“Cain’s nonchalant words, and his great-great-great grandson’s boast frame Cain’s line, and mark its spirit and its descent into moral and spiritual abyss. The irresponsible, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper,’ of Cain attempts to deny murder (Gen. 4:9); while Lamech’s ‘I have killed a man for wounding me,’ glories in murder (Gen. 4:23). This is certainly not the dominion intended for humanity in Genesis 1-2.”
Dominion and Dynasty — p. 71
Dempster here provides a textual example of what Cornelius Van Til tagged as “integration downward into the void.” This idea conveys the truth that when man is steadfast in refusing to repent the only option he has left is to increasingly leverage the depth of his expressed sinfulness. This happens both individually and personally as well as generationally. If a pattern of sin is established and not deviated from the consequence will be an intensification of sin in subsequent generations. This is what we see with Cain’s line as expressed in the quote above. Lamech outstrips his ancestor in sin. He has integrated downward into the void of sin. Cain sowed the wind and Lamech is reaping the whirlwind.
This downward integration into the void continues ever downward in Genesis until we can read a few chapters later,
Gen 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great upon the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was altogether evil all the time.
This downward integration is the reverse of what C. S. Lewis captures in his description of heaven when in the “Last Battle,” the cry upon entering Aslan’s country is “further up and farther in.” We could say that Lewis is describing integrating upward into real reality. Downward integration into the void is integrating ever downward into the void of the unreal. And that is what we find in Genesis above; “Further down and farther out.”
This idea of the downward integration into the void doesn’t end with the texts above. We find it hinted at several places in Scripture. In the Gospels we find an downward integration.
Luke 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’
John 18:40 “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” (Give us Barabbas)
Matthew 27:25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
Notice the obvious here. In Luke’s Gospel Christ is on the cusp of His Triumphal entry and He tells a parable that relates directly to their refusal to have Christ reign over them. However, from this point the integration downward into the void begins. In John’s Gospel we are told that not only would they not have Christ rule over them, it is also the case that they prefer a thief and murderer to Christ. Matthew gives us the final cut in downward integration into the void. It is not enough that they would refuse Christ to rule over them, not enough even that they would prefer a criminal to Christ, they even go so far as to call down generational curses upon their children in their ever increasing downward integration into the void.
Changing directions on this theme, if we consider this downward integration into the void as a philosophical phenomenon of modern man we would observe that modern man has made this idea a principle so that he believes that out of chaos, order comes. In other words modern man believes that upward integration is achieved by downward integration. This is seen in the deluded theory of evolution where chaos breeds ever increasing order.
If one believes that out of chaos, order comes, such as we find with the theory of evolution, then one will by necessity seek to sink man into his most chaotic condition and this means that fallen humanist man in his guru capacity of psychologist, school teacher, or clergy will seek not only to understand man in terms of his most chaotic essence but will provide analysis and instruction that goads man towards chaos. This means man is not to be understood in terms of His rational maturity as governed by God’s law but rather man is to be understood in his most immature expression. This means man is to be understood in terms of his most base emotions and lusts and not per a biblical informed reason. Further, if man is to be healed then man must be set free to give in to his carnal impulses and lusts for it is only by a downward integration into the void – a returning to chaos — that man can be healed. Integration downward into the void means a jailbreak on maturity and responsibility into immaturity and irresponsibility for the very purpose of pursuing wholeness.
It is not only Van Til who understood this. Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World was giving us Van Til’s “Integration downward into the void,” in a novel form. Huxley, reduces men in his dystopian future to the untrammeled functioning of their hormones. Huxley gives us Social Order maintained by the onward pursuit of the downward integration. Kurt Vonnegut also captures some of this in his “Harrison Bergeron” short story where mature reasoning abilities are crippled in order to reduce man to his base instincts.
We are living in an age that programatically pursues integration downward into the void. It takes a determined Christian effort to live contrary to that constant downward integration.
All this stands in contrast to Biblical Christianity. One way that Christianity differs from Religions and philosophies that posit that man evolved from primeval chaos is that Christianity finds chaos being structured by order so that chaos is structured from and by the God of order. The implication of this is that for Biblical Christians, when confronted with the breakdown of social order, there is a return to order (God’s law) to answer the questions of breakdown and revolution. Not so for the Religions of chaos. For the philosophies and religions of chaos order can only be achieved by returning to chaos and by the downward integration into the void. Chaos in a social order is thus healed only by more chaos and Revolution.
As an example, several years ago, I attended a school board meeting that was discussing the need for sex education in the classroom. The problem that was being addressed was the increase of out of wedlock pregnancies and STD’s among students and the solution that was being offered was to teach the students how to have “safe” sex. You see, the problem was one of chaos and the answer being offered was a return to chaos to solve the problem of chaos. This is because, at a presuppositional level, the modern humanists believes that order comes from chaos and so more chaos is the answer to chaos.
is the “integration downward into the void,” with the void
representing chaos. Fallen humanist man will always embrace more
chaos and Revolution to deliver him from chaos because
humanist man believes that out of chaos order comes.
This explains our daffy culture. Sodomy becomes a problem and the solution we embrace is Transgenderism. Marriages as an institution begins to go all chaotic and so we embrace sodomite marriage in order to “stabilize” marriage. Family breakdown is everywhere and so we redefine family to include two Lesbians and their in vitro fertilized “offspring.” Integration downward into the void. Chaos breeds a return to chaos in hopes that order will emerge.
Our expectation needs to be, short of God given Reformation that we will continue in the West to go from chaos and revolution to chaos and revolution. Integration downward into the void will continue.