R. J. Rushdoony Contra The Chalcedon & North / McDurmon Makeover

Lesser Known and publicized quotes by RJR on the subject of egalitarianism that is now supported by Institutional Reconstructionism.

RJR speaking against proposed reparations in 1967. He is protesting in this statement and is being sarcastic.

“In other words, white America must pay a heavy tax for some time to come because of ITS INITIATIVE AND SUPERIORITY.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg. 615

“In any case, the goal is, whether directly or slowly, total destruction of Christian civilization. Some have called for … a long period of chaos and revolution, of anarchy, RACIAL AMALGAMATION, and the total destruction of civilization.

R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg, 618

“The demand of humanism (and of its child, socialism) is for a universal ethics. In universal ethics we are told that, even as the family gave way to the tribe, and the tribe to the nation, so the nation must give way to a one-world order. All men must treat all other men equally. Partiality to our family, nation, or race, represents a lower morality, we are told, and must be replaced by a ‘higher’ morality of a universal ethics.”

Rousas John Rushdoony
ROOTS OF RECONSTRUCTION — pg. 574

“The only logical conclusion of the present concept of civil rights is communism. It demands ‘full equality.’ And where does equality stop? Economic, political, cultural, racial, personal, and every other kind of equality is demanded….‘Full equality’ means that no differences can be tolerated with respect to race, color, creed, economics and all things else. THIS MEANS THE PLANNED DESTRUCTION OF THE VERY ELEMENTS OF SOCIETY WHO HAVE MADE OUR CIVILIZATION.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg. 581

Audience Member: — Is there a condoning of miscegenation in the bible or a direction against it or any remark about it?

Rushdoony Answers

Yes, the Bible requires us, and the Bible itself pays a great deal of attention to heredity and to genealogy. You have long genealogical tables because family is important. You have strict instructions given to parents, you have the prohibition for example of marriages with unbelievers, so first you have the prohibition of marriage with those who are not of the faith. Second, you have in the Mosaic law the prohibition of marriages with people who may be of the faith but represent and inferior background. There is to be in other words no integration with them even in worship. So that in the Mosaic Law some peoples were not to be included in any common congregation until the 3rd generation, in other cases the 10th generation. The 10th generation would be several centuries. Why? Because these people coming from a much lower, much inferior background genealogically, hereditary wise, it would take centuries of faith and of the standards of faith to produce genetically the same character and caliber and superior strength. So that, some people had to be kept out of the congregation till the 3rd generation, others till the 10th.

So the Bible is not at all equalitarian.Start at 31:00 minute

mark,http://chalcedon.edu/research/audio/prisoners-of-hope-2/

“St Paul referred to the broader meaning of these laws against hybridization… (Deut.22:10), in II Corinthians 6:14: ‘Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?’ Unequal yoking plainly means mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers is clearly forbidden. But Deuteronomy 22:10 not only forbids unequal yoking by inference, and as a case law, but also unequal yoking generally. This means that an unequal marriage between believers or between unbelievers is wrong. Man was created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26), and woman is the reflected image of God in man, and from man (1 Cor. 11:1-12; Gen. 2:18, 21-23). ‘Helpmeet’ means a reflection or a mirror, an image of man, indicating that a woman must have something religiously and culturally in common with her husband.

The burden of the law is thus against inter-religious, inter-racial, and inter-cultural marriages, in that they normally go against the very community which marriage is designed to establish. Unequal yoking means more than marriage. In society at large it means the enforced integration of various elements which are not congenial. Unequal yoking is in no realm productive of harmony; rather, it aggravates the differences and delays the growth of the different elements toward a Christian harmony and association. … Cross-cultural marriages are thus normally a failure… A man can identify character within his culture, but he cannot do more than identify the general character of another culture.”

R.J. Rushdoony,
The Institutes of Biblical Law:

“Moreover, if she is to be ‘a help as before him,’ a mirror, there must be a common cultural background. This militates against marriages across cultures and across races where there is no common culture or association possible.

The new unit is a continuation of the old unit but an independent one; and there has to be a unity or else it is not a marriage. Thus, the attempt of many today to say there is nothing in the Bible against mixed marriages whether religiously or culturally is altogether unfounded. We do not have to go to the Mosaic law (Exodus and Deuteronomy) to demonstrate that, because here in the very beginning (Genesis) we are told that she must be a help meet—bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh—sharing his faith, sharing a common background, a common culture, a common desire to fulfill his calling under God. This, then, is the meaning of marriage in the Biblical sense.”

R.J. Rushdoony,
The Doctrine of Marriage

“Men remain feeling guilty, for a false sense of guilt has no cure save the truth, and this is not forthcoming. Since the citizens are now guilt-ridden because of their education and political indoctrination, they are more amenable to robbery, and even murder. If the white man feels guilty towards the Negro, he is less capable of defending himself against the Negroes who turn into a revolutionary rabble, bent on theft and murder. The state finds it easier to rob men when men feel guilty for what they are and have, and the state drones on and on about the needs of the poor of the nation and of the world.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Politics of Guilt and Pity – pg 46

“The U.N. position, ostensibly anti-racist, is no less racist than the most fervent champions of race in history. Indeed, the liberal, religion of humanity faith is simply a form of racism. There are two kinds of racism today. For the first, to belong to a particular race, white or black, Jewish or Arab, is all-important. Membership in a particular group is itself a mark of distinction and discrimination, and constitutes the dividing line. For the second form of racism, to belong to the human race is all-important. For both positions, racial membership is the test, the ticket of admission and the guarantee of status. Against this expanded or liberal form of racism, as against all forms of racism, orthodox Christianity enters a dissent. For the Christian, character, born of faith, is the test of man, not a particular race or the human race. Racial differences are recognized as real and as God-given, but the determinative fact concerning man is his relationship to God, not the fact of his humanity. This is the Biblical position; it is also the position which makes for progress by emphasizing quality. Quality is sought out and emulated. A people, discriminated against at one time, by emulation advance themselves, as witness the Irish in America. Therefore, in no uncertain terms, the orthodox Christian must regard the universal racism of the U.N. as a menace, destructive of the Christian faith and detrimental to man.

R.J. Rushdoony,
The Nature of the American System, p. 142

“Man is now defined as humanity rather than the individual, and this great one, humanity, to be truly a unity, must exist as one state. In this picture, any assertion of individuality, local or national independence, or the reality of races, is viewed with hostility and as a sign of mental sickness; it is an assertion of plurality which challenges the reality and unity of the universal.“

R.J. Rushdoony
The One and the Many, p.17

“That phrase (Judeo-Christian) should be anathema to any conservative Christian, because “Judeo-Christian heritage” involves a contradiction in terms. The Judaic heritage is Phariseeism. And this we have no part of. Nor can we ever subscribe to it. Whenever you have such a phrase, you have Modernism or ignorance. You have social gospel which is a form of Phariseeism. And no Christian should use this phrase.

The phrase “Hebrew-Christian Heritage” is acceptable. But when you say “Christian” you are talking about the Old and New Testament. So you don’t need to have a prefix. But Christian heritage, or the Biblical heritage is sufficient. But “Judeo-Christian” is nonsense. It is comparable to the expression “Christian Atheism” which is beginning to pop up. I was using that term a year ago to express the idea of contradiction, but I find now articles written about “Christian Atheism”. There’s nothing impossible with some people now a days.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Audio

Rushdoony cites,

‘This is George Crocker’s column for May 22, in the Examiner – Sunday Examiner. Once a week his columns appear.”

~ Rushdoony Quoting From and Reading George Crocker’s column,

Prejudice? Not at all. Why some of my best friends are liberals. I mean they talk liberalism. I mean I am invited to dinner parties at which charming people certify their own credentials as liberals. This is done by dropping into the conversations the stock cliches about ghettos and by going on record in favor of forced integration of public schools and residential areas. There was a gentleman sipping at cocktails munching on hors d’oeuvres as he expounded on the need to close the cultural gap. Integrated housing was the answer he thought. If different races live in the same block or apartment house they will observe how others deport themselves and all (indecipherable) will tend to disappear.

“You have a good idea there,” I said. “Think of all the people who could benefit by watching you and your family deport yourself. What a shame that your home is tucked away in Hillsboro. Now, Bill, I nominate you to lead the way.”

He glared at me as if I had struck a low blow.

There was the lady at my right at dinner who spent the entire salad course telling me about an article she had read. The author, a sociologist, had explained why defacto segregation in the schools must cease. In a mixed classroom the less bright children are stimulated by the bright ones but the latter are not slowed down at all. “The culturally deprived ones” (it was her term not mine) “acquire better habits while emulating the ones from better homes but the latter are not led into worse habits by associating every day with the farmer. Psychology has discovered this,” she informed me.

“Yes … yes,” I said. “I am familiar with the theory.”

She was chewing a piece of Belgian endive. My tone seemed to disconcert her.
The tempo of chewing decelerated…. then stopped. “Do you dispute it”, she asked.

“Tell me”, I replied, “don’t you think the theory should be tested by the people who advocate them and not by people who don’t believe in them?”

She put her fork down.

“Now I know what you’re getting at. Yes, we do send our Son to a private school. We can afford it and – well I don’t say it because I am the Mother; the Pediatrician as said it from the first, – our Son has a unusually quick mind and he should have special attention. And, well, we believe in integration and all that but ….”

“No need to explain,” I told her. “The Kennedys never do. Nor the Roosevelts, the Scrantons, the Lindseys , nor a thousand other rich liberal clans I could name.”

I was mistaken. Lindseys has been smoked out of the bushes. Last month, a heckler asked, “Why do you send your four children to private schools instead of New York public schools?” The Chairman quickly adjourned the meeting.

Last Sunday, Lindsey was ready when the question came on TV.

Because he is Mayor, he said, he wants his children to have the highest degree of privacy.

He neglected to mention that his children went to private schools before he was Mayor too.

The sociologists theory is being tested in this country but not on the children on the Lindseys or any of the wealthy liberals I know.”

-End Rushdoony’s reading of Crocker’s article-

Rushdoony comments

“Which I think is well put.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Audio

“No, there is no connection. They don’t pretend to be Biblical, they’ll just read something in order to say they’ve read the Bible. As a matter of fact, the early church was segregated. First of all, in New Testament times it was segregated between the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers. And there was… a good reason for that. The Jewish believers were so far superior that to integrate the two would have meant more often confusion. And when you realize that in, say the Corinthian church, they didn’t even know that fornication or adultery was a sin because in the Greek world there was nothing wrong with that. After all the chambers of commerce in Greece and Corinth and elsewhere… in Corinth the chambers of commerce maintained regularly around two thousand prostitutes for all visiting businessmen. It was a manufacturing town and so on… and no one thought there was anything immoral about that. Or about men having relations with prostitutes. This was all taken for granted. So in the Gentile churches the moral standard was pretty low. It was a lot of hard work for a couple of generations and more to bring them up to any kind of standard. Well, the Jewish congregations represented a far higher moral standard and Paul saw nothing wrong with that, nor did any other apostle. So the principle of segregation was present there from the beginning.”

R. J. Rushdoony
Audio – On Segregation

Today there are both liberals and conservatives that categorically deny that there is even such a thing as race. Now of course you and I have both encountered that. It is given the scientific respectability and a number of scientists ridicule the idea that there are such things as races. Well, some of the races of the world are championed because they insist on their integrity, and we’re told that we cannot believe in it. So it’s a very very absurd and contradictory situation.

Otto Scott: Well, it’s much like Dr. Johnson’s response to Bishop Berkeley. When Berkeley said that “Nothing material is real”. Johnson kicked a stone and said “I refute him thus”. And those who say there are no races should look around. There are obvious differences in humanity which go far beyond the verbal. It’s bigotry to even mention the existence of the White race. The term arouses suspicion. And of course to say that you’re a Christian … means that many doors automatically close and many minds close as well.”

R. J. Rushdoony & Otto Scott
Audio – On Race

“Thus it would appear from the evidence of the law that, first, a restrictive membership or citizenship was a part of the practice of Israel by law. There is evidence of a like standard in the NT church: instead of being forced into a rigid uniformity, Gentiles and Jews were free to establish their separ…ate congregations and maintain their distinctive character. Moreover, Acts 15, the Council of Jerusalem, makes clear that the differences in cultural heritage and stages of moral andspiritual growth made possible major conflicts in case of uniform membership. As a result, separate congregations were authorized. On the other hand, Jews were not barred from Gentile congregations, so that, while restrictive groups were valid, integrated groups were not invalid.”

~ Dr. Rushdoony,
Institutes of Biblical Law_, pps.99-100

“Identification [declaring all people identical] is used as a means of negating the particularity of the law, and of reducing it to nonsense by merging all reality into one inseparable unity. Unity, identification, is thus a substitute for law and truth by its erasure of all boundaries…

Justice then ceases to become the function of government, and identification by enforced equalization is the goal. In the Negro problem in the Southern States, the concern of federal action is less and less civil justice and more and more identification. That the Negro should have justice is certain, but compulsive identification is not justice and is actually injustice, and can obscure radically the Negro’s just claims before the law… The “freedom” which Dr. King envisions is not merely freedom from domination or discrimination but a freedom from difference. This is the heart of the matter, and in every stratum of society, there is a lust for “a freedom from difference” and a resentment against any who claim such a right…

As a result, the inevitable outcome of the practice of identification is the growth of moral detachment. Since the concept is basically anti-ethical, it culminates in an unconcern with moral issues. As yet, in the West, the Christian inheritance is responsible for an extensive hangover of moralism, at present used as a facade and justification for identification… It destroys the meaning of both particularity and universality… The particular loses meaning, in that the whole alone is real, and the whole, having no real differentiation, becomes an empty universal, and moral categories disappear in the face of moral relativism. The ultimate outcome, therefore, of identification in Western society will be, if its inherent logic triumphs, the rise of a radical inhumanity and the collapse of all true progress as total relativism takes over…

With most peoples there can and must be a separate but peaceful co-existence…

A nation bent on the world establishment of the concept of identification will operate on the premise that the goal must be unity or union and will work to that end, sacrificing itself constantly in terms of that hoped-for consummation. But a nation aware that some issues are irreconcilable, while avoiding any ungodly plunge into conflict, will recognize that there can be no compromise, and that peaceful co-existence in such instances is an illusion…

The biblical summons to holiness is thus a call to separation.

R.J. Rushdoony,
The Politics of Guilt and Pity, pp.80-86

“Paul…makes clear that mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers are forbidden. It is unequal yoking. For Paul the meaning of mixed marriages is religious. Men have often opposed marriages which bridge class barriers, i.e., the nobility and the commoners, or upper class with lower classes. Again, the mixed marriages problem is viewed racially. Paul concerns himself with neither; these he leaves to the realm of personal or historical considerations. It is religiously mixed marriages of believers with unbelievers which is forbidden as unequal yoking.”

R. J Rushdoony
Systematic Theology Vol. II pg. 971

This quote begins with a quote by historian Kenneth Stammp from his book ‘The Peculiar Institution,’ from there Rushdoony dissects Stammp’s statement.

“Today we are learning much from the natural and social sciences about the Negro’s potentialities and about the basic irrelevance of race, and we are slowly discovering the roots and meaning of human behavior. All this is of immense value to the historian when, or example, he tries to grasp the significance of the Old South’s ‘peculiar institution.’ I have assumed that the slaves were merely human beings, that innately Negroes are, after all, only white men with black skins, nothing more, nothing less. This gives quite a new and different meaning to the bondage of black men; it give their story a relevance to men of all races which it never seemed to have before.”

Rushdoony next unmasks the universalist abstractions propagated by Stammp that wind up undermining, in fact denying history:

“If Negroes are only ‘white men with black skins, nothing more, nothing less,’ then, conversely, white men are only Negroes with white skins, nothing more, nothing less. this means that all cultural differences, hereditary predispositions, and historical traditions are irrelevant and meaningless. It means, in other words, that history is meaningless. And how can one be an historian if it is his purpose to deny history?

The white man has behind him centuries of Christian culture, and the discipline and selective breeding this faith requires. Although the white man may reject this faith and subject himself instead to the requirements of humanism, he is still a product of this Christian past. The Negro is a product of a radically different past, and his heredity is governed by radically different consideration. Elizabeth E. Hoyt has cited Dr. Simon Biesheuvel’s comparisons, a deliberately extreme contrast, to pinpoint certain cultural ideas, African and Western. From Tennyson’s Ulysses is cited ‘a typically Western expression of man’s purpose’:

To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bounds of human thought…

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the Western stars, until I die…

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

By contrast, illustrating what Africans call Negritutde, is “the following cry from Aimee Cesaire of Martinique’:

Hurray for those who have never invented anything.
Hurray for those who have never explored anything.
Hurray for those who have never conquered anything.
But who in awe give themselves up to the essence of things.
Not intent on conquest, but playing the play of the world.

This contrast is an oversimplification, and one designed to be flattering to both races, but it does indicate the reality of racial differences. Men like Stampp would, of course, seek to negate every historical citation of differences as merely ‘cultural differences.’ The men behind the respective cultures are the same men. It is therefore held to be wrong to cite histories against any race.

A more absurd position can scarcely be imagined. If you and I have our histories abstracted from us, and our heredities as well, along with all our cultural conditioning and responses, we are no longer men, no longer human beings, but an abstract and theoretical concept of man. No real history of us can then be written. Stampp’s Negroes are thus neither black men nor white men: they are an abstraction, but an abstraction to illustrate the devil in Stampp’s humanistic morality play.”

R. J. Rushdoony
20th Century Reformed Theologian
“The Biblical Philosophy of History” – pg. 88-89

“Ah, yes … uh, true, God has created the diversity of mankind and therefore each of the Christian cultures will begin with the sovereignty of God and the authority of His Word but there are areas where their particular talents and diversities will be expressed, so that, even as I, for example, have aptitudes in certain areas while a very dear friend of mine has aptitude in another area and is every bit as zealous for the Sovereignty of God as I am but when he talks in the area of sciences he loses me in about the second or third sentence. But he is applying the word of God in the context of his situation. Now that’s a little more extreme than cultures or nations, but there is no question that different peoples have different aptitudes and abilities. We tend today, just as I.Q. tests are today artificially constructed so that they will eliminate sexual differences (women will come out ahead in most fields except the two I mentioned) and racial differences because their are variations.People of one ethnic background will have marked abilities in one area and not as marked in other areas, but they don’t want to believe that there are these differences you see, therefore they try to eliminate them. Well, in a Godly culture we will consider those as blessings of God to be developed.”

R. J. Rushdoony
The New Absolutism – 44:00 minute mark.

” [The] Bible makes clear that God does not permit us to despise heredity and background. That God does not permit immediate integration of all peoples. For example, in Deuteronomy 23:2-3 the Amalekites and the Moabites were banned from the congregation to the tenth generation, because of their background and spiritual and moral degeneracy. The Edomites, verses 7-8 of Deuteronomy 23, were barred till the third generation. And yet at the same time the hatred of an Edomite was declared to be a sin in front of God.

Thus these people could not be detested, or despised or hated, but they could not be brought immediately into the congregation, they had to worship separately in some cases to the tenth generation, and others to the third generation. So that they have a background of segregated worship and of character for so many generation before they could be integrated with the Congregation of Israel. And this is a part of Gods law. “

Rousas John Rushdoony, “Tents of Shem”
http://www.pocketcollege.com/…/086%20…/RR115E10.html

Liberalism — An Introduction

Liberalism seldom comes to us in a systematic theology text book. That is likely one of the reasons that Liberalism has advanced so successfully. If Liberalism came to us as Liberalism from a theology textbook one would then be able to point to a Liberal Systematic theology textbook and say, “this is what Liberalism believes.” Instead liberalism advances by being amorphous. It seldom sets out its tenets explicitly, in a Systematic type style, knowing that doing so would mean a wider rejection of it as a belief system.  In point of fact, as we shall see, Liberalism, as a belief system, is merely the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit edition of Porn as compared to the Communism of porn magazine, “Hustler.”  Liberalism is Marlene Dietrich singing “Black Market” in a cabaret in 1920’s Berlin as compared to the Communism of Miley Cyrus singing “We Can’t Stop” on a M-TV video. Liberalism is the same thing as Communism only in smaller doses.  Liberalism suffocates with a pillow while Communism suffocates with a garrote.

One point of contact between Liberalism and Communism is the insistence that man’s nature is either good or at least malleable. Unlike Christianity, which teaches that man’s nature is fallen and so man is depraved through and through, Liberalism teaches that men are born tabulae rasae, blank slates to be written upon as any narrative that a ruling elite might desire.  Per J. Salwyn Shapiro in his book, “Liberalism; Its Meaning and History” Man, according to Liberalism is born ignorant, not wicked.” Liberalism, thus eschews the Christian doctrine of original sin holding instead that only the Christian doctrine of original sin could be construed as original sin.  It was this view of man that the French Philosophes championed as the guillotine was employed to help men embrace their perfectibility and discover their unlimited potentiality.

From this doctrine of the inherent goodness and perfectibility of man comes the Liberal doctrine of Social Engineering, Utopia, and the inevitability of progress. If men do not suffer from the tragic consequences of original sin, so that they can only be redeemed by the work of a Transcendent God, then these plastic men with inherently good natures can be shaped and fashioned, via social engineering programs, to create a better, if indeed not perfect world. String together enough good men and eventually one will arrive at Utopia. In point of fact, the denial of Original Sin requires Liberals to believe that men can be made better and better via the work of social engineering. This faith commitment was recently demonstrated by an Obama State Department Spokesman Marie Harf in answering questions on how Muslim Terrorists need to be stopped,
“… We  cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs.”

We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance. We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.”

Note here that the even Terrorists can be socially engineered out of their depraved ways. Terrorists are malleable and only need to have their environments changed in order for them to realize their inherent goodness. Terrorists are perfectible. And if terrorists are perfectible and capable of being redeemed by social engineering how much more so non terrorist Americans? Why, with Social Security, Welfare programs, and Obama-care Americans will be social engineered into a progress that will one day lead to Utopia.

The Liberal conviction of a Social Engineering that can bring us to Utopia leads us to another tenet of Liberalism and that is the conviction that man is what he is because of his environment.  Liberalism, refusing to find depravity or original sin in man, instead locates depravity and original sin in man’s conditioning environment. Man, considered singularly is perfectible, inherently good, or at worse ignorant. However, the cultures and institutions that men build are rife with that depravity which explains why men don’t automatically rise to their best selves. Because sin is found in environments that so keeps individual men down, what must happen is the employing of social engineering in order to change men’s environment. The conviction of Liberals is that if the environments of men are changed so that those environments ooze out the juice of Utopia the result will be the sanctified New Liberal Man. It is environment that makes man less then what he might be and it is only a changed environment that will make men all that Liberals are convinced that man inherently is. The Liberal seldom pauses to ask how it is that inherently good men ever built such awful environments.

The Liberal conviction of the absolute necessity to Socially engineer environments that are in their view “wicked” so that the basically good men can discover and embrace their perfectibility unto the building of Utopia explains why Liberalism, when consistently pursued, ends up in the French Revolution Guillotine, The American Civil War Revolution war on civilians, The Russian Revolution Gulag Archipelago, and the American Abortuary. If cultural and institutional environments are the only thing that stands between basically good men and their socially engineered Utopias then breaking a few human eggs to arrive at a Utopian omelette is a small price to pay. So, the Jacobins tortured and killed their Catholic enemies to arrive at Utopia, Northern Transcendentalist Jacobin abolitionists tortured and killed Southerners in order to arrive at Utopia, Jewish Bolsheviks tortured and killed Christian Kulaks and Christian members of the White Army in order to arrive at Utopia and today our Jacobin Government makes provision for Jacobin Mommies to torture and kill their children to the tune of 4000 per day. From the Liberal worldview and belief system all of this is the small price that one pays in order to arrive at Utopia. None of this would have happened or would happen apart from the tenets of  Liberalism, (sin in environment as fixed by Social Engineering, allowing man’s basically good nature to shine forth unto the building up of Utopia) being pursued. All of this explains why Liberalism should be thoroughly hated in any man or woman who call themselves “Christian.”

End Part 1

Part II — The Liberal tenets of Rationalism (Self-evident truths), Historical Optimism (Liberal postmillennialism) and Educationalism (Education as malleable man’s Savior).

 

Locate the Presuppositions and you know the Answer before the Question is Finished

Presuppositions

1.) Man (ISIS) is basically good
2.) If Man (ISIS) is not good then the problem is his environment
3.) Make his (ISIS) bad environment good  with jobs and man (Isis) will become good
4.) Hence the project is nation building and more social engineering

Mark 2:2-9 … Transfiguration

First Sunday of Epiphany — Baptism of Christ (Kingdom of God is @ hand)
Second & Third Sunday of Epiphany — Christ Shares in God’s Omniscience
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany — Christ Cast Out Demoniac
Fifth Sunday of Epiphany — Christ Brings Healing to the sick and diseased
Last Sunday of Epiphany — Transfiguration

All of this is communicating that the long anticipated Messiah that the covenant Fathers spoke of has arrived.  The age to come is Present in the person of the Lord Christ. In the words of both John the Baptist and the Lord Christ the Kingdom of God is at hand.

All of this is what is called Redemptive History. It is real History but it is the History of God’s redemptive work.

Why is a sermon series like this important for your faith?

1.) It requires you to see that the Kingdom of God is present.

— Remember the “Now — Not Yet” Hermeneutic that we emphasize here. What we’ve been looking at the past few weeks is the Now-ness of the Kingdom. This is important to realize because the majority of the Christians you meet have imbibed (often quite without know it) that the Kingdom of God is only Future. They look forward to some future day when Jesus returns and sets up His rule and Kingdom in Jerusalem. The Kingdom of God is totally future to them.  In this series we’ve been trying to teach, consistent with the Scripture accounts, that the Kingdom of God has arrived.

2.) It allows you to focus on Christ who is the Kingdom as opposed to focus on Israel today as somehow being wrapped up with Kingdom events as if Israel is more important than the King.

3.) It aids you in reading the Scripture in terms of the Scripture and not in terms of the Newspaper. I hope we have demonstrated here that when we read the Scripture we ask ourselves how does a knowledge of the unfolding and organic growth of the rest of the Scripture impact upon the blooming of the Kingdom in the Gospel Accounts. The Gospels are much like the point in the novel that is the crescendo to all that has been developed to date.

4.) Along the way we’ve tried to include the idea that as a people who have been swept up into this Kingdom of God we have the privilege and responsibility to live in terms of the present-ness of the Kingdom. For example, having been made citizens in the Kingdom of a King who is merciful and gentle we seek to demonstrate those virtues in our own lives. Being citizens in the Kingdom of God we resist evil because evil is inconsistent with this already present Kingdom.

Kingdom and Church debate

It is interesting where the Transfiguration is placed in Mark’s Gospel.  Before the exaltation of the Transfiguration is the prediction of Jesus death and resurrection. Just after the Transfiguration Jesus again predicts His death and resurrection. It is almost as if Mark is trying to squeeze in the idea that there is a realm into which the Lord Christ can be resurrected. Certainly resurrection can be easier to comprehend if there is a comprehension that there is another living realm beyond life.  Inherent in the story of the Transfiguration is the promise of a kind of life beyond what is apparent to earthly eyes most of the time. Hebrews 12 speaks of this other realm when it talks about being surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.  The Transfiguration reminds us again that there is a realm … a life beyond this life. Unlike the Academic Atheist who I once encountered in conversation, the Transfiguration reminds the Modern that it is not the case that when one dies there is just unconsciousness.

If nothing else, (and there is much more) the Transfiguration reminds that “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow w die” is not a true synopsis of life.

Let’s examine some of the symbolism and motifs (themes) that are attached to this passage and see what we can draw out from these as we read the rest of Scripture. In terms of the 6 days in Mark 9:2 (Now after six days) we find a consistency with another Mountain top in the Old Testament,

Exodus 24:15f

Exodus 24:15 Then Moses went up to the mount, and the cloud covered the mountain,16 And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered [o]it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.

It seems that the six day preparation period is connected to witnessing a vision of Divine glory. There is likely a connection here then between the Mosaic witnessing of the glory of God and the disciples witnessing the brightness of God’s glory here in Christ. If that is the case then this is one of those testimonies of Scripture where another Divine character quality of the Father is seen in the Son so that what is being subtly communicated is the Divine Nature of the Lord Christ.

That the disciples are witnessing the Glorified and Divine Christ, in a kind of “time before the time manifestation”, is confirmed by John’s record in his Apocalypse (Revelation) where John describes the ascended Christ.

Revelation 1:14 His head and hairs were white as white wool, and as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire,

Compare that with what is recorded here

Mark 9:3 And his raiment did [c]shine, and was very white as snow, so white as no fuller can make upon the earth.

The Whiteness here communicates the intense glory radiating from the Son. Snow was as close as they could come to this intense spectacle of God’s person. That the divinity of Christ is being pressed here is underscored by Daniel’s description of the “Ancient of Days in Daniel 7

Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the [r]thrones were set up, and the [s]Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels, as burning fire.

So, on the Mount of Transfiguration the post-Ascension divinity of Christ is put on display and what is communicated for those playing close attention when we read both what leads up to this event, where Christ predicts His death, and what follows this event where Christ predicts His death, is that He who is God  glorified is going to lay down His life for His people.

The paradox of the Kingdom is that it comes in with both glory and humility at the same time. During Epiphany we find the Lord Christ everywhere assaulting the Kingdom of Satan. We even see the proclamation here of His divinity and yet all this is wrapped in the enigma of His coming Humiliation — His death and burial.

This serves as analogy for the “Now … Not Yet” of the Kingdom. It has arrived in glory and yet it, more often than not, comes to us wrapped in humility. Paul was the great champion of the Kingdom … a champion given a thorn in the flesh. Peter does many great miracles in the context of Kingdom work and yet Stephen and James are recorded as martyred in the Scripture. We share in the glory of Christ and yet we do so around the Word broken and the humble elements of Bread and wine and Water. The Kingdom is present … the Mt. of Transfiguration tells us that. The Kingdom is yet to come … the fact that we are not yet transfigured tells us that.

Do not miss the significance that this is all taking place on a Mountain,

As we have seen before Mountatins are often associated with the place where concourse with God is held.

The entry for “Mountain” in Dictionary of Biblical Imagery reads:

“Almost from the beginning of the Bible, mountains are sites of transcendent spiritual experiences, encounters with God or appearances by God. Ezekiel 28:13-15 places the *Garden of Eden on a mountain. *Abraham shows his willingness to sacrifice Isaac and then encounters God on a mountain (Gen 22:1-14). God appears to Moses and speaks from the *burning bush on “Horeb the mountain of God” (Ex 3:1-2 NRSV), and he encounters Elijah on the same site (1 Kings 19:8-18). Most impressive of all is the experience of the Israelites at Mt. *Sinai (Ex 19), which *Moses ascends in a *cloud to meet God.

A similar picture emerges from the NT, where Jesus is associated with mountains. Jesus resorted to mountains to be alone (Jn 6:15), to *pray (Mt 14:23; Lk 6:12) and to teach his listeners (Mt 5:1; Mk 3:13). It was on a mountain that Jesus refuted Satan’s temptation (Mt 4:8; Lk 4:5). He was also transfigured on a mountain (Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36), and he ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:10-12).[4]

Jesus also designated a mountain in Galilee from which he gave the Great Commission to the eleven (Matthew 28:16). Jesus is both the tabernacle of God among men (John 1:14) and a temple (John 2:19-22) who builds the new temple (Ephesians 2:19-22 [his body, the church]). Hebrews 12:18-24 contrasts Mount Sinai and Mount Zion in the context of the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. God’s people have gone from one mountain to another. Surely these mountains are symbols of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant and have their foundation in the first mountain-temple, the Garden of Eden.”

We could do much the same with the Biblical Motif of Clouds

Exodus 40:34-38 — Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle of the Congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 35 So Moses could not enter into the Tabernacle of the Congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. 36 Now when the cloud ascended up from the Tabernacle, the children of Israel went forward in all their journeys. 37 But if the cloud ascended not, then they journeyed not till the day that it ascended. 38 For [a]the cloud of the Lord was upon the Tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.

Staying with the Cloud motif

After the exodus from Egypt, when the Israelites wander in the wilderness for forty years, their journey is marked by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex 13:21, 22; 14:19, 20, 24, see later reflections in Neh 9:12, 19; Ps 78:14; 99:7; 105:39; and 1 Cor 10:1–2). Exodus 16:10 associates the cloud in the wilderness with the “ glory of the Lord.” The cloud and the fire represents God’ s presence with them

See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them. (Isaiah 19:1-2)

Jesus, like God in the OT , rides on a cloud (Acts 1:9). One of the most pervasive images of Christ’ s return is as one who rides his cloud chariot into battle (Mt 24:30; Mk 13:26; 14:62; Lk 21:27; Rev 1:7; cf. [cf. cf.. compare] Dan 7:13).

That takes care of some of the Imagery here. Now let’s turn our attention to the persons present.

Both Moses and Elijah, two figures whose passing’s were mysterious, were believed by many Jews to be God’s precursors of the end times. That this is at least some of the point in the text is seen in vs. 11-12

The reason for this end time expectation of these two was the mysterious end of each

Elijah — Chariot into Heaven (II Kings. 2:9-12)
Moses — Buried by God Himself (Ex. 34:4-7)

As such these two men were thought to be available for God to send back to prepare for the end. Their presence here reminds us that the Messianic end times was nigh. They also represent the idea of “the law and the prophets.” In Moses and Elijah God’s covenant people are present.  Luke’s account tells us that they speak of Christ’s Exodus … meaning his Death. This would have been a matter close to the interests of the OT Saints. The Messiah is their Champion as well as ours. His Exodus is there Exodus as well.

God Speaks — Tracks with Isaanic Servant passages

Messianic Sonship OT

Behold, [a]my servant: [b]I will stay upon him: mine elect, in whom my soul[c]delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth [d]judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not [e]cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A [f]bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking [g]flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment in [h]truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have [i]set judgment in the earth: and the [j]isles shall wait for his Law.

Christ is the Isaanic Servant in whom God delight and in delighting in Him He God’s beloved Son.

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Peter — James — John

That Peter at least notes that the end is at hand he blurts out this bit about building Tabernacles or booths. We think Peter odd for saying that but Peter, though fearful (wouldn’t you be afraid if you were on the cusp of the end of the world?) connects some OT dots.

Zechariah 4:16 But it shall come to pass that everyone that is left of all the nations, which came against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the King the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of Tabernacles.

So, this God-commanded festival kept by Jews for centuries, was considered a possible time for God’s taking control of God’s creation and beginning the age of shalom. Peter’s comments then were not “off the wall” but consistent with Jewish understanding.

Conclusion

Perhaps we would be well reminded that the Mt. of Transfiguration becomes an objective marker of the Truth of God’s Salvation narrative. Our belief in the presence of the Kingdom is not pinned upon our own personal experience, nor upon how we are feeling at any given moment, nor upon our sense of  utter dependence. Those are all subjective markers. Our belief in the presence of God’s Kingdom is based upon these Objective realities. It was for Peter.

16 [t]For we followed not deceivable fables, when we opened unto you the power, and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but with our eyes we saw his majesty: 17 For he received of God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from that excellent Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice we heard when it came from heaven being with him in the holy mount.

Second we can be reminded that God’s glory comes in God’s time and according to God’s movement. There is nothing so foolish as to think that we can seize God’s glory somehow. God’s glory comes to us in God’s time and if Scripture is any indication the glory of God is never far removed, in this life, with a theology of the Cross. Everyone wants the glory … nobody wants the humiliation. Everyone wants to go to heaven. Nobody wants to die.

Third, we are reminded of how the presence of the Kingdom is wrapped up in the death of Christ. Our hope for the Kingdom is anchored in the fact that we are united to Christ in His death, resurrection and ascension. The victory of Christ is our victory. But this victory is not only a spiritual victory (though it is that) without any corporeal repercussions. The Kingdom has come. Christ has conquered and so we move in that victory understanding that the Gates of Hell can not resist the assault of the Church upon the defense mechanisms of Satan.

Appendix — After thought

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J. R. R. Tolkien was a Roman Catholic Christian. One wonders if some of his understanding in his majestic work was somewhat based upon what he learned of the Transfiguration.   Tolkien speaks of the Elvin Lords “who have dwelt in the Blessed Realm and who live at once in both worlds. Of them Tolkien says that “against both the Seen and the Unseen they have great power.”

Tolkien’s lesser story steals from the Greater story. In the Transfiguration the Lord Christ is manifested as one who walks between two worlds. Further, the Gospel record clearly demonstrates that Christ has great power against both the seen and unseen. After the Transfiguration the Lord Christ descends to do battle against the Kingdom that opposes Him (Mark 9:25f).

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Bowsma on John Calvin’s Passion For Distinctions — Sermon Distinctions

Text — Genesis 1
Theme – Distinctions
Proposition — God creates and delights in distinctions
Purpose — Therefore having seen that God creates and delights in distinctions let us honor the distinctions that God has created.

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In the Genesis account we see God as the God of distinctions. As we enter into the Creation account all is equally the same. All the earth and every aspect of the earth together was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. In today’s parlance we would say that all was equal.

And then the distinction making God went to work and started making distinctions and with those distinctions order and structure was introduced.

Night is made distinct from day
Evening is made distinct from morning
The Waters of the Heavens are made distinct from the Waters of the Earth
The Land is made distinct from the Seas
The fruit and vegetation is made distinct according to its kinds
The Sun from the Moon and Stars is made distinct and given distinct spheres to rule over
Sea creatures, and Birds of the Air, and beasts of the field are created as distinct
Man is created distinct from God
Woman is created as distinct from Man.

All of Creation is one long episode in God creating and assigning distinctions.

Then we come to the fall and in the working of the Serpent in the context of the Fall, what the serpent is seeking to do is to eliminate the distinctions that God had established. In tempting Eve the Serpent successfully erased the distinction, not only between God and Eve but also between Adam and Eve. It is largely accepted that in the Fall, the attempt of the Serpent was to convince Eve to leave her distinction as mortal and to erase that distinction by becoming as God in determining good from evil, but I think we should also note that there was role reversal as well. The distinctions between male and female were negated inasmuch as Eve took the lead that should have been Adam’s and Adam submitted and followed His wife Eve.

Satan’s work in the Fall was to overturn the distinctions of God’s created order. Eve shall be Adam. Adam shall be Eve. Adam and Eve shall be God. It is interesting in the cursing of the fall distinctions are reintroduced. Eve has her own distinct curse. Adam his own distinct curse. And the Dragon his own distinct curse.

We could continue this theme throughout the Scriptures, seeing where God is a God of distinctions while the role of destroying distinctions belonged to Old Scratch.

This idea of set distinctions was at the core of Christendom. It is just the idea that not everything is the same and that the proper distinctions that are found are found because God established them. To deny this … to insist on a world where the God given distinctions are eliminated is to embrace a worldview that is in antithesis to a Biblical Worldview.

Of course we see this all around us today. Dr. Peter Jones has styled these two competing worldviews as “Oneism vs. Twoism.” He is trying to simplify heavy philosophical matters by doing so, but what Dr. Jones is after is the idea that when we presuppose the God of the Bible we get a culture where Biblical distinctions obtain and are settled while if we refuse to submit to the God of the Bible we get a culture distinctions are a thing of the past.

The idea here is that the God of the Bible provides a Transcendent point of definition wherein all things find their meaning and so their distinctions. On the other hand when God is scrubbed from reality then what you have is a world and reality where there is no “outsidedness” by which one can find meaning and so determine distinctions. The consequence then is a kind of Pantheistic worldview where all is one.

Hence Jones has taken to calling this Worldview “Oneism.” It is a worldview that denies that Creation was handed to us as already greatly pre-interpreted and opts instead on insisting that God is not and we instead can interpret our own reality.

Here is Jones on the matter,

“This Utopian vision (of a kind of egalitarian Pantheism) has a long spiritual history. The ideal of the alchemists of the Middle Ages involved ‘the uniting of the opposites …the fusion of male and female, good and evil, life and death — whose union, they believed, eventually created the perfected and completed, ideal personality called Self. The Utopian cosmology in question understands how deeply the Christian faith has molded Western culture and intends to destroy the ‘bourgeois’ Judaeo-Christian culture as the first step toward a better world. To accomplish this, its advocates must weaken the culture systematically in its economy, its military, its psychology, and its morals.They also know what it will take to establish a revived pagan cosmology and will not tolerate half measures. They want all or nothing. The goal is the complete remaking of human identity…

At this  point, such a powerful cosmology takes on an unmistakably religious character. One is reminded of the goal of the occult Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn…. “The Great Work, is, before all things, the creation of man by himself, that is to say, the full and entire conquest of his faculties, and his future; it is especially the prefect emancipation of his will….”

… the true power of the movement: its possession of a new liberating cosmology, includes not just politics and economics but sexuality and spirituality. The sociological analysis, joined to the ideology of revolutionary sexual and spiritual liberation, forms a powerfully influential movement, determined to reinvent the world. Indeed, as politics becomes more all-inclusive, it becomes more religious, claiming to answer all human aspirations, physical and spiritual, and to usher in a better world. ”

Dr. Peter Jones
The Other Worldview; Exposing Christianity’s Greatest Threat — pg. 98

And so we are in worldview warfare right now and the battle lines are drawn at the point of Oneism (all is One) vs. Twoism (The Creator Creature distinction that then translates into all other distinctions).

You’re living right now through an all out assault on what made Western Civilization. As the British Journalist Melanie Phillips offered,

“The attack on Western civilization, at its most profound level, is an attack on the creed that lies at the very foundation of that civilization.”

And of course that Creed is Biblical Christianity.

You see, we have now gone well beyond the attack of God has Redeemer to the point where we are now attacking God as Creator. We are now at the point of challenging God’s authorial rights to delegate distinctions.

Of course the intensity of this battle to eliminate distinctions has been going on for quite some time. It has always been the goal of those in set defiance against God,

“Princes and nations will disappear without violence from the earth, the human race will become one family and the world the abode of reasonable men.”

-Adam Weishaupt, quoted in Paul Johnson, Intellectuals (London: Orion Books Limited, 1993), p. 32.

Capitalism developed the ever more inhuman polarization of the sexes. The cult of making distinctions, which serves only for oppression, is now being swept away by awareness of resemblance and identity.

M. Walser
Uber die neusten Stimmungen im Westen
In: Kursbuch, Bd. 20, 1970, S. 19-41.

“… Just as mankind can achieve the abolition of classes only by passing through the dictatorship of the proletariat, so mankind can achieve the inevitable merging of nations only by passing through the transition period of complete liberation of all oppressed nations, i.e., their right to secede. “

V. Lenin
The Rights of Nations to Self Determination

These Communists of the past are joined today by those today, who like their Communist Fathers of the past are seeking to eliminate distinctions.

“Being queer is more than sleeping with a person of the same gender…. it means transforming the very fabric of our society’s view of family. The goal is radically reordering society’s view of family”

Paul Ettlebrick
Gay Activist

We as Christians then … as those who uphold the idea of God ordained distinctions are in the contest of our lives.

Jones gets at the stakes in this contest between Christians and those who would erase distinctions when he notes,

 

“The push for homosexual rights is not a concession we throw to a tiny percentage of our population in a compromise that will bring no real harm to society. Pushed with ethical fervor through appeals to anti-discrimination, equal right, equality legislation, and the checking of privilege, this social movement deconstructs from the foundational social concepts like family, gender, and social achievement.There is no ‘live and let live,’ when faced with advocates of this agenda.”

Dr.Peter Jones
The Other Worldview — pg.96

And so to return to our Christian convictions on this matter of the distinction making God we make just a few observations in closing,

“In the beginning God created the Heavens and the earth.”

1.) Note that at the beginning of God’s revealed word that God is presupposed. There are no elaborate arguments given for the existence of God. No ontological, cosmological, teleological, moral or Historical arguments for the existence of God. God cannot be proven unless He is first presupposed and when He is first presupposed then everything proves and demonstrates the reality of God. Indeed nothing can be proven unless God is presupposed. Genesis 1:1 reveals that the reality of God is a necessary precondition for intelligibility.

2.) God is a creator God. The fact that God has created the heavens and earth reveals that pantheism (Oneism) is false. Since God is a creator we know that He is distinct from His creation and any teaching that runs God and His creation together without recognizing the proper distinction between Creator and creation is heresy. Genesis 1:1 is thus the death knell for all forms of process Theology that hold that God along with His creation is becoming. Likewise all Hegelian notions of God being universal spirit are out of bounds because of how it tends to put God in constant process. Further the idea that God is a creator God distinct from His creation implies the creator creature distinction that is often forgotten by modern Christians. God is the thrice awesome Creator. Worship that contained a little awe and respect would be a welcome relief in most American worship services.

3.) Likewise Genesis 1:1 teaches that the creation is not totally separate from God. Creation is totally dependent upon the Creator. If God did not uphold His Creation it would cease to be. Therefore Genesis 1:1 reveals that all forms of Deism are heresy. God remains intimately involved with His creation. All that happens (all historical events, all natural happenings) remains personal because God remains not only the creator but also the sustainer and governor of His creation.

4.) Christian Theology must continue to take into account God’s work in creation as well as God’s work in redemption. In some sense Redemption serves the work of God’s creation by restoring creation to its original intent. God’s work of Redemption returns God’s work of Creation to the status of ‘very good.’ Creation provides the context where Redemption happens and Redemption in return brings Creation to all that it was intended to be and Creation groans for the fullness of Redemption that is yet to be. Creation and Redemption while distinct can never be divorced. They have an incipient relationship.

5.) On the question of origins we see the Christian Worldview demands a supernatural answer. The Cosmos was created by a personal Creator. This stands in sharp contrast to the Humanist Worldview where all happens by time + chance + circumstance and where all starts by impersonal materialistic process. According to the Christian the Heavens hold a listening and watching God and all life has meaning because this personal God has placed His fingerprint on it all. According to the Humanist the Heavens are brass and all of life is meaningless — a mere chasing of the wind. Which Universe would you prefer to inhabit?

6.) If God is the creator and man is the creature then man is responsible to God. Man is not an end in Himself. He is now accountable to the Creator God and will one day give an account for his actions to the creator God.

7.) Genesis 1:1 is the beginning of Revelation where God reaches down to make Himself known to fallen man. All other religions stand in contrast to Christianity on this point. All other religions are mythologies where man seeks to ascend to God. The god or gods of all other religions are ‘man’ said loudly. Only in the Christian religion does God descend to man in order to make Himself known. We come to know God because He has made Himself objectively known. Orthodox theology thus distances itself from all forms of existentialism where that which is subjective precedes and destroys all notions of that and He which is objective.

8.) Genesis 1:1 implies God’s aseity. The doctrine of divine aseity holds that God is not dependent on anything outside himself for his being and nature. The Creator is not dependent upon the creation for His existence but rather the creation is dependent upon the Creator. If a tree fell in the woods it would still make a sound even if nobody heard it (if only because God would hear it) and If there was no creation to hear God, God would still be God. God did not create because there was some kind of lack in God. God did not create because He was lonely for fellowship. God did not create because He had some kind of unfelt need going un-met that was met by us (lucky for God He made us — blech!). God has eternally been the eternally happy God. God’s creation was the spill over of His eternal satisfaction in His triune self.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Conclusion

We end with a quote from someone who analyzed the life of Calvin and who offers Calvin’s thoughts on the importance of distinction.

“But the notion that what ails the world [inseparably from sin] is confusion had much practical value for Calvin … Thus, when Calvin associated disorder with obscurity, he could conceive of correcting it by sharpening the contours of the various entities composing the world; once one thing has been clearly distinguished, physically or conceptually, from others, it can be assigned its proper place in the order of things … Thus he abominated ‘mixture,’ one of the most pejorative terms in his vocabulary; mixture in any area of experience suggested to him disorder and unintelligibility. He had absorbed deeply not only the traditional concern for cosmic purity of a culture that had restricted mixture to the sublunary realm but also various Old Testament prohibitions. Mixture, for Calvin, connoted ‘adulteration’ or ‘promiscuity,’ but it also set off in him deep emotional and metaphysical reverberations. He repeatedly warned against ‘mixing together things totally different.’ …

The positive corollary of Calvin’s loathing of mixture was his approval of boundaries, which separate one thing from another. He attributed boundaries to God Himself: God had established the boundaries between peoples, which should therefore remain within the space assigned to them … ‘Just as there are in a military camp separate lines for each platoon and section,’ Calvin observed, ‘men are placed on the earth so that each nation may be content with its own boundaries.’”

W.J. Bouwsma
John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait — p.34-35