BIBLE TRUTHS IN TENSION

In order to understand inspired Scriptures correctly, i submit to you it is crucial to realize that the Bible is an eastern book, and the Holy Spirit addressed an eastern culture (Palestine) with hyperbolic overstatements of truth in paradoxical or dialectical tension with another hyperbolic overstatements of truth. In other words, the Bible seems to speak out of both sides of its mouth. On one hand, the ‘Parable of the Sower/Soils’ takes seriously its responsibility for fruit in the life of the believer. The absolute necessity of fruitfulness as an evidence of a true salvation – not the means to that salvation. On the other hand, John 10:28; Ephesians 2:8-9 and a whole lot more teach believers grace as a bedrock on which to base their assurance of salvation. Here is an obvious tension created by perseverance on one hand and faith assurance of grace on the other, and both truths are divinely inspired. Therefore, we need to take these scripture texts to a balance by living our Christian lives within the tension created by these seemingly opposing truths.

I realize this is difficult for us, because we are so influenced by western thought which establishes truth through syllogistic logic. A major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion all in short phrases; and therefore we’ve turned truth into small propositional truths usually based on one and only one verse, usually taken out of context. And we preface it by saying, “If the Bible says it, then that settles it!”. And with that mentality, we come to the Bible like chickens picking up certain kind of grain on the ground, and we find a piece of grain, and it becomes the only grain in the barnyard. Of course that’s not true. We must attempt to let all Scriptures speak. 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all Scripture is inspired…”, and if you take the Bible seriously you will realize you have no right to let one inspired text damage, depreciate, relegate to second importance another inspired text. None of us has the right as believers to put inspired texts subservient to our denominational emphasis or our particular theological grid. We must hold in tension these powerful over-simplistic statements about the nature of spiritual reality and live in the tension in faith, without trying to let our minds, our churchs’ distinctive creed, our experience, our culture become lord over Scriptures. Because what happens is whenever Scriptures seem to violate what we are comfortable with, we let our personal preferences, and what we’ve always been taught easily crush inspired texts so that they cannot radically speak to us.

I have grown a passion for the Bible, but please do not misinterpret this passion for dogmatism. I realize my frailties and lack of knowledge, but i also recognize the shallowness of how the vast majority of Christians today interpret Scriptures; the imbalance and proof-texting method of modern-day believers and how they use the Bible for their own agenda.

#truths-in-tension