“How long shall rolling waters remain impure?”
“And for all this, nature is never spent” (Hopkins). We are not ex nihilo, but ex lux.
Insofar as we are anything except that which we are not, insofar as we do not believe and are not enlightened by the death of Christ, we remain within this world, outside the peace of God and outside the reconciliation which He has wrought (Barth, 163).
There is a deeply absurd paradox underlying the Gospel. It pierces through to the individual, precisely to lose him or her in death—and thus gain him or her to life eternal. “Impotence cannot dic-tate terms to omnipotence” (Maxwell, “On the Straight and Narrow Way”, New Era, August 1971; cf. Isaiah 29:16). The corn of wheat which falls into the earth and dies is the only corn of wheat which may bring forth fruit and live.
The principles of life and salvation are the only principles of freedom; for every principle that is opposed to God—that is opposed to the principles of eternal life whether it is in heaven, on the earth, or in hell the time will be when it will cease to exist, cease to preserve, manifest, and exhibit its identity; for it will be returned to its native element (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:54).
Is this paradox? Then all is as it should be. “Unto the Greeks, foolishness” (AV1 Corinthians 1:23)—and we are asked to sacrifice our most human characteristic—our reason—that it, too, might be made new and whole. Indeed, “thus saith the Lord”; on this rock are dashed the sophism of doubt and the rhetoric of apology. The line of faith crosses all boundaries, uproots all foundations, overthrows all defenses. This is the world’s end, and every iteration of man—that the nihility of faith and the Atonement may itself be defeated, and defeat.