The Supremacy of Nothing, The Complete Chapter
by gonzodave coulon
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THE SUPREMACY OF NOTHING - the Complete Chapter
By DL Coulon
The following is an excerpt from my "non-professional," 1200 page, 500,00 word, and first-time journalistic effort, titled: God Save Me From Your Followers, or the gonzo journalism of grace. It is a trilogy that contains many citations from well recognized writers associated with Dallas Theological Seminary, who have contributed much to the understanding of God's graceful salvation accomplished wholly through the subsitutional and vicarious penal death of His Son, Christ Jesus.
In these heavily footnoted volumes many Bible verses and notes from a new translation, the NET Bible (www.bible.org), are included. Numerous familiar photographs are used to accent the different themes of of God's grace. The titles are: The Paradox of Law and Grace, Glorious Grace!, and The Tribunal.
The first of these volumes will soon be available as an E-Book in the FaithWriters.com Bookstore. Sola Gloria Dios and God willing.
INTUITION, THE SUPREMACY OF NOTHING, THEORY, TRUTH, AND THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST
Maxim: In all the universe, there is only the nonexistence of nothing or the presence of something.
Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer writes:
"An intuition is confidence or belief which springs immediately from the constitution of the mind. It must ever be so; hence intuition is a necessary human function. Therefore, it may be said that intuitive knowledge is that which the normal, natural mind assumes to be true. It includes such themes as time and eternity; space, cause and effect; right and wrong; mathematical demonstration; self-existence, the existence of matter, and the Person of God. These and other primary truths, being already accepted by the rational mind, are little enhanced by added demonstration, nor or they greatly increased by counter argument. Intuitive knowledge is little more than a bias in the direction of certain truths. Each intuitive theme offers a field of endless research and conceals inexhaustible stores of reality. This is particularly true of the knowledge of God. The very universality of the belief in God proves that it is intuitive. Such general knowledge is not the superstition of perverted minds, for it is evidently more assertive when culture and education obtain. In the midst of a universe of transcendent marvels, whether observed in their telescopic grandeur or microscopic perfection, the rational mind can find but one explanation for the phenomenon which is observed, namely, a God of infinite wisdom and power. It is true that some men have sought to move themselves away from this intuitive conception of God and profess to be agnostic. The Bible recognizes this abnormal mind when it says: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Ps 14:1; 53:1)." i
Excerpt from Microsoft Encarta:
“In his system of philosophy Duns Scotus [John Duns Scotus, 1266?-1308] closely analyzed the concepts of causality and possibility in an attempt to set up a rigorous proof for the existence of God, the primary and infinite being. He held, however, that in order to know the truth in all its fullness and to fulfill one's eternal destiny, a person must not only make use of the insights afforded by natural knowledge or philosophy but must also be taught by divine revelation. Revelation supplements and perfects natural knowledge, and, in consequence, no contradiction can exist between them. For Duns Scotus, theology and philosophy were distinct and separate disciplines; they were, however, complementary, because theology uses philosophy as a tool. In his view, the primary concern of theology is God, considered from the standpoint of his own nature, whereas philosophy properly treats of God only insofar as he is the first cause of things. With regard to the nature of theology as a science, however, Duns Scotus departed sharply from his Dominican forerunner, Thomas Aquinas. Whereas Aquinas defined theology as primarily a speculative discipline, Duns Scotus saw theology as primarily a practical science, concerned with theoretical issues only insofar as they are ordered toward the goal of saving souls through revelation. He argued that through faith a person may know with absolute certainty that the human soul is incorruptible and immortal; reason plausibly may argue the existence of such qualities of the soul, but it cannot strictly prove that they exist.”
Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
To be intellectually convinced of the source of your own childhood wonder is not saving belief. A creator God could exist without the attributes of three distinct and separate personalities sharing one essence or nature. The Bible reveals that God is a person. The “personhood” of God was His testimony about Himself in the OT, and, the revelation of the incarnate God-man, Jesus Christ. The perfect revelation of God was the supremely perfect Man.
The testimony of the NT is God’s witness to His Son, and, the Son’s testimony was restricted to what the Father would have Him say or do. Two divine sources have given their word about each other. The Spirit of God does not give testimony about Himself. He uses the Word of God [the water of life] to witness the Son to those who will believe God’s testimony about Himself, “Except a man be born of water and Spirit, he cannot (see or) enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3ff, 5). Unless one can see the entrance to eternal life, he will remain outside the kingdom of God – suspended in a state of childhood wonder.
"God creates out of nothing. Therefore, until a man is nothing, God can make nothing out of him."
Classical Arguments For the Existence of God
THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: It is true there was a time before the origin of man. God has written the record of time onto the pages of primeval light. The “big bang” theory is now fact. Men have looked into the blinding explosion of the origins of the cosmos. They know the material universe is 13.8 billion years old. This is an argument proposed by matter itself for the existence of an uncaused-first-cause. Thus the cosmological argument for the existence of God.
Aside from the puerile foolishness of an infinite regression of causes, what caused the big bang? To begin, some will say there is no God. For starters, a universal negative is a logical impossibility. The immense time element required to move about the universe – even at the fastest known speed of light – proves this assertion false. No truly honest person can rationally claim the nonexistence of “anything.” Anything could move to another place or come into being anywhere - as the hypothetical witness moved about the universe to prove his negative claim.
THE TELEOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: The biography of the theory of relativity has been poorly publicized. Einstein first postulated a special theory that may be understood by college level calculus. He later proposed a general theory that few men can fully appreciate. A final unified theory is still unresolved.
Similarly, in his day, the scientific milestones of Isaac Newton were adopted as proofs for both Deism and Atheism in the Age of Reason/Enlightenment. The men who championed the opposing theological views for the cause of the Newtonian model of the universe knew nothing of Newton’s personal theism and experiments in alchemy.
In the special theory postulated by Einstein - all motion is relative because there is no absolute rest. Which is an issue between two self-exclusive truths, “if not one then the other.” He proposed that the speed of light was constant –another truth. From this he proposed that kinetic energy would be converted to mass. Another truth. So, I ask, How may Einstein’s proof of three absolute truths, prove “truth is relative”? Or, the anecdotal extension of “moral relativism”?
In its original use among knowledgeable men, “relativity,” was a philosophical dictum to indicate something that was dependent on a contextual factor, or the result of how something else was used. The idea of things being in a state of proportion to something else, relativity (E=mc2), is not the same as relative terms that observe a change in circumstantial diversity such as “big” and “small” (BigA>SmallA).
Before it was successfully demonstrated to the world, it was counterintuitive at best and, foolish in the extreme, to propose that the splitting of an atom releases massive amounts of energy. Thus, the apparent quandary of the very “big” result from the very “small” context. The atomic bomb itself proposes the argument for the existence of intelligent design and absolute truths. Should the universe be chaotic, why does it not self-destruct? Thus the teleological (design, goal-directed activity) argument for the existence of God.
THE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT: God has left no concrete record of the origins of Adam and Eve for discovery and rational consideration. No material proof of body, spirit, and soul creation will be found until Christ Himself returns to establish an undeniable modern authority. God’s Word reveals that Adam was simply created from dirt (stardust) and then Eve from the flesh of Adam. These divinely created paternal twins - who were fully formed adults possessed of wit and sexuality - disobeyed God’s one command. Therefore, the irreversible conclusion, based on living men, is that the first child was born of created, but sinful human parentage. For these reasons, the moral or anthropological (though fallen, the nature of man still shares in the divine nature of God) and the ontological argument (the reality of God must exist outside the mind to be perfect) are demonstrated.
II. THE SUPREMACY OF NOTHING
"To the man “ under the sun,” the natural man, who of necessity judges from appearances, Sheol [OT Heb. and NT Gk. Hades, the temporary residence of the unsaved dead] seems no more than the grave –the end and total cessation, not only of the activities of life, but of life itself (Eccl. 9:5, 10)."
C. I. Scofield
THE VANISHING POINT THEORY
Excerpt from Microsoft Encarta:
Models of the Universe
"According to the widely accepted theory of the big bang, the universe originated about 14 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since. Astronomers recognize four models of possible futures for the universe. According to the closed model, many billions of years from now expansion will slow, stop, and the universe will contract back in upon itself. In the flat model, the universe will not collapse upon itself, but expansion will slow and the universe will approach a stable size. According to the open model, the universe will continue expanding forever. In the accelerating expansion model, the universe will expand faster and faster until even the particles in normal matter are torn away from each other. Astronomers currently favor the accelerating expansion model."
© Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
From the Microsoft Encarta article above, within the four proposed futures of the universe, the open and flat are modifications of the extremes of closed and accelerating. From either the accelerating or the closed models the universe could begin again. Thus, the universe itself would be the cause of an endlessly repeating and reappearing “Big Bang” that may only be explained by an infinite regression that denies a first or final event and cause. Additionally, there is a fifth proposal, a quintessential future state of no material movement.
To say that “all living things” in God’s creation may be determined by the record of time, or based upon antecedent random cause and effect, is to apply a known result (things as they now appear) to an unknowable fact (things as they did appear). This is a logical “antecedent clause” (hypothesis or assumption) that places the assumed chaotic origin of all life upon the existing foundation of time. Time may or may not support this assumption. Time is elastic and may only be determined by place, or position in space. Also, an event may only occur in four dimensions - at the intersection of two lines of space and time.
More important than the answer to the origins of man, is the answer to the question: How and when was chaos introduced into the universe after the “Big Bang”? There is no proven straight line from the initial burst of the “Big Bang” to the universe of today. There, also, is no proven straight line from man today backwards to his origin, be it a bi-pedal mammal or a single cell. The following discussion is offered as a consideration of the of the tenets, not proofs, upon which evolutionists base their theory of the common “spontaneous” origin of all life.
(A) Assuming no God.
(B) Any precept of duality in the universe is an assumption. A dark force and a light force does not appear to exist. Emphirically there is only "nothing" and something. Therefore, defining a cosmic state of nothing as a lack of events, not substance or material, but rather as an “absolute” rest of all material in an irreversible state of non-activity. (Comment to “absolute” rest: “absolute” zero is a theoretical state of no motion and no pressure derived from a total lack of heat to excite atoms into motion; there is no opposite state or limitation to atomic motion and pressure generated by heat. Also, darkness in any color is a complete lack of a specific vibration - no vibration equals nothing and no color, or "black.")
(C) Of necessity, accepting that an uncaused “something” was set into random motion. This is the beginning of chaos that caused the first “event.”
(D) Accepting on authority (as do most astrophysicist) that the universe was not created by, nor may it be sustained by, means of infinite and unlimited chaos. What is proven about the universe does not agree with pure chaos.
(E) Using chaos and evolutionary naturalism as the foundation of an “a posteriori” argument.
To illustrate the complexity of our material universe, from either organization to chaos or chaos to organization, there are two hypothetical automobiles moving randomly about an infinite empty space. These automobiles may change position relative to each other; but, they will not change state until they collide at some speed. The speed of collision will determine their change of state. This collision would be the intersection of a material “zero” event, or the starting point of chaos. A universe driven by an organized pure, infinite expansion from an original single burst (the “Big Bang”) is void of a “zero” event because there was no intersection with a second line.
That is to say, the “Big Bang,” although recently observed to have occurred at a predicted time in the past by astrophysicists, cannot be the beginning of chaos. Energy and mass, or material, are allowed to trade places (e.g., the standard illustration of the immovable object and the infinite force). Predictably, like automobiles on a freeway, any group of objects originating from a single point and moving freely without intervention or boundaries, uniformly at the same speed, or speed of acceleration, in infinite and outward directions - do not collide. The “Big Bang” is a non-chaotic starting point lacking the conditions that match the definition of a material “event.”
Proposal 1: Would it be possible that these two automobiles were the result of a series of chaotic events that repeatedly destroyed (collision and fragmentation) and then repeatedly reassembled the automobiles (collision and fusion)? A universe where energy and mass are continually recycled through chaos and organization. Should this be true, chaos would be then be the cause of design, or purpose. And, any point between one “zero” event and the next would not be chaotic; but the infinitely duplicated path to the next “zero” event. Where a new cycle of fragmentation and fusion would begin once more.
(a) This would be an infinite cycle of limited development (never improving upon the original automobiles) and redevelopment. (b) This would be an inherently goal-directed activity. (c) It is logically predictable; but not necessarily true.
Proposal 2: Would it be possible that the post-zero event collision of fragments deplete the initial “energy” and eliminate any events after some “final” collision? A universe where energy is converted into organized mass by chaos until all energy is depleted. Should this be true, chaos would then regress into a perfect state of absolute rest defined as nothing. Where movement and occurrence would be non-existent.
(a) This would be depletion of movement regressed into a final state defined as nothing where the universe slips into absolute rest and non-activity. (b) This would be an inherently goal directed-activity. (c) It is logically predictable; but not necessarily true.
Reasoning from proposal 1 and 2, “if one then not the other”: Any “zero” event produced by the depletion of energy and chaos cannot be part of a universe that has an infinite cycle of regression and progression of causes (development and redevelopment). It may be agreed that to do something once by design is non-complex and superior to a more complex design which duplicates the same process an infinite number of times. Therefore, counter-intuitive to common assumption, complexity and motion as either forwardness or regression, are not proportional. Motion and time are proportional.
The intrinsic design, or natural force of the universe must be consistent throughout. The purpose of life and matter must agree because life is 100% material in a naturalistic view of the universe. For this reason, it may be concluded that life is either in forward motion towards another “zero” event at all times, or it is not. If not, then, it is in regression towards a “final” event of no motion, or movement. Evolutionist assert that life ends in nothing. Nothing, therefore, is the natural force that drives the universe and life. A universe where the end of life is the material precursor of the entire natural universe. Consequently, the universe and life are not progressive in the perfection of purpose; but of a certainty, chaos and evolution are completely regressive and on a predictable path to the non-complex perfection of a motionless nothing. And, thus, man is the more complex offspring of an inferior missing link. Which in turn was the inferior, chaotic result of an original “something” that set uniformly organized matter and energy into random motion. The end of chaos is nothing.
In conclusion: Evolutionary man and life precede the universe in death, but will eventually regress and join the universe in the supremacy of nothing when all matter comes to a complete rest.
The ancient Greeks had an often repeated maxim: It is better for a man that he was never born.
The phenomenon of personal existence demands explanation. To reject intentional design, even as a force of nature, and insist on “natural selection” as a predictable consequence of mutation is to say that a properly rounded ball rolls down hill because of chaos. On the one hand, it is dishonest to the principles of naturalism, empiricism (scientific method), and materialism for evolution to both champion an idea of development, or forwardness, with the claim that life ends in nothing. Forwardness is inseparable and logically tied to a natural design or force of the universe that is governed by limited development in a universe that endlessly destroys and recreates itself. On the other hand, to claim nothing as the end of life and by default – the universe – and to then both deny design and not accept, but ignore the plain conclusion of regression and depletion which is joined to a natural design of a perfect nothing, is intellectually dishonest.
To be consistent and truthful to the rational thought and conclusions of their own theories – a chaotic universe that contains life – the modern authorities who take such great academic pride in their certainties about life and death should admit nothing to be the goal of all research and thought. Because, by their own claims, the in-between state of man and the universe, as they exist today, came from something and will regress into a superior non-complex nothing. Their theories logically prove the supremacy and the final existence of nothing.
So then, what proves life occurred spontaneously out of chaos and at one point in time and space only? This is an unproven hypothesis where the predicate, the object of the action in the verb of the sentence or statement is - nothing. Whereby, God and/or a natural purpose of design is not proven to be, but is merely considered to be non-existent and chaos is claimed as the supreme purpose of the universe. This is much like fabricating the particular facts surrounding one’s birth. Facts which, patently, must be taken on the authority of others.
Atheism is not a tangible philosophy, religion, or world-view; rather, it is a reaction to theism that may be linked variously to many concrete philosophies. Without theism – atheism is non-existent. Whereas, theism does not rely upon atheism for existence. No logical conclusion can be found in the “reverse or negative truth” of any atheistic mental construction for the existence of God. This is demonstrated by using a consistent logic that leaves out any positive consideration for a creative God, namely:
On the one hand, life began as a spontaneous natural event here on earth (which is one of only two possibly true, positive statements or possibilities). On the other hand, if life did not begin as a spontaneous natural event here on earth (which is the single possible true negative that may be proposed), then either - (a) life never happened, which is a false negative, or (b) life migrated from another planet (which, in essence, only side-steps the single possible true negative that life did not begin as a spontaneous natural event here on earth).
The statement above is completely circular logic. Even so, why would life have a better chance to originate somewhere else, and, how could it then exist here? The truth of the statement that life began spontaneously anywhere has only the force of its own authority and the fact of human existence to support its possible validity. This is a closed, exclusive system that has no alternative truth. It is itself an alternative truth. Other creatures, as far as we know, are not concerned about such matters. Which demonstrates to me a vital living difference between man and beast.
For these reasons, it is simply an act of “whistling in the dark” when evolutionist assume that the spontaneous origins of man prove a “non-created” origin. Because, within their own admitted reality, there is nothing to be afraid of. Man exists prima facie, and, for the present, no one can prove his origin. There are no modern authorities who can prove the origin of man. A small closet full of bones with a history of questionable identity and fraud are not convincing proof. Likewise, there is only the future knowledge after individual death, or the universal knowledge after the future return of Christ, to prove the existence of God. So what if there are no modern authorities to prove the origins of man or the existence of a creative God who saves mankind from His own judgment?
Evolution cannot be demonstrated. Evolution is a material theory. Whereas, gravity and electricity, although lacking a modern theoretical consensus for authority - where every attempt at explanation ends in a circular statement - continue to be a predictable factor in our lives. Colors surely existed before a neuro-physical detection system called the human eye first perceived them. Cosmic microwaves contain an ancient record of the universe and existed long before they were discovered and reproduced by men.
True discovery consists in observable phenomenon, whereas speculation may only be held as an intellectual noumenon, or thought. Faith in Christ for salvation or faith in bones for validation are both limited to human intellectual expression. If the existence of God the Son Jesus Christ and His salvation could be materially demonstrated and proven, then faith and free will would be eliminated and only foolish rejection would remain. For the time being, faith and foolishness are permitted to co-exist in free will. Man is the instrument of God who was created to demonstrate His sovereignty over chaos. The perfect man was Jesus Christ. God has demonstrated the supremacy of Christ to His satisfaction.
The theory of evolution is a religion of chaos that has been conjured out of nothing to explain away nothing –the non-existence of a creative God. Therefore, intelligent men and women can rest assured in the supremacy of nothing. Or can they? Thomas Jefferson, when speaking of another’s religious freedoms, said, “it neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Which in essence is to say, It is nothing to me.
Social Implications of the Supremacy of Nothing
Pure chaos does not drive the universe. As discussed in the above, “spontaneous origin” must have a natural affinity to whatever logical purpose drives the universe. This is only important to determine the end result that the concept of evolution is moving towards. Evolution has no alternative material or natural truth. I have proposed a rational basis for natural design, which is pure unproven speculation, yet it remains logically and hypothetically as valid as any proposed by evolutionists. (I have not entered into consideration the new discovery of “genomes” which complicate DNA to a mind boggling degree.)
The spiritual truth is the only alternative to a natural concept of human origin. Consideration for this truth has been actively silenced by legal manipulations. And, as a sidebar, truly educated professionals are well aware of the age-old fact that the ability to reason effectively -, the capacity for rational thought - is severely limited in the vast majority of people.
Overly zealous activity against something that neither “picks my pocket nor breaks my leg” proves motive not diligence. The proponents for the theory of evolution, with unreserved dishonesty and a lack of respect for science, law, and truth has secured a twofold, non-scientific, activist victory to recruit sympathizers by repeatedly attacking the same vital area, namely:
___First, in the classrooms and courts, not the laboratory. And this only beginning in the late half of the 20th century. The famous Mr. Scopes was levied a small fine and not permitted to teach evolution in the classroom. Evolution did not re-enter the classroom, through unapproved textbooks, until the late 60’s. When the illegal textbooks appeared and were ordered to be removed, a civil action - well prepared in advance - was filed. Under the ruling of the recent legalized fiction of separation-of-church-and-state the books were allowed and the gate was open for the writers of textbooks, not scientists, to introduce evolutionary thinking and conclusions into the cross-over sciences studied by school children. And, naturally, by virtue of their education, these generation “X” and “Next” children grew-up to write professional papers and books of their own.
___Secondly, evolutionist have stepped out of science and atheism into a world-view to claim they have successfully silenced forever the anthropological, or moral argument for the existence of a directly involved God with qualities like intelligence, morality, and creativity. The moral argument for the existence of God is based on the observation of these same immaterial qualities in man. The force of the counter-argument held by the new evolutionary moralist has been driven home by informing three generations of “open-minded” school children that Einstein, as the greatest philosopher of the modern age, proved by “the unified theory of relativity” the philosophical dictum that everything is morally relative and only proportional to and unified with everything else. To which there is no end of circumstantial diversity. Thus, within this calamity of comprehension, the evolutionary moralist proposes that a new higher morality must, by necessity, be based upon the proven theory that big is big and small is small, and all things are relative.
The argument for a new morality has gained much force and momentum in my lifetime. Theoretical proofs against a traditional concept of morality were not bandied about when I was a “flower child.” The military draft and a corrupt war seemed to be strong enough persuasion against inhibitions. Inhibitions that were simply called “hang ups.”
I offer the following example to demonstrate how the ingrained theory of evolution, which has been around a long time, is used in conflation with the much more recently introduced theory of “anecdotal” unified relativity to offer an almost undetectable and circular argument against the legitimacy of what is considered the low morality of traditional moral intolerance. Unlike the old blind husband, January, in The Canterbury Tales written by Geoffrey Chaucer; but more like, May, the young cheating wife - who was given the special powers of “glib” by the Fairy Queen - the modern moralists claims a socially imposed agreement with “choice” is the mandatory virtue of the new moral high ground:
___(1) Morality is logically counterintuitive to the proven theories of evolution and relativity because men are only one of thousands upon thousands of past and future life-forms evolved from a common source of life, which absolutely makes all things unified and relative.
___(2) Morality is logically counterintuitive because only the uneducated and mean-spirited would speak against such a formidable array of academically accepted and published proofs 1 in favor of modern evolution and relativity.
___(3) Morality is logically counterintuitive by reason of (1) and (2) which are true because there is no end of future diversity in life-forms. Therefore everything will always be unified and relative.
___These theories support each other and are the twin pillars of man’s social and scientific progress to benefit the future of our planet in the 21st century. Things are as they are because they must be. The theories prove them to be true. Thank you, so very much!
In creative evolution, man is grouped with all currently living organisms, which are then proposed as “a posteriori” proof of unobserved facts and results from the record of primordial organisms. Because the bodily remains of organisms are fossil fuels that “appear” to have been formed long before man (e.g., the idea of an earth created by God to “appear” old) may in no way determine conclusively that ancient fauna carried the seeds of mankind.
The theory of evolution, at best, is “biological materialism.” Rooted in ancient animalism, that denies the immaterial aspirations of man’s psyche, this theory is extended and conveniently used to explain the origin, morals, and destiny of “all things” that possess an evolved life force that is assumed to be driven only by the sexual urgings of genetic survival. A common culture of “relative” and innocent desires are claimed to be true of humans who do no “harm” to another life-form.
Evolution would propose a universe without a god, or, if you please, in a less militant and palpable view of Deism, allowance is made for a very egalitarian god who is far removed, impersonal, and morally neutral in relation to any distinction in the affairs of fauna - ants, whales, men, snakes, bacteria – namely, all interdependent life-forms as we know them. Child and maggot possess equal value and purpose in this imagined cosmos of chaos.
The usual brilliant debate offered by scientific discipline is totally lacking in this particular area. An indoctrinated academic regime has relocated evolution and diversity into all areas of lower and higher education. A collection of biology, psychology, sociology, the philosophy of ethics, and the dreams and aspirations of mankind have been moved into a dark corner of hopeless despair. Witnessed only by a theological impossibility - nothing.
Creative evolution as the origin of man remains an unproven hypothesis. It denies any “ghost in the machinery” that animism would propose and gives the theory of material animalism the scientific credentials (albeit bogus) to offer an assumed explanation for the origin of life and the evolution of a self-named animal called homo sapiens, “wise man”; but it cannot demonstrate its primary assumption that all life had a common origin. This theory is jeopardized by the vital question, “Is the life in man the same as the life in the family pet?” But more importantly, do they share in the same death?
Life and death extend far beyond human sensibilities - into what unregenerate man is prohibited from knowing - into the infinite domain of God’s authority. When one recognizes this, he has answered in the affirmative the “ontological” argument (the philosophy of reality, Anselm, 1100 A.D.). And, also, in so doing, he/she has answered the cosmological, the teleological, and the anthropological argument to the satisfaction of the only persons who matter, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. An eternal blessing will follow after believing the proofs offered by God about Jesus Christ.
Equally flawed by the convenient misuse of facts and results that deny the suprarnatural, is the restrictive Protestant “Rectoral or Governmental theory of atonement.” This theory willfully deletes stated facts and results to propose a new limited value in the infinite value of the death of Christ. The death of Christ reaches far beyond forgiveness for sins into the infinite realms of the counsels of God through the works of grace that perfectly satisfy His love.
What God has revealed regarding His divine purposes are the many aspects of the value of Christ’s death that obtains the power of grace for undeserving men. Primary positive facts in the voluntary death of Christ are redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation. Because of these facts, the gift of forgiveness, the righteousness of God, and eternal life result on the one condition of belief that they exist because Jesus Christ is God’s offer of salvation. Whereby, God joins man to Himself and to the body of all other believers in Christ - through the baptism of the Holy Spirit - when He accepts the individual’s trust in His message.
Religion is man’s unsuccessful attempt to bind himself to God. Grace is the power of God to successfully bind man to Himself for all eternity. A different message than the saving grace of God lacks the essential content for saving faith and will fall short of successfully uniting man to God. This may be called a negative gospel. Whereas the successful union of man to God may be said to reach into infinity on the positive side of a number line. Then, so too, man’s inborn separation from God and his spiritual death reach into an infinite negative direction that only the positive message of God’s saving grace has the power to reverse.
Central to the theme of this paper is the manifest reality that saving faith is determined by a force that will defeat man’s free will. The will of man is guided by what he knows and what he desires. Much like a fraudulent business prospectus, a negative message may be naively declined more times than naively accepted as true. Either way, the individual remains unsaved and the active force of deception succeeds in maintaining a negative direction! Any skilful rejection is only possible because of a present unity with God. One may also, regardless of many and various reasons and any profound depth of conviction, “naively” reject God’s positive message of divine grace that regenerates the spiritually dead with the gift of eternal life. But, the truth yet remains - one can never “skillfully” reject God’s testimony. His word is Truth.
(1 John 5:9-13; John 3:15-18, 33, 36; Rom 5:8-10; 1 Pet 2:24-25; 1 John 3:23; 1 John 4:7-10; 11-21 KJV)
“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he who hath not the Son hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (NET). For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
ut God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
Who his own self bare our sin his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes (singular =injury, wounding NET) ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop (Overseer) of your souls.
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one [believer] another, as he gave us commandment.
Beloved, let us love one [believer] another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved if God so loved us we ought also to love one [believer] another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one [believer] another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected [made complete] in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believe the love that God hath to us, God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his [believing] brother, he is a liar: for he who loveth not his [believing] brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God who he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his [believing] brother also.”
V. THE SUPREMACY OF CHRIST
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation,
1:16 for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him—all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers—all things were created through him and for him.
1:17 He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
1:18 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things.
1:19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son
1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross—through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. NET
In literature, the focus of tragedy is on the tragic hero – a great person of high social standing who in a moment of tragic choice displays a tragic flaw of character. Aristotle called this flaw “hamartia,” which is the NT Greek translated as “sin.” The plot of tragedy demonstrates the element of human choice. This means that the tragic person or “hero” is always responsible for the downfall, and in biblical tragedy the tragic person is also deserving of the catastrophe. God’s grace has provided an undeserving substitute in Jesus Christ who suffered the “hamartia,” the final consequence of all catastrophe in the place of every responsible person. “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1 NET). What is salvation if not the freedom, the free choice to make a clearheaded decision to modify one’s destiny? A destiny created by the supremacy and finished work of Christ who is the Author of new promises and possibilities.
“He hath made him to be sin for us” (2 Cor 5:21 KJV)
“But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph 2:13 NET)
“and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross –through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And you who were at one time strangers and enemies in your minds as expressed through your evil deeds, but now he has reconciled you by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him –if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, without shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body—for the sake of his body, the church—what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God—given to me for you—in order to complete the word of God, that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me. (Col 1:20-29 NET ).
The truth of Christ and the gospel of salvation is self-evident in Scripture. How then may an extra-biblical theory of Governmental atonement produced and championed by men, which in essence reduces the ultimate - the value of the death of Christ - and then asserts this reduction of salvation to be the only ultimate, retain any saving value in a gospel of limited, conditional, parolee salvation that may only be successfully completed by an heroic self-effort?
Convergent Versus Divergent Thinking
John Morreall writes in his work, Comedy, Tragedy, and Religion:
"While there is no such thing as tragic fantasy there are comedies such as a Midsummer Night’s Dream which is all fantasy. Most thinking in tragedy is what psychologist call convergent thinking – trying to find the correct answer to a problem, as in mathematical computation. In this mode there is no room for making unusual connections between ideas. In comedy a different kind of thinking comes into play – divergent thinking, thinking in which there is no single correct answer, where unusual relationships and analogies are explored, and no train of thought is out of bounds. Divergent thinking need not be aimed at answers. But when it is, it looks for many answers rather than one."
Emotional Engagement Versus Disengagement
Jon Morreall continues:
"One reason why tragic heroes show little creativity and critical thinking is that they respond to challenges with emotions. Whether considered positive, like pride, or negative, like fear and sadness, emotions lock heroes into self-concern and into their own perspectives, just as they do to us in real life. In emotional states we tend to act in automatic, habitual and less intelligent ways; and the stronger the emotion, the less rational our actions. That is why rage and even love are called “blind.” Strong emotions tend to magnify the situation at hand, and block rational thinking that would put things into perspective. Tragic heroes driven by emotions, tend to be extremists: to reach the goal set by their emotions, they will sacrifice everything else, including their own lives and the lives of those they love. Hamlet will prove the King’s guilt and try to execute perfect justice no matter the cost. Ahab will kill Moby Dick or die trying.
Comic characters, by contrast, tend to keep an unemotional clear-headedness, even in extreme situations. Confronted by misfortune, they do not sink into self-pity or shake their fists at the sky – futile responses that at best would make them feel good for the moment. They think rather than feel their way through the problem, engaging their imagination and ingenuity instead of their emotions." -P 24-27
In closing, only Christ brings perfection to the universe through His victory over chaos. Christ is supreme over "all things." Those who believe in Jesus Christ for salvation are "in Christ" by the baptism of the Holy Spirit that is effected and completed once and for all time at the moment of saving faith. Believing saints will be future-perfected and transformed into "the image of Christ." This is the goal and highest gift that God can give to man who will be His new heavenly occupants, created and supreme over all organized creation "in Christ Jesus." The old man in Adam, the first man, is transformed by grace into the new man, the Last Man, in Christ Jesus the Son of God. This is the message of the NT Epistles and without doubt, totally unbelievable by the chaotic, unsaved world.
1 Cor 1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1:19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.”
1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish?
1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching [of the thing that is preached].
1:22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, 1:23 but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
1:24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. NET
1 Proofs that are self-policed to prohibit the inclusion of any “intelligent design” papers into professional peer publications.
i Systematic Theology, Dr. Lewis Chafer, Vol 1, p 130
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