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WITNESS TO WANDERING
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Thanks for your communication. I have given you some time in the hope that you will seek truth, think carefully, consider yourself and what and who you are, and your origin, the causes of things, the nature of causality, the evidence before you on all sides, the nature of what occurs and what is merely imagined, and perhaps in due course, find the alpha and omega whose word works precisely what it says.
I am afraid your treatment of the Biblical text is not plausible on the topic of immutability. Let us examine this.
Malachi 3:6 indeed declares, and it is accompanied by swearing, that God does not change. If I said that, and swore to it, and you still doubted rationally, it could only be because you thought you were so far greater than I as to see my muddied confusion, and pityingly interpreted my vain assertion, which is not the case between you and God; or because I was lying and you knew it.
If it were held that God was lying, then you would need evidence. It is also impossible as Titus 1:2 declares, and reason itself confirms (cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7, Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 4, SMR Ch. 1, pp. 580ff., Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 9).
However, you appear to be attempting to interpret what the Bible is saying, so that this step is unnecessary for that particular purpose: if you want it, however, it is there.
Interpreting however, as one might interpret Shakespeare or any other book (as distinct from attempting to criticise it), we have a simple fact, God does not change, says so, swears so, and that BY HIMSELF.
Your ostensibly contrary verses, as you interpret them, are in fact all references to God altering a proposed or supposed course of action. He explains this quite clearly in Jeremiah 18. He is seeking repentance in MAN, and if He finds it, He is delighted (Micah 7:18-19), to change impending judgment, that has been sighted but not irrevocably settled. At times, however, things have gone far for so long that it IS settled already, even for the ears of man! This category of His mode of interacting with man (contrary to some ideas you mention, which are quite utterly unbiblical, as the crucifixion makes only too plain - cf. II Corinthians 5:17-21): it is to be found in Ezekiel in the most dramatic form one could well imagine, in his chapter 14:14,19.
God's turning from drastic action is not hard to understand. School teachers often do it, and often plan to do it, when a certain response is to be found. They do not change at all in this, but it is quite to the contrary, at least in many such cases. Thus often it is BECAUSE they do not change, are NOT carried away by temper or pride, that they carefully remove the impending detention or caning or whatever, on seeing the desired response. Their principles in this may be entirely settled; and they may know more, or perhaps less, what they expect in advance, having carefully formed and formulated on settled principles, what is to be done and in what cases. God of course (if you interested, as you appear to be at the first, in interpreting the Bible concerning Him) knows all that He plans (Isaiah 46:10), including the end, and that from the beginning. This does not alter the case; it merely amplifies it. In one case, He forecast the death date of Christ centuries beforehand (Highway of Holiness Ch. 4).
He is kind enough to give us evidence, if we choose to use our heads.
Thus there is no evidence of change in the nature of God at all, merely of adapting plans to responses, and these being foreseen, come as no surprise, and constitute no change, but rather an implementation; but yet, God being God, His vitality flows over all such things, and His wisdom in no way reduces His vigour. This is the way He is, and He says so, and enunciates the principles which unvaryingly are His, and on which He in such cases operates, in careful explanation.
Now of course, He is intent often on declaring His immutability, for if He did change it would be to what He now preferred, indicating a lack of knowledge as if He were some mere creature surrounded by unknown forces in some universe which He did not create. In interpreting the Bible, however, we must realise that He created all things, and that all made things, He made, including heaven and earth (cf. Colossians 1:15ff., Isaiah 44-46). They are not autonomous, merely at most, equipped with will: and these two are miles apart!
Knowing all things (Hebrews 4:11-13), He is surprised by none, never taken unawares, declares in astounding detail what is to be, and then makes it happen. He even forecast what they would do to Christ, where and when and why, yet they still did it. History follows His word like a lamb, and has done so for millenia (cf. The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 4). Moreover, He says that He does this, and why (Isaiah 41, 43, 48), indicating that no one else does or CAN do so, and that it is a ground for believing in Him. The extent to which these prophecies of intimate detail over millenia occur, is shown in such sites as SMR Chs. 8, 9, Great Execrations ... Ch. 10, Divine Agenda Ch. 6 and much more.
He CAN and DOES predict, because there are no limits with Him, for if there were, either another 'god' who would merely then be with this one, a component in some system attributable elsewhere, and hence another being altogether from the Biblical One, and because it shows to man his inescapable guilt and complicity in disregarding the evidence of his very senses. God even retrodicts likewise.
Knowing what He is doing does not of course assign the reasons WHY He does it - of which anon.
Accordingly, He affirms quite clearly, as if to cover those who did not hear Him swear it the first time, that He does not change in James 1:17, where there is no shadow of turning or variation to be found in Him, while in Psalm 102, cited a second time in Hebrews 1, it is written that the heavens and the earth shall perished, shall be changed, while in eminent contrast, "Thou art the same!". Likewise, Jesus Christ, God in fleshly format (Philippians 2), is "the same, yesterday, today, forever." That would not appear very variable, just as James negation of this feature, is not the same as affirmation.
If negation = affirmation, then leave it to Alice in her Wonderland. Fun, in its way; but not profitable here.
On this topic, see also The Living God,
We turn now to some of your other thoughts. It seems that you have a desire to refer to Roman Catholicism and the Bible at the same time, in some of these, and since this religion uses tradition as well as the Bible, quite explicitly, then for a summary of biblical teaching such adventures are not nearly so valuable as actually citing what you have in mind FROM the Bible.
When we come to that, the "reigning doctrine in Christendom" is a vague and ambiguous referent, and not to be taken for that reason at all seriously. God in the Bible is not limited by space-time, to be sure, since He made them (Romans 8:38-39). In a parallel but lesser way, I am not limited by written letters because I am an author. If I were, I could not BE an author, being then, myself merely authored and written.
As to being void of 'passions', it depends what you mean. You may have heard in vast ranges of Christian expression - depending on your exposure to such - of the passion of Christ. This is an exceedingly common phrase, and scarcely accords with your account! If by passion, you mean, ability to lose your temper and in unwise surges do this and that, surely He is void of such immature shallowness. Even some men attain to a good measure of freedom from that. If however you meant by 'passion' what the famous phrase, the passion of Christ is directed to describe, that is, an intimate, internal, indefeasible, indefectible determination, irrespective of pain, of suffering and contempt, to implement love and fulfil mercy in dying on the Cross, then passion is one of the chief features of God!
It is seen similarly in Hosea 13:14 for example, relative to the divine action for redemption.
Wholly immutable ? another of your interpretations of Christian thought, it seems. Yes, that, as above, is so; He is not so limited that He does not quite know yet what He is or wants to be when He grows up. Growth itself is a patterning imposed on creatures. He is the Creator. It would be contradiction at once if He suffered this sort of thing in His own form, just as it would, if you could put a comma into me.
Expressiveness, by the way, is not per se mutability, since it is a choice to show what is there; it does not in itself alter what it shows. Indeed, such things are extremely different.
Wholly simple ? That IS a strange one. I wonder where you reached it ? He is exceedingly deep, and the last adjective nearly that I would imagine for this, would be 'simple'. This sounds like philosophy of some kind, perhaps Aristotelian, of which Romanism is fond, making one wonder concerning your background a little. Thus when we actually return to the Bible, which you seem to want to convert at times, attack at times, we find in Psalm 36:6, "Your judgments are a great deep," while in I Corinthians 2:9-13, we hear of the "deep things" of God. What in the world is simple about that ? If moreover, as in Psalm 147:5, His understanding is infinite, and as in Psalm 145:2, His greatness is unsearchable, this does not promote change or simplicity either! If we are speaking of the Bible, let us be accurate.
Independent is another of your terms for God in this context. Yes, He is that, for "He works all things after the counsel of His own will," and "stretched forth the heavens alone" (Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 44:24). If He were not, He would not be God, and something else would have the task of supplying the logical need: this then would be irrelevant (cf. Things Old and New Ch. 2).
Immaterial ? Yes, matter being inscribed with laws and forms without its knowledge or consent, is not independent, but derivative. He as that from which derivation comes, that the universe might be in its laws and forms, integration and mutual interaction, is certainly not going to be that, as if I, purely for example, were a word. That WOULD remove my authorship fast!
The supreme cause and never the effect ? Yes, see the item on Causality for more on this, and ponder it, before replying, if you wish to, and kindly answer what is there, if you see fit, rather than something not given. Thus, if I speak to the air, there is no point in listening to it; but if to you, then let us hear reply to what is provided.
Let us consider your area of discourse here.
Earthly causation in space and time, is itself an intricate and competent formulation of power, and requires its own cause, unless one likes magic, but this is mere vagrancy, if thought is in view. What actualises this could not be part of it, or it would be merely a component in what ALREADY IS, so removing a reasoned account of the institution of space-time causation itself. I do not reason about irrationality, however, since it removes itself from the field of reason at the outset, hence making any talk in such a realm self-contradictory. This is merely a waste of time, as if trying to fight a pug who had put down his mits, to use the vernacular.
What creatures have, God has not, is your next offering, not of your own thought, but of what you for some reason or other not known to me, elect to relate in some way to Christianity, and presumably, since you attack it, the Bible.
No, that is not so. What God has, creatures do not have in the same way: this is correct, as to the form of God (again, see Philippians 2 for a broader perspective on His elective missions). Yet God has reason, and says so; so do I; and I, it is to a creature you are talking, if you talk. God has moral standards; so do I; God has understanding, and in some measure, so do I, God has a heart in the sense of deep emotional concern (as in John 3:16 of which you must have heard), indeed love, and acts on it; and so do I in various ways. No this statement is pure invention, not at all Biblical and abstrusely from some philosophy or other, reminding me of Aristotle more than anything. He had an isolated, insulated God: this is wholly other than Christianity. It is quite valueless to attack Aristotle or whatever other philosophic source may be yours, as if you were relating in some way to the Bible. In this case, it is infinitely contrary to fact; and when you deal with infinite error, you are up there.
You do, to be sure, appear to contradict yourself later, as if God is to have after all, "changing affective states." The category of idea of change you have, appears an anthropomorphism, and is not derived from the Bible. God does have emotions, but these do not change Him. You can work that out by noting His repeated assertions of immutability and of emotion; and binding these together with His assertions of knowing the end from the beginning, and causing it to arrive, one finds there is quite obviously no change, for there is nothing to change from or to. Thus, He knows it all, does it all, concludes it all, invests it with appropriate emotion, takes appropriate action, and is neither heartless, nor out of control, nor without knowledge of the end and beginning of His own emotions, for otherwise, His understanding would not be infinite (cf. Isaiah 46:10, Psalm 145). He even depicts final emotions for men freely in Revelation as in Matthew for example, and His own in Isaiah 41:1ff., and Habakkuk 3.
Let us, then, keep to the Bible, and not philosophic contradictions of it, if it is to be criticised. What you are saying in this place seems like saying that Shakespeare had the phrase, Not to be or to be, that is not the question. It relates in a way, but would appear entirely contradictory of what the playwright wrote. He did not consider not being, with a being option, but being with another state in mind.
So straw men are readily destroyed, and it is a waste of time to create them, if you want to talk about stone.
You refer to the incarnation in terms of MO, whether a comedian of that name or other, one does not know. However, the point is that when God changes FORMAT for the second person of the trinity which HE states in the BIBLE is the position (Philippians 2, I Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 48:16, John 8:58, II Corinthians 13:14 and so on - cf. SMR pp. 532-560), He does not alter universes. It is true that He indicates that He would not have created the universe without this plan (Isaiah 51:16), but that is by no means the same! Hence to IGNORE this, and to act on the assumption that it is not so, is not particularly relevant. It is rather like your telling me you have a face, and my replying, that since you are not equipped with face, your bowels must be in everything. Ridiculous ? I fear so, in both cases.
If God in the Expression of Himself (as in Hebrews 1), which is His Word, wishes to provide a format like that of man, whom He made in His image (since God is a Spirit, statedly, in John 4, this is not a geometrical notation, nor could it be), for a particular excursion: then that is His business. The Trinity does not have to vacate heaven or engage in engineering feats with what, in any case, is not at all physical for the form of God. The first physical aspect of this excursion is the coming to mankind. To help you realise this, even in simple analogy: I do not need to do tremendous things if I choose to act a part in a book of mine, creating the opportunity.
In that God created the heaven and the earth, as you will realise I am sure, is the biblical statement, heaven and earth are not He (cf. Genesis 1, Colossians 1:15, Revelation 4:11, John 1:1-3). They are in the format of creations of what He is pleased to actualise, not parts! John 1 tells us in two basic propositions that all things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. This means that if anything exists other than He, then He made it. The category of 'made' is the non-God category. Again, if you want to find a category for things not made by Him, you may, but its content is NIL.
Assumptions to the contrary are not relevant to interpretation accordingly, and implications drawn from such contrary views, are not to the point in trying to assail the Bible. For example, materialist models do not make a good basis for assumptions about the nature of the activities of spirit!
If you want a philosophy, then that is yours; if you want to attack, then you need to attack what is there, and not mix your thoughts with His, making a motley medley, proving nothing but an adverse mind.
As to heaven and earth, then, God can invest them with existence, or a man's format with Himself. It is not hard when all knowledge is His, not for a Being who knows the end from the beginning and made everything in the first placed, with His own total plans in mind. Such is the biblical depiction, and the necessity of thought (SMR).
Knowledge appears another of your pre-occupations. Epistemology is a fascinating topic, and one of its features is this, that unless there is objective truth in objective fact, you cannot know it, since it is by definition, in such a case as this which we imagine, not there to have. In any system lacking the absolute God, KNOWING all and ABLE to disseminate it past the prejudice and limitation of creatures, there simply is nothing to have; and that is the end of all argument which starts, as you often appear to do, without Him. The model excludes the propositions you wish to make: for they CANNOT participate past reaction and equipment limitations and distortions, contortions and so forth, in the absolute truth. If indeed, everything really WERE relative, you COULD not know it, for the statement itself is being presented as if an absolute fact, hence contradicting the model. Such models do not work; and this is merely as an alogism, one of the testimonies in philosophy that substitutes for God are vain.
No, knowledge is not only, as in a sub-species of anthropological method, to be conceived only as proceeding from the known to the unknown. If you generalised such a philosophy, turning the anthropological into the anthropomorphic, it would mean that God could not have it, since He does not do it. That however is self-contradiction at the outset, using terms to mean other than they are defined for discussion, to be.
You do seem to realise at least something of this in noting that unless it is all of one type, we cannot have a tinkling of what is going on. Actually, if this were the case, all of one type, yes, then it would follow that we could not: and that, it is the exact opposite to your proposition. You would simply be immersed in action and reaction, moving in limits, without truth or any avenue to it. You would note happenings, but not know realities behind them. Kant tends to do this; but in making causation a component of his viewing media, he is of course assigning a cause for this same viewing media, one beyond it and before it, so validating what he assigns to invalidity. He uses what he wishes to avoid, in order to avoid it. It is farcical, but there it is (cf. SMR Ch. 5, and see Causality, as hyperlinked above).
In postulating that because we have social relationships and that thus God must be the supreme effect as well as cause, you ignore the realities of causation noted earlier, and of truth, noted above, and your argument is merely based on one particular, and too limited concept of human knowledge, and on a model which excludes God at once. As trinity, He has social relations from eternity, and in making man in His own image, He has enabled these both in man-woman action, adult child action and what results in time. In Him, this type of relationship pre-dates our time, with its waitings and programmatics from His hand.
Further, in this case, what you find NECESSARY for "God" has to be contrary to Him, since He is removed by such an elementary definition of knowledge as you make.
Again, in your philosophic substitute, we find an illicit conclusion from false premises. So infinite is it in its divergence from the Bible, for the Bible, that you return from your idea of divine mutations to the other idea, which somehow you seem to want to keep in entire internal self-contradiction, with the other, that God is emotionless. Who, you orate, can put any kind of faith in such a God ?
It depends what you mean by faith, and is in any case irrelevant, since as we saw, if there is any one proposition which contradicts the Bible to the point of the comic, it is this that God did NOT so love the world, that He took action. It is that He did NOT (of course not, why should He ? you ask from your philosophic model, based on nothing) send His Son, let alone His only begotten Son, since this would require value and morals and heart, into this world. One must continue further with your implications, with what you gratuitously ascribe to God, and so it comes to this: Further, He did NOT do it so that everyone who believes in Him should not perish!
We are lost in contradiction of what is with apparent seriousness being presented as a ground of disbelief in the God of the Bible. It is in this an antithetical model. It is like attacking a policeman for rescuing someone being held at knife point, and accusing him of being heartless, unfeeling, cold, dismal.
This is not very arresting or spectacular 'interpretation' ! Infinity equals zero. Not a good point in your discourse, one would think.
Now since there is nothing to the biblical point from this quasi-Aristotelian god which seems to fascinate you, as the original of it, as perhaps may that philosopher as well, since both of you appear not to relate to the Bible in these things, or to the necessities of reason: we need not examine what anyone would do with such a goddy thing. I do not find such an imaginary deity attractive, to be sure, and one reason for this is the simple fact that God made me and gave to me, in His image, a sense of love and loyalty, concern and compassion, not divorced from His own, though of course much less.
Another reason ? it accounts for nothing ultimate, being socially segregated and ontologically inadequate. It is the Creator Himself and the system derivative from Him, not some combination of entities, the cause of human causation and not initiation within it, the creation of the temporal, the institution of the relative, the initiation and intimate deployment of the physical, the relevance of the spiritual, the construction of potential relatability in diverse modes, the eternal basis for knowledge who by revelation of Himself has made human knowledge relatable to absolute truth: it such things as these which are required both for the validity of reason, the knowledge of reality and the explanation of assertion in the realm of truth.
Love, you assert, means to derive part of your being from the loved objects. This bizarre opinion is again, your social feeling, and has no more bearing on the divine and biblical composition, or even on my own approach to it, than the wind to a stainless steel sphere. In this case, it may betoken a fascination with materialism on your part, conceivably. Thus what is not true even with men (a friend derives no part of his being from me, necessarily, however much he or she may like me, some preferring to have things different and to stay that way, with much admiration and so forth), is asserted even in some vacuous seeming, encompassing generalisation. By such methods, we could build a city, without turning a hand.
You seem at times blissfully unaware, at least prima facie, that God being Spirit (we are discussing your exceptions to biblical Christianity and hence need to stick to the point - it is no use challenging the Labour Party by referring to imagined vices in John Howard), there is nothing material that needs to be exported in order that He might CREATE, just as I create books, without even thinking of confining or conferring my liver or even skin cells, or any one of them, to it. On this topic, you may visit Little Things Ch. 5, SMR pp. 348ff., and It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, for example.
All right, then, people might not be drawn to the unfeeling monster you invent. This has nothing to do with anything interesting, and since I am not a literary critic by profession, I shall not dilate on your invention, beyond noting this: that those who like them, can make them if they will. They are not for me, nor can reason sustain them, nor heart abide.
Your next philosophic excursion appears also from the halls of some philosophy you appear to have deeply imbibed, in this, that you should surely be able to see how far it is from the biblical text - have you incidentally, read the Bible ? These divorces in the court of appeal do not make pleasant reading academically.
Imagining some sort of conflict between divine immanence and transcendence, for some reason or other, perhaps some philosophy course you may have taken, you proceed to think about it. However, it depends on definition of terms; and if we are talking of the Bible as you appear to WISH to do, and I am doing, then definitions can have only one source. Transcendence is not a biblical term. What it means, near to biblical words, would be this, that God is creator of all, stretched out and made all, instituted all, and is answerable to none. No problem. Immanence, again, in so far as it relates to the Bible, might mean that a Being is able to have some participation with what is not Himself, indeed His creation.
Yes, that is not at all difficult. Anything but a problem is found here. Even an engineer is OVER his car which he creates, and although his thoughts and feelings have gone into it, as an accompaniment of its creation, perhaps, and continue as he maintains it, such 'immanence' is quite simple. Since God is not MATERIAL, having made matter with all the rest, in biblical terms, then having relationship of an intimate kind with His creation is merely an option.
There is no slightest difficulty in biblical terms. In fact, He watches, predicts, helps, answers prayer, warns, exhorts and so on, which one would have thought not very impassive or cold, and indeed expresses in Christ the Word as flesh, weeping as in Matthew 23:3;7, which again does not appear very impassive - impassive weeping ? not really. Similarly, you find in Jeremiah 13:27, the solicitude that neither wantonly disregards folly nor ceases to cry and awaken, saying, "Woe to you, O Jerusalem! Will you not be made clean ? when shall it once be ?" Such things could be multiplied in a book of its own.
In all of this, there is a deep, divine participation without alteration, because all is known to the end from the first, and EXPRESSION is not the same as MUTATION. It is as simple as that. Anthropomorphic ideas must not be attributed in this way, without any understanding. Even men can weep, on occasion, without changing: their grief is often ready for such a case, and while, unlike God, they may be surprised by the event causing this, it does not at all necessarily change what they are.
It might; it might not. It depends on the case. With God, the case is negative: He has already understood all, and in His own infinite way, has total access to all; and is not less feeling because He has already felt, as if time quashes truth, or is its only avenue. (Cf. That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 7.)
That would merely be irrational, like trying to pretend that because I had feelings that were not personally active as those of one of my characters, therefore they were not feelings at all. This sort of extrapolation is mere distancing from reality, by virtue of form.
In all these things, it is very necessary to try to avoid contradicting the very thing you are for some reason or other, trying to attack, and then attacking your own contradiction. This becomes, in the end, nothing more than self-contradiction. You invent some thought, not based on constraining evidence, attack it, and then relate it most quixotically to the Bible, even to the point of the most flamboyant POSSIBLE of contradictions of what it is saying, as your TARGET.
The whole principle of materiality and change, you philosophise, is at best total antithesis of God's nature.
No, this simply is not so. You argue too readily, and not reasonably enough repeatedly in such matters, reducing your thoughts to impotence through irrelevance in the attack. You attack what is not there. If I write, then my books, while in their MODE of being, antithetical to myself, as to being non-alive and set and fixed, and so forth, yet they are not in mere antithesis. Indeed, they are not at ALL such, in that they hold some of MY thoughts, which being MINE, are not at all antithetical to ME!
You lastly turn to polar antithesis, some invention of your own presentation, and then appear to look at some philosophic theologians. Often, in fact, 'classic' theologians were Romanists in the days of Rome's terror modes and social eminence accordingly - and to imagine that this or any such addition has anything to do with the Bible, is a classic way to confusion. Romanism ? talk it. The Bible ? talk it. Rome's view is to add together. That may please them, but it does not here make for clarity. To clarity, then, let us keep, and assign grounds for assertions made, rather than loose fits with what is often wholly contrary, of varied parentage.
In terms of biblical theology, there is no question of creating some list of some things, man, and of other things, God, let alone a wish list, and putting one on one side, the other as if by some sort of peculiar psychological tic, in place of reason, on the other. The thought is stupendously romantic, in addictive philosophy, and is as associated with the Bible as with reason, by antithesis.
Theologians can reason; and not all of them engage in infantilities by any means, when speaking of biblical material.
However, the point being the Bible, not that vast sum of heresies and heretics about which we could talk, as could politically, the Nuremburg crime trials of war crimes, we need to return to the point. The idea in view, that of such lists as you find interesting, is very contrary to reality if we are Biblical actualities, rather than what it condemns (cf. Isaiah 29:10-13, 28:13).
God as the cause of time-space causality, is certainly different. What creates is of necessity other than what is created, since the one institutes it to be as made, and the other is instituted to be as made. Unless the one who made had principles contrary to what is made, where is the problem ? If what is made had the liberty to attack the Maker, as is the case, obviously the use of freedom given, a good thing, has led to evil attained by the creation, and this contradicts the Maker, as may a child its parent.
This is not a logical antinomy, but a result of a cause, the USE of a liberty contrary to the INSTITUTION in its ambit, but not in its essence. To make liberty on the contrary, MEANS that it may oppose you. For that, you would need some reason; and if it is that you require what may love, not being merely programmatic, that is your decision. So far from being contrary to your principles, it FOLLOWS from them, as a car from the plan for it from the engineer's hand. If some hoon ruins it, so be it; that is one way it CAN be used. It is important in view of the nature of the case, that this possibility should exist.
God now only KNOWS all of what is to be, but predicts its nature, sometimes in astute detail, in methodological procedures, in grounds, in results, within certitudes, specifying options, providing remedy (Hosea 13:14, John 3:16 cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy ).
Unlimited, He is different. Omniscient and immutable, He is different to be sure. However this is not a question of odd mathematical constraints in the feckless mind, but of causative necessity (cf. SMR Chs. 1-3, 10). It is like being told that there is this strange oddity on the part of State engineers, that they look at water NEED, and water PROVISION, and keep putting things into one category or the other, as if they had nothing better to do. That would be insulting nonsense. There are differences, of course, in having and in dispensing water, and this is simply a fact of life. There is nothing philosophically oddball about it.
Here again, you seem enfolded in the arms of materialism (for refutation of the same, see for example Repent or Perish Ch. 7), unable or perhaps unwilling to think beyond categories of nature, which having nature, requires its source: yet the requirements of logic need to examined for cogency, consistency, validity and applied for verification with the utmost rigour, including the application of scientific method. When this is done, as featured in my trilogy, for example, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, as in part, in That Magnificent Rock, and considered further in Secular Myths and Sacred Truth, and Of the Earth, Earthy ..., as well as in Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... : it works.
Nothing else does, as shown for example in It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, TMR Chs. 5, 7, and The Shadow of a Mighty Rock.
This discipline is necessary, with all accuracy. Philosophy is merely an incubus, unless it is willing to turn its mind to rigour; and it rarely does.
The Bible presents what works well on all sides (cf. SMR Ch. 5), and answers to nothing but to God in its provisions and scope (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9). SO be it. People do not usually like it, because they do not usually like God, often preferring to make themselves little gods, in a rather sad sort of way, which has a large incubus of judgment affixed, as has all defiance of reality. I am very glad that the God of the Bible is in so much, as far from what you express and strangely relate in this, as could well even be imagined.
Imagination however is no guide. You have to follow reality. Mercifully - but then, it is so to me since God made me - it is most wonderful, and the Lord is most marvellously kind, though not feckless, at all, and not prone to favour hypocrisy.
Give thought to these things. I am trying to help you; and perhaps, after a while, you will realise what now you do not.
With every good wish,
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
for World Wide Web Witness Inc.
P.S. No, I am not curious where you come from; I find it more palatable to discern from what you say, what you are really about. Possibly you will find pain,suffering,evil.html of some interest.
This then is the general nature of the reply to one who was offering a web site for a ‘ministry’, from which scores of messages came, blocking our mail for a time, and symbolically, with some point, even preventing the completion over some hours, of an Encyclopedia Britannica Update Web access, for 2004.
Moving from this, we can see in many developments, the spiritual story, chapter by chapter, which is bringing man to his knees, but not yet, as a race, before God. That, like the dawn, it comes when the maximum of human invention and pride has ‘quite finished’ and the man of sin makes his foray into form and function, like a morbid farewell. It is a prelude, this assault, however, not to the race but to its ruin, though many will be swept out to the seas of judgment, with this climax. Yet it as nothing compared with All Exposing Light of the coming King, its polluted path the more obviously making way for this, the return of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, whose dismissal was unwise, and whose regality is undiminished, His love unchanged and His Gospel immutable.
Meanwhile, the rush to make man and nature, god and wisdom all one, with a remarkable power to know the truth from the interstices of this causeless mess, this meaningless mass, this philosophic background to folly, it is merely one of the fulfillments of the word of God. God and man, man and woman, adult and child, disease and health, enervation and exultation, rapture and ruin, it is all to be mixed into one muddle as the dynamic of the devil roves in its destructive desires.
Foolish are those who are so mocked by his mimicries and false cries. Authenticity has long shown its face, and though this was mocked, there is no other for reason or reality (cf. SMR, TMR, Repent or Perish, Spiritual Refreshings ...Ch. 16). The passion to avoid Him is not much changed from the days of Calvary, though its following is extended, as the prince of this world makes his final dash (John 14:30-31). It is linked to a passion for a oneness without God, as if pepper longed to be one with salt, and both without table or hand to prepare them, making a speckled mix, in a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, where dormouse from time to time asks, Is it day ?
This passion for confused unity without truth, and for ANYTHING provided it be not the living God, has been regarded elsewhere before, and the reader may therefore wish to fill out this material by such references as those below. As His coming draws near, like the advent of some vast liner to the awaiting dock, many and varied are the faces of those who are there, some drawn by curiosity, some to meet the Captain, some from boredom, all with different expectations.
Soon the ropes will be tied; but alas for many, it is not so quiet as that, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. With them, on that victorious vessel, will now be their Master and King, the only hope at the quay, for a worn-out world. The only hope ? God is always sufficient, whether in substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, program prophetic, patience or love, in cherishing or in victory, in bearing or in clearing. The clarity of heaven will attend His coming; but it is His heaven, and to His people is it haven.
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13,
News 121, 122, 100, 82, 152
Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9
It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 11
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 8