AW W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Volume What is New
Methods, Matrix and Atmosphere
Seeming, Meaning and Truth
BIBLICAL CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS
Relative to various approaches at the outset in Biblical Christian Apologetics, there is need to realise the consequences of choice. Thus if you insist as many do, on the presuppositional procedure: everyone does it, makes presuppositions, has world views, so you do it and see how much better the result is than for the rest, if you do it this way - there is not only a conditional aspect but a dangerous degradation that opens and some follow.
Thus starting with the conditional, the IF, gives a sense of the less than obvious, and though it be but a procedure, it is not absolute in composition. It can be delightfully negative, where folly abounds, but it starts with an appeal to ponder, not a confrontation. Though it ends with confrontation, it is a putative procedure. It has value, but it can degenerate.
Thus in a famous recent creationist debate in this arena, for and against the place of Christianity, there was little apparent effort to produce a categorically basic overthrow of the assailant position. It became almost a matter of which suiting cloth you prefer.
In reality, this was a secondary weakness within inadequacy, a weakness, namely, of using this kind of presuppositionalism so prominently in the first place, with such emphasis, and secondly, using it so blandly as to method.
Here is NO scope for sustained assault whatever. Instead of parley to extinction, there comes an air of mutual toleration with some barbs thrown in. This is partial surrender.
In the annals concerning Christ and the prophets, the apostles, there no accommodation. Psychology has not lure, and points of contact do not develop into grounds of operation.
But consider method. Begin instead as is done in SMR, on the basis of reason because you DO reason all the time, with breach or reach and conditions, and this gives force to ANY argument, and this is whether you like it or not, your modus operandi, and then you simply proceed from where you in fact are, to where you are or are not going, compared with what you assert. Validation comes with empirical reality in terms of the Bible itself, and verification in terms of the application of what it says. Confrontation is essential from the start. Certainty is manifest to the finish. There is no escape, even for a moment. Then the consideration of presuppositions becomes merely an adjunct, an a fortiori on the negative side. Like verification, it is an application and a ramifying extension, in its place.
Imaginations, theories, casuistries, airy flotations of philosophy, as with Paul in II Corinthians 10:5 have to be cast down, and every thought brought into captivity to Christ, not into some refuge on a pension! Cake is pleasant, quietus is nice; but the battle precedes.
Categorical truth has a testimony which admits of no limitation, no second prize and has no price. In Christ, BECAUSE of the truth, they set about to kill Him (Isaiah 53:9, John 8:37-38,40,44-45). In the last of these, we find this:
"BECAUSE I tell you the truth, you do not believe Me,"
said the Lord.
Truth is from the outset intolerable to the rebellious (Ephesians 4:17ff.). Its manifest character is exhibited on innumerable grounds, many of which are itemised in this Web collection, and the basis is not limited to some mere pre-selection of candidates, but to the very dimmed eyes of the heart, giving little to the mind because, in the end, the eyes are shut (Matthew 13:10-17).
"But now you seek to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth!" (John 8:40).
One of the striking criteria in the conduct of Christ was the TENOR of His utterances and the CHARACTER of His deeds; and this reflects the manner of what He did in the creation, both of the law-girt universe and our law-girt minds (logically girt, though this may be voluntarily and gratuitously gutted, with expected results), both His product both as Creator and Logos. We find His presence not only in the researchable logic in the laws and cause of creation, and the current cessation of the latter at this level, but in the nature of the remedy presented to the spoilage of creation.
WOE, WONDER AND WHAT WORKS
There is wonder; there has been error; there is provision for removal (not of the glitch but of the false glitter and profundity of misconception); without this, the way limps and there is neither limpidity nor clarity, solution nor salvation; with it, there is restoration amounting to regeneration, the whole thing, the whole person, not only redirected but laid down anew (as many files are, even for one error, totally recast). The damaged version, current man, does not work properly; and not only that, works often vehemently, and wrongly.
The organisational logic which truth has imparted is marred; its outworkings are misdirected, while it continues as if sound, in the human case, often with bravado, or endless motions in the complaint department, ignoring the remedy. In all but incredible panache, works, what one has done, are paraded if not in word then in underlying basis for belief, as if these could impress when the damage infects not only the attitude, but the atmosphere, and rejects the truth, making of man, the maker of gods, idols, systems of expectation with the unfortunate rejection, ignoring or bypass of the Lord, of HIS speech, which is verifiable like other aspects of His creation.
SMR for example shows that. It does so because, as in a murder where there IS a culprit, it is there to show. It is irrefutable, but rejected; manifest but manipulated; rational but treated from the irrational; the comprehensive solution, but regarded with eyes competitive with the Creator of man, in turn creator of sin, and not looking to the Creator of creation-restoration on a personal basis, where God CANNOT be deceived and the truth found in repentance is the beginning of the way. Then Christ, the Word, from whom this universe began, is the end, whether in final confrontation or as Saviour. The end of the matter is He who began it, alpha and omega, who became man that man might be received back permanently to God (II Peter 3:18, John 10, 5:24, Romans 3:23ff., Titus 2-3).
In terms of method, validity, verification, such things are covered on many different occasions, in this or that avenue of discussion, and may be considered for example in TMR Ch. 5, Tender Times ... Ch. 8 and Divine Agenda Ch. 6, with SMR pp. 931 - 943, 973A, Department of Bible Vol. 8, Ch. 15, as well as in
TMR 5, 7 , It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, esp. *1A,
The Bright Light ... 7,
Repent or Perish, Ch. 7, pp. 152ff.; Ch. 2;
Christ, the Wisdom ... Ch. 6; BAB 29, 19;
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-3; SMR 3,
Little Things Ch. 5, Wake Up World! ... Ch. 5, End-Note 1A,
Tender Times ... Ch. 11;
Barbs ... 29, 19.
The Magnificence of the Messiah;
TMR Epilogue, News 94; The Divine Drama Ch. 4,
Grand Biblical Perspectives 7,
SMR pp. 146, 271, 295, 422C, 1138;
TMR Appendix, Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3, 4, 10, 11,
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny Chs. 3, *3, 8.
AVENUES NOT TO THE POSSIBLE BUT FROM THE ACTUAL
God is not a possibility to be discerned within the well-established tableau of law and order and command and organisational prodigy of which man is an example, though under some current duress. The deity does not ooze, as from spilt fat on the floor boards of our cosmic home. He is no alternative to having carpets, for example, which of course would need cleaning in any case.
He is, on the contrary, the ground of possibility for what is not by nature eternal and self-sufficient, that 'nature' which accounts for all, is subject to none, and without whom nature could do nothing before it was there to do it. Put it differently, not subject to the world now, He first made the world, and is its destiny according to truth.
If He chooses to open man's mind to logic, and logical thought to reality, causation to continuity with reality, that is His affair. This He did, and we are the exhibit, not the makers of it, let alone the by-products of our thought, denying our origin.
There are no other options. If He chooses to make laws and commands by which human houses are being made for millenia, where the houses contain the plans for the next generation of houses and their articulation with the means to do the re-creation of each type, then that too is His affair. Our thought does not change it, but demands it; options do not alter it, but enable the effort to build other gods which were never there, other worlds which do not come and other morals which do not serve. In that sense, it is a free world; but though the buttons for these evacuations from reality are easy to reach, the bottommost parts and paths to which they lead are not so easy to evacuate. Even with a car, misuse can lead to the tip or long restoration. The human psyche is not a given which may be weak or strong merely; it is as taintable as the heart, and its reality is as misdirectable as the steering wheel of a car, its collisions as a result as sure.
Accordingly, salvation, not a glorious glow for some, as if by some intuitive or innate wonder of their own, not by the proud marvels of their 'attainments'*1, for whatever reason, but as a simple necessity, is found where alone verification and validation attest, and power invests, and what is said, as in the DNA case (though that design like others in this world, is subject to change downward, now threatening the human race, not with superman but with exposure of farce in the head) happens, and history becomes its lair. As in Isaiah 55, it is not planted in the paths; it is found in the restoration chambers of God. It is not found in performing; the ground for any performance has first to be re-estalished, where God Himself personally is the first, as the last, and HIS direction is as heeded in the heart, as it is in the DNA for the body.
Putting God in place, by whatever alternative perspective, or even out of a place, is not a wise option. It leads not to displaced God but displaced persons, spiritually displaced, with this specialty: they may, as with defective cars, make a lot of noise, but the direction of their journey is self-made, self-taught, and their defective condition being ignored, leads on to glitches in which those afflicted may even glory, but which for their part laugh at the lordliness of this figurine from clay, who ignores the source of persons in terms of being one, whose word assigns truth though to truth he has neither access nor avenue, in his own world, measuring himself by himself. It proceeds in an indifference or alternative self-direction appalling to behold, as if a candle imagined it had made light itself, rather than being an implement, an expression, in which it is given the opportunity to shine according to the provisions made, the purpose assigned and the usage required. We are free to be fools; but not to make foolishness wise (cf. I Corinthians 1).
A NATIONAL APPLICATION
Some of these considerations may be applied even to political arenas. Thus in Australia, there is scope for having freedom of speech, without incorrect generalisations such as racism for example, may evoke; and there is being urged, a careful watchfulness in case having such freedom becomes a source of trouble. That can be like running slowly in the 100m. race, lest one hurt oneself. There is atmosphere, as is obvious in this arena, when mere 'teenagers besottedly make murderers their mental captors and go and join them as if in some crusade. Perhaps they wanted decisive talk and immoderate rather than mulled action and this was the only thing that had that air.
Wars may be won by OBJECTIVES more than by objects. The Second World War was won, it appears, largely through the mission for FREEDOM from dictatorial oppression and vicious misuse of inane theory, resulting in the accumulation in the USA of distinguished physicists of great enterprise and zeal from Europe and in its own place, people with zest and sense of mission. There WAS a mission. It was CLEAR. It needed doing. It was being done for a provocative reason.
That is one example. Self-protection as a mission, blunting reality, this is another.
Its effect is to dull appetite, encourage cynicism, dispersion of superior forces to inferior ones because of that sense, and the courage which goes with it. What then of the current performance of the Iraqi army ?
Thus in Australia now, the talk of waiting a more convenient time (as the devil is accustomed to do as you see in the report on Christ's temptation), for freedom of speech to be more carefully addressed*2, is merely part of the submission atmosphere. Let what we stand for become abashed so that we can continue to stand for it, though in doing so, we are now ceasing to do just that! Is this hilarity then, or mirth after drinks ? How do you STAND for it when you are giving way in it ?
What the individual may do with his soul, a nation may do with its spirit, it is one thing; and reaping the consequence, that is another. God is not mocked, despite the naturalistic fantasies*3 already forced on students in this land*4, bogus intrusions into scientific method*5, myth-making fantasies*6 for which NOT EVEN ONE verification can be made unequivocally to stand, while anti-verifications abound*7.
It is not merely the error, or the dictatorial presumption involved in such arbitrary termination of reason, truth and genuine enquiry in these areas, for children ostensibly being educated, and the appalling example thus given them: it is its cost in their souls, their spirits, their desire for mission. Many look elsewhere, since truth is so slighted, and find in rampaging errors a temporary sedative as induced to folly, they walk in the mire. It cannot be said that blessed are they who assist them to walk in it (cf. Matthew 18:4-8).
*1 Romans 3:23ff., 10:3-4.
This error is given some good political treatment in The Australian, October 7, 2014 in an article entitled, A Restatement of Menzies' Faith, citing David Kemp concerning both the background to, and the response for the Abbott backdown on Freedom of Speech, so prominently displayed as a robust desideratum before the latest Commonwealth election. in this country. Whatever political party IN FACT handles free speech with the effective desire to avoid a nation of ninnies, captured by culture, exponents of illiberality, hostile to what is not to be desired, because of feelings or manipulation or fear, or whatever other substitute for truth, does well IN THIS.
IS there now a Party so ACTING ? We may shortly see whether compromise becomes a self-harm motif, to which all, or nearly all, political Parties are subject. It is a pit highly available; and many have made use of it.
See Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny 2, with TMR Ch. 1 and Ch. 8, and Government Approach.
See the last two references above.
See for example, Scientific Method ...
See Prospect, Retrospect and Reality, Ch. 5 for example.
See Stepping Out For Christ Ch. 10,
The gods of naturalism have no go! Appendix 2, Ch. 9.
See also * 3 above, Wake Up World! ... News 94, Ch. 5.