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WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR ?
WHY WE ARE HERE
This Chapter is in two parts. In Part I, we consider false centrings readily made in misled churches, giving some background to the pathology which the pew has had to face for many decades now, in many churches. A Chapter of much more detail in this realm, but at the more individual level, is to be found in that on Stand-By. Other account is to be discovered in Separation and in such sites as The Lie has a Limited Shelf-Life Ch. 8, with News 121, 122 .
In Part II, we consider what then one ought to be doing in the realm of churches, in such an Age, burning away towards its end (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Chs. 8-9), like ends of a log, when the middle is quite burnt out, and a very brief coverage of what we are doing here. No small part is the testimony concerning biblical truth, which needs to be realised, for we have an incomparable ground in reason, which while not faith, confirms it, and grows indeed out of it.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR ?
TYPES OF FALSE ALLEGIANCE
and THE TESTIMONY OF TRUTH
There are six kinds of centring that may readily be distinguished amid those who name the name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
1) the self-centred
2) the sensation-centred
3) the society-centred
4) the nation-centred
5) the centrifuge-centred and
|6) the Jesus Christ-as-Lord centred.|
The topic is given a larger treatment at , but here in composition with other concerns, we point to but a few considerations and varieties in spiritual pathology, and contrast this with biblical Christianity.
The self-centred have a religion, yes, and it has a name, Christian, but the self is its raison-d'Ítre. The religion serves it, even services it, and it is that which is its focus, to aggrandise, or sustain, or make it nice, or better: but it revolves around this insatiable self.
Secondly, the sensation-centred is after more blessings from this source, situation or group or that, as a hungry man is after food. This can readily lead to confusion. It is GOOD to seek the Lord, to be hungry and thirsty for grace, but when this degenerates into feeling-states, excitation-parameters, induced social customs entering into worship, like 'slaying in the Spirit', a term taken from a military passage in Isaiah, so that people expect to fall into waiting arms and to have this and that experience, there is something like the excitement of attending a Play at some famous theatre. You go there for the occasion, and expect some action that tittilates or pleases or excites. It is sensation-centred, whether it be physical or psychical or social.
The same thing occurs when the forbidden act of having many speaking in tongues jointly is used, like a dagger to pare your nails. Interpretation is required, and maximal occurrence being two or three, the case remains that Paul would rather speak 5 words with his mind in public, than 10,000 without it ( I Corinthians 14:19,29-30).
Then there is the society-centred Christianity. In this case, culture may become king. Society (that is, in the grouping of those with influence through affluence or achievements of various sorts, or elections of some kind) thus determines that there is great NEED to do this or that. It may be, for example, to apologise to all the aborigines who were taken from their homes, whatever the reason, whether it was at the instance of their parent or parents, or to deliver from gross immorality, ruinously forced on them, or other. This inept generalisation was to act as a demoralising of what in MANY cases had been not only moral, but merciful and loving. In this way, culture become a judge of the work of many Christians, demoting and disparaging this with the other cases of misled social missions. This was moving towards a society centred, unjust, disparagement of Christianity. In this country, John Howard PM avoided this catastrophe, and Kevin Rudd did not do so.
Again, society in its humanistic passion, may decide that sight and function is irrelevant, that women are as much men as men are, and men are as much women as women are (and even in more advanced cases, that children are as much adults as adults are), and so seek to legislate blindly for what is not so, to be treated as if it were. In this delusion with illusion, it then acts to slap the face of the God of creation, not only by sanctioning perversion, but sanctioning criminal charges against those who neither practise it nor approve of it. Romans 1:17,28-32 presents such a situation as part of the end of the road of departure from the only God there is, where pretending to be wise, people succeed in becoming foolish, aborting reality, not in fact, but in their own lives with painful consequences.
This is very close to happening in this country: feelings thus strut over facts, and truth is to be made subject to social preference. They want fairness to enable them to be unfair, and power to assist them to be impractical; and law to disenable the dissection of the matter. When, as has happened, some bodies called churches for reasons of their own, who dismiss numerous commands in the Bible in order to become cultural exhibits of another kind, then appear on the national tarmac, then you have the society-centred, culture-driven body.
While a nation may not be Christian by prescription, it remains true that righteousness exalts a nation, while sin is a reproach to any people. FREELY loose the 'bondage' of such past righteousness, and making war on God through new morals and anti-design designs on design, of which our own bodies are the greatest exhibit on earth past all our own efforts (cf. Deity and Design..., and Ch. 9 above), and you merely exacerbate your mutation, so that greatness given, may become sullen resentment, or vapid soaring with no ground below. Thanklessness tends to engender such a thump, so deserved!
Further, there is the nation-centred Church. You may be made a knight, or given some other token from a Christian national Church, or its head-on-earth, or commended for your Christian service to society, as if the nation and the Church were more or less all one. It is not so. The nation CANNOT be a Christian one, since you CANNOT make democracy a way of having all made-into-Christians. The will of the people can meet the will of the individual at any point, and efforts to make the national will the tutor of each will can be more hopeful than realistic. It is GOOD for a nation to disseminate Christian things, and to seek Christian standards, but the nation can never act as an ex officio Church, without involving itself in parlour games, pretence. The current moral situation in the Anglican Church illustrates the point.
Fifthly, there is the centrifuge-centred Church. Admittedly, this is near to a contradiction in terms; but called an oxymoron, this figure of speech is well-known and often used like a cup of tea in the morning, to wake one up! In other words, bits and pieces of Christian norms, morals or law, are stripped off, like bits of grass when a tennis-ball with these impressed into it, has them thrust off when the ball spins. The core remains where it was, but pieces move out, detached. In the religious case, such bits become law by detachment, or atmosphere by drift.
Thus you can have compassion featured and focussed, and as such, it is good. However when it is detached from its notable and historical base in the GOD WHO SHOWED IT IN CRUCIFIXION past mere prose, then it can become a sword. Thus because of compassion, you are to forward various perversions, aversions, desires, that people may have or prefer, and it becomes, voided of its base, a mere and wanton means of achieving evil in the name of good, it is as if in compassion you taught someone to have a lesser drug in order to escape a worse one, when the lesser one merely arouses the passion for more.
Finally, we come to the biblical norm and reality. This is the Jesus Christ-as-Lord centred Church or life; and this provides the contrast. It is rather like normal health differentiated from that excited by drugs, or animated by beer, or seduced by barbituates. There is this contrast. When the Lord Jesus Christ, who is given a name above every name from on high, where His eternity has lived before incarnation (as in Philippians 2) is in view as centre, this Word from the Almighty, this member of the trinity who brings one back to the God of creation, then a Church abiding in Him shows a spirit and a heart, though its members be small, like daphne, insignificant to see, but hard to resist in its fragrance.
Attesting the biblical revelation from God, lifting up Christ as Lord and Saviour (John 12:32), it may act as a draw-card through proclamation of truth and exhibition of love. It shows the way to God, Christ the focus of the saving work and glorious grace of God. In this case, it is neither mauled nor marred from within (Matthew 7:15fff); for it is He, Jesus the Christ, who having been mauled and marred, has suffered quite enough of this, and provides His own peace.
Instead, it focusses His face, smitten as it was, His race, regenerated as it is (as in I Peter 2), and His grace, totally embracive as it is in the Christian fold of which HE ONLY is Master. It seeks to obey Him, knowing this, that "God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him," as in Acts 5:32. While ALL Christians have the Holy Spirit, an indisputable associate in regeneration who remains (Romans 8:9, Titus 3:3-7), there is an enabling for what is following Him, a grace, shield and power for what is obeying His living Lordship, following His invariant principles as written.
As in context, this enables people like the apostles, to testify and if necessary testify in the midst of persecution, indeed to challenge in direct and fearless faith, the follies of those who seek to suppress the testimony of Jesus. How glorious in the case of Acts 5, that being imprisoned, they were released by angelic action; and told to continue testifying, which at once they publicly did. Caught and dragged to further censure, commanded to be silent, the reply was this: "We ought to obey God rather than man," as in Acts 5:29, just as in the record of Acts 4:19-20, we find this:
"Whether it be right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
Christ without compromise and the
Bible without Qualification, this is required now as at the first. Christ not
Culture is the criterion, and one Him as Lord, not source of irreverent
levitation of spirit, as distinct from spiritual abiding. One must abide in the
Truth (John 15), and when a soul is His, this is the mode sustained by His grace
(I John 3:9, 5:11-12, Ephesians 1:11). One must not be intractable in
wilfulness, but intransigent in trust, committed in trust.
POINTERS ON THE WAY
Some pointers to procedure in this Age, would include the four T's:
!) Truth (do not vary from it by one iota), and its name is Jesus Christ (John 14:6) and His designation for its teaching, is the Bible to the last degree! (Matthew 5:17-20, John 14:26).
2) Tenderheartedness: pity the misled, like those with smoker's cough or lung cancer, or spiritual emphysema, but do not share their disease, and help recovery when you can snatch anything from the flames as Jude has it. Consider the realm of scurry and flurry, and without making haste! (Isaiah 28:16), help to bare one another's burdens, to discern the difficult and service the lacking.
3) Trustworthiness: I had one Minister who left me when in the very midst of a confrontation with the Government about the shameless abuse of scientific method in the Schools in a particular State, in the field of creation, and the sham of liberty which is accorded, along with the violation of the UN Declaration on Discrimination in religion or belief. Our point is that what is happening is discriminatory, unscientific and a breach of law, since that UN Declaration has been adopted, and those of the biblical Christian faith, for no sustainable scientific reason, are being subjected to duress, intentionally or not, both emotionally and professionally. Failure DURING battle has a very special tang. Yet the exposure continues, confirming on the Web what was sustained before various governments or oppositions ministers, over decades. To be trustworthy in battle, it is a glorious thing. Practise it with passion!
4) Translation. Learn to translate the WORD of God into your life, into your relationships, into your kindness, courage and initiative, as you wait upon the Lord, who strengthens the heart and assures in good hope (cf. Romans 8:9). Seek through His word and Spirit (as in Ephesians 3:16, II Corinthians 3:17-18, John 14:12), to find and be spiritually funded for what HE would have you do, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1-2).
Finally, in terms of the word of God, IF your Church fails to follow the Bible, excludes parts, changes them, disbelieves them, changes any doctrine in the Bible, then you have to test all things, and if possible, challenge it through its courts or procedures with care, prayer and if so be, support from others with you. Should this test fail, and the body be obdurate in error, it is necessary to leave it s Romans 16:17 makes so very clear and numerous similar scriptures (cf. Separation 1997).
If you do not do this, after due test, then not only are you disobeying God, but hindering if not harassing the regrouping of the children of God, who when gathered in faithfulness, need to continue just as they did in an earlier Reformation from Rome. It is not glorious or likely to receive congratulation from this world, but as we find in Luke, from the mouth of Christ, that which is highly esteemed among men, is abomination before God. It is God with whom you have to do, and if a Christian, this in obedience with faithfulness.
Nehemiah was engaged in rebuilding the temple, and it was not easy, for propagandising antagonists tried to deceive the protagonists of truth, to disturb them, even physically. Yet it went on. The temple of spiritual stones (I Peter 2:9) does not need to have sand or lime where mortar should be; nor to have dying bones where bricks.
Some may now wish to know of the particular background of this work, and of the Church which helps to sustain it. There is a particular history here, and it is part of the history of the Christian Church, very possible informative or edifying to some in various challenges and straits. It follows.
Why we are here.
This has phases in terms of a particular denomination, its activities and variations, the Lord's interventions in times of unruliness and apostasy in various countries, and of biblical Christian Apologetics, needed in every denomination, and indeed in the entire field of Christianity.
THE CHANGING SITUATION
What is the parent organisation for World Wide Web Witness, which now has 204 volumes on the Web ?
This is a Presbyterian Church in terms of the Australian Presbyterian Church Union of 1901. We have no doctrinal change or innovation, and believe that our forefathers did well in their evangelical Presbyterian presentation of the faith.
Contrary to this, there have been extreme movements over time, in the PC of Australia. These were first to Liberalism, with its invention of a new religion while using the name of Christ Jesus the Lord. Its work was radical and ruthless, demeaning to the Jesus of the Bible, of record and of the divine testimony which God has assured concerning salvation. This liberalism our Pastor fought personally as a student, and his parents were with him in this, resulting in his eviction from seminary and re-instatement on review, 10 years later by the General Assembly of Australia.
Now Confessionalism has twisted this once sound Church the other way, to another extreme, again leaving its biblical standards by devious Assembly decisions (1991 cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 11 as marked, and further in The Biblical Workman, Ch.8, and The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.9, pp. 74-175-176) .
We cannot participate in this, this second ruin, any more than in the Liberalism which, staggeringly, our Pastor was the only student known to have confronted when at seminary in Melbourne (it was allied with neo-orthodoxy).
Simply continuing with the thrust of the Westminster Constitution of old, a basically sound and careful formulation, with the Bible itself given by that very Confession absolute priority, while for its own part, by its own word it refuses to be used as a standard, but provides itself as a help. we keep the Bible as total, incomparable and constrictive source of doctrine. It is taken as the only divinely authorised written word of God to mankind, as specified correctly in the Westminster Confession. It is the first over all and any teaching, so that without its statement or necessary inference from it, nothing is to be authorised as doctrine by the Church.
The Declaratory Statement, part of the Union of 1901, justly lays stress on the supernatural doctrines as basic, and hence has vast scope for the love of God, as does the Bible, toward the lost indeed, so that as it notes, He is unwilling that any perish; and we have no fellowship with what authorises the word of man, where it is not certainly stated or implied in the Bible. In this also, we are in agreement with the Westminster Confession and the word of God itself (Proverbs 30:6, Matthew 5:17-20, 7:24-27, John 14:26, II Timothy 3:16, Deuteronomy 4 and 12, Revelation 22:18-19, Jeremiah 23, esp. 28-30, Mark 7:7ff., Psalm 119, and see SMR Appendix C and D).
Hence we are strictly a continuing Presbyterian Church, and one with a special emphasis in the field of Biblical Christian Apologetics, as a service to the Church at large, and to those who seek a reason for the faith (cf. I Peter 3:15ff., Romans 1:17ff.). This Apologetics is a field demanding continual work in the modern setting; but in it, the defence and confirmation of the faith, of the word of God (Philippians 1:7) and of the Gospel (Galatians 1-3) continues. While this work is NOT in itself doctrine, yet in its thoughtful confirmation from reason, it is a help in a special field of thought. You sow the word, you plough the soil, you wait on the Lord for the increase. In our Web work, it is linked with evangelism, preaching, teaching of the Bible, translation and exegesis, and consideration of those fields and disciplines where the Bible impact is in view.
It is a wonderful fact, abundantly attested in such works as SMR, TMR, Deity or Design, Designation or Destiny, that there is no philosophic way that can match the Bible's wisdom, for by its perspective and propositions, the way is found to resolve all major philosophic problems, and more, to show something so far better than those confusions, that it has the impress of majesty and the lustre of light, gaining from examination and attesting the more as it is investigated. This also, therefore, it magnifies God.
As Romans 1 indicates, the divine nature and power of God is obvious, and it is important to show this in any generation which seeks; and the confirmation is important. Moreover, it is God who enables it, through a power to be used; and indeed, God gives the Holy Spirit for any task which He requires, to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). The Christ as depicted in the Bible is not a suggestion box, but a divine revelation preserved in form just as His body was, being resurrected as express confirmation of the divine power and His own authenticity, and that of His Gospel (Romans 1:4).
We therefore are among the biblically Reformed and evangelical, who refuse to move with the times in doctrine, or for that matter, to make the formulations of any Age a basis for Christ, helpful though they often are, and excellent as the early ones always tended to be, as the Church in its prime time, broached and covered issues as they arose. To be biblically Reformed means of course to continue always to follow the Bible, having disjoined from any obeisance to Romanism, and to be limited by nothing BUT the Bible in doctrine, all Confessions as the Westminster Confession so admirably indicates of itself, being helps and not standards (XXXI,4).
As to the Apologetics, the systematic and demonstrative presentation for reason for the faith, it here has a presentation contained in 203 volumes which have been published over nearly 20 years, and kept as they came, on the Web from 1996. Commenced in 1988, this set of volumes has an index covering all volumes as one, in topic and biblical references to a large extent. Questions are welcomed, and the work is done in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, our ultimate source, comfort, strength and sponsor, defence and Rock! (Isaiah 44:8). There is no other (cf. The Great Divide Ch. 5).
Written and Oral sermons
are provided in considerable numbers on this Web site, for edification and the strengthening of
the things that remain Revelation 3:2). For this, see the main Home Page. In all this, our reliance is only on the Lord, the name
that matters, as defined and declared through the Lord Jesus Christ, who
has been given a name above every other name (Philippians 2:9), the trinitarian
expositor, the eternal Word of God, incarnate on earth, welcomed back in
triumph into heaven (Acts 3:19ff.), coming at the regeneration of all things,
Saviour by personal redemption; and to Him we belong by
irrefragable regeneration, unbreakable promise and incomparable grace (cf.
I John 3:9, Ephesians 1:11, II Timothy 1:8ff., John 10:9,27-28). We are here with all His
Church, to glorify His name until He comes.
Our Pastor, Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson, for the preaching of the Gospel and the Christian Ministry was licensed by the Presbytery of Tasmania at the determination of the General Assembly of Australia. This followed his dismissal from seminary where he had stood and for the Bible as required by the substance of the Westminster Confession and faith. In particular, the book of Daniel was attacked by the teaching Professor, over quite some time. Reasoning for its truth and integrity, against assault on it, where indeed challenge had been issued to believe this same assault on it or to lack intellectual integrity, when a student, our Pastor was falsely accused and removed from his office of testimony in that place, subverted and subverting as that seminary then was, from the infallible word of God, the Bible.
Such a diversion is often used. The propositional defence of the Bible becomes the personal assault on the defender. It can help when there is no other help in subversion. That subversion led on to the Uniting Church, which severed from its Presbyterian base, along with some other churches.
This was one of many preludes to that event of 1954. Expulsion of the student appeared, after all, the only easy way out for the one whose challenge had been turned on its head, so that its logical inadequacy having been demonstrated, the removal of the student by unacademic violence and unethical distortion was accomplished by explosive temper. The actual answer to the challenge made by the Professor, has never been answered. Intellectual integrity and faith in the word of God have stood, and have been vindicated, even when the student was outlawed from the seminary. If there was cost, there was the Lord, and He is worthy of any cost. Great was His joy.
In this site, not only on account of that episode, but because of thousands of false teachings in scores of seminaries for many decades, the book of Daniel is presented in biblical perspective in such sites as Ancient Words: Modern Deeds, Ch. 10 and Highway of Holiness Chs. 3-8. After many years of teaching and study, while awaiting the final hearing of the case by the General Assembly of Australia, Robert went to Canada and pastored there during 1963, and then turned to do his Honours M.A. at the University of Melbourne in 1964.
It was during this year that the banished student gained his re-instatement after review was accomplished by the General Assembly of Australia in 1964, in answer to prayer, and the claims on his behalf made by two Presbyteries in two different countries; for the issue was far beyond the personal, being the integrity of this Church, both in doctrine and in practice!
Later, while preaching in New Zealand, he was ordained in the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand in 1966, to become the only member of the National Assembly of its Presbyterian Church in that land, to register IN Assembly his cry against the manhandling of the bodily resurrection of Christ, a wild folly then voted in against the word of God, and to have this dissent registered in a formal manner BY that Assembly. Even a schoolboy, the point was, could understand the meaning of the statement that Christ's body did "not rot", affirmed by a central apostle on a central occasion in the midst of the foundation of the Church. Together with such testimony to the Assembly in 1966, he exercised his prerogative as an Assembly member, of giving reasons for this dissent, thus giving grounds for his charge of apostasy concerning that Church, to which this gave rise and which was written. To make the bodily resurrection of Christ a matter indifferent in the Church was to make of this religious organisation one indifferent to any claim to be a Christian one: indeed from such one must separate (Romans 16:17). This written testimony being formally made to the Assembly, following the dissent, action was needed.
This done, he left the PC of NZ, because of its denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ as essential to the Gospel and teaching doctrine. What then was the position ?
It was this. Having made formal dissent from the Resurrection Statement of the General Assembly in New Zealand in 1966, as an Assembly delegate, a denial given as authorised by the rules, and as enabled, provided for the record with written grounds for the same, having noted the charge, challenge and conclusion, the negation both publicly voiced before all, and sent, he was free to act. This however did not occur till after some months, in which he sought deliverance for his congregation, which did not however respond, the majority of elders formerly in favour of the rejection of the new Resurrection Statement ceasing to be a majority when one of them, disgusted with the word of man being elevated over the word of God, left the Church. So also did the Session Clerk.
In this way, through loss of a majority in Session, Presbytery's attack was no longer blunted, their own infidelity being exhibited narrowly, by just one vote!
in 1967, moving to what was then a sound church, he was at once received into the Ministry of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod in the USA. This Church was later absorbed into the Presbyterian Church in America. It was in this body, both the tributary and later the larger body, that he remained for over 30 years till 1998.
In that year, he transferred his ordination to an Independent Presbyterian Church in Adelaide, now the Australian Bible Church, in which he had been labouring since 1988, and this was done in a way similar to that from from the PC in NZ to the RPCES in 1967. The PC in America itself had reached the point of breaking the sound Westminster Confession covenant not to add to the written word of the Bible in authority. It had done this by permitting and then following as acceptable, creation doctrine which is in no way derivable from the Bible, by any "good and necessary consequence" (Confession Ch. 1, 6,9).
It is of interest that the PC in America, after his transfer from it in 1998, later formulated its innovation in creation teaching, and this has been exposed on the Web at Let God be God Ch. 12.
Meanwhile, our Web production of 204 volumes on Biblical Christianity is our international teaching and missionary arm at http://webwitness.org.au and we rely on the grace, mercy and word of God, giver of eternal life, through our sovereign Saviour, Jesus Christ, whom in all things we seek to obey, and whom we worship. Since such falls of churches is predicted for the near end of the Age (as in II Timothy 3, 4, I Timothy 4, Jeremiah 23:16-20, II Thessalonians 2), this is like enduring a military campaign, with a known end; which of course does not reduce its severity! If it were not happening, the predictions of the word of God would have failed to cover the case! Christ had good reason to warn His disciples of coming times of this character! (John 16:2, Matthew 24:24), as did Peter (II Peter 2:1ff.). The marauders who would assault the Church would come from even WITHIN the Church. Such was his admonition and declaration.
Alas, what is highly acceptable among men, may be abomination before God, as Christ declared (Luke 16:15), and any movement to muzzle, add to, place human authority as supplement to His word, in doctrine, is confusion to be confounded. One dare not stay where this is done, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Millions, however, who claim to be Christians and to honour the written word of God as His own inspired declaration, refuse to leave their denominations, now obviously ensconced in abandoned departure from the Bible, reminding one of the day of Jeremiah, when Jerusalem ALREADY being destroyed for such straying and its results, the residual people asked for help from Jeremiah, and then told him, on hearing what it was, that they would not DO it, but would do whatever came out of their own mouths (Jeremiah 42:2ff., 44:16-17). This is the Gentile world's polluted and predicted parallel! It has followed it precisely.
It is the Word of the living God, to the jot and tittle, which HE will honour, and he who adds is not wise; it is therefore an honour to have separated from the PC in America, though it is grievous to see one more large Church dabbling amiss, finding ostensible refuge where the Word does not extend.
The Bible in all these latter days of declensions, defilement and defaults continues unmoved, but all things are moved in due time at its word. Having devoted much of the past 23 years to the Web work concerning the testimony of Christ, with specialty in Biblical Christian Apologetics, Robert has a ground to show what he has found.
It is of interest that the PC in America, after his transfer from it in 1998, later formulated its innovation in creation teaching, and this has been exposed on the Web at Let God be God Ch. 12.
Meanwhile, our Web production of 203 volumes on Biblical Christianity is our international teaching and missionary arm at http://webwitness.org.au and we rely on the grace, mercy and word of God, giver of eternal life, through our sovereign Saviour, Jesus Christ, whom in all things we seek to obey, and whom we worship. Alas, what is highly acceptable among men, may be abomination before God, as Christ declared (Luke 16:15), and any movement to muzzle, add to, place human authority as supplement to His word, in doctrine, is confusion to be confounded. One dare not stay where this is done, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
It is the Word of the living God, to
the jot and tittle, which HE will honour, and he who adds is not wise; it is
therefore an honour to have separated from the PC in America, though it is
grievous to see one more large Church dabbling amiss, finding ostensible refuge where the Word
does not extend.
BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS
In terms of Christian Apologetics, there is a wonder to be found from the teaching, principles, perspectives and God of the Bible. It has been found in such works, individual or series, as for example in
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny,
On Predestination and Foreknowledge,
Liberty and Necessity, Responsibility, Duty and Creativity, and
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Who Answers Riddles and Where He is, Darkness Departs
some of these running into millions of words in content,
that there is something unique to be found from the Bible, just as God is.
Not only does it, as there seen, solve from its perspective and the action of the God of power and word fulfilment, all philosophical problems in clear principle, but it shows why outside this, His revelation, there is and can be no solution whether in liberty, or predestination and freewill, in metaphysics, in logic; but that on the contrary, here where the solutions are found, there is also testable testimony in a way unique among all religions, potentially devastating if it failed, actually inordinately impressive as it prevails. Thus, to the singular rationality here found in the word of the living God, is added a validity similarly unmatched elsewhere in all the thought of man.
Moreover, it provides, this testimony of the Bible, the only personal incarnate testimony of God, the only presentation of God, as God to man, or through any man, which has been given in his own personal name and power, by man, constituting the test, both practical and personal. This having come in the personal testimony of the Saviour, remains both challenge and invitation to all.
Jesus Christ came as God from God, sent from the sender (Isaiah 49:15ff.), open to test (John 14:10-11), conducted by prophetic preliminaries stretching over millenia to a predicted death date, as to a life before and after that, again physical, this time through the resurrection of the body, that of Him who went on to be glorified, just as glory had been His from eternity (John 17:1-3, Philippians 2). Such is the revelation, personal, propositional, prophetic and practical.
This Bible backs notion with nation, as a site for revelation, and consummates in one consummate individual, since past God there is nothing, and under Him is all. He provided divine desire in love, with incarnation, restoration with personal payment, human misfeasance with mercy, through one man; but it was by God Himself as incarnate, providing integrity past experience and intellection, even a meeting with God, not subject to dismissal except with that of truth. Such is the presentation of Jesus Christ in the setting of prior revelation and history then to come, which follows Him just as He followed the prophecies preceding.
As to the Bible, its powers of resolution being, and being shown to be unique, exclusive, systematically induplicable, securely confirmed, explicative of all, replicable by nothing, leave religion certainly a matter, ultimately, of a choice, divinely secure and secured, but realisable relative to man for all that. This being so , the sent Messiah, the Word of God expressing Him perfectly, Jesus Christ, is the only available way for the restoration of man, and it is by redemption; and this settles the final and personal problem for any human person on this earth, except truth be wilfully negated. Responsibility for mankind is so great, that his looming doom as a seething race (cf. Matthew 24:22) is merely the other side of the blooming blessing which, on rejection, has such a consequence, as when an infant, being weak, refuses food. The doom is but one arm; the joy is the other. There is night (John 9:4, cf. Isaiah 21:11-12), and there is light (John 8:12); and it is as useless to generalise, as to mourn at lack of transport when in fact, there is one bus, and one only, as if one's eyes suffered intrinsic oversight of what is there! (Matthew 13:15ff.).
The case accordingly for man is reality or ruin, redemption or rebellion: for man is responsible for misuse of life as first given, for all the use of it, and secondly, for what becomes in many an implacability against pardon. While this is spiritual disease (Matthew 13:15ff.), the cure is available (John 10:10), ample, free and desired by God for all (I Timothy 2, Ezekiel 33:11 cf. Christ not Culture, the Lord not Man ... Ch. 9), though He forces none; and knowing all from the first, He knows how to maintain truth till the last, losing none who in love might be saved, finding none who is fraudulently approaching, so that each will at length come to the place of truth, whether it be in pardon and peace justly granted by His liberality, or in disturbance and defilement, wryly insisted on in hearts astray, lest there be healing.
This being so, the delight which is like bloom on the peach, or the cascades of perfume from a thrust of wisteria, is able to linger: that from the first in His foreknowledge, God has known who are His, He who would have all, whose love is not rash or brash, but brimming with desire for all (Colossians 1:19ff.), so that it is not of Him than any fails, but despite His limitless grace (John 3:19, Isaiah 57:15ff.).