BULLETIN ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE
In Brief and in Overview
There is sometimes a smudge over the city as you drive back to it from the rural splendours. Yet again, this may lift, and instead of some dust storm, there is pellucid clarity. It is so with religions. In the atmosphere of idle chatter and mere philosophy, it may seem misty. Yet there is a simplicity about the whole matter, once you in this Age, stop the mesmeric chatter about matter and the reflex confusion about spiritism of some sort of other.
There are 4 forms of atheism. These are: Materialism, Evolutionism, Communism and Naturalism. The 3rd and 4th are specialist examples of the 1st of these.
The 2nd is a dynamic view of the 1st, disguising itself with various null additions, additives and phraseologies, which in effect have work done (for getting a universe and so on), but no worker. So a universe 'arises'. As to popular spiritism, it has gods and godlings, like chameleons, always changing, depending on moods and modes in cultural flamboyancy, vague and undefinable ad lib; but it is never sustainable logically, having no origin, basis or system, just a story like evolutionism. You think of it, you say it, you give it academic sounding descriptions, you never find it happening any more than with other fairy stories, but you insist like some emphatic kid, that it IS true. It is really not very elevating in any search for truth.
Again, there is variationalism, in which Jesus Christ is re-written, rehashed, replaced, 'created' by imagination yet retained in some measure, namely: Islam (displaced), Romanism (in part replaced) or remoulded (Liberalism, Neo-orthodoxy (confused misuse of terms of changing meanings), Anti-supernaturalism because it is too heavy for the superficial trending modern mind to tolerate (as claimed in the New Zealand Geering case), though it meets its end every time it begins, through having nothing but nothing available for a start. You get nowhere with nothing; and in a model of explanation, you yourself are not there.
An implement of this flurry is a Bible authoritatively re-written (a thoughtful project of Hitler), but without authority beyond man, sustained by laws he did not make, and in this model, a universe he cannot account for before he dies to a destiny he wishes to avoid. Nor is there any reason for it, since this much tested and triumphant book is both record and reason, instruction and explanation, predictive and retrodictive, and its absence is just like the absence of any other data on any other topic. It merely begs the question and has no answer for it. To wilfully attempt to nullify its verified standing is perhaps a political exercise, but not a rational one. For this, more than will and convenience is required, as in all truth. It may seem fun verbally to nullify that with which you do not agree, but it is custom which has no future.
Neither the Bible nor other evidence is manipulable without evidence or reason, and even the skilful use of confusing phraseology and variable terms of reference cannot hide the dust cloud. To use such devices, mere verbal thrusts, to teach an entirely different God, revelation, explanation and duty/opportunity, is one more exercise in which Paul refers to as making "another Jesus" and "another Gospel", which is not another but an evidence free theological punt (see II Corinthian 10-11*1). It is a mere branch without roots, obstructively dead, and set meaninglessly on the path.
Again religions of all-in-one and one-in-all (cf. SMR pp. 995-1008, 1012-1014 and Index for SMR, and esp. Ch. 10) cannot logically handle creation without which there is no basis for either, as there just appear before us, throngs of gods with intra-systematic status, or of things, with no beginning or pedigree, in an intricate jumble that resolves nothing and starts nowhere, except in itself.
For a a brief and similarly over-viewing account of Biblical Christianity as the only
¶ rationally coherent,
¶ demonstrably God-given source for man,
¶ purpose-assigning script for our human race and
¶ salvation-defining provision and focus for our kind,
¶ one meeting the rigours of scientific method
(cf. both Preface to RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST, and SCIENTIFIC METHOD),
while surpassing the chronic failure of mere philosophy by means of pellucid clarity, verified in history, actual happenings and mercy to such a world as this, which continues till the return of the lavishly predicted Jesus Christ, the suffering Saviour who acted as foretold in history (cf. SMR Chs. 8 and 9), being the only divine purchaser and practitioner of salvation (cf. SMR Ch. 6)
see for example SMR Ch. 10.
Now let us consider some aspects of method in Biblical Christian apologetics,
CREATION IS A SPECTACLE
RATHER THAN A MATTER OF PUTTING ON GLASSES,
YOU YOURS, AND I MINE, AND COMPARING RESULTS.
To extend in a flurry of imagination of what is an observable operative mode or process within a type, till it moves from variation on an original theme (as in music) to invention of new themes entirely, is one thing. Its 'chances' amounting to a misnomer, for it is another set of systems which is in view in other creations, as Denton in his Evolution, A Theory in Crisis, indicated, with no mergers but only separate micro-biological specifications for each type (cf. SMR Ch. 2). And what is 'chance' but a name for there being no allowance for something or someone passing through a system or environment or set of organised events, and receiving 'by chance', whatever comes from it when doing so, hardly inventive (cf. Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs. 9 and 13, with The Desire of the Nations ... Ch. 2):
The material, matter, fulfils conditions, but does not invent systems. In this, it is like a dress-maker's material as chosen. It enables dresses, but it does not make them.
Matter for example is deficient in that capacity when you are investigating this world. It neither does it, nor shows it, nor has the equipment for it, but is a building block, in this having received orders, and through DNA for example can obey orders, but has neither mouth nor mind. That is the matter with matter when you are looking for origination: it shows systematic absence of what it takes.
This misnomer is like asking a moron to write Shakespeare or equivalent. It is not that there is just a given assemblage of significant symbols, which has somewhere to occur, but required is a systematic and constant assemblage which needs creation, one which possesses such wit and charm and moral pervasiveness, the diction type and dignity, and the imagination USING a linguistic base as Shakespeare expressed because it is his,and he is a productive unit therefore, for it.
Any similarity of its settings of symbols, in any part, and at any time is merely episodic, unsystematic and lacking definition, specification and signification. It would come like a passing flurry of a meaningless collection of atoms in comparison with an atomic bomb, atoms moreover without evidence of prior existence or grounds for their very existence, in all such models.
Man's ideas are malleable and prone to systematic error, but it is not so with the structure and content of matter. To imagine changes in its forms and formulations for convenience, inclination or satisfaction, of what are crucial criteria, systematically evidenced, what are principles of operation or matters of constitutive character IS inventive to the point of making in imagination a new world. We however are interested in this one (at the outset, not our psychic set) and its actual explanation. Anyone can, in principle, do this evocative story telling, and it essentially violates what is to be explained with entire irrelevance.
Scientific method does not consist by explaining what is singularly absent, and this on all sides, but what is singularly present, and its explanations do not tarry on untested and contradictory tarmacs, but on the harmonious totality by which it all works together. In the end, it all has to be verified, not a clangour and a clash, a mere denial of evidence. Philosophy has to deal with it, and it does not have to bow to philosophy: but to logic it must bow, or be invalid, appearing as a tribute to mere mesmerism.
Having come thus far, let us look at methods of proceeding further.
One method of approach to relevant apologetics in all these areas is this. Everyone is imagined as it were, to be wearing glasses, you yours and I mine. These are meant to indicate presuppositions people hold. Thus equipped, we then explore the results and find what fits the facts best. There is no initial distinction amid the glasses and their wearing, all being in the same position, but there is a final one in the results of testing these glasses-made views.
The ABC method of Bible Christian apologetics (Anti-presuppositional Bible Christian) bypasses these assumption. It is unlike this. It makes no presuppositions and proceeds in terms of its own independent confirmation of its target, so avoiding a 'relativistic' rationale or scenario (your glasses for you, mine for me) at the outset, making for simplicity and finality together, in the end.
FURTHER REASONS FOR THE NON-PRESUPPOSITIONAL
OR ABC APOLOGETICS METHOD OVER THE RELATIVISTIC ONE
The other method here considered, the glasses assumption its base, has each person with one's own presuppositions on a level field at the outset. This makes for initial approaches which can be made too facilely, too subjectively, though as a supplement to ABC Apologetics approach, it can be quite useful. However, the direct route of ABC approach, to the demonstration needed not only matches the tone of Romans 1:17ff., but makes for a simplicity and finality direct. The truth at any and all times is "manifest" though suppressed as Romans indicates and no concession contrary to this fact is indulged in.
Denying it is in a condition of blind blunder, and in this eyes are closed to it.
That is an advantage at this level for ABC Apologetics.
Thus in view of such doctrines as those of Colossians 3:10 and what it signifies, the 'new man' being renewed in knowledge and in the image of Him who created him, there is need for conformity with the biblical depiction. In principle and by power, old 'spectacles' are tossed away, light fills, the spirit of knowledge acts (Ephesians 1:17 with II Timothy 3:7). One does not come to Christ to be governed by 'old man' misconceptions, but by the truth. This is a major reason for my distancing from the all-have-spectacles initial approach. Let us speak both insistently and consistently.
For an outline and approach to ABC Apologetics, see Secession from Presupposition,
Ch. 9. This then is on method, but in another field, that of the origins themselves, there is a field of primary and irrational presuppositions.
*1 Let us consider a different but related topic arising from our earlier concerns. Just as you can invent other Jesus collections from nowhere, stir and heat, and make your own, so you can invent other worlds, stir with the spoons of confusion and heat into a scientistic figment.
Indeed, just as many of the learned have learned to manipulate the Christ, dipping the pen now in imagination, now in history, in an inglorious composition as personal as an art form, so has been the parallel approach with universe origins. However, in this latter area, the dipping into history part is absent.
When you move from the first self-contradictory element of atheism, together with parallel excision, in this case, removal of the historical aspect altogether, in materialism, (in this model, you have nothing to make matter or anything else), you need to realise that this applies to all its elements. With such a model in view, matter has now no base, and neither existence nor its assigned logical, architectural and kinetic qualities, making it able to be uniformly describable. Affirm anything of it, and it must now be denied as a characteristic, for nothing produces nothing, quite consistently. It is not an entity, not even there to do it.
How much more (if possible in this supreme denial of means for a universe or anything else) for matter to have power to transform itself from what it centrally is into something else (it has to be a transformative substance, to do that, thus moving further and further into irrelevance, since it is a word for what is not there not for what can make what is!). Thus it has no mind-making or spirit-making power. That would be like putting petrol into a bowser which isn't there when the petrol also isn't there, on a driveway that isn't there, in a space that isn't there in a world that isn't there at a time that isn't there. This philosophy of atheism is founded on a power that isn't there. It does not and cannot work. Words cannot make worlds, unless the Speaker is God.
That is the point.
Indeed, matter is a law-keeping body, that is run by laws, but it does not make them, nor does it have the facilities for doing so. It does not endow a universe, but is endowed for one, at a relatively low and uninventive level. Even E=MC2 is just one of its laws of interchange within different formats, and is another of its many constraints in terms of which it operates ... when it is there, run by commanding laws, its obedience to which is inherent in its construction.
Similarly, the system of DNA, enabling and visibly directing to life, uses symbols of an assigned character, which may be formed into virtual words (operationally similar), with assigned meaning, with commanding force within the system, together with receptors for these symbols with these meanings and these formulative abilities, to interpret them as commanded, and to do the commands. After all, unless there were separate assignment of the same meanings in receptors as in the commanding facilities, what result from this ? If you ask a Sergeant to SHOUT his orders, it does not help, if it is not in a language which the recruits can understand.
These symbols and their multiplied uses are sovereign, constitutive, co-operative, uniformly systematic at give and take level, modes of imparting millions of pieces of information leading to life. Since commands are insistent ideas, there has of course not to be nothing as base and basis, but a mind with these creative faculties and facilities, which can use them for its will, the object of the exercise that is found by inspection, namely life.
Like the DNA, life has a myriad of expressions, and the physical ones are governed by the DNA, the relevant powers of which lie in mind and design and purpose, since these are characteristic for and in such activities, with assigned results from this multitude of synthetic correlation and co-operative sequence . Such abilities and proclivities are mental and spiritual, at least, and must contain such facilities FOR LIFE TO BE CREATED, AS FOR MAN. Moreover, it is clear that the degree of sophistication in the type of activity formed, formulated for and operative in the DNA, is analogous to that in man, except at a degree so vastly greater as to make man positively puny, almost simplistic; but not altogether so.
The term 'God' is usually applied to such powers as here indicated and such eternity as is theirs, atheism fighting in vain without Him, and matter a mere midget in His work, in its relative lowliness of function, and adaptability to directions. Indeed, DNA goes far towards being the operating system of the universe, except that there are other formulations, these together achieving with all the subsidiary material, such a description. In this world, it is one of the necessities for physical life.
As God says in the Bible, He started to create at one point, and finished it at another. DNA production parallels that. It is a matter of total verification and grounds for it, DNA IS written in large amounts and is handed down, generation by generation. It is not now seen to being instituted any more. That process started and then stopped. DNA is NEVER now found BEING written. It is still beyond man's power to write it, even with it clear before his questioning eyes.
That is precisely confirmation of the biblical narrative, provides grounds for what we find, and scientifically leaves for dead through disaster, in terms of comparison, the attempts of a world that could not be created (lacking means in atheism) getting this DNA boost from nowhere AND THEN HAVING IT STOP. No more therefore do we find it in 'nature', nor reasons for it, nor means for its cessation to this hour. Super-nature, what is beyond this product call 'nature', long and extensively attested, is thus the source and resource, with a will to start and stop what it will and when it will, AND to tell us about it in terms readily verified (as shown in SMR, for example).
The natural means for evolutionary advance (as in evolutionism) are similarly and simply not there. Nor is the case different for the systematic uplift by ANY means, after creation, since neatly organised new plug-ins to the created system, ones endowed with DNA (though its production stopped) are not found, Gould admitting that for his part, he could often find virtually no reason why some things survived and some did not, being famed for his preference for large-scale (in fact, productively unaccounted for) changes. In this, he appears nearer than some, since it is now found that whole groups of associated elements may be activated and produced within a system, in response to environmental stimulus. No new DNA is found or required, since this as in some of our own productions, is like having additional functions (like air-conditioners in cars) activated at all (again like car headlights when it is dark).
The absence of what writes, commands, confers, co-operates and so on is not a good way to advance. It is worse than an army marching on its stomach: in this case there is no stomach, potential, means even to begin to make new, such things, in the known confines of nature, as in the first beginnings. After all, removing the worse students in a class is not at all a means for inventing better ones. It is not even relevant. Such easy-get imaginary production is like having a war in which thousands of parachutes are required, and they rid of obviously antiquated one. Yet no one even thought of selecting the material for new ones, or sewing it, or testing it! These indifferences to necessities, if you are a naturalist, do not produce or explain their presence.
In all this, with the biblical depiction of creation, logic and evidence agree perfectly. scientific method demands the alternative to the materialist/atheist position, or degradation of its strength through indiscipline. Indeed, Dr J.C. Sandford, emeritus Professor of Cornell University, and Dr Nathaniel Jeanson, Ph.D., Harvard, have recently shown in their researches an appalling decline in the accuracy and reliability of copies of the millions of items needed for DNA in each new generation of babes, these being thus formulated and then conformed; while many recessive mutations are continually occurring (see Note, below) through the sheer complexity of the affair, ensuring that in no great time, the human race would become extinct. You do not advance through degradation, dissimulation or invalidity.
This multiply indicated reduction of order in what is already formed, an increase in entropy in a closed system, is in accord with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one of the chief laws of science. It has been found operative before us, a necessity in science. The task of the study of science is to explain as far as it may, what is happening, not to imagine other worlds, and think how they might have formed things, if they had been different from this one. As to this, the constant disharmony of expectations based on the atheist/materialist models, and what is found in fact, not only requires their dismissal, but this many times over. What does not cover the case, what is not verified, but is contradicted by evidence is hardly a way of establishing the truth. When the harmony of evidence demanding a verdict, theories to explain it, and constant conformity to what is known, proceeds unmolested, undefeated, then it is time to have a scientific explanation; not when the opposite occurs, is occurring and becomes a tangled extravaganza of inaction, like a garden filled with creepers and thorns.
See especially Bulletins 39, 111, 121 and 162 on the up-to-date, down-to-earth, intensively researched contributions from Dr Nathaniel Jeanson with Ph.D. in the field from Harvard University (in his new work, Replacing Darwin), and Dr J.C. Sanford, Emeritus Professor from Cornell University (Genomic Entropy).
See also in astronomical parallel, the statements of Professor John Hartnett.
The Defining Drama Ch. 3 esp. *1A,
Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 9,
Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy, Ch. 6,
Lively Lessons in Spiritual Service Ch. 5,
Dig Deeper, Higher Soar... Ch. 1
The Way of Truth and the Way of Error Ch. 8;
Mercy Outdistances Judgment Ch. 6