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GOING WITH GOD
THE CHRISTIAN ABIDING: THE LORD PRESIDING
The Brighter Way for the Declining Day
An Accident that was No Accident
The last Chapter not only concerns what is true, but what is moral, and it has a moral.
If God cannot lie, what is a man when he does!
The loathsomeness of lying requires pondering, its proportions to be assessed, its declivity realised, its descent towards hell assessed, its stridency conceived as intolerable.
That is why, when what the Bible calls THE LIE (II Thessalonians 2:10, Romans 1:25) is so inordinately appalling. This is it: they "exchanged the truth of God". Imagine doing that! trading in the truth: better trade in your liver for a piece of paper.
But for what did they trade it ? They "exchanged the truth of God for the lie." What lie ? THE lie. What is this one ? "They worshipped and served the order of created things rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." That is some error! There is the inventor and the invention. There is the piano, an instrument, and the pianist, the player, and the maker of it, who provides for the one with the other. There is the aircraft and the aircraft factory. To confuse the two is not logically possible, though with the artifacts of unreason, words can be abused into such formulae.
THE LIE, it is the way of life for those who love death, and in another sense, it is the road on which such are walking (Proverbs 8:34-36).
"Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;
But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;
All those who hate me love death."
Let us then consider a little story which will attest this truth.
One day, there was a great commotion. A baby had been found with a tiny blemish on its arm. It was only the size of a pin-head, but it had been noticed because of its colour and because there had already been complications with its birth. A sudden thought to put it under the microscope had driven the doctor to check. What he saw was so amazing, he sent it to the specialist centre for biological research. It was a clump of DNA. It could be visibly beheld, being far larger than the normal cell, which the naked eye cannot distinguish. A whole pin-head of the material.
Laughingly, the doctor told the mother that it held enough information, at that size, to require a pile of books reaching from earth to the moon, and that 500 times over*1. She could hardly believe it. "MY baby!" she cried, had that. "Yes," he replied, "and in fact*2, 'one gram of DNA can hold the information-equivalent of a trillion CDs.' "
Staggered she decided to visit a relative of hers who had suffered a grievous shock to the system in an accident some time before, and had become disoriented, seeming to remember only certain basic principal and personal features. Indeed, he almost seemed at times to be as near to one Age as another, living in some of the days of Dickens and at times Shakespeare, apparently from store-houses of knowledge gained as a literary student.
To stir his sense of the present, she told him of the result for the baby's speck on the arm.
He had heard of DNA, but seemed confused. Did you say that this came from outer space on the babe's way down here ? he asked, blinking.
No, my friend, she replied. It was just a baby, you know; you were one once.
Yes, yes, he replied impatiently, but you spoke of some kind of information on his arm.
Yes indeed, it contained enough ...
Don't go into details yet. There was information on his arm. Scientists are spending (or their governments) billions to find information from outer space, you know, language, the stuff they put messages in. In Macbeth, he got information about war stirring ...
Yes, Rupert, but this is neither in the day of Macbeth nor from outer space...
All that information! Did you say enough to pile a set of volumes, needed to print it out, from here to the moon. Do you think it came from the moon ?
No, not really, for it was in my womb.
Womb ? what is that. It probably came from outer space, and this should really convince them about life in outer space, or inner space anyway.
Why do you say that ?
Well you see, if ANY information comes, you know, just a page or two, it carries a lot of implications. Thus as I know from my old work in literature, there is a whole cosmos of grammar, to enable the positioning of words to have meaning, and semantics, to apply meaning in the first place, and symbolic manipulation, to cover the architecture of words, and logic, to enable the things they speak of, to be coherent with the verbal referents, you know, so that the symbols of language convey the sort of thing that is there. It is all required.
I remember reading in Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed: Barrister of Bliss, I think it may have been an early chapter, yes, chapter 4 ... Could you just look in that pile over there under 'J'. Yes, that's it. Look, this talks about words and what they are and imply. I agree with it heartily.
WORDS, WORKS AND WONDER
A fascinating question, this: What is a word ?
It might be defined as a discrete, semantic element, housed in a cognitive unit of expression.
This, being interpreted in less formal sounding terms, means: a separable and separately conceived piece of expressive action which involves thought and displays meaning without composition.
For a word to be unspeakable is a contradiction of terms. For it to be meaningless is not, except that the meaningless element must be confined to some; for if it were to ALL, then the item would not be a word but either an item, or a jumble of drawable items, artistic or otherwise. Chinese would perhaps be suggested in some cases, by the latter; but this is not what they ARE in that case, since as words they do not descend to that level. They have meaning, are interpretable and are discrete, capable of combinations with meaning.
In the case where the language, of which words are ONE of the components, is not co-extensive withy the gamut of human experience and thought, it may be termed a proto-word. This means that it is of the genus word, but that it does not have the full environmental and functional involvement to which words in the total scope of languages among races, are assigned. They are like medical specialists, in that case: they are of the type of doctors in their generic use, but not of the breadth of the GP profession.
Such have the features of a word, but in a more limited setting. It may indeed be more complex in its phase, than the broader language admits, simply because of the high degree of specialisation of knowledge back of it. Indeed, in the most extensive dictionaries, all the proto-words might appear, though normally not with quite such a background as might be used in a specialist dictionary itself, such as one of musical terms, or medical. However, in essence and type, these are words, with whatever limited measure of extensiveness, intensiveness and specialisation; and their setting is of the type of that used in words, though more limited in scope.
We move to combinations of words. Where a semantic, cognitive, symbolic combination of words and syntax makes sentences, through organised and rule or customary pattern bound synthesis, language arises. It requires more analysis, leading to greater synthesis than in the case of a word, for in this latter case, only one item is in view, whereas in the former, that more grammatically extensive, it is to be confined by constraints of thought and intent, like a bird in a cage, a fish in a pond, by the chosen environment which gives meaning to the totality of word and structure. It becomes like a room, no longer merely a piano in it.
With phrases, you have a small room, with clauses, somewhat larger, with sentences, whether long or short, you have houses, containing a connected structure of thought, meaning and use.
In sentences themselves, you have the semantic, cognitive elements groomed into meaningful composition of thought, concourse of action, issuing not merely in a unit of meaning, but a unit of exposition of meaning. This relates to the composer and the reader or listener, their intents or needs, at verbal level, which is that where persons express and ingest in terms of thought, action actual or possible, purpose, imagination, order, suggestion or proposal. This sentence structuring of words in essence, covers topics without limit.
Just as proto-words are in essence words, but limited in specification or scope extensively, so limited language has a co-ordinate reduction.
It is only where written language or its objective equivalent is available that a universally cognisable standard, free of subjective intervention and variation at nuance, mood or desire, with little limit, is avoided. It is then that a universally standard, reliably discrete, measurably graded word-meaning synthesis becomes not only possible, as it is in speech only, but adequately testable past such limits as visual signs or signals, or oral interchange: these latter items in isolation being susceptible either to reduced scope of definition or increased scope for unchecked diversification of content, reducing assured accuracy and ultimately, utility at any larger level.
It may be urged that written language may be invented and deployed to INTERPRET limited language, that equivalent of proto-words. This however merely illustrates the point. This is far from meaning that limited languages are not actual languages, for it merely allows for means available to man by which to render more complete their purport and attest more surely their functionality. Thus a signal or sign language, with a handbook for interpretation, no longer has the sign or signal limitation, in principle, now being confined to, constrained by and analysable through the written version.
Thus DNA is a limited language, but one enshrining the full force of language once expanded into written equivalent. A language specialising in command is no less a language - merely, like a piano concerto for example, limiting itself to a specified form of expression, or a pianola, really music in nature and expression ideally, but subjected and subjugated for expression to modes of command. This does not ruin the creativity: it marshalls the form of its expression for repetition without direct engagement.
Dear Rupert, do not weary yourself!
But don't you see, Sarah, that this is the point. If that arm came from space, and it has language on it ...
I said DNA.
Yes but as you see in what I just read to you, that IS language. It involves all the cognition, the concepts, the semantics, the verbal architecture...
But it is not words.
Words are symbols of expression conveying meaning by agreement with the party addressed, or collaboration, and if the 'party' here is something to be done by something, then it is still of the same order. It's as if you were to address a robot, by words which it had been programmed to follow, even though it did not think. The makers of the thing would certainly have to think to make it able to respond to the symbols with the commands!
Don't you see, he continued, if the symbols which gave the commands are in a format of systematic inter-relationships so that they act as a language, even if in a specialised format and scenario, the point is indifferent what you call the stuff. It ACTS as language, is functionally language and in principle requires all that language has.
You mean, it is like the disciplines which define mathematically or otherwise in symbols, words or letters or whatever, what concepts they have, so that the whole communication has semantic sense and is capable of both estimation intelligently and even operation ?
I DO mean just that. Sarah, this is wonderful. The babe, or was it an arm, came from space...
Why, he resumed, WHEREVER it came from, there must be a SPEAKER out there. Space, now we can leave this earth, maybe, and find where the people, rational minds you know, artificers of language, and engineering people too, able to integrate language with action on a systematic basis with a standard coding system capable of cognition and operation both ... find where they are! Perhaps, Sarah, some of us could escape there ? Don't you think that this is one reason they have been doing all this research which has drawn a blank for so long - in the hope some of them could GET OUT OF HERE, before it is too late. Oh they may CALL it, making a new civilisation, or keeping abreast of the future, but rats like off the ship...
Darling Rupert, it was NOT found in space. It was just a pin-head with enough information on it to mount a pile which WOULD reach to the moon, if you put each print-out in book form, one on top of the other, and if you could make them stand up together. It is just that that pinhead of information would require a print-out reaching not just ONCE to the MOON IF you could do that with all the stuff required to contain it, but 500 times!
Did you say it was on an arm or something ?
You DO have a heap of trouble focussing on the here and now, don't you ? Yes it was, it was on my baby's arm.
Did you have a baby ? when ?
Oh, a few weeks ago.
And all that information was in a speck the size of a pinhead, placed on its arm ? Didn't that rock them then, and didn't they decide that since the baby did NOT come from outer or inner space, but from YOU, and you are an earthling, then some mind must have made the information in that speck, and must be able to miniaturise information storage to such an extent that we men look like niinnies paraded by our nannies by comparison ?
I suppose you COULD put it that way; yes, it does.
In that case, does the information generate itself ? Now YOU did not inscribe it, did you ?
Oh no, I could not even touch the baby, in the womb; and this was you know, on its arm, just a speck, noticed when I was only partly conscious, by the doctor, the obstetrician.
Did they decide then ... oh, but do they find information making itself like that ?
I'm afraid not.
Then you must be a wonder woman, having such a speck make itself.
Well, you know the DNA, it just goes on copying itself.
But from what template ? where did it come from.
Well, all the babies have had to have it, so that each one could give it, when it matured, to the next to come.
Did the first baby then just sit down and nut it out.
Of course not.
Or the first man, did he just think it out and construct it, and put it ... hey, wait a minute, each cell, I seem to remember now, has this array, each one with a nucleus. That means that every part of us HAS these things. They are all over the place. The first man to BE would already have to have them. He could not have nutted it out. Does nothing else nut these things out so that we can see them doing it ?
I have never heard of any material thing nutting out, as you call it, information. How COULD it ? You need a mind for that, and what piece of matter has a mind. A mind is a mind, and it is not the same sort of thing as matter: matter serves, minds think, create, innovate, give to systems their own powers to act, alter them at will, within limits, changing at this or that stimulus, so that resonse can be as programmed.
Then whose was the mind ? If matter does not have one, and is as dead as a poker face whenever the 'question is asked', then something must! and it cannot just be man. WHERE DID MIND COME FROM ? and whose made this.
Well, dear, I often think that if minds had to come from matter, they simply would not come. Matter does not have that sort of thing.
But it SHOWS it, because it too is constructed to keep laws, have characteristics, is limited and formatted, delimited and declared.
Well you need MIND to make both, and it must, like our own, be not the same as matter*3.
My mind uses matter.
Well, a pianist uses a piano.
Yes yes, of course, and a tape-recorder uses information that is personal and conceptual and in its imprint shows not that an unintelligent machine is thinking, but that it can be DEPLOYED to record, or receive, or have an imprint conveying the same.
So whose is the mind ?
A spiritual mind, not limited to a body, but functionally required, is what did it.
Who is that ? Well, to conceive in that sphere you need the facility but also the determination.
A personality then ... oh I know, I heard of it once in my 12 years at school, when an instructor swore.
What did he say ?
Oh, just 'God'. I asked him afterwards what it meant, but he told me to look it up in the dictionary, so I did. Yes, so your baby had this speck on its arm with all that information. Boy if that had come drifting in from space, not only would they be satisfied about intelligence up there, but overwhelmed. Why I seem to recall, now that my mind is slotted in that phase - and things DO come back sometimes, that if EVEN ONE SENTENCE should be found transmitted in space, that would be conclusive. THIS is... what did they say, in each cell there is enough information ... for what ?
Why for 1000 volumes of an encyclopedia, and there are billions such cells in your body.
Why then this is not just a couple of sentences, but 1000s of billions of VOLUMES ?
Yes, it is. It was just that the speck was on the baby's arm, you know, it had two things that made them think.
What were those ?
Well, first of all there was the sheer amount. In each of our nucleated cells, though the information is as large as to require in book format, a thousand volumes to house it, and it is staggering, yet when you hear about the moon and books piling up 500 times there, like millions of libraries, and that this was found in a speck on an arm ...
And what was the other aspect that startled them ?
Well, it wasn't just in place, do you see. You know, familiarity breeds contempt. If you are living with a genius, you get quite used to his type of speech, and you tend to forget the lustre of it all.
You mean that just because babies are born every day, and they have all this neatly compacted where you don't have to notice it, and if you did, you would only be seeing what you always do, that people don't think ?
Thinking for some people on some topics is not an option.
Why not ?
They want to forget.
But I want to remember, and I am today remembering far more than I have done for a very long time, and praise the Lord for that.
But why did I say that ? Where did I hear that ?
Perhaps from Auntie Marjorie, she says it a lot.
It gets new meaning when you realise that GOD is the information source for us, and that his compression of information is not only spectacular, but awesome, above our abilities as the heavens are above the earth.
But there is something more important than this.
What is that ?
Well, the information in our cells, I hear, you can regard as a book. It is not only semantically meaningful, conceptually concise and compacted, but integrally efficient on an agreed basis that works in company with a supply mandate for the raw materials with which to carry out the coded instructions. Youou know, it is as if an architect wanting to save time and money, set the thing up in a program so that the known environment would respond every time, and houses be built.
There is another book, which is addressed not to matter, but to mind and heart, to spirit and life.
I would hope so, for after all, here we are and what to do ... ?
It tells us. Just as the cell books control re-creation of human bodies, so the Christ book tells about the recreation of human hearts.
Like babies being formed, but this for an adult ?
Except that this is no baby matter. You know how you got your accident ...
Yes a druggie whacked my car with his mindless driving.
Well man is in need of discipline, direction about no-nos, and yes-yeses, and about his meaning, the method of living and the meaning of death, and for that matter, of birth.
Of course, any good designer would provide for that, having made us able to will and choose and think.
He did not leave it at that. He identified it in many ways; but one of these was prophecy, prediction, and to this, He adjoined retrodiction, saying what HAD happened, and He told us to look into these things and to satisfy ourselves that it was He who spoke in this book. The first instalment was to Israel, who made a hash of its own national affairs, killing the very One whom God sent...
You mean He did send a man from space ?
Not really. Space like time is just a creation. He sent Someone from Himself to our earth, just where WE are.
An employe ?
No, it is called His WORD, and it is His Eternal Word, a sort of self-expression, like a book, but living. You see that in Hebrew 1 and Philippians 2 for instance.
How great! THAT IS communication.
He, this Eternal Word, did all the book said, just as history always did and always does, so that we then had three books, all concurrent, the DNA, the Bible and the Messiah, or Christ who having been born and so having died at the predicted time, and having acted as required, was easy to identify.
It all fits. When do I believe in Him ? Isn't that what you say ?
Yes it is. Now is a good time.
But don't you have to say, Sorry and all that ?
You mean like Kevin Rudd ?
No, of course not. Not like that. Why he said sorry, didn't he for ALL the times aborigines had been taken from their homes, not distinguishing those perhaps wrongly removed from those who WANTED to come or were sent in order to have a better opportunity in life, removed from some moral or other misery. That 'sorry' by the PM was an assault on Christians, for though MANY people did wrong to them in taking them away, or afterwards, MANY MORE, delivered them by sacrifice and generous care and helped them.
I see. You cannot trust this sort of thing, then, but you can trust God.
Because firstly, what He says always comes true. Because secondly, He sent His Word, His Messiah, His only incarnation, to DIE for us, and if someone does that, it is a seal of truth.
I do trust Him. Far better than trust poor memory and poor life.
But you do have to be sorry, not in some lie or pretension, but for what really IS wrong, and there is plenty!
Yes, I thought so. What do you do ?
Well, you first of all REALISE what it means NOT to have been living with Him, by His Spirit, and NOT to have been pardoned all this time for sins of ignorance and the rest, and so not to have been led in the way He personally wants for you; and then to sense the outrage of God at this state of affairs, and with delighted joy to receive the gift of His death on the Cross for you.
But don't you have to trust Him or something like that ?
Certainly. WHEN you receive Him, as we call it, that is accept who He is and what he has done and are thankful, then you are trusting Him and confident in particular, that since His Father raised Him from the dead, that was in the book too and He did it, therefore you commit your delighted heart to His care.
That's easily done, since it is in me already. That's how I knew to say it.
How did this happen ?
I never know. There has been a change and now I know ...
I can forgive that dunderheader monstrosity who klonked me in the ... I mean, I can forgive that straying chap who smashed my car and injured me so atrociously.
You can ? Do you ?
I guess so.
Guesswork and God do not go...
All right, then, yes I do. After all, God had a lot of forgiving to do on me, and ... well, it's sort of in the trade, isn't it. It's the way God's things go. I guess that accident of mine was … no accident! God used the evil to bring out the good.
Forgiveness from God and of others, with the former in place, the latter is in the ‘trade’ as you put it, and it does seem He did it that way, with you, a non-incidental accident. Now you'll be going with God.
That speck we were talking about earlier, you know, on the arm ...
Yes, my dear, but I think it is time to rest now. "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him." Indeed, "delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Answers Magazine July-September 2008, p. 29.
Creation, Magazine, March-May 2000.
See Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2, SMR Ch. 4, Extension E.