THAT COMFORTS THE MIND,
BLESSES THE SPIRIT
AND BRINGS THE SENSE
OF THE TRIUMPH IN CHRIST,
WHOSE ANSWER IS UNFAILING,
WHOSE TRUTH IS SECURE,
WHOSE WAY IS RIGHT
It may prove of value for some readers who are either young, or new to the faith, or new to tertiary studies, or to the world of cogitative address to things Christian, or who are caught in the brambles of this world's thorns, or who wish to expand knowledge of these areas, to consider the following material, prepared in large measure, for a relatively new Christian, at University.
On the Grace of God:
Great Execrations … Ch. 7
On the Beginning, the Overview and the Outcome:
Secular Myths ... Ch. 8 and ff.
Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6
On Method in Apologetics:
You might find Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 8 useful in your psychology or anthropology.
Always remember Repent or Perish Ch. 7, for determinism and materialism. TMR Ch 7, at the start, should help. Pursue this and see also the unviable invalidity of Communism, on multiple grounds in News 37, News 122, SMR pp. 127ff., 925ff., Divine Agenda Ch. 6, Ch. 3, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 4, *2, Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 2, News 97, 98 (Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 3 and 4), Repent or Perish Ch. 7.
You may find Stepping out for Christ Ch. 7 also stimulating to the imagination and for clarity.
INITIAL POINTS OF PERSPECTIVE
Incidentally, a few points of perspective simply put here may be useful.
Determinism may be economic, biological, neurological, psychological, and so on. Little pockets of activities are made into a sort of ‘god’ and it is often imagined, by each in his or her specialised field, that here is the key.
There are however so many ‘keys’ to so many ‘rooms’ that it is quite funny. ALL are the ONLY room in the house.
Some however try to make them work together. Thus some may theorise that you are partly determined by money lust, partly by sexual lust, partly by power lust, partly by genetic thrust and so on (on which, see Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9. Endnote 1, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 8, Ancient Words ... Ch. 9, News 166, News 153, Sparkling Life Ch. 6). It is all quite mixed and unanalytical, rather like a child pouting in a bad mood. In each case, of course, if REALLY you, as a member of the human race, were DETERMINED by non-logical thrusts or desires, then you COULD not KNOW THIS; nor could the propounder of the theory!
Lust is not knowledge, and thrust is not understanding.
In practice, many people have other ambitions and determinants which they
select, so that this is like saying (if you are a golfer) that golf is the
ultimate determinant, THIS is what makes man tick! To those so
afflicted, it may seem clear; to others, often it brims with comedy so to
To those so afflicted, it may seem clear; to others, often it brims with comedy so to proclaim!
Indeed, once they say,
Oh but it is REALLY golf that you are after, and if it is not, you are only repressing your golfing instinct, for the human mind is governed by forces beyond it, and does not understand itself:
then of course they KNOW your mind to be subject to self-deception. Powers of which you are unaware really control it; but in that case, their OWN minds are subject to such self-deception. If they leave analysis of the evidence, on the basis of metaphysical ideas about the incompetence, the foolishness of mankind, then their theories are as absent from truth as are their byproducts which they imagine you ‘understand’. To ‘tell’ you the ‘truth’ from a model which removes it, this is mere waste of time and irrationality.
ONLY if there is an ABSOLUTE TRUTH COULD anyone know it. Mere relativised participants, doers in the midst of fellow cogs, borne along by this or that power, natural, psychological or whatever, are just that. Truth determiners cannot themselves be mere determinees! In other words, being forced to think by powers which are NOT the truth does not ALLOW you to know the truth; and this is the worse when the preliminary model does not HAVE such a truth at all.
In that case, it is not there to get, and even if it were, YOU could not get it!
The theorists in all such cases, by virtue of their own models, cannot be right. If they are right, then they must be wrong. Further, even absolute truth is not sufficient for truth to 'arrive' in man, for it must be conveyed by One who is not able to be deceived, and is not willing to bow to cultural, psychological, social pressure or incompetence. As this can only be God, the personal God, this is a criterion which Christianity meets, and meets uniquely in this, that nothing else testable by man, for verification, makes such claims, or can.
That is the simple result of all reductionism affecting the status and stature of man, and God.
Again, if all were determined, did magic make it so ? Unscientific. What CAUSED this to happen, and what was SUFFICIENT to determine things. Chance is the EXACT opposite! What would encode and program and contrive and manipulate things to the point of being ‘determined’ would require symbolic logic, programmatic skills and prodigious understanding far beyond anything human, and far beyond the self-attestation of mere matter in its coded compliances and orbits, with its laws and ways fixed.
Matter ? That is a product. It has powers it shows no ability either in principle or in practice, to produce in the first place (cf. TMR Ch. 1).
What, then, of the producer!
Try to escape this and you have magic, pure magic, In such cases, magic has the ‘determining’ power for what arrives; or put differently, it just arises, in precisely the way all science rightly mocks. It ‘just arose’ did it! Who or what is he or it ? Does it have a name ? A function ? an evidence ?
Arose ? WHY ? HOW ? In what way! And so on. That is science. This however is schoolboy fiction.
Further, determinism is based on
materialism, impossible at once, since the power to err, to make a mistake is
basic to all human actions; and this CAN only be because human beings can make
a PURPOSE, and then choose the wrong means to DO IT. That is error. What is
MERELY DOING WHAT IT IS PROGRAMMED, FIXED to do, CANNOT make a mistake. There
is no purpose! It just does… Man does not fit this model. It is as simple as
that. (On Freud’s case, see It Bubbles, Ch. 9,
*1 and more generally, Marvels of Predestination ... Ch. 7,
Since we DO make such things as mistakes, divorced from purpose by error, we are NOT of a material character. Further, since matter itself is only a theory of our minds, which we actually know since they are ours and we use them, then UNLESS our minds have a VALIDITY, or are CAPABLE of finding one, then matter does not even register. Matter is an ‘idea of the mind’. It is the mind which gives to matter some status!
The IDEA of matter is a product of MIND FIRST! Hence IF materialism were true, it would have to be false; for in that case, MIND would not have independent validity to do its thinking, but would be a mere tail to matter, which wags it, an additive, a resultant, not a criterion for it.
Further, if determinism were true, say social or cultural determinism, then the culture would FORCE you to think in its own role, so that you COULD not, being determined, think otherwise. But we do; and people in history OFTEN and GREATLY depart from their own cultural background, criticise it, use other thought forms, ideas, conceptions, perspectives, discretely synthesise with these, or abhor them, thus showing that imagination is not captive to culture.
Nor is psychological determinism in this also, better placed. If your psychological construction forced you to think this and that, how is it that so many competing psychological models are about, no secular one ever answering the claims of empirical fact and logical consistency! It is not very determined, if you freely rove over many psychologies and kick them about. And on what do you kick ? You kick with the feet of logic, freely, to meet ITS academic standards. Even if it were said that your psychological construction forced you to this and that, but your experience differed, so that you were then forced to something else, how is it that logic is the criterion ? There is no force in that! The models remain VULNERABLE to logic, above them, a thing of standards and truth or falsity.
Further, if someone wants to abandon reason itself or its validity, then that person is abandoning his ONLY ground for argument. If you despise logic, you cannot USE it; and if you cannot use it, you cannot present reason, to urge, or even to present you very case! Irrationalism therefore is removed as a consideration at ONCE, since it removes its only method of argument.
Rationality (NOT rationalism, a mere philosophy) requires a REASON for the psyche, and scientific method requires an INTERFACE or model showing WHY and HOW the thing works. If for example, it is claimed that greed is what makes man work, then greed would make the theory about greed invalid. If it is sex, then sexual determinism, being in charge, would prevent the actual truth about this, from being found.
If, more generally, things WORK IN YOU and BEYOND your thought, to control it, then you are NOT ABLE on that model to KNOW what the truth actually is; hence the theory CANNOT be the truth. The same applies to economic determinism (if such forces controlled your thought, truth would not be what you thought, but the result of the impact of manipulating forces on your mind).
Again, if matter, which CANNOT make a mistake since it CANNOT make a purpose of its own, but merely acts, is to be used to EXPLAIN you, then it has NO WAY of meeting one of your chief activities, and is an empirically blatantly false theory (cf. SMR pp. 23ff.). It would be like explaining air currents in terms of water, which has different characteristics.
You have to have a PLAUSIBLE theory which actually COVERS ALL the facts. Indeed, that is one major PURPOSE OF ANY THEORY, not to ignore, but to provide answers for the facts, seeking to explain what they present in a coherent fashion with other knowledge, with testable perspectives and willingness to reject what does not work. THAT alone makes it untrue; and what does work is not made true by that, since further investigation may unearth some error in some point, as with Einstein and Newton. This, as far as scientific method can go, however, is no slightest excuse for adhering to what, like evolutionism (cf. Chs. 4 and 5 above), fails to be verified, or is even anti-verified.
What has no purpose, makes no mistake, does not ‘explain’ what does have purpose and does make mistakes. THAT would be like saying that you won a race in athletics BECAUSE you were extremely fat. It is not only wrong; it is ridiculous, a joke only. It is not good, however, to make a joke of truth. It is worse than illogical…
Further, purpose relates to imagination, and imagination to thought, so that what lacks ALL of these features as an effort to explain how they work or came to exist, is unprincipled liberty. To explain what is there, you have to have a SUFFICIENT cause, with all the necessary knowledge, to have wisdom and power to account with a suitable interface for action to be transferred from what was before, to what now is being made. One of the things to be explained of course, is time, and you have to have a sufficient cause, reason and basis FOR THAT also.
You do not simply bypass fact and belch out some statement of an area which lacks what is in view. TO explain how the universe, man, mind, spirit, came to be, likewise, you do not simply talk of what lacks what is necessary for the result, but instead, need to be responsible and logical, finding what DOES account for all the empirical facts. That is the invariable method of science, and all these holidays from it may be good for a lazy mind, but are no good for science.
HOW did what was there, make what is
there ? By what cause, in what manner, with what procedure ? WHERE is the evidence for its doing what it did
in the way such philosophies suggest ? Thus if chance made things, how does what is the lack of law make law ? (cf. Ancient Words, Modern
9, 13). If sex were the essential basis of things, how does mere Reproduction, account for Production, with the powers of reproduction INCLUDED IN IT ?
You have to have the PRODUCTION there BEFORE you can REPRODUCE. NO idea about man can be his basis, for he has first to be there for that thing to operate. You do not logically explain anything by talking about how it acts, NOW that it is here, and USING that to account for its COMING TO BE. That is logically simply begging the question. You do not explain how you obtained your new Volvo by commenting on its steering.
It is not the parts of man’s functional abilities which explain how he ‘arose’ or how he ‘works’. Air-conditioning in a car does not explain its manufacture; merely shows one part of the RESULT of that manufacture. HOW was the car made ? Obviously, the MAKING of a car is utterly different as a requirement from USING the thing once it is made!
On the same principle, making man is quite different from making comments on how he acts. You need to get beyond the things that HAPPEN in man, to find the things that ACCOUNT for their existence at all. THEN you have to get beyond some of the things that happen, to look at all of them, in order to make a functional model of man. You have to meet the demands of causality and then of integrity. Then you have to relate EACH of the things that happen to the overall MEANING of man. Thus he is not a disjointed series of actions, but a person who can think over the major streams of his opportunities, watch some of them, or hear, and analyse and consider them, relating them all to his own powers of production. He is one being capable of orientation, initiative and performance as one whole.
For example, you find that he is a rational (potentially), emotional, thinking, imaginative, purpose-making, imagination-drafting, error-prone, value-seeking being with powers of will, analysis and spirit which chooses, soars or falls. The question then arises: WHAT is sufficient for ALL of that, to make the components, to put them together and to make them integral with each other for operation!
Further, you find that he is a being who often IN HIMSELF is very sad about many of the things he does. He is SELF-CRITICAL. He finds that he has not got the right values, or followed the values he had foolishly chosen, or even did not follow the ones he now believes correct! There is almost no end to the thought, roving, imagination, evaluation in the mind and spirit and heart of a man.
Hence he is a self-evaluating, critical, program-reviewing, thought-analysing, imagination-using, purpose-making being who moves around in a world of thought which leads to his taking physical action to MATCH HIS THOUGHT and to MEET HIS PURPOSE. This is so far from anything materialistic as to make a joke of it. Such a view as that of materialism with its deterministic fantasy is empirically useless, because it does not even meet or match the empirical facts. It is unscientific as well as irrational. It deserves zero as a mark for its inventive imagination in normal scientific endeavour, aptly and with discipline, to cover the case.
HOW did man get his world of thought,
of imagination, of purpose, of criticism, of probing ?
It is not found from what lacks such a world, and has no interface to provide
it. You do not enter
From what then ? Man, from what ? AT LEAST from a mind capable of thinking up the ways of man’s mind, a spirit capable of making the purpose and imagination for man’s spirit.
Then as in SMR, you simply show that if there were SEVERAL such beings, you would need THE being who made the system in which they can and do SPEAK to each other, in jointly making things and so on.
There, in that originator, is ONE such being. Without Him, there is no ground for anything; and since if He were ever absent, there would be literally NOTHING from which to come, and NOTHING HAS by definition no future, therefore this originating being is ETERNAL.
Further, ONLY because of this Absolute and Eternal Being is truth available to anyone; for without the One whose unlimited and uncontrolled knowledge exists, there would not be possible any finding of it. After all, what is not there cannot be found. Nevertheless, in laughable comedy, man is always finding the TRUTH about the world, the universe, its coming to be, its meaning, or whatever, while having a MODEL which excludes truth from existence, submerging everything in some force or feature or other.
Absolute truth, source of man and mind
in man, alone
meets the needs of logic, for without this, there is NO TRUTH; and that includes the theory that there is no
truth. ALL such models CANNOT be true. This requires merely that one finds that ONE BEING, with the truth,
necessary for creation, and for the knowledge of the truth.
In the Bible alone, you find words which last for millennia, and always happen if they comprise prediction, always stand if the provide analysis. Even in the best of man's science, a few years suffice very often to make it old-fashioned. This is no rarity, but 'progress' often leaves former theories spectacular in their 'courage' and ignorance.
That is the difference, even at this level, between man and God. Man’s words of ‘science’ last a while; God’s words of truth last for ever. They are never broken. Theories come and go like nations on the world stage, now this one, now that. God’s statement come, but do not go. They have no need to; for nothing can or ever does falsify them. When ‘chance’ the absence of law, was in vogue for the basis of law, much irrationality ruled; then DNA and the intensively prodigious neurological structures of man (100 billion nerve cells and more helper cells, all in intricate systematic, co-functional relationships, governed by a code with commands in what is effectively a language format), and chance, always illogical as a basis, became a clown.
Man has used philosophy and invaded
science with it, in order to put ridiculous ideas into science as a basis; but
the fact is that many of the greatest scientists of all time were Christians;
and one reason for this, is that they had the correct perspective at the outset.
Point first in the right direction and
you are likely to get there sooner! That no doubt in one reason why
In a nutshell, many people try to fit man into some little nature which, if true, would stop him finding the truth. Since this is so, therefore those theories CANNOT be true. They also empirically fail to find a cover for ALL the evidence; and where they compare man to matter, or to a controlled mind, they similarly fail not only to have a model which makes truth available, but they do have a pattern which would distort it even if found. They are doubly removed.
In failing to account for a sufficient cause for all things, they are unscientific. In neglecting the words of the One who is sufficient, always verified, over all time, they CANNOT be right on this third ground also. Whenever you reject what works in all directions in favour of a self-contradictory or reductionist system, not covering logic or empirical facts, you are even worse than a failure. You become a rebel.
For more detail, of course, read Repent or Perish Chs. 7 and 2, SMR Chs. 1 and 3, Little Things Ch. 5 , and It Bubbles … Ch. 9; and many of the other pieces to be found in the indexes both of SMR and the Rest (see SEARCH near the top of the Home Page, for materialism, determinism, humanism and so on). Some more are mentioned at the beginning of this article.
This is just a short and simple glance at this region to help you feel more at ease in combating its errors.
‘Search’ is a new feature, at webwitness.org.au/search.html
and this helps with indexes.
DELECTABILITY IS NOT LIMITED TO THE
SINCE DELIGHT IS NOT MERELY ORAL
The simple fact is that truth is delicious.
It is never troubled, though it labours long in love.
It is never balked, though it meets collisions innumerable.
It never sidesteps, meets all gainsaying, controversy, confrontation, disputation,
without a tremor, since it can see through the pretence, disjoin the false elements from each other,
and make the compoundings of error look as they are, like food particles on one's clothes, mere excrescences, needing removal.
Christ, as the truth, was of course like that. How revealing is the account of His rebuttals and exposures of impotent spiritual opportunism in His foes, as seen in Matthew 22. How beautiful a piece of laboratory note-taking is the verse 46: "And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore."
The reason is that they were publicly exposed, whereas they had sought a victim for their venomous lust. Just how venomous is seen in Luke 11:49ff..
"Therefore the wisdom of God also said,
‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’
that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple.
"Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered. And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him."
The ONLY WAY
they found was by illegal conspiracy to take Him at night, extract Him by
treachery, summon Him by effrontery, play on His truth so that the organ tones
of its grandeur would be His own testimony to their unbelief, allowing murder in
the name of the law. Did they have scientific ground in His miracles, for His
impotence, or the fraudulence of His testimony ? Hardly. Did they have witnesses
to agree in His judgment ? Not at all; they contradicted each other. It was only
when HE whose word, always with TRUTH in view, was uttered, that there was given them the venom of asps
for judgment, and aroused the irrationality of lust for desire. What then
COULD they do ? They could not argue with knowledge, logic or wit, but were
consistently defeated as was every disease, even death by this their hated
Wonder. What then ? Why that they summoned
Him to answer. Was He or was He not the Son of God ?
The ONLY WAY they found was by illegal conspiracy to take Him at night, extract Him by treachery, summon Him by effrontery, play on His truth so that the organ tones of its grandeur would be His own testimony to their unbelief, allowing murder in the name of the law. Did they have scientific ground in His miracles, for His impotence, or the fraudulence of His testimony ? Hardly. Did they have witnesses to agree in His judgment ? Not at all; they contradicted each other. It was only when HE whose word, always with TRUTH in view, was uttered, that there was given them the venom of asps against Him for judgment, and aroused the irrationality of lust for desire. What then COULD they do ? They could not argue with knowledge, logic or wit, but were consistently defeated as was every disease, even death by this their hated Wonder. What then ? Why that they summoned Him to answer. Was He or was He not the Son of God ?
I AM. It is as you say (Mark 14:62), was His reliable reply. How sturdy a thing to trap Him by truth, who IS it! How devastating however to seek the physical entrapment of a truth which no mind could master, no will could muster into error, who brought cowardice to their lawyers' hearts and abashment to the assailants who tried to expose Him. Only their own exposure remained. Was this then the testimony of His non-authenticity, that no one could show Him in any moral or mental error, or trap Him in any words but those which fully accorded with His claim, or show Him FAIL in any action of whatever level of power it might consist (Mark 2): for word and works were always in unison: I AM, He said.
THIS is the truth which endures. It is HE who has authenticated all over again the merest jot and tittle of prophetic writing (Matthew 5:17ff., cf. SMR Appendix D), and it is He who gives the answer of the lips to those in need of it in their testimony to Him (Luke 21:15), so that His word not only does not fail, whereas scientific treatises grow old quickly, yes it does not fail over millenia, but it endures more steadfast then rock. His truth moreover was in service of love, so that in His unanswerable mode, He charged with criminal assault on men's souls, the lawyers, the scribes of the day, who
neither entered into the kingdom of heaven themselves,
though they had the 'key of knowledge' through His word (cf. Matthew 4:4),
nor failed to hinder those who would go in (Luke 11:52).
The truth was not in abeyance, nor were their wicked ways; but before Him, they could not stand, and the only way to make Him fall, was by striking Him with their fists, crowning Him with their thorns, mocking Him with their genuflection, whipping Him with their cords, puncturing His flesh with their nails, and lifting Him up for display, not that He might answer the more those seeking truth, or heal the more those seeking the mercy of God in repentance; but that He might depart this earth. So He did, for that was His very plan (cf. I Corinthians 2:7ff., Acts 2:23ff., Psalm 22, 16, Isaiah 53), that those who hated Him should conveniently make of Him, in His steadfast truth, a murder victim, a cursed display unit (Galatians 3), a grave companion.
This, in the divine plan of salvation, meant that even by those who hated Him, He was duly sacrificially offered with His own will in consent (Matthew 26:52ff.), so that He might satisfy the divine justice, meet the criteria of mercy and dismiss and dispense with death by suffering it Himself, for the ungodly, who would receive His pardon (cf. Hosea 13:14, Romans 5).
Here then is comfort for the Christian, that even when you - and the servant is not greater than his Master (John 15:20ff.) - come to grief, you can recall this, that Christ, in the clamour of opposing sins wrought by many, was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53); and yet His was a joy greater than that of His fellows (Psalm 45). Indeed, it was a joy of heart that He bestowed, even to come after His death, a joy none could remove. Do you remove the steel from a girder with a pin ? Not at all. You merely show its strength. Your joy, said He (John 16:20-22, Isaiah 51:11), no one takes from you. It is irrepressible by the tyrant, and as with Him, extinguishable only by letting out the blood, or breaking the bones, or poisoning the system. Even then, His Spirit is not gauged; and in His resurrection, His joy remains uncontrollable by ANYTHING!
There is comfort in being like Him, accompanied BY Him, and though He is infinitely perfect, and we are by no means so, yet the victory is HIS, and it is GIVEN TO US, who are led in triumph by Him, as a conquering General led His victorious troops (I Corinthians 15:56, I John 4:17-5:4, Romans 5:17, II Corinthians 2:14); and it is He who never leaves or forsakes us, who always intercedes for us (Hebrews 13:5-6, 7:25), whose work is glorious, whose ministers He makes flames of fire (Psalm 104), whose mercies are irrepressible to His saints, whose methods are marvellous, whose constrains are loving, whose strength is appalling in its wonder, for it never fails (Isaiah 40:26ff.) those who wait upon Him.
Indeed, He meets those who rejoice, and do righteousness, who remember Him in His ways, as Isaiah proclaims (Isaiah 65:5), and He acts for those who wait for Him (Isaiah 65:4). That is precisely what you find in Mark 11:23ff.. It is what His children find in life; for though they suffer, and who does not who follows God in a fallen world, yet they delight in His rest; and though they are slandered, yet they are immovable in His truth; and though they be stricken in their employment by vacuous tyrannies, yet they continue in His sufficiency. As the Psalmist put it,
"In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul (Psalm 94:19), and again (Psalm 42:7-8):
"Deep calls to deep at the noise of Your waterspouts:
all your waves and your billows are gone over me.
Yet the LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
and in the night His song shall be with me,
and my prayer unto the God of my life."
Who would not be comforted by such comforts from the God of ALL comfort (II Corinthians 1:3), such company, such companionship, such friendship, such ground for faith and such tenderness and irresistibility to respond to it!