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INTRODUCTION and CHAPTER ONE
Matters of Scale and Proportion, Comprehension and Comprehensiveness
The sheer spectacle of the stars is a matter of oblivion of pettiness and one of awesome profundity. It teaches magnitude, scope and the provision of a panoply at once potentially devastating and magnificently serene in appearance.
Such is the feeling when one investigates the concepts of DNA and associated controls, in the deftly controlled production of the billions of diversified cells which compose the physical body of man, and then moves to the universe of mentality and its ideas, and on to that of the spirit of man, with its purposes, conceived programs, directed analyses, imaginations and capacities even for dissertation, dissemination and repudiation, discrimination and evaluation, validity and verification. Again, vast universes of ideation and expression, concatenated thought and cogency await. There are therefore three such universes, before we even look that to that theory of mind, namely matter, which being indirectly found, has to await verification from the mind that surveys, just as the mind itself finds both validity and verification in the works and words of the deity who made all.
Beyond and beyond and beyond: these enormities of magnitude, in style, in type, in scope and in power and precision, freely induce just awe. This however is small by comparison with what is induced when one considers the marvel of the magnitude with which Christianity covers the whole universe of thought, whether of matter and its verifications, mentality and its validations or spirit with its manifestations. 'Christianity' ? the term needs definition.
Thus it is not meant to signify whatever someone or anyone happens to think and call by this name. A rose is not to be found where someone, pondering a stone, decides to call it a rose. It has to BE a rose in order to fit with the prescribed definition, or to become either a propositional lie or folly.
It is quite clear what a rose is: it is not a stone or a piece of daphne. It is equally clear what Christianity is. It is a term applied to one, Jesus Christ, in terms of acceptance of His claims and worship of His Person as shown by the disciples in the Bible. If it is not this, it is nothing; a rose, similarly, might as well be prickly pear as made a verbal toy.
We have of course shown that the Bible is necessarily the word of God; but here we are concerned simply with the definition of a term. Christianity, then, receiving Jesus Christ as the Bible proclaims Him, and the Bible as it proclaims itself to be (cf. Appendix D, SMR), has a undefected scope of coverage, resolving power, comprehension and resolution of all the problems of philosophy, of the clashes that science invents when that study becomes a mere vehicle of philosophy, as is now normal in matters relating to the God of the Bible, though the absurd folly of such alienated assumptions is profound.
This scope is not only unique, like the heavens covering all.
The Biblical model, depiction, perspective, coverage and declaration is not only this, but also changeless in basis and uniform in application. It goes far further even than that! It in fact leaves all clear where the only other options become befuddled mud-slides of misdirected muddle, scenes of constantly changing anguish, scenes of defeated if blustering hope amid elemental irresolution. The uniformities imagined, outcomes of the opposite in model, do not occur; the prodigies of order, do. The Cosmological Assumption is merely the butt of derision, constantly overturned by that nightmare of philosophical science, one from which it seems determined not to awake, fact (cf. TMR Ch. 7, Section E). This is merely one of the snafus that laugh at pride.
As noted on a former occasion:
It is important to realise continually that the reason why the reason for the faith is certain, its testimony indefeasible, is this, that its basis is God Himself, to whom it points, directs and impels. It is because He is immutable, immovable, unimpugnable, illustrious and good that the epistemological, logical, metaphysical, physical, moral, aesthetic, linguistic, cosmological, aetiological, methodological - scientific and other, the vitality and the validity have but one resting place, one source and one end. Just as many in Christ's day sought to find refuge not direction in the scriptures, failing to follow them to Him who had given them, along with life, their historical and national, their mankind manual, as He attested as seen in John 5:39-40, so some may instead seek to find substitute for spirituality in the testimony of reason to righteousness, logic to the Lord.
Reason however does but lead to His word and His word requires ACTION.
In neither case in itself, therefore is there rest, not because either fails, for reason can but attest the truth, being established in this way for man in God's image; and it will not suffer such violation, while the word of God manifests its splendour on a daily basis in all dimensions, directing the universe in life as it directed life into it, and made it for it at the first.
No, it is because the testimony of our construction and our functionalities on the one hand, and of His word to us on the other, the one refusing to be alienated except by irrationality, the other except by rejection of rebellious will, are from what He has done. He made us, so that our best efforts fail to justify departure; and He gave His word, which being truth, stands beyond all testimony and banishes all complaint, except that of stark rebellion, aloof and alone like darkness in a universe of light, hiding in some insalubrious corner. The time is near when such privacy will be removed and the light manifest, all will be composed spiritually, each part in its place.
It is now therefore time to seek the Lord, and according to His word, by His Son sent for the purpose, to find Him (Isaiah 55). It is living in the living God which is crucial: there is not other, and He is definitive of Himself both in His written and His living word. There is no other way, God or truth, no other hope, nothing hallowed. It is Jesus Christ or nothing (John 14:6, Galatians 1), the Lord's Christ or woe; and finding Him, like life as a child in the outset, is something which is His gift.
His word is given that He may be found, and His Son has been sent that the cost is covered for all who come (John 3:16). The way is won, the job is done: it needs to be entered, and with the transmutation of life which then occurs (John 3, Titus 3:5ff.), followed faithfully. HE is faithful.
Indeed, as He gives His power, illumination and enablement to write, as here, reason for the faith, and to answer challenge, so He gives to those who serve Him, what is needed (Psalm 145:18-19); and as He disposes to service so He is disposed and dynamic to enable it.
HE is the LORD!
Providing answers to all riddles that mar the globe in principle, all issues that demean thought and all antilogies and antinomies that threaten the validity of thought, the Biblical model in majesty sheds light that is white and pure, where indigo and black are the only other shades available, without it.
It is a cover-all disclosing error and providing truth for every muddled field and battleground of thought, and in so being, it is like the stars in the heavens, itself massive and yet serene: its panoply has no leak, nor do meteors crash unseen into its midst. Nothing comes crashing down in this realm, for the cover is total, and the categorical comprehension which it yields is total.
To be sure, there is more to learn, and we who belong to God in Christ, will one day understand far more than now. This is not the point at issue in this volume. While God has more to come, the deep things are already in place (I Corinthians 2:9-13), leaving no intractable mystery, contradiction or clangour, though plenty of data, as in a magnifiable photograph, is yet to be revealed.
WHAT WE DO KNOW is self-consistent and clear, the resolutions are sure and steadfast, and moreover, do not change whatever may be the dissidences, dissonances and declivities of churches such as the PC in America, on the topic of creation, as it wanders into unbiblical accommodations and uncertainties, throwing a casual arm around the philosophical paramour of unbiblical thought, and achieving only vagueness and confusion as it dances (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 8). And this ? it is mild by comparison with much that has been fulfilling prophecy in showing false teaching arising from within the churches (II Peter 2:1ff., Matthew 24:24, I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3-4, cf. SMR pp. 695ff., 1042ff.). Even this empirical fact of modern history especially, including a multiplicity of kinds of false teaching, is precisely predicted also, even as one of the symptoms of the syndrome which marks the end of the Age and the near approach of Jesus Christ, who has made free the way to immortality to man, in Himself.
Following the Bible as it is written, and using it as Professor E.J Young of Westminster Seminary so beautifully insisted, in its own right without 'help' from sources which are not the word of God, is a prime duty of faith and the most justly celebrated method of finding the answer to all of life's problems, the mind's uncertainties, the spirit's confusions and philosophy's endless pit: for it replaces problem with solution, uncertainty with focus, riddle with reality and vagueness with what works without shadow in the steadfast light. This is in itself verification, for just as it claims to be the definitive written word of the living God, what else could conceivably 'compete'! As it should be, so it is. According to its declaration, so is its utility. Where it is 'accommodated' to human thoughts imperatives of fashion, or where the latter are to rule alone, by contrast, is their futility. They writhe, they contort, but do not arrive.
In this volume, which is a collection of essays on areas of churning muddle because of a failure to follow the Bible, and divinely depicted clarity in what is there written, we see the simple profundity and the profound simplicity of the perspective and wisdom of the word of God, pondering both its depth and the clarity and beauty of its consistent and changeless revelation, as light scattering darkness. It is constantly providing joy in its verified vision and felicitous confirmation both in thought and in practice, in life and in love, in peace and in truth of what never varies, never has to, never fails and always works. God is like that. It is so in truth, as in life, and in life as in the way that is His.