What About Biblical Tension?

Oct 22 21:25 2019 Bruce McLaughlin Print This Article

Can the Bible be in conflict with itself?

The SBC Articles of Faith are sufficiently vague to permit Traditional Baptists,Guest Posting Calvinists and even “Calvinist hybrids” to feel at home.  One hybrid, touted by some pastors in the SBC, has been alluded to by historic leaders affiliated with other denominations.  These leaders indignantly claimed to have serious reservations about both Calvinism and Arminianism.  They wanted to move beyond these tiresome 16th century theologies and embrace a new theology that does not diminish the meticulous “sovereign” control of God over all space, time, matter and energy and, similarly, does not diminish the absolute self determination of man.  “Calvinist hybrids” seem to view man as a first-cause agent of choice thereby abandoning the historic Calvinist concept of compatibilism.  God is viewed as operating with some higher level of logic so the thesis (God as first-cause agent corresponds to man as first-cause agent) only seems to be a paradox but is not a paradox to God.  They move up a notch from mere compatibilism (determinism by God corresponds to free will by man) and embrace a higher thesis (determinism by God corresponds to determinism by man).  Man is not tricked into thinking of himself as a first-cause agent of choice; he really is a first-cause agent of choice, as is God!  Modern day advocates try to intellectually prop up this invention by insisting we should not try to resolve theological tensions that the Bible itself does not resolve.  They embrace the mystery of “Biblical Tension” which they attribute to the inability of mere mortals to comprehend the truth.  Unfortunately, these intellectual sounding fixes are empty as a gun barrel.  They are nothing more than unsound reason papered over with theological hocus-pocus and propped up with buzz words like “Biblical Tension.”  In analogy with the thesis of the compatibilist (determinism by God corresponds to free-will by man), the thesis of  the Calvinist hybrid (determinism by God corresponds to determinism by man) violates the logical rule of contradictories (b is-not not-b).  Such a statement is called a paradox.

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