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God is Non-Lying
- Righteous in Truth
pp. 30 ff. supra, 81
ff. infra; also 580ff., Barbs,
Arrows and Balms 6, Repent
or Perish Ch. 2, That
Magnificent Rock Ch. 5,
A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 16.)
Let us consider for a moment that He did lie (not except to show the results of such an excursion: to increase our understanding and to consolidate it in this respect). That would mean that the Almighty being did things, or permitted and acquiesced in things (essentially the same because He could have stopped them every time); and then He decided to deny what He had done. Why would this be ?
Presumably, it would be with the purpose of making the world seem more like what He wanted it to be, than it was. But if that were His objective, the world simply would be different; for, you remember, God has power to make it different. That you see obviates the need to pretend... You could of course suggest that He wanted it one way and also wanted to pretend it was not that way. But that would simply imply He was twisted or tormented or in conflict; that He had a conflict within, which evidenced itself by a desire for conflict outside, one here occurring between words on the one hand, and deeds on the other. However, when words and works conflict, contrary elements oppose; but nothing is 'given' for God. Contrary conferments, words and works - at war! Lies imply eternal clash and strife, the insertion of bounds to the unchanging God: not the consequences of being unbound (p. 36 para 2 infra).
You see, again, there is not even any need for guile, as there is power; and such a merely dramatic urge to mislead... for mere internal satisfaction, without other point or purpose, this would indicate delight merely in conflict as such; which would rate this as a component of - or vigorously represented in - His being. This however cannot be the case, since conflict implies the things which are given (which you want to change) and the things which are desired (which you don't have yet, but would like to have). But for God! given ? By whom! prevented ? By what ?
Recall then that as before, God has all power. At no time therefore is He going to be decisively desiring what He is prevented from having ... dissatisfied with His power to perform, for this would be contrary to this very primary character of His being. God is intrinsically at peace (IAP). To p. 27 we now add: UCAFNLRITIAP . . . So does reason by its just exercise necessarily surround the mind of man with the integrity of its Maker, just as man's spirit is engulfed in the comprehension of its Creator (cf. p. 316B-C infra).
Three further points: since God is what He wants to be, it is His pleasure therefore to love righteousness - conformity to reality and to truth. It is His unalloyed love to take pleasure in it! Self-contradiction for Him requires an alien dualism, demanding ... its Creator! Secondly, we notice here that God works everything after the counsel of His own will. Each item is choice, chosen. Both these things follow with precision from this reason of His ineradicable fulfilment of all things in, by, through and to Himself. Thirdly both appear (again we simply refer you, as above...) in the Bible: Psalm 11:7 and Ephesians 1:11. The Bible being shown the word of God, it is verificatory to find it actually declares these basic things which His word declares to be 'obvious' (His divine nature - Romans 1:19-20), and to which reason compels us. It also declares He rejoiced in first creation dealings with man (Proverbs 8:31), a confirmatory datum, in terms of what we have been finding.
Incidentally, the Bible in Titus 1 also states that God... cannot lie (cf. p. 580 infra); that is, it would be contrary to the whole scope of His nature, and involve a contradiction of what He is, and of course, being it - as we saw - wants to be: for you recall, He has all power. Eternally He is what He wishes to be: the same, inviolable. (Cf.Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Item 6.)
We proceed, on p. 44 to the next crucial items in our series, giving a reason for the faith. However, before we do so, it seems fitting and perhaps helpful to some, more broadly to recapitulate and indeed, to extend a little. Those who wish to proceed direct, could turn to p. 44 infra., and later revisit the preliminary steps on pp. 36-43; yet it should help to fortify the mind and prepare for what comes, if the reader proceed direct in line, simply knowing that the main thrust will be resumed on p. 44.
We have been moving up on one side of the mount in a gentle ascent. Now we shall turn, criss-crossing on our way up, dipping back for a moment, to see it all slightly differently from the other side, settling all these things in our minds as we go.
At the same time, we shall extend our view a little: on the created side, especially in space, time and biology; and from the abode of the Creator, in terms of unity and eternity. From this, having completed this movement of survey and review, we shall then be able to proceed in order to the marvellous matter of divine communication, studying this phase of the subject closely at the outset: with this, we shall be looking at the method of locating this communication. For anyone outside God, there is absolutely nothing more important than finding this communication, as it sets out the way to God Himself. It is like a map, but as many are not disposed to study it without gaining the logical view of the matter, let us ascend a little higher, until clearly this communication is seen before the eyes.
It is then that the view, already clear by that time in its outline, will be interpretable with certainty and with results of a character eminently satisfactory to reason, though by no means created by it. We are in the business of finding the map: not writing it!
Of necessity, then, some repetition will be here; but its purpose is one of summary, settling, review and extension, regarding things presented slightly differently... as in architectural drawings: now in more rapid survey, now in more detail.
In all this, one thing must be clear: the assumed cause for the phenomena must be sufficient to produce them. If it were not, then of course the thing would not happen, and there would be no phenomena to investigate. This is known as the principle of sufficient causation. For every result in the scheme of things, you need a sufficient cause. On this is built our science. Our very minds are so adapted: if one tries to think of a cause for the way our minds work, then at once we are blocked - that is, a cause for this 'principle of causation' within the system. It could not itself be caused except by one who held such things in his power: for otherwise, we would be trying to account for it before it was supposed to exist.
What caused it, we would be asking, before such a thing as causation existed! Not a particularly brilliant procedure. That would in fact be self-contradiction, using what is to be explained for its origin, by first assuming it is squarely in operation. If now one contradicts oneself, there is small need for anyone else to do so!
Causation is inescapable as well as employed, with excellent effect, in science.
The reason some things cannot be done... why is it so ? It is because of law, it is because it operates, not the reverse. Max Planck, in his book, The Philosophy of Physics is at pains to argue for the importance of law and cause and the precision with which law operates in the material universe. (Planck is famous for discovering various outstanding elements of atomic theory and is remembered by name in Planck's constant.)
There is a boiling and a melting point at given conditions, and all these thing do not change by chance; they are fixed and so is the impact of various conditions. Thus prediction becomes possible broadly and so rocketry gives its impressive testimony to the power of prediction available in the physical universe.
As science develops, this power increases; and so does the obvious indication of the presence of law in the physical universe: it is there, and yet again still there. Einstein was fascinated at the vast depth of law and pattern in the universe and at the Intelligence beyond our own, which this indicated. He declared (*9) this: " The scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation."
Law requires however, a cause. Is the existence of systematic regularity to be the result of nothing ? But nothing has no power to cause anything. That would be mere magic, not logic.
We are seeing where logic points us. Perhaps the cause of laws could be chance...? How would unsystematic irregularity, however, be the cause of systematic regularity! That is rather like arguing that a man won an Olympic Gold Medal because he had a fat stomach. It is like nonsense syllables, the opposite of what is needed.
What then ? A cause of systematic and pervasive laws is a law-maker. Examining the evidence by scientific method, we require a cause of laws; and that implies many qualities as a minimum.
Laws involve concepts, understanding: symbolic and physical aspects in the case of matter. Whatever else we may have to account for, this fact of systematic law in a systematic physical universe requires of us systematic input from a competent source. To have concepts, you need at least intelligence, logic, information storage. To cause them to exist in physical objects, you need mathematical ability, architectural, structural, engineering capacity; and you need power.
At once, we find a necessity for a mind and an intelligence and an imagination, and a power which is not a part of, but a cause of the physical universe. Let us put that a little differently: Matter has laws, and it keeps them. Yet it shows no power to make them, to legislate them or to construct them. The maker of matter cannot be made of matter, for if this were so, the maker would require a cause of the laws in his matter. Matter demands a cause; what is material is not self-sufficient! It does not have what it takes to make itself; nor is it enough merely to be by itself. Its cause must have this ability, however, if it is to account for matter. It cannot therefore be made of matter, being itself the creator of matter.
But for how long has He been there ? (Call it X if you prefer; it makes no difference what name is there; the reality is inescapable. As Shakespeare put it: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.) Suppose that at some time, t, He is there. Right: this is necessary in order to be logical. But what if at an earlier time t minus one, He (*10) were not there ? What then ? What indeed!
In that case, either nothing was there at t-1, or something not sufficient to account for the physical universe was there. Suppose it were nothing: but nothing has no past, no reality, no present and not (*11) any future. Yet this would not do: for the universe around us is here: and that would be a future indeed, from time t minus 1, with nothing! If on the other hand, something inadequate to produce this universe were there, then the universe could not come. That is the principle of sufficient causation. Thus a Spirit must have been there for all time. If at any time it were not there, or were not sufficient, then from no source could it gain sufficiency. We are, you will recall, dealing with the background to matter; and Spirit is required; and eternity is required for Spirit (cf. pp. 21 ff., 27 ff., 30 ff. supra also)
Of course, you might reason there might have been several co-operating spirits: but this will not do, if we are thinking of them as final and original beings. There would in that case have to be a system, we recall, in which they work together and a communication system; but that would require a cause; and then that cause would have to be God. In the end, there can be only one: one spirit for ever in this dimension.
That, of course, is exactly what the Bible has been saying for thousands of years. Robert Jastrow, the Director of NASA, the Space Research Centre in the U.S. has not been saying it for so long as that; but he wrote a fascinating article entitled: The Essential Elements In Astronomical And Biblical Accounts In Genesis Are The Same. In this, he showed how the universe cannot evidentially be thought of as still being created; it is there; and certain new data (*12) exactly verify the concept of an original coming to be in a vast explosion of power (*13), as the case for our universe. That however is not our point here, fascinating as such thought is. Even indeed the fact that the Director pointed out that we are led right back to God, of whom the theologians have been happily telling us for thousands of years. Now, he says, we are led there (belatedly in this generation, but interestingly) by science! : even this is not our main point. After all, Newton long ago elaborately passed in his treatises from the evidence to the Engineer and as scientist, proclaimed God; while others like Lord Kelvin and Michael Faraday strongly attested Him. What then is our point?
Simply this: matter requires a non-material cause and this requires one basic, everlasting Maker. Logically, there is simply no alternative. To escape, we have to deny both our minds (*14) and our evidence. Law is constantly present, intricately present, conceptually present, linked, aligned and available for investigation.
It is one thing to watch the particles of smoke from a pipe drift away, and to observe that they obey material laws. It is quite another to think that these particles will be able to set about giving a lecture on these same laws! The presence of law and obedience to it is one thing; analysis of laws and their expression in articulated word and definitive thought is another.
Matter lacks this power of analysis; it is analysable. What is the cause of this analytical, investigatory instrument called mind ?
Law is not the cause of freedom any more than chance is the cause of law.
It is best to remain logical and not magical.
Thus, that interlocking nexus of laws and form and analysis and will, all mutually unified, is as much a requirement for as is one part of it; and every part leads to God. How much more does it all! from wherever... AN EVERLASTING ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT AN OPTION: IT IS INESCAPABLE.
Dr A.E. Wilder Smith, a U.S. University Professor of eminent standing as a teacher, has pointed out that if some cards containing his initials - one per card - that is, A E W S, were to be dropped from an aeroplane over the Lake of Thun, then they would spread out in a disorderly way on the ground. True, boy scouts with purpose and intelligence might rush about, collect and order the cards... (Man's Origin, Man's Destiny, pp. 66-70).
However, someone may say: Give them time, these cards, and they will, all by themselves get the pattern AEWS and display it on the ground in a neat and orderly fashion... What then ? Does more falling time help order ? Not at all - it merely makes the more sure that what is in the system is what will appear. Thus all the cross currents of winds and so on will have more time to scatter the cards further: for these winds are not programmed to create the order in question. Will then time create order which the system does not at first possess ? On the contrary, it shows the more completely what is in the system... and what not. The scattering is more complete in time: for more undirected forces add power to disorganised dispersion. On the other hand, for new order, you need not time, as the agent, but a programming or control of forces towards the end in view... and in that connection is the little order... AEWS. You need forces programmed or controlled by intelligence and purpose. Is it not simple?
Time (*19) does not add pattern, program or purpose, or indeed power that was not there in the first place, visible to sight or in ordered or ordering assemblage. In the beginning, all the ingredients have to be prepared, assembled and set down in the order chosen... whether it be atoms, electrons, form, laws, code of life as in DNA, in the way preferred by that intelligence: basic forms of life with code and controls of one kind or another. They may then work themselves out on the prepared basis.
As to the actual order chosen, it is of interest to note that on the usual geological theory (though it is only a theory), most of the basic life forms appear suddenly (yes most!) in the Cambrian (*20) period, including highly advanced forms, complete with variety. Nor is this a late Age in the assumed sequence, but a very early one. This at once conflicts with the way in which it was imagined creatures made themselves, and the stages by which they were imagined to have made themselves, and the entire orientation in which all this was conceived. Such is life! It is however better to stay with the facts.
That, then is how the usual view of geology relates to the matter: there is this suddenness. that in turn is natural if it is a prepared assemblage. It is however a nightmare for the view that time creates things just by sticking around.
Whatever the order chosen, however: matter and life program, law and form, mind and spirit are constructions of whatever is sufficient to make them; and of course the maker makes them how and when and as slowly or as suddenly as He pleases. (We tend to do the same with our own creations, when we humans are creative: except that our limited power prevents some efforts. The principle however is there).
It is time for an overview. The forms of mind, matter, will - these are not sufficient to make themselves. What basis then for even matter with its extreme order and law-abiding quality, may be found ? It does not show a mind in it to create the laws it keeps! It is bound to keep them, no sign of creative power to the point being seen. It is not sufficient for itself. How much less so is man... who does not yet even understand his own brain, that masterpiece of miniaturised complexity... It needs a basis. As matter cannot account for itself, what does account for it, then ? It cannot be matter; must be non-matter which so answers. It may be deemed spirit, as that is the word which has that designation; and it must have mind.
LAWS REQUIRE COMPREHENSION: THAT REQUIRES NO LESS THAN MIND. THEREFORE - A SPIRIT WITH MIND IS NECESSARY.
Matter, mind, will - all require a basis which is sufficient for them. You do not get something from nothing, or from something which is not sufficient for all the results. It must be there, the cause, and it must be sufficient... or no go. Neither time + nothing, nor time + Something inadequate for all this... will do. You need indeed the cause of time itself (*21) as well as of the types of thing presented over time. For this, then, mind + will + purpose acting together is a minimum; and these things are needed, this is required before the things we see, but which cannot make their own laws, before matter - for example - can appear. This is a matter of the principle of sufficient causation, which is central to all science.
The Bible, let us remark, says - the world's most famous book this century sent into space as the only representative of our civilisation - the Bible says: "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which appear."
(That is in Hebrews 11:3... and Hebrews 11:6 tells us that "He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him". Since He is, let us be diligent.) This is of course exactly what one would be led to expect. Reason confirms what revelation provides in this vast matter.
Truth is what God has done, and justice is what is natural to what He made. Contradict that or break the other and you declare war on God. Such war is always raging on earth: and in one sense, you might well say: It looks like it!
If God let all this be, let it alone, He would allow all He is (*22) and does to be contradicted and squashed, times without number, beyond recognition. It would contradict Himself.
Yet there is a solution. Let us think. That solution has been here and been the point for thousands of years. Godcould of course remove the freedom He has given to men: He could make us, if He chose, merely programmed in mind as well as in matter. He has not done so. Men tend to make mistakes, unlike matter; and even machines do not err in this: they carry out their specifications to the tune of their material components perfectly - though indeed, they do not always do what their inventors may have wished. Now this! it is merely one more illustration of the errors of men, which they have in complete contrast to matter. (In fact, as we know, some men make mistakes on purpose amidst their frustrations and evil aims. They have not only a mind, but a spirit in their magnificent masterpiece: that trilogy, that walking laboratory, called man.)
Very well: God could but did not make us have no freedom, no will, be wholly programmed, forced to be good; indeed, if we were so forced, then goodness would have no meaning - we would be a human expression of mere compulsion.
The other action that would prevent the impasse with God is this: God could remove the world. He could remove our power to will or remove us altogether. Neither of these has as yet happened, although Biblically it is true that the world is to be removed in due course, though not imminently, as Jesus said (Matthew 24:35).
These not being done - there is one other avenue. God could tell us the remedy, and allow freedom to exist, in some sense in the presence of the remedy. I am not contradicted if I choose to allow a student to learn through errors: only if the situation prevents my standards. (Cf. *7, p. 1163A; *1, p. 1174B infra.) The solution is scarcely new; nor is man; nor are his problems; nor is his refusal in vast numbers, to have any part in the solution.
-What did he say ? - and Where are the remedies ? (Refer Index: Remedy.)
The point to be developed in this section however is essential, and it is this: You don't have to guess what God wants; He has said it.
Four preliminary considerations conjoin to one conclusion:
l. God, we showed, does not lie.
But men lie (so often that people sometimes make the reflection temporarily evinced in the record of Psalm 116): "I said in my haste: All men are liars..." Because of this fact and by this means, men frequently falsify reality.
Hence men in this way deny what God desired and decided (whether as His judgment or kindness...), and thus, they war on Him.
2. God does not, in particular, perpetrate
inequity... do unjustly: for that would be untruth in relationships. That
would be contrary to the truth which God composed in making man upright,
or in accord with His own principles; though man is able, because of freedom,
to misuse this facility.
True: Without reference to absolute standards, to reality itself, the rationale of equity is deficient for man. (This of course can easily be found when God is found.)
However at once it is evident that inequity seen in associating a punishable offence with an innocent party (e. g. you kill someone but say that someone else did) is relatively clear.
Such attachment contrary to fact and contrary to true relationship, such reversal of reality relative to the innocent and the guilty or any other parties, represents a vital contradiction of God.
God makes the form of things which inequity caricatures, trifles with or denies. He is not for what is against His word and works. If He were - His due judicial activity apart, relative to His works - He would be a sort of celestial schizophrenic, at war not only with reality but with His own constructions. Hence this - inequity - is against God. He is against it; and it represents war on Him.
3. God we said is not subject to internal
war, strife, clash, fruitless tension and frustrated militancy;
thwarted, aborted or dissipated might is excluded.
But men and nations on this earth are often clashing, with all the above indicia (indeed and again, so often that this almost becomes characteristic).
Hence men actualize what is contrary to the nature of God; and are in essential collision with Him in kind.
You will recall that this passes no judgment on war, given the state of the world; merely on the state of the world, given war.
4. God does not, we see worry (He wants
? He gets). In any case He knows.
But men worry (again with almost customary and characterisable concern or even anxiety).
In this, they exhibit an attitude to the creation, contrary to God's own; and since God has a will, this is in contradiction to God's personal determinations. Worry is a qualitative phenomenon available for a being with will, but one contrary to God's own nature.
It is the case that men futilely strive very often for what they continually feel essentially baulked and frustrated, even in seeking.
As for God, He does not have to fight (to take the internal case) against His 'inherited' nature; for He does not inherit; as for man, he inherits and has collisions, both within and without, expressive of anti-coordination with the determinate (definite resolved and assured) will of God.
There is plenty of reason for man apart from God to worry; but it is an aggravation of the conflict with the quality of God, for any to embark into it. It is like bacteria, following and aggravating a virus infection. That would be a possible illustration.
This then is another collision with God, at the general level.
We need not stress that God makes; men desecrate (e.g. murder, libel; and you could add lying to that list, because this desecrates the truth). We need not underscore that this is a declaration of war on God; but we had better be sure we say it.
God wants it thus - whether in judgment, or any chosen vein and purpose; men deny that it has become condemnable, whatever it may be, in lying about the fact. The term 'sin' is widely unacceptable terminology... That is all war against His way, shown by His action, represented by the case. Certainly His decisions about what to do about men are part of the situation; certainly His disciplines are there; but these too He wills. There is hence currently widespread war against, and departure from God; by governments not a few, and men, men.
You would expect the consequential worry: for beings capable of choice and alternate action, opt for what is contrary to God's will; and contrary to certain of His obvious attributes; and you would anticipate certain difficulties about discerning what to do! (God indeed is a fearful One to even try to cross, and far more, to baulk, mock, ignore or derogate.)
War with and on the Almighty is deduced. . . Either God will remove this war on His will; or else will will its remedy (and being Almighty, hence provide this same remedy with total irrepressibility). Remove or remedy. But God has not yet removed (although of course, it is true the promise is recorded in the Bible that the world and its ways will be removed - II Peter 3, Matthew 24:37, Isaiah 51:6). See also pp. 86-101,127, 316C, 327-328, 348-350, 590-594, 623-631, 683, 872-873, 1002A, 1009-1010, 1074-1082 infra.
Your reasoning is false you say, if the remedy is not present. Agreed: but then one proposes and asserts and declares that there is such a remedy; further that it is recognizable; and finally one might add that it is compellingly so; but for shortness it suffices to show it is recognisable; which is all one needs to do.
If, to be realistic, you wish to communicate, doubtless you will ensure that what you want to say is essentially clear (that is if you have the ability even for this: God has). If you wish people to identify you as the spokesman for any reason (e.g. you are the boss, or she is your wife, etc.), you will ensure that what you say in some way makes this clear... once again, if you are able; and once again God is.
If God wishes to communicate, He will make it clear; and if He wants to identify Himself as the author of what is said, He will do so effectively (e.g. so that people at all interested in God, won't get Him confused with the devil, or some government, or some off-the-rails "church" or whatever else may from time to time aspire to supreme authority, without Him). If He wants to make a remedy He must, by virtue of the case communicate, and identify Himself. He must; He can; He will. It is of course true He might have preferred destruction at once, rather than any remedy; as some men do, and some seem to do in positions of power... but He did not.
Communication then will be available, will be clear, will be in His own name as supreme, will represent exactly what He wants, will give reason for acceptance as His.
This communication with remedy, then, follows from who He is.
Reason: even a child if it breaks a parent's rule, does not know of itself, what to do, to secure forgiveness and remedy; that is, if any should happen to be available (by itself, it does not even know that!). How much more does finite man need to be told BY infinite God, sinning man by almighty creator God, what to do to secure forgiveness (assuming any to be available); and what remedy there is (if any).
You cannot predict the way a person may decide that of course; far less if He is infinitely superior to you in mind, and moreover the Maker of your very basic mental constitution. You cannot. You need to be told. If you are not told, you do not and cannot know. Don't, by the way, try telling a man to whom you owe money whether and when and on what terms to forget it!; and certainly don't try telling God. (Some political associations have actually tried this toward man at least, making their own guilt illegal to consider; but I still don't recommend it for men. It savours somewhat of splendiferous conceit; and it is not even possible with God to read His mind; it is infinitely impossible to 'extract it' without His will, by which He communicates what He will.)
The motive to speak, to communicate definitely; the power to do so, we have noted. It is now enough to see where it is, this communication-with-remedy. It must be that God has spoken with clarity. Where ? that is the question. Life will assuredly depend on it, rather than on this or that human program with high arrogance leaving the offended Creator to cope... with man's callow and often callous conceptions. The coping will be man's, and yes, it already is. God's mind must be sought; His word found.
First, His is the offended life, He specifies the damages or conditions, and He alone; second, His is the mind, He knows, while we are but finite; third, He is the Creator, we the creation; fourth, we are involved in imperfection, our equipment is soiled, spoiled in part, and unreliable, even if we were mad enough to play psychiatrist to the infinite God, as if to etch forever our pride and folly before the universe, as the race of madmen.
Just because His divine nature and eternal power are clear, as Paul also affirms, let us not assume we can tell Him what to think. It is just a trifle more presumptuous, perhaps, than usual, for men to relate thus-wise to God.
We are busily engaged (more profitable, if not yet done, than the rewards of 'profitable business') in looking about for some communication-with-remedy (CWR) from God; which forces US to check what is available for consideration, whether this be genuine, or that. It must, we have seen, be recognisable as communication from God, be explicit, not a mere mannishness of manner from sinners. Self-assertion, romancing, hope or presumption on the part of one person, does not constitute communication from another! This is if possible, more emphatically so when the topic is being forgiven for offences committed!
It may come as a surprise to "educated" people (sometimes one wonders how near the line is coming to permit identifying at least some of the "education" with "brain-washing", in that so much is so often assumed without reason; and education has fashions no less than do women's clothes)... a surprise to educated people I say, some of whom may have been brain-washed in part and thought it an inward cleansing... Yet the fact is there are few contestants for this honor of revelatory remedy. That you see is what we are forced to look for. Verification is demanded here. We must look.
Claimants to the place of settled and permanent-style revelation of the changeless God ?... few indeed of these there are. In a way, you could expect that. It is easier to talk about God, than to speak for Him. (Consider the case with your neighbour or when young, your teachers... it is easier to talk about them, than to speak for them; or to imitate them-successfully that is!) Thus people with God, don't of themselves often try it. Just now and then they may; for God we have begun to find, is very great.
In speaking of "Christianity" of course, we do not speak of all that glitters or calls itself so; but of whatever in that sphere may logically qualify for consideration as the remedial communication of the changeless God. Further, if in this sphere we relate to Jesus Christ, we will have to consider the historical one, as God is inimitable both in the mind and in the action of men; and if He indeed came as God, it is useless to talk in confused terms of ideas and contradictory schools. Either we have it or not. With anything precious, you will expect jewel thieves. Anyway, let us be perfectly systematic, and consider these fields for meeting the necessary case which activates our search.
But first, let us be assured... are there indeed no other contestants at this level, to qualify as the necessary divinely given communication about remedy in God's name?
That is our defined quest.
This he did not do. He did not try to speak as God or for God with God's words.
Then there is Buddha, true; but then he held there was no God, no divinity such as we have seen must necessarily be; so that it would indeed be difficult to speak in the name of someone whose power to speak, indeed to exist, you deny... Of course, some Buddhists now evidently worship Buddha... which does not improve their total case! From the unspeakable and speechless to the speaking, from the... silence back of beyond, to the apotheosis of Buddha who left so silent a legacy in this area: this is quite a development! (See more on the detail of this basic atheism with its leader mentally machine-tooled by some, into divinity of some kind: Chapter 10, pp. 995-1026 esp. 1011 ff. infra.)
Without more ado, here, however, in this sequence of thought, we need merely note this: you do not have reported speech from the changeless god... through Buddha.
HINDUISM for its part, has many gods - which is impossible, as has already been shown; and it also has them evolving and so on; which is impossible; and they certainly cannot speak as one with their quarrels and their variable developments and manifestations. (For data and work on such varied apotheoses and developments: see Chapter 10, pp. 995-1008 and Index: Hinduism.)
In this religion, we find a kaleidoscope of the speculatively unknown, possessing by no means any unitary and changeless authority... that it might distinctively and expressly record His unchallengeable and sovereign utterance. Having no such source, the religion has no such word from that source. From this source then, Hinduism, can come no such word when it does not even have the necessary God, one vocal, sovereign and solely articulate God in order that He might thus surely speak.
While it is true that this religion has some fascinating parallels to atheistic Western thought, suitably dynamised into appropriate seeming myths (as we may see infra in Ch. 3 and Ch. 10 Section 1 and supra in Ch. 1, pp. 3-10 supra), this is scarcely a site for sovereign utterance from the only God. That however is what the case requires.
Hinduism is more a philosophy and meditation and mystic myth making. Struggling with polytheism on the one hand, and trying so much as to express a silent ultimate on the other, Hinduism fails utterly to qualify as God speaking, as God to man with remedy from His sovereign splendour, even in claim; let alone the changeless, revealed, almighty and only God. (See Ch. 10, especially pp. 993 ff. for review of such non-vocal mysticism. Philosophic Western parallels such as appear in some measure, without the explicit myth aspect, are considered in Chs. 3 and 10, and pp. 850, 857-873 infra.)
SHINTOISM has, for its part, as a religion, a certain veneration for the State it is true (which may signify how things have changed for many), and for heroes (bearing some plausible analogy to some Hindu godlets) and that sort of thing: but it is not a question even of God, the only God, declaring himself and His remedy. In this highly pertinent respect, it resembles Hinduism.
The Emperor too, had some trouble in showing any almightiness after the last war, which wasn't the best for the matter in hand. From all these points, relative to our quest, there are, you see, problems...
Hitler did not turn out a very good "God" either; nor for that matter did Stalin, both of whom seem to have had certain thoughts in that direction (and perhaps more formally so, in the latter case at least, than many imagine!). Mortality having intervened unpleasantly, their gods of forces (to use the Biblical phrase from Daniel) and the forces of their 'gods' (suitably enshrined in philosophic language) lie buried with them. By the way, it is in the Bible that we read: "Will you yet say before Him who slays you, I am God ? But you will be man and not God, in the hand of Him who slays you" (Ezekiel 28:9).
It is true; these other characters too, they all die and stay very dead. We need not spend time on them. The word of the living God must come from what lives.
PHILOSOPHY, for its part, does not even agree about what it would say if it were agreed it were "God" - something which it is not at all agreed about; so philosophy goes out too... in some ways, an ideological parallel to the more "theological" Hinduism in its more abstruse moments, moving, varying, symbolising, rationalising, a kaleidoscopic pageantry of movements... of what ? Assuredly, not the word of the God . . . What then can join the contest to be called the remedial revelation of the living God ?
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1. See top p. 973C, and p. 974.
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2. On p. 36, Timeless at Heart, Lewis similarly notes the folly of expecting the chance shape of a splash from an upset milk jug to grasp, generate and verbalise the explanation of HOW the jug was made and WHY upset!
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