Here are the first 2-3 pages of my forthcoming book, tentatively titled Original Reason.
by Jesse Mullins, Jr.
What is Truth?
The Two Kinds of Sin
The Two Kinds of Law
Law Entered In Alongside
The Opening of the Eyes
Pulling Weeds from the Garden Story
The Nature of Christ
One Man Obeyed
Reason and C.S. Lewis
Salvation as Redress
Romans 5 and the Theory of Causes
The Second Adam
Chapter 1: WHAT IS TRUTH?
What is truth?
The words were Pontius Pilate’s, uttered in the Praetorium, the Roman headquarters in Jerusalem. Before him stood Jesus, bound, bleeding, and awaiting sentence. Pilate was replying to Jesus’s remark that, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
To what do a person’s thoughts turn when one is about to condemn an innocent man to death by torture? We can gather from the accounts that Pilate was not comfortable with his role. Whether or not he had ever done such a thing before, it was becoming increasingly clear to him that he would be pressed to do so now.
So what of his remark, “What is truth?” Was he seeking enlightenment? Or was it just a figure of speech, just a manner of speaking?
Let us put it the way Francis Bacon put it some 400 years ago: “ ‘What is truth?’ said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.”
This was no sincere inquiry. This was merely a manner of speaking. Pilate was mentally and emotionally distancing himself from the disquieting matters at hand, seeking to give himself some cushion by scorning the discernability and reliability of truth. It was only in doing so that he could blunt whatever conscience he might have yet retained.
The irony is that, if there were ever a time when he might have gotten an answer to that question, it would have been, as Bacon implied, at this very moment, from the mouth of this prisoner.
What is truth? Jesus had already said, to his disciples, only hours before, that “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Jesus had said that He was the truth.
We have said already that Pilate’s remark was for him merely a manner of speaking. Now what of Jesus’ remark? Let’s test it also. Was it merely a figure of speech, a manner of speaking? Did Jesus mean only that He always speaks the truth, and as such He is so truthful that He can be regarded, in some kind of loose, figurative sense, as the truth?
Let us see what the Bible says. (Words in brackets are mine:)
Col. 1:16: “For by Him [the Son] all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
Heb. 1:2: “In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
Heb. 3:8-10: “But of the Son He [the Father] says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever… (10) … And You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth.’ ”
John 1:3: “All things came into being through Him [the Son], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
It was the Son who made all things. In other words, the Son is the Creator. It’s worth noting that the God in Genesis who, “In the beginning… created the heavens and the earth,” was a God spoken of plurally—the Hebrew word being Elohim, and signifying the Godhead. It is only when we come to the New Testament that this broad reference is narrowed and applied to one member of that Godhead.
The reference in Col. 1:16 to “thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities” is not to earthly beings, for that would be a small thing in this context, but to heavenly beings. These are references to the highest ranks among the angelic order. (For a quick study on this matter, see Eph. 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Col. 2:10, 2:15, Rom. 8:38).
The Son, the Logos, made all things. Is there truth in creation, and in human reason, and in the objects of our senses? Certainly there is truth. There is up and down. North and south. There are scientific laws and chemical reactions and natural ecosystems. There exists gravity, electromagnetism, physics, biological life, souls, seashores, sunsets, harmonics, and hope. There are things discovered and things yet undiscovered. There are truths upon truths, and every truth is what it is precisely because the Son deemed it would be this way and not some other way. Had He wanted any particular truth, any law of nature, any nuance of nature, to be different in the slightest way, it would be just as He willed it. Meanwhile, all the ugliness in the world—all the treacheries and distortions and sin and wrongness and falsehood and pain—are so not because He made them that way, but because someone, whether man or Satan, perverted the good, true things He made. But these distorted things are no longer truth, at least not truth as He conceived truth. So it remains that all truth is of Jesus Christ, and insofar as things have any truth in them it is because that truth was first in Him. When the Bible says that He is the truth, it is not just some manner of speaking. It is as concrete as any fact ever uttered. It is the ground of all other statements, all other facthood.
And though we can say that He is the truth, we cannot as easily say that the truth is Him. For He, as its source, is something more than the truth. The truth, being something derivative from Him, something drawn from him, is something less than Him. All that exists outside the Godhead itself—all the created realm—is something less than the Son, though (or because) it comes from the Son.
And yet, for all of that abundance of truth, Christ’s greatest truth was achieved not when He was wreathed in clouds of glory but when “found in appearance as a man,” having “taken the form of a bond-servant.” It was then that He “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:7-8).
This is a book about Christ and His overcoming of sin and death. While “the greatest story ever told” is our ultimate concern, we must begin with a story that appears much earlier in scripture—as early as one can get.
The Bible speaks of Adam as “a type of Him who was to come.” Conversely, Christ is called the “Second Adam.” Jesus came to the world and was what Adam should have been, but was not.
The Adam-Jesus dynamic, never fully probed or understood in the past, holds keys to a wealth of scriptural truths.
As a beginning and a sampling, let us consider just one small parallel between them:
Adam had his side opened up. Jesus had His side opened up. God took a rib from the side of Adam, and from that rib He formed woman (Gen. 2:21-22). Jesus had his side opened up when He was hanging on the cross. (John 19: 33-34: “but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break his legs. (34) But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”
When Adam’s side was opened up, God caused a sleep to come over him and he was thus (we assume) spared the suffering that would have accompanied that step. When Jesus was taken to be crucified, He was offered a pain killer, but He refused it. (Mark 15: 23: “They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.”)
When Adam’s side was opened up, that was a price he paid for his bride. When Jesus’ side was opened up, that was a price that He paid for His bride, which is the church.
Drawing upon the comparisons, contrasts, and counterpoints to be made between Christ and Adam, we will take the insights we gain and we will find in them a tool to apply to broader spheres of Biblical doctrine, opening yet more insights that have not (to this author’s knowledge) been revealed previously.
It all begins with a small, mostly overlooked Bible verse about the nature of sin. In bringing a fresh interpretation to that passage, we will not neglect the previously held opinion on it. As we revisit that opposing opinion, the evidence in its favor might seem for a moment insurmountable. But there is more to be considered than our predecessors considered. And in considering what has not been considered previously, some shining truths emerge. Truths to make God look—as if that could be possible—even wiser, fairer, and better than He has looked before.
INTERESTED thus far? The first draft will be completed before the end of this month and anyone who wishes to obtain a copy of the prepublication, comb-bound book can have it at a prepublication price.
They won’t be fancy – each is to be a photocopy done on manuscript-sized (8 1/2 by 11 inches) paper – but I am only producing about 100 of these, maybe less, and each will be signed. Buyers will be placed on a list to be notified of the release of the paperback version, and will receive a voucher/certificate entitling them to purchase the paperback at half its cover price. (That is to ensure that you get a pristine, published copy when it comes out in its first [real] edition.) All buyers of the early version will be notified by email or mail when the paperback is available. The paperback you’d receive would be signed also. Meanwhile, I am doing this limited run of early, comb-bound copies to give myself a way to get feedback and reactions, so that I can make any necessary corrections and refinements before committing to the paperback version. Don’t worry – the first version will be polished, not rough. If you’d like to participate, just do one of the following:
(1) Send an email to me at jfm at jessemullins.com and ask to be put on a list to be notified later this month when the photocopy version comes out.
(2) Send a check or money order to me now for $12.00 (8.00 for the comb-bound book and $4.00 for shipping/handling), along with your mailing address and I will automatically send you your signed early version of the book sometime this month (November). And I will notify you when your half-price paperback version is available. Send to: Jesse Mullins / 817 Elmwood Drive / Abilene, TX 79605.
(3) Send an email to me at jfm at jessemullins.com and ask to be put on a list to be notified, but only when the paperback version is available. For signing up now I will offer the paperback to you at a 20 % discount off the cover price. That discount offer will appear in the reminder notice that goes around.
I plan to add PayPal to this site to provide more options on payments. Watch for that in (probably) December.
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