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SECTION III

SOLUTION

A. PRELlMlNARY CONSlDERATlONS.



I. Terminology

In this Section, it must be clearly apprehended that our concepts concern persons, their wills, feelings, consciences, reactions, responses, criticisms, judgments; the integration and partial disintegration of personality; they concern confrontation by what is infinite, actual and inescapable, and compromise which appears escape but which merely enacts judgment indirectly. To describe the actions and qualitative procedure, to exhibit the composure of situations' or assist an apprehension of the field in prose convenient for inanimate particles, would be as great a stylistic aberration as would the use of this, our terminology, with its special idiosyncrasies, in a reciprocal description of the detailed behaviour of particles. Thus just as some scientist, though perhaps enjoying occasion to romance in personalising particles, would not appreciate the joy if it became a duty ­ so our task demands too much acuity, accuracy and appositeness to allow the serious use of such jejune stylistic tricks as would appear if we pretended in our terms and phrases to depersonalise our province.

Accordingly we make no apology for our choice of style and vocabulary in that which follows, which is frankly adapted to its content.

Precision, the exclusion of implications not intended, the coverage of all that is intended, and this in forms comprehensively constructed so that ambiguity might be excluded: these are things always necessary in thought. Their absence may sagely be detected in any stylistic mode. It must however never be confused with a willing and judicially selected stylistic conformity to the character of a special subject. Applauded as such confusion might be, by contemporary literary zeitgeist, it is nonetheless indefensible.

II. The Ultimate Recourse

In examining our revealed 'heartland' for the purpose of perceiving the conceptual consistency of the revealed doctrine of Christian­Theism in the matter of predestination and the question of freedom of will, we must now concentrate on understanding, knowing that if we gain in this, the conceptual blurs merged by intellectual mist into problems, may then become clear as consistent, co­ordinated and ­ as it were ­ defined conceptual landscape.

Several chief areas will be studied, but the first and quintessential element is Predestination itself.

III. The Propositions

First, we must note the refined propositions, foreshadowed in the Preface, and to which we referred at the conclusion of Section I. We present ten.

1. In any predestinative action the determinant is God.

II Timothy, for example, in 1:9 has:

"He called us not according to works but according to His own purpose and grace."

So Romans 9:16 presents:

"It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs"; and Romans 9:18: "He has mercy on whom He will have mercy." This of course could be literally translated ­ "He will have mercy on whom He wills to have mercy."

2.There are no reaches of glory behind the Cross of the lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14 has written:

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world." When we realise that in Jeremiah 9: 24 and I Corinthians 1:31, we are told that he who glories should glory in the Lord. we realise that in the Cross of Christ is the glory of the Lord eminently shown.

Hebrews 6 speaks indeed of going beyond the preliminary things, but when it does so, it points to a 'beyond' which we find in the ensuing chapters to be a greater exposition of the Cross, the sacrifice of Christ, in its meaning and its implications, as well as its application. Though it is true that one day we shall understand with a greater degree of comprehension than we have now, what is clear in terms of both adequacy and ultimacy. is that there is nothing beyond the Cross of Christ to which we may Scripturally appeal in terms of mystery, sovereignty or any other category1* .

3. Condemnation is with God always a last resort.

It must move past the face of ultimate statements of highest concern:
Lamentations 3:33, II Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 23:37, John 3:17 provide examples of which we shall quote the first only, in full:

"for He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men."

The literal rendering of "willingly", as pointed out in the footnote to the Standard American Edition of the Revised Version of the Bible, 1901,

is: "from the heart".

4. God has in fact worked everything after the counsel of His own will.

To this convenient examples of Scriptural statements attest: Ephesians 1:11, Amos 3:6, Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 43:13, Revelation 4:11, and again we shall limit the quotation to the first, with contextual reference. Of Him who predestinated according to His good plan and purpose, verse 5, and made known the mystery of His will to bring ultimate disposition of all in Christ's terms, according to the good counsel which He purposed in Himself, verses 9­10, it says:

"He works all things after the counsel of His own will."

There is therefore no situation where He need offend His own principles. He does not face abstract possibilities, but situations according to the patterns of His own planning.

5. Natural man has no spiritual merits or vitality: that is, unconverted man.

Attestation is given by Ephesians 2:2­8, II Timothy1:9, Romans 8:5­9 ­ and I Corinthians 2:14, for example, of which we quote from the first : "Ye walked according to the course of this world according to the prince ... the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all conducted ourselves in times past ... by nature the children of wrath like all others ... dead in sins." In the last phrase, the contrast is complete, in context, between this dead condition in sins and God's restoration of life:

"When we were dead, He has brought us to life with Christ (by grace ye are saved)." It does indeed stress this further by prefacing the clause "when we were dead" with the emphatic word ­ "even"; and lest, as it were, the impression should fade by the time a man should read the main clause, a confirmatory clause is placed at the end of the words above quoted "by grace you are saved".

6. God demands repentance, which is a gift.

The first point is clearly stated in Acts 17:30 -

"God ... now commands all men everywhere to repent"; it is uttered in Luke 13:5 -

'Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

The second is indicated by Acts 11:l8 -

"They held their peace and glorified God, saying: Then God has

also to the Gentiles granted the repentance which leads to life."

It is also implied by Ephesians 2:8 :

"By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:".

The Greek kai touto, in the phrase "and that not of yourselves" must agree grammatically not with "faith" but with the whole action, here salvation; this would be falsified if any essential component were "of yourselves"; and negatively, if any were not "the gift of God", both of which latter phrases appear in the text, qualifying kai touto.

7.God demands faith, which is a gift.

Relevant are : Hebrews 11:6, John 3:18, Ephesians 2:8, Galatians 5:22, Matthew 16:17, I Corinthians 4:7, Romans 9:18, John 6:65, Matthew 11:27 with John 14: 7,9.

To the first point, we quote from Hebrews 11:6 and John 3:18 :

"Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him," and -

"He who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

For the second, we shall note chiefly John 6:65, but make other allusion: Following:

"There are some of you who do not believe ­ verse 64, we have in verse 65: "Therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto me, except it were given to him of my Father." It is indicated that they have no faith; it is repeatedly indicated that it is by faith we come; and these people are clearly said not to come because they have not received the necessary gift from the Father: logically and contextually the missing element is faith, which therefore is not given: the sovereign donation of the Father has not been made in these cases. Faith is a gift of God.

This same point follows in Ephesians 2:8, and for the reason cited in No.6 supra (p. 118 ) ­ although it here applies pre-eminently as "faith" is expressly cited.

Faith, the Galatians passage informs us also, is a fruit of the Spirit; and as I Corinthians pointedly asks:

"What have you that you did not receive? now if you did receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?"

8. The range of mortality to which the death of Christ is adapted, is the world.

To this effect, we read such statements as those in I Timothy 2: 5­6, John 3:17 and II Peter 3:9, and we shall quote the first two as needed:

"There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time;" and

"If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

We have already dwelt on this topic at some length: this status of Christ, John indicates, appertains to Him in relation to the whole world.

For all the world, indeed, He is not said to have propitiated; it does not state such a thing: but for all the world He is the propitiation. There is no other for any man in it and He stands in the status relevant to action, and ready: for all.

9. The cited criterion for the condemnation of men is informed preference against Christ.

We may note Matthew 23:37, John 3:19 and Proverbs 1, for example, in this connection. The second had it written:

"This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light."

In a context of God's sending His Son into the world because of His love (verse 16) for it, and of His purpose in so doing not being that Be might condemn (verse 17), but on the contrary that the world through Him might be saved, we are told then that the man who believes in this Son has his condemnation removed; while the man who does not believe, is already condemned (verse 18). The reason is even expressly cited, in adversity to this sending, this sensitivity and this Son: because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It is then that we are informed that there is a judicial point around which such condemnation (verse 19) occurs: the preference for darkness. (Cf. John 3:32, 36).

In Matthew, we find from the Son on whom judgment devolves, and into whose hands the Father put all judgment (while He in turn did only those things which pleased His Father whom He obeyed), these words:

"How often would I have gathered you ... and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."

10. The sole avenue to God is Jesus Christ.

For this, see John 14:6, Acts 4:12 and John 3:19 (the last especially in context, and with John 1:1, 1:9, 1:14 and 3:36). The first we may quote:

"Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father but by me"; and to it, add the second:

"Neither is there salvation given in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." The name, mentioned in the preceding verse, is that of Jesus Christ.

Concerning these facts underlined, there can, so long as Scripture is in no sense 'accommodated' to the captious mutations of human reason; and so long as human reason, in its integrity, uses Scripture as the data of full validity: concerning these facts there can be no argument.

Having recapitulated these several basic points with due care, we stand ready for the major work.

We proceed to Predestination itself, then.
 
 

B. SUBSTANCE

PART I - PREDESTINATION ITSELF








1. Father and Son

i) In Se.

The Word, John 1 tells us, existed as God in the beginning, and the word' he tells us, became flesh and was Jesus Christ. This cord existed in the beginning and from the first. Be does not say that what is now called the Word existed, but that Word so existed and became flesh. A word of course, is an expression of the person speaking.

One word gives a partial expression; one sentence a greater expression, a paragraph a greater expression yet; and wine" you sum up the entirety of the person as a Word, then there is an entirety of expression such that, confirming this, Christ says, "He who has seen me has seen the Father."2*

Of course, an expression is something procedurally derivative. This is perfectly in keeping with its being essentially ultimate or co-ultimate with that which expresses it, if the case warrants that. So we have the Father and the Son, or the Author and the Word, co­ultimate, co­equal, for it says the Word was God; and yet they are involved in a relationship of procedural kind, of a specialised kind as to each Person of this Being, God. For that God may be mathematically one as to being, and three as to personalities is a matter which it is not possible a priori to determine. It is consistent with itself. He exists as one; but the mode of His consisting is an entirely separate matter; and it is affirmed that the one Being exists in three distinct personalities.

To put it again, God exists in three persons and consists in these mutually; or further ­ this one God is describable as consisting in a collaborative confabulation comprising the divine enterprises and exhibiting this Being' God. In nature the same, each Being has a certain relationship to the other; to that extent, the Father may be said to be greater than the Son procedurally though not essentially: for it is in this sense greater to be the eternal originator than the eternal originated. Such however is the character of God, who affirms that essentially Be is love as well as truth, that that which is procedurally inferior does not rank as inferior, but in a Being essentially what God is, in His love, as equal.

God then has three eternal, distinct manners of being which He eternally is. It would be triplicate except that the identity which the nature of each has with the other is individualised by a differentiation such as that which we have just noted: a disjunction within the conjunction of which the marital state forms an image. The differences are dynamic while the nature of each is static; they function in difference as one Being because of the essential identity. The fulness of the Godhead pervades each of the members who work in eternal complementarily as equals, essentially; for with God, communion is constitutive. This fulness however evades anyone who will attempt to disjoin them.

God is not, let it be clear, a system, a resultant, a confederacy or a union: He is, as we say, a communion, an unfused fusion ­ if we must use such a term, as it sometimes seems expedient to use terms of those things which come and pass. When we do use them of Him however, the illustrative piquancy may provide unasked an appearance of complexity. If therefore, we wish, instead of using the phrase 'unfused fusion', we can say that it has as it were the integrity which we associate with fusion, the differential which we see in fusion, but that both are eternal3* . Thus in God threeness composes His stature, while His oneness comprises His status. He is one Being in three simultaneous modes.

Now we may ask, Why have we made this exposition? Because, the answer is, the nature of predestination is obviously going to be related to the nature of Him who predestines; and so long as the Trinity is as it ever will be, quintessentially God, then to ignore it would be essentially an impossible method of proceeding.

One point we wish to abstract at this time: the Son then reaches the vastest regions of His Father4* and the Father communicates from His illimitable being to the Son. There is a penetration by the Son; there is a communication by the Father. There is a reaching, there is a communion, there is a mutual searching. There is, in short, a program of penetration.

ii) The Measure of Man.

Now we move from a contemplation of what has been revealed of the Godhead to us by Him, to that creature man, who has been made in His image5* and therefore (understanding this of course5 of his spiritual reality, most closely and intimately, though in creaturely style), correlative to this type of movement. That is to say, we may expect on the part of God through His Spirit, a movement into, a research throughout, a penetration within the spirit of man, in view of these His divulgements regarding Himself and man. We are familiar with the words:

"I the Lord search the heart" ­

"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart."6*

His eyes search, He tries the depths of man.

"I will melt them, and try them"7 *... "The Lord tries the righteous,"8* "His eyes behold, His eyelids try the children of men."9* On the part of man, we read:

"Seek the Lord and ye shall live".10* "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found."11* 1 Peter tells us that the prophets who prophesied of the grace which was to come12* , and this by the power of God, as 11 Peter stresses, were searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify13* .

In prayer the saints are yearning to move into the depths of God's heart, within the confines of creatureliness, derivation and of redemption; and the Spirit of God assists them in this, and bracing and embracing their searching brings its essence in righteousness into the very heart of God. He who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, and He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God ­ the Spirit "laying hold" of God for us or, "along with" our infirmities14 * .

iii) An Ontological Point.

These things being so, we proceed with more specifically predestinative matters affecting man. We perceive Christ communing in constructing the plan of salvation with His Father. The elect are chosen in Christ15* ; and therefore this communing must concern the elect. In Him is the fulness of the Godhead bodily16* . He is God's word. He is the very movement of the divine in all its
expressions17* .

Now an ontological point arises. Can God in Himself, and hence between Himself and His Son, commence a meditation? That is, is such a concept inconsistent with what is revealed? Will God learn; that is, so that at the end of it, He will know more than at the beginning? Clearly, He would be a subject of growth and hence constituted in an environmental system if He did present to Himself any concept utterly new. After all, He works all things after the counsel of His will, and He is always the same. His guaranteed6* sameness is the guarantee of the completion of all His meditations.

Indeed, if there were anything incomplete, it would mean that God would be shown as enquiring into a given datum, internal or external.

But there is no given datum for God, for God is eternal by nature. There is neither noumenon nor reality nor essence which He must investigate, as someone outside it existing in a system of which it is a part. There is nothing for Him so to investigate. He eternally is the Author and the Director for whom even His own character is not a datum to be experienced.

Indeed, if there were any regions of His character or mind which had not yet bean illuminated by the eternal quintessence of knowledge of the Spirit ­ of the Spirit as ruminating as it were, within Him18* , of the Father as knowing these ruminations, it would then be true that there was one part of Him which was less eternal than the other. There therefore can be no commencement of such a meditation: and shall we be embarrassed in considering the Inter­Trinitarian Communions because of this? Not at all. This merely alters the manner of our conceiving Christ communing and constructing the plan of salvation with His Father.

The communion would, then, be conceivable, in perhaps several ways.

One such way would be this: it could be conceived of as a vital element in an eternal consciousness, a reciprocal and undated resurgence of divine energy between companion beings' companion members of the Divine Being. We have already referred to the Spirit searching even the deep things of God, and noted His conveying19* them to men; and to the Son being in the bosom of the
Father 20 * . We may equally refer to His leading Him forth 21* . There is then, nothing new essentially in this; we do but seek to give it terms. Moreover' this resurgence of communion, meditation, is not to be conceived of as that which at one (given) moment of time has yet another aspect to be completed, another phase; for there are no phases in that which is continually complete.

How then may we speak of a resurgence except as a continually complete, vitally self­aware embracement of a perfect and deep knowledge of a matter which continually keeps the freshness and the reality of it in view; just as it would if in us it were serially executed (as to form). We call this, then, a realised resurgence for convenience.

A second way of conceiving, and to put it differently, another element of the nature of this communion, could be summed up by the term, analytical comprehension. In both cases, we conceive of the communion as proceeding from the Father as to initiation and from the Son as to meditation. It might be conceived differently perhaps, more fully certainly. But the point is, that it has been shown to provide no essential difficulty. The Son then, may be conceived in this as perceiving, as conceiving concurrently the
deepest reaches22* of His Father with understanding which embraces and knows that which is.

This catches the sense of the still clarity23* and completed knowledge which is within God; for in God there can be no learning, there can be no areas of freedom24* , of mystery in which things must still be found out, or the extent of which has not yet been found. God is noggin a system the nature of which He must yet find out; neither is there cowered in His Being, system which He must yet understand: for if there were within Him or without Him that which He did not fully comprehend, then His 'being' would antedate His willing and He would not be, as we saw, altogether eternal25 * - so that this analytical comprehension is indeed a term which could accurately depict one aspect of the divine mutuality. Just as the Son is in the bosom of the Father and leads His Father out, so in the Son is all the fulness of the Godhead. There is a still and eternal embracement of all in His understanding which arises and proceeds with His very Being.

We must beware of a misinterpretation. When we use the term analytical comprehension. we will tend to think of this being derived from our knowledge of that which is beyond the matter in question; that we are seeing a system which is outside the subject and that we are applying our knowledge of this system and the principles of it to the point in question; so that it is analytically comprehended in terms of that which is outside itself. There is however no need for us to have these presuppositions in here speaking of the term analytical comprehension; they do of course tend to be applicable in our system ­ but we are not sneaking now in terms of this system, but in terms of God Himself.

The analytical comprehension between the members of the Deity is not to be conceived, then, as that which looks from without to apply that which is known Beyond to that which is within some allotted scope; but the comprehension will be with respect, will be with reference to Himself. There is then a whole realised totality of inter­relationship, purpose, plan, aim, character, all aligned and in perfect accord intrinsically, but all conceived and worked with, in terms of person; all desired and performed in terms of will; and the plannings and details within these vaster things are also comprehended but not when they concern creatures, so directly by Self­reference.

Inter­Personally we considered what we might in part describe as intrinsic simultaneous awareness and being26* , a comprehensive and conclusive awareness permeating its ontological realities with infinite affinity. But when creatures are embraced in God's knowledge, it is not to consubstantial knowledge and being ­ so to speak, alone, to which we would seek descriptively to refer: but to consequential knowledge in terms of quintessential knowledge and being.

We have noted that through realised resurgence we gather the sense of freshness, vitality, reality, before Him; and with analytical comprehension we gain the sense of stillness, completion before Him; and we have sought to define each within the context of the other, each as facetal of the totality. .

2. Sovereignty without Tyranny

Now we return to consider the creature man more particularly. In so far as he is made in God's image, that is to say, in terms of his spirit, so that there can be communion between them, we may expect that be may have some relationship with this celestial realised resurgence and analytical comprehension. To this topic we have been seeking to bend our attention.

First, however, we must make a clarificatory distinction, to avoid a grave misconception. Certainly, God is the author; man is the creature. God is the director, man is the derivative. God is self­existent, man is dependent. God's desires though sometimes rendered operative serially, are already before Him, and in His quintessential comprehension completed; whereas man is merely aspirant intrinsically. Certainly there are these infinitely important distinctions. Certainly any sort of conjunction between God and man would be one of operation rather than essence.

In the latter there must be disjunction (not excluding a derivative confirming of character); and in terms of the rebel, also a divergence ­ though for the saint this does not follow. For the saint there would rather be conversion, re­formation. cooperation, conformation and transformation. Though there is indeed even accreditation (and eternal continuation thereafter), there cannot be such as deity, as increase in essence. In that, we say, there is a disjunction: truth demands that.

Now these things having been said ­ to avoid misunderstanding ­ we now realise that we can indeed have a sovereign divine realised resurgence throughout man's spirit; just as we can have, when the conditions are suitable, an aspirant human resurgence ­ God conducting this ­ through the portals of God.

It is well at this point to remember that our realised resurgence and analytical comprehension had to do with the mutual penetration of divine persons; that the realised resurgence indicated the vitality of the awareness, whereas the analytical comprehension its completed still. He may therefore consider that for a being made in God's image, there may well be, we would expect that there would be, in terms of the revelation God has made of Himself, or at least we might consistently anticipate that there might be a penetration from God's Spirit to man's spirit. Let us not fail to envisage, then, from the resurgence, a vital penetration; and, adding from the comprehension, a vital and completed penetration. We conceive therefore from the resurgence, a celestial penetration which may well, in terms of creation, have a natural serial enaction; whilst, nothing prejudiced, it may in terms of the communion within Himself have this realised element27* at the same time, so that its completion in mortality is merely energically dynamic.

It is necessary at all times to remember that God is the constitutive creator of man and has a constitutive comprehension of man. Thus as man can to some extent perceive matter and detect its composition until he finds the 'fingers' 28* that made it and at that point must cease his essential comprehension of it; so, cannot God have componential analysis of man's spirit? and this so that there can at no point be for Him any mystery of comprehension, for, so to speak, He at last meets Himself; nor can there be any hindrance to His knowing arising from the fact that it is a spirit which He comprehends.

As we know matter. so does He spirit; only without limit: for God is above us, the only member of His category (indeed that notion implies susceptibility to standardisation at least in theory ­ something which is not even hypostatically possible in this case); and we are thoroughly constituted by Him. We who do not set up and constitute matter, may with our derivative equipment understand it: God who did constitute spirit may a fortiori comprehend our spirits and all that is in them, and be able to predict what we shall do without the slightest contingency on the one hand, violation on the other.

We have already noticed in discussing Boethius moreover, that God may not be merely conceived of as looking on futurities which ultimately eventuate. He says, we recall, that He works29* all things after the counsel of His will; He informs us30* that He it is who made military matters occur initially with seeming felicity for Sennacherib so that he might be the chosen instrument at God's hand31* to punish His people32* who put providential pre­direction on the untrod path of the general Cyrus33* , that he might in fact be a liberator for the now punished people who would allot Egypt in pre-engagement procurement for Nebuchadnezzar to 'repay' him for a moral-historic military judgment on Tyre34* we are advised by Him that evil Pharaoh had his heart spiritually hardened35* in order that He might accomplish a part of His cosmic plan36* (the capital makes all the difference here).

He instructs us that evil cannot so much as occur without its having been at His direction ­ that is, infliction, affliction and dismay37* . We do not wish to revert from this, in saying that God has analytical comprehension of man's spirit; but to advert immediately) to one aspect of it; and to assert that if there were no more, this much would remain true.

There is, as we see, much more to be considered. In this vital penetration by God's Spirit into man, He may consistently not merely have this componential realisation of man so that He might predict (or so that He does in fact readily predict); but He can have this quintessential resurgence through man so that He may create consequences in participation Himself, in the realities concerned a participation which does not simply invade the essence of man, but which has involved itself in the procedure and operation of man.

Now He can direct an evil thought into a man's heart, as He did with Ahab before Jehoshaphat ­ without in the least moulding that man's character in a degrading fashion, as through some sort of vindictiveness. Rather we might express this aspect of such activity as a matter of interpreting that character, of involving it in that which it shall in fact be deemed meet to express. That is to say that He disposes that which He is to dispose, as He wills to dispose it; but He is not to be held as the author of sin because in some fashion He canalises it. Admittedly, He is the author of that which is the author of sin; and in terms of this we must look eventually at the ultimate justification of His plan ­ but we do not wish to hold to a monovolitionalism38* , but merely to an involvement of God ­ even at the most original level ­ in the volition of man so that this volition is not something which is merely perceived by God: rather is it operated through, by God, without any violation of its integrity.

This, we might phrase it, is more an intra­volitionalism: the Almighty invests the willing without invading it, in the simplest39* case. This 'operation through' then, is not a dictation to its will, but rather a determination of the expression of the will, an elucidation and declaration of its intent, which can never be sovereign. God the Sovereign who is the determinant, can well render it determinate; in doing so He need neither exterminate its being nor attenuate its relevance; nor would one expect Him to extenuate the result any more than He limited His requirement of Himself when He procured souls40* .

We do not have divine freedom, then; there can be only one divine: but that divine will interpret even our own determinations without removing our powers to determine in the mode of derivative dependence. He shall draft our thought without having forced our thoughts to move where essentially (as distinct from constitutionally and thus corruptly41* ) they would not go. He can as it were expound character in history without being, in certain respects at least, the former of that character as to this essential42* volition.

But we must take it back further. Even in the acts of volition of man, God is present, not merely as observer, but as One who is around and surrounding43* and penetrating into these things without Disruption, but without indifference;. Thus all acts are embraced in Him without losing their integrity and without losing His control. In this sovereign explication God is not of course and thereby involved in any sinful implication, to whatever level, then, one may wish to go in terms of ultimacy.

More specifically however, we are concerned with this process of election as such. It is a small thing before God that a soul may not yet be created, and we do not intend to labour the possibility that it was created or that it was not44* , before the time came for its earthly sojourn in so far as this is not necessary for the consistency considerations with which we are concerned. But before Him, it is a small matter (as to power) whether it in fact was created, we suggest; it is as real to His resurgence, as completely realised with His comprehension as if it had been created; and again, as we have above pointed out, it is in the nature of the case that this can be so.

Moreover, He is able45* to operate in it, with it, through it and about it in the way we have just explained, before45 He has ever created it. Furthermore, He would not be baulked if He should wish to do this pre­temporally with a created soul without in any way burring its edges, marring its nature or searing its reality ­ but since the soul as chosen46* is not yet created, this has an a fortiori application.

This is more than an ad hoc conceptual procedure47* : in so far as God is vital, and this is a vital thing; but He who it the Creator of life is able to deal in a vital manner with life which is not in its actual substance before Him. Just as in our thought level we can conceptualise formally and fully without unleashing our activities into the substantive actualities to which our thought may refer; so in the increate, anon creative and everlasting dynamism of His life and Being48* , God can vitalise or vitally penetrate into the lives which shall be without to any extent involving them in the bald existential hazards of determinate constituted existence.

He can vitalise without unleashing His activities on the actual entities to which He vitally refers. We might add that while all things dextrous and delicate indeed are possible with the Almighty, He may not deem all things expedients while nothing is too hard for Him, being "wonderful in counsel", no intricacy is too refined for Him s and we have here a refinement that one can relish, in the quiet divine completion of prescient, predestinative mortal hypostasis.

In this way, then, we might say that God vitalises these lives, these souls49* , in His envisagement because He is the Author of vitality: if you wish to put it so ­ He could hypostasise them in their vitality without touching, them; yet the consequences of such hypostasis would be 'determinative ­ not in a mechanical sense, but in the working out through this involvement­method, of what shall in fact be.

Through man in this way can go such a spiritual resurgence ­ through hypostatic man ­ and this analytical comprehension; through men can career this mutuality and this discernment, such that the ultimate destiny can be divinely determined in advance without any peremptory sovereignty on the one hand, any whimsicality or capriciousness ­ or, on the other, any lèse­majesté to sovereignty, any split personality being implied on the part of God who is amazingly imagined by some to allow all things to go on and interact without their comporting with His actual person. In such a view it is as if principles might proceed within the area of human personality without a personal 50 involvement, without a personal approval on the part of Him who is personal, and has made us in His image. But proceeding through the matter as is suggested in this Thesis, we avoid both these pitfalls ­ the extremities in the Arminian and from the Calvinistic streams.

3. Sovereignty without Frustration.

Let us now examine the thought, often used as a barrier to any concept of pre­destination short of the hyper­Calvinistic, that God can be frustrated. We ask: In what is He frustrated? He has determined the matter, whatever it may be, according to His understanding and has He not willed to show forth His blessing and to win those who are His that they might co­operate with and know Him? He has been willing for this end, and He has left nothing undone that He might obtain it. But it is He who moving through these things has determined what they shall be; He is, as we have said, more than an observer, He is a sovereign ­ just as, at the same time, He is more than partial, He is complete in love.

We have spoken of a realised resurgence and an analytical comprehension; and it is now time to add in terms of a spirit which is not constitutive of God ­ namely that of one of His creatures, man ­ a further element. He must consider the activity of God conceptualised after the manner of a resurgence, but as accommodated (not as to truth, but in event) to a creature: the activity of God proceeding through man's being. We conceive of the love moving upon this and eliciting a response and being involved with this spirit. We imagine it doing these things either with historical correlates in view, or instead with quintessential understanding in view, the historical correlates being manifested in terms of this. It is not important for our present purpose which way it be conceived.

We do however wish to consider the love proceeding through man, and doing so after the manner of a divine, embracive, actualised activity (a phrase not so redundant in these spheres!). That is to say: the love pours, it proceeds, it beckons, it yearns, it moves, it consults, it proceeds to the quintessential elements, it resurges, it completes the matter, it completes the quintessential presentation to itself, inculcation, obtains the quintessential resultant. The matter is then ideally51* completed. It is such that there has been performed that which was sought. There has been presented something entire, pristine and primary, sufficient and in no wise deficient, completed and in no way incomplete or diminished to 'fit in with' other things: God has presented this force of love and it has achieved its object in having moved in His own way in quintessential splendour and reality through this spirit, and in having achieved whatever result it may have achieved. This has been sovereignly achieved; it has been sovereignly desired in this way; there has been obtained what has been desired. Even when it does not secure the object it sought, it does secure the objective.

There is a completion of this creaturely accommodation of the divine resurgence; it has moved through that which has an independent freedom. Having presented the entirety of what God is and does, in our case having presented the treasures of His heart and the depths of His being, as a 'realised' activity seen upon the Cross, He can well do no more without violating that which was sought according to the very conditions of its constitution. These things having been presented and these desiderata having been obtained with a certainty and a privilege of sovereign dexterity, He may well be conceived as being satisfied52* believed in His saying ­ It is finished; understood in the finality of the eternal resultant.

Now there is nothing deficient in this love; on the contrary, because it was love, it was not the sort of thing which would destroy the integrity of response of that which was wooed. Not having won what it wooed, it has nevertheless actualised the perfection and infinitude of its love in such a way as accords with a creature whose preference for the exclusion of God (John 3: 17­18) has as its obverse the exclusion of the creature from God. The resultant, we say, is naturally eternal. hypostatically pre­temporal and descriptively predestinative. It becomes then, in perfect consistency true that that which is not secured is not wanted53* . It is outside the confines of an ultimate, a sovereign, an undiminished, a plenary love.

We may only ask that in the process no pain might have been spared the loving seeker and we need only observe that in the performance none was spared ­ in contemplation, incarnation, humiliation, expatiation, the preparedness for defamation the words of reformation, or the deeds, in prediction, in fulfilment, in preparation, in stimulation, manifestation, in being powerful, in being weak, in being vital, in being beset with the vice of others, in penal hardship on their behalf, in crucifixion, in confirmation, in resurrection. in longsuffering, in patience, in temperateness, in authority. Thus we may note that grief for the lost (Matthew 23:37, Jeremiah 4:19­22) is perfectly compatible with a sovereign determination to exclude (John 17:95:19, 11:42, 8:29, 10:30), and only misconstruable as frustration or prevarication.

To revert to what we called this vindicated plenary love, we may with profit consider a creative analogy. Purely for illustrative and integrative purposes, we shall look at a comparison; and in envisaging these matters, let us weigh a work of creation as in a poet.

4. A Creative Analogy.

Now a craftsman poet might seek, strain as it were, envisage. yearn and produce. Yet deficient in critical skill at the height of his creation, perhaps, he might later need to re­assess what he has produced. Intellectually, fragments might be misplaced, obscure or 'plain wrong'. Again, he labours, this time with conscious technical and analytical skill; a more polished, precise and effective work has resulted ­ but little of vision has been added. Without the vision of the earlier activity, this day's work would have been mere hackwork.

Nonetheless, touched with the temper of the original creation, he might apply his criticisms and minor reconstructions with a blend of skill and intense sympathy with the meaning, purpose and reality of the whole.

Multiple processes could be conceptualised: imaginative interaction of purified concepts, for the sake of consistency throughout the work, the clarification of the lyrical passages, the vivification of the prosaic, the emplacement of the tangential passages in separate chapters, or their removal where otiose. A literary treatise might dwell on these things; but for us they are merely examples.

This author­adjusted creation, as it were enriched and irradiated with a more constant light, is now complete. The poet has performed his task in all its facets and aspects.

To use this analogy for processive as distinct from essential insight into election, we could say that God as it were spawned the souls and challenged them, worked them up and placed them, strove through them and polished them, analysed and reconstituted them even in terms of spiritual not of literary principles ­ and so forth: until all things were enacted with respect to their mutual positioning, their mutual dependencies, total impacts of the individuals on the system, the system on the individual and the total relevance of the whole thing to the purpose in view.

This testing, touching, remodelling, rejection, purifying, honouring, expanding, restricting, replacing ­ is of course no mere observation on the part of God: contemplation is not the whole case. Activity end passivity. choice and response, fashioning and fostering. judging and adjusting, and all this work with perfect mutual propriety proceeds throughout all, and the finger of the Lord points the way54* . That is, He is not intimidated by system, He is not affronted by procedure, but procedure indicates His Person and system intimates His desire: for Him there is no system, nothing more ultimate than Himself, we repeat.

Thus, any creation of spirits is not a dependent of some aspiration within some soul stuff with which He has to deal: the whole situation, and the nature of the soul, and the nature of the consummation origination and procedure is before Him all mutually worked out and thoroughly according with His desires before anything is at all instituted.

Now as to mode: clearly God has no need to practise and rehearse, to await the completion of one investigation before He can commence the next55* . It is not as if the Almighty, unlimited and unconstrained, must wait, or could perhaps find conditions to assist Him in His comprehension. He is absolute Creator. Compose these components we have mentioned; have the processes eternally complete and yet dynamically accessible to experience; have the results real and yet not dispossessed from the method of production; have the thing reviewed or have it static, but have it all there and all living: then, you have something near to form, which could be a sketchy process­wise suggestion of divine creation. In this, of course, we have been concerned to express an adaptation of what we first considered in its direct inter­Trinitarian light more essentially.

Here then one has the processive aspect of election which we hypothesise within the confines noted as conformable to the revealed nature of God, sealing a choice eternal, rigidifying but not irrationalising a world, a history and a division56* amongst men, neither carelessly, nor casually sovereign. nor cringingly conditioned by the patronising goodwill of man.
 
 

PART II - FOREKNOWLEDGE

1. Introductory Considerations.

Now as we have seen, God knows what He does. There is no region of action, or will where His knowledge does not penetrate. It is quite systematically impossible, therefore, to discuss predestination without incorporating something of foreknowledge; and this we have accordingly done. God knows what He does; does what He decrees; and both does. and knows what He wills. There is no region57* of His Being where His knowledge does not reach, inhere His will does not apply and where His action is forestalled. Nor in His creation in the way, in the manner, by the methods with respect to the procedure, which we have hypothesised, is the matter effectually different. Where things, of course, are serialised, where there is a mere created analogue of His own resurgence, we might expect that there will be certain phases, executive or expressive.

Indeed, to pursue that point: we might as well seek to interpret a comma without the surrounding verbiage, as try to imagine meaning in these serialised events ­ except we gain at least some glimpse of the provident perspective of God. These events accord with plan (Part 1 supra) in terms of the revelatory data, we are justified in seeking some insight into the nature of that relevant, illuminative divine foreknowledge. Therein are kept present those "paragraphs" of correlation58* , humanly so rarely descried even a little, and never accurately59* read from the infinite understanding of the Almighty, except when taken according to that designated key to the divinely infolded cryptogram of history, which is provided by His word.

2. In Se.

Now in speaking of such foreknowledge in terms of Boethius' view, we had noticed an advance on the mere awareness or apprehension of what is to happen, favoured sometimes and too superficially: we had seen that there was moreover a comprehension of what should happen; we moved to observe a certain order of laws generated with God's power and having impact on procedures and historic events, and looked at Boethius' endeavour to see justice in terms of the mere, as it were mechanical machinations of the set­up principles which confront man in a systematic and organised universe. His view too of divine foreknowledge as having this type of dual relationship to the events of creation: that of apprehension and that of principle­application, was represented as conceptually deficient on account of the implicit construction of a freedom for creatures which is manifestly outside sovereign control except in the very long run and in part. We noticed in 'The Consolation of Philosophy' a failure to make allowance (if we may revert to a litotes), for God as a Person, a failure for this fact, as that of man as a person to be involved in the conceptualisation of the foreknowledge of Him who made these persons and who is not deficient in personality.

We observed that there is in this world with all its laws, a very great harassment for any evident operation of such allegedly manifest principles of justice and right; for we noticed that there was a very evident clash between justice, right, truth and honour in this world and that which is said of God in His revelation. We reflected that the mere operation of the sort of principles involved would be out of keeping with the sort of Person that God is. They would be inadequate with respect to creaturely mutuality, reciprocity and influence. They would be inadequate in that they would indicate a place where (self-existent) Person, that mark of Deity, was not applied to (dependent) person, that mark of a creature in God's image, in man; so that there would have been an essential failure in application to the correlative and derivative realm of person ­ in the governance of creaturely derivatives of God the Person Himself.

Moreover, there would be no possible way in which to harmonise, to unify the principles such as justice and mercy, there would be no way in which God in short, could actually govern His universes or have it in correlation with Himself: He would have it in correlation only with abstract principles as such neither integrated nor integrable in terms of principles. God is a Person and as such must manifest60 His governance, and where persons are concerned, nothing short of this is possible.

It is in fact the very assumption often made, that God fails to do more than what Boethius says He does, and in failing to deploy His Person with respect to men as persons, allows the so­called 'shocking disasters' which sometimes 'rock' men's faith in Him: it is this very claim which, though it is an improper deduction from the empirical data from which it derives, would be a proper deduction from the type of foreknowledge systematically presented by Boethius. It is always of course, true that Boethius actually seeks to present more than this in the foreknowledge, but systematically he allows for no more than the apprehension and the operation of principles.

We have had to add therefore an awareness of this sovereign involvement without the annulment of a derivative freedom, to any conception of divine foreknowledge as systematically presented in Boethius' 'Consolation of Philosophy'. But there is more than this which must be added. Boethius sees Foreknowledge that sits over the human subject and knows its way ­ this for awareness; but with so deep a knowledge ­ can God not also discern the relation of all these things to Himself, and involve His knowing with their going in the way that we have suggested? For knowing Himself at the same time as He knows these things, He is aware of His response and of their response and of His containment of it all, as we have presented it, and of these three together. Indeed, adding predestination to these, we can perceive an outline at least of an election not at all negligent but nicety itself.

These conceptual ingredients, then, of Sovereign Knowledge, and Self­Aware Knowledge, we add to those of Prescient Knowledge, Analytical Knowledge, and the Knowledge of Principles and their Application. In this, of course, we noted that such knowledge as that last mentioned, is by itself a practical nullity in this case: even in its own phase, we must interpret it with respect to the Person Himself.

The considerations with which we have been involved have made it clear that the foreknowledge of God embraces not merely His knowledge of His creatures and His knowledge of Himself' but His knowledge of that which He will do in the situation concerned; and as we shall now seek to show, this will involve a knowledge of the Revelation and its impact, which in these situations certainly it is consistent with His Being that He will make. Before we proceed, let us sum up one of the numerous considerations leading to this last point, in so summary a form as is consistent with so slim an essay.
 

3. The Necessity and Prescient Relevance of Revelation.

i) Necessity.

If the world is in major categories contrary to God, He in effect contradicts. Since it is dependent on His power, which is precise in operation and configured with the precision indicated by the word 'speech', this would point to the destruction of the world, or that of those involved in contradiction with Himself, qualitatively at least. in their relevant capacities. But if it does not lead to a removal. it must lead to remedy ­­ if, that is, God is to be more than equatable with operational nullity; more than a percipient without powers of performance: yet if the eternal God lacked such powers, we would not be here to know it.

We must remember that any system which God creates can have no regrettable, has no necessary and difficult conditions in the sense that they are just given things which He must tolerate. This is unique, natural and necessary ontologically62* . On the contrary, the entire thing has been created with His meditation and mediation, and is in full and total accord with the Almighty's uncompelled choice. He does not therefore 'cut up with', or tiredly accustom Himself to tolerate this, in order that He may get that; He does not have any such shortage of intelligence or knowledge as to be so involved, as to start such a matter: for everything is in accord with His desire as we have explained at length. A will therefore which contradicts Him, He will contradict*63, and His contradiction, should He speak it and operate, involves the opposite of the affirmation, which was creation ­ namely destruction.

He does not however remove or destroy as yet; for the process remains, for the present. The injustice which afflicts one creature at the bid of another, persists; the lie which deflects other creatures from the truth, to the propagandist, proceeds; equity is often ignored; vice strikes the uninitiated, persecution lashes goodwill. Now in this domains this situation of which we speak and which we seek to conceptualise, we must realise that the question, the offence, the provocation, the divergence, the defalcation lies outside mere relative proportion: any such presence is sufficient to be excessive when conceived in the terms already expounded. Moreover, it is not only a matter of punishment; it is also a question of defilement, corruption and the irruption of iniquity. The situation is wrong and God, who is sovereign, and absolute in power, without compulsion or confinement, God is right. There is this opposition.

If64* therefore, as stated initially, this situation does not lead to a removal in destruction, it must lead to the release of a divine remedy.

Now God is a Person unanalysable in His essence. Therefore the remedy must involve information ­ and as indicated, we cannot hope to psycho­analyse God and His responses at a distance (however much some neologians may appear to try), and set Him upon a couch before our puny minds. His Spirit will need to convey our spirits into any relevant knowledge of and remedial directives from Him, if we are to know it. Even we ourselves, indeed, are somewhat opaque to the operations of fellow mortal spirits, the more particularly when we see no need to make any divulgement of our persons. Now God is infinite65* : there must therefore be, if not a removal of sinful man, then a revelation from God. It is manifest, since we remain to speak of it, that there has not been the removal; therefore there must be a divine revelation: essential, practical and meaningful, one satisfactory before all else, to God.

In this, the provisions and precepts of God made available for men caught in the provocative66* maelstrom; here will be the intimacy of which we have spoken in its written correlate, or the key for it: Here will be imparted what will enable co­ordination between God and man in remedial terms.

It is important that we do not confuse the fact with the disseminative mode. While this Revelation is necessary and its necessity is as old as the fact of sin, as a minimum, yet it is not necessarily exhaustive at any one time in its application to men throughout the world: in so far as He who cannot be psycho­analysed67* may be disposed to depose and present Revelation through a certain method. In our Part IV, System and the World as It is (infra)* , we shall see some 6 indications of possible reason why this method in a serial world, might be in fact a serial method of proceeding from stage to stage, from place to place and yet manifestly unique as His.
 
 

ii) Relevance.

What have we shown? That revelation is necessary, that remedy is necessary (under the circumstances of 'this present world'69* ), and that the application of the remedy must necessarily be in process. We have hinted that the manner in which the remedy is administered may be suitable to the manner in which the error was perpetrated ­ although we have reserved more particular regard for the question for a later part: in so fully ingested a system as a world under God's sovereign foreknowledge, this manner may be part of the remedy itself, indeed.

Force apart, remedy is relatable to realisation of the need for it; and God's disseminative method may therefore well be a part of the designed, apt and appropriate impact on a world which contradicts Him in the style noted.

Thus in God's foreknowledge, there will be this foreknowledge of this remedy, of His revelation, of its impacts upon men' and of men's (analytically predictable70* ) endeavours to make impacts upon it. Therefore, these things will also be ingredients in this predestining action of His, of which foreknowledge is a correlate. Where this remedial Revelation has not reached within the world of men, still His vital penetration will operate, but on a basis to this degree different; certain potential considerations, as we shall later suggest, would then appropriately be able to present themselves as involved; and here our treatment of the will­in­sin71* will have a very direct application.

Again, this same element in foreknowledge will be especially vital when we are considering Cross­election, and pre­temporal correlates of the conversion process. That will be a region of this presentation of predestination and foreknowledge, both cardinal and specific; and it will be stated in terms of and assuming, the considerations which we have here initially outlined.
 

4. The Sincerity and Selectivity of Sovereign Foreknowledge
 

Of divine foreknowledge then: God is indeed no mere observer. Foreknowledge conceived within the limits of creaturely humanism is not possible ontologically; and therefore not what we conceive of this; but a foreknowledge, the correlate, and co­operative contemporary ­ to risk superficial paradox, outside time ­ of ordaining. works in a field not merely pre­contemplated, but pre­invested: a field which in turn is not scrabbled as to its form by a riotous predestination, nor exalted in status by a merely watchful foreknowledge, with all but metaphysical madness investing the property of genuine foreknowledge. On the contrary, in terms of the considerations already adduced, this foreknowledge simultaneously investigates its subjects with sincerity and consults them with constraint; and it is eternally wrought by and in God.

Thus we see this knowledge as proceeding from God to man; we see that in consistency God in this foreknowledge, is sovereign; but that He is such a sovereign; that is a sovereign who proceeds in this way. Man is a creature; but he is regarded with this judicious care by God. A sovereign could have been irresponsible; this is at least possible in terms of the concept of sovereignty as such, though not so for such a Being as He whom we have described; and man could have been accepted for his snivelling, a 'toady', or accumulating concessions as a 'tough' not even or wisely consulted; and again' this is possible but not for such a God as this whom Christian­Theism approaches.

God does predestine, but with this regard; man is consigned, but in a process which involves the eternal correlate of consultation. God determines in regeneration; but man is not thereby bypassed as to prior relevance: he is rather, in perhaps a better sense than that cited by Augustine, supported in free­will through the reliable sovereignty of One who must embrace that free­will beyond its scattered horizons, that it may well be free though fallen. What is this to say but that God must be trusted and that free­will has to be surpassed that it might be established when it is sick, because in the end, it is the will of one essentially straying from the only perspective where he can be responsibly responsive to the issues concerned. {In this way, Biblical Christian-theism of necessity covers the sensitivities and realities of freedom as nothing else does or in priniciple indeed, can.}

Thus for man to leave72* the intrinsic epistemology of a simple Creator­creature correlativity required no support, except that for his existence; but to regain God, re­assume co­ordination, man needs God not merely to call, check, challenge, illuminate, discriminate, in some such way as that already discussed ­ but to range within his will, lest dazzled and corrupted, inadequate and fitful, derivative and deluded, it stray involuntarily. This support and decision of God through the human will is neither a jettisoning nor an exaltation of the same, but a practical procedure dependent on grace, or invested with it, and universal willingness to save.

Even this status of his will, then, of which we have spoken, the sinner may not exult in; and similarly it is true that the devil may not exult in the relatively great hindrances to the access of Grace to that will, which are imposed by the very eccentricity of the diseased will. To put the latter point differently: the devil (Scripturally the 'accuser' ­ he has widespread representation) may not plausibly agitate for more 'autonomy' for the human will in conversion, by questioning the "experimental correction" required in "making" the will "operate". In the conferential conclave figure with which in pert, we have propounded a divine elective probe, there is no autonomy for man; there is only freedom. Indeed, even unfallen Adam had merely73* auto­votive will.

Is there then no mystery in the foreknowledge part of predestination, in election? Yes, there is mystery ­ but it is not systematic mystery. There is mystery ­ though it has no bearing on consistency considerations: one of discretion.

Why God should care, for example, enough to go remorselessly74* through the Cross to redeem in particular Mr.X75* ... or indeed any part of our race, this is a mystery. It is one attested responsively by an awe at sublimity; but by no merely logical perplexity at the amplitude of His love to His creature, man76* . How God planned to subdue and secure the selection of Mr.X out of his perhaps embittered despair and vainglory, or whatever it may have been ­ the way God planned the various interactions between various events and persons, one being hardened by a rebuff while another is so moved that he is softened by castigation77* or vice versa, such that through it and beyond it God moves to make effective His choice78* :

the way in which He does these things is indeed shrouded in a holy and beneficial but brilliant mist,
correlative to the majesty of God;

for if we could see this, we could see
the whole manifold79* wisdom of God in simultaneous operation, and would already see Him face to face ( I Cor. 13:12).

We do however repeat, that we do not need to see the technical drafting of these minutiae in their detail, in order to display the magnificent harmony IN THE PRINCIPLES; but merely have sought consistency in the revelational data which, as true, indicate relevant criteria positively and negatively. If we should proceed further, we should undoubtably and systematically presume80* in grasping for that which, not being revealed and subsisting in the core81* of the Divine Being, it is not our prerogative to find, acquire or possess.

So long as it is clear that 'discretion' does not disrupt, defy, or operate discordantly with the revealed82* principles which are concerned, but rather perfects and completes them, and is the operation of intelligence and wisdom, we have seen enough to demonstrate the consistency of revelation in this sphere: more than consistency indeed, even its aesthetic harmony and logical accord, and the experiential precision which we find for it when we apply it to the evangelical facts. It fully accords with the awareness of a spiritual sovereignty and the perception of a response which is yet commandeered from the soul rather than commanded by it. We perceive its accuracy with respect to God's having chosen us, and its "not (being) of him who wills" 83* ; and at the same time, with respect to the reality, the meaningfulness of our being responsible if we reject Him.

Implicit and operative in this last­mentioned consideration, is a principle enunciated by Cornelius Van Til 84* : he would ask if two persons as persons may not be fully personal with regard to the same point at the same time. This point which we have here simply abstracted is interesting in that it would be found valid in our work. Cannot God be moving, along with man also moving and perhaps hypostatised in this case: the One manifesting selection, the other responding, but each truly creative and unmechanical? The One, as behoves His eternity. control and foreknowledge, is acting according to plan which is eternal, detailed and distinct; while the other, as suits his finitude and sin, is responding in a way which, when it comes to history, is temporal, immediate and unrehearsed.

It is, then, indeed true that there are mysteries in the profundities of these matters, but these do not systematically baffle; they merely attract: there are no immiscibles in this Revelation, or divinely given uncovering ­ rather through a cloud which screens God from analytical comprehension by His creatures, while it does not hide the light of His rays of revelation, truth is given. So we have a systematic unity, as to form, in the principles of revelation; in terms of test, we see its unitary consistent character without sacrilegiously supplying or needing to supply ­ or, indeed, rather and better, conceiving that we supply ­ some key by which we might be made to open some schema, enabling Him theoretically to be conceived as being made to operate. {The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, pp. 22-36, and 100 may also be of interest here.}

A system is never a satisfactory ultimate; we seek a systematiser; a plan is not sufficient, it must be implemented; a plan and a procedure is not sufficient, it must be made to work; nor is power enough to add: it must move appropriately; and so on ... What Franklin85* calls a super­fact is superfluous if it is not adequate for its position. But God is before all positions; and the Creator who reveals is not unclad with His own spiritual infinity before presuming eyes ­ Isaiah 40:13, 14, 25, 48; 1 Timothy 6:16 Psalm 147:5; Jeremiah 23:18 and 22.

We have reverted to this point ­ to which we approached also in earlier Sections86* , especially in speaking in terms of freedom ­ because we must discern clearly and from various viewpoints the fact that there are ontological barriers to certain procedural knowledge which have no bearing on the accuracy, truth and verifiable consistency of what is revealed. We might more accurately indeed put it that there are ontologicallv definable aspects of knowledge which appertain to the stature of God as knowing agent, the sharing of which would require that we should be lifted from our constitutive limits. The awareness of these in revelation, tends to verify and not at all to vitiate the declaration as of truth from the divine to the human and mortal levels.

In terms of an image: even a mortal father can well tell his son, without seeking for the present at least that his son should understand epistemology; he can readily give the knowledge and the understanding on the point which may be in question, without having to make his son participate in his way of securing this knowledge, or his mode of possessing it. Now God is infinite, and in our case the relevant knowledge appears as predestination.
 
 

PART III. THE WILL ­ IN ­ SIN


1. General.

As we neared the end of our section on predestination, and that on foreknowledge in particular, we were unable to avoid reference to the will, in so far as this is involved in the foreknowledge of Him whose will embraces with knowledge, dispensing mercy and justice to the wills which He has made. But now we must pursue this topic.

This will, we saw in discussing Luther, is in a state of virtueless impotence; we noted nonetheless, that its structure and calibre remain, and rejected as to method of procedure in its salvation, for example, a mechanical­seeming monovoIitionalism. We envisaged, in terms of will, some sort of consultative or analytical research by Him, whose researches are known before87* creation and for whom truth is a native land. We accepted the fact of doctrine that flesh is unable to please God, no less willingly; nor do we need go far to see that the acceptance of Christ by any man is pre­eminently pleasing to God. The will cannot work this operation even when invaded to a great but lesser extent than would destroy its integrity. After all, of what is it the will? and where is the integrity of that, in terms of Scriptural data examined? (e.g. Jeremiah 17:988* ). At the same time, in considering Augustine, and later Calvin, we were forced ­ rather veering from a part of their view, to see that the human will must be involved in some way.

The appeal made by Christ, we have shown already, is as deep as God, as wide as man and as sincere as Truth. When we take these things together, we see that our data are compressing us; and it is good that they should: otherwise, where is revelation?89* . But it is competent.

Let us therefore gladly be compressed still further.

There is not only the question of the will, but that of Him who has willed that there should be a will: these two in Correlation ­ and the one as within the system of the other. We look at Hosea 5:l5, and Amos 7:12­13, II Chronicles36:15­16, Isaiah 66:4, 65:2 and 11, Romans 5:18, II Thessalonians 2:10-11 with 1 Timothy 2:4, Titus 2:11, II Peter 3:9, 1 John 2:2, Matthew 23:37, Mark 16:14, Matthew 28:l9, Ezekiel 33:11 etc.; and as we have shown90* , Scripture would be to mislead rather than to lead if these were taken to exclude the relevance of human assent or some sort of existential involvement in the divine counsels of election, even though it may be by some form of hypostasis.

But though we should follow some such formulation, we must not thereby fail to adhere strictly to those passages which we see have excluded both merit and the operability of the will in the divine direction in any mutative capacity on the part of man; nor to insist on the doctrine of our data touching corruption. He must face the pressures from different directions; and not seek to contrive to reduce their actual and proper force.

To this limitless divine willingness, this utter relevant impotence of the human will' this involvement of man in some such way perhaps as that suggested, to all these diverse considerations we must adverts but there is more still. God is a sovereign. His word affirms this as much as anything. In secret, supernal counsel, we have seen (without necessarily following certain current dogmatic definitions of that term, but rather defining it ourselves with more attention to the constraints of the text than to other considerations), the Father elected. Co­opting history to His purposes, He ensured by such wise dispositions as met the case, that the elect ­ when confronted with the Gospel in their historic context ­ were converted. Would the Armenian have us reject, or even question this ultimate, determining, paternal authority? Would the hyper­Calvinist envisage this authority as proceeding in such a way as not to be true to the nature of Christ and the principles which He enunciated?

To neither of such ultra­Scriptural extremes can we bow; for with either we should be impacted on the principles, even of the more moderate kind, of the other.

We may add that there is one sense in which, if the attitude of God in election is a secret, it is a very open one. The elect are of course chosen in the normal heartland of discretion, but the discretion is not unprincipled; and certain basic principles are revealed, and consistently able to be envisaged as uncompromised in any single respect, in such a way as outlined in Part I of this Section. He observe too that the person and will of man cannot, in the quintessential and ultimate ontology' be bypassed in a way which would render God's reference to man's resistance as the cited ground of exclusion in the very face of emphasised divine willingness, a mere sophisticated and side­stepping subtlety.

Uniformly the Scripture asserts that this is their condemnation, that light came and they preferred darkness. With a cited purpose not to condemn but to save, God acted in sending a Son to the loved world: condemnation beyond mercy proceeds, we are told, because they do not believe in the name of this sent One but rather prefer not to understand, in the darkness. God would have healed Babylon (the most carnal and corrupt mess noted in any aspect of history and made a type of apostasy in Revelation): even this He would have healed (Jeremiah 51:9) ­ but "she is not healed. The advice in consequence: "Forsake her..."

Stephen dwelt on the history of gratuitous and pertinacious resistance to the very Spirit of God which marred the house of Israel, tersely charging the party of his judges: "Ye do always resist the Holy Spirit" ; and attested the judgment upon the nation now in danger of becoming a pampered pest in its insidious twist to the purpose of God's employment of it. Zechariah touches the same point: "They made their hearts as hard as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the Law ... therefore came a great wrath" (7:12). Jesus indicates (Matthew 13:15) that the people had Closed their eyes lest He should heal them; they refused to run to His persistently and naturally willing call (Matthew 23:37); and ran from grace to desolation as a consequence.

This open secret, however, while it guarantees the attitude of God, does not give man manipulative powers over the will of God. That is the other side to it. Thus in Mark 4:12 we have an amplification of the judgment which He accomplishes. In parables He spoke "that seeing they may see, and not perceive.". Pearls are not for swine; God is love is real but not open for riotous insincerity. In Isaiah 1, He labours His pity and pleas speaking as would a Father; in Isaiah 6, He directs the prophet that He now seals their eyes. Sincerity has its sequences; agitation can end in incrimination.

We have many references to this divine supervening judgment on rebellious resistance to the light when it comes; it is not lightly done' we saw Christ with a remarkable mixture of poignancy and austerity, remark: "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." But there is an end: "for the Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh" (Genesis 6:3). Discreetly does God judge that point at which the morally testifying spirit91* of man is seared as with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2), and He is inaccessible to that permanently spoiled spirit: but there is a discretion involved, and there is a reality involved in the motions and commotions of man's spirit; and a point comes when God may judge as defiled the human susceptibilities to be invoked' and limit His divine pleadings.

Further, He may consign the wrongly consecrated soul at last to proceed efficiently in its chosen career: "Because they received not the love of the Truth that they might be saved for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who do not believe the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness" (II Thessalonians 2:10, cf. I Kings 22:23).

These considerations, and particularly the last, emphasise the bleak ultimacy of divine sovereignty and human freedom; they testify to an elective activity wherein virtue is exclusively divine, while there is a relevance which is indisputably human. Here is in view a human will not working its way to heaven but scrutinised and wooed the spirit is sought and searched whilst the creative work of God issues in a definite determination, which though humanly individual in location, inculpation and exposition, is yet the work of God in that individual.,

The refractory spirit accordingly is not rejected and formed out of hand92* with whimsical, arbitrary or peremptory pleasure as God proceeds with that striving which has a limit lest the flesh should fail before Him. Let us further illustrate with two figures. To picture it, we may say that after a time, when a spirit breaks back the insurgences of truth, like waves beating on a rocky headland, that spirit is changed in form, and its essence is vitally perturbed. To put it differently: it mast reach a point of inoperability. By the same token, a vital decision may be wrought in deft and timely wisdom in the divine interpretive and sovereign fiat (II Corinthians 4:6).

Christians are often amazed empirically, one finds, by that very enaction of God within them at a point of intrinsic and final ontological danger: "For thus saith the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever neither will I be always wrath: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made."93* To 'uncircumcised' spirits in a ritualistic tending nation, he could speak thus and these he healed.

Perhaps nowhere is the technical aspect of this procedure more stressed than in Hebrews 6:28­9 and 10:26­29. There is a point of no restoration94* ; a place of ineradicable pollution to the spirit of man; and it is not reached by merely moral crime: it is the consequence of pertinacious, conscientious, informed departure from the whole gamut of proffered graces hatred, contempt, emboldened blatancy in derogation of the very vehicle of grace, the Spirit, and mocking profanation of the very work and way of the Saviour: these things from a heart worked upon deeply, taught, illuminated, fortified and embroiled in the midst of a work of mercy. He are even informed why there can come a point of no restoration. God knows the point; the conditions are numerous, and the matters are personal in kind ­ but the finality is quite logical: men are then lost to Him since or "seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh."

Created and finite, the human spirit can lose, after a time, God­relatability in any positive sense. There is then a mode of freedom (which we must shortly further investigate) in an embracing sovereign control: the latter does in no way break the former, though it has always limited it to a point; nor does the former corrode the unity, certainty and effectuality of the latter.

In this way, we can see the appositeness, acuity and point in this situation, of the deep cries of God (in His love) after man: He is not, as an extreme Calvinist view might suggest, smirkingly setting the reprobate aside. He is seeking, genuinely seeking; but not seeking in an unknown kingdom of God's, in an existential arena of startling greatness, unknown Autonomies95* : He is seeking in the kingdom that is God's own.
 

2. Cross­Election.
 
 


 

Having taken our data and sought to consider them, we must now proceed to ponder how it may consistently be said that there are together such a will­in­sin and such a Sovereign: a Sovereign with such attitudes, and a being in confrontation with such a Being without limits. We must not rush to the nearest conclusion as to the nearest chair on which to throw our clothes. In a well ordered house, there is a place provided, and we must find it.

Were the apposite place not found, that should be admitted. It might then occur that it was a different sort of place than that which we had imagined. There might be less of it apparent than we should have liked; but that might be the reprimand to sloth: for in disquisitions on points of wisdom within the abundantly evident and ample framework of simplicity so that "he may run who reads it" 96* , and of right relation with God, so that "the wayfaring men though fools may not err" 97* , there is abundant opportunity for the deferential treatment of "meaty" matters. Here we can savour Solomon's advice: "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of Kings is to search out a matter ..." 98* .

Can we then by some necessary logical entailment from these highlighted considerations, and our other general, uncontested and therefore unrepeated premises; can we from these force the conclusion that God cannot consistently brace, embrace, embark into and cleave the will to the point that its present essence splits, at least as before Him, from its present character? In view even of our former exposition of these very elements, the answer is that we may clearly not exclude such a thing. Moreover, this is more than fanciful.

In Christ is all election, and only in His Cross may we glory99* . Election is necessarily carried out with respect to the Cross of Christ. This, we saw, is offered or provided as a ransom for all: not paid to all, but payable to all. We conclude that in some way, the Cross100* with its power, annulling of penalty, is present in eternal election. If God there wishes through the juridical and dynamic proprieties of the Cross, in preliminary investigation to stay the power and arrest the penalty of sin, with its condign consequences in nature and inability: is this to be denied Him? Though we need not affirm this proposition, we may suggest it, and it is consistent with what we must affirm.

Cannot God uncover the charnel house and brood over the carnal mess; and will not He be able to lift the existential mist, peer ­ as it were, under the essential woe, and see the quintessential conclusion: What is the issue for the Cross here? Where would we lead without violation, this which is (initially and intrinsically) violated? Though per se, he is compelled as corrupt, may I extradite what is indicted with a perfection of conformity to my own desired conditions ­ simultaneously exculpating what I extradite through the Cross? Discerning, He decides101* .

Involved in this divine operation is a freedom relevant to man as creature but unattainable by man (having actualised himself as apartheid) as unconverted. It may be asked: How could God use a freedom which was not there? The question is hyperbolic. To man this freedom is unobtainable; but when was man God? Let us not presume. God once became a man, but man never became God. Men may be adopted to share; they are not able to compare. Can God then not reach a freedom beyond both the reach and control of man at the level of determination of destiny as distinct from exhibition of determinate destiny; and with a divine discretion that embraces love and in love embraces, embrace the solution in the spiritual physician's spiritual laboratory102 * - of electing grace?

Would not such a solution answer Lewis's utter freedom and utter irrelevance of freedom103* which appeared to him true conjointly? Would it not explain Erasmus' feel after congruent grace ­ even if its formulation was incongruous with all grace; and teach us a meaning in the actions of the Christ who, being God, sought for the chickens which were not to come, and wept in pity and grief, answer Augustine's feel ­ despite himself ­ after a cry that calls from a heart yet unliberated104* but seeking the Liberator? For it is true that in these alchemies there is a contingent freedom and a sovereign grace. Even Kierkegaard's rigorous105* pressure of commitment and Spurgeon's resolute grace­always-true, justice­always­true, oil and water problem is resolved: for the Grace yields only reluctantly (or after its full manifestation after its manner) to justice.

Let us express it by reverting to our realm of Theory: the love and grace have had a realised completion of their thrust without in the slightest degree having any deficiency in quality; and justice then quite consistently supervenes in the dispositions of the one God who is both merciful and just and both utterly and all the time.

Before we refine the point regarding time, let us amplify for our imaginations by reverting to a perhaps helpful analogy. We may see Grace leaving the laboratory in which the soul, rejecting and rejected though it does not know it, is before the divine Spirit, before the divine word and Father. Grace, as it were, if we may so reverently speak, with perspiration on its more than Hippocratic brow, leaves sad from the toil of operation eternity; and thus eternal death ensues106* before time knew death or death knew time ... and this, is Predestination. We have sought here compendiously to advert to it at the relevant point, first hypostatically and then analogically.

Admittedly, in this latter figure, we in jangling human form have stretched out an operation not reducible to the micro­second (e.g. in terms of our own intra­systematic electronic brain machine sort of crudely contemporary107* image); or for that matter even to the typical way in which we less mechanically conceive time and sequence. But we are in no need of being naïve before analogies; and in fact we have already conceived with some care how a number of things serially indicated by us, may be simultaneously seen by God as well as directed by Him. This we have seen from our general theory.

While however, we are engaged in this task of serially representing that which is not serial, in order that its total being may be spread before our serially inclined eyes, let us represent again that which before the embracive comprehension of unlearning intelligence has a vital find immediate unity. Let us then serialise what could be conceived of as a resurgence allowed ­ merely didactically ­ to move rather than have (as better befits its actuality) a vital impact of continuous freshness.

Let us represent it in this way. It is as if God were saying to the soul: I am willing to save you, but by my method, nay by myself, my Son and my Cross for Him. But now I find that you would not have my method, nay myself, this Cross or that Son, if you were to will. Thence and therefore I did never want you.

You may say ­ "Do not want you" would be more appropriate; but when we duly go back to the eternal resurgence, to the actual comprehension, we can see that this rather startling "did never want you", is of course necessarily true to the unmoving comprehension of God. It has been to bring out this point that we have here been at labour and employed this device for emphatic purposes.

Now the Arminian perhaps experiences inwardly with especial sensitivity the pull of the ineffable, where there are not other elements occasioning his conception; and perhaps his theology tends to have a stress on his own conception that he is sovereignly indwelling his response: in this way he rnay assign it an atomised significance, out of perspective. The Calvinist on the other hand may tend experientially to find himself thrust home and not to see the real significance of response in the homecoming. Each can err.

To imagine that we perform the act is as erroneous as to think that God's performance of love was only an act. If however, we do not crimp the divine love, but see it as having fulfilled and completed itself in historical counterpart to the hypostatised confrontation; and if similarly we do not crimp His power ­ His ability to secure what He wants in the way He wants it: if we are prepared to allow the Scriptural accuracy of the representation both of His attitude and His actions, then we are constrained to look in this connection at that which, standing in simple sublimity holds the Scripture featured, focussed answer to every Christian mystery: the Cross of Christ108* .

It is true, then, that the will is virtueless in impotence, in disposability toward God; and that God is not impotent in His power (through degrees, or in absoluteness, through impulses or in Pauline lightning, to peoples known, to peoples unknown) to alter the case of the will in terms of Himself: indeed, He can do this as and when and if and to the extent that He wants.

But we must dwell now on the extent of involvement on the part of man, in the pre­conversion phases, which can attest ­ to phrase it in historical mode ­ the extent of the research; or hypostatically - the deliberate and discriminating vitality of the resurgence, and the acuity of the analytic comprehension ­ which God executes 'before' (chronologically and logically respectively) passing over in holy integrity His affirmed principles and persuasions of willingness.

Thus we revert to the two passages in Hebrews ­ 10:27­28 and 6:10­14 cited in terms of possible eventual inoperability spiritually109* . Bearing in mind the distinction between sin and the sinner, both sinful but each of different standing ontologically, and also the distinction between the creature and his Creator, so that he is not at the end of all recourse merely because he is at the end of his resources: we observe in these passages a cleavage of the will in its essence, from its corrupt character. And this? It is through ­ as it were ­ a spiritual penetration and a division between soul (as alienable self­conscious spiritual entity) and spirit110* (as the same being in its discursive aspect).

God can evoke and partially actualise relationship with the sinner on the basis of processive therapy not yet accomplished. This relates also to what we presented on the dynamic but not certified removal of the juridical impact of sin in its binding through the availability of the Cross, during an elective probe. These things of course may be conceived hypostatically and eternally; but in history one cannot deny the possibility of an enaction and in these passages we have such described.

We would suggest then in terms of this Scripture in particular, being predisposed by the constraints of other Scriptures as noted, that this cleavage can and may occur when a negative election is in process. He see here that the Holy Spirit can accompany a man superficially penitent, and unmoved as much and as little as the hard soil; a man sanctimoniously set apart or sanctified to God and who gains glimpses of spiritual things; a man for whom the purchasing blood of Christ is so present that when he spurns it, it is here said to be trampled under his feet and spoiled as a sacrifice for him for evermore. His conscience is 'seared' to use Pauline language; it is 'impossible to renew him to repentance', to use that of Hebrews.

It is not for us to say at what point this God­man stringency of relationship shall have arisen in any historical enactment: God uses His discretion. It may happen swiftly with some. It may happen over decades with others.

The point however which we are developing is that this type of foreknown research (in the sense described) can occur not only where those are predestined to salvation who are its object. This vital penetration can occur also in those who are elected to be lost. Here is the sacrificial and individual concomitant of the open­love passages which we have studied. We conclude from this, as from those passages, that the Physician does not readily leave the operating theatre; that there is nothing merely formal or misleading; that the matter is consistent and self­supplementing and this present feature conforms to the principle that the love is actualised and completed in a dimension of existence to which it has been applied, as also to the meaningfulness of a choice operationally available because of the Cross, but ultimately one which is God's, because of human sin.

Moreover this point attests further the principle that there are not several different critiera: there is one criterion ­ that Cross, that blood, that sacrifice111* . This is the demonstration of Christ, and Christ is the demonstration of God, and God in Christ elects*ll2* : as indeed the Scripture independently indicates and as the Scripture's doctrine of the Trinity must show us.

That in turn explains how Paul could determine to preach only Christ and Him crucified113* - even though his dealings involved the very categories of the elect and non­elect exhibited or at least indicated in historic, eternally significant action as the Cross criterion was 'placarded'114* . This same centrality is shown in immediate salvation in the words of Jesus: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you"115* ; and in a vast perspective leading to it cited in Colossians: "For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell; and, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven ... in the body of His flesh, through death to present you holy and unblamable" 116* . This one temporal act therefore is an exhibition of a divine, and an eternal attitude which, in His sovereignty, is involved in election.

We may say, then, and re­affirm that this one Cross­election on the part of the God who is just and not a respecter of persons, proceeds in the sanctity of predestinative, pre­temporal comprehension. It is not that God is unmerciful or unjust to those whose poverty would seem to rob them of all hope.

On the contrary, a deficiency of gifts is not a bar where there is such a sovereign modelling of election; for whatever one's gifts, the nature of the corrupt character of the sinner marks out the human will­in­sin as inadequate for so great a matter involving eternity ­ a stark fact which perhaps the Calvinist, at an extreme, may suffer or allow to thrust him beyond its actual implications.

Thus we have now presented the human will, in terms of discreet divine justice, as having a consultative standing but not a determinative status with respect to its final election or non­election in God. We have asserted that there is then no peremptory whimsy in the sovereignty of God; but that there is a scope for a mercy which is wise and at the end, after all God's: for He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy. These things then, comport with exquisite deliberate justice, complete control and a child­like simplicity in their outlines: the statements, commands, invitations and claims of Scripture in their whole evangelical and predestinative nexus, en fin de compte, are as consistent as they are correct.

It may be advisable to note that we do not need to seek to penetrate (as a consistency exercise in terms of revelation might need) in this way amidst the evidence, in order to understand the clear teachings of Scripture regarding salvation; but in answer to objections, misconceived but real, to the consistency of Scripture in this connection may move in the scope defined by that objection or that query, in the presentation appositely of a reason for the Christian hope.

Nevertheless, we are forced to re­iterate, when we do so proceed, giving full scope to all the divine data with which we are concerned, seeing love fulfil itself, power exert itself, justice manifest itself, discretion applied to persons, a predestinative wisdom involve the eternal things out of the turmoil of the apparently dangerous confines of experiential aspirations: when we see all these things together, giving full scope to the Scriptural emphasis, and following it, we are ­ as we see ­ left, with what? We are left, not with a problem, but with a Cross117* .
 
 

3. History and Hypostasis.
 

At this point, we may consider one interesting theoretical sideline, which has already been adumbrated. It concerns the mode of operation and type of historical relevance of the will­in­sin respecting its attitude to God: the character of the time­stream or its equivalent as experienced by that will, in its testing or in its 'confrontation'118* .

To put it differently: when it is said that the will may be hypostasised in the elective operation, does it result that there MUST be an historical correlate in such a style that the will, though still inoperative at the relevant level, is actualised and experientially involved with the Sovereign? so that, further, although He ­ as meets our Scriptural case ­ initiates the willing process in it (logically) after His researches, the will can nevertheless have such a creaturely correlation with Him through the cleavage formerly considered, that it can actually experience the movement, being itself involved in the willing as a dependent of a Sovereign who, though executing the work of His love, is so both with His own determination and consonantly with His own cited attitudes?

In the case of Paul, it would appear that this was not so: that the vital and crucially relevant divine involvements were not within the cognition of Paul in historic expressions anterior to his conversion. In other instances, such as that of Augustine, there is an acute awareness119* . The hypostasis does not necessitate an actualisation of its processes in history; but the elective procedure for which it is the counterpart, is the guarantee of the relevance of the finalities (that which is first is last) to the unrestricted scope and employment of a love which is informed, and a wisdom which is realised.

God's foreknowledge and predestination outrun our experience; and this is of the very nature of the case: to whatever extent our experience may participate in these things, it is not determinative120* .

In this perspective, and in this regard, we see that perhaps it is that extremes of Arminianism and Calvinism have needlessly diverged on non­essential methods of divine operation, on degrees of divulgement made into the historical process. Expressing it differently, we would say: to the extent that it has not been philosophic intrusion121* - ideational extreme of alien origin, but rather inceptive experiential diversity (and this as distinct from end­result homogeneity) in conversion to the Christ of God, which has played a part in the sometimes provocative assaults of even a chaste Calvinism and a chastened Arminianism on the predestinative views each of the other: this has often been misconceived.

As our experience cannot be constitutive in these things, though it may inhere; so it is not irrelevant, though it cannot determine: but rushing off from either extreme, these two parties have sometimes drawn conclusions involving divine attitudes on the one hand too ill­informed, as though foreknowledge and determination were defunct ­ or on the other hand, too ill­disposed, as though love were deficient. There appears to be a trend to extrapolate movement in such a style as to lose in the excitement, the view of the other asymptote, and, indeed, sometimes to fail to realise that the graph paper as it were ­ the constitutive force and power to admit any representation, is also of God.

Accordingly, logically a tension is often imagined between human freedom and divine sovereignty, which on the surface may appear.

As we have presented the matter, it is readily admitted that, temporally conceived, there is a tension; but it is one of a very different kind. It exists, or may be conceived as existing between the divine love in its primordial and sincerely genuine form co­extensive with humanity, on the one side; and, on the other, human sin which requires the Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Return of Word of God Himself for its relief, remedy and ruin ­ with reconstruction or relegation of its agents according to the case, whether they be severed from or secured to it.

Even this, envisaged by God before eternal ages 122* , does nothing to disturb the divine completeness and pleroma. In God an-historically, the resurgences ­ so to speak ­ are realised before anything begins and so the tension' even this tension, is retired before it strains123* . This practical and vast action, contemplated before creation, God duly effected on earth; in a sense both the counterpart of His divine anguish for sinners and the consequence and completion of penalty procuring divine love, it is also the pledge of the tenor of the divine purposes as well as the method of His restitution of the elect.
 

4. Review.
 

It is time we paused to outline our progress in form. After considering the will­in­sin as a spiritual phenomenon involved in election, or relevant to it, we have been forced to investigate Cross­selection in terms of the operation of an infinite and all­powerful Lord, lover and life upon a restricted and finite being, one moreover a sinner and in outlaw before Him: and we found it expressed the chasteness with which that power was exercised, while not suggesting either lack of power or failure to have it applied decisively at all points, or implying differential (or any) innate merit in man. This has satisfied the constraints proceeding from those directions.

We have also ­ with, one can hope, fruitful applications to certain controversial engagements ­ considered the fact that the participation of the soul experientially in the life­and­death operation of conversion is not­standardised: only the Operator and the terms are standard. The sinner of course has a standard status which does not preclude something of derivative individuality.

In the end, all who accept our data attribute the power requisite for the transition with its transformative correlate, to God124* ; that is, all who follow the Christ of God, the historic Christ who as God's equal is not susceptible to the formulations of imagination, as though a creature should create Him; but who is reported in Scripture. It is within these confines that we are exercised to ponder. But it is the manner in which those lost were drawn from their former situation, without hope or covenant, a situation similar for all, to a new one in Christ ­ and again this is similar: this which they often experience with something at least of the diversity of personality itself.

Nor must we confuse the prelude with the performance. God does not heal in order that we might be converted ­ that is, convert us before He converts in the historical situation. In other words, if we consider the experience leading to conversion, it necessarily is the experience of someone as yet unconverted. As we saw in the case of Augustine, it can be considerable. This species of experience will differ not merely as personality in its virtue would differ125* , but as somewhat depersonalised personality (one drawing its personal force at a grave disadvantage from God the source of freedom) is operated upon.

In a word, we leave the same estrangement and defectiveness towards God, we come to the same general knowledge of Him in that He is the same and He illuminates and reveals in accord with the final revelation in the Son; but the way in which we are moved in our tenements and actually ­ or eventually ­ leave them (to use a housing illustration of the state of our erstwhile lives as in spiritual disrepair, and so by the nature of the case): this understandably may differ. In considering such differences, we do well to see them within these limits, and in their perspective, such as was suggested and developed above; and to avoid that species of controversy at least, which depends on radical and careless extrapolation.
 

5. Freedom.
 

Now we have concluded that the age­old freedom­sovereignty scuffle (or, differently phrased, antinomy anxiety) like so many scuffles, is the result of misinformation, or misconception: but let us now hasten to add that this, in turn, results from the presuppositions and inclinations of explicit or implicit autonomy. These are never rejected readily126* , since their alternative (in terms of the presentation of the consistent Scriptural data which it is our function here to examine and apply) cannot be substituted without an awareness of sin; and hence of being a sinner; and therefore of being in need of a personally radical remedy, as the matter is essential and existential, as to its state and consequence, respectively.

Nevertheless, having proceeded so far, it would seem improper for us not at least to summarise some important findings touching freedom: when that concept is orientated ­ or rather we are so, in using it ­ with respect to God as revealed in Scripture. First in view of these matters, we will concentrate on the situation of the unconverted.

There is, then, an awareness of a tension in the minds of many, which depends on two types of consideration. There can be on the one hand a perception of disposability of mind and will over areas discriminated with values discriminated; and on the other, an awareness of evidence ­ itself bearing value imprints ­ of motivation in standardised fashion, which aborts the feeling of significance in personality and indeed appears to mythicise freedom.

We must allow that in large measure such motivation may indeed operate, though within limits and sometimes with enormous intricacy127* . We must allow for variations, combinations and individuation indeed with this motivation; as also for dynamic participation in any one of a large if not all but infinite number of degrees on the part of conscience128* itself in any of almost innumerable states of weariness, waywardness or activation, as also in phases of an involvement with God which if perhaps less direct129* , is sometimes very evident.

This is complicated by diverse self­representations on the part of the unconverted of the nature and attitude of God toward them, and this in the nature of the case' in that they have by definition in this revelatory nexus, not received in sincerity the self­revelation of God by which alone could any standardisations of attitudes to Him be objectively obtained ... a point often dilated upon in this Thesis. Nor is the complexity even initially and schematically limited to this. We must add that there may indeed be divine irruptions quite great and grave, slightly heeded, ostensible, or to a range of degrees treated with anything from concern to oscillation and obscuration: all this without acceptance of the divine terms by the one straying from God.

Moreover, spiritual recidivism from partial pseudo­response (described and attested in detail on pp. 127,131-132 supra) can not only bring a tang of guilt ­ additional to any previously present and conceived in whatever way ­ into association with the very concert of freedom. It can also lead, through increasingly and resultantly blunted spiritual perception, to a hollow, haunted, or simply listlessly nostalgic hope for the actualisation of that freedom. That last phase, one does not altogether infrequently find, may develop into, or even be directly replaced by a further variant. In embarrassment, there can bean almost poignant cynicism which prefers to deny the worth both of the concept and the conscience. There can of course be further elaborations. . .

In a word, sin through ignorance (of God) and self­deception with respect to the sinner, can expose him to motivation of rich variety of individuation and experience130* ; but on the other hand, this may in the existential denial of the ultimate recourse and resource of personality in fact tend to move as a result, in paths which are comparatively standardised at least in their general aspect. The workings or the desires of beings in subtle rebellion from their Creator (only occasionally more express and realised, in some stages of society), may move in broad general paths in a manner somewhat repetitious in the main, notwithstanding the developmental and dynamic divergences.

Not infrequently there matures the desire for status (social, intellectual, academic, professional, ecclesiastical, political ­ there is of course a relevant spectrum), satisfaction of self (it might be expressed in a philosophic or psychological theory, or in more leisurely style simply practised ­ for good or evil, in the subjective evaluation), fulfilment of personality, independence (of God, men, society, nation, money, criticism or anything else which might appear to limit the potentially or aspirantly infinite outreach of the constituted creature who lacks aseity notwithstanding)131* etc.. Such movements may proceed in such a way that they become observable general trends in unconverted people's conduct which psychologists and others may try to induce into statistical and even essential laws.

All this is in the nature of the revelatory case132* ; and the impact which such trends must make on unconverted people's conception of freedom is as obvious alit is experientially verified and confirmatory of the competence of the revelatory case. He could call this the specific tension brought by the fact of sin into the conceptualisation of freedom.

Then there is also the conceptual awareness of limits set by the "objective" framework and condition of oneself as operator. The discrimination to which we first referred in the experience of the operator, seems to possess the field while reflection limits it through considerations such as finitude: there is the sense of being bound (if we think of a small striving self of given propensities), and unbound (as we will in experience).

The simple solution to all this proceeds from the ultimate source of solution to all problems (grasping within Himself derivation' illumination and destination), as He is also the Former of that which experiences the problems in seeing itself as though it had not been formed133* .

The sense of freedom follows from man's type­creation after God's image; the thought of restriction and even determinism134* follows correlatively from God­as­bounds­and­builder. When we ignore the allotted (and necessarily restricted) scope of our freedom, we (surprisedly) find that we seem to have none; while the calibre of our existence mutely experientially attests that freedom is appropriate for us. Yet the logical involvement of that Possessor of freedom, we have argued135* , through whom alone as basis is a viable freedom for man even derivatively possible, is normally conceived of as too exacting if not startling and 'novel' in a world which is proceeeding136* , to be pursued to its own conclusions.

These conclusions, to autonomy, have the appearance of being a more fatal loss of freedom than would obtain if merely ratter (conveniently without mandate and non­mandatory) had composed the laws of thought and engendered the powers of analysis by which its movements may be predicted: however absurd this may be when rationally considered. Our point, however, devolves on the perspective and allocation of these views and feelings, in a revelational setting where mind, matter, choice of spirit, rationality137* and causality138* are in view and operative. We have here been concerned to show the cohesion of all the evidence with the revelation (cf. pp.136-137 supra); and the complete competence of the latter to dismiss the 'problem' as exhibited, when it is applied.

The internal matters for it have of course been considered; and we have sought to discern whether there arose perceptible harassments in terms of consistency; and have found that not only do they not appear, but that the Christian­theistic account gives perspective to the problem and its etiology in quite another region.

In completing the picture formally, we have made very explicit reference to the concept of consignment­in­sin139* ; and in doing so, we gained understanding of the thought­impulsion at any rate, goading the conceptual production of the so­called character determinants (although their very formulation140 as such we have reasoned, tends to be crass140* and restricted in perspective). In reality, the natural ­ or unconverted ­ man's very powers are, with whatever species of originality, in channels of deviation from the Activator of insight in the spirit and surround of His making, so that, like sick people mentally, they spiritually cannot do what they think they can, and not altogether surprisingly may seek to synthesise these varied components of experience and observation in oblivion or exclusion of their source. In this a difficulty may well be anticipated for them; and reversion to psychological or material or other determinism on the one hand, or to irrational141* and defiant obtrusion of freedom on the other, just as erroneously in this setting, makes for at least a classical (if incomplete) appearance of intellectual rest; and this especially if the problem is moreover alleged to be insoluble by nature. This, however, is a failure, whatever else it may be called.

Thus many paradoxes lie open in the revelation of Christian-Theism, when we approach freedom, and at the highest level we may say that freedom is complete after converted Christian commitment*l42a* , when it is forsaken*l42b* , and this because alignment with God brings existential openness in the sense and for the purposes intended142c* with God. We can of course never have it away from God in that, as we have persistently argued, Be only is free absolutely and derivative freedoms are bound by their misdirections. They may vary their misdirections and the nobility of the appearances of their ultimately unfactual (i.e. non fact­conforming) efforts; but the directing insight of he agents is obscured by the spiritual consequences of misalliance.

The mode, degree and designability, finally, of freedom when we are concerned with its transitional relevance in conversion, has been a major objective, pursued and summed, let us remind ourselves, in sub-section 2, supra, "Cross­Election"* .
 

6. The Special Problem of Ignorance.
 

Before we leave the region of will, more specifically, and freedom, we must ask ourselves how those who have not consciously, pertinaciously or determinedly made such a misalliance in the face of historical Cross­exposure, but have indeed been ignorant in a perfectly genuine and unequivocal fashion of the fact of the Gospel, shall in fact be related ultimately to the discerning but precisely and equitably principled confines of Cross­selection.

This question could in large measure be answered by re­writing it: We must ask ourselves how those who have not ... etc. .. Is it not then, after all, a question not of principle but of procedure? It concerns not implicit contradiction or even anomaly; it enquire regarding a situation uncertain in one respect only: that quite directly there is no relevant dogma upon it.

Our special area of investigation has been predestination and freewill: not ultimate procedure in last things so much as prescriptive conditions in first perspective, in the beginning. Yet it is relevant for us at least to notice that this question of divine procedure (in terms of Cross­selection and its ultra­historical implementation in the specific area of Gospel ignorance) is no embarrassment to the general theory of election here reasoned towards and suggested in terms of our data.

It would indeed seem very much an ad hoc sub­hypothesis, if one were to suggest ­ as some would appear to do ­ that all who in fact were left ignorant of the Gospel in history, were in fact deemed in predestination unsuitable : if we are to retain a suitable regard for the carefully doctrinally documented fact of human involvement. As we have indubitably shown from Scripture143* , the ignorance of some who never heard the eternal Gospel, or never heeded it, is sometimes a direct consequence of the negligence of others unwilling but able to remedy it in the special form which it took; and furthermore, if they had remedied it, a positive response would in some cases have resulted. We have, however, no more need for such an ad hoc point, than we have Scriptural licence for it.

First, we must distinguish condemnation144* leading to the avenue of mercy; and contrast it, to a point, with condemnation leading from145* the (rejected) avenue of mercy: in prospect irremediable because there is no other such avenue (e.g. Acts 4:11-12). The first type of condemnation is general; it is not dependent on the question of what attestation to Christ was sent them (Romans 1:18­20 and 3:22­23; 10:17­18). The second is so dependent. Speaking in terms of this ultimate avenue to mercy, and alternatively to judgment, Christ actually said (being the same Himself):

"If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father" (John 15:24 cf.15:22)146* . Paul adds: "Until the law, sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law"147* .

This point in Romans is in the same class as that in John; though Jesus in the latter, takes the matter to the ultimate.
An informed preference not to have Him is essential for irremediable judgment. Failure to distinguish these
two types of judgment148* in this connection has led some to make this point of historical ignorance of the Gospel,
to conflict in implication with the unrestricted­actuating love principle noted previously, and incidentally, with equity.

Apart from its interest, the relevance of this point is simply that it gives us occasion to verify that there is no discrepancy or problem in the predestination which pre­disposes all things, and this in accord with stated principles, when we look from the first to the last things; and do so in particular in the area of the ignorant. To take our test case of Tyre149* , we simply apply the principle just cited and implicit in Christ's word (John 15:24), and achieve the indefeasible result ­ Because He had not done among them the works none other had, therefore they may not be implicitly assumed to possess (this second and irremediable) sin.

Now it is true that our question did come in the region of method, we could almost say procedural technique, and as such was not strictly an essential problem to us: but it was necessary to remove the possibility of a frown, a confusion, or a nuance in the "how" question, which last might have suggested that the interest in the mechanics involved, or rather the procedure, arose because of a predisposition in the enquirer to believe that the thing was contradictory in principle. To cover this type of case, we have therefore given this point our attention. {The putative presentation is thus merely to attest demonstrable harmony of concept; but it does this without difficulty, a fact of high apologetic significance. The realities of the way in which the divinely divulged principles actually work in the divine form remain in light inaccessible - I Timothy 6:16; but as noted, that is not our point: the harmony is. Equally to the point are the principles which, being divinely expressed, have decisive Biblical definition.}

Moreover, this longer but more meticulously fair treatment of the question in view, leaves the actual and ostensible point of method, one of great hypothetical simplicity. If the pre­existent hypostasis is readily and consistently able to be envisaged, and included in a logical system touching predestination, how much more readily can post­historical (in our sense), actual existence be confronted with the Cross150* with the certainty of discretion and accuracy implicit in the original predestination, presented as already determinate for all. If in history this predestinative prescience can be implemented where there is Gospel knowledge: with more apparent facility151* can this be done in that eternity where the activities of sinners are no longer given a definite ­ if systematically contained ­ scope.

We have already touched152* the actual indication of method which Scripture allows; and for interest (only) this may be consulted. We need not here pursue this further then for two reasons. It is quite simple and direct in itself; it holds no consistency problems, but more importantly, this is not a treatise on the detail of doctrine not relevant to or necessary for our Thesis, but merely required for the admittedly alluring prospects of tangential discussion. In fact, as often noted in this essay, in the last resort God leaves mystery where information is not relevant to the purposes of the revelation.
 
 
 

PART IV. SYSTEM AND THE WORLD AS IT IS
 
 

The manner in which the fact of Gospel ignorance can comport with equity, such as predestination ­ appointed at the first ­ must ensure at the last, has proved virtually an extension of principles and points already discussed. Sometimes the actual propriety of such extension is not realised as being express in Scripture, as we have indicated, because the details can become a subject for speculation. There is however a deeper question which can arise when the subject of ignorance, and with it the whole method of procedure of God throughout history is touched. Why (the adverb changes) in this way?

Now we have already indicated the systematic objections to any desire for an account of God's procedures which would imply that we are to get 'behind' the divine intelligence and scrupulously assess with more ultimate standards His ways. He have re­iterated this, showing its reason in various connections. This, however, does not in itself preclude the systematic propriety of our considering what He in fact has done at least in terms of His revealed principles and desires. In this most limited way, we may enquire regarding the manner in which things have been disposed in history regarding His justice and mercy, more particularly in its decisive and solely efficacious mode for the human being as such, the Gospel.

Now it is of course true that abstract thinkers have proverbially protested, implicitly or explicitly, at the world of fact. To their humming minds, all things should economise, it would often seem, in everything except system. Pure (and possibly simple) theoretical concepts, they sense, must in the best of all possible worlds, be applicable; exhaustively so.

They tend to lament their failure to find this; their minds pant; but they sense equally that there is a coherence, unity, depth and meaning in the vast areas of intellectually uncultivated fact, though unsatisfyingly remote from comprehension.

From Parmenides to Plato, Spinoza to Kant, Bergson to Whitehead, we find in different ways the voice of aspiration and frustration, of assurance and regret.

But in most cases the regret could almost be predictable. Is system the object of the macrocosm? Is God to keep order in translucent categories so that the abstract thinker can find an inspectable "all", a surveyable schema? Perhaps He had more in view than order and correlation. Perhaps there was in view that which was to be ordered and correlated. Perhaps in some cases a direct relationship to Himself would be involved. After all, He made it; and this not merely to benefit intellectual exercises.

No doubt what astonishes some most, is the fact that the "giant jaws" of "fate" to them seem to close without feeling, while intensely feeling men are aghast and wonder how supremacy could tolerate what even they could not approve.

There is a very simple solution; but its ramifications are numerous and intriguing; they naturally lead ultimately to the divine discretion: they are therefore not subject to man's mind ­ yet surveyable in some of their scope, they can be interpreted to profit, and need not bewilder.

If man's tenderness, sympathy, poignant feeling, charity, thoughtfulness and care are violated by certain events; and if these qualities are derivative; and if sporadically ethical, ignorantly experimental or biased conduct is impossible for God ­ then we are forced to conclude that the general collocation of events and people is in conflict in some way with God153* . But if it is violence through violation, is it blind?

We say not. Where then is system? Here if you will, is a beautiful simplicity! The system is in one element, that the uncommitted and uncontrite are committed, as it were, to uncommitted and relentless fact; to a system with procedures exclusive of accommodation to those so placed. It is a sort of miracle of non­intervertion154* ; a non­alignment of myriad events, processes, procedures and even purposes to the weal, to the subjective relevance of the uncommitted. It is, in a sense, perhaps almost a daring irony.

God can allow the chains of continuity to confine a situation, to mar it ­ economically, psychologically. He can allow events to preach through His systematic non­intervention where appropriate, in one sense. He can, to use a figure, allow the nature of things to "talk" to the nature of men who will not talk to God.

He can allow this over the centuries; over a family history; over an organisation; in State relations.

He can test and judge a generation by its opportunities and undertakings in using available means ­ not least, divine aid on divine terms ­ to focus the Gospel. He could send angels to 'preach; He could have a celestial television service. All this defeats a purpose of humility, service, testing, law, cause and effect; it defeats a grace and quality of God: and He does not do it.

God is not an individualist any more than He is a socialist. He prizes and can set infinite power about one individual; but He who made families doesn't stop there. There are certain types of group histories; and He tries, tests and judges these too. There are componential histories, series of correlated events at one level of a personality or society; and in His own way, He can try these too.

There is a sense in which the stones can talk. There is an order that bespeaks unaltered resolves. But with all this there is still God, greater than and still giant over His system. Indeed, without His will, purposes and creation, there is and can be no system.

The blind appearance of the orderly execution of vast moral principles comes from the blind disbelief which prevents seeing 'eye to eye' at the creaturely level, with God.

When God is known on His sovereign terms, He can conduct a man, a family, a tribe, a nation, a society through a series of events; and if we are to speak of System, then these are now interwoven into the coterie of express purposes, shall we say determined plans which move in the area of that pre­permeated, pre­penetrated and now instituted and activated system.

An author can allow his characters the 'grace' of active investigation and vivid involvement within him; or he may give them subordinate place, allowing more elemental forces155* to shape and fashion them in various ways ­ not guarding their integrity.

Now when we come to history as a vehicle of election, the situation is in one respect quite similar. We may ask why He does not apply the Cross test in some bureaucratic bustle (or regal rustle) that ensures that mathematically specifiable conditions are met in the efficient challenge, conditioning, consignment program; we may ask why infant and cannibal are not alike in the embrace of this severely rigid system, allowing no anomalies.

The thought savours of the febrile abstractionism of which we first spoke. God is not an agent for the specialist whose limited conception of some part of His work is suggested as the rationale for His whole procedure.

He has the past to consider. There has been much sown. He it is who instituted the relationship between sowing and harvest. There is little more obviously and acutely awesome in historical procedure than that relationship at the moral level. Do not the deepest dramas so often leave us aghast and yet morally replete as we see the vast consequences most subtly stealing into position ­ the results of intemperate acts, immoderate attitudes to things moderately known, arrogant autonomy or servile pretence? And is not He most of all involved? And is not He in fact most of all' as He is, in such cases forgotten?

Can we legislate by some intellectual censorship that God should not do this? Can the offended and neglected Father remain personal in appearance to those who choose system; or to put it more exactly' should He wish so to do Is not system fine fare for those who want it?

And may He not redemptively in particular, wish by the mixture of the quietness (and prophetic predictability) of His strategic movementls156* and the power of His eventual involvements157* ; the frailty of His messengers158* and the resources of the message159* for those who take recourse, in living style, to the Author of it; the suffering of His evangelising missionaries160* , and the replenishment others find through them161* ; through these and a myriad other considerations162* : may He not wish thus to reprove, to teach, to conciliate or to test by that very method of spread (in terms of a supplemental but intrinsically fitting impact) which He selects for His Gospel!

It would seem somewhat arbitrary to negate this; on the other hand, it would seem somewhat unintelligent if this were not so, for Someone with all the resources of infinitely delicate and perfect control at all stages and phases of history, as outlined in partly hypothetical terms, but substantially Scriptural elements. Redemptively, socially, personally, He has counsels which wonder may explore163* in the mutual revelations of history and Scripture; but which reason cannot condemn. {It is not merely that it has no propriety; it has not even any ground!}

Now perhaps some strong test tries the fault plane of someone's character. Has he not meanwhile been able to call on God? Or some servant of God is pinpointed in error and hurled to the dust164* . Is he not able to learn? There is solidity at ground level where professedly his feet abide165* . The ignorant falls in his way; he calls on his idols (physical, moral or mental) to help, and he is not helped. Frequently he and his hearers are being prepared to hear what God is preparing to bring to them or to their people. Sometimes the preparation is long: meanwhile the senders are judged and tested (in their relation to the God­less (this rendering of the term seems more expressive), and to the evangelising command of Christ).

There is a deep involvement of many causes; history, personality, braggart, rebel, weakling, the immoral, the warlike, the nation, the family, individual or clique; there are biological, intellectual, spiritual, moral components ­ with past and future; there are laws acridly objective to those glorying in the objective166* , but personally interpreted and deployed 166 with mercy and discretion to those glorying in God167* ; there is challenge and opportunity, the Gospel and missionary response or neglect ­ the last in the sent or the sender, nation, denomination' Congregation or individual saint: in the sought or the challenged. There are high profession and small deeds ­ and there is the reverse 168* ; and there are both available at most levels: there is time and there is eternity; there is judgment for those who know and there is judgment for those who do not know and in this welter of test, challenge, sin and truth, mercy and malady, there is a comprehensive and determinate, a just and omniscient judgment for all.

In election, all this ­ and we have but touched the waters that no man can plumb ­ all this is taken into account. In fact, it is worked and brought forward in the elective grasp, that it may be taken into account.

Eternity, if we were to construe it in the familiar form of time, is a long time.

The world is a myriadfold test.

It is best to meet each us own; and yet we do well to survey the scene and avoid the glassy eye of the immoderate intellectual imagining that his thought should dominate the world.

With God, each principle is composed; and His revelatory principles do in fact manifest in spoken form certain routes of His decision. We do not aspire to project His mind; but in His revelation we notice many components which cohere. We do not find any logical difficulty.

{In fact, there is immense and insuperable logical difficulty where God is debarred from being fully personal, co-existing with irrational 'realities' which bind and limit the One who alone can lend freedom significance or responsibility justice; or where man is made as if god, so that he is lost in the profundity of his environmental, psychological and cultural mentors; or the divine is evacuated of the love which He claims, and without which there is a horrendous form of theological determinism which likewise evacuates responsibility of reality.

The beauty of the Scriptural presentation is not least in this: that it is so delicate, like surgery of the highest calibre; so tender, like a rose of the sweetest magnificence; so fearless, like sovereign authority yet so discreet, like the best of Princes: and with all this, it is so sacrificial, that nothing is relegated to the cobwebs of the unthinkable, to please a system: every facet and function of humanity is delivered from reductionism, just as every aspiration and hope is given base and meaning. It is not merely harmonious with itself, but interpretive of all. In all this, it is unique, and in this, it is an independent dynamic in the Christian apologetic orchestra.}
 

PART V. ULTIMATE JUSTIFICATION
 
 

We have shown, therefore, in these crucial aspects which might be challenged, and which needed to be expounded, that our theory, our provisional hypothesis meets the case in showing the consistency of all the Biblical data in this sphere. Therefore our task in this scope is complete. But one more word seems appropriate: What can we say of the ultimate justification of all these things?

We have looked at the aptitude of the plan, the dexterity of its enaction, the skill of the involvements, the irony of principles, and the intimacy of a Person to those who know Him; we have envisaged a theory sufficiently broad to enable different qualitative channels to exist in history for divinely discerned persons (in different major categories redemptively), at will and without any appearance of difficulty as to technique; we have even considered the propensity of the manner of impartation of the remedy to men to be in itself a teaching, and we have pondered the point that in the entire complexity of that which God has brought to pass regarding man, there is a very subtle and a very terrible consistency and integrity. But beyond all these things, this question may be pressed: Why did He do it? Why did He decide to do it? We have thus moved in three steps from the 'how' to the 'why' in particular, to the 'why' in general.

What has He, in general terms then, done in this matter? He has instituted and sovereignly superintends a system where His love and His justice and His truth are complete and are competent: those who lose Him do so not by a corrupt and irresponsible sovereignty but despite the most genuine and wise sovereign seeking within truth. What then at this level also, can be said against Him, against the consistency and competence of that ruled system presented in Scripture, and for which predestination is in fact one guarantee of the qualitative competence of the Sovereign at all points? Those who have never heard of His Gospel, we have looked at in their setting, descrying something of the sort of method by which they should eventually be assessed, and their place in the drama of sin and redemption. In particular, we observed in Revelation that it is the Lamb169* Himself who is to judge, who also is that ransom proffered to all men: we reasoned that we might be sure that none should pass His Portals170* without clear quintessential attention in some way which we do not need to visualise, but which is readily susceptible to characterisation in terms of the principles relating to love and the eventuation of eternal Cross­selection; and we examined two texts more specific on the point, in John and in Romans.
 
 

With all these things complete, rather, it remains only to say, now that consistency has triumphed,
our words must depart and leave His standing:
for it was simply to show the consistency not elsewhere and outside His word
there to be found:
to exhibit the truth of His word in this special area of revelation
and in this way,

which was our sole objective. . .
 
 

NOTE

FOR A.D. 2001: At this point, the reader may wish to consult:

Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch. 11, with Ch. 2, End-note 1, and Repent or Perish Chs. and  2, and That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 7, Part D.
 
 

ENDNOTES:

1 Cf. Ephesians 1:17 ­ 2:7 & Revelation 7:17, 5:9­13, 14:6, Malachi 3:6.

2 John 14:7­9.

3 "To whom will ye liken me?" ­ Isaiah 40:25. "To whom will I be equal?" Illustrations therefore are Sentential only: we do not rest in them.

4 For the use of such a term as "region" here, see pp.127,121, with endnotes 22 and 31 respectively (infra).

5 The whole 'heaven and earth' ­ the latter providing the physical and chemical sub­strata for the construction of the body of man, were created (Genesis 1:1, 2:7 ­ indeed, will depart ­ Isaiah 51:6, Matthew 24:35, II Peter 3:12); and their ingredients cannot therefore be conceived spatially etc. as intrinsically like God in any configuration (cf. Romans 8:38­39; Hebrews 11:3; I Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11;27; Romans 1:20).

6 Jeremiah 17:9­10.

7 Jeremiah 9:7. Cf. Deuteronomy 8:2­3; Jeremiah 8:5; Matthew 8:19-22.

8 Psalm 11:5. Cf. 1 Peter 1:7.

9 Psalm 11:4.

10 Amos 5: 6.

11 Isaiah 55:6.

12 1 Peter 1:10.

13 1 Peter 1:11.

14 Romans 8:26­27 as rendered in Thayer's Greek­English Lexicon of the New Testament.

15 Ephesians 1:4. Chosen "before the foundation of the world", they are "given to Him" (John 6:37), foreknown as such (John 6:64, Jeremiah 1:5 cf. Luke 1:15) and assignable even as to location (Acts 18:9 ff.). These last verses are quoted by J.I. Packer ('Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God', I.V.P. 1961, p. 116), who, concerning Christ's word to Paul: "Be not afraid but speak, and hold not thy peace: for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city," paraphrases: "Go on preaching and teaching, Paul, and let nothing stop you; there are many here whom I mean to bring to myself through your testimony to my Gospel."

Here, he says, is a resource of faith to encourage the preacher who knows God has chosen "before the foundation of the world". At the risk of appearing otiose, on the negative side we may note his correlative point (p. 98) that "a sovereign purpose that cannot be thwarted", simply does not imply that our evangelising may not be called into operation, in the fulfilment of it. Cf. endnote 23, infra.

16 Colossians 2:9.

17 cf. pp.121 95..

18 1 Corinthians 2:10, cf. Proverbs 20:27.

19 1 Corinthians 2:9­12.

20 John 1:18.

21 Literal rendering for section of John 1:18.

22 Such terms as "deepest reaches" appear not lacking in perspicuity. Terminological profusionists may appreciate a laborious translation: 'the ultimate resources as to determinative counsel, not hidden for any cause or merely applied as to a point for the needs of some particular purpose via one of a multiplicity of agents.'

23 Colossians 2:3; Revelation 1:8: He is first and last, and as such of Him it is said He is, and was and is to come: but the last He already is. Cf.p.127 endnote 25 infra.

In the same vein, are: Psalm l39 (esp.v.5), Psalm 142:3, Daniel 2:20­22, Isaiah 14:27, Jeremiah 51:29, Hebrews 4:13 and Isaiah 40:28; 40:13; 46:9­11, 48:5 & 16; Ephesians 3:9; 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 16:25 (the power to establish these people was according to the preaching of Jesus Christ, said Paul, in terms of the revelation of the mystery kept secret in cronois aiwniois - eternal times); Titus 1:2 (God promised eternal life pro cronwn aiwniwn before eternal times ­ contrast Titus 1:3): cf. ll Timothy 1:9, where His own purpose and grace was given us in Christ Jesus, also pro cronwn aiwniwn.

Here the term applies to individuals in terms of Christian salvation, and includes their 'calling'. This envisagement of His gift we might term proleptic hypostasis, since it involves both future perception and operation affecting indeed defining reality. See Part III infra more fully, and read Proverbs 15:11 in this regard.

24 We must carefully distinguish this assertion of definiteness from that of definitive freedom which as we saw in Sections I and II of this Thesis, is God's prerogative uniquely.

25 The pleroma would be absent; and the power necessary for it lodged elsewhere; which 'other' power must contain all fulness, and equally be; but by definition, it is of this power that we speak (cf. Isaiah 14:24,27; 43:10­11, 13; 45:5; 46:9­11; 44:6,8; 45:18­22; Exodus 3:14; Hebrews 1:12; John 1:1&3; Romans 16:27; Ephesians 4:6; 1:2 & 23, 2:2; Colossians 1:17; Romans 11:36; Psalm 96:4; Psalm 119:89, 96; Romans 1:20; Revelation 22:13; 21: 5­6). Our data know no change in Him (Malachi 3:6; Psalm 90: 2 & 4; James 1:17; Hebrews 1:12, 13:8; 1 Peter 5:4 & 11; Isaiah 40:26; Revelation 4:13, Colossians 1:17, John 8:58; Psalm 111:3, Romans 9:14, Daniel 9:14, Jeremiah 9:24, 10:6, 6:16, 31:33­37, 32:40, 33:25­26, Daniel 7:25, Psalm 102:26).

26 Cf. Section I, pp.16­20, esp.19 ­20, supra.

27 Cf. p.108, with endnote 23 supra.

28 We might expect theoretical difficulties when substance is misconceived as auto­generative, or auto­constitutive. Hebrews 1:3, 11:3 instruct us concerning the point. It is here meet to add that generative Spiritual power can, if God so desire, recreate or deploy fresh resources directly to abut into, limit or terminate the normal but not necessarily annulled exactions of material law or mental or spiritual custom.

{Creation is miracle when the divine One acts; so is re-creation of the life of forgiven man; so is physical act by the 'finger of God', as also spiritual, as when Christ cast out demons. Miracle, so far from being an esoteric or exotic concept, is as much part of life as breathing in its ambiance, though in this world, not in its frequency: it tends to be constitutive, but can of course and frequently is, restitutive. Life without miracle is like sailing without wind. Small wonder many find it 'drab'. The life with God is what is intended; without Him, it is not merely folly, but an abortion. Rejecting the massive miracles of the Incarnation and the physical resurrection of Christ, in terms of human life, is like a physicist rejecting the concept of atomic nuclei.}

29 Ephesians 1:11, Romans 11:36, Psalm 115:3, 135:6, Daniel 4:35, 2:20­22, Isaiah 44:6­8, 24­26, 43: 13' 14:27, 40:14­15; 43:4, 12, 16­17, 21, 45:17, 19; cf. Psalm 66:7 with Isaiah 40:12 & 15; Isaiah 46:9­10; 41:22­24.
Here one could read Proverbs 16:1,9.

30 Isaiah 37:21­27; 11 Kings 17:1­18; Jeremiah 21:4­5, 37:10.

31 See p.108, with endnote 22 supra. Here ­ "disposition". Such terms as "hand", by now it will appear, one considers neither malappropriate nor inappropriate; they possess more than contingent aptitude for reference to One who was able to express Himself in incarnation. The profusion of verbal equivalents might provide an interesting exercise in the stylistically grotesque; it accomplishes little more, unless an apologetic or direct ontological point is involved. .

So long as we understand this, we may justly claim judicious indisposition to translate. It is a procedure more laboured than laborious.

32 Isaiah 37:26­29 and 7:11­13, 17. This is not an unfeeling type of action, as is tellingly indicated of a more vital punishment yet: Jeremiah 51 :34­37. This followed a spiritual rebellion after the deliverance from Sennacherib ­ 11 Kings 21:1­14,esp.verse 14; but the arrogant instrument (Babylon) was not left to savour her might (Jeremiah 51:37 esp.verse 39 and cf. Isaiah 13:19­20. Poignantly a similar feeling is expressed in Isaiah 1: 3­5.

33 Isaiah 44:26­28, 45:1­6,13.

34 Ezekiel 29 :18­20.

35 Romans 9 :17­22, composing carefully verses 17 and 22.

36 Romans 9 :17, final clause .

37 Amos 3:6; cf. Job 1, 1 Kings 22:20, Psalm 7G:10, Jeremiah 21:4­5,

34:4­5, 36:27­31, 37:10, 50:34; 45, 24­25, 51:11,13­14,29,30,33,37, I Peter 2:22, Isaiah 30:27­33, 31:2, 1­6, 28:14­29; 14:22­24, 27.

Such judgment

- careful, premeditated and controlled (Isaiah 26 :7, Daniel 4:37, Zephaniah 3:5, Psalm 11:7, 92:15, Isaiah 26:10, Lamentations 3:33, Jeremiah 51:9, Psalm 89:14); is

sometimes cumulative (11 Chronicles 36:15­17, Isaiah 1:4­6, Psalm 78:31­33, John 5:14, Revelation 16:9­11);and so

far from being peremptory (II Peter 3:9 Hosea 12:10, Jeremiah 5:1, 3:1, II Chronicles 36:15-16, Mark 12:1ff.);may be revealed as

historically and prophetically determinate amidst pleadings of profound pathos and unfathomably deep concern, for remedy, frequently shown as readily available, even delightedly (Jeremiah 3:6 ­ 10, 4:14 & 18­22; 16:18 with 17:19­27 esp.24; 32:4 and 34:2 with 36:3, Micah 7:18-19, Jeremiah 31:18-20).

It may, as often above, be final in the contemporary situation ­ even ultimate;

or consist in chastening (Amos 4:4­10, Psalm 83:15 ­ 16, Psalm 78:34,Hosea 5:15) - with cautionary and possibly illuminative thrust (Isaiah 38:1, 10­15);

or testing (1 Peter 1:7, Job 1, of Habakkuk 3 :17, Job 1:9 ­ Jeremiah 9: 7, Haggai 2 :11, Zephaniah 3: 6­7, Jeremiah 5:3, Revelation 9 :20­21) which sometimes ends in punitive judgment according to truth (Amos 4:12, 7:5­9, Psalm 18:24­27, Matthew 6:15, Psalm 50:15­23, Romans 1:20­25, 32, 2:2­16).

Man is not very majestic at such moments (Psalm 1:4, 82:6­7, Ezekiel 28:9, Isaiah 2:22).

38 See sub­section on Luther, pp.70­1 supra.

39 Numerous involvements of apparent intricacy can develop; and judgment can become peremptory in appearance; but, in terms of the principle clearly stated in 11 Thessalonians 2:8­10, it is as judgment on rejection, and therefore ultimately remains an expression of the will­in­sin - a sovereignly determined and visited expression, but an expression none the less: not a mete invasion.

Something of the possible complexities of sin in these divine defiances and dealings is shown, and tile theme developed' in pp.l35­9, and 123ff. ­ more especially in endnotes 129 and 91­92 respectively, which appear infra.

40 Cf. Isaiah 50:6­7; Luke 13:33; 9:53; Matthew 26:39, 53­54; Romans 4:25; Luke 9:22; 11 Peter 1: 18­19, 2:21­23; 11 Corinthians 5:19­21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 10:22 & 23­28.

41 Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13; Ephesians 2: 3­5, 12; Luke 9:41; 19:10; Matthew 9:13, John 6:53; Romans 3:10, 19, 5:6­10, 16, 19, 21; Romans 8:7­9.

42 Cf. 11 Thessalonians 2:10­12, Isaiah 66:4.

43 Cf. Psalm 139, esp. verses 4­5; Proverbs 20:24; Daniel 2s20­22; Isaiah 45:5; Romans 1:26; 11 Thessalonians 2:11. Cf. p.112, endnote 45, and pp.l19­122, 108­9, 112­5, esp. consulting endnotes 65 infra, and 25 and 29 supra.

44 Discussed in Augustine's 'On Free Will', Book 111, XX, 55 ­ XXI, 62. See, however, p.l12, endnote 45, where italicised, infra. This evidence from our data implies that the soul was not, when elected.

45 Cf. Isaiah 41:20­26; 43:7­13; 45:11; 46:10; 45:21; 45:7; 44:21; 44:23­26; 45:5 with 43:14, 44:7, 45:13, 46:10­11 and 48:14; Revelation 13:8, 17:8 and Ephesians 1:4; Psalm 147:5, Matthew 19:28 (before God nothing is impossible); Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 45:12 and Ephesians 1:4, 11 Timothy 1:9. The last two verses refer to elective action, we recall (p.108, endnote 23, supra), before the foundation of the world; and we recollect that it was not until the last initial phase in the consummation of animate creation, in the institution of man, that God­declared and called forth from His counsel, in creation (Genesis 1:26­27) this image­bearer. It is to this last point that we allude in endnote 44, supra, in stating that in the action of election itself, the soul was not a created entity. Further detail on the phasing of the creation of souls we do not pursue here.

46 The point is made in endnote 45 supra, commencing "Genesis 2:7 .. ", as italicised.

47 In fact, more stringently in conformity with our data (cf.p.112, endnotes 44­45 supra), this also has the advantage of acting as a conceptual refinement. This is the actual status which it is accorded.

48 Isaiah 55:9; Romans 11:33; Colossians 2:2; Isaiah 40:14, 21­28.

49 The actual living "soul" was created when and in that God creatively imparted the relevant form of life, in constituting man in His own image. Cf. p.106, endnote 5supra.

50 Exodus 3:14, John 8:58, 14:7­9, 12:45; Hebrews 13:8, Colossians 1:19 ­ 2:9 and Revelation 1:17­18; Ephesians 1:14, Hebrews 1:4, John 14:7.

51 i.e. - To perfection.

52 Isaiah 53:6 (see 52:12 ­ 53:12).

53 A vital distinction is worthy of note. It is not the case that it is not secured because it is unwanted; but rather that it is not wanted because it is (hypostatically) not secured. In terms of the historical correlate, we find a suggestive clue in the distinction between John 3:16­17, where in terms of the advent of Christ "the world" is in view in His resurgence of love; and John 17:9 where "those whom Thou hast given me" are the object of His prayer and not "the world": as this plenary Principal, as it were, in His own resurgence complete, departs.

54 Translating as the context makes obvious: "and the Lord retains the initiative with utter proficiency operating in sovereignly disposed situations.". Cf. pp. 108 and 110, endnotes 22 and 31 respectively.

55 These considerations are merely rehearsed here, and were dwelt on more fully in the more formal setting ­ cf. pp.124-135 supra with endnotes and references thence.

56 The 'privileged' position here of the elect is quite consistently such tha­135 supra with endnotes and references thence.
t those who have it would ardent!, desire it for others: this is one division amongst men which is not divisive in that the 'rich' in place, would be only too delighted to share what the 'poor' despise.

57 This is susceptible to translation as: "He has no ontological aspect where His ... etc..". Cf. p.108, endnote 22and p. 111,with endnote 31 supra.

58 This point is here one of essence; but C.N. Cochrane in his 'Christianity and Classical Culture', REF.BIBL.14, pp. 83ff., gives some elements of more specifically empirical interest in this general regard, in a Chapter on historiography and Augustine.

59 To "read God's mind" on the one hand, and to discern His "everlasting power and Deity" on the other, are two very different things. He have argued against the first on several occasions, whilst noting that He has expressed Himself in Revelation; but we represent the second as manifest in its nature (cf. Romans 1:18­20, ff.).

60 Cf. Psalm 50:19­23; Isaiah 59:15­16 e.g..

61 Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26; Jeremiah 10: 10, 12­13; 11 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 46:6; Matthew 5:17­18; Mark 4:39­41; 5:41; John 1:1­3, 9; Matthew 8:8; James 1:18; 11 Peter 3: 5­7.

62 Cf.pp.18-26 supra; and relate 11 Corinthians 4:4­6.

63 Cf. Titus 1:2; Romans 1:18; Jeremiah 23: 29­40; 11 Thessalonians 1:8­9; Revelation 20:11­15, 19:11­21, Isaiah 11;1­4; 1 John 2:22, 4:3, 5:12, 5:17, John 3:36, 1 Peter 4:18, John 5:45­47; John 15:10, 15:7, 15:2, 15:6; 11 Peter 3:7, 9; Isaiah 8:10 and Jeremiah 44:28.

64 Cf. p.119, endnote62.

65 Psalm 145:3, 147:5; Ephesians 3 : 8; Romans 11:33; Psalm 139: 5­12. There is "no searching" (lit.) of His greatness; and His understanding has 'no number" (lit.).

No frenzied auditing would 'track down' the extent of Christ's riches (to express it in an idiom suggested by the root of the relevant Greek word employed in the textual datum); and such is the depth of God's wisdom and knowledge that the "fixed purposes of His grace" (the rendering of krima in this context given by Arndt and Gingrich in: A Greek­English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, REF.BIBL.1 ), His determined decrees proceed with inexhaustible sagacity. ­

66 Provocative: to whom? Contrary to the zeitgeist but according to the reasoning - to God primarily. His provocation is however appeased (serially conceived) by the provision of remedy adequate for peace .. with Him.

67 Cf. Isaiah 40:12­14, 41:28­29, 59:15­16, 63:5, 2:22, Psalm 139, Jeremiah 23:18­22, 29­9; Revelation 5:4­5; Philippians 3:8­14; Jude 25; Daniel 2:22, 28­30, and 1 Timothy 6:16 with John 1:18; 1 Corinthians 1: 20­31, 2 :9 ­14.

68 Cf. the reference of endnote 64, supra.

69 Cf. Titus 2:12­14; 1 John 2:17; Romans 12:2; Galatians 1:4.

70 This is in fact predicted: 11 Peter 2:1­3; 1 Timothy 4:1 (cf. John 1:14 with 8: 31, 8: 38­40); 11 Timothy 3: 1­7; 4: 3­4; Matthew 24:5,11; Jeremiah 23:16­20; 11 Thessalonians 2:3­4, 10­12; Luke 18:8; 11 Peter 3:3­5, 11 Timothy 3:13. (Interestingly, the Scofield version quite carefully translates the Greek go ­ rendered 'seducers' in the Authorised Version ­ as 'juggling impostors' ­ Scofield Reference Bible, O.U.P., 1945; cf. Thayer's Greek­English Lexicon, op.cit., p.l20).

Paul carefully proclaimed: "(We) have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God" (11 Corinthians 4:2).

71 See Part 111 of this Section III, infra.

72 Genesis 2:17, 3:6; Romans 5:16­19; 1 Timothy 2:14­15.

73 Like the more mechanical modern automotive equipment, it led him a long way at vast risk (in his case infinite) on a prepared path; but he did not create even the idea. (See Genesis 2:16­17; 3:4­6; cf. pp.20­25 supra , where there is a further discussion of this last point.)

74 Hosea 13:14.

75 God loves and deals with all His own, but also with each. Both aspects are true. Cf. John 3:16, 3:5, 1:12; similarly the singular procedure in Matthew 11:27; and Mark 8:35, 36­7, 10:43; John 15:2, 5; 14:12; 6:57, 51; Jeremiah 5:1.

76 Titus 3:4 ­ "But after the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared" ...; cf. Titus 2:13­14, 3:5­7, 2:11; John 3:16; Romans 5:18, Hosea 7:1; Colossians 1:19­21.

The reality of these assertions is wholly and ­ for emphasis, we might almost say ­ eagerly harmonious with the constitutively complementary and Scripturally emphatic truth that the elect are determinate, designate and ordained at God's sovereign hand, while the lost who will not be found, are no less determinate (cf. pp.110 -115 supra) and predestinate (cf.1 Peter 2:8, Romans 9: 17­18 etc., and the considerations formerly adduced). It has been one of the tasks of this Thesis to vindicate such plenary consistency.

The deep but not logically perplexing mystery of the love of God is also attested in such statements as those of: Romans 5:7­8, 11 Corinthians 5:19­21, Ephesians 3:18­19.

77 Amos 4: 6, 9, 11; Jeremiah 3:7, 12, 13; 2:35; 31:20.

78 Romans 8:29. Cf. p.127, with endnote 23 supra.

79 Romans 11:33.

80 Cf. p. 120, endnote 65, supra.

81 We might put: "Personal counsel ...". Cf. p.34, with endnote 30,supra.

82 Here Berkhouwer's caution on a distinct but cognate point might apply: "Mystery is not rationalised but the revelation is respected," ibid. p.85.

83 Romans 9:16.

84 Cited by R.J. Rushdoony in his 'Van Til', REF.BIBL.32, p.30, from Van Til's, 'The Metaphysic of Apologetics', a syllabus published in 1931, but now out of print. Relevant pages therein quoted for Van Til: 66ff..

For interest, we may add from the Van Til: "Synergism takes for granted that there can be no truly personal relations between God and man unless the absoluteness of God be denied in proportion that the freedom of man is maintained ... a personal act of man cannot at the same time but in a different sense be a personal act of God. Synergism assumes that either man or God acts personally at a certain time, and at a certain place, but that they cannot act personally simultaneously at the same point of contact." This position here being reviewed in his 'Metaphysics of Apologetics' by Professor Van Til is, of course, alien to his own.

85 R.L.Franklin ­ Freedom and ResponsibiIity, REF.BIBL.15, pp .329 ­331.

86 E.g. pp.16­21 supra.

87 Cf. p.112, endnote 45, and p.l27, with endnote 23, supra.

88 Cf .p.112, with endnote 41, supra.

89 l Corinthians 2 :8­1 , 11 Timothy 3 :15­17.

90 Cf. pp. 46­50, 73­77; and consult p.l23, with endnote 76, supra.
 

91 The text at this point has "conscience", which we may define:

A normal moral continuum born of a reflex action of the spirit upon itself in terms, ideally, of acquaintance with the Lord and His law; but in sin, with considerable variability of terms and acuity, though rarely to the point of apparent nullity.

See Romans 2:15, where conscience acts in terms of a law "written in their (pagan) hearts", exculpating or inculpating internally thereby; and compare Proverbs 20 :27, where a man's spirit is used by the Lord in one mode of spiritual searching. An excellent etymological, theological and logical treatment of the term by Bruce F. Harris of the University of Auckland, appears in The Westminster Theological Journal, May 1962, REF.BIBL.43. Of our passage here noted (1 Timothy 4 :2) he says of the Greek adjective idian­ that this, " 'their own conscience' would seem to suggest that not only do these men corrupt others, but they are themselves grievously corrupted in their own souls: their consciences, which should have reflected the voice of God within, have been irreparably damaged in the process of their apostasy'' (p.184, emphasis added). Cf. Titus 1:15­16.

The indirect monitoring and morally musing effect of human conscience appears clearly in 1 Corinthians 10 :28, 11 Corinthians 4:2, 5:11, 11 Timothy 1:3, Hebrews 13:l8, 1 Timothy 1:5, and correlatively in 1 Corinthians 4:1­5.

92 The severities of Ezekiel 7:20­26, for example, followed the appeals of Jeremiah 2:32; 3:13; 4:1; 5s22 & 30­31; 6:16; 7:3­10; 8:22; 13:16­17; 17:19­27; 18:6­8 etc..

Angle after angle is lit with divine light; appeal and reprimand: tenderness and truculence, offer and reason, reproof and further marvels of mercy. (As in 18:6­8, or 36:3, where even when the case was far advanced ­ 15:1 & 17:1 ­ the principle of return per se is announced: this principle is not far to find, but readily exemplified in Hosea 5:15 in attitude and Matthew 11:28­29 or John 6 :37 or 7: 37­38 in invitation; it is seen in Leviticus 26:12­42 for a nation, in Ezekiel 33:8­11 or 9:4 for an individual as in Deuteronomy 1:35­36 or Leviticus 5:17­18 or Exodus 12:13 or Numbers 25:11­13.)

Put in our historic case, the nation in view did not return, correction was disdained (e.g. Jeremiah 2:20 cf. 8:5), and it was announced: "the time is come" (Ezekiel 7:12). National judgment was quite ripe, fully mature ­ Ezekiel 14:20.

Especially direct on the question of pseudo­sincerity facing God with untrue cries, are Hosea 7:14­16 and Jeremiah 7:4­11:

"They return, but not to the most High"; and

"(Will ye) ... come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to perform all these abominations?"

Jeremiah 8:5­6 and 9 shows failure in any carnal clamour for help, even to query themselves, as 2:39 with 2:35 & 3:13 show that all their 'approaches' to God were without simple penitence. In Isaiah 29, their false attitude to Scripture is both sophisticated and insolent, as shown in verse 11 and prefigured in 28:9­13, 15. God says of them:

"This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men!"

Jeremiah 14:12­14 (cf. Micah 3:4­5, Ezekiel 8:17­18) gives further example of impious perversity distorting their cries into spiritual misfeasance. Should He hear this? They may cry, but He is one, to be worshipped as One, revealed and revealing His decisive terms, with the grace of love and the acuity of justice. When, however they truly call on Him in these terms, in reality and not merely ostensibly on "His name", then they are not merely heard and heeded, but accepted (Joel 2:32, Isaiah 66:2).

93 Isaiah 57:16­18.

94 The principle of return (cf. p.126 endnote 92) remains valid: it is not inoperative, but unopted.

95 Cf. Psalm 82:5­7; Isaiah 40:15, 22, 26­27; Proverbs 21:1; Psalm 139:2 & 4; Isaiah 45:7­11.

96 Habakkuk 2:2. To the point, this would require more than a lack of ocular obscurity.

97 Isaiah 35:8.

98 Proverbs 25:2; cf. Philippians 3:12­13.

99 Galatians 6:14­15.

100 Galatians 3:13 and 6:14­15 give key points in the sense of this partial metonymy ­ as used often in this Thesis: "the Cross". It represents a method of death; it indicates a legal charge pertinent to death; it adverts to a legal penalty, alludes to positive divine law; it implies the efficacy of that death with respect to its pre­figured purpose; it bespeaks substitution and betokens remedial identification.

This is not the place for the discourse on all that is involved in these two texts, contextually, or in all the relevant texts; but these items are highly pertinent. Pre­eminently, we must emphasise the words following "the Cross" ­ namely, "of the Lord Jesus Christ": it indicates a vital historic, and historical episode in the incarnate activities of the Second Person of the Trinity (cf. p.114 supra; pp. 32 & 35 infra, esp. endnote 29, para 1).

It is as crucial a manifestation of His purpose as it is a demonstration of His power, for "He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption" (Acts 13:37).

101 Cf. John 15:16, Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:29.

102 This is not pure metaphor. God tests; He is prepared to heal; He conserves certain conditions; the result is vital in its own sphere.

103 "Surprised by Joy" ­ C.S. Lewis, noted p.55 supra.

104 P.50 supra.

105 Almost theologically ritualistic.

106 This occurs predestinatively and in foreknowledge, let us remind ourselves, abstracting from the figure of the analogy.

107 See pp.16­ 18 supra, also consulting pp.19­22.

108 See pp.l29-131, esp.l61, with endnote 100 supra.

109 Cf. pp.127­130 supra.

110 Cf. Hebrews 4:12 with Ephesians 6.17.

111 Cf. p.161, with endnote 100 supra , and here apply with formal similarity to the distinctively emphatic 'sacrifice'.

112 Ephesians 1:4.

113 See 1 Corinthians 2:2.

114 An interpretative but apt rendering of the Greek translated "evidently set forth", in Galatians 3:1. It appears in J.Gresham Machen's 'The Origin of Paul's Religion', REF.BIBL.44, p.l49.

115 John 6:53.

116 Colossians 1:19­21.

117 See p.129supra.

118 With contemporary apologies ...

119 See pp.55-56 supra.

120 Cf. "Cross­Selection", supra.

121 This has been one of our main centres of circumspection in seeking to determine the actual issues in Scriptural predestination.

122 See e.g. pp.107ff. supra.

123 See sub­section 3, pp. l14ff., supra.

124 Cf. Psalm 57:2; Revelation 7:9­12; Psalm 62:11; Psalm 33:9 and 11 Corinthians 4:6; Psalm 79:11; Psalm 49:7, 15; Psalm 107:17­20, 43; Isaiah 61:1­2; 53:10; 54:6­7; Jeremiah 31:18­20; Isaiah 59:1­2, 50:1­2, 60:16, 43:13; Isaiah 44:22; 63:1; Micah 7:19; Jonah 3:9; Deuteronomy 32:36; Isaiah 10:15 and Romans 9:16; Romans 5:6; Ephesians 2:5; John 16:8­11, 15:16; 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; in Philippians 1:6; Philippians 2:12­13, Isaiah 43:3; Colossiansl:5­6, 2:13, 1:21, Ephesians 2:8; Romans 1:16; 11 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Peter 1:2­3; Zechariah 12:10; Ephesians 2:1213, John 6:65, 6:44, 8:36.

125 For 'in its virtue', we might advisedly read, 'as reconstituted by Christ'. Cf. John 12:25; Matthew 10:39; 16:25­27; Revelation 2:17 (recognising the Jewish significance in 'name').

See also relevantly on this point of personality: C.S. Lewis, e.g. ­ 'Mere Christianity', London: Fontana Books, Sixth Impression, 1959, pp. l86­7 ­ or, alternatively, 'Beyond Personality', REF.BIBL.23: pp.62­63; and 'Transposition and Other Essays', REF.BIBL.24: pp.34 & 64.

126 Will is involved, as are other considerations. Cf. Romans 1:18; 11 Corinthians 4:4­5; Jeremiah 9:6; John 8:32­36; 3:19; Acts 13:46; 11 Corinthians 10:5.

127 Jeremiah 17:9­10; Psalm 38:3­4, 18; Isaiah 64:6, 44:22; Jeremiah 2:2, Isaiah 57:20­21; Jeremiah 2:19; Hosea 8:7 and Isaiah 29:15; Ephesians 2:3 and Romans 7:18; Romans 8:8 and 7:13.

128 Cf. Romans 2:15; refer definition of conscience p.l57, endnote 91, supra.

129 Isaiah 59:2; 57:17; Matthew 15:8, Isaiah 29:10­13, 15, 28:9­10; John 8:43­45; 8:47; 8:55; 8:42; Romans 1:18, Jeremiah 9:6; Hosea 7:14, 6­7; Jeremiah 5:31; 5:28; 8:14,10.

130 To abstract the single point of moral self­awareness: this can range all the way from over­bearing, self­assertive in conformity to self­made standards, to mortifying self­aspersion at a failure to conform not to one only, but a variety of codes, and these conditions may receive, further, an overall fierce consent in conformity to what cannot be controlled (Romans 1:28, Proverbs 1:31-2.) In themselves, all these fall short of God's standards and it is interesting in particular to note Christ's penetrating remark in Matthew 21:31, with the similar and no less exacting aphorisms of Matthew 5:20 and 19:30.

131 Cf. Psalm 82:1 & 6­7; 11 Chronicles 19:6­7; Isaiah 14:13­15.

132 As relevantly presented above. See also: John 8:34­36; John 12:38-40; 12:35; Matthew 6:23, 6:21; Jeremiah 9:543; Hosea 7:4, 6­7; Jeremiah 5:31; 5:28; 8:10; and consult p.l74, with endnote 127, supra..

133 This of course is always difficult. It is not without its principals (Ephesians 6:12; John 8:38, 41, 44; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 2:2). In the divine perspective, this odd aspiration for ontological ­ or even ultimate volitional ­ autocracy, can be designated in terms sharply bearing on the situation in its actuality; and apostrophe may be made to "world rulers of darkness" or principal agents in spiritual aggression: "Thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God!'

Confusion results from a brilliant failure to consult with the relevant area of fact: "Thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness" ­ not, be it noted, "thy dulness". The divine image bearing propensities require humility in recognition of fact, and co­operation; alternatively they may be exalted carelessly into endless problems, the product of a failure to accept and keep to one's place: "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty"'.

Similar considerations are found in Isaiah 14, as in this above cited 28th. chapter of Ezekiel. In contradistinction, the Psalmist utters accrediting syllables: "Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture."

134 The progress into this extreme would be greatly helped by the sort of consideration noted on pp.175­6 supra.

135 As for example on pp.16-20 supra.

136 Cf. ll Peter 3:3­6, Romans 1:25. In any situation, celestial or urbane, it is often easier to consider the facade and the routine, rather than to reason on the origin, development and responsibility involved.

137 Cf. Romans 1:18­20 ­ the invisible things ­ His power and divine nature are nooumena, a word implying intellection (to which effect Arndt & Gingrich's recent New Testament Greek Lexicon, op.cit., may with considerable value be consulted). The context in Romans limits the extent without limiting the type of activity, which on the contrary has most specific knowledge available. Indeed, this is no esoteric cognitive activity: these things are "clearly seen". See also e.g. 1 Peter 3:15 and 11 Corinthians 10:5. Christianity is not merely adequate to meet a probe from any human activity, but shows initiative in removing the grounds.

See also 'Christianity and Christian Culture', op.cit., pp. 479­482ff.,

and purely for extended reference, 'A Christian Theory of Knowledge', Cornelius Van Til, REF.BIBL.39.

138 Hebrews 11:3 e.g. shows a direct institution of the visible world by sufficient causal action from the invisible. In this connection, we may note: Genesis 1­2, 11 Peter 3:5­7, Isaiah 51:6, 40:26, 51:16, 48:13, 50:2, 51:13, Psalm 104:1­2, 19, 30, 29:9. Things physical, biological and human owe their institution and fitting eventual elevation or destruction to Him who by expression and power "does what He pleases" in the heaven and earth that He has created. See also Romans 11:36, Ephesians 1:23, Colossians 1:16­17, John 1:1­3. Cf. pp.119ff., esp. endnote 61. With respect to Kant, see Appendix on Kant infra.

139 For immediate and convenient reference, consult: Romans 1:25; 11 Thessalonians 2:10­11; John 8:31­35; Ephesians 4:18, 2:12; Romans 7:15­24; Ephesians 2:5.

140 See pp.l75ff. supra. An interesting reference isfound in: ''Christian Counselling in the Light of Modern Psychology, G. Brillenburg Wurth, REF.BIBL.48, esp.pp.50­62ff..

This formulation also does violence to what Franklin (op.cit.) rightly sees as continually formative activities (cf. in his work, pp. 41­42, 47, 76, 84).

141 Or sub­rational i.e. incompletely articulated, ratiocinated or systematised in its own form.

142

a) Christ, as the anointed and appointed eternal generation of God, is the sole but effectual recourse of the 'autonomous' human, in that He alone is designated and has dealt adequately to make commitment acceptable. Accordingly, the restoration is to the Father in favour.

b) The freedom 'outside God', always deceptive ­ as has been expounded throughout this Section ­ is now rendered up, so that dynamic Fatherhood should resume. While this involves new resources, harmony and illumination (Ephesians 1:17­19, 3:16, Colossians 1:11, John 16:22 & 14:23), it implies a personal and intimate, not a mechanical but nevertheless a realistic obedience (cf. pp.114-125 & 106­7, 109 supra).

c) This obedience is within the purposes of One without injustice (Psalm 97:2, Jeremiah 9:24, Titus 1:2, Psalm 92:15, Acts 10:34, Deuteronomy 10-17, 1:16­17) or prejudice, or selfishness (John 3:16, Romans 5:5, 6 & 8, 11 Corinthians 5:19 & 21; Isaiah 5:4 and Matthew 21:33­38, Isaiah 63:9; Galatians 3:13' John 17:23 and Hebrews 1:3; John 10:30, 17:22, 12:45). Together with its authority, it incorporates the ultimate in expression, in that it is the pledged and ransoming Creator with whom the committed Christian co­operates. This aspect is given piquant expression in John 12:24­25 (cf. John 8:32, 34­35; Romans 6:16­19, 20­22).

143 Endnote 31, from p.55 supra.

144 A condemnation for diverse faults and follies is in view ­ but especially for failure to meet the Divine: in terms of requirements, Person or Life. ­

145 Cf. John 9:39 and 41: For those who self­righteously saw, their sin remained. John 6:53 with Mark 2:17, Luke 13:3.
 upra.

147 Romans 5:13. Cf. Acts 17:30.

148 In the book of Revelation these two types of judgment are indicated by the terms: the first and second death.

149 Supra, pp.53ff.

150 See p.130,endnote100,supra.

151 The soul in its total condition (cf. Romans 2:15) in history, is met with challenge in eventuation through predestination: or it may be that after terrestrial history, it is first met with the Gospel facts. The latter in the respect noted is simpler; moreover no difficulty of principle erupts.

152 P.55, with endnote 31 supra.

153 Indeed, it might perhaps be said that there is a sense in which to man, at his own instance, belongs access, committal or consignment to an experiment ­ in autonomy. Though divinely the results are foreknown, humanly they are not always believed.

In every phase of life, individual, group, moral, political ...the persistent "experiment" explodes in disaster, difficulty, doubt and eventual drabness. To the principal spiritual parties (Ephesians 3:10 and see esp. the J.B. Phillips rendering in 'The New Testament in Modern English', REF.BIBL.46), in pursuit of a systematically elusive autonomy and heteronomy (cf. Isaiah 14:13, 11 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 11:37­38, and 7:25 with 2:21­22; Revelation 13:4), there is 'made manifest' the beauty of holiness and the inevitability of the sovereignty of God for the weal of His creatures.

However imperviously or even imperiously impenitent they may be, truth has prospered.(Cf. Genesis 2:17 & 3:5; Isaiah 41:21­23; 42:3; Psalm 6:10;Revelation 15:4). These things, embraced and disposed before they began, become effectually a "teacher's experiment" - by humanity invested and contested: in humanity attested.

154 If miracle is defined as the direct operation of the supernatural in the area of the natural, this use of the term at this point may seem somewhat sophisticated. It is intended however, to bring to attention the fact that the careful exclusion of a personal touch on the part of a Person when dealing with persons, while it may be personal in proceeding from a highly personal estimate of the situation, is nonetheless an intrinsically extra­ordinary piece of reserve. In this sense, such action is a direct attention (i.e. removing a species of attention) and could be called quasi­miraculous.

155 Psalm 1:4 cf. endnote 153 supra.

156 Acts 17:24­27; Isaiah 30:15 & 18, 32:15; Jeremiah 29:10­14: Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 44:26; Romans 11:29­33 with 11:7, 11­12, 25­26.

157 Joel 2:28­29; Acts 3: Acts 2:22; 1 Kings 18.

158 11 Corinthians 4:7; ll Corinthians 1:19.

159 11 Corinthians 4:6; Romans 1:16; Ps.147:2­3, Isaiah 42:1­7 & Matthew 12:18­21.

160 11 Corinthians 4:8­10; 8:7­9; 1 Corinthians 3:21­22 with 4:9 and 11 Corinthians 4:11.

161 11 Corinthians 6:10, Galatians 4:15, 1 Corinthians 1:4­67 12:1' 8­11.

162 See pp.l47­8, and 60 (endnote 31), . Consult for the former point esp. Psalm 139; 147:5, 20; Romans 11:33 ­34.

163 Cf. Isaiah 28:22­29; Psalm 71:15­19. See also p.110, with endnote 37.

164 Psalm 38; 39:11.

165 Matthew 5:3­5; Isaiah 66:2.

166 E.g. Psalm 1:4, 6; cf. 1 Timothy 1:8­16, Colossians 2:13­14, Hebrews 8:12, 1 Samuel 23:10,11; Acts 27:24, 28:4­6, Mark 16: 17­18, 13:11 11:23­26, Mark 10:27, Matthew 17:20, Mark 9:23. Cf. endnote163 supra.

167 Jeremiah 9:24. Psalm 1:4­6, Psalm 23, Isaiah 12.

168 Matthew 21:28 95.

169 A title of Christ correlative to the historical activity described on p.l29, with endnote 100, supra. Cf. p.55, endnote 31.

170 John 10:7, 9 ­ i.e. pass unreached from His salvation.