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SEARCHING THE WAYS
COMMAND AND CONTROL, INFORMATION AND DEFAMATION
In the volume 143 of this set, In Praise of Jesus Christ, at Chapter 2, currently at 217, there was a broad coverage of thought, creation, programmatics and the diversities of function involved in these areas, and their functional foundations. That volume is entitled, Man in Retrospect, in Prospect and in Bold Relief.
In this small Chapter below, we pursue quite simply the issue of command, and for this the preceding Chapter noted above is a good introduction, if you would like to see how this fits more broadly as simply one aspect of a whole, of which it is an application.
Effectual commands in natural phenomena are exterior impositions; laws of physics are internal, inherent law-performance criteria. What is commanded is THEREBY subjected to what is not its own inveterate internality. For this to happen, you require authority (commands of yabber are mere chatter), formulation, conception, control and imposition - performance constraint. It is like an externalised, intrusive, imperious law, set of laws, set of conceptions, verbalised, formulated, enforced.
But why ? Commands may issue from idiots, delusives, people having dreams, political egomaniacs. Their relationship to the formulator and informant for the command, varies. They may come from insanity, with profanity or with knowledge. Effectual commands require a degree of knowledge. The extent of that knowledge is shown in two ways: firstly, how well does the command work; secondly, how vast or otherwise is the coherence of the consequences of a unitarily directed series of commands: such as those which endue the human body with reality ? A tree is judged by its fruit, and so is an intellect. Some latent commands may have potential, and one may wonder what would happen if they were authorised and sent out; but some have results on an accredited and non-disruptive basis, displaying stupendous savvy, enormous sophistication, outstanding mutuality in joint workings and extraordinary provisions for covering intricate cases efficiently, and intended variabilities astutely (as in some cares, where provision is made for extra equipment, or its activation under certain circumstances).
Where you find coherence, correlation, co-operation, refinement of conceptual mode, symbolic means, orders of construction, ascending levels of function, cross-channels for various functions, hierarchical modes of control, then with reason, you ponder the purpose which moved the author of the commands, so to use conceptions, controls and intricacies. In this, you are, when faced with a monumental assemblage of diligently convergent commands, with question concerning a simple fact: What is the result ? If it is a poor Concorde model which crashes, and if Concordes could reproduce themselves, and these often crashed, leaving behind enormous numbers of crashed relics, able on investigation to be shown to have unending inadequacies and deficiencies, if this were so: then poor is the power of the producer of the commands.
When however you have millenia of the uttermost examples of co-ordinated commands moving towards an integral results so brilliant that scientists are continually utilising the technical know-how involved; and when in addition, generations continue with the uttermost power in many, though some falling away where deterioration over time sets in, but this without attestation of initial failures strewn over the earth: then the purpose has a certain fixity, viewed in continuity and sophistication of provisions to that end.
If someone writes a poem, ordering symbols about for this obvious purpose, we do not surmise rationally that the purpose was to dig a garden.
It is good to be rational in the presence of rationality, the more when its products surpass one's own uttermost conceptions, and observable results in any such field, whether alone or in teams, whether with small or with vast equipment, training and purpose.
When the units finally resulting, and then continually reproduced anew, are given powers of originality, so that a whole category of them are able to prefer irrationality, abuse of their equipment, of that of other units, chatter about chance (cf. Ancient Words: Modern Deeds Chs. 9 , 13). when we are discussing order that in substance, excludes its definable character, or about nothing as source of all, or non-thought as the source of thought: then it becomes apparent that the purpose included a significant measure of freedom. In this case, the referent is man.
When you come to commands, in the human display of their physical construction results in man, you are passing from one unit, one person, to what that person seeks to achieve, whether invading, destroying or facilitating the actions of others. When you come to commands by which any of the units, the persons, even exist, then you are compelled rationally to consider WHY they are so made as to exist in such mutual access. When indeed the masses of prospective failures for technical mismatches, when the soaring scale of botches are not found in the testimony of the past: it is then that you have even further ground to concern yourself with the purpose of creation by command.
Natural laws involve in their uniformity, commands to what is not so made as to be able to resist, so that the system and the singular unit, are wedded in works, and proceed without review, or even understanding.
Not so with man. He understands all too well that there are inner commands with which it is not well to trifle, in terms of pangs, pains and various dysfunctions, which limit his inventive acts and fascinated attempts to do things differently. Nevertheless, he is so made, in the various contributions which make up his singular personality, that he can with himself or others, perform prodigies of destructiveness, often on the basis of irrational thought, primed by desire, whether this be for significance, or revenge, or to gain attention, or as with Hitler, to alter the human race. The only certainty with such things is that in the long run the adventitious adventures will harm or kill, in some cases tens of millions of persons.
There is in the persons so constructed with such plan and program and purpose, then, a certain freedom which allows rampaging, invalid reasoning and ruin, sometimes conjoined with hatred, as well as valid reasoning, sometimes conjoined with love.
Has the purpose of man's manufacture, or creation by divine command, with the provision for the heavily integrated results of the perpetuating commands (by commands for the same), to continue, become a divine embarrassment ? Has the commander come to concern for a failure in quality control, then ? Hardly, since freedom achieves in advance the options thus exercised, in the ultimate case, for good or for evil. Freedom as a creation even in such regards (cf. Predestination and Freewill, Licence for Liberty), is in itself a prodigy, surpassing computing programs, able to spit in the face of reality, or with help, to move into the realm of its meaning.
Is there, then, also a command*2 for turning from evil to good ? from arrogant invasion to knowledgeable rightness for man ? It is not in that program, which merely provides a body, and a capacity for usage. Is there then a program for promulgation of knowledge about turning from evil to good, and which in particular defines what is good with a supreme authority, as is fitting when one creates liberty ? and equipment of such power, and mutually beneficial or devastating potential ? and if so, where is it ?
This is shown in detail in such works as SMR. There is in fact just one testable, verifiable and validatable*1 source of such commands, available to man, who is made able to read, and appears almost transparently to have been given an innate ability to generate grammar, vocabulary and communication amongst other units of the human race. It is called the Bible. In it, ALL men (not just the internally defined "bad" ones by popular or other consent) are to repent, or perish (Luke 13). ALL are to be born again (John 3): that is reconstituted and regenerated to deal with the "ignore or re-create god" disease, a spiritual one (cf. Hosea 9:7, Ephesians 4:17-19), and that other one, to make some new god for more convenient worship, and less exacting communication.
All are faced with the challenge, Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive His ministration, remedy, redemption, or have not just a recipe for a read-out of your sins in judgment (Acts 17:31), but a remedy-less future, for your pains if you knowingly reject this (as in John 15:22ff). As more generally, so here: there is a right way, and a wrong way; a path of wisdom and of error, a distancing of truth and an admiration for it, a leaning towards the divine Mentor and an aversion, a rapture or a rasp.
In the right way, there is as in thought or sport, discipline involved. You have to consider what you are and are about, and what you are doing and why this is so. You have to be willing to face reprimand and exposure, in the pursuit of what matters most: in this case, you or your ideas, fantasies and aims, or God and His provisions, in which your liberty has limits, but has profound meaning, capable of abuse, and susceptible to right use.
There are levels of command: to create man is one. To deal with the rebellion in man and to require repentance, these are more. Another is to love God with all your heart and mind and strength, which is more than obedience, but not irrelevant to it, as with all love. Another is to love your neighbour as yourself. Love envisages good and seeks it, and defines it from God, the maker of man.
Commands are fascinating things. Break them and the level of authority in them will appear either in lost blessings, cursings or both. In John 3:36 you see the case. When the command is to take the thing made by command, to the Commander, and have it reconditioned, pardoned, rested, restored, reconciled to the God who left nothing undone freely to win it back to full performance and understanding where alone it can be gained, in its Creator and Redeemer, then the core of the command is particularly gratifying.
Is God embarrassed ? Not at all. Grieved for the grossness of so neglecting what is needed, yes (Ezekiel 33:1 cf. Luke 19:42ff., Jeremiah 48, Ezekiel 33:11)! but embarrassed! It is man who has that part of the equation, when despite the wonder of being made as we are, with such abilities, facilities, liberties, used well or foolishly, he engenders party-strife amid braying and bellowing; hatreds based on race or riches, or eminence, instead of appreciating and seeking co-operation with the various virtues and wonders.
As the human body is made by command, its conceptions seen in its effectiveness, not compromised by masses of throw-away versions that failed to work, in its totality, in its integrity, in its spirit which can use intellect and muscle alike, in its vision, deadly or delightful: so does the human individual respond to the need, affirm or dissent. A baby in general does not have the power to refuse to be born; but a man or woman does. In this case, there is a parallel to delayed birth, and the pangs of the post-mature embryo, to consider; and this can lead, this also, to death.
God's commands do not cease with the advent of the human body, or the activation of the human mind, or the instillation bringing the installation, of the human spirit. He has commands for its advent, and more commands for its adventures, its functions, its aims. In much this is free, a delight in the use of imagination; but there are limits, as in a sport, which giving much for many to do, yet restricts in certain ways which help to define the activity and its nature.
In the Bible, He deals FIRST with creation, then with the fallen estate of man, then with repentance, then with plan for restoration, then with the Restorer, the Physician to provide for this, then with the power to apply this in the Holy Spirit; and in all, He provides a library of information, stimulation, and ground for adoration.
But you don't have to relish it! you may rebel, even further, like smokers who refuse to consider what is happening: just as medical authorities predicted, fulfilled statistically in this arena. Love is like that. You don't have to do it; and if you did, it would not be love.
It is good that it is so. To have my house (in this case, in the image, my body) built by the Builder, is great. It is much appreciated. To have to relate in this or that way to the Builder would have a certain ring, UNLESS there was love behind it, that is, the desire for the good, compilation, consummation and fulness of what the person was made for, in action. It is good that it is not simply theoretical. It is better that the Builder not only provided this insurance, but gives assurance for those who so receive Him in His redemption, according to the word which He has spread in the Bible. It is simply sublime that He has indicated that it pleased Him, that having made peace through the blood of the cross, to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, the Saviour, things not only on earth but in heaven.
It is all really admirable; but now in this way, then in that, people are tested. Not only media, at times, but education, very often, is used by many to instil rebellion, rejection of or contempt or indifference toward the Maker and Builder, the Commander and now the Leader (cf. Isaiah 55:4). So be it. It is all provided for.
Indeed, just two verses on, in Isaiah, we find this:
"Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts,
and let him return to the LORD,
and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God: for He will abundantly pardon."
Jesus Christ came, delighted in love to perform as required, not on an athlete's track, but on a Cross, not in imperious thrust, but in myriads of miraculous healings, of body, and many of spirit, as then in the resurrection of the slain body, the grandest of all, an observable conquest of death for sinning man.
In this approach from God to man, you are required not just to reform, but to be reformulated, not as something not man, but as a restoration patient (Colossians 3:10), enhanced and enabled where time to find Him is no more needed, for then you are found as well as founded (Isaiah 28:16, I Corinthians 3:10-11); and will never be confounded (John 10:9, 27-28). Such is the fruit of the root of the tree planted in repentance (Luke 13:1-3), and reception of the glorious provisions of God (John 1:12-14), who knows His own mind, and ours as well! (cf. Galatians 3, 5). The way is singular, as is the case with much that is very great, unique, and necessary (Acts 4:111-12).
See *1 in Ch. 1 of this volume.
Let us review a little.
Thus you have the three considerations at the outset. There is the consignment of concepts, articulated, integrated, then there is the consideration of applications, so that the mental may be wedded to the practical, and things made; then there comes the resultants, so that the relish of the imagination may be viewed as the fulfilment and outcome of its rovings, now not only specified, but spectacularly, in the case of man as a unit, made manifest.
WHY is such an application made, WHY is such a constellation of concepts so ordered, organised, and directed (for such cannot direct themselves, either logically or experimentally, unless endued from above with some program of man, or any other, who acts in our type of world, or logical structure) ? WHY are they so protected as is our genome, and with what end in view among the mini-concepts is the maxi-concept to which it all points with precision and exactitude: with what objective is the thing produced, so that it is a product of a certain kind, and not some floating imagination which denies the attestation of what it actually does and can do.
WHY! with such elaborate means to set to produce what is so singular, unique, and all but incredibly endowed a being as man, is the job done ? and why the directions given ?
For what is the purpose thus exposed in works and results, in things machinated and things fulfilled, in things originated and enabled to act to some extent on their own, even in the very domains of origination in their own small, but yet remarkable manner ? Why is the confined, the constrained, the directed, the delimited, the multitudinous elaborateness of the surging expressions performed, with a sungular originality and sweeping disregard of difficulties ? WHY!
It cannot be for fulfilment of what is thwarted in the purpose-machination-application-integration Being, being outside our natural orb in order to endue it and sustain it. It is mere antithesis to imagine such an enduing Being as wanting now to grab something out of it, in some type of manic "must have" mode. What then concerning that Being, that eternal Being - for if there were ever nothing, there always would be, and we would not be here to talk about it, and if what is in mind were merely an agent for another, then eventually the source of agencies, deputing and enabling, would be the One in view- what then may be understood at the outset ? if, then, that Eternal Being, origin and Supervisor at will of what some called 'nature' - and indeed it has a nature which it can never be made to produce (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!), as a matter of simple fact, COULD NOT without mere antinomy, conceptual confusion on our part, be merely satisfying some thwarted longing, repressed desire, then what COULD be His desire ? Having all, He is not short of cash, or splash or exotic fulfilment: that is for what in nature has a nature with which it is not satisfied, for lack of reason or power or opportunity. The source of all has no such constraints, and what He makes is from His own fulness; and if it were not, then he would be a mere misconception, wrongly called God, whereas merely a limited agency, here irrelevant to our concern.
In the creation, those things are set, what may and may not be done, with all the attendant surges and urges and wrong desires and patience as the case may be; this One however, the Source which sets the limits, is not subject to what He makes subject; and none sets such things for Him. Even if there were an array of Powers, they would have to have the system-maker for their inter-communication and lebensraum
WHY then did this ONE do it ?
In His imagination, put into practice by wisdom and understanding and conceptualisation, and verbalisation, mathematical sublimities and engineering dexterities, and arrangements for the lower levels of being, like matter, which in their due place, have been given intrinsic relationship to other areas of law and arrangements: He knew what He was doing. This is known from three at once obvious things: the lack of experimental failures, littering the globe past all computation; the observable presence of deliciously witty means beyond our own powers, to get the staggering results He has obtained; and the unitary nature of multitudes of products, acting and inter-acting as enabled, in spheres upon spheres of obtainable arenas, whether physical, instinctive, mental, volitional, moral, spiritual, or psychic.
WHY did He do it then ? There is only one sure way to find out, though great are the uniformities into which His creation is settled on the one hand, and the enormities and wonders with which man within it, can act on the other, the volitional hazards he can take, the creativities he can display, the purposes he can select, are an adequate testimony of a vast scale of planning (cf. Romans 1:17ff.). Much can be excluded as often shown (cf. Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4); but what can be included! WHY did the Creator create it!
We must find what, amid or beyond the masses of conceptualised, compartmentalised, concretised and activated information He has already given for our bodies, what may be found, not this time so obviously within us, to the point of billions of repetitions in the nucleated cells in even one given case of man, but for our minds, our spirits, our purposes, our selections, our wits, our best functioning and above, to fulfil that for which He so acted.
We must find something NOT in ourselves (that is, in addition to conscience cf. Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 2 ), adequate information which also is articulated, so that He may run who reads, and man might not simply squabble and hobble in injured conditions, into deserved oblivion! Mercifully, that is simplicity itself, in the best seller, the Bible, which has been before man in part or whole, for millenia, and which gives account of creation from the first, to the last, with much historical and directive insight on events in the way, many of which are with uncanny precision, predicted so making rational testimony that all else that might be considered, lacks.
The precise methods involved in pursuing this, confirming it with all due rigour, have been given in such volumes as SMR with TMR, in What is the Chaff to the Wheat, Chs. 3 - 4, It Bubbles Ch. 9, *1A,
1) DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY
2) RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST
3) LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
What this Bible has to say, in substance, is readily found in it (cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs. 2 and 3, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, All That Rot about Not Believing). We are persons and so is our Maker personal, and our affinities for the realms of creation, both to explore them and to use them ourselves, is indeed verging on the sublime, and fitting for it, so that the election that God made, to come in person, like an Army General to a camp in riot, but in this case, as a humble person without train and prestige, except what came from who He was and what He did, as observable, was as completely unpredictable as a love letter from some intriguing young lady to some far off admirer, who though at times very impressed, had never dreamed of such a development.
Love is like that.
That He should SO love that His action was both sufficient and proficient for saving this world, yet neither domineering nor exploiting it, that He would even die to cover the guilt, and rise to uncover the power and splendour of the opportunity so provided, even for eternal life, even individual, staggers. That this should be so (cf. Romans 5:1-11), in view of the nature of the spoiled goods involved (pride itself and self-blindness being part of the spoilage, along with distortion), is a scene of splendour. That it should be as a gift to faith, is yet more marvellous, cutting out crowing on the part of those self-estimating themselves obnoxiously, excluded from heaven (Romans 3:23ff., 10:1-2), and making the glory of the Creator-Redeemer an all-absorbing delight.
Creation has been subjected to many vain things because of sin (Romans 8:17ff., 5:1ff.), and has many harrowing elements, as in a misdirected ship (cf. Psalm 1:5), deliberately sailing among shoals, but the beauty still lingers, whether in some lives redeemed and restored, or in some beauties, grandeurs, wonders, marvels of construction, splendours of artistry, scope for minds, in labours of love and in humble pursuits with delectable patience and resolve. The rescue from creation's fall has been made within Creation, in empathy and sympathy, in the sent Saviour, Jesus Christ, and from outside Creation, where the Creator knows how to rescue, and whence His incarnate word was sent (Isaiah 48:16 - 49:6, I John 3-4); and as with the Ark, so with the Saviour, He sets about it, and in fact HAS set about it - just as the genes have the coded stores in place - according to His WRITTEN word, already given, and His sent only-begotten Son, the Saviour, given once for all, for the sake of all, effective for those receiving Him for His free redemption, not at all free in His procuring of it, however!.
When the onions are sliced, and the matter is open, it has a distinctive impact, which while not all pleasing to flesh - such as conviction of sin and necessity of salvation - can make many an eye justifiably send forth answering tears.