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GET OUTSIDE AND SEE THE GROUNDS
Certainly, if you were a guest in some farm, and your host made his invitation, in these terms, that you leave the dull atmosphere of the relatively airless kitchen, with little ventilation because of the cold and the need to keep war, and explore the prairies leading to the snow-capped mountains, and relish the lively air and glorious scenery, you would be dismayed, surprised or even aghast.
Is THAT how you invite a guest to enjoy things!
Yet there comes a time when the kitchen air is so still, and the coziness is so near to soporific, that the clear manly suggestion to get out and about and sense the scenery vigorously, could sustain so rough a charge as this might seem to be. 'Get outside and see the grounds!'
People often seem to imagine that the reason why Christianity has been of such immense power, prestige and input into law, institutions and history, is just that it so happened. Not so. It reminds one of the case where Hewitt was talking of having to play such and such a player next, and the interviewer perhaps implied that this should be easy, since that player was not playing so well. The reply, from memory, was to the effect that that player was number two or whatever, for a REASON! There was nothing too simply about meeting him in a match!
Yes, he was so numbered for a REASON. So the word of God has been so striking in its impact, the whole British Empire under its shadow more or less directly, the British imperial power ostensibly, and not a little actually, in awe of its wisdom or regard for its purity and truth, while the USA for many years was such a glad repository of this religion and faith, that it affected numerous presidencies, not least that of Lincoln, eminent scientists, and saw many leaders installed in its churches. There is no little sign, moreover, that as this process reached its heights in both countries, so they reached their heights.
It is time for people to realise more generally, as a wilting earth, a gory globe and an impotent politics move like shuffling tramps increasingly, fed on scraps of patently absurd philosophy*1 , that this too is not without a reason. Ignoring reality is one way of making a dream become a nightmare, which this present world for many is beginning to resemble.
What then is being left behind ? What is left is the situation where not only are there no residual problematics when you apply Christian teaching and word from the Bible, its concepts, principles and perspectives to every domain of knowledge, as the underlying structure,
(as for example,
in SMR Ch. 5, cf. Chs. 1-4, 8-10, TMR Chs. 1, 8,
Deliverance from Disorientation Ch. 7,
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 3,
News 100, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, TMR Ch. 7,
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9);
for indeed every word of it is true, and truth is its domain under test these millenia: not only this, but nothing else meets these criteria, dissolves these dynamics, nothing else the requirements of reason and scientific method, as these chapters equally show. Further, not only is this so, the nature of the case precludes it being otherwise. Where reason operates, there is no alternative; and where it does not, there is no argument.
Without God, there is no answer to the demand for the cause of the WHOLE universe, and without causality, there is no answer to anything, nor any meaning (cf. Causes, News 100, Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13), nor any word (cf. News 82, 122), but only for those who negate, the appearance of maniacs, for are they not proceeding in what is impossible logically, while denying the only One who makes it not only possible, but without any antinomies at all!*2 (cf. Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 5, *1). Nor is the case altered for those who would like to immerse 'Him' in the system, as part of it, leaving the same irrationality roaring like a dissatisfied bull, for only the name, not the necessity has changed.
Yet man is not insane; more obstructive to truth, a fact the Bible states (Romans 1:17:ff.), which history illustrates with the energy of an electric pump, throwing out the water in the pond.
Thus in the field of our last Chapter of Three Anzas, One Answer, predestination, freewill, foreknowledge and liberty, not only does the Biblical teaching intensely and indeed intensively harmonise with itself in all its utterances concerning these things, which we there investigated, but with all the empirical evidence, without the squalor of turgid reductionism (cf. Predestination and Freewill Section I) , which ignores dimensions to harmonise a phase only, but in this instance likewise, nothing else could.
As we see in the above (cf. Little Things Ch. 5, It Bubbles... Ch. 9), for human responsibility which even the Communists USE in their interrogations, you require an alternative to what you essentially ARE, one which can be found without the blinding and binding limits of your own nature and construction to constrain your parameters and actual choice: hence supra-natural god. You need first what is beyond your system utterly, so that it is no collusion or reaction, second what is able to access you and to transcend your natural boundaries, giving reality in response, not mere application of the given, with limited light and no over-arching perspective to make choice actual, not ostensible.
Without this, you opt, but are not free, perform but are not liberated from your identity as given; but you also need the GOD WHO IS to do this, with His sublime power and wisdom, self-sufficiency and overall oversight, without ulterior or manipulative motive, which would only be another way of binding by limits any ostensible option. Complete without man, lacking in nothing, what He does for man is not to exact, but to consummate.
No one less sees over all, understands all, provides all, and hence in freedom, can legislate what it takes that its fulfilment be real, actual and coherent. In sin, man being doubly limited, cannot soar above himself or his disability, his little sky which revolt has made so, so that the Being needed for liberty, is He who can express the liberty which such limits forestall, without surpassing their due and original status, as if to defy or deny the construction itself, or defile liberty in the ostensible process of fulfilling it: the norm in much of human politics! This is perfect meeting of the actual need, is precisely what the Bible teaches, that it is not of the will of man, when man becomes a child of God (John 1:12, Romans 9:16, John 15), by the divine a positive attainment; and yet it is BY the will of man that this is precluded for those who are left over and left out, by man a negative abandonment! (Matthew 23:37, 13:15, Luke 19:42, II Chronicles 36 cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4, SMR Appendix B, Three Answers ... Ch. 6).
God performs the liberation, but without failing to make it real; for man has lost the contact for doing it himself, thus needing the Deity to do it for him. You have not chosen Me, says Christ, but I have chosen you (John 15); and it is not by the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, says John 1, but from the divine initiative and power that they are born into that heavenly kingdom which requires such a new impress from the divine impresario, for its new inhabitants.
Man's sin makes of him a double derivative, first as a creature with limits, then with these self-imposed blinkers which shut out light and true scope, so that only the God who knows all without limit, and being above and beyond all, needing nothing, defective in nothing, deficient in nothing, whose word and whose work being from Himself agree, and whose works He fulfils and consummates as they follow His word, only this God can cover the case for liberty for man. It is He who deploys it; for man of his own self is confined by his own natural limits and dissident status, to the liberties which are within his defective grasp, by his own nature as his ceiling, its escape past his capacity. He is thus defined and defiled in himself; but not before God who seeing past all restraints and confinements readily assigns to man his place, each one. In love He predestines, neither ignoring any, nor forcing any, desiring all, and with omnipotent wisdom, securing all whom love would, without distinction of race or place, height or depth, only where love so finds its own.
Nothing less than this God is therefore adequate for freedom*3, and nothing less than this is what God is (cf. The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 6, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Chs. 3, 5, Barbs... 6, Repent or Perish Ch. 7 ), whose nature lags and lacks in nothing and nowhere, whose word and works illustrate who He is, whom nothing constrains, whose affront and confrontation is ultimately its own self-destruction, since all depends in all and for all on Him.
How many other gods are attested by
reason, with such qualifications ? with logically testable
principles ? not hidden in mere 'authority', but willing, and indeed challenging to test and verify what is declared, here what He says! How many other meet the criteria of scientific method, and disperse the ramifying antinomies which inadequate power and presence have repeatedly been shown to present. How many other gods have had the decisive answer for man from the first, unchanging in principle, harmonious in utterance, verified empirically, in coverage, in prospect and in retrospect; and sustained it to the last ? History had to be involved from the first, since man in sin, as he is, and God without it, involves a clash of contrariness with consistency and error with truth, to be voided or avoided. God has chosen to avoid it in remedy, and to bring it to consummation with those who receive it. Nothing else is covered, nothing else covers the case, is rational, realistic, empirically open so that the case is shut.
How many gods such as this are there ? How many other remedies are divinely provided to reach to the uttermost height of dissatisfaction, and quell it ? There are none; but there is One God, who is God in power, not impotence, in practice, not in theory merely, in revelation and with reason, declaration with remedy, One who is imaginative to make man, imaginative to solve man's problems, sovereign over all, and shows it, available for any, and says it (cf. John 10:9, Matthew 11:28ff., John 3:16, Colossians 1).
Of questions there are many; and precisely as in mathematics, but here meta-mathematics, and final logic, there is but one answer. All the problems have but one, who is infinite in power, in comprehension and this, not as one of us by nature, but as the One who gave our natures their nature, and our universe its structure, our reason its validity through His own truth, and our meaning its Master, through His very presence, whose purposes are our powers by creation, and whose ways are our wisdom by revelation ... IF we receive these things.
There is freedom; but many will not, and the divine word is perfectly clear: I WOULD ... YOU WOULD NOT! (Matthew 23:37). He would have all; many would not have any of Him. His amplitude is adequate to include in love, mercy and power; man's self-minimisation in arrogant pretension is adequate to exclude, where love does not force and truth does not dictate. That is one reason, it appears, why Christ did not answer Pilate who asked, What is truth ? his own morally smeared ways making it unattainable and unrecognisable, and his self-serving leaving no scope for repentance. Love, it does not force; and there comes a time when the chips are down, the will is clear, the way is forged. Christ did not run after the rich young ruler ... (Luke 18:23).
Does not Proverbs 1 show liberty in its climate of love and wisdom, both in its wonder and its squalid perversion when, by self-affirmation in isolation from truth, it fails! God calls, He cries, He reasons, He urges, but when the matter is openly determined, when liberty loves itself rather than its field, then what a torment awaits, as in all distortion! That is its nature, and to this it comes, preferring darkness to the sent light, Jesus Christ, for which He indicts it! (John 3:19).
What then is essential to solve the problem of man's responsibility, guilt, in meaningful action, his liberty to prevent endless antinomies, of unmade products, manacled will, unattainable truth which speaks, the absolute to establish the relative, the oversight to secure insight, is what has been from the first. It is exactly what the Bible presents. It is not really a problem, since the answers are so clear that it can scarcely be formulated except by first shutting out the light which is provided in the Bible and the Christ, freely. There is not even a problem in finding the answer book, since but one meets this and every case.
There being but one God (cf. SMR Ch. 1), any system of gods requiring God to make it, and one truth, His own, there can be but one solution. It is as we find, just that: ONE. That is the verification which super-adds to this delicious field. Indeed, in every field, its labours are the same: explicatory, harmonising, solving varied perspectives systematically inadequate, with the use of just one, one only one, which is adequate.
Thus is reason justified before God who made, when and only when it works in His presence, whose child it is, whose answers He provides. Awesome is His input to make mind as well as body work in cohesion with each other, each within itself, and both exclusively within the word that is His, and then not least in the world of thought with integrity and grace: if and only if the case is first put in His hands, where it belongs, and freedom is not aborted, and as with all abortions, left holding the damaged baby, free of life!
That, the justification of reason, it is a verification in itself; for this is precisely what would be forecast, as with a car minus mechanic, a product ex-Producer, and even without clarity about what it is FOR! Only in this way are those antinomies which chide man's thought removed, only thus is the barrier down for free flowing action in harmonious paths where nothing obstructs, where power is sufficient; and of course suffering, for this world being against truth, as a whole, those who delight in it, find not in it their alma mater, their rest! Indeed, this restless world desires no rest, except what is unfounded, and hence confounded, which is the comic option, with such tragic results for which its philosophies and politics have so long, with such passion and with such heavy payments opted ... freely. Their harassment is their own; their embarrassment their destiny; their asininity not inherent, but acquired through becoming self-made, with liberty self-destroyed, their own way self-affirmed in a medley and mÍlťe of immeasurable mutancy and mutiny.
Just where reason is continually used is it constantly ludicrous, without God, having neither validity nor clarity, tossed on the altar of secularism, moving in the dark with a miner's light, never above ground, only a commentary on happenings, without understanding, with prolixities and obscurities on all sides, and contrarily poised portions of the field of philosophy and politics, grabbing for superiority, only to fall since without seeing what is most necessary, there is simply no other possibility.
Hence the word of God not only explains all problems, but it explains WHY MAN FINDS THEM SO! and why he does not resolve them, since he voluntarily through isolation, without the truth in which answer alone inheres, devoid of the God in whom life consists, like a man deliberately blindfolding himself in order to cross a central city road. You know that the case will sooner or later be a hospital one. So it would be; and so this world is. It is so by doctrinal deduction, and by practical abduction.
When you have seen the truth, you have seen enough. A thousand ideas amount to nothing without wings, and when you fly, you need not any other craft. It is then enough that God is glorified, His word demonstrated as in SMR, TMR and elsewhere on this site, and in such varied domains, as well as in reason itself, with full rein given to scientific method, to find the answer to all problems; and not only this, but to do this where it belongs, in the one who made the natures where the problems without Him, have their lair, to find this flair, that man must repent, believe, accept the redemption and acknowledge in reality that Lord who IS Lord, to receive this ANSWER OF GOD, Jesus Christ, Himself the Father's provision, like a container unit of all joy, all understanding, all peace and all love, all truth and all wisdom.
This coverage of the issues is what is crucial to obtain; to others the mass of what is being said may seem a desideratum. It is enough however that error be exposed, that truth be made clear, that it might be delighted in. It is not, except for the Lord who has all, a matter of who's who, but what's what. When the solution is out and verified, you do not then need to ask others for it. When giving a reason for the faith, when logic is satisfied, it is satisfied. When it is satisfied as by nothing else on earth, no religion, no philosophy, but only in the principles and precepts of the Bible, then we are replete in the grace of God.
Reason is indeed justified as one of the creations of God, in its derivative form in man; but it is man who is in real need of justification; for while reason has its place and nothing disturbs or can disturb this which God Himself has deployed, man is not so. Man is NOT justified; for something indeed does disturb his place, and it is this FREEDOM which has enabled it, and its self-assertion which proliferates the problem. To be justified, man must accept not merely the solutions of problems, but the Container of the Answers, the PERSON whose action in providing for justification is costly, but this for Himself, with whom man must close, if his door to be freedom is to be re-opened in the presence of the only One who CAN give it, who loves to give it where love can find it and truth disposes it.
Apart from God, man, with his reason, his knowledge, his powers, they are all bound. In the Lord, they re-awaken as from the dead, truth, love, life abundant and meaning soaring like eagles, rushing abundantly like glad-hearted streams through the meadows, as man finds that his place is not a prison, but a pasture, that the sky is not the limit, but this is found instead in the truth, which God is. Such a limit is prodigious, for being personal, God in limiting man, makes His own infinitude his containment and His own gift of eternal life his acquisition.
And how is it to be acquired ? is it by impressing God as by feats ? What feat is featured in procuring the infinite ? or removing the infamy of defilement! What power is enough for the pathological, to imitate health ? or what understanding can move the fragment cut off, whose fictions are his heart and whose favour is the nescience which his sin has inherited, lest wisdom find her place.
It is mercy alone which can reach and teach man, from the One offended, who has attended to the need of His product, in this case a being personal, with licensed liberty and unlicensed defilement. As to God, in mercy, none is like Him (Micah 7:19ff.), for He LOVES it; in pardon, none equals Him, for its cost has been infinite (II Cor. 5:17-21); in love, there is none like Him for He is its original, and His demonstration of it put the infinite purity of the eternal Word of the living God into the harness of horror, that we might lack it. In transference, He takes what we would well lack, our sin, to provide what we lack too well, our salvation, so that being quit of one, and quieted with the other, we might live with Him forever.
Freedom then consists with love, truth and mercy, and mere will becomes a will o' the wisp in its dramatic forthrightness and forlorn isolationism.
*2, Three Anzas, One Answer Ch. 5, Repent or Perish
Wake Up World ... Chs. 4, 5, Earth Spasm, Conscience Chasm ... Chs. 1, 7,
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Chs. 7, 8)
THE CELESTIAL PERSPECTIVE AND THE DERIVATIVE DELIGHT
See Predestination and Freewill Part IV, for an illustration of that delicious process of removing the 'antinomies' as Kant calls them, the irreparable collisions of ostensible reason, which in his case result from perfectly explicit, though wholly defective constructions which he makes in his theory, as distinct from reality. These show merely his own inadequate conception; but the point for us here is this, that it is not difficult to remove every one of these antinomies of his, by simply correcting his initial theory.
This is precisely what is done in the reference provided above, and it was one of the rewards of the preparation of that MA Thesis for Melbourne University's Philosophy Department, that this opportunity was given, for it was sheer joy, like gliding down ski slopes, where gravity gives momentum and the prepared surface the way. Here the gravity was the grace of God to provide revelation and illumination, and the way was His word.
When this removal of illusion is done, then, on Kant's material, and this by using the biblical principles which logic also attests, his 'antinomies' become as apparent as a dust particle at an obscured mid-night, that is, wholly dissipated! There is nothing left but the demonstration that all these difficulties are gone in a moment, when viewed in the light of what is empirically, rationally, scientifically and coherently correct. The more you have it right, the more all things fall into place. This is the norm for correct hypothesis scientifically, and it is not otherwise when you come to those underlying truths and principles which both meet the deposit of revelation from the Almighty and the protestations of careful reason. These in harmony, then harmonise the rest.
One is divinely donated direct, His word, the other is divinely created for man, his derivative form of reason, direct from the hand of the great God who cries, Come, let us reason together! and again, declares that we should give a reason for the faith to those who seek. Is it surprising that they work in perfect consort ? On the contrary, this is verification, for in truth, all is harmony, everything fits, nothing is left out, no nothing at all! It is perfect, as God is, and it is His truth which is its very criterion and home.
To be sure, the revelatory is the most accurate, the direct light of God in His own word supreme and final, infallible and wonderful; and to it we are indebted for the sharpness of vision and the absence of idolatry which is, like clean air for people with lungs, so vital a preliminary. Nonetheless, it is not other than reason shows, which this shows so well; and if it be incomparably more, straight from the heart and wisdom of God, it is assuredly not less!
On related areas of thought and truth, see for example
SMR pp. 419ff., 422Eff. 422Qff.,
also It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 9,
SMR Chs. 3, 4, 5, 10,
TMR Chs. 5, 7,
Wake Up World Ö Chs. 4, 5,
Three Anzas, One Answer Ö Ch. 6, Barbs ... 6,
A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9,
Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 6, 13, 16.
Kant is by no means the only one who obfuscates the terrain of truth with indolent hypotheses, inconsistent with empirical evidence and themselves (cf. Predestination and Freewill, Section 4 B). The penalty of internal conflict and irrational codification is like a caution inbuilt into the speedometer, to alert to inadvertence in breaking the speed limit. There is a limit to truth in the mouth of man, and it is to be found first in finding its Father and source in what, having it, can provide it; and secondly, in being accurate in assertion, instead of allowing dream to secure an advent from its fantasy world, into actual thought (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth).
When this is done, the harmony of each part within all truth is so intense that it is inspiring, so pervasive that it is arresting, so integral that it attests that one light that is beyond all, in all that is not set arbitrarily in darkness by default, and though the darkness does not comprehend it (cf. John 1:3ff.), it is internally so perspicacious, being purveyed personally by the One who IS the Light, that its enjoyment is spectacular; and when in the love of that same God, it comes, equipped with mercy, pardon and peace, joy knows no bounds. This is the heritage of Christians, and the greater marvel is this, that this is freely offered to all, abundant in resource, keen in edge, yet of sheerest splendour which as in Jesus Christ, God incarnate, seen with His humility leaves all that mere creation has to offer as but vain. When however creation is seen in this light, then who cannot seek for the redemption of those who ignore it, to their own dark confines and drastic destiny!
Small wonder Paul, inspired by the Spirit of God, exclaims (I Corinthians 6:1-2):
"We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God
in vain. For He says:
'In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.'
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.' "
How vital to receive Him as He is offered, so succinctly put in II Corinthians 5:17-21:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.
"Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ,
and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ
reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them,
and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us:
we implore you on Christís behalf, be reconciled to God.
For He made Him
who knew no sin to be sin for us,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
*3 See also on this topic:
Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 6, *2, will and meritless operation;
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 11, esp. pp.172ff.;†
Great Execrations, Great Enervations, Greater Grace Ch. †9;
Sparkling Life ... Ch. † 7,
Earth Spasm, Conscience Chasm: and Renewal of Life Ch. † 6