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Author Topic: The Law of Contrasts  (Read 2353 times)

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skydreamers

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The Law of Contrasts
« on: October 11, 2007, 04:41:13 PM »

I had never really thought about this "law of contrasts" in regards to scripture until I read Ray's writings.  This whole idea that it is through opposing forces that development of strength and virtue occurs really explains so much to me of the human existence and what God is doing...and why.

What I wanted to share is an intriguing book I found which uses this concept or principal to explain the development of the planet and life forms from a geological perspective.  The secular world can and does see quite a lot of what God expresses in His Word, even if they don't acknowledge or accept the divine influence behind everything.

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:20

Below is an excerpt from the book "The Earth and Man: Lectures on Comparative Physical Geography", by Arnold Guyot, taken from page 94 and 95:



Terrestrial life, if I may so so, is then developed under the influence of a law which we might name the law of differences; and in the general phenomena of the life of the globe, all partial differences being summed up in two grand differences, opposed two to two, we may call it the law of contrasts.

......

In studying the globe in this point of view, we shall see it under a new light.  I know that I step a little out of the beaten paths, but this is not, believe me, gentlemen, the result of a passing momentary glance, but of patient studies in detail, in the realm of nature and history.  We shall have the pledge that it is not without value, when we trace in each of these contrasts all the great analogies and differences which we have thus far shown, but each in its place, it its true light, and with the just portion of influence to which they are respectively entitled.

But in setting forth these contrasts, this antagonism of one-half the globe against the other, let us hasten to say that there is nothing hostile in the conflict; for it tends to life, not to death.  True victory is not to crush an opponent, but to make him a friend.  We suspect then in advance, - the law of life declares it, -- we suspect in advance, that all these oppositions resolve themselves into a grand harmony, in which each continent has its part to perform, while all live at the same time a common life.  But to arrive at this final result, nature alone is not sufficient; there is needed something more than a physical tie between all these parts of the world; there is needed a moral bond; a soul is wanting to this body, to set its organs in action.  Now, it is man, it is human societies, which alone can animate the great frame, bind together all the parts, and render perfect that organism which is the end and aim of the long procession of existence upon this earth.

http://books.google.com/books?id=f1gmAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA79&lpg=PA79&dq=
law+of+contrasts&source=web&ots=3ms0UA917N&sig=0BBBSEd16tpAj1Ls5cu4Ang5fGc#PPR1,M1





Peace,
Diana
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Gregor

  • Guest
Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 06:43:04 PM »

Now, it is man, it is human societies, which alone can animate the great frame, bind together all the parts, and render perfect that organism which is the end and aim of the long procession of existence upon this earth.

It is God, through Jesus, not man, who does these things. Man has made a god out of himself in our own minds.
 
Rom.1:
[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
[19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
[22] Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
[23] And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
[24] Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
[25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
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skydreamers

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Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2007, 12:04:32 AM »

Hi Gregor,

Yes of course absolutely.  I guess I should have made myself more clear as to why I posted that particular quote.  I did say it came from a secular source so the perspective is going to be secular, without a direct acknowledgment to God.  But what I thought interesting is not this man's conclusions, but the principal or concept he sets forth.  I just thought that it is was fascinating that his study of nature showed him what he thought to be a pattern.  The idea of contrasts and oppositions leading to development but also that he thought there would ultimately be a "grand harmony".  I took his last statement only to mean that man, that is, intellectual creative beings (humanity), brings the planet to life and is the crowning achievement.  Of course he doesn't acknowledge that it's all the work of God and that humanity will be God's crowning achievement when all is in harmony.  But that is precisely what I found interesting...he knows something without really knowing it.  And the time will come when God will fill in the blanks in his mind and countless others who have had glimpses of God but didn't recognize Him at the time.  In my opinion, God is still operating in everyone all around us, working all things according to His purpose.  I guess I'm just seeing God everywhere I look right now...

That's all I meant.

Peace,
Diana

 
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Gregor

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Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2007, 03:40:14 AM »

Greetings Diana,

Wasn't too sure why no one else answered this post yet, so I thought I'd take a shot at it. I was a little confused as to what your main point of discussion was. I agree with you that the principle or concept is there even in the secular realm, because God created that principle. However, you said,

"But that is precisely what I found interesting...he knows something without really knowing it."

Now in light of Rom.1:
[18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
[19] Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
[20] For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;so that they are without excuse:
[21] Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

This leads me to ask the question, do all mankind really know that God exists, and only refuse to believe (hence the unrighteousness)? And then the word "know" has more than one meaning too. We can know with head knowledge, but not really know in the biblical sense like Adam knew Eve and begat Seth. Intimacey. One. Consumation of love. Even the demons know God and tremble. They definately are not one with God. Just some of my thoughts.
G.
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skydreamers

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Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2007, 04:47:10 AM »

Hi Gregor, thanks for your comments.  I probably should have posted this in the off-topic section since I didn't really intend to begin any lengthy discussion necessarily, I was merely making an observation about the way I am seeing the world around me.

I think I see what you are getting at with the scriptures in Romans.  It is confusing, because what I have come to understand is that no one can "know" God unless God begins to unveil that person's eyes.  If they are blind, then it is God's will that they temporarily be blind and are left to operate from their limited perspective.  At least that's my present understanding.

So why does it say that "they are without excuse"?  You bring up a good point which I'm not sure how to answer.  Does everyone know that God exists?  An atheist would categorically and passionately disagree.  So maybe there is more in this passage to be studied out.

I'm trying to figure out who this passage is specifically directed to. 


I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Romans 1:14-18 ESV

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!
Romans 1:21-25 ESV

So it seems to me these people being talked about "knew" God but "exchanged the truth about God for a lie".

So what does this mean?  Is this really talking about atheists for example who do not see the hand of God in anything?  How can they exchange that for a lie when they didn't see the truth to begin with?  Isn't obvious that an atheist would not give honor or thanks to God since he believes God doesn't even exist?

Before I became a Christian I had a "sense" that there was something bigger than me, a "higher power" and I searched for what that was, but I had NO IDEA what the truth was in any shape or form.  Even after becoming a Christian I can safely say that for most of my Christian life I still had NO IDEA who God was or what He was about.  Even now, I may say that I know more than I did before but I still feel light years from "knowing" (intellectually or intimately) my God in any form of completeness.  However much I know, I sense there is that much more that I don't know.

But these passages seem to suggest that we all instinctively do know God on some level and we suppress that knowledge through ungodly behavior.  Seriously, you could get into some heated debates with atheists on this one!

Anyways, I think I've just confused myself even more :D ;)  Maybe someone else can make sense of this thread or perhaps we should let sleeping dogs lie and move on to more enlightening things.... :)

It's almost one in the morning here and I've got to get my son to school in the morning!  Yikes...

so sorry if I haven't made any sense!

May God grant us wisdom!

Peace,
Diana




 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2007, 04:48:45 AM by skydreamers »
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Gregor

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Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2007, 05:48:39 AM »

Greetings,
I don't know if anyone is truly an atheist. They may say they are, they may believe they are, but as the saying goes, "there's no atheists in the foxhole." When disaster strikes, usually the first thing out of anyones mouth is "Oh my God!" For most people (demon possessed or mentally disfunctional excluded) the natural instinct is self preservation - the fear of death. Why? Maybe because deep down they're aware that death isn't the end, but a beginning? I don't know. It would seem that every culture in the world knows of God, they just don't all know God. And at some point in their life, God does give people over to a reprobate mind. He hardens their hearts. Blinds their eyes, and shuts their ears - according to His purposes.  And even those, only God knows what goes through their hearts and minds the final seconds of their life on this earth. My mom was a nurse and witnessed many die. She tells me that those that believed in God generally went peacefully, and those that didn't believe generally went out with a look of fear in their eyes. The important question I ask myself is "Do I know God?"  We need to give thanks for his Grace. Thank you for sharing.
G.
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Kat

  • Guest
Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 12:15:04 PM »


Hi Diana,

I find this to be an interesting discussion.  And as I considered what you were saying about knowing God, as in Rom. 1:21.  I looked at some other translations and I think they give a better understanding of what Paul was talking about.


(CLV) Romans 1:21 "because, knowing God, not as God do they glorify or thank Him, but vain were they made in their reasonings, and darkened is their unintelligent heart."


(Rotherham) Romans 1:21 "Inasmuch as, having come to know God, not, as God, did they glorify him, or give him thanks, but were made fruitless in their reasonings, and darkened was their undiscerning heart,
v. 22 Professing to be wise, they were made foolish,
v. 23 And, exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God, for the likeness of an image of a corruptible man, and of birds and fourfooted beasts and reptiles:
v. 24 Wherefore God gave them up in the covetings of their hearts unto impurity, so as to be dishonouring their bodies among them,

It seems to me what Paul is saying and what you were referring to, is that we all have around us the glory of God's creation and man could easily know God exists from this.  But "having come to know God, not, as God," they refuse to see God in all this, but prefer to believe it just popped or banged into being from nothing. 
As you have shown scientist do research and find many grand and marvelous things about God's creation, but do they contribute it to a Supreme Being?  No, "v. 22 Professing to be wise, they were made foolish, v. 23 And, exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God, for the likeness of an image of a corruptible man, and of birds and fourfooted beasts and reptiles:"

We all have been deceived and lived according to some manner of foolishness, before God opened our eyes.

Tit 3:3  For we ourselves also were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, slaving for various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

These scientist study the details of the physical creation to minute degrees and see some of His marvelous handywork, but with blinded eyes they can not give God the glory.  They have to believe in only the physical, like evolution is how life came to be on earth, and the big bang is how it all started.  The concept of a Supreme Spiritual being is out of the question for them. 
It's all part of the plan for now. 

mercy, peace and love
Kat

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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: The Law of Contrasts
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2007, 09:43:38 AM »

Hello Diana

I see some truth and some error in the excerpt you posted.

Firstly the truths I see.

Quote : ...the conflict; .... tends to life, not to death.

This for me relates to death being the last enemy that will be conquered and certainly life triumphs in Christ the giver of life.

Here is where I think the conclusions unravel. Gregor adds the defining scriptures that clarify this as further elaborated by Kat.

Quote :  Now, it is man, it is human societies, which alone can animate the great frame, bind together all the parts, and render perfect that organism which is the end and aim of the long procession of existence upon this earth.
That conclusion is way off base for me.

A little bit of leaven.....! ;D  :D By contrast  8) Ray's teachings are for me, flawless.

An interesting discussion.

Peace to you

Arcturus :)

« Last Edit: October 13, 2007, 09:53:07 AM by Arcturus »
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