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or Freedom without Flounces


1964 Supplement to M.A. Thesis, presented to University of Melbourne following oral examination on the thesis,



Here we emphasise the essence of liberty - and where the Spirit of the Lord is: there is liberty.

We have seen that

A) the Sovereign of Sovereignty is in fact the God of love.

Here we augment a phase of our theme:

B) the Father of Freedom is no mere agent of autonomy: indeed

the Father of Freedom and the Lord of Life are one.

Like a casket of jewels, flashing in brilliance, and lovely, so is the liberty created by God! - spare and brilliant, rich and deep in the heart of the redeemed. Not by neon but in the beauty of holiness is the Highway of Holiness lit. As for holiness, it is the most natural thing in the world in the presence of the Father of Freedom (John10:10, Ephesians 4:24).

{Some initial points:

i) Occasional polishings and small touches do not alter the force of the original, in substance unchanged.

ii) It should be noted that strictly for convenience, the terms 'man' and 'his' are often used to designate the human being rather than a specific sub-variety, whether in terms of age or gender. This is one dictionary meaning used here to facilitate thought, not to abort it.

iii) Section references throughout are to Predestination and Freewill ... Sequentially in the Apologetic Series, this work follows The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, as do both That Magnificent Rock and The Other News. However, one could use SMR as a reference procedurally.}


It is never easy for man per se to think in terms of God, because of sin, the conventions of self and the idiosyncrasies of partially or totally pagan philosophies which tend to have the effect of vested interests in the direction of men's thoughts. These are not always realised: mental habits are always a potential danger.

A less formal and largely recapitulatory consideration of certain elements of the foregoing Thesis, with the unique content of these Scriptural concepts held firmly in view, may therefore not be entirely without value. It may stimulate perception at more peripheral concerns - such as the operation of the unconverted will or the duly designate converted will, outside the critical area of selection.

This didactic adjunct to the basic demonstration of the consistency of Christian-Theism in our chosen sphere, which has preceded, is therefore presented. To the many for whom this is superfluous, we give our salute. To those for whom this design seems expedient, we give our Appendix. To those who conceive the first, but allow the value of the second, we can give only admiration.

A. The Fathering of Freedom.


Now we shall first gather a few of the strands of the Christian-theistic notion of freedom in terms of God. We shall consider expressly the reality and impact of the Father of freedom; for if freedom was indeed found to be fathered (supra), it would be the height of inconsistency thereafter to treat it as a functional changeling, as an illegitimate and adventitious ideational adventurer.

In the case of Kant (pp. 216, 246 - end-note 26 etc., supra), we considered and criticised the tendency for man noetically to divest himself of mortality and creatureliness, and to conceive himself originally legislative of reality.

Such a trend is not fund in Kant alone. Indeed non-synonymous substitutes of this our definable and defined freedom frequently seek to hide under the greatness of its wings; and while in these, elements of the pre tensions in Eden do not always find such transparent depiction as in Kantianism, yet in essence they conform to that Edenic type with just as singular ultimate unoriginality. The forms of this aspiration of autonomy - some idealistic, some imbued with the quest for ideals without deity ... and the parallel is closer than merely verbal: these waylay the minds even of the most studious. Indeed, we encounter some sort of cabbage-leaf free soul, born of fantasy, who would seem to "arise" or to "occur" by a disarming but insupportable spontaneous generation on all sides - even in that ideational territory ostensibly committed to God. However, within that territory, we will now move with a better, with a less perfunctory regard for the properties of its statehood so resolutely remedial to inchoation of thought.

At the sub-theistic level, we have previously discerned this same illogical aspiration for freedom from constitutive limits, an irrational voluntarism without base, support, and - ultimately - without meaning: a freedom which just is, which needs no basis, and countenances no bonds. Its countenance however cannot determine its course. Be its will what it will, it will both be and do as it is made: and being made, be wholly conditioned by its Maker. Now His conditions for it in this case are indeed superior to those for machines; yet they may not for that reason be machined down to non-existence: not even for the sons of men! Will now God, like some American tourist, say "Oh my, Oh my ..." *1 while perceiving ever new outpourings of these prodigious mortals - not merely determining worlds with their selves, but determining themselves - well, with themselves. Away beyond themselves, they ... create themselves ... create new limits, new understanding, new being ... not with the powers limited by what they were given , not with conferred ideational equipment in a created world of created kind and processes ... no , no . It is with some auxiliary "me" that they transcend themselves and create themselves, leaving God agog: and this little me, so free, so oblivious and disdainful of his construction and character, and of the character of his world, this is the "that which" enables the self to determine itself without reference to the normal logical requirements of coherence and conceptualisation.

Now this little me, above ideal, illimitable - might it not occur that this is an aspect of the self - or do we have a schizophrenic ? This little "god" is after all in the same "fix" - created, constituted, contrived, not self-contrived, but built in all the terms and with all the procedures designate and designed for the self. Conceive it statically, conceive it dynamically, it makes no difference. Will God abide beneath the long arm of His creature ? The Father of freedom has not abdicated in order that the freedom which He fathered might be resolved in His absence.

If then we reject determinism for its inability to account for such things a blame, shame, guilt, intellectual discursiveness, consciousness of wilfulness and presence of ideals, conscience and so forth, a reductionist monopoly on midgets not related to mankind -are we to bend our "idealistic" selves to some new mockery of logic and become God because we are not machines; or are we to be consistent and having seen the basis for freedom in God (Section 1 supra), to recognise that it is the living and actual God and not a mythical and dispensable ideational mirage, with whom we then perforce are confronted. He is not manipulable. We must then find our due and proper position in God, or in relation to Him, in this matter of freedom, rather than in auto-generative, auto-determinative figments of a universe in which He in whom we have seen the rationale of freedom is then conveniently, but after all illogically, spoken of as if He were now - missing ... presumed dead.

Not by becoming God but by becoming or unbecoming towards Him is it possible for us to see freedom reasonably, definably and coherently. Of that distinct, judicial and judicious God of Christian-Theism we have spoken. Indeed of this God of Scripture we have spoken very distinctly, persistently considering His prerogatives, in our resolution of the predestination-and-freewill problem.

We noted for example, His necessary aseity and exhaustive comprehension of His necessarily exhaustively created creation. For Him, no life is less than wholly known before it begins (Sections 1, 111 supra); and if its vital principles are not those of mere formal ideation, they are not the less vitally known by God for that: nor, for that matter, would we say that because they are known, there is no species of freedom. Of all this we have spoken at length. We have argued that it is precisely through the guilt-removing, existential-estrangement-purging, merit-disregarding, equity-preserving Cross of Christ, a Cross of consummate noetic - as well as moral and spiritual - force, that we can reach what is freedom: freedom rather than an expression of a self which has its own character, its own characteristics, its penchants, peccadilloes and peccancies, its desire to develop - or not to develop, to meet its Mater, or not to meet. This self, we have stressed, is delimited and in and through divine penetration, determinate but not so deterministically. Such a thought as the latter, we have reasoned consistently , is as jejune as its conceptual antagonist in the sphere of voluntarism.

It is only when we do not transcend but are transcended by God, when our selves are given leave to leave themselves in hands able to remake them, that find the ultimate meaning and rationale of freedom to become, as distinct from a somewhat pretentiously named and famed procedure in becoming (cf. Section 1 supra). It is true that this historic Cross far exceeds the rationalising efforts of men; but being given, we repeat, it resolves inter alia, the noetic problems (pp. 24ff., 158ff., supra). Therefore, we have argued and discovered that in the last resort there is no problem in the concurrent consideration of the integral Sovereignty of that coherent, alert, almighty and assiduous Divine Personality on the one hand, and a certain, real and definable freedom on the other hand, bestowed on some of His creatures (Section 3). In Christian-Theism we have shown, there is rather to be found from dissertation of its revelation and in that last resort, a resolved tension between love and sin, one prophetically and then practically released on the Cross (Cf. pp. 170ff. supra). This alone would our data allow as a problem; on analysis, here only could we admit a logical challenge: one however form eternity laid to rest.

But in living indifference to the living source of the solution, the abstruse desire seems to come even to some problematic theists, to conquer worlds *2 of thought or matter - brandishing boundless disposability of will and an ultimate autocratic freedom in a sort of adult equivalent, ideationally, to a comfortably placed "problem" child (but after all, one placed comfortably) - and so a junior - who should wish to explore endless desert islands without check or chastening, school or home, hindrance or end. It perhaps resembles the Marxist desire to create reality and unveil novel universes instead the old one. It is to forget what we earlier reviewed that we can be free only in terms of Him who is free, because He is, and because He is God. It would suggest implicitly the beginning of an aspiration for contra-factual ontological autocracy - to be God. Without Him, however, you could not be in order that you might will it; and you could not be free. Moreover, as we have also argued, it is precisely "without God" - but this personally and ethically rather than metaphysically - that men are found when their conceit of freedom would collide with their acceptance and acknowledgment of His revelation of remedy (cf. pp. 145ff. supra).

It is t hen that such 'denatured' theists, perhaps as inelegantly as inadvertently, by implication would immerse God with man in a synthetic situation; there God, fecklessly desultory, imperturbable and unmoved as if He yaws in some irkless oblivion, voluntarily suffers denial of His will, of His designs, of His ways, of His law and existence, as of equitable and just provisions and true procedures for man. Creation is thereby made His moral measure; and some melancholic, schizoid or other madness the designation of His ontological status. Such an unfortunate creature is not the Sovereign Creator (pp. 9 -15; 121-152; 135, 138ff., 142ff., 145ff., etc.). It is also true that we also have spoken, but it is time that we listened.

Is it so hard to accord to God the placement of places - the too credulously criticised predestination, so perspicuously and pervasively in Scripture (supra pp. 115ff., et passim) ? Do we not know and have we not considered that He does this by a will which has willed that we have wills in which His willing will unroll the individual realities of allegiance in freedom ? Is there such torment in the thought that man seems so reluctant to think it; and prefers insoluble problems of logic as of life ?

Perhaps there is a one sin which very readily leads to a sense of frustration at perceiving that one has ­ ( that one must have as absolute derivative and dependent on a Being outside one's ultimate bounds, one's ontological, volitional and constitutional bounds) ­
that one has, after all, a place!*3 Often academic and business institutions for example, foster the myth of mastery through emulation; and extrapolated, this can come to be a directive principle for a life.

God then too must be subsumed beneath the developing and 'progressive' autonomy of man: an august autonomy which yet, and quite ludicrously, neither understands nor can conspire to create its antecedent physical, mental, moral or spiritual constitution and construction. At least, it is thought, God and we will plumme through some 'independent' stuff, and we will not withhold from Him a measure of approbation ..."I will ascend ...I will be like the most High ..ye shall be as gods...you thought He was altogether such a one as yourself."

It is not new, this prestigious and pretentious pomp in man; and it is not defensible.

To fight the system (or its envelope or equivalent) by which you exist, is not the most perspicuous wisdom; to contend (noetically or volitionally) with the Author and Architect of that system is an action which makes an infantile tantrum seer almost majestic by

Can you really in situ become an autonomous character ? To put it in a format which is one more variant on the theme: Could you really be a self-possessed ... character budding from the mind of Almighty God, the Author, only to assume an essence, an individuality of which He must become a mere spectator, an interested and perhaps intrigued ­ or anon surprised and disgusted ­ observer?

Is this not the anthropomorphism of autonomy par excellence? Nothing is or can be which is not, as we have shown, wholly envisioned, communed over and accorded existence by

this ultimate, this buoyantly un­nebulous and self­consistent,

this everlastingly all-sufficient and instituting God.

With God, nothing but God is 'given'; and that not by another, His reality being underivative and independent by nature (sections 1 & 3 supra). He is, we have reasoned, eternally all-knowing. He may indeed create, in the children of men, for example, an individuality which has an ultimate orientative significance.

While, however, it is true that the Father of freedom is not also its murderer, the only freedom which ­ in the totality of His entire comprehension and the movements of His Being, He could sustain in His integrity in a creation, is quite obviously one which would not require His demise for its operation. All is made by, for and with Him and can be free only in conjunction with/or disjoining from
His ways.


Now this freedom is indeed exquisitely limited: but because it yet relates in its limitations to One so great as the God whom Christian­Theism attests, it is to be expected that it will be of a vast significance. Indeed it is a freedom which systematically holds a portent as appalling as the clammy catastrophes of contentious war ­ where we are working without regard to Him: as pride ­ where we are desiring Him to depart; as chronic ideational confusion ­ where we are seeking a position the facts will not allow, in independence of mind beyond Him; as evil ­ where we are attesting the course of His judgments; as bitterness ­ that well­suckled offspring of resistance and mistrust.

These consequences of this freedom, this freedom to disobey, are then awesomely vast; but because what we have here is freedom, it is not therefore everything. As we do not weary of restating, this freedom has a Father, whose Fatherhood extends over all creation. All potential is His creation; all predilection, all penchants. all inclinations, aspirations, all things past, present, future, all characteristics as aspects of system and creation, and that very actuality which we term the world: all this comprises some part of the institution or derivation of His creation. He has endued it with existence; He has endowed it with capacity. And these things work ... they may work will and woe; they may elect to puncture the tyres of the spirit, and to run on the rims of necessity; but it is He who instituted, it is He who erected them.

Likewise has He created His discreet congratulatory graces, and the conditioning evils of His confrontations where the flashy waves of our pleasure strike the rocky coasts of His factuality; indeed, where the decisions of His discretion bring realism to our aching axioms of autonomy.

The living God made such freedom as there is. Without the compromises of confusion and conditioning, it may be met only through His self-manifestation, so that it might indeed be exercised with respect to Him and not another, to Him beyond whom there is nothing; that it might be exercised through His enlightenment towards the Truth, which we do not create, and which does not express us as basis, but which indeed originally created us.

In terms of this Truth, we and our wills and our individuality and everything about us is coherently expounded and expressed; and when we are confronted in this manner, we are able indeed through His grace to be aligned towards or against the true light: not the reflections of our character, the projections of our predilections and the puniness of our own minds. When God exercises this Truth within the will­in­sin, do freeing it of the folly which defies facts, when He first intimates and then inculcates the Truth which makes Adam's choice so plain but ours so painful, when we receive Him: then we are free. Then we realise the obvious fact that God did not give us freedom in order that are should not be free; but likewise He did not free us in order that we should have no Father.

Then, when we are aligned, God does not cease to be free: and we do not cease to be in His image, and our image does not cease ­ rather it begins to be in God, unimpressive indeed, but blessed, discovering but preceded, opening into that already open before God, who did not shut His eyes when He made it or us in His image.

Until God's Truth has made us free, all the freedom we have is denuded: merely formalised. It is derogated, seriously conditioned by error and spiritual disease. This is the position, until and unless our characters, and our persons, and our knowledge come not merely to be correlated, but child­wise to be co­ordinated with Him who is sole possessor of Truth: from whom it must be obtained.

We must remember that for Him or against Him, we exist only so long as and because, and in such exhaustively analysed and composed and correlated terms as He wills, who is the ultimate super­fact. He works, wills and institutes you and me with an illimitable and comprehensive knowledge. Infuriating to autonomy, productive perhaps of delirium to the devil ­ who, after all, prefers derision to precision, a point which in effect we often find in Scripture*4 . This fact is a cold logical necessity. It is autonomy which is a myth. It is freedom which is a fact. Not in terms of our own origination of ultimate realities - a non-happening - but in terms of that which actually is the case, do we find it.


This freedom is as intelligible as that autonomy is incoherent and
possessed impenetrable problems. In any discussion of freedom, we therefore expect, from this side, as many confusions as there are intrusions of this autonomy, even at the outset; and as the motive is strong , so would we expect the forms of this fashion of freedom, this autonomy to be multiplied. Our expectation is not falsified.

Indeed even the confession of such a chronic problem seems a fashion almost invariable. That freedom in terms of God quite openly confessed and carefully considered, however, has as many delights of intelligibility as autonomy has perennial intellectual impediments. The bog of the one is the brightness of the other.

We saw it to be the case that for freedom to be meaningful, even in terms of consciousness, share, blame, guilt, discursiveness of intellect, etc., it requires an absolute self-manifesting base. The criteria of value, of choice in terms of which an actual choice is made, would unabashed extend backwards without rest or meaning for freedom, until this basis is found. After all, why choose X ? Because ... I thought ... wished ... But why did you do that ?

You become merely a core ­ or less ­ discerning expositor of the propositions in terms of which you resolve. Until you reach self­manifesting truth -

truth not an expression of the personal cast of your mind, predilections of your will, flair of your passion, tenor of your philosophy, desiderata of your view ( "personally, you know, I think ..." cf. pp. 6­7, 215 supra); truth which manifests its position not without evidence, but with a brand of evidence which adequately confronts, and will affront you, expounding you in the unwearied nascency of our comprehending Creator, and doing so irrespective of your predilections ­ tendentially, partially, or perhaps wholly contrary to all you desire:

until this occurs, you may...be you; but what you are and want, will be limited by all that limits you.

You are not God. You have hopes, past, morals, conscience, guilt (shriven or not), family characteristics, personal characteristics... but because you are not God, you are bounded on all sides, and cannot create or recreate yourself. You are ­ and perhaps what you are is not very near even to what glimmer of truth you may have, by yourself and outside concurrence with God.

To such things Pelagius closed his eyes tightly. God has His open. We must look into God's eves if we would see Truth. This you must desire: nor will you obtain it unless He first acquiesce. He is not slatternly, soporific or apathetic. He has His ways and His manners of introduction. He has His will and He has His heart; and you will not plumb it. Such is His prerogative, as likewise to declare it. But until you see His view as definitive, your autonomy will be spurious and your very freedom a form without acuity and profundity of function, a relatively superficial and limited meander outside the interstices of truth and ultimate decision.

Without the critically operative function at work, your freedom is like a perennial Peter Pan, forever a child ­ illustrative indeed of manhood, but as man never depicting it. It is only in terms of this function that you retain a sense of freedom, and relative freedom; hence you aspire, and yet do not obtain; and hence you may reject, and yet the form remains. There no systematic problem in apprehension and comprehension in this area, except for those who reject the tenor of the Scriptural solution. Thus that function of alignment or non­alignment with God as we have hitherto presented the matter in detail, presents you in a small mould. You cannot ingress God. What have you that you did not first receive? You cannot vitally surprise Him, who made all.

For that matter, you cannot successfully defy His will. Whatever He lets you do, He wills to allow you to do; and did so before mankind began. and this is necessary ontologically, as we have also presented the point. Further and similarly, any willing you do, cannot be meritorious, not qua you; nor can it be good, as we have argued (pp. 29 ff. supra), by an absolute standard. In correlation with environment, it may be relatively apposite; but until you understand, until you see eye to eye with the source of the definition of good (pp. 29­30 supra), it cannot be absolutely good, or commendable. It lacks the key and centre, original ground and meaning by which, and which alone, goodness has its meaning and place.

Until then, and turned from the God who made its powers, such willing must basically substitute an ignorant and exotic independence for informed dependence; arrogate a quasi­sovereignty for conferred communality, and live in a putative world of condoned and even unconditioned calamity, frequently feeling it is as if God perchance smiles, perchance grimaces witlessly, but does not speak. Where the line is down, the conversation is not easy to hear.

But if we are dwarfs rather than gods, filled indeed with a significance which we did not earn and do not deserve ­ while nevertheless edited (pp. 133, 149, etc supra): if this is so, yet it is still true that we are responsible. Pelagius' error here was one of confusion. It is not merely a dogmatic fact that we are responsible: it is a logical necessity from these tenets that we should be; just as these things in turn provide a meaning ­ structure for freedom. From these our very grounds, we can provide no excuse for a failure to respond to the truth; and as we have shown, to the unexceptionable perfections of Him who calls (cf. pp. 189ff., 167­168ff., 182ff., 161ff., 158 etc.).

It is still true that our unconverted activities are not the mechanical expressions of an excusable ­ because mechanical­machine, If God interprets and expresses and performs or executes within our hearts the integrity of preference so that it is nevertheless His choice, it is an integrity in our volition which He ensures. Shall we assume then that. because we are responsible, we should behave irresponsibly? Shall we say because God comprehends our will and in His ineffable, sublime and perfect integrity brings forth the appropriate conclusion, that we may with a pseudo-commendable consistency proceed to be wilful. We must all appear before the judgment seat of God.

Apathy is not godly. Antinomianism is a reckless extreme. Shall we sin that grace may abound? God forbid! Clearly what we have to consider here is merely a pertinacious objection to an unscriptural extreme at the formal level. (Cf. SMR pp. 520-532, That Magnificent Rock, pp. 35-62.)

There is after all no need? No, not even a practical need, for this quasi­spiritual personality-nationalism ­ if we may call it, so ­ which insists that if it does not hold all the levers, it shall rebel and postulate irrelevance for its will. This may be very well for that which glories in a metaphysical irrationality; but it is a bold and catastrophic denial of the logic of our position, and operates against reason. If someone thus initially should deny what we assert, forfeit the validity of his own will and hence deride his own operational conclusions, he has not shown at all the inconsistency of what we assert, but the inconsistency of what we do not assert: and since we assert that consistency lies alone in that which is asserted in the due confines of Christian­Theism, this is in a way merely a corroboration of our assertions. Certainly it does not concern consistent Scriptural position; though for those who have strayed from this, it may indeed constitute a reminder to return.


If then all men are responsible, it is also true that the Christian, whose conversion God has secured, is covered by a disciplined and indwelling Christ, while the unconverted is limited specifically by his bonds, bounds and defects. For the latter, it is no question of a blessed existence in that redeemed and creative relationship in conformity with the procedures of the fostering Father of freedom, conferred on His children.

But if we say of this unconverted man that he is limited: is that to say that in the derivation of his destiny, he is impersonally determined ? Has not one of the most salient emphases in Scripture - in this thesis at length developed - been the personal predicament of the unpurged and the impenitent ?

Depersonalisation is indeed an obvious correlate of a species of departure from the abiding, and vitalising, and spiritualising source for personality. In part, this depersonalisation occurs with every diminution of understanding, or with all the constraints of creation, when this is the ultimate confessed reference. In some measure, personality itself departs, with a dissidence of the spirit from the Father of freedom: in some measure, it may remain, because of the restraints of ideal, conscience, guilt, nostalgia, because of the witness of others, because of the Common Grace of Him whose hand expends goodness widely (Matthew 6:45), indeed, even into that very construction which though defiled, is not defunct: which though dissevered may not be deemed inoperably destroyed.

This pitiable condition is judgment, and it is here intensified according as the opted rejection has been more pertinacious or less so (pp.159 ff., supra).

But are we to say that the fact of judgment is any logical reason for seeking it ? Has not the mode of conversion been featured here in such a way as to stress the high relevance of a comprehended human will ? It is obligatory to remember; but it its not obliging to forget.

Has not, after all, the priority of God been the very assurance and guarantee of freedom, as distinct from self-expression ?: freedom not merely to be, but to be what one would be, and to be so with assurance and meaningful wisdom rather than those proud prerogatives of an imagined but impossible ultimate autocracy.

The point of the difficulty here, when we keep the relevant considerations in mind, is that God is not trusted in this regard ­ as a genuine interpreter and a sincere disposer of the human will; but mere unbelief at any point cannot be allowed as a criticism of a system or approach which is being examined for its internal consistency, and which is being appreciated for its operational felicity. It is indeed here entirely irrelevant.

If then the will, as we have said, is consulted, probed, witnessed to, wooed, grasped, confronted, taught ­ prior to conversion and in whatever mode; and if, as we have at length argued, the outcome of the elective or historical probe is precisely and naturally the proper outcome for that will: by what magic would any will assume it thereby, appropriate to resist, to acquiesce into apathy? Nights of Pelagius' what myth is this! On what grounds, indeed, if not those of illusory autonomy could it proceed in a snug assurance of a happy ending, without seeking by all means to find that God without whom, being challenged, it is lost: that God in whom there is a recreation, and a recreation per se, sustained spiritually from its source.

Thus a failure to be converted at any point of time? on the part of a hearer of the Gospel, is a testimony in our terms, to rebellion. This attests, of those confronted, a will which is despising God's counsel.

Everything available, in the terms which we have outlined, should logically and consistently be done therefore to find God - if that is not openly despised; but if it is openly despised, that it is but a further mark of rebellion, in perfect affront to the impact of Christian­Theism. For this we cake no apology" but let rather those who cake that affront to the Author of redemption well render their apologies to God.

If it had been the case that the human will were irrelevant, the answer would not have been so ready, so felicitously available and so simple: but even Calvin could not go so far as to say "irrelevant" of the will, in the whole tenor of his teaching. Calvin sought a predestination which, while ultimately the prerogative of God, was yet such that perdition had its "cause and occasion" in the human being concerned. Now we here have sought to develop the Scriptural position in this regard; in our Thesis, we have sought to indicate to the point of consistency how these things might be.

B. The Freedom That is Fathered.

Now it may be helpful to review certain of the elements of the position which we have presented, in correlation with those actual and specific Christian doctrines which proceed to have a bearing, as we pursue the course of salvation. Certainly we have touched on these things before; but it may be convenient simply to collect some of the items together at this point.


The will, we have Scripturally argued, is "consulted" (certainly with interpretive "constraint") ­ but consulted. It is "invested" (certainly

with comprehending disposition) ­ but not "invaded", in the salvatory nexus. Violence is not offered to it. The will' we have said, has "a consultative standing", but not a "determinative status". We developed carefully the intense and vital significance of God's counselling, as far as our purpose required; we developed it to the point that "you would not," was composed with "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." God ranges beyond His creation; He made man free in order to avoid compulsion at the acme, in terms of the rationale of freedom; but not in order to foster the fatuities of an over­anxious and self­comprehending autonomy: the ineptitudes of which constitute no small part of psychiatric anomalies.

God's retention of His status means that we are surpassed. Our retention of our own, however, means that we are not superseded.

We are obliged and logically so, to do our uttermost. Our utmost will ultimately involve our surrender. We cannot acquire God; for we cannot acquire with simple autocratic authority, the Truth. God can acquire us; but not without our wills is He willing. Yet our will without God is a will of a being without Truth, however many truths we may provisionally and in perplexity seek to acquire. It is easy to exert preference from within ­ as it were ­ the garden of knowledge and communion; it is a different things when one personally situationally and existentially is enthroned in a factitious autonomy, ignorant of the prerogatives and the requirements of Him who is Truth.

Freedom demands the self­manifestation of God for its rationale for such as we. Adam had it a priori as it were, its loss manifesting his will in the ground of vitality; unconverted sinners lack it a posteriori. Until they have it, they do not even understand. In the obtaining of it, we have pointed out, men need to remember that they are dealing with the living God, not with an ideational sediment, conveniently imported to serve an occasion. When they are confronted with it, then they may see it; and the perception of alternatives is correlative to the engenderings of these graces.

Itemisation : Consonant Considerations

Of course the non­autonomous Scriptures that God has freely spoken are graced to provide an objective account of what God wishes revealed. This might of course suffice if we were minds only; or if our minds were gods. As it is, we need more than this: not in information only, but in presentation ­ not by man only, but by God (cf. pp. 26ff; and section III supra).

Now Scripture provides what man cannot without it, logically find or fathom as we have argued: a revelatory indication of the will of God, a representation of His intimate character. Autonomy thus becomes a little child and not without a Scriptural foundation for the same... it perceives that it is alien from truths and must learn from Another, unique, ultimate, producer of all coherence, before whom alone all profundities are open. It must heed His judgment and reject or receive His treatment. We have already noted one reason why this is intensely onerous to some persons.

Thus the "captain of his soul" has receded. Already, such a person cannot fashion his own freedom ­ he must meet the self­manifestation of God; he must meet this in adequate terms; he must be prepared to accord with the Boss ­ there cannot be two Gods. One is cadet sustained, derivative, deputed, constituted, and logically here only able to accept or reject what is, the One on whom he depends (cf. pp. 11­13, 125­135, 140).

Still further must he recede, as the memorable words of John the Baptist so clearly indicate. The would­be man of God must meet a God whom he cannot impress, from whom he can earn nothing by his merits, whom he cannot surprise. and whom ­ until he know Him and His will ­ he cannot please (cf. Romans 8:5­9). In the last resort, disorientated flotsam and jetsam, he needs what he lacks. All he can contribute is himself; and that will need radical re­orientation, pardon and reformation (cf. pp. -168 supra). To use God's terms which proceed far further than this: he will need to be born again.

Can he do that? Obviously his restitution is the act of his Superior, and all the understanding and habitual new desire for things in a new frame and on a new basis, must be obtained: cannot be acquired. He has nothing to offer but he has himself to offer and that we say, that must be changed. Alone in leaving his very separated self, can man manifest meaningful freedom (cf. pp. 165­8 supra).

This autonomous man is fast appearing in form to become a man of God: autonomy is fast appearing to him as one of the collective principles of sin, and as such, one given over generous accolade.

Throughout the midst of these considerations, let us emphasise that at no stage is the man or is his will irrelevant; at no stage is his response irrelevant. We positively assert, as did Augustine, that it is an election

of wills. Now God does not cheat: we do not constrain Him to act, but our constraint and God's action whereby we are constrained, are the consequence of an inter­personal engagement differentiated by the fact that one of those persons is God.

Shall we then say that because we may not be autocrats (pp. 216, 67 supra) and give orders to God, that we are irrelevant and that His love is a farce; or that we are being realistic and that His love is a feat in that, with this, He loves us! The fact then that our response is rendered determinate by God, and that the actuality is injected by Him: this is not to be misconstrued as the illusion that we do not respond because we have affairs with God.

Because it is with God, our response is foreseen? pre­permeated in cohesion in the plans of the Author who gave freedom not to mock it, but mocks its fiasco and pretensions, in that He may give it the reality to which it relates. It is foreseen vitally, not merely abstractly, and with not less freshness than that which we designated by the phrase 'realised resurgence'; and if this freedom which we gain is fresh to God, who is unsullied, perfect and infinite, then what expansiveness of delight does it not consistently offer to His children to whom His greatness beckons while His works intrigue.

We may now do well to rehearse and grasp these principles in conspectus: sovereign control (cf. pp. 129ff., 145ff., 182ff. supra); sovereignly interpreted freedom for confronted sinners; interpretation in an integrity, which the situational sinner as such lacks; pre­conversion participation in strivings and entreaties; truth that cannot be attained except as in God in whom we are not until converted, and whom until then, we do not personally know; freedom true in form and vitally related to the reality of its rationale and partially to its Author, but ultimately not decisively actualisable until the truth is known without prejudice; freedom which, in this reality, cannot be operated until it is re­accorded to the soul whose response is discerned before it can be resolved, but resolved in that it is discerned by God without prejudice to the Truth.

There is much participation in what may be discerned as we pass over these phases; there is total responsibility; there is unsurpassable occasion for drive and rigour in seeking God. However there is no place for the complacency with which it is unrealistically assumed that man is a god without bonds or bounds, a god to father its own freedom and achieve status with God through its separatistic operations in an imagined bivalent system, a property in partnership: sovereign God and sovereign sinner.

Not the equipment only, not the character, but the person itself is a product of God. This like man's character, is definite and distinct. He is not ultimate and directive of ultimate reality; all his desire is not his, however individual it may be. The man's individuality too was God's creation. Because the individuality was erected in the image of God, it may feel free to become what it will (sometimes); because it was created, it is not however autonomous, and its freedom is meaningfully actualised and consummated only when its individual disposability of will to the self-manifesting God is duly and truly tested in integrity and sincerity by a 'Beyond' which does not belittle because it is above, but belittled itself that it might in holiness bequeath pardon and truth to averse autocrats (cf. pp.160 ff. supra), to ontological stars with light and therefore, stars whose light is darkness.

In addition to the above considerations on autonomy, we should not fail to bring this. Not only is it the case that self­manifestation deeply on the cart of God is needed for conversion of man, indeed for Truth, and for what we summed as re­birth vested in God instead of in man, but in STOP. on behalf of man: but for this purpose there is also needed ­ Pardon. Disjunction from the ways of God follows from their unique Profundity and man's untamed ignorance of them. It is this which results in collision and corruption, misuse and meander, in violation, in affront and ­ in a word ­ spiritual death. God is not a fairy. He faces facts. (cf. p.184 supra).

Pardon then, as well as reconstitution, is His gift; and these are needed by man.

Man cannot acquire these any more than he could acquire Truth; or could produce autonomy. But their prospective receipt must be adjudged genuine before God will actualise it. Thus His is the priority, both logical and predestinative.

Thus man ends but a little child, if he would come in: he is not assigned high credentials for having come. On the contrary, he is humbled in the very coming.

For the pang ­ though not the position ­ of Pelagianism indeed, it must be said that the godly man should be a little child in his Father's world, and not a ninny; be active and intent because it is his Father's world, and not a correlate of questionable propriety to an existential ... morass. He must be holy because the resolution which transcended his powers when he came to God, did not negate but expressed his will, perhaps in its hypostatic pureness, and certainly in God's knowledge.

The Godly man should surpass the alienated in the thrust of his love: not again to be emulous, but because he is not; because God is love and he is God's and because he wants it that way. To doubt that, let us repeat, is to return to a mistrust of God in this feature, and to impugn the only coherent account which exists of fundamental reality. It is this which we are seeking in one particular phase, here to expound; and its felicity for exposition has been inescapable.


Now let us revert to this our case of the man who is and has become an acquired son of God. He has a will; God made it; and in converting him, renewed it. God first interpreted it, and in interpreting it, did not ignore it. Now is such an adopted son of God to be styled a puppet because God pivoted his destiny around the Proprieties ­ although not the properties of his will!

Although in all this, God has not ceased to be God, because He created: yet, neither is it the case that this human will has ceased to be a will - because it was not an autocrat. We do not deny that God made mankind in His image, nor affirm that He died in childbirth, as though Himself a creature. One was made and used the equipment; the other made, and reviewed its operations.

God made initiative, a dim mirror to His own; God is the author of decisiveness, of all our moral finesse, intellectual discursiveness, of derivative creativity. He also has His own intimate nature. He is - for the son, or daughter - a Father. Moreover the man who is dissident in bearing, and who cannot comprehend such a relationship, does well to remember that his God is a King with a crown of thorns, susceptible to petition, prone to pardon, apt to foster.

To forget these things, it is to argue about someone other than, wholly different from the God of Christian-Theism, objecting to no point, and in vacuo from our field: and with this, we are not greatly concerned, except it be for its implicit corroborative testimony ... We are, one recalls, showing the unique harmony of Biblically defined predestination and freewill, covering those phases and facets of all that is created and available for observation and implication.

God indicates our bounds, gives our gifts, glady (but not officiously) co-operates with those who love Him enough not to resent as intrusion the revelation of His will, but who seek rather in delight the counsel of His countenance as they occupy themselves in a freedom of discovery and execution of which an obedient child is a better image than is a thoughtless puppet.

God makes us neither machines nor autocrats: it is a child which is the image, not a charnel house nor a tin-god. With such a Father, however, the scope in spirit and in its media of expression, in our spirits, minds and bodies, is enormous, the creativity fascinating.

Nevertheless, once one is a child, one acts as a child: if now the child of God loves God his home, is that so exceptional or exceptionable ? Such a child, like all children, discovers things; for him, God perpetually is the best, and the sought, the revealed and the personal, the original and the author, graciously beneficent to His children - but never grossly indulgent in His wise concern. The whole book of Job shows just how crucial is sincerity and reality, rather than reward of an extrinsic character in such a setting as this, with such a One as this with whom we have to do.


A child is normally at home. Home is a way of life; for the child, it is not a prison. A prison however is quite frankly what a home may become when intruders rule it.

Now God devises the due path of those who would own themselves, and yet do not make themselves!

If then, equally and surely - but less constructively than for the elect - God concatenates, disposes and activates what thus asks to be alien (John 3:18-19, Colossians 1:19-23, I Timothy 2:1-3, John 10:26, 6:65), so as not only to exhibit its trend, but yet to accomplish its concurrence strategically with the wisdom which has all things integrated in one history (cf. pp. 182ff. supra)... If indeed, He no less controls the refractory ones in a unitary history, the 'wheat' with the 'tares' - which such must have on this earth, together with the elect, than He leads the elect: what then ? This too is not the work of intrusion, but that of its prevention through that final predestinative counsel which coherently embraces person, individuality, interaction, preference, system, law and lawlessness, and has it Way.

The Father of freedom fosters reality in its derivative status, in its diverse directions and its ultimate outcomes; but He does not jettison Truth, or collapse into chaos. It is the confused arm of devilishly motivated chaos which fails and falls into its due collapse, in the sovereign magnificence which allows the free exercise of love, without banishing either its significance or its denial... while bringing to pass with superb assured certainty, the due results with a compassion, and with the payment in the process, which illustrates for all, the glorious quality of what any may ... for all that, reject.


*1 With all due respect to the actual tourists outside cartoons. The Scotch have long endured (if not endued) their cartoon treatment: the English theirs. The U.S. and the Aussies will have their turn. Indeed, the recent failure of the English Punch magazine augurs not well for the sang-froid and self-instruction of the English.

*2 Certainly in somewhat spicy contrast to the enervation propulsions of the deterministic human toy, ut in the childish bath of this world, instead of a human being.

'3 Accordingly, how significantly humiliating is the intention of the idiomatic phrase "to put in place"'

*4 That authority which in our sphere, we are seeking to expound with special reference to its consistency.