W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
Babies Have their Nappies Changed and they Grow;
but the Changeless God as a Change in His Works,
made the Human Race,
Space for Motion, and Time for Measurement in the Visible Realm
A correspondent has once again spoken on change and God, in ways as far from reality of reason as of revelation in the Bible. For those who would like to revisit this scene, already covered in many writings (cf. *2 below), the following reply, after an earlier two, may prove helpful.
WHAT METAPHORS ARE FOR
AND WHAT GOD IS NOT
You indicate that the biblical metaphors of God are all in human format, are "all anthropomorphic in nature." Thus when it is stated that God is the rock, fortress, as in Psalm 91, my shield and my stronghold, these are in the format of man! I did not realise that man was made of rock, or even had characteristics of one! I did not realise that when in Hebrews 13, we find that our God is a consuming fire, that this is what man is; one would have thought in view of his protoplasmic structure, he would be vaporised by now; and besides, one does not find the fire, actually.
Actuality is your problem. In such ways as this, you make sweeping and illicit assertions, founded on nothing rationally sustainable, and expect empirical fact to follow. It is just that it is stubborn, this little thing called fact, and your errors make no headway, as with all contra-factual error.
God is personal, and in view of being statedly made in His image, it is not surprising that personal points in common, in kind, may be used for explication of the differentials of God; and the similarities, for the sake of fellowship.
When however we learn that there is none like the Lord in heaven or in earth, in terms of His uniqueness (the finite and the infinite - Psalm 145 - have a certain differentiation as the mathematician would realise ...), and read of this uniqueness in Psalm 89:6, and indeed find further that one reason for the exclusion of idolatry is that the tangibilities are so far beneath the spiritual eternities of God: then we again have something esoteric to learn. Actually, one did not realise that these bits of the Bible had by some ostensible authority of philosophy, again contrary to empirical fact, been removed from the Bible. For what then ? inconvenience. Yet there are there, and evaporate any thought of the Bible suffering the visible as the or even a criterion of the invisible, or the metaphor as a mode of creation.
Further, God mocks their use of physical things, changeable things, terminable things, for making things to worship when He is NONE OF THESE THINGS, by nature, in Isaiah 44-46. All this has to go to satisfy your outré, your other Bible, the one you have in your imagination, into which you can happily insert such contrary thoughts.
It appears rather in this way. It is as if you were to say for Hamlet,
To be or not to be, that is some part of the question, and besides my psychiatrist has other thoughts about some of these ontological aspects.
That is NOT Shakespeare, and to seek to interpret it in terms of Shakespeare is like trying to interpret water in terms of steel. Indeed, to try to 'interpret' that would be mere folly, an exercise perhaps in existentialism, but little else. It is not otherwise in your misquotation and mis-generalisations about the Bible. The text resists such manipulation. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the beginning of reasoning is reality. It is no use imagining things and discussing these in terms of something not imagined, but actual: such as the Bible. It is a simple waste of time.
You raise the question of metaphorical language; but it is not really designed as a definition of format, formula or feature.
The use of metaphor is partly to encourage the realisations of similarities. Otherwise, why use it ? It is partly to signify the presence of differences; for otherwise there is no need for the comparison. We deal in identities. Thus when God declares that His heart churns, as in Hosea 11:8, firstly, we do not think He is really stating that a butter churn or some such thing is the nature of His heart, or a constituent - otherwise why use it ? On the contrary, there is an intervention of thought.
We realise the nature of imagery before literalising it into dysfunction. Again, we do not imagine that this means He is suffering from a neurosis, since other statement on His having nothing hidden from Him and declaring the end from the beginning (Hebrew 4, Isaiah 46), make it clear that He has had infinite time to consider before anything happens, and is not in a quake about unknown happenings clouding or shrouding His thoughts. Nothing is unknown to Him (Hebrews 4:13).
We realise therefore, with due use of intelligence and eyes that read the whole of the documentation that is the word of God, that He is conveying through human analogy in this particular case, the depth of His feeling, the strong desire of His love, the grief at seeing the outcome of folly, such as in trying to change Him. Futile is this and costly to those who try to impose their mind and will on the Lord, let alone on His very being, when His unerring judgment comes IN THE END precisely because He does not and will not change, as He Himself swears to be the case, as if foreseeing as doubtless He did, that many would in anthropomorphic mesmeric blindness, pass over the simple fact that it is so.
Immutable is His sworn name, and He is the same.
THE HEART OF GOD:
THE SUBLIME WHICH HUMANITY NEEDS
IF IT IS TO FUNCTION
Indeed, this He repeatedly affirms, in many contexts and settings that one would have hoped that anyone looking at the Bible to find its diction and declaration would at last notice, if not at first.
In Hosea, for example, He is here showing that the judgment which comes on is not without prelude and not without heart; nor is it without being assigned from the first (Isaiah 46:10, Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:29ff.), and stateable with precision (Isaiah 44:25-45:7, Ezekiel 39:17-29, 36:35-36). Divine affinity for man leads to divine diction which is within sharp limits correlative, though ontologically disparate in the extreme; and eventually, the love back of this led to the incarnation, so that as man He could rescue, while yet being God, what only God could rescue. He passed the test as man that man failed, and did not fail to rescue in the realism of the infinite difference of power, which led to the bodily resurrection, those who knowing the difference, repent of the divergence (Luke 13-14).
No one can order all events at will past all power, potencies, insurgencies, contention, contrast and contradiction without two things: immutability, lest the mind changes, or the wisdom, or the insight, or the powers arrayed adversely do so; and power, lest some higher power or grouping of lower powers, PREVENT it. With such limit-free knowledge and power, it can be done, and with such intractable immutability it is an available result. With limits of power, or knowledge, or personality absorbing in who knows what, there are depths out of survey and control. Without them, there are not, and what He declares, He does. That is the code for omnipotence, omniscience and immutability; and that is the code for non-creation, the increate.
Thus He declares (Isaiah 14:27):
"For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it ?
His hand has stretched out, and who will turn it back ?"
This is His world, biblically and actually, and far from having a disjunction from its being, He is the Creator who detests its spoliation, and brings remedy, in the most intensely practical of ways, even to the point of assuming human nature with body, having it crucified, and raising it from the dead. No, not really neo-Platonic, as you may wish to assert, not in the slightest, most infinitesimal way. The world is utterly under His power, intimately under His judgment, grandly offered His Gospel, and this not by force, as in the various force-religions, with or without a god, but in truth, which requires no gun to shove it, nor any inquisition or human bomb, to induce it.
Force is far from being a synonym for involvement, and its absence in matters of faith is equally remote from any view of a world alien by nature from God. It is the intimacy of faith which is the EXACT opposite.
Such views might appear pleasantries, except that error concerning biblical truth is never pleasant.
Again in Isaiah 48, He declares that He is MAKING predictions in His own time and way, lest the rebels from reality from His mouth should try to pretend that their idol had done it! He uniquely because of who He is and no limits of any kind attaching to His extant being, be they potential to reality or reality to differentiation actions, changes of heart or other. Knowledge outside time, embracing all time and seeing past this mere creation, is that of One whom the limits of creation are inapplicable, because HE made them. They did not and do not make Him. They exist because He does; and His eternity alone gives them scope to be, rather than nothing in the realm of creation.
He knows the attacks on truth, and acts to make them ashamed empirically, even for those whose eyes are tightly closed. He in Isaiah, parades repetitively His immutable word, His immutable mind and His immutable understanding. His ways are everlasting (Habakkuk 3:6), not ever-changing.
Thus having made all things clear, He shows His feeling and heart using the language of similarity, as is normal, to make a partial point, divergencies as always, not to the point; and the mind, as in the metaphorical, is to pick up the relevant point, to find it and to feel it in the entire context of the principles of WHO is speaking and WHAT is His nature.
That is why a metaphor is being used, and it may be used in terms of rock or heart, or anything else that His inventive and secure words deposit, surrounded by definitions about Himself aplenty, so that even the obtuse cannot stray without rebellion. Indeed, His Spirit is spoken of in terms of water (as in John 7, Ezekiel 47, and the end of Revelation) and this does nothing to make us wonder whether He be constituted of H20, asking, Otherwise, why mention it ?
Your question is not to the point, but ignores it. The answer is the whole point. Analogy has gain because of difference and similarity. Thus in this case, OBVIOUSLY this means not at all that He has a boiling point or any other buffoonery that might be invented or 'insisted' upon, feel what one may.
Your ideas about the biblical injunction, "Return to me and I will return to you" (Zechariah 1:3) exhibit the same failure to realise that God has defined what He is and is not, with considerable force, and sometimes scorn at rebellious misconceptions.
Thus while God can be represented at repenting of making man, this is to be contained as man-metaphor with the fact that God is Spirit (John 4, Genesis 1) and that His all-knowing mind which foresaw the end from the beginning, as so often stressed in the Bible, is showing the CORRELATIVE of repenting which the metaphorical use of a man-image - conceivable in measure, since man is made in His image, though finite, derivative and contained - makes meaningful.
It is easy to follow the divine grief at mis-performance and the disgust at the presumption, arrogance and folly of man, created so fine, so free; but our knowledge that God had in mind from before even the day of Genesis 3:15 (cf. Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 13:8), the end to occur in the Messiah, who would rescue man even from the sin which he occasioned, provides the context to consider. The 'repentance' in this case therefore, being an obvious and inescapable metaphor, means that the grief is so great and the misuse of talent has been so prodigious, that it strikes to the heart and beings an essential collision with the original aim. It is life-deep.
That is why, as Genesis 3:15 presaged, the divine hurt is necessary to achieve the human help. In actual fact, the incarnation and the Cross were the correlatives of this grief, so revealed. The same grief is shown in Christ in Matthew 23:37 and in Luke 19:42ff.. "He," said Christ, "who has seen Me has seen the Father." Despite the infinity, and indeed because of it, such sight can be wrought by the power of the Spirit of God (John 3), in the heart of a believer, cleansed, corrected and changed to enable transmission. In this way, is He revealed in the One, who being in the form of God, took the form of a servant, but remained who He was: in His nature equal with God, and in His love, formatted as man.
It is necessary, then, as in all metaphor and parable, not to make the sophomoric mistake of trying to make an IDENTITY out of what is by its very nature and usage, a partial probe for similarity in order, in other terms, to stir the mind to apprehend what otherwise it might be slow to perceive. So does literature act in general in such modes, whatever the models in view.
Now let us return to your chosen verse, Return to Me and I will return to you. You speak of reciprocal change, a sort of bargaining apparently, at least in type.
That there is not the slightest idea of change on the part of God, in such a case, is however apparent from the very fact that MAN FIRST returns to God, and THEN, man now being in that position of proximity, God without 'moving' returns to man. Of course, geometry with a Spirit is not to the point; but the incarnation shows the extent to which divine empathy can work, and the point here being spiritual, so is the result.
Come in heart and spirit and mind from an alienated posture, and God will then come to you since you are THERE. Return to Me and I will return to you. That He is willing is the testimony of love, for not all stand until one comes, but many would obliterate in impatience. That He is able so to receive is testimony to His Creator's power. The contrary concept is nugatory. Return to the Lord is coming to where He is; and in this, there is no change except in the one who comes. Imagining to the contrary makes an epic, an Homeric imagination; but it is like all dreams where truth is the criterion, mere excess of expression. In the text chosen, it is a simple contradiction.
Thus, if anything were confused, this seems to be an acme of misrepresentation, once again, of what is WRITTEN.
We even seem to meet from your letter, some concept that God is incarnate in the whole universe, in another escapade moving further out.
is He then in the snapping of the teeth of the wolf on the lamb then ? Is this God who is love ? (I John 4:8). The Bible has a very different depiction of this contradictory amorality and merger of opposites. The subjection of the creation to vanity is not incarnation; it is repudiation of sin and institution of discipline (Romans 8:18ff., 5:12ff.). Death itself is one of its symptoms.
But your new incarnation is yet one so very old... Does evil incarnate as good or vice versa, does the infinite incarnate as part ? Is God incarnate in the trickster in his vile and violent deceit then ? in the false prophets which He denounces utterly and as chaff-makers then, prescribing for their folly the flame that does not die ?
The Bible makes it clear that sin in the wind, brings results in the whirl-wind (Hosea 8:7), that the wrath of God broods over the recalcitrant unbeliever, at war with love and in defiance of truth (John 3:16-17,36). So far from incarnating as what is in part the atrocity of sin and the folly of faithlessness, God is of purer eyes than even to behold iniquity (Habakkuk 1:12-13) and so detests it that He would rather die than allow it to inhabit heaven (Revelation 22:7-8,27), or to reside unchecked upon this earth (Romans 5:1-21, Galatians 3). The extradition of sin from sinners, of its sovereign from mortals and of mortals from mortality by salvation is the thrust of the Gospel.
Another Gospel is not in line with the Bible which declares that if ANYONE preaches such, he is accursed; and that Paul himself would be just the same if he left what he had already declared (Galatians 1). Another Gospel, another word (that of the philosopher in patchwork quilting), another spirit, another view, another God: it is commonplace. It is called idolatry. In logic, it is disreputable, in doctrine, a valedictory to the divine, an excursion into the tyranny of imagination (cf. Jeremiah 23). The word of the Lord breaks rock (Jeremiah 23); but dreams are for sleeping.
THE POWER OF GOD
God incarnate in the whole universe!
Would you then like to have the wrath of God brood over God in a universe of your making, eternally ? Here you have not an explanation of creation, but a desecration of the divine, and a defamation of logic, for this merely means the incisive contest of God's stated judgment on the world and God as author in such an imagined venue, degrading Himself. The Judge would be denouncing Himself, with a fury of moral righteous indignation, and insisting that we should be perfect as He is perfect (Matthew 5:48, Deuteronomy 32:4).
Surely, this trail of treason to reason, which requires God to invent these squabbling gods, is almost as bad as the treachery to truth, as biblically expressed, to which it gives oral if not intended allegiance.
The concept of God as some multiplication of opposites in disarray and clangour is too ridiculous to consider long; but it would mean that there was in such a god, a desire, dynamic or nature to do or have or be one thing, which met with a vigorous clash with another dissimilar one or part or dynamic, leading to war (cf. SMR pp. 580ff.). This would mean that although such a god wanted something, something else in him resisted, or diverged, so creating trouble and dissolution of unity. If such a god were infinite in power, then this would destroy the contrary being, will, dynamic or desire, applying the desire of His will to dispense with the resistance. If he were not, he would be a mere creation. Either way, it is otiose and irrelevant, a mere red herring.
However as dead fish smell, it is best to be rid of it.
Such concepts are so far from the Bible that it is not worth mentioning. ALL THINGS THAT WERE MADE were made by Him (John 1:3). ALL things were in the entire creation, His work. There is God and His creation; that is all (Revelation 4:11, John 1:3, Hebrews 11:3, Colossians 1:15ff.).
It is "all things" which we read were made by Him.
As to Him, as we noted, from everlasting to everlasting He is God. You are not from everlasting if you did not ever last but began. These are the two. To merge them is the work of many religions, but neither of reason nor revelation in the Bible (cf. SMR Chs. 1, 3, 10). Mixing the cause, the delimiter, the format producer, the reason for the inter-and intra-systematics of creation with the derived, determinate or designatees is to explode reason, deny causality and so delete the differentiae which make words possible in definition, and so expression, and hence systematically to make all rational speech cease. That is really the end of any argument, the model which deletes the power of its maker to speak!
It is really and merely the spirit-matter confusion for some reason brought into the biblical picture, which to the contrary declares that the visible was not made out of the visible, but out of the invisible, and differentiates with considerable ironic force, the place of the Maker of eye and ear with that of the user of the same (Psalm 94 - cf. Let God be God Ch. 2 and *2 below). The rationale is not the result, and the cause is not the consequence. Trying to absorb the production into the producer is like trying to make the Brandenburg concerto, part of Bach. It is not just that the two are wholly dissimilar in kind, one creating, one created, one organising, one organised, one a consequence of spirit, the other of pen at work from such a standpoint with its aesthetic and perceptive correlatives: it is that cause and effect confusion is the end of logic and the beginning of model sorrow. It does not work, and not merely silences rational speech as a model, but ignores the fundamental necessities of thought, while using them in order to think.
It is Alice in Wonderland on show, Broadway Version!
As shown in material on the Web these many years, it is useless to ignore the etiological realities, and to seek to have things around for no reason (cf. Causes), mixed formed and unformed, limited and unlimited, originative and servile, with no cause at all for the lot. Reasoning against reason, you dismiss your rational forces and become a rational bankrupt at the inception.
What then of the origins of the delimited, the defined, the determinate, the inter-systematic ? We think back ? It can move or not, but it has to be there to move, and movement has to be relevant and hence instituted in format to occur, and the 'it' which is to do the stuff, the movement bit, has to have the criteria for the movement to be meaningful for whatever you hope to get, and have got, and the potential has to be there to be actualised; for if it were not, there would be no way or possibility and so on.
Inventing something from nothing: epistemologically, as if you could know the truth when without God in the model, it is so mixed with emotions and changes and matrix involvement that it does not exist, as absolute and beyond all and not merely relative to any; or ontologically, as if things arose from nothing, or did not need a cause; and morally, as if what is is the ground of what ought to be, which merely ignores the data -it is as old as laziness and futile as profit without production. All this and a thousand such things represent merely an exercise in irrationality, and in employing what it dismisses, such a model is self-defeating. What it removes by the very nature of its model, it cannot use, and what it cannot use means silence is the only meaningful result.
Thus the matter is over, and what is rational remains alone from competition. What the adverse model implants without warrant is merely something from nothing, by definition a contradiction in terms; and to found a universe on a contradiction in terms is more than ambitious. Creator and creation are necessary, and mergers are mere miasmas of thought, delusive in etiology, dismissive of basis, in ontology. Joint systems, being in part limited, require their construction as well as mere systems.
Thus when you imagine, apparently still talking of the Bible, over its manifold contradictions of your words, which weave in and out of it like a startling driver in traffic, just before his accident, that God is indeed omniscient, it is as you say. However, omniscient MEANS knowing all things. To use this term and then proceed to contradict it in this case is antilogy, and when reason is tossed out, answer is not needed. When you contradict yourself, no one else need do so.
In fact, your treatment in this respect reminds one of that of Muhammad*1, who now citing some nearly biblical statement, now contradicting, now adding from his other sources (legends from Christians or Jews or thoughts of varying kinds, especially those associated with victories and the payments, pains or privileges or anti-privileges to be derived from their effecting what is desired, or on the other hand, from absenteeism - in his case, not least), wove a fabric. It is one of no authority, for it held neither to this or that basis, but contradicting what it affirmed*1, failed to gain basis; while what it added had no verification.
As to the Lord, and His own actual omniscience, not only possible on the biblical model, but necessarily so: this is such that to the jot and tittle He can and does forecast (Matthew 5:17-20, as in The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 2, SMR Chs. 8 and 9) with verifiable, multitudinous precision. The very area of model problem becomes model verification, in all science and logic the confirmatory, verificatory position.
In fact, in Isaiah 41, 43, 46, 8, God tumultuously and ironically and castigatingly challenges the know-alls to reproduce what He does, and forecast as He does, who knows the end form the beginning and IS IT (Isaiah 46:10, 44:6). This means of course that the figments of imagination by which man tries to forecast, with some occasional success, are to be differentiated from the uttermost precision with which God who made him, does so. If He knew less than all, He COULD not do this, far less engage in a vitriolic denunciation of those who ignore the differential between Himself and their puny little arrogant works, where they forget themselves and like Eve, want to join up with God at the top!
This He denounces. It is therefore useless for you to try to move in with God in your various depredations of His unique, infinite, underivative and directive self. You misuse of analogy ignores the nature of the game of analogy completely. Your flinging in of contradictories with biblical words, makes merely a joint production, the bible plus your words. Many people and some churches have had the same idea; but it is really once again, a waste of time. You do not have God's record, and started as a birth, and face death with no ground of appeal. God from everlasting to everlasting is God, and as He declares (Psalm 102, 90). If EVER He were not, He would have nowhere from which to come; and for anything to come from nothing is a hope that makes fairies by comparison a shoo-in.
What from the start is adequate is the only possibility. Indeed, the cause of the delimited, defined not only has to be eternal therefore; but adequate. Otherwise, we would not come, since nothing would be all; but we came.
Furthermore, as God is at some pains to declare in Psalm 102, there is a category of things: the creation. These, the things that are made (the visible is NOT made from the visible as in Hebrews 11:3, nor is it manufactured or created from what is relevant to ocular activity), have a notable feature. They grow old, they dissipate, we are told: thus the second law of dynamics is merely one formulation and it is has never been found contradicted
These things that are made, moreover, we read in Hebrews 11, are changeable, like a cloak: you can move them about, replenish or order them differently, make them have multiple or differential function (Psalm 102:26). From God the difference is absolute, total and categorical. That is the nature of the divine declaration in Hebrews 11.
INDISPUTABILITY OF THE DIVINE IMMUTABILITY
Indeed, the whole universe so far from being incarnation of God, is both to be repudiated with judgment and removed with fire with all its works, while as in Psalm 102, in direct and intentional contrast, of God it declares,
"You are the same, and Your years will have no end."
From what is systematically subject to visibility and mutability criteria, God in His own being is divorced. To take the minute level, so am I divorced from this book: kill it and I live, hate it and I do not wither. Yet I have an affinity for it, for it is a creation from what does not take off to become the book in part or in whole, but of the functional equipment, including my spirit, helped by the Lord indeed, from which it is a product. If it is burnt, I am not therefore burnt. And when the universe is to be burnt up as Peter declared, destroyed as Christ showed, cast away as Isaiah stated (Matthew 23:35, Isaiah 51:6, II Peter 3), then it is made clear that by contrast it is BY the power of GOD that this is done: the God who remains (Zechariah 9:;7, Psalm 90:1).
In all pantheistic conception, partial or total, there is not only logical barrenness, but a contradiction not simply of many biblical verses, but the biblical definition of who God is, and what His functions, nature and spiritual being are; as well as the requirements for its origin, being what it is.
So far from the plain contradiction, in pantheistic models, that the removal of the creation is that of God, as if burning a book were burning the author of it, in clangorous antithesis to biblical teaching to which you so often refer, the presentation is wholly contrary.
The coming removal of it (as in Matthew 24:35, II Peter 3) is in His unchanging purity and truth, law and principles, the result of negative impact on the changing creation, different because now fallen and under curse, and here lies the basis in justice and truth, when He destroys at last the universe. Creator of it (Isaiah 44-46, John 1:3, Colossians 1:15ff.), He who modelled it and made its matrix, He is the One now who acts for the removal of the same. Subject to His jurisdiction, in its supreme component on earth, man, it has flung itself in alienation to destruction (cf. Hosea 13). The removal in His wrath is not substantive to Himself, but as much an expression of His changeless nature and purity, as was the creation before its Fall (Romans 5).
Its subjection to 'vanity' and suffering is as much an impact of His rule as is the judgment to come; just as the presentation in prophecy and practice of the Christ, is as much an impact of His mercy, as heaven to come for those who receive Him. It was always this: God or not God. If not God, then the invention of a god, or a place for man, which would be somehow in-between, and hence illusory for there is nothing in-between infinity and omnipotence, and derivation and dependence. It is one or the other. You are the Maker or the made.
It is BECAUSE He does not change, a fact to which He gives a formal swearing, that we are not all removed already (Malachi 3:6). If temper pushed Him, or a flight of fury should possess Him, or His mercy which endures forever were to cease, short-circuit or blow-up (I speak reverently since this is to ridicule the concepts in view), if justice ceased to be met by pardon, and His commandments bit like dogs with no cover, then man would indeed be destroyed. Intolerable to truth, the lying wonders of man would by now be gone; but in patience (II Peter 3:9), and love God with His promises and heart desire in view, moves till the end has come like fritters in the frying-pan. You CANNOT go further without destroying them (as in Isaiah 57:15). For creation, there are limits; and God knowing these, acts at last to the uttermost.
At last, what is not founded in spirit, or relevant to it, may be compared with the removal of a coat that is old, and is now to be thrown away (Isaiah 51:6). Heaven and earth depart, to be sure, Christ declared; but His words, they will not. They are super-terrestrial and merely rest on this earth as a witness, being established in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
Your thoughts then are not God's thoughts as the Bible attests. Biblically they are other, not merely in terms of our lowly estate as human, but in terms of your categorical rejection of so many biblical data. Indeed as in the general depiction in the Bible for what is not yet reconciled to the God of the Bible, there is the categorical condition for one and all so placed, as Paul denotes it. They are alienated, of another model in thought, feeling and spirit, one that does not because it cannot stand as shown above and in the references below: as to type. Ephesians 4:17-19 outlines this part of the biblical depiction of the thoughts of man, when they masquerade as those of God, or seek to be considered in His company concerning His person (cf. Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 14, Romans 1:17ff.).
As to seeking to avoid the etiological , epistemological, metaphysical and ontological facts, this is likewise unrewarding, for reasons already given, both on the Web, and in this note (cf. Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6, with Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Who Answers Riddles, and Where He is, Darkness Departs).
NOTHING may logically be ascribed to ANYTHING without a cause. Start with it and you end with it. We however are here, so that will not do.
Start, on the other hand, without the adequate and you end without it and whatever it produces.
For man's mind, matter and spirit and their intra-systematic one language correlation you need what is apt in all these domains, in engineering, construction, understanding and creative to the point that a creative spirit as in man, can be and is created. That is what it takes. We are not it. We do not have it, though even our morons are far in advance of imaginary beginnings to which man in his inventively devious mind would super-add*3, thus mentally but not actually providing what is not there in order to ascend themselves (it seems good to use an intransitive verb here in a transitive fashion, or order to dramatise the farce implicit in the point).
SOMETHING requires a cause, unless unlimited, unconstrained, uncontrolled, eternal and merely self-existent. As soon as it is controlled or characterisable in ways other than its own self-sufficient domain, will and desire, it requires the cause of such conditions. What is not of this type, being eternal, immutable and ontologically self-sufficient in every way, is merely what is required for anything not of this nature, to exist, logically. Cause for consequence has to be beyond cause and eternal, or magic must be invited in to do the job. Start without it and you end in the same place. Have it at the first and you have what it wills, and being adequate, models at it will.
If it were not always there, it could not arrive at any time, from nothing. It is eternal that anything might be. If it were to change because it felt like it, then this event would either be programmatic in this, knowing what it was doing from all time and before it, and hence merely making use of formats without changing: and in such terms was Christ, eternal and living word of God, in due and foretold time sent (Isaiah 48:16 cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 4); or else it would be incidental. If the latter, this would involve things as in an anthropmorphism of thought on the part of man, things occurring of which the god had no knowledge, or control, or understanding: events in its interstices arriving to demand or request their day, into which interesting thought the god in view might peer.
This however means that there is a created constitution beyond itself, that it is not self-sufficient, and hence is delimited, defined, and etiologically this requires for that impact, a reason, a cause. The being in view then, the item in view in such a case is not God, but a god of the imagination, giving no account of its existence and shaveable with Occam's razor to commence.
This being so, how much more so if the god were to change because forced to do so, against its will, being thus implanted in an arena which despite all power in the Creator's hands, and so not the Creator, but a planting by the One who is.
God is what He is, and changes not though the universe by its very nature changes, says Hebrews 1. He is love, we learn from John 4:7ff.. Love suffers long and is kind, but is not blind.
You inveigh against the love of God in the biblical revelation, while apparently in this menagerie of mutation which you present instead, seeking to adopt its vital character, and ask how that could be loving which does not save what passes away ? That is like asking how a husband could be loving when he does not work to support his wife; and not even ASKING whether he in fact works! The conservation of personality, ex-sin, is one of the feats of the resurrection with which no futile phrasing can compete, or soulful but illogical exclusion of divine action, attain,
The lack of the empirical is what makes this sort of mixed if not mangled thought un-useful, and it is one type in which I do not engage loosely, since it is confusion upon confusion, and breeds yet more from its undisciplined interstices.
Yet one hopes and trusts in the changeless divine mercy, so that we are not consumed since it is so reliable and steadfast, as Malachi 3 indicates so forcibly, that someone somewhere may be helped by the testimony of biblical truth, and by the provision of a reason for the faith (I Peter 3:15); and that it is to the glory of God that these errors are pointed out. It is not a simply individual matter, but systematic in such cases, the only question being the particular manner in which the loss of the biblical Christ is manifested (John 14:6, Ephesians 4:17-19).
It is so easy to err before finding the Lord, and error systematically finds its place by the very nature of what is evacuated! Certainly, sin does not cease afterwards, when one has found Christ (I John 1:7ff.); but with surrender to truth (as in Luke 14), there is a changeless basis, which one can find strengthening, healing, loving and immutable, never providing disorientation (John 8:12, 9:4-5). One is then not wrong ab initio, logically, but helped a posteriori. One then is in the demonstrable, verifiable, uniquely presented truth.
This ? It is biblically and so actually in
|the One such that to see Him is to see God (John 14),|
|the One such that before Abraham was, "I am",|
ultra-temporal, who is not inscribed in this world of change as to nature,
but occupied a position in it as mission, with the various restraints to make the mission real
in vulnerability, but not in sin,
|He who provides
meaning for all, method to all, the way for any, explanation of all and
confirmation of all who in consistent testimony went before, the prophets of the Bible (cf.
The Glow ... Ch. 8, Matthew 5:17ff., 26:52-56):
HE DOES NOT CHANGE.
Hebrews advises us of this fact (13:8). The garment of flesh may change (Hebrews 2, Philippians 2); not the spirit of the One who committed His Spirit to the Father, as in John 19, before leaving.
He is not subject to change yesterday, in the past; nor is it so today, in the present; nor is it to be found forever in the future. He is immutable.
What is not fixed or fired by process, it not dreaming originations because it knows all, is already what it would be for knowing all it is just that, what can perform anything: it is the same. Time is its product; space is its drawing room; power is its pre-requisite, eternity is its nature, perfection is its eternal attainment, and what is diversified is the mere product of creation, fostered by creativity in the Lord, and festering in its misuse. If it were at any time less than its all-knowing desires, then the power would prevent the arising of what the knowledge would foresee; and then, gain, even that is a concession to the time which is itself a creation, in order to trace the impossibility the more readily for the imagination to perceive. That is a simply didactic use. However the use to create God is a misnomer!
It is in this misuse that it imagines that the Almighty might like a holiday, a development, a change of air, of nature; and so anthropomorphically placing the Creator in the limiting domain of time and its processes, progresses and retardations, makes an idol.
It does not take massive insight to perceive that the "I am" John 8:58), not I was and will be, is not subject to the variations and vicissitudes of time, and HENCE His words are CERTAIN to coincide with every detail of the future, since He knows it from the first, as He states. A being ostensibly changeable, again, but only in terms of his own program, purpose and settled decision, is merely apparently so, changing office or clothes on the basis of the central mission and oversight which remains to effect all things; but a changeable one by advent of the unknown, is subject to conditions imposed, and not in His own possession, and hence is one set up and delimited, an imaginary 'vanity' as the Bible calls it, a contradiction in terms. That is not really suitable for worship.
In such a case as this last, the One who did it and imposed it, He would be God. The residue changed would be a mere component under His jurisdiction, whom no compulsion can control, all being not only made, but foreseen and foreknown by Him who, beyond time, eternally is what He would be. He is not two gods fighting; He is One on whom all causation depends, not constructed by a maker of diverse deities, but immutable, unlimited, the source and logical necessity for anything ever.
The imagined god would be imaginary only. It is useless to avoid the necessary for a little holiday from thought; reason also does not change, nor does the breach of its rules. It is so because God made us in His image and chooses to reason with us with the reason which is His (Isaiah 1).
Your concept that the whole world in terms of classical theism - whatever that is, unless you mean biblical theism, which is clear, sure and univocal - becomes an anti-God principle is more strident than defensible. It is in fact awash with intrusion of biblically alien thought, and has nothing on which to ground the misconception.
ANTI-GOD IS SIN NOT SYNDROME
An anti-God principle is what is entirely or essentially directed against Him. Now we are ostensibly talking, I seem to recall, of what has some kind of relationship other than adversative, to the Bible - for there we find, after all, "He works all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11). That is not exactly essentially adversative to His being, but rather expressive of it, including any curse which He may impose as in Romans 5:12ff., Genesis 3 and Romans 8:17ff.. A disciplined world is not one anti-God by misconception, but chastened or chastised by him, by divine conception. He rules.
The will is the criterion, for it is DONE as He in His timeless knowledge sees fit, whether by allowing it to find its own results (as in the last verse of Psalm 1), or imposing discipline direct; and He acts in time from beyond it, but infinitely far from being averse to it which He has made, whether these events which He enables, allows, endorses or rebukes, are for discipline, wisdom, correction, introspection by man or other. It is HIS affair in HIS world by His fiat and in terms of His resolutions of what arrives to meet HIS plan.
Nothing therefore could be further from the misconception in view. Such is not the case in some assemblage of programmatics, prescriptions or limitations (cf. Psalm 115); but with God who does "Whatever He pleases" (Psalm 115:3, Ephesians 1:9, Isaiah 44:24-45:3) there is power unlimited and purposes of settled knowledge.
Thus in the last noted biblical passage, God indicates that His word will be fulfilled, that He will frustrate the contrary words of the presumptuous false prophets, scarifying their name and leaving their results apparent as null, so that He "drives the diviners mad". It is His world and quite simply, He rules it. We find indeed that He "turns men backward, makes their knowledge foolishness" amidst the realms of those who being anti-God are daring to contest the truth, compete in the action or make their ideas stick fast. By contrast He will "confirm the word of His servant".
God has made man, and freedom; and when the former misuses the latter, especially in making caricatures of God or inventing new gods, then He takes pleasure in indicating, like a wise professor, the folly of the evil antics of these misfits. This is no world misconceived relative to the divine sovereignty, but seen in terms of the mission for liberty and love, in the midst of sin and iniquity, as the realities are exhibited (Ephesians ), until the judgment sits. A neo-Platonic world in which some poor old form of good tries a few things, and doesn't achieve too much in the midst of those who do not get the vision is so very different, and appears to have some correlation with what you propose.
It would be a world of forms, ideas and negotiation, so that truth would be invisible in the relativistic midst, each contestant a component, each vision a contribution, and knowledge of truth impossible. It would be one without verifiability, since there is nothing by which to verify, truth being an absentee. It would be a mere figment, fashioned in defiance of etiological necessities, proposed in imaginative laissez-faire, and incomparably alien from the Bible and reality alike.
But the Bible depicts a verifiable God, whose word takes hold and lasts, does not sway or alter, whose ways are those of the God which reason demands, in order that we might be, so that reason, revelation and history form a friendship which mere imagination cannot duplicate; for it lacks the power to take hold of facts, truth or reality, merely mouthing. But consider the enormity of this anti-God world concept which you seem to propound, in place of biblical teaching. It is the very opposite, and far from apposite as a conception of what the Bible declares.
Let us further the attestation of that fact.
Is it then anti-God of which HE says, " I will work and who will reverse it!" (Isaiah 433:13) ? Moreover, this is His way of acting since "Before the day was, I am He," in terms such as Jesus Christ used of Himself, as noted above.
Time and space are His creation as seen in Romans 8:39-39, Colossians 1::15ff., and as to an alien universe, it is the opposite of the one which He made, in which as He states of the stars, for example, "When I call to them, they stand up together". This He depicts as the One who made the very heavens. This does not sound too adversative. Indeed, He makes it clear that to teach man how detailed is His knowledge and how vast His power, He predicts the very name of a king to come when Israel, duly punished for its sins, in the form of Judah in fact, is at length liberated from its exile.
It is to be Cyrus (Isaiah 44-45), "that you may know that I am the LORD". In His sovereign majesty He rules this world for all the equations of liberty and the enormities of sin, showing compassion (as often in Psalm 78 in the period reviewed, summed in vv. 38-39) or passion (as in Hosea 13:14 where the incarnation is envisaged and foretold, as in Isaiah 9, Micah 5), to enable justice to be met while mercy is expanded (as in Isaiah 53).
You appear to confuse ontology with liberty, so that an anti-God SORT of world is imagined in its essence, rather than a world designed, created and ruled by God, who WANTS liberty and ENABLES its exercise, DEALING with the results initially, as in Eden and Israel, medially, as at Calvary in love, and then finally in judgment.
The scroll is great, like that for the DNA in man's body; but the realities are not a world beneath notice or alien in concept, but one where many but not all, remain alienated from God by the misuse of their wills, in the vast panorama of history in which the God who shall reign for ever and ever, and does whatever He pleases in heaven and earth, and acts as in Ephesians 1 according to His good pleasure. The wonder of the world of creation for the children of God who willingly follow Him is the most intimate work of grace, as far from the structural systematic but volitionally decrepit Platonic concepts as you could wish. The decrepit wills of man do not alter the world's nature, but enable the misuse of nature, including their own, in this world. It is pathology, not anatomy which is the biblical and observable phenomenon.
Obedience is His requirement, which brings liberty in its wonder through love in its composure. When rebellion brings tragedy to man, God supervenes with mercy, if it be received, or judgment, precisely as He foreknew; and thus prophesying, He made clear to man that the universe is His, and in it His justice, love, mercy, redemption, and judgment have their place at His good pleasure. To the jot and tittle, the future is known, and the policies, principles and intentions are all worked out. He states, and it is done; and who, as we saw, He asks, can countervail! If they wanted to, they would have a marvellous chance to do so by simply breaking His word by instituting its demise.
Whether it be Israel back to stay until He comes, in defiance of multiple nations who seek to annihilate it, as predicted, or to adjust its borders, as likewise indicated (cf. His Wounds ... Ch. 3, SMR Ch. 9), or efforts to join Christianity with devilish doctrines, as foretold in II Timothy 4, because of itching ears (cf. News 121, 122, The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet Ch. 2): it all happens. Even the works of those who hate God are foretold, as if a commander on D-day had told the Germans precisely about Normandy and still won! Indeed, as seen in the above SMR reference, the whole gamut of the schema including Israel and Gentiles alike, is foretold, and may be itemised. It rushes to fulfilment like an express train, bent on keeping to its time schedule.
As to God, the Author of the Bible (I Peter 1, II Peter 1, II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20 cf. SMR Appendix D), He does not change, period.
As to the Bible, its word works and verifies itself over some 3 and one half millenia, while sciences vary enormously in a decade (cf. Scientific Method ...).
As to this world, It does change, has changed and will change until it is destroyed, all in the manner foretold. As it was to be, so it all is and comes to be, and continues. The fall was foreseen because the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8), and He knows the end from the beginning. The two are reciprocals, the one being the ground, cause, basis and origin of the other; and the other the dependency, authored production and disposition of the One.
The first acted in love; the second fell in sin. The first operated in majesty; the second became spiritually dysfunctional in degradation. The one showed love, the other hatred; the one works, the other shirked the works to do its own.
That is the message of Romans, Hebrews. Such is the Lord, and such is this world. Filled with evil, it is contested by love; swilling sin, it is sought by grace; in a condition of false volition, it is stricken by consequences, and called to mercy.
It fails, it falls, it is cursed, it is cured, it has redemption available, it rebels more, some come, the results accrue, the messages and results accrue, the words, ways and wisdom to provide knowledge are shown as in a laboratory, and to eternity the messages and results are available! (cf. Ephesians 3:10).
He acts when He pleases, waits when He pleases (cf. Isaiah 32:14-19, Hosea 5:14-15), teaches what He will, directs nations, rebukes them, pays them (as in Ezekiel 29:17ff.); and yet you would have some sort of adversative relationship ? It has nothing to do with the Bible any more than have the other contraventions in which your letter appears so readily to indulge, while you seeming to want to have the shadow of scripture at the same time, the work of the Rock without the implantation of it (I Corinthians 3:11).
The neo-Platonic sort of universe which is not a direct creation, but has forms and ideas and ways (although the Timaeus did a little better), this may or may not suit you. It has nothing to do with the Bible.
Realism is one of the chief criteria of the Bible, and the containment of evil, not the enlightenment of the wise by nature, along with the performance of His strategy and spiritual desires, is shown in vast detail, with empirical fulfilment the directly inculcated accompaniment (as in Isaiah 48), like a drum beat. It is as I said, it is done as foretold: it is time to repent! (cf. Isaiah 1, 48): thus repeatedly comes the message like the rolling of the surf, while many forsake the shores for the dust.
So comes the message to the recalcitrant, who often, the more they are confronted with verifiable truth, vacate the scene of the same, with ardent, errant philosophic guesswork, based on nothing but inclination, void of verification, destitute of rationality. To depart from the wisdom of God is to practice a courtship with a coffin, an amour with death (Proverbs 8:36). To follow the wisdom of God with hunger, like an eager dog awaiting the advent of his master, this is where life is abundant, because here it is to be found, unfoundering. Here is the eternity which made time, and having time for time, gave time its ultimate glory, the Cross of Christ (Galatians 6:14).
It is here for a time, for 'here' has to go; but its results are for eternity: and its heavenly beauty is for ever (Revelation 5).
NOTHING changes the will and word and work of the One who, swearing He does not change, observes that this is precisely why sinners may still exist, before the day of judgment comes (Malachi 3:6, Acts 17:31, Isaiah 59). Much often tries to do it; but it fails, and the word of God proceeds as in Isaiah 37ff.. Its mercies are as practical as peaches, and its judgments as sure as mathematics, and more sure, for that is constructed by minds made by God in the material universe made by God: but judgment is constructed by God only.
Whether it is by fiat, or in response to faith, so it was to be; and so it comes to be. Thus it is for man.
Indeed, you see the sovereign sway of the immovably faithful, irrevocably good and utterly holly God continually, in the Bible, in His unchanging detestation of sin, deceit, deviousness, double-mindedness, changeableness, uncertain ways and the prodding paths of confusion (cf. Isaiah 1, 8-9). How great is the contrast of counsel and truth, as in Isaiah 9:6-7, eternal in its impact, irresolvable as truth is, in its light, which knowing all, can show all and will! Isaiah 8:19 to 9:7 marshalls the contrast to eternity, overshadowing the temporary mutability of the disenchanted, disagreeable and dark.
Thus, for example, James 1 is full of the normative biblical doctrine of divine aseity, invariability, steadfast resolution, making all idea of mutation in continuation precisely the abomination which the swearing of God to the contrary makes clear in Malachi 3:6.
If He changed, His words, His ways, His reliability, His faithfulness, His very being would be mutant, like those who, being created, suffer impact from contrary forces. It is not so with the One on whom the forces depend for very existence.
In his first Chapter, James derides and rebukes the double-minded weakness of many, the duality of the unintegrated, and shames lack of faith elementally: the doubter is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
Endurance, to the contrary, of temptation, of test, he declares to be the godly option, contrary to the entertainment of mere desire, growing from its birth to the devastation of death.
In James 1:16-17, he enjoins us not to be deceived, pointing out that the good and perfect gifts - contrary to the trash and slash of transience, and tribulation from it - come from God, the Father of lights. Every illumination has its source in Him, every energy that shows, that enables knowledge, that points the path. As to Him, this light is invariable, vital, irrepressible, unaltering, abiding, without internal clash or discord, bearing forth a pure illumination undisturbed by any elemental forces, assured and with the authority of the Author.
Accordingly, says James in 1:17, in God there is no variation. This word in Greek means variation, alteration, interchange, moving from this to that, casting about, as when saw teeth are set one way, and then nearby, another. There is nothing alongside, nothing variable, interchangeable, alternative. This is the meaning of the term in the noun, and in the allied verb.
Nor, James continues, in God is there any shadow cast by any turning as in a heavenly body, by motion: there is nothing absolutely of the character of change within or without, in nature or manner, in ways or heart.
Reason and revelation are like twins in this, and verification of the word and ways of God over time is like the impact of a hammer, jointly wielded; and indeed, revelation asserts the same of reason! (Romans 1:17ff.).
Now to your last point, about check-lists. It may 'seem' to the highly unbiblical mind-set which is depicted in your letter, as attested above, that this is what happens when theologians make up 'points about God'. That is a very revealing thing to find said!
Once again generalisation is no substitute for thought, far less what appears merely as undisciplined imagination. Some people may do many odd things, and having various bents, act them out. Some may be "almost Christian" -
Christ for example ?
|or engaging in making a new christ to
fiddle with, as in II
a completely satisfying procedure for some, like inventing a judge for the Bench
when under judgment, and setting him up there and purring at his erring.
They may use Christ
|as a spring board for thought, or
|as a name into
which to import irrelevant and unbased philosophies,
using His prestige as a talking point for what has in itself no warrant whatever.
That however is not the Christ who died for sin, whose word is truth and whose testimony has stirred the world, impregnable and powerful, whose promises stand fast and whose verifiable word does not falter (cf. The Pitter-Patter ... SMR Chs. 8-9, It Bubbles ... 10 -11). Neither a wafer nor a waiver helps; neither ecclesiastical nor secular false marriages of alien philosophy manage anything but confusion (cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088D, How Great ... Ch. 11).
Only the Christ who came as predicted, acted as foretold, performed what could not be contained and whose word rules visibly to this hour: only He saves (John 10:9), and being omniscient and omnipotent, unchangeable, assures eternity to His own (John 10:7-28). It is because He changes not, that we are not consumed, as the word of God dramatically, repeatedly and categorically affirms. Consumed ? yes, first of all in mere dismissal as sinners, and then, for being imperfect even after salvation. In contrast, as in Romans 5:6ff., not only did the eternal redemption come freely (Isaiah 55, Romans 3:21ff., Galatians 5), merely needing in faith in Christ, to be received; but there is His assured keeping through salvation. That for which the cost is infinite is not left open to ineluctable assault but preserved with passion (cf. John 10:27-28, Ephesians 1:1-11).
Invariable, God provides words and grace is no less. Indeed, the Hebrew word for truth accordingly involves stability: what endures. It is a prize of the Eternal One (Isaiah 33:6, 57:20, I Peter 1:24ff.).
Some other door enters, but not to Him or His kingdom; and some other way leads, but not back to the Lord (Matthew 7:15ff.).
Again, some, wholly antagonistic, may act more obviously in the various waters of unchartered humanism, making man's thought the criterion of truth while truth, on their own model, does not because it cannot exist, far less declare itself to the relativistically conceived non-meters called 'men' which work in reactions innumerable.
These meters that measure without being measurable themselves, they are themselves as they conceive it; and some of these love to pester churches, like wolves in sheep's clothing (cf. Barbs 6 -7, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, How Great ... Ch. 11).
However, no combination or correlation achieves, in such a conception, anything for absolute truth, for a mere muddle of mismatch proceeds, where no ultimacy having all power and knowledge, can intimate at will, the same. Often philosophically inclined people smuggle their own minds into the equation, so that having a system without truth, they nevertheless qua themselves, have the truth by magic!
AUTONOMOUS MAN SYNONYMOUS WITH EXPIRING IMAGINATION:
THE CHANGELING MUST CHANGE, FOR GOD IS THE SAME
As Paul puts it in II Cor. 11,
"measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, these are not wise."
This imagination of knowing the truth of things without God is of course a testimony to the natural instinct of man, and a verification of their creation by Him. Being made from God, they naturally tend to assume truth is available without too much thought. In this state, man may well and frquently does decide to speak it from the depths of his shallowness; and it would be available, this truth, if he did not think autonomously, so becoming superficial, and did not try to erect truth with himself its mainstay and criterion. So does man delude himself and build on sand specially made by his contracting with vanity.
He, born without his own permission, to cease without his consent is to announce all things ? From the midst of his milieu he is to gain outside perspective, and see not what throbs and hobnobs, or hates, but the actualities of all ? Next we will have cogs praying and lepers record-breaking athletes.
But that, it is the nature of autonomous man. The sky is the limit, and he is above the sky. Such virtual gods, like virtual images, have nothing to contribute outside the image. Immersed in his multiplicities, he has no more idea of the will and wisdom of God than does a mouse, surveying the scene of the animal world, while being chewed by a cat, realise the interstices of his world.
For absolute truth, you need the Absolute, and it needs to be self-disposed and capable to communicate to you from itself, without the corrugations of your roadways altering it. With God, this is not only possible, but a breeze, for as Peter puts it, "holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit". The term 'moved' is that used of the Euroclydon, tempestuous wind, which drove the ship on. When the heart is willing, the soul made by God, when He appoints it for His prophets of old, leading on to Christ and with Him, can as readily receive the revelation in words taught by the Spirit (as explicit in I Corinthians 2:9-13), as a home receive the message of the TV studio.
To be sure, this is mere metaphor; but the inter-communication of personalities when it is the will of the One to direct the other, in the suite of scriptures given from God, this is factual function, testable in event, confirmed by Christ (Matthew 5:17-20), who confirmed Himself by His own works (as in John 14), and whose words confirm all over again as history follows them like a lamb.
Whatever, however, man without God chooses to do, in his psychic proclivities and spiritual innovative programs, flitting like a willie-wagtail, now here, now there, it is not a way to find how the realities of reason lead to the place where God exhibits who He is, the Bible in word and His Christ in life.
A way to do this, for example, is shown in SMR, which is so different as to present a contrariety in totality to the imagination of listing ideas, and ticking them as you suggest for theologians. In fact, the things made and the works of God declare themselves as in Romans 1:17ff., and in life. It is necessary however to open the eyes to see (cf. Matthew 13:14ff.); and lazy lids are a fashion, indeed to fast close the eyes in slumbering sloth is almost a position for the prize (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).
It is a matter of perceiving and following the things done, in their remorseless, inexorable lead to the necessary minima from which they derive, and the empirical realities to which they relate (What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4)l and then having found what alone meets reason's quest, the Bible, reading it! As Romans 1:17ff. declares, of God the eternal nature and divine power is obvious: one has to present it, that is all. Closed minds are no excuse for uninformed spirits.
In fact, speaking particularly, as is laid out in detail in SMR, reason forces in its integrity, to the God of the Bible, and the only lists, when it has done this, are those found from Himself. He tells us WHO He is, WHAT He is, HOW He acts and WHY, and then does it; and next verifies in history what He has stated in personally, quasi-programmatic prophetic speech, while ruling as He promises, in the submissive heart and leading in the paths of righteousness in His own inimitable way (Psalm 143:9ff.). The DNA is His device for the body, and the doctrine of the Bible His decision for the mind, while the Cross is His provision for the heart and the resurrection of the body (SMR Ch. 6) exhibits His power for the spirit (cf. Ephesians 1:19). Such are some of the always totally self-consistent nodes of reality.
The end of thought is found in the beginning of action. God does. The rational and the empirical are friends ONLY when each respects the other. It is useless to use particles of imagination and place them riotously alongside the Bible when acting as if such were biblical; as it is for such maverick intrusion into the work and word of Another, giving no grounds that stand for the practice. It is futile to try to mix not merely metaphors but matrix on various sides.
If you are reasoning, follow reason; if you are reading, follow the text. In the mixtures in your presentation, neither process is followed in fidelity; but rather a cocktail of imagination, textual omission, errant generalisations and personal desire is offered. It may be heady, but it lacks basis in reason, contradicts revelation and fails test or even testability, except where reason rejects its claims.
As to reason and revelation, each must be followed, reason to the Bible and revelation in it. Leaving equipment idle is no excuse. The basic method is seen in SMR pp. 316A at *18, as in What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4
This is the way which presents coherence and logical compulsion as shown. Here is the avenue which permits cogent, clear-cut confirmation on all fronts (as in SMR Ch. 5 and Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host), systematically; and verification on all sides, empirically (cf. SMR Chs. 8--10).
Reason and revelation make wonderful twins, the one to find, the other to show. Thus, in SMR we follow the one and find the other and then investigate it. There is found salvation through Jesus Christ. The alternative is to deny testimony as in Proverbs 1, with the results this world is enduring, like a truant car, hating service stations. Worse for it, the results are precisely as predicted, as the Age comes to its end (Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
All who hate Me, love death! says this same wisdom of Proverbs 1, in Proverbs 8:36. Creating gods may seem to be fun, but obeying God is functional.
Next for you, here are some of the detailed dealings with such topics as those which you relate, and which I have in many ways treated before; but in the love of God one has once more brought out such things, with this. I LIST them (note that this is not a way of making up a god or two, from some sort of lists, but quite simply of telling you where to find things) below (*2).
If you should list or will to continue, regrettably, since the presentations I receive are in essence repetitive and rebutted again and again, this would have to be rejected. Even reject 'on the second admonition' (Titus 3:10), has been as liberally interpreted as possible; and you have had ample already. It is only because it seems you have been reading something of what is presented, and so may have ... changed, and in some things you do seem to have dropped somewhat, that one acts again in hope for you. No however more is forthcoming. The errors have been corrected so much that it becomes otiose, and nothing substantially new arises.
When flat contradiction of a text, here the Bible, and of multiple texts, and no answer but repetition is provided for the feat, then the concept of interpretation becomes not merely irrelevant, unjust, but misleading. This being confusion, there is no point in sharing it. One exhibits it, and when the Lord sees fit to alter the will, so be it. One hopes it may be soon.
Hence this closes the matter for the second and last time, and further correspondence is not to be received.
May the Lord be kind to you, and lead you to Him, where He may be found (Isaiah 55), which is where He always has been and will be, near to the humble and contrite heart (Isaiah 66:2, Psalm 34:17), and ready to hear those who call on Him with all their hearts (Psalm 145): being immutable in glory (Hebrews 6:17), so that His counsel does not change, beyond the visible (Hebrews 11:1ff.), and is unconditioned by it. Changeless, He speaks what does not change (Galatians 1, I Peter 1:23, Isaiah 40:7-8), for a changed being would have changed utterance from His changed reality.
Neither His will, way nor word changes; not yet His Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). No, it does not change from the very day in which Paul wrote Galatians, and is just what Isaiah depicted in his day (cf. SMR Ch. 9, TMR Ch. 3, Barbs... 17), and was implied in no small part from the very Fall, as in Genesis 3:15, often aptly called the protevangelion*4; nor does it change from the time of Isaiah, so often cited, as by Peter in his epistle. Nor did God do other than make clear that this would be so (Isaiah 59:21), when tracing some of the events at the end, as One knowing the end, may so readily do when it seems fitting!
Indeed, He expressly tells Israel that He will make a practice of this, in the covenant period, in Amos 3:7; and how marvellously He did, a thing noted as verified in Isaiah 48:6ff.. It was extended in scale with emphasis on the terminal events spiritually, geologically, militarily, necrotically (Revelation 6), astronomically, ecclesiastically and socially in such sites as II Timothy 3, 4, II Peter 2, Matthew 24, Luke 21, Acts 20, and all of this is given special attention in Answers to Questions Ch. 5.
Maker of time, that co-ordinative capsule of
so that change in time is irrelevant to His being,
beyond it and overseeing it (Psalm 11), casting off visible things as a garment, though redeeming His own
from the mêlée before its conclusion (Psalm 102, Romans 5, 8, Matthew 24:22),
other than man who lives in and with time (Psalm 89), time His mere creation
for those and that concerned (Romans 8),
it is He who says, I am what I am,
having no ontological impact from time,
though inhabiting it in the format of Christ to secure to eternity
those who are to put on immortality and cast off corruptibility (I Corinthians 15),
the fruit of faith, the work of atonement, the gift of redemption (cf. Romans 8:23).
The whole concept of change to which we as inhabitants of the created universe (John 1:3) are subjected, according to measure, principle, promise and relevance in each case (I Peter 1:4ff.), is adversative in kind, principle, categorically and ontologically, to God as seen in Hebrews 1:10ff., 11-12; just as reason likewise shows. Thus, Romans 1:17ff. points out: obvious are His eternal nature and divine power. Wresting against truth instead of resting in it, man, restless, becomes so addled that with all the resources of this world, of his intelligence, imagination and liberties and spirit (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5, SMR pp. 348ff.), his woes increase astronomically, as though he were, as in much he is, possessed! (cf. I John 5).
What then ? The world of temporal event and creation ? and its parts ?
"they shall be changed; but You are the same" (Hebrews 1:10-12).
He is eternal so that this world is atypical of Him in temporality and all that this involves, being subjected to what is not to be found in His own unlimited ontology. The bond of penal subjection is found only by sin and incipient judgment of what is contrary to Him, without whom its own being is mere muddle in the midst of darkness, with flashes of ghoulish light as now seen more and more in the varieties of extremistic force-religion, and subtler contrivances of emptiness.
This bond however is found, as in Genesis 3 and Romans 8:20ff., and great is its force and the fighting against it, before the end comes (Matthew 24:12, Acts 17:31 cf. Psalm 2 as in 183 ). The world in its created state is expressive of Him (cf. John 1); but in its fallen state is regressive from Him; in its ontological state it is not adversative, but articulated. It is sin which is adversative.
For this reason, the word of God says in holy consistency, "God is not a man that He should repent" (I Samuel 15:29) of His decisions made beyond time and applied to it, but can 'repent' as expressible in human terms, of the destruction of what has sullied itself to the point of desolation (like Saul), to make of it a Paul.
In other words, there are as explained in detail in Ezekiel 33, Isaiah 1: divorces through sin, divergencies through folly, and convergences through repentance and redemption. What He has in mind to declare as the finality and to come, as in Matthew 23-24, will come; and what in the procedures of testing and seeking, He declares as fitting and in train to come, may be revoked by divine fiat, known before to God, but only now shown to man. Thus Hezekiah's death was in train; but it stopped on application and repentance and humbling on the part of that king, through divine mercy. The option was known always to God, now revealed in its breach of the normal and natural way of things. God intervened. Known to Him are all His works from the foundation of the world (Acts 15:18).
Tenderness seeks to prevent what truculence would insist, and what justice would require. However, when sovereign decision is announced as such in predictive assemblages, it simply happens, all preliminaries being incorporated in the wisdom which now shows the END, concerning the work of the God who KNOWS the end from the beginning anyway (Isaiah 46:10). Thus the Christ who wept as in Luke 19:42ff., is not other than the Lord who sought for Ephraim as in Jeremiah 31:17ff. (cf. Isaiah 45:22ff. with Philippians 2:2ff., where the ONLY GOD is the one to whom every knee shall now in each case). Thus comes His annunciation in John 8:58. In predestinative glory the same God did the works, for He foreknew whom He predestinated, apart from all works (Romans 9:11), and in this His divine and eternal knowledge is security indeed, and equity and righteousness and power (The Glow ... Ch. 8).
It is no use trying to harass the facts; you have to understand them, and to do so, as in mathematics, you have to know the supervening laws and see the particulars in their terms. If not, you simply do not understand the hierarchy of logic; or in this case, the priorities of judgment and mercy.
In such things, His nature is as self-defined, and His works can use metaphor which so far from contradicting the principle, which always stands, are interpreted in its terms, as in any science, where the particular is understood in terms of the relevant laws which stand over it.
LOOKING BACK AND ON
Thus, says Hebrews 1 of the visible universe, "Like a cloak, You will fold them up," yes heavens and earth, the entirety of creation as in Isaiah 51:6.
That is their nature by indefeasible definition vastly different as delimited by God, from Himself, and as derivable, open to judgment; but says the Bible, "You are the same." Yet He who is the same has such compassion for those in this creation, that He came as one of them, and such concern that He died that any receiving the eternal redemption thus supplied, could be removed from the blight of the judgmentally temporal, and brought to the bliss of the new creation which inhabits eternal life, as a gift of grace from God (Hebrew 9:12, II Corinthians 5:17ff.).
The world is not an alien; but alienated; and God is not alien from it, but from its evil ways chosen; and He is not unakin in His mercy, but sovereign and pure in His being. Nothing further from the truth could well be imagined than a God who is by nature dealing with an outré world per se: it is is proclivities which count, being evil (cf. Genesis 6, Matthew 24). His passion for compassion bridges any breach; but not that of ultimate unbelief.
Thus not only is He the same;
|not only is this the case in comparison and contrast with the world of material change;|
|but it is so in terms of|
|a human perishing,|
|as distinct from an eternity of abundant life,|
|as distinct from the undefiled,|
|a temporal nature (as in I Corinthians 15),|
|as distinct from the immortal.|
So intimate and compassionate and involved is God with this world that though its end is clear, its participants are sought with an eternal zeal, saved where there is the bond of faith, secured by pangs indescribable (Hebrews 5:7) except through His word and Spirit.
Whatever is of the nature of change and decay, alternation and alternation is far from the Lord ontologically. He has invented the world in which it both can and does occur empirically and pathologically and it is not forced to abandon this; while the remedy for it is both is and has been proclaimed, invariant for millenia (cf. TMR Ch. 3, Barbs... 17).
From the domain of creation, ontologically, He is in nature entirely different in majesty, dominion, immutability, celebrity, sovereignty, the omniscience of prophecy and the power that can and does challenge man to repent and be redeemed.
Man may indeed seek to imitate the consequences of both immutability and omniscience, but fails being other, a creation not the Creator. It is an inane effort, that. As to God, He is the unchangeable SOURCE in eternity, having created the limits and delimitations of time, as an author a book; and this being so, for that reason UNDEFILABLY, He proceeds everlastingly (Psalm 90) without termination or extermination, modification or mixture of His word, His truth and His being: as stated (I Timothy 6:14-16, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102, Hebrews 1, Psalm 90, Psalm 119:89).
With this, the communication, according to the commandment in Titus 3:10, ceases, and it has been given a most liberal interpretation. The answer already given and that with this, has removed all that has come, and the basis being doubly defective, twice removed, one has no option to dally.
It is for you now to repent and to seek the Lord. It is marvellous what the good Lord can do with a man, as Saul-Paul shows. Seek Him that you may live.
Consult More Marvels ... Ch. 4, SMR pp.1080ff.,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8, *1
Coming King Chs.
Calibrating Myths, Machining Dreams and Keeping Faith Chs. 6, 8,
Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 3;
Acme, Alpha and Omega Chs. 8, 9, 11,
Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 3,
Of the Earth, Earthy, or Celestial in Christ Ch. 14, esp. *1,
News 122, 126.
See further on basics to the point: Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 6,
Let God be God Ch. 2,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, TMR Ch. 7 (esp. Section 6),
SMR Chs. 1, 3.
See His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 3,
The gods of naturalism have no go!
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6.
See Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, pp. 101ff..