificent Rock, in Ch.7, Models and Marvels, for the intriguing fact that as far as starlight is concerned, not merely is there a question of mode, manner, velocity and the like: but far more fundamental cosmological conclusions are used in posing the very question. It is always rather - shall we say - easier to show what you hold to have some point, if you first assume it.

The bare-faced boldness of underlying assumptions in what poses as science is an object lesson for all time, as there shown. See also in the same Chapter, Section F, A Space for Space, and Time for Time: King, Cosmos, Christian and Creation, pp. 181ff., and further consult Section E, Antics of Dating, pp. 166ff..

The topic is taken even more generically, in some respects, in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock (SMR) , Ch.2 Supplement, pp. S1-S33, where the whole arena of cosmological preliminaries and chronological conclusions based on preliminaries is exposed; just as the fact that many of these preliminaries are in hostile disaccord with the withering necessities of logic is exposed in Chs.1-3,10 in SMR, where also see pp. 218ff., 235ff.. For some practical details, see REEFS ABOUND, 3, pp. 78-79 in the present chapter.


The STORY or outfitting which IS needed, is not something new in concept, but as old as creation in its meaning: eternal life. It is not, as Paul puts it in II Corinthians 5:1ff., a matter of being UNCLOTHED, as if the building (of flesh) were merely to decay, but of being OVER-COATED with a covering both eternal and lively. The REALLY IMPORTANT creativity of God in the universe, in the sense of His nearest approach, is for man. MAN physically decays quite catastrophically in ways that are found to be inherent in the program, rather than in the situation per se. He is CODED to CONTINUE ONLY FOR SO LONG, just as God SAID! Then judgment, or mercy, as the case may be.

Clothes are provided for one's children, and the children of God are to be clothed with bodies which have that permanence which is correlative to that of their Father. For these are the trappings of immortality, the uncoded clothings of eternity, the blessings from the resurrection of Christ (I John 3:1-3), the power of God showing the way, the grace of God providing it (I John 5:12ff.). With HIM, there is forgiveness that HE MAY BE FEARED! More precise than any mathematical formula, is this, that Christ died to save sinners (I Timothy 1:15, cf. Romans 3:21ff.); and again, He has been provided as redeemer to pay the costs of sin for those who receive Him as Saviour and Lord, as He is and not merely imagined (for the imaginary stocks the imagination, as in false science likewise, but it does not make the wheel turn): the LORD'S CHRIST (Luke 2:26).

These He has foreknown always (Ephesians 1:4) and will cherish always (II Timothy 1:9-10). It is truly wonderful that just as His creativity in the universe is seen continually more prodigious and more unrepeated, so it is in and for man, more fearlessly intrusive, more cardinally re-creative (Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24, Titus 3:5ff.), providing a new heart now, just as a new bodily facility for it, when judgment sets its final wheels in motion, and the Lord returns. What is astoundingly wonderful is utterly simple, and it is this. Christ does not REJECT ANYONE who comes to Him as He is, in faith and repentance (John 6:37). What could be a greater sense of joy than this! You are not 'there' as aristocrats, but as suppliants received in grace, by the joy of divine love. If you are not 'there', it is as one who prefers darkness! (John 3:16ff.).

THIS is the light which is invariable!