Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Integration, but not like the maths you studied!

I'm re-reading for the third or fourth time Schaeffer's trilogy: The God Who is There, Escape from Reason, and He is There and He is Not Silent. Wonderful to refresh and think through the books, all quite short (and nothing like the length of the twaddle by Jaspers, Heidegger and Sartre, for example).

In the final of the trilogy 'There and Not Silent', FS makes the point that without knowledge of the infinite-personal and propositionally communicating and thinking creator, people have no point of existential integration. I use 'existential' not as the Existentialists use it, but as pertaining to existence...I probably mean 'ontological', but I prefer the force of 'existential'.

Perhaps the recently blossoming trend of one's own identity being formed almost solipsistically, and without reference to any concrete prior state is a result of the existential detachment that comes from denial of the real world. This world can only make sense in the light of the propositional revelation in history of the eternal-personal creator Trinity. The revelation is information that places it, and our being in it, in the continuous line of history from the creation.

Thus a person 'identifies' as a man or a woman, without that identification having any real meaning...indeed, I'd say that the subject has no idea what it means to so identify; it amounts to a mere narcissistic gesture in the absence of any grounding for who one is. It seems to be the loneliest thing. And this drives a narcissistic competition in the realm of sexuality; 'gender' as it has laughably transmogrified into of late. And so we have all sorts of lexical concoctions that describe nothing but perhaps serve to stabilise or give some vague status to the perversion of the moment.

This analysis maybe provides a point of contact for us with people who make or admire such claims, for steering them to the reality of their dilemma: the tension between the claim for identity, the yearning for what is, in the materialist or pan-everything-ist (to adopt FS's term) cosmos that denies access to any possibility of true identity. Where the soul is unanchored because it denies that an anchor is possible or desirable. Nihilism is the result.

The rebuttal to this might be a counter criticism that our point of reference in the eternal-personal-triune Creator is just another bunch of words. But this fails to appreciate, and the point must be driven that, no, this is about what really occurred in history, in the history that we are in and continuous with, and is propostionally derived from prior personhood in the triune Yahweh who has always and necessarily been and always will be. The world is really real and from his love; but broken by our rejection of his love for our own proud attempt to displace it. This act is discordant with reality and so fails abysmally.

We know all this is communicable to us, propositionally, and occurred in our history, because Yahweh connected his presence and action to our domain of being by matching the unavoidable tempo of our domain: he worked in defined and specific days, as we do, and created describable 'sets' of beings and substance propositionally in the terms in which we experience and know them. We can thus can trust them to be truly true and that our knowledge of them and ourselves, and of our creator gives us significance of an ineluctable eternal dimension.

Redemption is the real movement of resolution and only comes, only can come, from our repentance of the rejection of our Maker and defining ground of all that is.

We all have to walk through door-ways and not walls.

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