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I DO NOT LIKE GREEN EGGS AND HAM
THE EGGS-ACT CASE
Dr Seuss's classic to this effect was wonderfully rich in humour, with not a little insight!
The irrevocable, irresistible distaste on the one hand, is parodied. On the other, the possibility of the object in view being of the utmost oddity, also arises. Some things ARE almost unbelievably wrong, and yet many press them. Some obstinacies are almost incredibly deep, and people press them.
When it comes to Jesus Christ, the irresistible distaste which many find, not because of what He did which was a marvel and a wonder, but because they want to be lord themselves, or want to show their bitterness against life of the praise of which, when it is used as intended by God, is strong in His lips, or for various other ostensibly uncommutable aversions or desires. It is as if He were green eggs and ham, when in fact, they wear coloured glasses, carefully maintained. They find no reason. They may act as if to parody Him, or to caricature, or to revile, as they did when He was on this earth. However, they can find no fault in His actual record, since there is none.
Let us however qualify this a little. There are some who attack His LACK of violence, His LACK of show and arrogance, like Nietzsche, who provided such an enormous impulse into the Nazi concept of brutal dominance so that you can have it good, because, you see, for this or that reason you DESERVE it ... for example by being the best race, or whatever else takes the fancy.
Thus, if some do not LIKE green eggs and ham, others love them, and cannot be helped from their colour addiction, not even by medical advice that the colour suggests rottenness in this instance! The love of violence has flowered, or perhaps it is better rendered flowed like lava in both Communism in its endeavours BY personality to discount personality, and in Nazism, in its endeavours to exalt it to the heavens in its racial format, without exactly consulting the heavens about the matter, which of course is trespass.
YOU NEED TO TASTE
The record of Jesus Christ continues to hold fast, since none ever manages to refute it (cf. SMR Chapter 6, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, Christ Jesus, the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8). It is crowned with honour in the formation of the Christian Church immediately from it; it is covered in wonder by the records of His actions. It is validated by the predictions of what He would do in the line of miracle and being murdered, then rising from the dead, and by the forecast of the date at which this would occur, centuries in advance. It is paralleled by the Gospel, which in detail is given hundreds of years in advance, BASED in what He would do. It has come exactly as it was decreed that it would come, and it was rejected by the Jewish nation just as likewise predicted, even though the Messiah was one of their own people, in the flesh. It was accepted, on the other hand, by many of the others on this earth, and by some nations as indicated in the prediction likewise (cf. Isaiah 49, Malachi 1:11, 3:1ff., Isaiah 55:3-5).
All these things and many more are to be found in SMR Ch. 9, many near the outset, in detail and listed.
Similarly, His promises are found true in experience, and each may taste and test for himself or herself. Indeed, the use of contrary principles has left the earth filled with vying, striving, fighting and force, violence and vileness, inhumanity of the grossest kind and endless bowings to unreason and to self-will. Obviously, since it is limited, and hatred, ill-will and unfounded faiths are many, whether by stating it to be the truth that there is no God, though there is no truth in that case with which to know it, or that God cannot be known, though for those not finding truth, there is again the same problem, or inventing an untested 'truth' and trying to force it on others with violence, there comes an end. You cannot hope to abuse things and people without limit in a limited world without reaching the limit eventually, and it may be much sooner rather than later when knowledge of reactions brings power and power brings a lever for hatred to destroy.
You clearly need two things: the truth and the will to do it. For minds you need grounds for that truth, testability, for otherwise you merely ignore what you have, and are rash and prejudiced, which it is not hard to be, but hard to bear when it comes to the results of such recklessness.
Faith is the only acceptable method of relating to God, since if you do not trust Him, there is no sure repose or rest or reality in what you do (Hebrews 11:6). There is no advance. If you do, you ought to ensure that you have the God who is at work, not some fiction found in mere imagination, as if a child should dream of parents, and then relate to the dream, ignoring the ones who owned the house in which he or she actually lived. This brings in reason, neither as a substitute for, nor a part of faith, but as a diligent use of what you are given. As we demonstrate in SMR, it can be proved that God is and that the Bible is His word, and hence Jesus Christ is the only and the necessary Saviour for the follies of our race. This by no means brings people to Him; but it certainly helps, and is a testimony which truth deserves and people need, when they ask.
Now let us turn to one recent correspondent which wrote to our Site; for his reasons were feelings, and his presentation was assured in a groundless sort of way, as far as the letter went. It rather reminds one of Green Eggs and Ham as a point of view. It is NOT on. So be it. But what of the glasses which make it seem green ? One needs to savour the truth, and not respond to every internal reaction as if it were god.
There follows a slightly adjusted reply to this, which will in the way it is here varied for the purposes of this chapter, show the sort of issues raised. Naturally the name is altered. It is hoped that this will prove helpful to some who may be drawn into similar confusions, without realising their position. It is vital to find the truth, and it is eminently available, verified by reason, available to faith.
REPLY TO CORRESPONDENT
THE MATTER OF CITABLE INVALIDITIES
Thank you for your advice. You use the word 'granted' in your message. However, nothing is granted. If you are going to reason, grants are not what it is about. That is called 'begging the question'. In fact, from a logical point of view, and this is appropriate since you choose to talk about proof, there are many more fallacies in what you write.
For interest consider them, since they make your approach multiply invalid.
Secondly, then, there is ignoratio elenchi. This means that your ignore the issue. If you want to prove something, or disprove it, you do not ignore it. Reasoning is presented. Bypassing it on the basis of disinclination to read or consider or work, this does not really relate, any more than walking by a goal post in a football oval really relates to kicking one.
Thirdly, there is argument by assumption. You assume that because you assume that no one has proven the thing you have in mind, that no one else will do so. That is also begging the question, and is a double assumption, offered without grounds.
Fourthly, you make various comments of a rather personal character, but this is ad hominem, playing the man if you like, attacking the person instead of the issue. It rates as invalid likewise in normal logical rules. Just as in football, you have to deal with the ball, so in logic, you have to deal with the issues in point in a proof, not reactions.
Fifthly, you substitute taunt for truth. To express this or that dissatisfaction in a merely personal way does not actually answer the question or adorn the topic.
For all these reasons, what you say is irrelevant, logically, to the proof of God's existence and truth.
However, I shall try to help you, if help you want. If not, please cease reading at this point, since it will not concern you.
HELP DOES NOT NEED TO BE RECEIVED
We need next to make clear an important issue which you seem to confuse. It is not EITHER faith OR reason, which is the question. It is NOT a DILEMMA, to use the logical term. However you seem to make it one, which is another logical error, and would come in as the sixth. It cuts out the middle ground by assumption. This is like imaging goals instead of kicking them.
It is, by the way, in terms of practical action, ALL about faith. Reason is irrefutable, but faith is essential. People can reason and not act. People CANNOT believe and not act, since what you believe to be so is what you are convinced about and work with. Insanity is another option, but we are not discussing this at all here. Reason is not an alternative to faith, but one of its friends. But let us consider your thought about difficulties. You are very general and do not reach any point.
It rather reminds one of Jesus Christ when He in effect indicated that if there was mourning, they wanted joy, if joy they wanted mourning. Vexatious dissatisfaction was their lot, and whatever was presented, they would not have it. This approach apparently continued to be popular until after a generation, when the people whom He addressed, and who were so dissatisfied, lost their city in which to show this! That is always one of the dangers of will, that you get what you do not want, but by your actions and reactions ask for!
How does this apply to the present issue ? Like this: If people do not answer in depth and detail what is put in attacking some position, then scorn comes; if they do, then people want it easy, saying it is too much! That is the fickle and vexatious way it often goes.
How simple, there are not enough answers! This is the first charge. So all the matters are answered, to meet this apparent felt need. What happens next! Oh, how complex! comes the next complaint. it is all answered! so comes the new complaint. In neither case is there ground: for questions are not of much account here, if there are answers that can stand, and a determination to bypass answers is not of much account to the point at issue, except to show the nature of the case. If it perhaps amusing in one way, it is sad in another.
It is ridiculous is it not, for long voluminous page after page of income tax rules to harass the average man, and for long contracts to trouble the average business man, and for long novels with personality after personality to confuse the illiterati, while volume after volume on code must trouble the computer literati, and on mechanical matters the car fans, until nobody obviously can do anything, for everybody is incapable. Is that it ?
Actually, this race is not quite like that.
AS THE NEED ARISES,
AND ACTING RELEVANTLY TO THE ISSUE
If you want proof, there is given a mind with which you work, and it is sometimes quite arduous, though some perhaps have trouble finding out. According to the level of challenge, so is the level of the answer. That is normal.
If you want chess, atomic physics or just novel writing, there is ... some work, do you see! They work at what is the topic. If it is seeing who can scoff the most hamburgers, you need teeth and gullet, if it is seeing the reason, you need action in the mind, just to begin.
Actually, the trouble is in principle normally to be found that long voluminous sin after long voluminous rebellion does not want to use the same amount of effort to master truth as to master income tax, crime or other matters of labour. In practice it is noticeable over time and in experience that prejudice, the desire to have it because one wants it so, this often loves to escape from argument, as if it were some kind of toad, or cane toad. Yet put them in the law court and what expressiveness may now often be found, or have them with the affronted tax man, and then any incapacity to think may disappear markedly in no few instances.
In the business of giving reason, you have to WANT it, and if you want it, then this is your milieu, and if you read a few of the classics in this field of one kind or another, you will find that there is a kind of material to bear in mind, like difficulties in the heart valves for surgeons; and while some may not want to look at this, it is necessary to cover all the issues, to do so.
The sequence of thought, which is not piled and piled, like 10 carpets each on the other, but sequential needs to be pursued. You can of course put them in parallel, but each stands as it is given. Perhaps, and it often seen in history, as we consider all the things, then the man of rebellion from reason or reality or whatever the topic may be, may so hate the sight of what he opposes that he finds material interminable because of the odium which rebellion attaches to the whole field. The Bible of course explains this as you see for example in Ephesians 4:17-19 and in Romans 1:17ff.. There is nothing in principle which its position and word does not explain (cf. SMR Ch. 5), and that of course is just one of the things you expect from truth, and incidentally, in the end of the matter, from nothing else.
If you want reason, however, it is there. If you want lollipop, there are many shops for that sort of thing. If you want to try to psychoanalyse people as to their ways of reasons and motives, you may, as you appear to do. This however is not of interest to us, as what we do in this regard, is not atall related to what you say in this matter, as will be clear from the above.
As author, I present what stands, with the help of the Lord, because it stands, and because in serving God with what He has given, our frame, His Bible and His Son, I help others also. It is done with stories, with a novel, with parables, images, with logic, with sequence of thought, with this and with that if by any means any may find their Maker and His lovingkindness, mercy and truth.
However, people are often like this, that instead of taking what is there, they act as if they know all about someone else's motives, and have it made. Yet there is only one problem, when the case comes that it is not applicable. They assign motives or procedure to someone else, when in fact, as a matter of simple fact, that is not why that person is doing it at all, neither in motive nor in method. The trouble here is reasoning by guesswork, which is as valuable as it sounds. It is simply one more invalidity and would make in all now, the seventh.
Let us however return to reality. If you actually want to become relevant, and attack the proof which always stands, join the throng. God is well able to show the truth, but it is useless to complain, as when you have to rub on liniment to a sore back. If you have one, you need to exercise the fingers a little.
When you come to reason, the reason it succeeds is that it is never refuted and keeps the procedures of reason. The reason for that is first of all, that truth has this advantage, that there is no flaw; then, secondly, that God is alive and has power to show and to answer and in pleased to help His children in their testimony and lives by His word and through His Spirit; thirdly, that He is good and sustains the truth so that people in this, as in any and every other good way, may believe, so that their sins might be forgiven and His peace might come to them, that they might live forever and not in sultry rebellion send pangs to their lives. Accordingly, answer is given in His name, for there is no other to the point here. Such is the case here.
As to the reason aspect, then, when for some reason or other, you want to overthrow it, you have to reason, not simply utter discontent in some general or simply personalised sort of way. Anyone can do that about anything, and it creates nothing in the domain of reason but invalidity.
If you can deal with these things, but cannot be bothered thinking, then at this level, either give up or think. If you think, then work; if you can find a point, then find it. If it is beyond you, that is a spiritual, intellectual, verbal and temperamental collusion of matters; and so be it. You need mercy and should ask for it. If you do not for any reason want to do this, that is one of the wonders of will, that God permits even this. Why, He even permitted Christ to be pierced to death, or crucified, and indeed planned it, and said so very often, long before it happened.
If others however find what is beyond your patience, a delight to their own, perhaps it is time to think. You are one, and your equations are your own. Others find value and respond. It is really up to you.
LOVES REASON AND REASON LOVES FAITH
BUT GOD IS ULTIMATE
It is for God to deal with you, if you want reason and do not want to reason about what the reasoning is. The affairs of the heart are known fully to Him. If you want business with Him, you need to seek Him with all the heart. If again, you do not wish to do any of this, so be it: you are so made that this is a negative option. There is no contest about your will. You can use it in this way.
It is in His service, however, for me in the name of Jesus Christ to stand ready to answer, if anyone such as yourself both wants reason and provides valid reason in the request - that is, wants a reason for the faith. That is just one service which God wants done (I Peter 3:15). In a mathematics examination, however, I apprehend that you would get zero at best, for avoiding the issue as you have in the ways above shown and noted, as similarly for characterising without providing evidence. MANY would be they who would try this, if there was hope of succeeding!
Thanks for your letter, anyway. Concerning proof such as our site has long provided without refutation, there is a procedure. If you really want to reason about what is on the site, I shall attend to your next letter, if any, on its merits. If there is no sign of logical activity of valid and careful kind, but mere verbal discontent, and your topic is proof, then of course it will be ignored. It has in principle already been answered. It is then a matter for your own person, in your own way.
Many are the efforts to attack the truth of the Bible; you perhaps object to the many overthrowings of these efforts. If however you have a thousand weapons against you, you despatch them one by one. Perhaps you would prefer that they be left standing, or that there be one weapon which destroys them all at once, whether men or material ? There are some ways more of this type, but one must satisfy all the attacks in every way, in the careful exhibition of truth. If you do not like this sort of care, so be it. That is psychological, not logical.
The proof is relatively simple; the rebuttals are relatively numerous. So are medical text books. Health is more simple; it is the distortion which, like diseases, needs attention, each one at its own level.
What you have said, then, at the level of proof, does not actually reach evidential reality or logical validity.
If you really want help to find God, say so.
The Shadow of a Mighty Rock Ch.
1 gives a direct and short approach, yielding demonstration. We deal with tormented twisting to avoid
the simple issue as needed, as in Ch. 3.
Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -
7, also give you some simple help at the more
overall level, and provide verification in many ways in other chapters as you see also in A Spiritual Potpourri.
If there were no truth, because only reactions arrived, it would indeed be difficult to tell it! Yet this is as common as dirt, in the invalid model often used. Since there is truth, and it is demonstrable, and is provided by God, it is not hard to tell it. You after all MAY tell what is there rather than what is not!
Many other aspects are taken elsewhere, for as you seem to realise, people have been trying to overthrow the Bible for a long time, and the mud has piled up. People sometimes prove the truth of the Bible, but people love to ignore what they give. You are perfectly free to join them if you want to, and ignore it for your own desires. We get on with our own tasks.
We are here to help, not to throw away any of the means of it. What we present is what we are ready to discuss, whether you wish to attack it, or to follow it to its great resultant, empirically, rationally, historically and practically self-demonstrating all the time. We merely alert you to the fact; you can turn aside if you like. Freedom is there. Reason remains, proof continues untouched, and the God who gave it likewise.
Reason as is shown in The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, for example, requires that there be revelation, and in particular that the Bible be it; and the Bible requires that you find Jesus Christ as Saviour from sin, including rebellion whether against reason or any other faculty or ability that is granted by God. It is He, the Bible discloses, who was WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS (Isaiah 53:1-6, cf. I Peter 2:21-24). The way to eternity and the knowledge of the One who made the temporal, it is by His wounds, His death, the acknowledgement of the grandeur of our errors, and of His majesty, and of the difference, seen surmounted in His Cross where He died, the just for the unjust to bring us to God ( I Peter 3:18). Faith discerns, reason confirms that it is He who made derivative life and whom death could not break, so that He rose from the tomb, seeing He is sinless and death is only His own created penalty for sin. Therefore He presents life freely, and without temporal limit.
Faith is the way it is found, and it is necessary; for reason does not create it, merely shows it wrong to lack it. People often prefer to trust in themselves, against all reason. That is their option. Freedom is a wonderful thing, and like many wonderful things, it can be abused. However, there it is. God does not depart because His gifts are ignored, or misused, nor the Bible because people refuse to face it, or the reasons for it.
For the present time, nor does the opportunity of salvation depart (cf. Romans 10:9, Titus 3:5-7, John 3), though it be ignored (Hebrews 2:1-3). Spiritually and biblically, this is a question of pathology, and unless it be treated, its last result is of its own kind.
If a stream is flowing past you, you do not really have to drink, even if you know you need it. You are quite free to ignore it, and say that there is so much water there, that you do not really think you should try. You can even call it dry if you want to; but it does not change anything but yourself, to do so. The other way to respond is to drink it (John 4:14, 7:37).