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How simple in spiritual overview are the musty recesses of human philosophy and religion, when seen from the Biblical perspective.
Is there determinsm, man responsible for nothing, guilt a syndrome of insanity, and THEREFORE, faithfulness an aberration, cynicism an insight, love a mirage ? Of course not: for to ignore evidence in so many regions is to offer nothing, like saying: Oh yes, it is true that there are attractive appearances when iron filings come to a magnet, but really it is all illusion, there is nothing there, only an event. There is no reason or cause for anything, really, we just observe events as they transpire. (Cf. Causes!)
If that were so, then STATING that is not just an event, but instead
|a) a summation|
|b) a summation of meaning|
|c) an assertion of truth|
|d) an implication of objective knowledge,|
none of which 'events' conform to their own philosophic base.
That is mere self-contradiction.
Is there then, on the other hand, a magnificent aura to man, so that there is no limit to his attainments, knowledge, power, address; and are individuals to conceive of themselves as having a force-achievement mode, so that the universe must be ready to yield, nothing daunted they, as they so induce it: or anything in the slightest degree of this kind of godlike status ?
No. Hammer a nail into his head and the godlike status ends, as Jael showed.
There ARE limits, there ARE death, disease and delimitation, and there is a control to man, readily and variously induced by pride, ineptitude, vanity, idolatry (of himself as an individual, of a race, or of the human race or any of its theological compositions, based merely on themselves with no ground).
In fact, the deterministic slaveries of guilty disgrace before the Maker of man, frequently comes near to the robotic, for the lease of life to the superficial produces both reduces its effectual status and its liberty. As to this, though it is a disease, from which man should sunder himself, if he wishes to achieve anything in the realm of understanding, wisdom and knowledge, unbiased by belligerence, arrogance or deflation in its day, it has only that status. Though all men fail without God, since He is to be found and not merely rejected or talked about, yet man may find Him, and then the pathological reductions may be replaced by the proper and natural state and status, where liberty dwells. Then of course, since you are not God, unless you love Him, and your source is the God who is love, you may find yourself harassed. If love is not your way, and truth not your mission, then peace is not your result. It is your way: rejoice in it if you can! (cf. Ecclesiastes 11:9-10). The next Chapter in that book takes the matter further!
Moreover, there is a vast emporium of wonder to be found, when man finds where he DOES have limits and where not. When he sees himself in the hand of his Maker, and THEN finds that His Maker has given him these strange pathological possibilities such as both above extremes, and then comes to the salvation offered from such diseases and all other moral, spiritual and intellectual faults to which fallen man is prone, he then finds the resolution readily.
THE LIMITS are the will of God, NOT the difficulties of nature (his own, or the rest of the creation), at the ultimate level. There is nothing impossible to God that He wants, and a friendly relationship with his prodigious creation called man, is something desired, though it is subject to truth and permits no lie. To God one does not come, in rational reality, as a prince and far less as a god: there is one God and no others of that domain. How God scorns the presumptuous arrogance which unrealistically likes to imagine this (Psalm 82): You are gods ? but you will die like men!
Men are not gods, nor women, nor children - though some seem to have a liability to imagine to the contrary from time to time, when they are not making gods of themselves or their vain ideas. This, indeed, some ignoring man's essential frailty inflatedly forget; but if one should come to Him as a sinner to be saved by grace in terms of God's own personal provision through the Messiah, sent and arrived some 2000 years ago, after millenia before that of preparation, prediction, prophecy concerning Him, enabling ready recognition: then is their light and understanding, with no puzzles in kind, left over. Light makes manifest, and this light makes manifest this world, though it is famous for its belligerent, inane, inert, wandering or obfuscatory departure from it, into a much investigated darkness.
But not all so work in the dark (cf. John 8:12, 9:12,28-31). Some come into the light of this world, sent to illuminate, to sacrifice, to bring salvation from the puzzling propensities of pollution, which man so urges himself to investigate in tedious fractiousness. The come to Him as He has come for them ? Then moreover there is a mission, commission for each one, organisation of life. One then finds in His friendship, understanding, in His heart, love, in His presence, felicity, in His power, what is adequate for His vocation (cf. Psalm 27).
There is then no limit to the resolution of philosophic problems, which disappear like morning mist; and the political follies that molest the earth then appear merely as satanically inspired, pride-derivatives, where they are not exercises in senile pathology, or misled worship allowing the least of men or women, to rule for the abasement of the madness of listening to them in the first place. Yet in this realm as in others, there is still scope for restoration, in measure, in due time, when a people being swept by revival, find in God their trust, as the American coin advises us to be the case, though Obama seems to be flirting with many ideas, and making holy what is a wholly different being, whose self-sacrifice is far from apparent, whose power is not visible and whose commencement is long beyond the advent of Christ, who foretold such errors (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6, More Marvels ... Ch. 4).
What is left but a happiness which comes from holiness (John 16:22), a love which does not fear to state the truth (I Corinthians 13, Acts 5:29), for love rejoices in the truth, lies and fraud being of no use to anyone, since they merely postpone, at best, a fateful collision with reality, which no dream can alter.
The role of science too finds its place clear. It is not another way of finding God, but of examining His works; and its revisable findings are not a mandate for arrogance, but procedures for pursuit, as discoveries of the power and creation of God proceed without cease, and the word of God written is found right before the rest is found, allowing resolution of fantasies with fact, and fact with what it stated in the first place. It is ever so; it does not change; large numbers of important scientists have seen it so, engendered large-scale advances in important phases of science, computing, mathematics, space work, biology, physiology, and their success has been in the perspective of empirical and revelatory accord. On the right track, they do not mislead with the ridiculous, but if they create merely earlier discoveries before fresh advance, yet later one can add to these and make refinements within the unchanging biblical perspective and scope (cf. Scientific Method ...).
The endless "Look, see how it really is!" cries from endless atheistic, agnostic or confused scientists are so numerous, as what they discern does not happen, and what they allege is not confirmed, that man is becoming used to living a lie (cf. II Thessalonians 2:4-10), always expecting confirmation, never finding it for his God-defying nostrums.
Yet is is these that come, seductive and not inductive, they arrive, they connive like circling and stale variables, like mouse plagues: always newsworthy, always touted, NEVER found to be of profit for the verifiable truth. We even find a movement to change scientific method so that it does not have to be corrigible by fact, refutable by non-conformity of evidence to theory, so that the simple FACT that evolutionary theory, for example, has MANY refutations at the level of NON-verification, may be ignored (cf. SMR pp. 140ff., The gods of naturalism have no go!). What new modes of futile desperation will be invented yet, in the pursuit of what the Bible calls 'the lie.'
How restful is reality, and how wonderful is it that it has two and just two, basic ingredients. One is the Creator, and the other is the creation. Indeed, the former is not so much an ingredient as one of the pair of entities which we face and which face us: the Maker and the made.
Were He not so loving, so pitiful, so realistic, so ready to verify, so changeless, so practical, so ready to save, indeed so mighty to save man from his self-imposed ambushes and satanically imparted delusions, which even God permits to those who do not receive the love of the truth (II Thessalonians 2:4-10): then the case would be different.
That is where the empirical, the actual, the realistic, the spiritual, the eternal, the omnipotent, the omniscient, all speak with one voice, and it is a good voice. The Lord is good, and in Him is no iniquity. While man chafes at injustice, God calls him back; while man chides at untruth, God calls him to Himself to find the everlasting truth itself; while man despairs frequently of artless goodness, God proceeds to show it in the Cross. It is not artless in wisdom, but in guile. It is a presentation so loving, so merciful, so telling, so dividing of the human race, that it is in a way, a kind of virtual self-select option. That is the moral force of it.
In reality it is better even that that. The actuality is that it is wrought and achieved by the power and the wisdom of God. In that wisdom, His love finds, before time, who are His own: the desire is for all, the result is for some, at that level. Predestination ensures it; and not one is missing who might be found. At the ultimate, where God foreknew before all works and apart from them, who were and are His own, and who not, divine knowledge arrested human will, even past its own confusions, illusions, and so grants pardon where it may, in truth, find place to secure it. It finds it where there is capitulation in His knowledge of each one, to grace only, faith always, wrought by love, obtained by mercy. Thus there is no possible rational ground for quarrel. You want the resolution of all philosophic puzzles, all quirks of the psyche, all clangours of philosophic mutancies ? It is available.
God would have ALL to be reconciled to Himself (Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2). You are never fighting Him if to Him you come. His love, as has been amply shown, is not a rejecting one, but stops ONLY when force is the only way, instead going to the uttermost and to the ultimate to find whoever may be found, in its own reality, and not by mere force, subversion or manipulation. THERE, it is love in integrity.
You want to repent and to find the truth ? It has been MADE available through provision for the removal of the guilt of the sin-distortion. If you want it, it is there. If you do NOT, then do NOT blame God for YOUR preference (John 3:19, Colossians 1:19ff.). If perhaps you want to libel Him ...? then do not blame God for your dereliction. He IS the God of truth!
How beautiful is His holiness, and indeed even the feet of those who bring the message of reconciliation with God through the Messiah, Jesus Christ, these because of the preciousness of their message, these themselves have a certain beauty (Isaiah 52:7), like the hands of a nurse which minister careful means of restoration to a damaged eye, as she works long hours and is devoted to the recovery. Yes, but this is not mere labour, but life and death, and not mere death, but a sin-bearing death, and this willingly, adequately, aptly: it is the way of Christ crucified, yes rather risen (I Corinthians 1, Romans 8).
Man calls to the emptiness, and gains echoes and founds religions (RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST); but God has given not only the DNA as the record of commands to create man, in particular, but the Bible to tell the so created man, constituted by commandment, what is the nature of his life, of his position, of his need, how it may be met, what are the results, how they should be watched, and what is the result of ignoring it all. Yes He tells him where and how to find God, and immortality, eternal life and deletion of shame. You complain ?
Does ANYONE say: YOU CANNOT have this. No.
You come to Him: then even if it means being killed, as often for unfortunately harassed Moslems, not to say others, it may; but that is not a prevention, merely a cost! You are not prevented from coming, and eternal life is not limited to this present instalment (John 6:47ff., John 11).
All Christians are to take up their cross daily, to be crucified with Christ (Luke 14:27ff., Galatians 2:20), governed by Him and not by this world; and if to some it is a matter of death, once, to others it is a matter of a living sacrifice, day by day (Romans 12:1-2), that the love of God who SO loved this world that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life, may be shed abroad in manner, in spirit, in practice, in word, in Gospel quintessence.
It is a love which did not come in a Christ to condemn this world, but in THE CHRIST who DID come NOT to condemn the world, but that it might be saved: no problem remains. Liberty and love and reality are in perfect accord. To condemn the world ? that was far from the mission of Jesus Christ in His coming to this world, to Calvary (John 3:17). That is far from its purpose and its power: it was instead to save the world, His action adequate for all, sufficient for any, available with divine desire.
THEREFORE whoever rejects it, in the end, is a mate of confusion, a minion of darkness, an anomaly of divorce, and this not from a mere mate, but from the Master of the Universe, the Source of Love and the Provider of Ransom!
Rejection of Him!
What follows from that ? Look about you.