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FREEDOM AND VALIDITY
A Grand Theme and a Thrust of Glory
It is not merely that the truth sings, exuberates (to be sure this was not a word, but it is now, an addition handsome to a handsome tongue, this English of a million words), is insistent, persistent, resistant to rubbish. It is this: that it resolves all problems, and being unleashed by its Lord, indeed its essence and being, by God Almighty through His Son, Jesus Christ the Just One, as Peter called Him when on trial (Acts 3), exhibiting the wonders of freedom and the massif of validity.
We have often seen both the extreme logical necessity that the Bible is true, be the word of God with its content the remedy for man, its focus for this purpose Jesus the Christ. We have indeed noted that predestination and freedom in its unique biblical formulation, has unique validity, coming from the One who knows, works and alone works logically in resolving the antinomies and antilogies, indeed the alogisms found in human thought in all things beside Himself, with divine light*1.
Let us however examine freedom and validity in their inter-relationship that we may rejoice in their felicity of union and in the pastures of biblical truth, unlike all others in this, that it works at all levels without impediment or restive elements. It is the product of the giant rest of God, who is the resting place, even His Messiah (Isaiah 11:10), His extreme and exact image, likeness and expression. In Him, as Isaiah foretold. In Him, the Gentiles rejoice, yes and so too do even those of His own nation (cf. Isaiah 51:11), the rebelling Israel, who find Him; and more will come (Romans 11:25ff.).
Without freedom, man is programmed, like the DNA components of some of His body. These, to be sure, allow for this and that response to varied stimuli, and have powers of variation within kind as we have examined for example in Ch. 3 Appendix above, as in The Divine Drama Chapter 10, with SMR Ch. 2, for example. However the freedom which counts is what is not programmed in essence, in the area and arena in views for the application of the term (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5 , Licence for Liberty). Thus in man inherently, there is no freedom to become say a frog, or a god; but there is every freedom to become a devil or a saint.
This at least is his essential, original and categorical condition as created, the terms of which we currently examine from the Bible, in order to discern their unique felicity, as from the mouth of God (cf. Acts 4:25, Isaiah 8:20, 59:21, Matthew 5:17ff., II Peter 1:20-21 cf. Biblical Translations 19, II Timothy 3:16, I Peter 1:12-25, I Corinthians 2:9ff., 14:37).
To be free, you must know truth, for otherwise you are an operator in either ignorance or deception, not knowing what you do, and hence no better than a reactor, with psychic fits and starts of no significance, arrested in the midst of environment, spewing out deeds. To know the truth you must be in a situation where this is a facility within your powers of being, as to reception, and in a universe where such both exists, is available and is consigned; for if not, there is nothing to gain in this field, or if there is, your limitations consign its reception to subjectivity and uncertainty, a sub-case of the reactor, and even then the transfer may not be made, though you could receive it if it were.
Absolute truth is the only one relevant, for the simple reason that 'relative truth', a contradiction in terms, merely mean that you think you have it, and as far as you can, you have it, but you have it not, being merely in a reactive setting and framework which gives perhaps nostalgic, perhaps hopeful intimations, but withholds what it either does not have, or else declines to confer. The transmission, in short must be of what is, not what is simply thought to be, what is communicable and not a scrambled message, and through a medium which does not distort it, like static or a gabble of high-pitched sound as when a tape-recorder is run too fast. There must be reality, proportion, propulsion and consignment with knowledge which reaches intact its destiny in man.
Where the model is one where God is erased (theoretically, that is, for erasure of God is like thinking when you erase your nervous system, a possibility certainly, but not in this bodily form), so is the possibility of knowing truth; for what happens is not meaning, the basis or the understanding of what happens, and where all reacts, nothing assesses from outside and beyond the milieu, all being self-confined and without guide to the parameters, basis for the erection of the building of understanding, or in short, awareness of the nature of what is, beyond the occurrences of what happens.
Components do not generate the plans, inspect the labyrinthine marvels of thought beyond and before, over and operative in them, or assess the meaning of their activities: they react or respond to their setting, but do not gain its perspective while conceived as agencies within, controlled, constrained or activated by stimuli and environment. Existence is not truth, and action is not it better; it is understanding of the nature, cause and consequences, set out in overview and assigning meaning to mind and point to spirit, with discernment of methods in realities and all the consignments of significance.
Again, to know the significance of something, beyond its interactions, as of a nose in a face, a nostril in a nose, a heart in a body, a chamber in a heart, a valve in a chamber, a molecule in a valve, an atom in a molecule, an electron in an atom, and the heart in its circulatory system, and a system in its unitary overview of systems of which it is a component, and the mind of man in his grasp of things, and the scope of that grasping and its relationship to absolute truth beyond plausible conception and contained surmisings: this requires knowledge beyond the entirety of man's systems, concerning their institution, and that of each member of the integrality called man, why and how it has come, from what and why, and with what range of results, the place of conscience and the meaning of love, knowledge, thought and destiny.
Guesses can be made; we are discussing truth. Without its existence, you cannot have it. Without God, there is not any truth, only a list of reactions and statistics, which while apt for a time in a setting, are mere descriptive elements, not the maintenance of meaning, significance, point or purpose. To assume no purpose, is to assume knowledge of the truth, which being the issue in point, becomes a question begging exercise. We are here discussing the truth.
In addition to absolute truth, which is by its nature not available except from the absolutely knowing Being on whom all depends (as shown in SMR), who knowing it, because He did it, can both contain and express it, you need for the exercise of freedom, absolute willingness on the part of the Creator, to divulge it. If this is done, sufficiently for the reasonable operation of human functionalities in its presence, then liberty exists in what can receive it and operate on it. This of course must be an option, or freedom is gone. Only if man is gifted with the capacity to know the truth, but not the necessity, is liberty in order, at least at the outset.
Thus liberty has its meaning, and truth its tie with it. If man were programmed to have to know truth, he would not be free, and would in effect be programmed, if this were his entire being and existence situation. If programmed in this way, he would be unable to know that he knew the truth, except by guesswork, for there would be no capacity to examine the program; for if there were, it would not control him, but be subject to critical scrutiny and evaluation as in freedom. Liberty would not exist, but consignment. Whether he loved truth or not, it would be the same. He would work in its domain without awareness of its actualities, only its operational persistence. He could not appreciate either what it is or its value. He would be an existential zombi.
In fact, the Biblical picture is this: man has the facility to know the truth, has it available, is aware of it and does not have to follow it. This is Adam, this is man as made (Romans 5). Liberty to the point of his place in the joint is his; and liberty means evacuative possibilities. Thus the necessities of liberty are met by this and by nothing short of it. This biblical depiction includes however much more.
Thus man is shown to have exercised this liberty in the setting. Tests always have this: something or other is the proposed medium of exchange between reality and subjectivity. In this case it is the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. In other words, a particular scenario is created alongside man, and he is placed in it, but not immersed in it. He can take a knowledge of good and evil, if he so desires, and in the scenario so wittily proposed to him, he can for ambition, and erratic self-programming for greatness that is not in fact his, know evil all right. Yes, he can attain to this apparent desideratum. In the test conditions, man can know good and evil by BECOMING evil: for he already knew good. Thus a function he had obviously not conceived when pride and ambition responded to the test conditions, becomes his, although assuredly not desired.
So does liberty achieve licence, by folly. It does not have to do so; that is its shame. It may not do so; that is its wonder...
Having misused liberty so that virtual autonomy replaced it, in irrational desires (you CANNOT become AS GOD knowing good and evil - Genesis 3:5, for the way He knows it, is as author of liberty and creator of the universe, being its basis in liberty and its sustenance in power): man fell. Into what precisely did he fall then ?
It was into confusion, for his liberty, instead of being expanded to autonomy, was subtracted into a reduced field for operation, a necessity for labours which tended to short-circuit reflection by their very severity, a sense of guilt which would not go away because it was based in absolute truth, and a severance of ready, happy, reliable access to absolute truth while his being receded like an ebb tide from the shores of desirable and imposing certitude.
How now is liberty to be assigned to man, in this relevant, now fallen state ?
It is only present within bounds, with uncertainties and in depths that appal or escape action; it is dependent on whatever remedy program the Almighty may devise, allow, propagate and instil into his awareness from the domain of truth. Without that, man is conditioned by sin, its consequences and its abstraction from the divine source of truth, in truth.
Moving from the preludes and preliminaries, to the full-formed orb of truth concerning remedy, we next, in the biblical depiction, find that God has provided a remedy, but that man must receive it in order to know the truth. You have to be "set free" in order to know the truth (John 8:32,36, 3:1-6, Ephesians 2:1-12, John 1:12, I Corinthians 2:14, John 15:16). "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." It will set you "at liberty."
How would you freely choose to be made free when the truth is not in you, nor do you know it, being 'natural' in the fall, and not spiritual equipped with understanding ? (I Corinthians 2:14).
You could have an inrush of awareness of truth, but without a change of heart, you could not appreciate it, for your sin-consciousness is occlusive and distorting, inherent and immanent, and until you know God, you are for that time a divorcee from Him who IS the truth. That is your nature, condition and position, your situation and your sentence.
The natural man, says Paul, does not receive or appreciate spiritual things. How can you being 'natural', fallen and befouled, then choose them ? That is why you cannot: though God knows what occurs past all your feeling and hope, and acts according to His own foreknowledge of you (Ephesians 1:4), and to His desire for all (Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2), without the inhibitions or limitations which sin imposes on man.
He for His part, is not limited by anything. He statedly does the choosing (John 1:12, Romans 9:16).
How then in the vast set-up, situation and scenario in which man is now placed, according to the Bible, does he regain freedom and so have capacity to know the truth ?
It is by divine dower, gift, present. It is free, unearned and a non-award for perception, sensitivity, knowledge, understanding or anything else meritorious, distinctive or personally a product (Romans 3:21-28). You can biblically never get to heaven, and expanding a putative chest, declare to an admiring (or appalled) audience, your good works from your good nature, from your relatively good background, breeding, achievements or other, that you knew a thing or two, you did! Real estate in heaven was just the thing for a discerning sort of guy like you.
Such would be the complete opposite and explicitly so, of the biblical depiction. No one is going to be able to boast, asseverates Paul in Romans 3. If it were otherwise, such might occur.
This of course would NOT be freedom. If your heritage or use of it resulting from its presence, were the cause of infinite separation from others (not all, but most, for a few do come back to God, home to the Almighty once more), then this being a donation, a dower, a gift, a reception including the power of spirit to utilise it, also given, and the insight of the spirit given as well, since sin separates and we are discussing restoration: this indeed is not liberty. It is attainment of course, but one which would imply that God had given to some this sort of background, foreground, underground or whatever componentry (another good word to invent for use) is in view.
This would merely be an indirect way to glory, the gift of the needed items which would infallibly produce the desired end, and the only drafting would be of those born to be believers by divine desire and donation, and those not. This is not only the exact opposite of freedom, but of the Bible as well. To be sure, the believers to be are FOREKNOWN, but not on the basis of merit, power, work, attainment or inner excellence. It is not on the basis of 'flesh' (Galatians 5, Romans 7), the reception of what is naturally yours, that divine saving action occurs. it transforms it, but is not its resultant. Indeed, it strives against it, and makes dower where He will.
The word of God avoids this divine determinism of limited desire to grab some by force, whether of circumstances or of nature. It INSISTS with the utmost vigour that God DESIRES ALL to come to reconciliation (Colossians 1:19ff.), and SO loves the WORLD (in the sense of all that is in it, and all who are of it, the entirety of the created population which results from divine action and is met by divine desire, in the context, precisely as in Colossians 1 and I Timothy 2 - they all have this setting (cf. The Glow of Presdestinative Power Ch. 4, Great Execrations ... Chs. 7, 9, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2).
God so loves that world ? in what way ? That whoever believes in Him should have eternal life (John 3:16), and the negations to follow are two in number. Firstly, His objective in coming to save was NOT to condemn. It was not a surreptitious mode of damming some, by selecting a moiety. The purpose is exempt from such a concept. The entire purpose was to save, and the negation of this purpose was to condemn. The scope as between God the Creator (John 1:1) and Saviour (I:12), the light and the darkness (John 1), is love of that world so placed in mind, and for heart, and in the light of the light of the eyes of the Lord.
In this setting, the word of the Lord and the Lord of the word go much further. Just as HE did not come to condemn but to save, so MAN preferring in this scenario in view, darkness to light, IS condemned. It is man who does the preferring, not God. God sets up the way to absolute truth, absolute pardon and absolute peace with Himself; but it is not an option for alteration, but a mark of truth, without parallel or substitute, scope for opinion or other ingredient. God knows His own mind and declares it. Many lesser beings do the same. It is so strange that so many seem to imagine that He, knowing all, should bow to their contentions and cease to be, what they assume themselves to be: and this ? it is on account of Him!
How then does man have this freedom that in the very presence of the divine desire to save, there should be this responsibility for preferring darkness ? (John 3:19). How could he well do otherwise, being what he is, as biblically defined ? It is here that the power and wisdom of God needs to be remembered, as the procedure is pondered. God who is unlimited in wisdom, and not consigned with man to the temporal business of 'waiting to see', KNOWS who are His own. He does not propel without knowledge, or replace human will with His own.
That is contrary to all the Bible in myriads of practical and many principial exhibits (cf. Ezekiel 33:11, Luke 19:42ff., cf. The Glow of Predestinative Power Chs. 1, 4). He yearns, mourns, laments, seeks, offers propositions, makes proposals, multiplies ijmagery (Hosea 12:10), becomes man, shows power and mercy, invites freely, looks, loves and releases without constraint ... He is love (I John 4:7ff.). That is, nothing contrary to love is ever allowed to determine His seekings, limit His enterprises or qualify His scope of outreach. But what of mere force, compulsion, change installed without preference in view, even at the ultimate ? a seizure!
That would not be redemption, release, deliverance or restoration but mutation into servitude, programmatic delimitation, loss ontologically as well as morally and vitally. What would be 'saved' would not be man, but a mirage, a projection, a look-alike, no more in the image of God at all.
Knowing what man is, beyond the limitations and RELATIVE superiorities and inferiorities which sin produces, since then some may be better or worse, or in more and deeper sin or less, God is able to discern the desire of man for Himself, where no merit attaches, for man as seen beyond sin is seen as belongs to him.
Failed in operative facility now to find, appreciate and love the truth, man is not lost in inherent ability to receive it; and God knowing His own, ensures that man does so, as many as belong, by regeneration (John 3, Titus 3, II Corinthians 5). It is not an image-denying impact, but an image-restorative grace.
In this the truth is given a landing place, an aerodrome, a site receptive. It is not as Calvin wrongly urges, a matter of NOT taking the matter to the uttermost, as if there were a divine decretum horribile, an aversion, a distancing not to be removed from some, or if you prefer, a lack of ultimate desire that is elemental, towards some. That would be mere loss of freedom, and meaning for man, the defilement of the image of God in him, as originally planted, the devastation of love, and constitute not redemption, but demotion.
The case is far otherwise both as to the action of man and the action of God (cf. Colossians 3:10). ONLY by precisely this kind of work, can freedom be actual, and truth absolute in the heart of man. With man's self-screening, it cannot be obtained, for it depends on what is not his to deposit, and man is by nature fallen; and if the differential were deposited, by definition, man would not have power to choose. It cannot depend on man, if it is freedom for him, though fallen.
It cannot depend on the limited desires of God towards man, either, wanting some but frankly having little interest in others because the love does not extend to the relevant extent (thereby differentiating in outcome, hell from heaven...); for then it is not man but God who has freedom, and man in the image of God, so far from being restored, becomes a poignant dream only. Alas, despite the excellent scholarship and great restraint of John Murray, it was some such concept that he once voiced: it was not that God did not love in that area, but He did not love to such an extent. Yet this is the demarcation between heaven and hell. This is not the biblical depiction of Him who SO loved the world that He gave, and would have all to be reconciled and come to a knowledge of the truth, and speaks constantly in that vein throughout scripture.
To be sure, He judges; but it is not the love which is withheld, but its reception which is at fault, as explicit in John 3:19. It does not say, God so loved a few people in this world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever of those believes in Him should have eternal life. For He did come into this world to judge it, and this is the condemnation, that some remain worthy of judgment, and some He removes from it by favour and fiat alone. No, THIS is the condemnation, that some preferred darkness (the light of Christ having come) to light; and if He had NOT come, they would not have been condemned (John 15:21-23).
In the Bible, it DOES NOT depend on man, or on the limited desires of God. Both these items, which would violate freedom are ABSENT. Let us be clear first. This is not to propose to God how to give to autonomous man some insistence as of a prince, that he MUST have freedom. To the uttermost in contrariety, it is to show that what God has done in salvation precisely protects what He did in creation, BOTH as DEFINED IN THE BIBLE, from God.
The apologetic significance of this fact is huge. Firstly, it means that the word of God is CONSISTENT. Nothing else is, which tries to put freedom into man, and find the truth.
Unless there is God, there is no absolute truth; and unless there is no limitation by human differential in itself, as given, there is no freedom, mere operational actuality. Unless God makes man able to receive absolute truth, he cannot have it; and unless man fallen, is given absolute truth beyond his soured and severed spirit outside it, it will merely process what comes and not receive it by inherent condition. If man is to be free, there therefore has to be a gift of truth; and if man is still to be free, this has to be in accord with preference; and if God is to be true, this preference must be known by God past all the inhibitions and differential conditions of man, lest these and not man be the determinant.
GOD is the determinant; preference is the cited exclusive agency; divine desire for all is the acclaimed basis; and donation of truth to those who receive it is the divine method. In this way, freedom is utter, truth is absolute and man has it.
ALL models which have no God exclude freedom and truth alike. You have to have truth itself or you cannot receive it; and you have to be treated beyond your own limitations, or it is you as composed, not you as free, who reacts instead of responds.
In the Bible, God preserves your liberty past defilement and psychic predilection, in order to relate it to unchained preference and chaste reality; and He does it without the superiorities of man as made becoming the determinant. Indeed, as in I Corinthians 1:26ff., NOT MANY who are noble are chosen. It is not the state or condition of the spirit of man in its present situation which is the determinant, and many are those who in pure performance in their own natures are more impressive than many who become Christians, as Paul declares (loc. cit.). It is not in man who walks to direct his steps; it is not in man who works, as labourer, to establish his credentials. God is not interested in seeing, as a criterion for acceptance, whether you are a Volks or a Cadillac. What has that got to do with your choice of road! and that as divinely foreknown, apart from action, in the inherent and all-embracive knowledge of God, where sin is not a determinant, but HIS knowledge is!
If of course, you were to imagine a model in which God should make man so that he was programmed to know the truth, and could not do otherwise, this is no liberty; and if you made one where he was able to know the truth, but not forced to do so, this is far from the programmatic, and has already moved to the personal, and at last receives the conditions of liberty. This is precisely the biblical depiction.
This has further intimations for Biblical Christian Apologetics. Thus for validity in affirmation of a model of meaning for man, so that your own model does not disestablish your own power to affirm the truth, one must have:
1) the truth absolute in itself and in its
availability for man;
2) truth personal so that it can assign
itself past the inhibitions,
3) truth voidable and avoidable, so that
man's clash and conflict is not bypassed;
4) truth appropriate to man ontologically,
but not present constitutionally,
5) divine desire to give truth to man.
If man is not free, then truth is not relevant, and hence
6) you must as well have a method of
assigning truth to man selectively,
Truth is not a matter, moreover, of a bit more or less, but of an entire domain where only divinity can know it absolutely, and only those willing to receive it can take it as it is. Unwillingness distorts, just as sin deceives, rankels, wrangles and obscures.
Seventhly, if there is not donation of
truth on the basis
Bypassing the historical present in terms of a divine knowledge which ONLY God could have, we find the resolution of both the strength and willingness issues as noted above.
The criterion which is wholly independent of human strength and differential excellence of donated nature is the Cross of Christ.
This is HIS strength, not man's. It is HIS purity, not man's.
It is HIS susceptibility to receive sin and His grace to dispose righteousness as a gift,
Hence it meets all the need of a criterion which neither breaches liberty for man, nor involves dictatorship for the God who made man in HIS OWN IMAGE: this, not autonomous, since only One did the making, and yet not merely compelled, since sin has its own strength, whether in pride of one's own performance or despair of it and only grace can overcome this in the truth.
All the conditions of absolute truth, its reception and its awareness thus being met, and the conditions of human liberty even to err, being presented, we have the only possible scenario which meets, in principle, all the conditions; and it must involve God, His willingness, His truth, His desire and His determination of knowledge, so that it is not based on an IF presented to man, but on a KNOW found in God.
That is precisely what Romans 8:29ff. declares. WHOM HE FOREKNEW, THESE HE PREDESTINED. The standard foozle of having Him foreknow the achievements of man is met by being first of all unscriptural (Romans 9:11,16), and hence not a problem for its presentation, and secondly by being inhuman, for man's errors and guilt are not the work of a madman, imagining, but of a being created free, capable of is own assessment and desire, perverse or proper, and outside the mere operation of what has to be, because this is the way it goes.
Error is meaningless if it has to happen. It would be operational felicity in itself, as such. Guilt would be as meaningless; it would be conformity to character as such. Knowledge would be just as meaningless; it would be conformity to type as such. The type would be unassessable. Hence argument would be meaningless, and hence not present when the biblical presentation is in view for contradiction!
That leaves only one contestant, meeting all the facts. Without these provisions, in principle, you are dealing with another world, another man and another system. With them, you explain and are in a position to explain, all the principles in cohesion and harmony, both with what is shown to the minds God created, and from the word which God sent. Moreover, both agree in one, as logic and revelation rejoice together.
Indeed, it is in the Son whom God sent that is found the meaning beyond all these things: for without love, there can be no freedom, for where self-seeking by the superior is in view, the inferior being subject, become implemental, and hence not absolute but subject to disposal by dispersal for ultimate and ulterior ends.
Without meeting of sin, apartness from God, by sanction, there is no absolute truth for man. Without cost, there is no clearance. With the Cross there is God for man as man meeting that cost, that truth might triumph, justice as part of it, be implemented and sufficiency for pardon be placed - as in Romans 3:23ff., II Corinthians 5:17-21, Matthew 20:28.
"The Son of Man came not to be served,
but to serve
and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Here is freedom sustained and fall met, ontology restored to operational felicity and grace the ground. Where is the goodness on which such selection must be based ? It is that of Christ who demonstrated it under duress and exceptionally horrendous test conditions, as if in a wind tunnel of a million miles per hour winds. It is in His donation to give it to whom He will, ON CONDITION that it be implemented into life, in an irreversible gift and change, transformation, called being born again, or regeneration (I John 3:9, John 3, Titus 2-3). That is the biblically attested nature of the case for those who receive Him. It is kept with fidelity, maintained with felicity and fulfilled with realism.
Thus friendship, reality, truth, kindness, love, goodness and mercy all cohere in that one divine plan to which man in thought so often reaches, but comes crashing down. And the reason for this ? It is impossible to tele-psychiatrise God. He tells you of His mercy, and you must listen. His word is not only required by reason, but attested by a verificatory splendour so vast that it is like the great cliffs so often found on the Australian coastline, in sequence of massifs, in folds of vastness, seeking the skies in succession, unbowed, enduring, amid the heavens (cf. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ).
Validity and liberty both thus cohere, and in nothing short of such things as these, could it have place. Thus the biblical depiction as always, defends itself, amends all error and verifies its truth as at first demonstrated (cf. SMR). There is nothing else on this earth which meets all these necessary criteria; and God indeed has not left Himself without a witness, having established it and propagated it by millions if not billions of words and missionaries, despite massacres and prisons, slanders and subtleties of the adversaries: and that for millenia.
Even the skies will depart (Matthew 24:35), but this does not and will not; for as the word of God, it is one with what created, and as here, with what redeems (I Peter 1:23-25, I John 3:9, John 1:1, 8:58).
What a grand perspective the Bible presents, so fitting for man, and what a fit it manifests with the reason God has given to man, as with the data as exhibited in man, without reduction into remnants and threadbare fabrics of some sale of man for a manipulable version. Yet no less, it delimits man, providing the truth without exaltation of his greatness, as if to become some god, which is not good or apt for one who dies and is born beyond his own power, and presented with his nature without conference or ability to deny.
Fact and act from God, thus blend as the skies and the seas, in the distance, when the presence of upper moisture merges with the lower depths beneath. By differentiation we have got unity; by realisation we receive reality; by divine dower we may find eternal life. It is happy because it coheres. It is not a matter of some marshalled cohorts impressed into a heaven they cannot as such appreciate; nor yet some prigs who just had it as the American say, 'good': but rather one of redeemed sinners set where grace has settled it for them, and where ontologically they delight to be, just as in pure justice, they could never have come. Grace is sufficient, and nothing else is; and it coheres with love, without which it would not operate; and mercy, without which operation in all things would be inadequate, and truth, by which it is conveyed to those who receive it.
On this topic, see the following:
Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Chs. 2, 5
The gods of naturalism have no go! 38
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Chs. 1, 3
Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 1
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed: Barrister of Bliss Chs. 3, 4, 9
Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 1
The Open Door, the Closed Mind... Ch. 3
Downfall from Defamation ... Ch. 1