Off-Topic Thursday: Comfortable with Paradox
I’ve always been a very black-and-white thinker. Either-or is where I live. Or, as it was put by Belgarath in a book from one of my favorite series of books, The Malloreon, “’Them and Us’ clears away the excess baggage and allows you to get right down to cases.”
I tend to read the Bible that way, too, or at least I used to. The more I study, and the more I grow in my faith, the harder that gets. For example, which statement in each pair is true:
1. Salvation is through faith, by grace alone.
2. Faith without works is dead.
1. Jesus is fully God.
2. Jesus is fully man.
1. God has a plan for each of our lives.
2. We have the freedom to choose what we do.
1. As Christians, we are called to suffer and sacrifice.
2. God has given us many good things for our enjoyment.
1. We should serve humbly, expecting nothing in return from God. He has saved us, and that is enough.
2. We can and should expect rewards–good rewards–for our service to God.
There are more, but you get the idea. Which is true in each pair? Both. Being a Christian doesn’t fit comfortably in a box where “either or” works all the time. We live with a grace-filled tension all the time. And I’m beginning to be OK with that.
Question: Are you? Did any of the pairs of questions give you pause, or did a pair stand out to you where you would consider one true and the other false? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.