A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scripture: No Contradiction

Never a Contradiction, Nor a Real Paradox

There are no real contradictions or paradoxes in Scripture.  But because Scripture uses figures of speech there may seem to be such to us.  God is a shepherd; God is a father; God is a rock; God is moved with compassion; God is a judge; God is immutable; God is a flaming fire.  These are just some of the many, many figures of speech in Scripture, but none of them exhaust the meaning or Being of God.  It is when we make one of these figures absolute that we run into apparent contradictions.  So men ask, "How can a father send his children to hell forever?"   The great theologies examine a great many of these apparent contradictions and point to solutions.  But we do not accept the idea that contradiction exists in God's very being, for this is to put God at war with Himself and make truth unknowable.  He cannot lie nor deny Himself [2Ti 2:13 "If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."  Tit 1:2 "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie...."]

For instance, God did not create man with an absolute [totally free] will, for that would be a denial of God's own being, a denial of His providence and rule as Creator.  Man cannot will what God has not decreed.  God's will is absolute; man's is relative.

God does not exist to make man's mind complete, nor did He create the Heavens and the Earth for the purpose of satisfying every abstract idea that rebellious man can invent.  He created it for His own glory.  Man's true relationship to creation and his fellow is found in the Person of Jesus Christ, who loved the Lord with all His heart, soul, mind, and strength and his neighbor as Himself, and hated sin and denounced hypocrites of all kinds, especially those who raise "contradictions."  He lived at peace with God and was content in His human nature not to know everything [Ac 1:7 "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."  Mr 13:32 "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."]  It is in His light that we see light [Ps 36:9 [For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light."]

Man is wise in his own conceits and there is no end to the logical games he plays in his rebellion. Man is like a rebellious child who badgers his weak parents until they give him what he wants.  [Ro 12:16 "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."   Pr 26:12 "Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him."]

Most apparent paradoxes or contradictions that men have raised concerning Scripture can be understood in one basic principle:  God is the Creator and we are His creatures.  If the Creator/Creation distinction is cherished we see that God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways.  When we do this we will rejoice in the "unsearchable riches of Christ; 9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.  [Ephesians 4]

This great gulf between Creator and Creature is bridged only by the Word of God, by the Mediator, the eternal Wisdom of God, who appeared on this earth as Jesus of Nazareth.  Amen and Amen.
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