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SCIENCE, SCIENTIFIC METHOD,
EVIDENCE AND PROOF -
SLITHER AND SALVATION
In the November 2007 Update of Creation Ministries International, there is much interesting information. Not of this type, however, is what appears a lamentably insensitive statement, a gaffe in a critical area that this lost generation would only too willingly exploit. This body often provides material of great interest, value and exhibiting considerable research; but this does not remove the need to correct matters in this sphere of logic, evidence and proof. What then is the error ?
It is roundly declared that these Ministries have certain concerns. It is stated: "Not evidence that proves the Bible (that's not what we try to do, and it's not possible anyway - you can't prove or disprove things in history using science)."
Now the meaning of 'evidence' in Webster's dictionary, at any relevant level, is this: "Something that tends to prove; ground for belief". In law it is something which "bears on or establishes the point in question".
This is not an uncommon meaning. It is not limited. It is what is made to appear, and in the context of reason, it has the result that the thing is proven, with due ground for belief.
Science indeed has not that sort of cogent proof to offer, although it can exclude absolutely this or that hypothesis, AS they stand and PROVIDED that tests in view are correct; and it can do this decisively in the negative on ONLY one point. A thing is true or not; and if not, then it is assuredly not science (in theory, that is!).
Science does tend to be a postiori, looking at the area of what is, and considering what it does.
However, we are not only told that this scientific body (although it sometimes moves into areas beyond this orbit or ambit) does not try to PROVE the Bible (as distinct from showing its entire reasonableness); we learn from this dictum that in terms of evidence, "it's not possible anyway".
This appears an amazing confusion and collation of concepts. IF, and only if, it were meant that scientific evidence cannot prove history, it has some merit. It is indeed too general; such evidence CAN however show what is NOT the case, and exclude possibilities known so that the result at a given point is ONLY one. It can confirm what is found on an epistemological, metaphysical, logical, and multiply evidential basis, in terms of verification of falsifiable propositions, and do so in the absence of competition from what is excluded by such means, as a preliminary exercise.
To be sure, the scientific approach in its most limited sense, is routinely looking to generic laws, and repeatable things, and comparing them with happenings which may leave no known trace, some being from an unknown source, power or operation whether because it has not been met by man's enquiries, or because its works are not within the power of external, episodic evidence to determine at a given point. It is moreover looking for ascertainable developments over time, and seeking interpretations that fit all evidence, are refuted by no evidence and above all, constitute their own evidence by being dominant in their field, however minute.
The term 'evidence' however, is not limited to science. What the 'we' in this Update context, are doing is one thing; but that thing in that body is not only science in fact, but moves into many spheres. Prima facie, the statement is indicating that there are no means to prove the Bible true. What attests it in this way is unavailable. If less is meant, it would have been well to have stipulated that, in terms of what the organisation in question in fact considers. If less is not meant, if what the term 'evidence' has in its cover is meant, then this counter-claim concerning biblical proof is not merely wrong, but slack in principle.
Evidence has been SHOWN to prove the Bible true in SMR; but this is true only if the term 'evidence' is taken in the Webster sense of tending to prove without qualification. It might be said that evidence only TENDS to prove, and that therefore this does not and even cannot mean 'proves'. 'Proof' in turn, however, according to Webster's dictionary involves "conclusive evidence." Thus there is a TYPE of evidence which in generic terms and due setting can exhibit a proof. The category 'evidence' covers this. It is well to be clear here, since it is a matter of faith, the bible, logic, man and God.
Earlier on this site, we considered different forms of knowledge and the gathering of it. Science has a useful contribution to make, though one ludicrously glorified at present in a pragmatic age; but it is only one. Thus in The Defining Drama Ch. 2, we distinguished and considered 8 methods:
These can be used cumulatively, with evidence from any or all. Each phase has its own congeries of concepts, procedures, results.
There is in this Chapter (op. cit. ) such a list as this, moreover, of 'domains of discovery', and this follows. ALL must be considered for the maximum result.
3. INTERPERSONAL (including friendship, hostility, and the political, social, economic)
10. NOETIC and INTELLIGENT
12. IMAGINATIVE (including both the creative and creativity itself)
14. DESIGN DOMAIN
15. MEMORY FIELD
The background and implications may be considered by reading Ch. 2 (op. cit.). All spheres may be analysed*1, the nature of logic itself, the available scope for logical thought, and the necessary consequences for argumentation without it.
Decisive proof, excluding any argument, can be made and often is, not only in geometry, but concerning such things as creation. This has been done on this site in SMR, TMR and The gods of naturalism have no go! There are various methods of doing this, and consultation with What is the Chaff to the Wheat! (esp. Chs. 3-4) can show something of the procedure.
If evidence is what is made evident, and conclusive evidence is proof, then proof is not only possible concerning the Bible, but both current and extant, and on the Web for over a decade with no slightest dent from friend or foe. Indeed, the Creation Ministries statement is simply wrong, in this, that science CAN be used to prove the truth of the Bible. It is true that it alone cannot be so used, but used it can be in this domain, in its orchestral place within the total cosmoi of human knowledge in the world that God made, and in the presence of the God who made it.
Indeed, science cannot prove history, by itself, in general terms, and when we remember that science by itself has limits of a decisive kind, this has point some merit in general, but not in exhaustive terms. This does not however go anywhere near showing that evidence does not prove the Bible. It does, and has been shown to do so over some 20,000,000 words, though decisive coverages within that are available as seen in Apologetics in the index and where already shown. To be sure the method has its own procedure, but the result is sure. As in a key to a lock, you do not simply throw it at the door, but insert it. In our discourses on method, this is shown more than once.
If science could not at all prove history, this would not in itself militate against evidence doing so, of which the contribution from science, at first, would be of a valuable a postiori kind, not crucial, but providing due weight exhibited in all directions. It would be constitutive of an element in the assemblage of comprehensive proof, even if alone it cannot aspire to multi-competence. It is relevant not ruling.
That is the procedure in SMR. God is first proved to be, the Bible then proved to be His word, and the result then proven as truth. Concepts of God as a liar are excluded, and this, as it happens, is precisely what the Bible asserts of Him (Titus 1), and of what is obvious about Him. Thus logic and revelation, as in Romans 1, in much simply agree. For the rest, the Bible as the word of the God of truth and power and knowledge, is covered whether in the historical or any other domain. Prove the author and the product as His, and the contents follow, historical or other.
The verificatory element mounts like a tsunami, and covers the beaches with its power. It reduces to rubble many of the anti-evidential follies, and in company with logical features not explicitly in the domain of science, brings to rubble the rubbish which has so often been paraded as if the May USSR exhibits of weaponry, in a fit of exasperated delusion from the day of Gorbachev's embarrassment.
A word from SMR Ch. 4 here gives some of the sort of thing which, in its place, militates against delusion (revised slightly for our present purpose).
The satire of the spade
Indeed attacks on the Bible's compilation have been rebutted, with such vigour and such marvellous aid from the enormous and growing body of ratifying archeology, that they lie like so many snails hurled against a rock. The scale and scope of it is virtually breath-taking. The Ebla find of many advanced materials in the area of 2300 B.C. is over 800 plus years before Moses, once deemed (because of date!), incapable of writing such things! Well towards 1000 years out of date, these critics must wear the dunce's cap; and yet it was such as these who once took theological colleges by storm, and taught this nonsense with an academic kind of pontifical splendour. The word of God stands, as always; but they, they fall as all do who in anything assault the mouth of God. We were made by its operation; and man can be 'undone' in the same way.
The Ebla materials include what appears to be a statement on creation not unlike that found in Genesis (incidentally, perhaps suggestive of Wiseman's view of ancient background materials used by Moses, as detailed in his New Discoveries In Babylonia About Genesis). Complaints against cultural backgrounds, as not fitting Biblical dates, look more than foolish. The mot juste is 'obsessive' though 'obstructionist' would do. The cultural norms and phases of those times, revealed in the Bible, are so adroitly confirmed both from Hammurabi's time (in Babylon), and Ebla (in Syria); and in the time of the Canaanite labourers near Sinai, before Moses, as well as at Tell-el-Amarna, with its incessant official communications about invasion of the area which was taken by the Jews; at Ras Shamra with its exposure of the corruption of the Canaanites whom God sent Joshua to judge, and so forth ... that it is a marvel that even dedicated unbelief dares to speak any more at all, in this field.
But then it does: for when is a divorcee ever done in her scolding! The trend is there.
The very modern mythology and the very old Biblical truth
This is not the stuff of myths. The myth is this: that man can tell the truth about himself, measuring himself by himself (as Paul puts it in II Corinthians 10:12); and that he creates his gods, and that is all the gods there are. That myth is surely the best in arbitrary irrationalism that could be. (See the EXTENSION on THE MYTHOPOEIC MATTERS OF MAN, pp. 380-386 infra.)
What is it ? It is this. The creature, with his programmed systems alive and alight, attributes 'sacredness' to his own productions, and ignores the source of his power to construct (or misconstruct), to mini-create and to err, to have a responsibility correlative to this freedom, and to have a body written in language which embodies a brilliance beyond his thoughts... In 'seeing' this blindly, he continues to use a brilliance which, though less, is both akin to it, and gained by the operation of an instrument which he did not create. To do that is to live a myth.
But what a myth it is! All these multiplied billions of deft connections of cells, individually with the significance of highly organised cities, have no source but a 'chance' which has laws it could not cause in the first place, and which, though wholly unintelligent, constructs the most intelligent designs ever inspected on earth, leaving behind the greatest intelligence of man in the process... which does this with a language of the most concentrated and constant character, in what is to man still an unachievably minute form, while building ever anew the same prodigious constructions by a copying mechanism we have no way of paralleling. All this moreover is expressed in all living cells, with the direction of the code of one sole language... each human body living cell having the whole plan inscribed, as if for good measure, or an architect's signature. Exhausted, the myth looks away, drooling that all the laws underlying all of this have no cause. No law has any cause; they just stick around.
If this is not a myth, I would not know one. It has all the objective criteria of myth, such as self-contradiction, illusion, irrationality, desire and defective ramblings without rigour. Building on all that is now known, it despises what is known, ignoring every basic logical premiss.
The myth maker par excellence, perhaps surpassing all the former races and times in the scope of his unsophisticated verbal grandeurs, is this twentieth century man. This maestro, with his increasing technology is so advanced that he here denies everything he has ever seen, flouts the way all things are observable to proceed; and based on nothing, in torpid oblivion of reason, he proceeds to devise and cause to arise for himself, something from which everything has come, itself squarely - if self-effacingly, based on nothing. Here is inadequacy idolatrised.
The irrational virulence and absurd popularity of this myth together attest that style of degeneration, departure from the faith, that turning to fables, noted earlier as a verification of specific scriptural predictions (such as II Timothy 3, and 4 and II Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24). It is worth stressing that the other criteria Biblically predicted for the end of this Age are likewise simultaneously coming to pass; and that these things await us in Chapters 8 and 9 infra, where they are seen to be elaborately satisfied. Turned aside to fables is the verdict of the Bible on this time, and this in full knowledge, as Daniel 12 predicted, that knowledge would increase: something predicted for the same period. The great breadth and extreme shallows that would occur together are indeed noted; and are indeed visible at this day... Myths?
What world-sitting-on-a-turtle is worse than this very modern myth! What it lacks in subtlety, it gains in assurance.
Myths, yes, but nothing can compare with the myths of atheism and the mimicries of agnosticism (*4), whereas truth, this is as we have shown, the prerogative of God, and His power to communicate is seen not least in His power to make communication units so vastly programmed, and yet so subtly free, as we are. Myths? Yes these there are, like the myth that this God has seen the ruthless folly of lies, deceit, injustice, murders, genocide, myth-making caricatures of His name and even at times in His name, and has done nothing about it, has not communicated so much as a "Whoa!".
There now, that is a myth to make the child's spine creep. Myths ? Yes such myths as this: That God did not make it clear what He wanted, and what it was He said, or that He did not send what it took to get what He wanted. Myths ? Yes, such as this: That Jesus Christ was not deity and yet was incapable of being successfully criticised and effectively confronted by brilliant and trained men with maximal motives, securely entrenched and surrounded by force, even when He claimed to be God Almighty; or that the people of that time were oafs barely able to think, and so failed to handle it, whereas as Hammurabi and Ebla and the ancient writings showed, in fact, man had a brilliance and the subtlety then, and long before. In what fields ? It is seen in law, imagination and commerce; while involved mathematics is displayed.
In communication and expression, man had capacities long before God sent Christ, which in subtlety and strength challenge the intellect of modern man. We have been at school longer, ever amassing; but the minds are the same. (I could wish for a congregation which would follow sermons of the complexity and challenge of those of Chrysostom, in the early part of the first millenium after Christ.)
What a lordly myth-making society modern man has become. Or if you want myths, take this of His disciples: that they forsook all because they believed nothing, and that they lost their lives to defend a pretence in order to reach hell for deceit, after suffering or torture on earth; or that they practised folly with an outlaw, when the necessary evidence required by the Bible for His authentication as the claimed Messiah, was clearly lacking, and all this despite their overpowering evidences of spiritual passion and the stakes for fraud.
Or again of His disciples, this: that His stalwart followers did not bother about the scriptural identikit, by which the Messiah was to be known, the predictions and requirements showing that He must perform miraculous healings... and just to finish it off, studiously and continually disregarded all thought that He must physically rise* from the dead, and His flesh not see corruption, or rot - Psalms 16, 22, and Isaiah 35 - after being fatally pierced; this small thing to be accomplished in 3 days. This He also personally declared repeatedly, like a supernatural Houdini, dealing not with difficulties, but with death. (* Points 13-15, p. 760; pp. 781, 788; 931-943; Ch. 6 infra.) Is this the flirtation of fancy ? Is this to be imagined!
What then is the spurious, the furious flirtation with fancy ? How are they viewed ? Testing for heaven and hell was irrelevant; knowledge was unnecessary; they were merely engaging in lies to focus the resurrection, just as they did not bother about the fact, although more strenuous about this action and fact than any counter-movement, and against all challenge, whether from within (duly met by Christ) or from without. Liars they met hell without flinching, at the hand of the outraged God of truth! So runs the tale, but in fact, they were citing the prophecies triumphantly fulfilled as always; and taunting the murderous priests, they directly charged them with murder, acquainting them with a resurrection so appalling to the murderers, that all they could do was beat them, or seek to leave them thunder-struck with fear.
Fear ? It was as present as in a war-horse charging! (Acts 2-4). They knew what Christ could do with the dead by their own observation; when He did it again although Himself dead, His Father countervailing the rot, it was but the summit of the seen. The scene was not hypothetical, of unsure foundation, but visual, tactile, foretold, fulfilled in detail, adverse to fear, concurrent with faith, obliterative of doubt, making them flames of fire in the face of all perilously powerful opposition. If they died, they lived; what had they to fear! So they acted, and continued to act with the courage that knows the truth, and a lie when it sees one.
After all, if 1000 years is not enough notice for suppressing a resurrection forecast (Psalm 16), what moves! Yet the body of Christ, this the authorities lost as surely as if the moon had sunk forever below the horizon. Stricken their guards were ... asleep ran the story, and so were able to talk of the monstrous tale of theft! Slumbering testimony ... surely we are in Disney's world.
How arrogant can modern man become in his arrant myth-making! That, physical resurrection is really hard to do, especially after crucifixion. Try it some time if you have the mind; and are willing to be experimental; but make your will. As I believe British Prime Minister, Gladstone put it: If you want to found a new religion, just get yourself crucified and rise (according to prediction) in 3 days. It would help if the prediction had been out, specifying the rest of your identikit, for a few thousand years and, as we shall see in Chapter 9, the period of history in which this was to be done was also very precisely predicted, from hundreds of years before.
Myths? Yes these, society's current cultural gods in their framework, these are myths: but Christ is irrevocably rationally attested. He showed Himself the living laboratory, deity Himself who sacrificed His body, but not His truth; One not merely unmoulded by the conditions of culture, but directing the very history of culture, according to scriptures He endorsed, or words He provided, meeting all criteria of evidence, reason and morals, and handling contemporary and coming history as though it were His obedient child.
The statement from Creation Ministries would have been far nearer a just one if it had simply added the word 'alone' after the word 'science'! There is a place for verification, as there is for demonstration; and the former has the force of confirmation, though not institution of proof. It is not irrelevant to the whole ambit of proceeding, though not the prima donna.
This is where the Bible's point about knowledge falsely so-called is so valuable. The term 'knowledge' in the Greek in which this was written, has not the modern, delimited type of meaning which 'science' now conveys. This is true. There is as the above illustrates, a wide variety of knowledge, of which the scientific variety takes its place, like a violin in an orchestra. There is a type of 'knowledge' falsely so-called. It has been shown in gnosticism of various kinds and descriptions, philosophic ambits based on unproven hypotheses, quite as bad as that of organic evolution for lack of precision of statement, illustration of happening and deficiency in provision of relevant conducive principles at the broader level. Indeed, in Cascade of Mercy, Torrent of Truth Ch. 6, the nature of truth is considered, as in Cascade ... (op.cit.) Ch. 3, is the meaning of the passage in I Timothy 6:20 which contains this phrase.
It will be helpful here to reproduce a part of this Chapter (though those interested may need to read it all, for full understanding of the points), to show an important pair of points. Firstly, in terms of interpreting the meaning of any biblical passage: when GOD speaks (II Timothy 3:16, I Cor. 2:9-13), He says what He means with ALL knowledge of ALL things and His word is not limited to those who may first happen to read it. Secondly, even a common event at a given time may not validly be assumed to be the sole concern where it is not statedly so. When you are being dealt with by God, making of assumptions is a field best left to the speaker.
It is however going too far to add that the 'knowledge' of which Paul spoke "in this context refers to the élite esoteric 'knowledge' that was the key to the mystery religions, which later developed into the heresy of Gnosticism." Such an interpretation would require an act of inspiration on the part of the interpreter, quite apart from the Greek text, and represents a philosophical and cultural guess. It cannot be permitted to confine the word of God.
To be sure, there is such a thing as gnosticism, and it would represent what became precisely one of those lustrously dull substitutes for knowledge which had great appeal. It is not that the word of Sarfati here is misplaced as an EXAMPLE of gnwsis, the Greek term in view, here in the genitive case, with the prefix yeudwnumou, likewise in the genitive case. This word, incidentally, gives us our 'pseudonym'.
That was a specialised development by no means limited to 'later' in its essence, though its inflictions were to become codified and substantial in efforts to subvert, or challenges to arrest Christianity. The Greeks were long specialists in this sort of thing*1A. The early Greek philosophers were not always merely involved in ludicrous theorising about the source of all things (all atoms, all water, all air, all this and that of creation, as the basis, or all change, or no change, the latter with various interesting pseudo-religious activities), indeed just as ludicrous as those of the modern organic evolutionary gnosticism. Further, the Eleusinian Mysteries are said to have come from prehistoric times, and this partly from Cretan influence: this also came to Greece, and this too was one of the features in the ancient world, special knowledge, mixtures of philosophy, hope and myth, religion and rites of various kinds, complex and strange.
'Elite esoteric knowledge' then is not limited to the gnostics, manifest in part of the first century AD, and falsely so-called knowledge cannot be limited to them, nor to them and mystery religions. These AND gnosticism, with some influence from the Parsees it is held by some, were long standing elements, and philosophy itself, from the Greeks, this too was long standing, long before Christ came. Indeed, there is a vast array of such falsely knowledgeable things from the follies of the early Greek exponents of naturalism, to the Platonic with its variable surveys of the scene, now touching the name God, now working in principles and ideas far below Him, and not even able to be assembly in a logical continuum*1; as also to those of Aristotle later again. The Greek philosophers themselves reach back to around half a millenium before Christ.
Thus knowledge falsely so-called, the simple translation of I Tim. 6:20 cannot be limited to some setting of gnosticism, itself seemingly a synthesis of much of mystery and philosophy for hundreds of years before; but likewise it cannot be limited to mystery religion, which is merely one of the examples of the trend. It must include the whole array of what was in vogue, or held appeal, or stretched out arms from the past, contemporary trends and various systems eventually working to compete, in things large or small, with Christianity, with indeed, truth itself.
Nor is this all. The term cannot even be limited to this. There is the further question of the essences of all these things, the philosophic vagrancy, conceit and imaginative use of irrational and arbitrary self-will, and all the romantic unleashing of the human spirit without God, or with hand-made gods, into the whole scene and scenario of philosophy in its broadest sense.
(See Secular Myths, Sacred Truth Ch. 7.)
KNOWLEDGE WHERE IT IS,
AND THAT WHICH IS FALSELY SO CALLED
Nor is this itself, all. The term gnwsis is itself not limited to this interesting array of influences, notable facades and features of the past, with or without trends towards the future in gnosticism, in its more limited designation, before its extension into a broader definition in terms of essence. The term means 'knowledge' in the simplest sense, and ANY effort to delimit it to some imagined confines is out of bounds in interpretation. One can say, 'Well, you know, I think he was probably referring to this and that, and especially as these things were quickly to come into classical formulations of this kind and that, it is probably about such things that the apostle was speaking!' This is opinion. It is not ridiculous. It is however mere opinion.
If one is concerned not with opinion, larger or smaller in the scope imagined, and there are numerous options available, possibilities of thought, but with the word of God, it is "knowledge falsely so called" which is in view.
It is not more; it is not less. One cannot read Paul's mind, far less the Lord's. It is best to let Him say and then take what is said. The 'vain babblings' noted, these readily included mystery religion, mythology, philosophy of the more strenuously naturalistic kinds, the Platonic the Aristotelian, numerous famous names and features, emphases, religions, elements of religions, syntheses of religions, variations in religions, thoughts, surmises and in fact, just what it means today.
The term concerning knowledge, and its pseudonymic quality, its disastrous misappelation, it is not restricted. It is as written, neither more nor less.
It is of course true that Francis Bacon did a wonderful job in codifying some of the basic concepts of scientific method as it is now called, and that has come to represent a WAY of seeking knowledge, testing it and proceeding, whether in the more strictly limited application to material things, or in ways where it is to some extent applicable, outside them (cf. scientific method in both indexes). This is misused in this sphere, just as it was in Aristotle's time when the methodology was less developed but by no means absent, and it occurs whether now or then, when the musings are inserted into the discipline, and the irrationalities and arbitrary additions are made, with all the gluttony of prejudice, and worse if possible, all the subversive assurance of philosophy equally irrational, surreptitious and out of place. (Cf. Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming Chs. 4-6, Stepping out for Christ Chs. 2, 7-10, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, SMR Chs. 1 - esp. pp. 140ff., and 127ff., Chs. 2,Ch.. 10, That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1,Ch. 8.)
These things have had their come-uppance diversely for long, have their intense homologies and their vast elements of concurrence.
The sense of the term of Paul, 'knowledge falsely so-called' is given by GOD, as he states in I Cor. 2:9ff. (cf. SMR Appendix D). Indeed, I Peter :10ff. (cf. II Peter 1) states this, that the prophets of old were ardently seeking to discern the manner of time and meaning of the predictions of the Messiah. In I Peter 1 it is this which is found, just as in I Cor. 2:9ff. there is to be found the declaration of the revealing both of the substance of the revelation and the word in which it is to garbed, by St Paul, both from GOD. He has no surprises, needs no surmises and in Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (cf. Isaiah 46:10, 41, 48, Colossians 2:3, 2:9).
Other predictions concerning false 'knowledge' in particular, relate to "the latter times" (I Timothy 4:1ff.), and are fulfilled for one, in the Roman Catholicism where "abstaining from foods" and "forbidding to marry" are evocative, provocative and famous errors demarcating a system which has long abused these things, tenaciously clings to them, and stands out more and more in the current cultural climate for so doing!
Many other things are predicted of this time, our own (Answers to Questions Ch. 5), and the formalism of religion associated with failure to realise the power of God, is one of these. One of the fulfilments of that particular abuse of knowledge in the format of knowledgeable ignorance was of course, the immense and futile attack on the Bible from many philosophic sources in the last century (modernism, liberalism are tags q.v.), which have fallen into the proper exposure from the truth, which is always assured. It is as in Romans 1, and extended to its summit!*2
One of its failures as the effort to limit the word of God to the contemporary thoughts of the writers. This notion at no time fitted the facts, and is derelict of all support (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 8-10, Appendix D).
Vast indeed are the forms, formulae
and formats of false knowledge, all ultimately arising from ignorance of God, in
the last analysis, wilful (Romans 1, Ephesians 4). Large also has been the
contribution from the particular form of naturalism and evolutionism, before
the day of Paul.
The scientific domain, as now defined, and the more so in terms of prophetic illumination being an integral part of scripture, and so defined to occur, is therefore BY ALL MEANS one into which knowledge falsely so-called can come, in terms of the biblical warning. It is applicable NOT ONLY here, but decisively here, since this is one of the most inflamed and pathological misuses of wisdom and reason known in the world today, the scientific medley of science and foolish philosophy, contrary to evidence, in defiance of it, based on hope and opinion, ignoring decisive evidence in a manner most discriminatingly false towards knowledge in general, and scientific method in particular.
Science in the sense of the most popular stance taken, in the field which concerns religious matters where these intersect (and this is by no means only in terms of the question of creation and science strictly so-called) is quite as alien to truth and logic, as any other kind or concept of knowledge, and this is to be found in some of its most common pronouncements as metaphysics, epistemology or ethics enter pompously into some of the pronouncements masquerading to be scientific. One example is to be found in Beauty for Ashes Ch. 3, another in the field of education in Divine Agenda Ch. 2 with TMR Ch. 8; but many more appear in SMR Ch. 2 and TMR Ch. 1, for example, as in The gods of naturalism have no go!
There are no limits. All forms of knowledge are in contemporary terms, being infected, and often more or less in proportion to the nearness with which the ambit of any approaches to things divine or religious; although, there does not have to be a DIRECT relationship, for the indirect is often found also (cf. Ancient Words ... Chs. 9 and 13), and in the subtleties of Satan, may have a better effect, where the degradation of man by making the human hallowed, and the divine discarded.
All is infected, as to type; not as to extent. Mercifully, the Bible enables us to find the true and verifiable, valid and exclusively valid approach (cf. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ), and applying it, to correct for the error factor introduced so intrusively and at times delusively from philosophic sources, whether as sometimes with admission of the same, or without even the realisation of the fraud perpetrated. Such is culture in its occlusion of thought.
The results a postiori of biblical truth in fact have no match, a confirmation of the proof of the word of God as locatable in written format for man, ONLY in the Bible. Once the latter is identified, it excludes the rest, and as in Ch. 10 of SMR, they also exclude themselves logically. One of the aspects in which this occurs is noted in SMR Ch. 4. This follows, slightly adapted for our present purpose. .
Sometimes people want something rather badly and, seeing in some feature of the created universe some proclivity for this, turn it, like a child in his imagination, into that feature. What harm ? they may comment; after all, it is satisfying and fulfilling. They have 'gods' of clouds, of meteorological propensions, of waterfalls, trees, evolution (grabbed from pre-arranged growth patterns, and utilisation of created resources), of ideologies (grabbed from despised truth, the ostensible fragments used for rebuilding some mental mechano set, mistaken for real life), make gods of bodies, minds, institutions, processes, the devil, the young, the old ... whatever appeals; and they enshroud these impotent creations of their own minds with the awe that God intrinsically has. To the objects, they render the awe these objects intrinsically lack. These? The myths of the modern age; the process, mythopoeia.
But what does it satisfy ? C.S. Lewis seems to feel that literature shows evidence of certain myth-making features, such evolutionary thrust, brazenly left without the denouement of sad failure that the literary version can offer, in the heroics seized on by some scientists. Doubtless, he is well versed in his field. (Christian Reflections, pp 82 ff., The Funeral of a Great Myth ... that of evolution.)
Certainly, the making of vast thrusts of imagination is something people can do. The Greeks were particularly good at putting humans into godly garb and having them do fascinatingly fantastic things, sometimes for humour, or for comment on life. However, there are insuperable problems in any endeavour to put Christ into this category, either in the fact or the features of His life.
In Appendix C (infra), the fact and basic structure of His life is shown remorselessly, in terms of the evidence. Similarly in Chapter 6 (infra), the character, quality and identity of His life as the Son of God is demonstrated; while in Chapter 1 (supra), the generic necessity that God has spoken is demonstrated, and the Bible including the New Testament is exhibited, necessarily, to be what He said. And there also, is revealed that same Jesus Christ. The imitations and intimations of fraud are as natural to man as is the reality of what is genuine; and deception with fraud is correlative to the existence and awareness of the genuine. The genuine has simply to be found in its meeting the criteria, as in bank-notes.
One of the attestations of fraud in this case is the point made by C.S. Lewis, the Cambridge Professor of such renown; and the fraud is that of those who try to manufacture God, because unwilling to worship the God who created them. Is it, one almost could wonder, in 'vengeance' for their being so 'demeaned' - might we say? - as to be created! Lewis notes the whole history and nature of literary development is against any concept of concocted gospels, arising not from history but from the creative imaginations of men, saying:
As a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are, they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing. They are not artistic enough to be legends. From an imaginative point of view they are clumsy, they don't work up to things properly. Most of the life of Jesus is totally unknown to us, as is the life of anyone else who lived at that time, and no people building up a legend would allow that to be so... (This appears in God In The Dock, in the Essay, What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ, p. 82.)
Speaking of the singularity of the gospels in terms of their literary form, not only in the ancient world, but now, Lewis adds:
There is nothing even in modern literature, until about a hundred years ago when the realistic novel came into existence.
Lewis finds a singularity in the realistic format of the gospels wholly alien to works of fiction, of legend in all antiquity and that this startlingly different air is maintained in substantial uniqueness for 1900 years to the beginning of our modern age. Let us pursue this theme for a moment, in its individuality, before tracing its place in the network of allied considerations, as testimony and verification of the vast historical impact of the majesty, truth and strength of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
As to the matters recorded, then, in these gospels, this was no philosophy. The Church spent much time apprehending all the implications of this startling historical happening, and formulating the results as it met various challenges; though the power of God and the living presence of the physically resurrected and death breaching Lord Jesus Christ were always dominant, from the first. Nevertheless, Paul the apostle wrote, guided by the same Lord, within several years of Christ's resurrection, with wide acceptance and clear presentation of the deep things.
The triviality of the secular wit gave way to the awe of reality, and truth forged its own literary forms in the gospels of Jesus Christ. Reality released a realism in religious portraiture which taught the world a new form of biography. What would you expect, or as the French put it, que voulez-vous ?
When God was the subject, and God as a man, the format, uniqueness all through is, as it were, the formula: say better the very air and atmosphere. Thus even the form of writing carries its own force of verification. Like truth, and being truth itself, it exhibits its natural reality on every side: what we might call the natural verification of the supernatural, on earth.
There is a sense, indeed, in which the writers are following in writing the Lord whom they followed, in their own biological format, as men, on earth. The verb in Luke's expression, concerning the writing of the gospel of Luke, means to 'follow after someone so as to always at his side', as the dictionary puts it, or accurately to follow... all things, as the New King James translation puts it in the margin, as literal.
The disciples who were called to write were, like Mary at the preparation of the Christ in the womb, overshadowed by the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth as Christ called Him (John 16:13), who ministered to them the simplicity of the record (cf., Luke 1:2-3), as a tourist writes of the Niagara Falls, with conscious directness, but with the majesty of truth.
Now we may return to the observation of Professor C.S. Lewis, concerning the literary form of the gospels, review his statement and relate it to allied considerations concerning the historical life of Jesus Christ, and its consequences and implications, in terms of verification of the Bible.
As an imaginative construction, the gospel record would fail to meet the form for any ancient literary role, as would a brain surgeon if he were trying to become a romantic actor. In that role, he might well be clumsy, for it is not his. The roles, the reasons and the rationales are all different in entirety... He is not 'dealing' with audiences but with raw reality.
Lewis' point is that only as authentic history, claiming amazed accounts with full, frank and free records of events - which is indeed the stress - can explanation be found for the fact of the gospels. Except as record, says Lewis, it does not fit, into literary history. Indeed, like so much else, viewed contrary to fact it does not fit anywhere.
Just as literature does not admit such a testimony, in its historical setting, so history does not allow such a development in its literary setting... such a New Testament Canon so rapidly to 'arise', set almost at once among the prophetic Scriptures of the Old Testament, with their massive divine authority. (See Ch. 6 and Appendix C, Vol. 3, infra,).
Nor are such graphic constructions as the 4 gospels, reeking with individuality of utterance from each of the 4 writers, obviously more concerned to record fact than to mould a form, far less connive in its acceptance, to be admitted by common sense: except for what they are. Nor is the inability of man to overcome this God-claimant, except by plotting His death, able to fit into the professional setting of acute lawyers, always frustrated, against such a 'case'! - if a mere fraud. Nor, barring the authentic, does the record of Christ fit into the Old Testament predictive setting, where 'success' means death for the Messiah, and dispersion - as the ultimate covenant breaking penalty - for the Jewish people. (See in detail, Ch.s 8 & 9 infra, Zechariah 11:10-15, 12:10, Leviticus 26:27-35, and Scriptural Index on these verses; also cf. Ch. 6 infra.)
Still less does it fit for the Messiah who emphasised these things with a sombre realism alive with expectant joy; dwelling on the coming death, the ruin, the desolation and the scattering, with a fixity of purpose which might have seemed morbid: if it had not been truth. Nor for that matter does the power of a lifeless corpse fit into the life and the fearlessness in the face of death, of what would be frauds, daftly committed to deploy God's power without even their leader (cf. p. 470 infra): consigned to hell for deceit and blasphemy ... or liars, for whom infamy on earth would be followed by an abyss of folly, dug by their own hands. On the composite and complete data before us, nothing fits except the authentic one, who knew His place and His power. Authenticity fits all the requirements, of reason as well as of evidence, and it does so uniquely.
Here as elsewhere, different ideas merely emphasise the profound and consistent nature of the verification of the testimony of Jesus Christ, on every side.
Indeed, anyone who does not accept the self-revealing God has insuperable problems, in this lordly business of dispensing with history and logic, as used by Christians. As shown in Chapter 3 (supra), man in this situation, while even speaking with the most audacious assurance, does so quite illogically in such a matter as determining truth and reality. Walking myths, will they evaluate their substance ?
For such makers or moulders or reviewers of myths and marvels as the godless, both of their own, and of those made or not made by other creatures: it is impossible to find any objective way in which logically to accord any significance whatever, systematically speaking, to anything at all declared. Once blowing up their own Houses of Spiritual Parliament, they are in no position to legislate; and to legislate is precisely what they do when they utter the myth that Christ is a myth.
With no basis of their own, to be distinct from meaningless meanders exhibiting their flimsy limits, they are not able to advance beyond myth to reality, in order to defy or define what is not! They need the self-revealing God as a prelude to attacking anything at this level. Theirs is the atheistic myth.
Atheistic myth? You might protest that it is really an anti-myth, but not so. It is part of a fiasco of human exaltation, in which gods and men are manipulated,'handled' broadly, on the godlike basis of those who, being (by their view) mere meaninglessly, experientially limited human miasma, atoms of non-significance, assume (functionally) divine honours. The myth is most comic when, in a world not even possessing any objective viewpoint to confer on its denizens (on their own basis, by implication), such people esteem any perspective or view or concept of the truth which may happen to lap on their (mini-) shores, to be possessed of any reality value at all. All this has been extensively shown, and is merely succinctly recalled here.
Such myths die before they are born; and science is not the place for their funeral.
There is nothing personal as such here. If Bible-affirming persons (anomalously) did what these do, their ungodly words would be just the same: they would have the same vacuous insignificance. It is a question of procedure. It is not personal to say on this (unbelieving) basis, that nothing personal is significant. It is significant however in the myth-making claim. The parties making it are systematically barred from having the perspective and power to make judgments involving truth at all; and meaningless mouthings do not deserve reply.
If they contradict themselves in removing their power to know and then using it, there is no need for any activity in response, except pity. The myth of achieving god-reaching powers, divinity status, merely for the thrill of it, the imagination of it, when neither God nor His powers are believed in; or even if believed in, are free from convenient bans on speech, having no way of being found by the controversialist concerned: this is real myth. What is it then ? It is the fulfilment without rationality of fundamental hopes of many humans; comparable to speed thrills with a motor-cyclist, as he roars to a cliff top. It does not mean anything, but that his life is deranged.
This myth must be laid to rest; for it is merely irrational. That done, the basis for myth review is removed. Based on myth, confusing it with reason, you are automatically excluded from having the power to review myths, which would require reason, just to start.
Those who believe the Bible, and in One self- revealing God, may consistently affirm what the truth is, for God Himself assuredly has the power of it (Chapter 1 supra). Those who reject Him-as-revealed, equally assuredly have no way of getting the truth (cf. Chapter 3 supra); and so action pre-supposing they have it, is merely a frivolous frothing of uncontrolled and undisciplined imagination. It is perhaps not quite so bad or comic if this is realised, and its day-dream and contradictory elements are perceived.
From this, we are led to:
The mythopoeic implications if God had not spoken
(Cf. Ch. 1, pp. 42 ff. and 88 ff. supra.
See also Sparkling Life in Christ Jesus Ch. 4,
Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6-7 and
Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer,
It Bubbles ... Ch 9,
Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7 with
TMR Ch. 5) .
One of the more aspiring actions of the mythopoeic powers of man is this: to invade heaven, or, if you wish, to construct his own without materials, situation or adhesives. Thus he may decide to evict God from heaven, or mythopoeically manufacture some heaven or haven without God - the result is the same, mythical; and then legislate that it is really no good, this system, this universe, this state of things, divinity and all that.
He, man, has said so; and lo, so it is. Forget his metaphysical monstrosity of irrationality in any such assertion (Chapter 3 supra). Let us, for the moment, concentrate on the pure ethics of it. Thus man is thereby saying that he has examined the nature of things, and it simply isn't good enough. If the management can't do any better, then he will for that reason, despite all logic, disbelieve in the management; or sometimes, he will utter this 'judgment' as a sort of threat like this: very well, if this is the way God acts, I shall simply disbelieve in Him.
In this case, the logic of the matter, the inescapable logic which we have already examined, is a little more acknowledged. God will be confronted by not being believed in, so there! It is rather like a divorce: Very well, if you will not measure up, I shall voluntarily and officially sever all ties, and you will be to me as if you were not. The 'as if' is the important part here...
Yet there is value for us here. If God had not spoken, and if there were all these judgments on the earth (that God has in fact spoken of, as we see and have seen): then the one speaking would in principle, be able to point out to God, ways of improving on His performance. A silent God confronting man, with a noisy planet filled with ethical horrors, would then be subject to a noisy man telling Him why and where it is wrong, and how it could be improved and that, if he, man, were almighty, he would solve the problems in this and that way in short order ... indeed, to be frank and of course humble, he, man, would never have let them happen.
The monstrous absurdity of a wholly constructed exhibit called man, initially and always dependent on God, being wiser than He, having access to more resolving power, greater intrinsic knowledge of all things and more apt provisions for the use of God's creation, using only the powers God donated, is of course a sort of logical insanity. It is one which seems chiefly confined to areas like religion, philosophy, psychology and its cognates, and at times, politics. There man is at risk and in hope, and often acts as if he were god, God indeed, without much thought beyond his desire. So here. The petty distinction between the finite and the infinite, the derivative and the Deriver seems lost in the winds of appetite.
Yet, as we have reasoned, if God had not spoken in such a world as this, with His construction of man, exhibiting His own truth and justice (Chapter 1), so leaving such a world remedy-less: there would be a flat contradiction between what He is and what is. Silence, in these circumstances, would allow the ludicrous irrationality just traced, to be true. Indeed, the point is this: it is this myth that God lacked in unlocking the right and good solution for man, so that man could himself envisage improvements, both radical and assured. (Cf. *7, p. 1163A; *1, p. 1174B infra.)
That does indeed follow if God had not spoken. Those who 'prefer to think' this, despite the necessities of logic and the perennial verifications in scientific method shown, and this so often in this work, are in fact guilty of the utmost blasphemy, as well as irrationality: One reason ... for judgment at the bar of God. (Thus self-disciplined love providing ransom is despised.) Avoiding both errors, we simply affirm His speech, as does He, with consistent and sustained verification, culminating in the elegant and articulate provisions of the incarnate Word (John 1:1-14, Colossians 1:19-21, 2:9), by which the needs of logic were so surpassed as to make it like first seeing the ocean, when only of a puddle was needed.
This provides an introduction to some of the means at hand in the demonstration. The result of this finding is the funding the Bible provides of evidence-intensive results over millenia, inevacuable, unflinching and unfailing, ineluctable before the bar of reason, unbowed before the barriers of hostility. Evidence attests, verification confirms, the claim of the Bible and the clamour of facts are both in consonance, convergent in truth, ineradicable before efforts at rupture.
The procedure used, however, is not this or that apologetic method, but one which engages various tools of law, logic and truth, evidence in its broadest sense so that there is then employment and deployment of the total testimony to which the human race is exposed, as occasion requires: it could be called the composite method or the comprehensive method. It is not dependent on assumptions. It is not dependent on man. It is not subjective in its finale (TMR Ch. 5), pursuing evidence both of our innate frame, our innate methods, their outward results and internal requirements for operability.
It is traced in some detail in What is the Wheat to the Chaff Chs. 3 and 4 and shown in Light Dwells ... (op. cit.). Science as modernly so-called is not some statuesque idol, standing alone; but merely one of the means of thought and testing, truth and reality available. It is trusting in so limited and delimited a mode, a postiori in concept, that both exhibits and forwards man's delusions.
To be sure science may putatively propose by informed imagination what may be a workable theory, and the one who does this, like an intellectual entrepreneur may be justified, either for a time, or longer. This is a tool. Its result, the payload however is in the resultant arena.
The state into which the muddled and muddied mind of man can be betwitched as philosophic follies without limit are wrought in the minds of some scientists, mistily unaware, it seems, in some cases of what they so arrantly and arrogantly propose, has become fashionable, like torn and acid faded jeans. Such preoccupations are then shown as if they were PART of science conceived in terms of its austere and outstandingly good scientific method, in its demure and testing mode (not the arrogant substitute now being proposed by some): this speaks for itself, though some articulate it with a brand of delusion which seems an orgy of self-congratulation and indeed worship.
It makes it easy to see how the man of sin can arrantly declare, showing himself that he is god, that this is his ... nature. He is IT (II Thessalonians 2). The scorching repudiation of his inane discovery is like the atomic bomb at the spiritual level; for whatever matter presents in its various compact forms and designs, as designated by the one who made the energy for it to contain, this is as nothing compared with the inter-personal exchange with the Maker of matter when the heart of this sort of matter is what is the matter with man.
Moreover, even now, these delusive forces are not silent, and do not merely imply their unholy hypnosis with man, on which they base their enquiries. To regard it as sand is an almost flattering designation at this advanced stage. It is an abyss.]
What then of this philosophic invasion of science properly so-called. it has much to say, and repetitively, impulsively, ingloriously, treacherously and impenitently, these things are exported, in fact increasingly as an explicit religion contrary to evidence, with all the vehemence of carnal missionaries.
Indeed, one scientific pundit formally proposes, and as an explicit missionary exhorts others to follow his proposition, that in a humanistic materialism man MUST proceed; that anything else is jejune and inadequate; that all propositions must be vested with this perspective, in schools rather than in pitched battles with swords (or presumably atomic or H- bombs). Founding man on man as interpreting man, this may be very mannish; but it precisely as sound logically as founding the true measurement of any object on strictly internal criteria. This includes the internal criteria (to the viewer) of his own eye, and its basis; and that though present and operative, is not self-labelling. (See Sarfati, Refuting Evolution, pp. 17-18, 20-21). The follies of materialism indeed are extensively reviewed in the midst of actual facts of logic and evidence, in Repent or Perish Ch. 7, and considered further in It Bubbles, It Howls, He calls Ch. 9.
Propounding 'truth' without having a self-declaring and objective method of knowing, it is merely a waste of time, an arc-en-ciel of blind arrogance and quite simply, self-assertion. Other than psychologically, it is meaningless, an abuse to the uttermost of the very reason it uses for its trade, deploys in its métier.
On this and the nature of science*2 proof and evidence, see the work, Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation, including The Defining Drama Ch. 2, Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy Ch. 6 and see Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed, Barrister of Bliss Ch. 4. The gods of naturalism have no go Ch. 5 in particular, deals with some of the obsessive avoidances of current abuses often found in a distorted scientific method. Narrowing the field, determining the results in advance, it becomes a parody of method and a principle of obfuscation at work like a mould. Indeed, in Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9, we consider the Cult of the Forbidden, a pseudo-religious compulsion, increasingly obsessive, to exclude what reason requires because of preconceptions in the minds of some scientists as to what must be, philosophically, even though it is precisely this which is the very heart of their antinomy. This makes mockery of science, and meaninglessness to man, invoking truth a priori in procedure, denying it in practice.
Professor D.M.S. Watson's famous dictum that his evolutionary views are not dependent on logical constraint, "by logically coherent evidence" but the requirements of a system of belief (and anti-belief) is merely one of a genre of admissions, some missionary in flavour, some belligerent in tone, seeking to direct mankind, and pushing him over the cliff of antinomy, asininity and anti-verificatory 'science' in which increasingly, where the arena is God or His attributes or perquisites, he willingly goes, like a new drug addict, attracting to the street-wise ways of his too congenial corrupters.
The delightful case of modern astronomy*3 yields a wonderful array of assumptions and contrary assumptions, hopes, emissions of thought and commissions of hypotheses, as Arp has been inclined to show in some of his attacks, without undue relevance even to the evidence. Indeed, this merely aggravates the trend to know by miasmic magic certain propositions of ultimate truth, while in a sort of philosophic senility, deriding the very concept of absolute truth, in an all-relative world, known to be so by an absolute knowledge for which absolution is required, rather than credence, in its sheer effrontery of antilogy.
One most delectable case involves some scientist deriding the more ordinary concept of scientific method as superficial, being not unduly impressed by MERE evidence, and actively seeking in a sort of parody of pretension, fit for Gilbert and Sullivan (the very model of a modern scientific warrior), to have certain UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES, certain savvy knowledge, certain understanding as giving a priori. This mystic meander then becomes the ONLY way in which to view anything, whatever the evidence. This is nothing less than scientific gnosticism, a clear case of knowledge falsely so-called, and certainly in the wisdom of God, not less present now than in the cases of ancient Greek philosophers.
On this savage mysticism, intrusive, hostile, irrational, Sarfati in Unit I of Refuting Evolution 2, and Refuting Evolution Ch. 1 provides further attestation (e.g. a word from John Rennie of Scientific American) moving 'on' from simple verificatory criteria. How could they stay with them, since they have long spelt the end, in scientific method where it earns its credit in chaste theory and acridly applied test, of their theory! (cf. SMR pp. 140ff.). The essential continuity with the early Greek philosophers is profound, the failure to follow the result of test is inordinate, becoming a case of the very essence, when test is both made and disregarded! Knowledge falsely so-called has had many habitats, but however diverse in some presumptive assumptions, it has one result: it does not work, it does not show, it does not go, its results do not reveal themselves, and they are not to be seen.
In one case we find Richard Lewontin, in his "Billions and billions of demons" (a good title if misapplied, and better yet if applied to the inventions concerning years of time with such profound logical incompetence so assuredly assigned - cf. TMR Ch. 7) holding forth to the effect that despite monumental and multiplied, ludicrous errors in scientific approach by materialists, yet because of their loyalty to their philosophic cause they must stomach the lot.
These liabilities of the the true unbelievers include 'the patent absurdities of some of its constructs', 'its failure to fulfil many of its extravagant promises of health and life' (in fact millions die in vain struggles to be 'the best' on their own terms, and impose it on others), 'the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories'. Yet for all that as in Repent or Perish Ch. 7, their leading thought, materialism, is slain at the outset by its denial of the very access to absolute truth by which it could utter it (cf. SMR Ch. 3, Barbs... 6 - 7). And that ? It is merely the start of a folly as great as and greater than the swallowing of so many admitted absurdities as defined by Lewontin.
But what of this militant, sightless and cited materialistic magic devolving on the organic evolutionary masthead ? It is in fact, as a genre, a case of the spiritual invasion which revisionist proponents of the neo-scientific method (either explicitly or implicitly) embrace, and forward to others, for their due embrace. The case being lost, it becomes necessary for the militant reductionists to change the rules. It is not an uncommon procedure, but when it is explicit, it is a wonder and a marvel. It is the case of the Cult of the Forbidden, where answers not from the natural are excluded a priori, the licence for disregarding law, as when the opposite to law is now used as the basis for an hypothesis which, as Karl Popper admits, is not a law. It is not in that realm. It is a matter of faith that MUST be adhered to, and is wholly unworthy therefore of scientific nomenclature.
Creationism on the other hand, relishes facts, insists on them, delights in data, and while admittedly it is not about to change its convictions, the case does not arise. WHAT IT HAS CHOSEN is in accord with law and evidence in the first place, and simply agrees by the necessities of logic, with the empirical, the realities of logic being vindicated by this joint cohesion of Bible and occurrence, and preceded by the necessities of rationality per se, in advance. As with all truth, all of it coheres, and indeed each phase reinforces the other.
In our approach, first proving God and then His truth, we proceed without rational pause to the Bible, and then to its vindication by verification, and this on all sides, one by one in review. We do not desire any relaxing of scientific method in terms of any gnostic knowledge which has been assumed; why divide when you have already conquered! Thus creationism has its own criteria and basis in the empirical, but biblical creationism has the entirety of ontology on all sides unremitting requiring it, each cosmos of conception and test, action and symbol, or command and consequence with the same inveterate insistence on its logical necessities; and all in composition on their synthesis, this rather more a natural phenomenon and a logical unity, than a synthesis, however, since it is merely a matter of exhibiting what is obvious on application, not creating it! (cf. Deity and Design ..., Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ, Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer).
As is most fitting with the testimony of word and work on the part of the Creator and Redeemer, it is a matter of infallible proof on every side, by every means, cumulatively and individually, by execution of any alternative, and confirmation of itself.
It is hence a sheer ravishment to watch its indefeasible dynamic rolling over all pretence, just as when a tank rolls over deadly armaments, under constant emplacement.
Thus at this early part of the 21st Century, so fitting a complement to the 20th of ardent war, in its reception of deception so openly, not only is there no ground for the assault on creation, design and truth, on the Bible as the sole authorised word of God to man and revelation of His will for man to know the truth, but there is no opposition that can as much as stand. In broken laws, amended criteria, empirical lapses and inherent clashes (cf. Deity and Design ... Ch. 8), the broken weapons of effrontery against deity lie as wasted as is the earth to become, after so much divine patience for so long in so much.
Man is without ground in logic, science or truth, to contest the case with the Almighty God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and remains expressive of mere will. Nor is this in logic only, but in assault on Israel, demarcated by God for Israel, which the Madrid Quartet of major world powers now approaches very much like a school bully 'helping' 20 enemies to overcome a child of 7 (Israel is very small!). Less than the 1/3 of the promised Palestine for Israel ? Why of course ? And some of Jerusalem for Israel's defeated enemies (just as God promised they would be, in Zechariah 12, before in Israel the massive conversion to Christ is to occur) ? Naturally. Yes, naturally, but not supernaturally. This becomes one of the outcomes of unbelief, as it fashions itself in more world war, hoping that God might forget.
He is slow to anger, but even slower to forget His word. Be warned therefore you interlopers; for God is not mocked.
But let us return to more sedate arenas (though not in terms of souls, less destructive).
What then of this anti-empirical blasé approach noted above for the materialistic evolutionist ? In practice, this is simply begging the question, ignoring NOT ONLY the evidence concerning the actualities that happened and happen, in terms of what is available as index, BUT ALSO assuming the cause of what is so shown to be other than the testimony admits, as a BASIS both before and in the face of evidence. In this, you both make a portrait without looking at what is attested in front of you, and deny where needful what you look at as well, where this departs from what you wish to imagine. If this is not modern magic, what is ? Here we are with the magnificent booths of English fairs, in their heyday, where the simple come to be astonished, and the knowledgeable for a spark of humour and farce. And this ? It is science ? Of course it is, science falsely so-called, a saga of the scientistic.
Application of refinement from these preclusive obsessions in the area of design has been shown in Deity and Design ..., and in particular in Dig Deeper, Higher Soar, Divine Glory Delights the More ... Ch. 2, and in Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 7. It is sometimes useful to use blinkers on horses, but it certainly does not help vision in man! Parochial pre-occupations in the secular world have quite an ironic flush to them; but pathologically, it is necessary to expose them for health's sake!
Apart from such invasions, distortions and restrictions polemically inserted by many, science has a place, a limited one to be sure, but one of proper interest when rationally construed. It is folly enough when man worships his own image in chosen idols into which he projects desire or hope, or hopelessness as the various religious and pseudo-religious case may be (as in organic evolution and its misfit mach-follies illustrate in their results - most recently in the Finnish schoolboy case (November 2007) of one seeking to apply 'survival of the fittests' values on his own basis.
On this place of science, let us not imagine that its limited methods take over all human research and its pre-occupation with the empirically viewable (by means direct or indirect) gives it some kind of monopoly. On the contrary, even without obsessive materialism as a condition of its heuristic default, ludicrously engaging students to see for themselves, while excluding fields of investigation with forlorn fatuity by a priori assault on the openness of science, science gains both its dignity and its name by the trail of trial, imaginative hypothesis defining possible aetiology, ruthless testing excluding that hypothesis through integrity in applying non-conformist results, comparison with existing laws and facility in conceiving limits to laws as new ones are assembled by the same patient analysis and investigation, where fact rules and data determine.
Doubtless, you could use an analogical scientific method in realms not limited to the episodically testable, as you move from physics to metaphysics, and the cosmoi of the spiritual and the bases of the human limits and licence; but this merely is an extension of confusion.
Logic is common; domains are not, nor are methods of a specialist kind. It is when the whole orchestra of human modes of gaining knowledge is used in concert and its results are found in harmony, from validity to verification, from the mental to the spiritual to the material, and instead of making callow guesses founded on prejudice, one acts both scientifically and validly, with a vast interplay of methods and materials, and this leads into the whole variety of sources and situations, all acting in cohesion that truth appears. When God is involved, so great is the power both necessary and actual that so far from being slack in testing the source as being operational in a given case, directly, one must be as assiduous as in other branches of learning; and by no means follow the current defeated downward dynamic of materialistic pathology in scientific method, downgrading verification.
As with Communism in Russia in 1991 and on, this is merely to acknowledge defeat; undoubtedly a good thing, but not so wise when it is made to appear sophistication!
It is necessary to USE science but not this alone; it is necessary when dealing with God to use all that offers in the realms of evidence, logical, heuristic, empirical, noetic, investigating every phase and facet of the entire array of evidence, both internal and external to man, in differential spheres and in composite collations, indeed in all realms; for less than that is mere psychological selectivity, in vain, blind, indeed blind faith without ground. When this is done, the results are as have been shown on this site for the past 11 years, first of all from SMR. . What are these ?
The Bible is demonstrably both true and the word of God, just as the resurrection is confirmed by infallible proofs, and the failure to realise this is an exhibit of what has no light (Isaiah 8:20). That is, without the basis, foundation and meaning, power and glory, plan and purpose behind life you are merely muttering. Logic insists on it, evidence rejects all other contestant not in one field only, but in the whole gamut of fields taken in their cohesion of vision and inter-disciplinary mutuality.
Science can play a helpful part in this, as can much else. ALL concludes in the same manner, when used comprehensively. There is about biblical doctrine, indirectly, but decisively, a demonstrable quality, and there are 'infallible proofs' as Luke notes available. His is in one area, but the thing is sure in quality. As Isaiah puts it, if they do not speak according to the Book of the Lord, the case is that there is NO LIGHT in them! (8:20). Neither is there light of reason (in application to the field in view), nor of faith, nor of spiritual perception, nor of spiritual illumination; but above all, the light of the Lord direct, personal to personal, is snuffed. This is cut-down man in cut-down clothes strutting like a manipulated robot, and loving it.
This devious delinquency into darkness has neither excuse nor usefulness, any more than any other obscuration; and whether the light of reason leads to things terrestrial or celestial, psychological or emotional, aesthetic or moral, creative or sustaining, temporal or eternal (for there MUST be things eternal or nothing would have been a beginning that by definition could not have led to you or to me), spiritual or psychic, material or intellectual, subtle or manifest, there one must be willing to follow; so that when man insists on avoidance of the antilogies of reason, as a condition of its sustainable use, this must be received with a modesty which does not act the militant. You CANNOT use what you disable; and if you attempt it, you merely molest truth with vanity. Man has molested man in millions with broken bodies and distressed minds for millenia; this we lament. It is however no excuse for the molestation of reason and the defamation of truth.
Faith has a place; but it is a robust thing when healthy, not excluding evidence, but delighting in every new phase of it, and having found what DOES meet all, it does not vary from its demonstrable monopoly of truth, since nothing else works logically, nor does it fail to find and to know God operationally, and since He is what He is, to love Him devotedly, never afraid. As Christ made so clear, what is of the light, comes into it! (John 3:20-21).
A TOUCH OF THE OBVIOUS
Let us now for a moment consider the obvious, apart from the more refined modes used for formal proof. On this, one might also move to SMR pp. 88ff..
Even at the most elementary level (what Paul calls manifest), one can see the MOST intricate, compressed, miniaturised, technically advanced, amazingly composite, correlations of mind and matter, ectype and entity, later of spirit (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5, SMR pp. 348ff.), wrought into existence in various spheres of discrete symbolic and operational control, facilitation and functionality, each with its own medium, matrix or marvel, and combined in ways past the power of man even to formulate (for fashioning). Then one can see this SAME power at the insect ectype, for example, as in the case of the mosquito, a fearsome weapon of intricate design (cf. Deity and Design ... Chs. 2, 3, 8 for definition), molesting and brilliantly assailing the creation*4.
Thus there is a constructive, cohesive, creative dynamic of intelligence, imagination and brilliance of origination; and there is testimony abundant enough, along with harmonies and beauties amid the creation, of dissonance and devastation.
It is clear, since God is necessary , and only one God is possible (cf. SMR, Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4), two becoming a created scenario in itself, for unless identical they limit, each the other, which requires an imposition that is precursor to deity, a simple contradiction in terms: it is clear, I say, that both the construction and the devastation, detriment or opposition proceed from Him.
It follows, since God has ALL things (again, a limit would and could only refer to a creation, thus straying from the requirement), there is no question of anything but giving and maintaining the conditions that related to what He has created, or of experiment, as if He had been endowed with a growing intelligence by another intelligence, the same lapse from logical requirement. Why then has He given such blights amid such beneficence, which latter reaches to the uttermost endeavours which have been created for man's mind and spirit ?
It is apparent that God's gift of liberty (to think, for example, that other people are wrong while asserting that all is relative and there is no standard inherent in anything), which enables purpose (often found), error (frequently found) and models of ideas to exist and strive the one with the other, using reason, and choosing styles and exhibits for adoption from ancient antiquity or yesterday, is one has been abused. Man can perfectly well know that he is wrong by lying (he does not like others to do it to him, reality being hard enough to find), breaking faith or distorting truth for mere personal gain, and in so doing for millenia he has given ground for his removal. Being still here by a perfect marvel of divine patience, he is yet reminded continually of his conflict with his Creator by the conflicts which are in turn visited on himself, whether from his angry neighbour, the snake at the back door or the lethal spider that adds its venom to that of the spitting snake, aiming at the eye.
You often find this with fathers. When the child INSISTS on being stupid and revolting in revolt for nothing but self-expression (in some cases elf-expression may be the better term), then the father may be lean in gift, careful in fellowship, alert to evil, and the beauty of faith, trust, fellowship and interchange is blighted. Money may not be given only to be wasted, wisdom may be wtihheld since it is routinely disregarded. In fact, it is, at a human level, in the direction of the Proverbs 1 account of the divine response to man's witlessness when as so often, it takes centre stage.
However, having not as yet deleted mankind, or judged it all finally, God does not allow mere harassment as a reminder (cf. Contribution 1), but rather presents the option which alone is not in flat contradiction of His being: and that is the word of God, the Bible (of which above), which contains the Gospel. In this, free pardon, mercy, blood atonement of the eternal Word of God incarnate, are presented, and God, in His desire for all and insistence on truth, alone knows who are His. In this knowledge, which in His all-knowing wisdom discerns what will receive Him on His own terms without subterfuge or artfulness, not because of superior spirituality, since this is seen before all time and beyond all defilement (cf. Ephesians 1:4), time being itself a mere invention of God by which patience intervenes between desire and attainment: God acts and saves a people for Himself.
This being to Him illimitably precious, He has been willing to have His only begotten Son, sent to this earth, die for it (Romans 5). Desiring all, He saves some. Love is like that.
But even this is not the end. This segregation of those who refuse the truth from those who are drawn to and borne into it, then born of it (John 3) has an end. It is called judgment. This earth is full both of its exemplars in nature and at the hand of man himself! When God finally opts to deploy this final act, all men are judged, and those known to God from the first, which excludes all who have rejected Him on this earth in the very face of His light, are delivered by their Barrister, Jesus Christ, who pleads His own death as ground for cancellation of the sentence which would otherwise have been imposed on those who received Him (I John 2). These are in the Book of Life.
Like the book of DNA inscribed in one language only in every man, for his body, so is the Book of Life. It is not a testimony to design, but an impact from it on design, in this final stage! it is the word of the Maker to the made, not this time IN THEM, but FOR THEM.
Just as the communication to man, in one universal testimony to all races, has been as uniform in comprehensibility to all languages, one THOUGHT, so as in the offer, so in the result. Judgment is a thing of appalling awe, of which human war is a mere minor precursor. That is for time; this is for eternity.
Designs on God, re re-make Him are so arrogant a posturing as to be childish; but they are common. Provision by God to re-make man so that the culture of sin is not his simple overlord, on the contrary, is backed by both love and power, mercy and peace.
See for example, Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1, Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy Ch. 3, Predestination and Freewill.
On the definition of science, see Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 2,TMR Ch. 1.
On Arp, see DVA 1;
on extravaganzas of aspiration, see A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 3, Ancient Words ... Ch. 4;
on hypothomania see Cascade of Mercy, Torrent of Truth Ch. 6, Red Alert 11;
on the variable essays into composing consequences with creation, see once more Cascade 6, The Pride of Life, the Prince of Life and the Destiny of Man Ch. 1;
on the nature of creation see The Defining Drama Ch. 3, The Bright Light and the Comprehending Darkness Ch. 9
Creation may be defined. There is no need to be coy about it since all of us engage in it many times daily, so long as the light of reason remains, and the capacity to think and imagine. .
Creation may be defined as that act of spirit which in the realm of composite containment of artistic, analytical, imaginative, purposive, intuitive or strictly logical facility brings into being an expression of its vision, viewpoint or vista either into or concerning reality. Where its unique features are found in empirical expression, as in a sandal, a pin or a statement, fitted in a context of the same type, because it is unique, it is indicated. In this sense and setting, the term is used either of the act or the artifact.
The definition is a correlative to the definitions of design, to be found in the Chapters of Deity and Design noted in the last line of the text of the Chapter above (2, 3, 8), as to the definition of life (Life, What is it ?).