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GODLESS MUSINGS ARE BUT CHAFF,
WHILE WHEAT GROWS OF ITSELF
For convenience, this is broken into
but it is in fact one whole. Ch. 4 completes it.
See also more recently,
Secession from Presupposition Ch. 9
PROCEDURES AND METHODS
On this occasion, we are outlining some matters of approach in Biblical Christian Apologetics, each one of which is abundantly exhibited in the Site; but here the compilation focusses method only, as a perspective platform in this area, and arena.
When acting, you need meaning for your mentality. Without God, it is not there. If you declare it void, you are perforce to be equipped with necessary meaningfulness in order to make such a statement, so that it is an antilogy. If you seek a viable basis, then you first need God for any meaning, since His objective knowledge alone is able to transcend ignorance, constraint and limit, and supply actuality; and you need validity for any logically allowable consequence to it. Truth does not grow on thistles, nor does it find its lair in thin air.
As to validity, see Ch. 10 and Ch. 11 below, as also Ch. 8 and Licence for Liberty Ch. 2.
As to procedure, first as in SMR Chs.1-3,5, 8-10, we prove that God is there, and then that He must have spoken. This is a process of following reason, the absence of which leads to inability to argue at all. While its omission is irrationality, and models denying or defying it need no other contradiction than their own self-contradiction, on the other hand, what includes reason as it is used continually, even in efforts to state why it is not valid! is so far rational. Its validation proceeds as we shall see. It is therefore a barrier to what denies it, annuls its objective significance or makes travesty of its powers, but a triumphant victor over what omits it.
This latter includes the Irrevocable and
Rewarded Results of Rationality consideration
We cannot, however, even on such a basis, read the mind of God for His plans; yet our created minds both can and should follow the work "of His fingers" of His deity in functional action, including action to find His word and face. To be sure, this would be impossible if He did not choose to disclose such things; but as His word shows, He has done it.
But where is His word ? As to His word, it is irrevocably identified
1) by the necessity that He speak in such a world as this (cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy), and
2) the fact that objectively and scientifically both, there is no match but this, not even anything in the field claiming to be the word of God, for test at this level, whatsoever.
Indeed, there are many other ways to proceed in Biblical Christian Apologetics, including X-XII below. These are complementary.
Next, from SMR Ch. 3, we present a short coverage of this aspect of our procedures in reasoning for the faith, as provided for in I Peter 3:15, for all who are interested in such a thrust. In any rational consideration, this will include all who ever argue against the Bible or Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God. In this excerpt, there is addition for our present purpose.
*18 THE METHOD IS THIS.
Logic has its own validity, laws and principles. These work in our ordinary lives and as shown earlier, and are not subject to rejection by reason, for that assumes them. By logic we show that God is, is Almighty, may be known, and by Him only is truth to be known. By logic, we also show that those who reject that proposition are involved in irresolvable antinomies, are in an irrational and self-contradictory position, and can make no logical affirmation concerning the truth. Since we do not reject it, we are not so involved and our rational demonstration is unrestricted. It is in fact also confirmed and attested, as in ordinary processes or reasoning, by total and absolute verification. Moreover this is shown to be multi-dimensional, rollicking, and exuberant with the self-attesting dynamics of reality. The independent power to prevail, in attested ways, of both the identified word of God and the God of this word, in ordered experience and in history, provides an unlimited flush of a fortiori demonstration. (Cf. pp. 36, 265, 291-315 supra, 934-936, and 437-445, 592, 755-843, 316C, 332E infra.)
Notation on Reason and Revelation
Except it's used aright.
When used - and not abused -
(Not Mulched Infinity)
Divinity with words -
(Not intellectual surds)
That cause considerable
But abide and override.
That Biblical Revelation
addressed to any nation,
puts in focus
But Jesus Christ
who by word and Spirit leads,
like water to its source,
back on its rushing course
those who wash in Him
and come . . .
to life in, by,
*19 IDENTIFIABLE COMMUNICATION . . . REMEDY : THE GOSPEL
It may be useful to prompt the mind on this topic of communication and remedy from the Almighty, as developed in some detail in Chs. 1, 2 and elsewhere. (Cf. pp. 28-36, 43-48, 81-87, 89-91, 127, 580, 592 ff., 1186B; and Index - 'Remedy'.)
It is shown in Chapter 1 et al., that there must be, of logical necessity, a remedy for the situation man makes and finds - on the part of God. It is useless to argue that man is dead, or God is dead, or both are dead, or that nothing matters. That is to deny the conditions of discourse, and simply sidestep the issues made. The mobile character of mankind does not remove his deadly operational functionality and facility. It is in vain to imagine that man does not live, move, operate, torture, contrive, create, construct AND deviate, caricature truth with gusto on millions of occasions, often on purpose, fraudulently crush justice in demeaning death, destroying reality and living in squalid and often sordid substitutes for the dignity and profundity which life may provide.
This action, multiplied amidst mankind, constitutes a perpetual thrust
against the God of creation. It is moment by moment, idea by idea,
perverted practice against truth by its fellow, polluted squirming of mind, moral and spirit by its mate, fiery thrust against God Himself and against His creatures by its companion, as against His principles, name, character and people:
while history itself is frequently distorted, truth lies fallen, equity is slain,
lies rage and ravage, and the world watches, misleading and misled.
(Refer : Psalm 50:17-23; also Jeremiah 7:8-15, 23:14-30.)
Some may worship the dead, but in terms of the living God, as demonstrated, this is distortion of Himself and/or His creation by His still living creation: like berserk moral mongols, or devastating inert moguls, run amok. As has been demonstrated at the outset, this DEMANDS a GOD who is not there; or divine response (either remedy for, or removal of - man). We established the presence of God, so we came for this continuing world to the latter:
divine response incorporating remedy.
It is a case of WAR on God at the most basic level; of being contrary to what we saw at the minimum God is and must be; of misrepresentation not only of God but of man in philosophies, various spurious religions - labelling and libelling man, God and the divine remedy itself. Either God is negated or remedy is affirmed. Since God has power, the remedy is found: identified as the Bible. (Cf. pp. 44-60, 422S-T, 644, 973A; Chs. 5-6, 8.)
The logical consistency of these divine affairs, in a world for the time being permitted to continue (II Peter 3:9), is in the most marked contrast to the enduring hilarity of contrary philosophy: not so much meanly, as necessarily exposed by successive generations of the disillusioned. The communication of God however needs neither extenuation nor alteration. It simply stands from each standpoint. Refer pp. 384-385, 873, 973A, 999-1002C infra; Index - Remedy; Psalm 50:17-23.
Thus reason is a necessity for thought and words (cf. SMR pp. 3ff.); and with it you proceed where our abilities show and the creation requires us to go; but without it, or with a system which does not provide objective truth and ground for its accurate and adequate conveyance to man, you deny the possibility of objective or absolutely true discourse, so removing irremediably your own theory, model or view from rational consideration. On the other hand, using logic, and so being rational, by this method as in SMR Chs. 1, 3, 5, 10, you find God's word, and hence the depiction of His mind, on which see also Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 -7.
Reason, on finding the word of God, is validated, so that rationality joins hands with validity, all being enhanced by the find of the word of God, which then verifies and validates itself by its intrinsic and verifiable properties.
This of course is not what is called presuppositionalism, which requires that one start with God, or else confess that anything characterisable as truth be forgotten, including argumentation to abort it or capture it. Reactions are not ultimate actualities, but responses of one governed thing to another. That says you cannot get as knowable, a rational reality without starting with God
It is better to go much further. There is nothing else reason will suffer, as you proceed with it, in its own terms of validity, but God. This is no mere thrust to require a given beginning, but one to show there is no other end. It has a greater scope for procedure, and no less for possibility. It is not: Start here or end nowhere (which is true, but not entirely sufficient); but when you start with the very reason with which you argue, you ALSO find there is NOWHERE else valid reason CAN let you go. It is therefore a more exclusive schedule in terms of reason.
One could proceed: Further, you cannot logically abuse what is determinative, or there is no determination and hence your argumentation has all the substance of vacuity. What is itself baseless is base for nothing. If you are going to use reason, you cannot abuse it as a method. Once of course, you find by reason what, because of our construction and that of the world, it requires unless violated - that is the God of the Bible and the Bible of God: then you need to validate this. ONLY the Bible and the Lord are required by reason; but then, this done, we require reason to show its standing. This cannot be done except by two means. First, it must be consistent and coherent in itself, and correlate with consequences, showing itself empirically sufficient; and then the result of its finding must validate itself in its own performance criteria. It needs to cover things in height and depth as well as width.
To be sure, we cannot argue AT ALL, without using reason in its internal validity and empirical justification; but more also, we cannot argue against its use WITH IT. That is out from the beginning, while reason's own operational validity shows itself in its works and pellucid ways. THEN we show that this instrument, in its result at so great a level as showing and requiring God (for not without reason are we made with reason), is validated externally in this, that His Being and Revelation alike, the knowledge in Him, which results, and of Him, which is shown, and the impact of His declarations are as unvoidable as impactive, as consistent as secure, as beyond all other production means as indicative of His own.
This external validity added to the internal validity, the former in the result of reason in its identification procedure, through the result, the landing place for its constraints being found, identifiable and testable; and the latter in the internal conformity, coherence and power to perform, which last is an applied validity, leaves no other option. You abandon reason and so cease all argument about truth (including argument that absolute truth does not exist); or you receive its results. Reason demands God; God's existence, nay His word to mankind can be proved, is proved and is so presented here in this site.
His divine nature and power are indeed manifest, as Paul declares (Romans 1:17ff.). The only alternative is irrationality, which of course can prove nothing, and disprove the same amount, nor even be relevant to such thing. Ignore reason, and all cause and effect, characterisation and definition departs, as well as power to argue, for characteristics and criteria are themselves codes and nodes, which have results of which they are the occasion and cause, moving us with irrevocable reason on and back, to all levels, and at last to that of the institutive cause of these causes, and of temporal causality itself, where one must await the delimited dynamics, in their outcome, because they are there and operative (unless the Creator chooses to act in direct power in His creation, as empirically, beyond the laws of restriction, He does at His will).
It is God or nothing; and it assuredly is not nothing.
What then ? Of course, this itself IS argumentation, so that you cannot ignore or outlaw or bypass reason; but it becomes in this qualified manner, a thrust of a kind apt and appropriate when conjoined with the other positive aspects of following reason and finding ultimate verification on arrival at the end of that quest. In reality, it is not that reason is defunct or unavailable, but subject to licence which must be validated from its basis when its job is done and this infinite eminence is reached, from its source, this confirmation and creator in this universe of man, from that eternity which in self-existence has made possible all that is delimited and defined, for which qualities it is the cause, as of all the others.
Creation is for Him not a mere invasion of possibility, but the institution of actuality for which we see the scope, and for which we admire the choice - not a choice among what is there, but FOR what is to be there, with its parameters as they are made to be, that it might have character, its beginning as wrought and its destiny as seems fit. In this is freedom for man but not autonomy; in this too is its befouling by human will and His redemption by HIS will; yet this without His either indulging its lapses or devouring its reality. Of this we shall see more, but it is fitting at this early stage to realise that functional place of reason in such dower and construction, so that according to our image-bearing function before the God of creation, it is able to mirror but not to engulf aspects of the very mind of God, who according makes its journey felicitous, and when He is found, its place both secure and efficacious in all realms.
What then of presuppositionalism ? If of limited application constructively, nevertheless, on the negative side, this (II) is a sound procedure, and is used here in harmony with I above; for that shows not merely that without God you are involved in antinomy, but that BY REASON you cannot fail to reach Him and His word. Thus these two are in obverse relationship, complementary and harmonious in the process.
We could call this the Place of Presuppositionalism. That is, it is that in which it has a place accorded it, without constituting the essence. Its point: Irrevocable Reason for Christian Faith.
The Salient of Scientific Method enters in because
These testable aspects are myriad; the results are one. This is the SCIENTIFIC PHASE.
Further, in the whole gamut of philosophy, the Bible, as the word of God written, has to be able to stand in the face of any threat to its validity, knowledgeability, perception, perspicuity or power in practical promises. It has not merely done so, but as has been shown repeatedly (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 5, Wake Up World... Chs. 4-6), it leaves all contestants rather like Autumn leaves, slightly ridiculous at this level; except for this qualification, that it is perhaps more normal for it to leave them utterly nonsensical in their claims (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).
the other side, this same Bible shows a capacity to give an all-encompassing perspective
which explains all with nothing left over (cf. SMR
Ch. 5), and beyond even that, as shown in
The PQ, it even
provides a solution with the ingredients both necessary for validity and unique
in the same field, in such fields as predestination, freewill, responsibility
and natural law. To this we turn in the next Chapter, near
Having successfully stated directly or otherwise what became, according to Professor Tom Barnes, Physics Head some time ago, at El Paso University of Texas, the three most important laws of science at the most fundamental level (cf. TMR Ch. 1), the Bible stands the maestro of science. It does not allow man to escape the work (and delight) of finding out more of His laws; but it sets the tone and gives the perspective from the outset.
THIS is the sort of achievement which one would EXPECT at the level of knowledge and majesty from the ACTUAL God, and it is there; and such is all and in every facet and department noted, a scientifically relevant VERIFICATION: indeed it constitutes a realm of verifications which multiplies in its constituents and components on every side. One has merely to look.
Indeed, SMR in no mean measure, includes an attestation of verifications in multiplied fields, of the accuracy of biblical perspective and depiction whether in archeology or psychology, sociology or in history, morals or disasters, revivification of the Jewish Israel, or the defence of Jerusalem; and other volumes continue these pursuits, and add to them. In moving into so many fields, we come to a new emphasis on method. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ , Who Answers Riddles and Where He is, Darkness Departs, extends it further.
This we call the Exhaustive Resolution Phase, in apologetic method for Biblical Christian Theism.
Sub-sets of this may be considered. These include the Historical Prognosis Phase, itself in close harmony with the Prophetic Prognosis aspect of the Scientific Verification Phase in Method. All these relate in turn, intimately, with the Exhibitive Resolution sub-set of the Exhaustive Resolution Phase. There is in all truth precisely what is both naturally and necessarily lacking in all the incoherence of monism, a distinguishability on the one hand, of elements, and a congregation in integrity on the other, so that nothing is missing, and ALL relates, and that closely. One aspect of this field is that very dismissive rebellion which shouts from the secular pulpits of much of academia. This is an aspect of liberty which can arise as we shall remind ourselves in the next Chapter, only because of love, or else that reciprocity to love which betokens an inclusive unity set in the domain of the Source which is the Author and Creator and Redeemer, which also confirms the operability of liberty as noted in The PQ, fthe Predestination Quaternion and constitutes its ground of action. (This is now the Predestination Heptad.)
Whether however we consider the scientific, the qualitative, the quantitative, the prophetic or the resolving aspects, there is in this field an EXHAUSTIVE resolution which by being so categorically, constitutes one aspect of method for the apologetics of Biblical Christian theism.
Now we come to the Consistent Corollary Phase of method.
Thus the very seasons illustrate the LIVING pulse of a power which having created, remains creative, just as does the mind of man which, having being created creative, creates: and how it creates, for good and for evil, whether marshalling thoughts or trains in the tumultuous megapolis, mechanical marvels or astute legal diction, musical exultancy or pathos, tender brilliance or appalling self-demonstration!
Creativity is a MUST FOR MAN, and he cannot stop; so that where good is too hard, evil is as vast as the oceans, which currently, as is fitting in intimate corollary with man's exalted place as made in the image of God, he pollutes almost to extinction, along with the atmosphere and the waters of the globe; just as he has long done in philosophy, now able to find a physical reminder and adequate venue for its folly. This it does as knowledge increases, as Daniel predicted for the long-range depiction of the world as its last days should come before devastation and judgment (Daniel 12). So does prediction and principle unite, and so do the tartans of truth continue their eloquence.
It all fits and it all runs like a team of greyhounds that know nothing but winning, getting to the lure; and with man it is not very different; for having forsaken God, he NATURALLY ruins nature, which God made, and his own in the process; and to add to the correlative deployment of it all, he does so very often in the grip of gods without meaning or evidence, which he erects in the very ebullience of his imagination, as if nothing but arrogance could suffice for what is made in the image of God. Yet, without His self-sufficiency, man looks rather ludicrous in the process, like a verbal bubble bag, which also is predicted as one massive ingredient of the last days before the Lord comes in person to deal with the sheep and the goats (II Peter 2:10,18, Matthew 25).
Indeed, one cannot help feeling like a doctor being shown by the patient every conceivable symptom of some intricate syndrome, classically signifying his disease, and having in all honesty to TELL him. In this case, fortunately, the remedy is at hand! Indeed, it is this which is in the very sub-title of the preceding work: The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy.
Everywhere and in everything, the caps fit on the bobbing heads, and man insists on wearing them, while using the blackened glasses of obscuration to frustrate realisation of his folly.
Folly runs, however fast one runs. Man is mastering speed, but not direction. This too is not only in line with the analysis of his condition in the Bible, but fulfilment of its specific prophecies, giving but one more illustration of the immense, intense intimacy of correlation of all the phases, as is fitting for truth.
Isaiah 30:15-16 puts it of ancient Israel, but God does not change, nor yet His principles (Psalm 102, Hebrews 1, Malachi 3): hence His words remain. These words as so often are applicable now to the Gentiles as to the Jews then (cf. Romans 1 and 11), and indeed to all who forsake the Lord and His word:
"For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
'In returning and rest you shall be saved;
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
But you would not,
And you said,
'No, for we will flee on horses"—
Therefore you shall flee!
And, "We will ride on swift horses'—
"Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!
One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
At the threat of five you shall flee,
Till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain
And as a banner on a hill.
"Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him."
things then closely relate to the
Explication Phase of apologetic
Not only are things RESOLVED which secular, humanist, irrationalist, or rationalistic philosophy seeks over millenia in vain to comprehend cohesively, but there is a certain facility in the process and procedure. You see this illustrated in SMR Ch. 5. It becomes furthermore intriguing and entrancing, like watching a careful construction of cards all collapse almost momentarily, into a heap, to find no resistance to the perspective which explains. There is nothing left; the issue is over. Only heat can proceed; the issue of light is long past.
Again, in the word and work of God, the more you burrow, the more ore you find; and what had been mere ground of swamps, becomes on a little drainage and investigation, the repository of a wealth of understanding so direct and dire to confusion, that it is like a Summer breeze in Winter, rose perfume in the desert and a fountain in the very midst of the aridities of thought, transforming all into a terrain of incalculable utility, beauty and productivity.
In turn, this allows you to see WHY philosophy failed, and WHERE! while at the same time delighting in finding HOW truth prevails and in what way! Indeed it is surpassing wonder to behold it all, coming into place, just as when a mathematical conundrum on being rightly viewed becomes so simple that one wonders how it ever became a problem at all! Ah! but that is the point, to see the elements as they are, and not as they are not!
For this light is needed; reason loves it, but God gives it.
If however there is an intimate and brilliant perspective which shows how failure became such and triumph is so, as to quality, there is also the sheer QUANTITY of the explication.
This becomes the Quantitative Explication Phase.
Here you find that the entire realms of morality, aesthetics, liberty, program and determinism, love, reason's integrity and so forth, are resolved like so many mice caught in a bevy of traps. Before they ran wild in the house, a menace to health and tripping on all sides; now they are departed, not being desired.
See for example
News 19, Wake Up World!... Chs. 4, 5, 6,
Little Things Ch. 5, The gods of naturalism ... Ch. 14,
Stepping out for Christ Ch. 8, Licence for Liberty Ch. 9,
Red Alert ... Ch. 9, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs. 7, 12,
Question and Answer esp. Excursion, 3;
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 5, Beauty of Holiness Ch. 3,
Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny.
We can go into any level in this way, rightly based. Thus you not only find it relatively easy to define what BEAUTY IS, but what is its MEANING. In other words, there is even scope for what may be a new subject, the Metaphysics of Aesthetics! Everything yields not merely as if painfully to a victor, but far more readily to the perspicuity of the word of God: it does so even artistically, as a view yields its INTRINSIC WONDER to the investigatory eye! You find what is THERE! This aspect is found in Ancient Words ... Ch. 7 for example. Again, metaphysics revels in SMR Ch. 3, as validity in SMR Ch. 5 and TMR Ch. 5, while monism writhes in Repent or Perish Ch. 7, which unleashes the vision of truth, rather as one releases a beautiful setter, long held in captivity! Liberty finds itself a delight, as we see in The PQ and in Licence for Liberty and such things we shall consider a little further on.
Like lightning, the light flashes everywhere you turn, when you first turn to the God who made you, and then to the recognition and realisation of what He desires, the way He works and how He is to be found. This leads on to the personal aspect.
Eighthly, in terms of method, this allows for
Reason for Certain Faith
Since millions do this, many in the most conspicuous fashion, from Moses to Elijah, from David to the very day of that Christ who Himself as predicted, embodied deity but used it towards the heavenly realm from which He came while in the format of mankind: it is not difficult to test. The many works of Corrie ten Boom are a good illustration of this as is that delicious little work of the wife of Chinese missionary, Jonathan Goforth, namely Rosalind, who gives staggering and eminently practical expression of this fact in How I Know God Answers Prayer! The works of the great Orphanage promoter and exponent, George Mueller are similar, detailed, practical, constant, as promises made declare themselves the same met.
It is when not comfort or convenience, not 'success' in carnal terms but service and spirituality are goals, and the love of God constrains that answers to prayer become as natural as breathing: not the hot breath of lusty desire, but the organised breathing of the one who runs a race ... wisely! (cf, II Timothy 2:4ff.).
It is virtually normal in this Age, for people to seek to use Christianity for their comfort or pleasure, rather than to be used for the glory of God; but this, though predicted (II Timothy 3), is merely irrelevant to the point here in view. We are looking at what is, at what is spiritual and godly and hence effective and realisable.
Faith grasps invisible reality, and through it man is grasped by the same (cf. Hebrews 11:1), so that in the concourse, the power of God works as specified in the Bible, His word. It does not mean pleasure without pain, success without travail (the ransoming Cross of Christ was acute travail and was so specified in Isaiah 53, while taking it up in spiritual living and service becomes mandatory not optional for His people - Luke 14:27ff.), nor does it give funds or wealth, prosperity or prestige; but as is the nature of a cross, emblem of execution by social means, it rather guarantees assault of one form or another. The resurrection in correlation, being bodily from the God who made bodies as well as souls and minds and spirits of men, attests the power of God (cf. Ephesians 1:19), so that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we as Christians ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
As to the Christians, believers, operative by faith in the immutable Christ (cf. Hebrews 13:8), power is provided for divinely assigned tasks, including godly living (cf. II Peter 1), and as soldiers, as athletes, as those who spiritually farm they have their assignations, and their trials, determined on the triumph of Christ, by HIS OWN power in quality on the path, and in consummation when the race is over. Liberty enables trial, and trial triumph, not for the kingdoms of this ruined earth in its travails, or the ruined psyches of mankind in his rebellions, but for the grace and goodness of God, even amid the tempestuous winds that liberty allows, folly promotes and rebellion secures (cf. Amos 4). It proceeds as prescribed.
The misuse and abuse of Christianity and Christians, now vast is ramifications in many lands, THIS too is promised (John 16:2, Matthew 10:18ff., John 14:30, 7:7, 15:20 cf. Revelation 12:10-17); but the power and presence of God is the point (Luke 21:15), and when you love Him, this suffices. His peace overflows when you walk in His way, and His wisdom is on hand for HIS purposes in the same realm (as promised in James 1). In this, it all works, and faith thus leads to faith, while pious fraud leads predictedly, to leanness and darkness (cf. Isaiah 1, 57-58, Malachi 2-4). These things are illustrated daily.
This becomes Irresistible Reason for Certain Faith in Vitality, principle or quality.
It is one thing to behold EXAMPLES of faith at work and promises paid up from the Lord; it is another to find life itself exemplary of such spiritual quality, such divine comradeship and such empowering equipment that it becomes rather at times like some pounding waterfall which breaking on the rocks below, thus bringing such a flourish of spray and the rainbows of mercy that it is not even comparable to living without such exultant melodies of delight, replacing the maladies of confusion or corruption.
At the personal level, we follow the scripture to Christ as a vast focus of many prophecies.
In this we find not only spectacular confirmation at every level of archeology and history, logic and law, but in this, that no one of the almost innumerable features He had to fulfil as identification and exhibit of God on earth as man (an infinitely difficult task in principle, when the God is infinite), has ever been shown false. When one adds the circumstance that the nation of Israel which killed Him (via Pilate), was that Israel in which He stirred the Jewish traditional nest to the uttermost, Himself showing invulnerability in knowledge or logic to all attacks which were of course only a prelude to death if they failed (there then being no other way for removal of the 'threat' of truth), so that motivation to discredit was maximal, we find what science relishes and reason approves.
His triumphs were of course, then, fatal; but this fatality was temporary only; and it was designed to demonstrate power over death, as proclaimed and placarded in the prophets for centuries before, even the date for it being specifically set (and of course fulfilled - see Highway of Holiness Ch. 4). The triumphs were foretold, the cost too, the treatment, the murder, the means of it, the date of it, the sublime self-sacrificial marvel of it, its effectuality, and the wonder was to be seen to be experienced as a new type of perfection in this dying orb (cf. Isaiah 42, 49-55); the Gospel with it was likewise foretold, its initial rejection by Israel and its advance into the globe. Its total planning was revealed centuries in advance, but still it could not be stopped this plan.
Though the nations ebb and flow in relationship to it, yet its demands and its offer do not alter. Indeed, the EFFORT to alter them, so abundant as a pollution today, was also foretold (II Timothy 3-4, I Timothy 4, II Peter 2 leading to Revelation 13, 17). But on earth, Christ had to PERFORM not only in practice in terms of principle, but in person in terms of agony. Part of this is epitomised in the travail in Gethsemane (Luke 22:39ff.), and discernible in harassment (cf. Luke 11:53-54). But the efforts failing as seen so clearly in Matthew 22:23-46), death, that predicted, followed.
Thus even His mortal enemies could not show ANY inconsistency with prophecy or morality or power or healing thrust, and when His works were so numerous, the challenges so frequent, the power required so divine (cf. Mark 2, John 11), His words often preceding His actions, making them a point to point test: then this becomes a vast mountain of testimony.
only was there for Jesus Christ a veritable cauldron of potential for being
'burnt', but the facts in contrast to this liability, never even fail to
nourish when they are investigated. Surpassing vigour, supernal rigour and total
triumph are the continual and unvarying testimony which in turn was the warrant
for death in those contending; since that was one avenue available! One
fainting, failure, divergence between claim and consequence, and His death would
have been unnecessary, His fraudulence the result, just as His triumphs, not in
bald panache but in confrontational power mingled with both authority and
humility, rendered unbelief indefensible (cf. John 5:31-47, 14:11).
Similarly, to the smallest detail, nothing is able to be shown wrong in millenia of intensive hatred and research alike; and the scope is like the great valleys, the height of requirements like the mighty summits in the huge ranges. Thus the scripture is logically required, evidentially confirmed, in terms of its major focus, a fortiori re-confirmed, in the scope of vulnerability, uniquely maximal, in the field of rebuttal, uniquely inviolate.
This is the Lineage of Christ Phase.
See SMR Ch. 6, Christ the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 8, Repent or Perish Ch. 2 for example. See also SMR Appendix C, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 2.
Thus the personal experience of God, and the Person who as God by prediction and detailed prophecy came to earth and by power did what was required to make a testimony unequalable in principle and invulnerable in practice: these meet in an intimacy of correlation which is its own field.
Turning now from the personal, and in particular the historical testimony of the Christ,
who also has become the self-revealing exhibit to man in his own terms:
we come to the criteria of the demonstrable word of God, the Bible, the sole authorised word from Him to mankind.
This matches and correlates with VIII above, but has the beauty of being His own diction, not the living of life on the part of an imperfect being, such as each of us is. As such it has its own intense and intensive contribution to method.
method, then, here we come to
of these aspects includes what is called here the
This refers to the way in which one scripture presents a similar impact to another, yet with all the reality of individuality, even though each comes from a different writer in a different period of history, or even culture. There is a certain intimacy of correlation, precisely as one would expect of a single author of incisive purpose and unitary mode! Answers to Questions Ch. 9, Light of Dawn ... 1; Pall of Smoke, Diamond of Joy Ch. 11 give numerous illustrations, and these may come in the form of verbal parallel, phrased ricochets, resumed expansions of concepts or prefigurings, as if a century merely was a pause before the 'lecturer' resumed, providing historical illustrations of principles or depiction of principles applicable to cases. Thus foci on Christ that arise so frequently, may repeatedly be adumbrated by foreshadowings, with different degrees of directness (cf. Highway of Holiness Ch. 10). It is like a family, each member accustomed to the other, all in one purpose with one language and one insight into what is denied to all others!
Let us however resume now our more general dissertation on the majesty of the utterance, reflected in myriadfold manners in the writings.
Naturally, at this point, we are merely considering the phases in TYPE, in the field of method. In this, both at the personal level and in the written one, there is just that supernal marvel which excites delight and stirs worship, being objectively beyond all that might be expected, but yet, on reflection, in the very level to which one might in general terms, have looked. What is found in the ricocheting verbal modes, is likewise seen in the connotational and principial exhibits.
Thus meaning comes into harmony with assertion, not contrariety, knowledge has its basis, truth its origin for man, order its genesis, brilliance of originality in the universe as in the mind of man, its security of causative conception, freedom its fabric; and the varied orders and liberties observable in man, and ready for realisation logically (cf. The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy), these gain their validity of source just as this matches their insistence in application. There is no need to seek to make one particle, one sort of personality, one dynamic, such as an elimination concept for an 'explanation' of an arrival requirement for all the brilliance and diversity of life. All things lie bare in this light, and more you look in any corner, the more both simplicity and abundance of coverage are found. This is one of the characteristics of truth, both scientific and other, in its various fields. It does not have to be pushed and pulled: it asserts itself.
In this respect, to use analogy, it is like a case in tennis, when you not only see the amazing score line, in verification of truth, reality, but witness the shots, their classic proportions, abundant brilliance and intelligent design, evocative of more than admiration, for here is a Champion indeed, come as man but so far surpassing him as to constitute the very standard and inspiration both!
FOR METHODOLOGICAL PHASE XIII see below, next Chapter.