If you’ve got infinite power on your side, what can possibly defeat you?
Any finite number presupposes infinity. So infinity is mathematically necessary; it must exist, somehow or other, in order for there to be such a thing as any finite quantity.
However infinity exists, it must at least be actual. If infinity did not actually exist, then it could not exist mathematically. If it did not exist actually, then its mathematical existence would be illusory – not an accurate reflection of reality. There would then be no such thing as quantity, and mathematics would have nothing to do with truth. But it does. So infinity actually exists.
To say that infinity actually exists is to say that it is, or is a property of, some concrete real. It is also to say that it is an actual fact – which is to say, the factuality of an act. And this is all to say that infinity is a fact of an act of existence of a concrete being. Whatever else that being is, he is infinite.
That being is furthermore infinite in all dimensions that can logically be infinite, and maximal along those that cannot. Just as there can be no number 5 except insofar as there are all possible numbers, so there can be no other finite degree of any property except insofar as there are all possible degrees of that property. Of any excellence, then, we must say that there is a perfection thereof.
It would seem as though the perfection of two different properties might subsist in two different actualities, but not so. By the definition of ultimacy, there can be no more than one ultimate. So all perfections must subsist primordially and eternally in one perfect being. That ultimate, perfect being all men call God.
The noblest possible allegiance of a soul is to the ultimate, perfect being, and to his purposes. To order oneself to anything else is in some way to lessen or even disorder oneself, and so to fail of that maximum of being possible to one’s own nature. That debasement of fundamental allegiance renders one “of the world.” If one is fundamentally about some sheerly worldly purpose or other, one is of the world. While we are all inescapably in the world, those on the other hand whose fundamental allegiance and ordination is to God, and whose lives are dedicated to him and his purposes, are not of it, but rather of God.
If we map the internal causal nexus of the world to a plane, then God is perpendicular to that plane, at each of its loci. He is everywhere orthogonal to the world. To be of God then is to be oneself oriented orthogonally to worldly events.
In comparison with any or all worldly events, God is infinitely larger and more powerful, and infinitely more suasive. So is he infinitely dispositive of all that shall come to pass. Without him is not anything made that is made. Thus if our fundamental allegiance is to the infinite God and his purposes, then nothing that happens to us in this world need discourage us. Who has infinity on his side need not fear any defeat; for if he fight as a vassal and thain of infinity, defeat is not mathematically possible.
There is then no reason for orthodox Christians to worry about the hellward course of modern culture. Sure, it is terrible, and we must do what we can to save what is good from the wreckage. But in the end, there is no way we can lose; this world with its wayward predilections will lose, and perish, precisely to the extent and degree of its error; but we shall not. With infinity on our side, we win even in our world’s total destruction. God’s victory is assured; so therefore is ours, provided that we are in fact truly on his side.
A mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.
– Martin Luther