SPECIAL TOPIC: EASTERN LITERATURE (biblical paradoxes)
1. This insight (i.e., that the Bible is an eastern book, not a western book) has been the most helpful to me personally as one who loves and trusts the Bible as God's Word. In trying to take the Bible seriously it became obvious that different texts reveal truth in selected, not systematic ways. One inspired text cannot cancel or depreciate another inspired text! Truth comes in knowing all Scripture (all Scripture, not just some, is inspired, cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17), not quoting a single passage (proof-texting)!
2. Most biblical truths (eastern literature) are presented in dialectical or paradoxical pairs (remember the NT authors, except Luke, are Hebrew thinkers, writing in common Greek. Wisdom Literature and Poetic Literature present truth in parallel lines. The antithetical parallelism functions like the paradox. This synthetic parallelism functions like parallel passages). Somehow both are equally true! These paradoxes are painful to our cherished, simplistic, denominational traditions!
a. predestination versus human free will
b. security of the believer versus the need for perseverance (see Special Topic: Perseverance)
c. original sin versus volitional sin
d. Jesus as God versus Jesus as man
e. Jesus as equal with the Father versus Jesus as subservient to the Father
f. Bible as God's Word versus human authorship
g. sinlessness (perfectionism, cf. Romans 6) versus sinning less
h. initial instantaneous justification and sanctification versus progressive sanctification (see Special Topic: Sanctification)
i. justification by faith (Romans 4) versus justification confirmed by works (cf. James 2:14-26)
j. Christian freedom (cf. Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; 10:23-33) versus Christian responsibility (cf. Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 4:1)
k. God's transcendence versus His immanence
l. God as ultimately unknowable versus knowable in Scripture and Christ.
Paul's many metaphors for salvation
n. the kingdom of God as present versus future consummation
o. repentance as a gift of God (cf. Acts 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 2 Tim. 2:25) versus repentance as a mandated response for salvation (cf. Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21)
p. the OT is permanent versus the OT has passed away and is null and void (cf. Matt. 3:17-19 vs. Matt. 5:21-48; Romans 7 vs. Galatians 3)
q. believers are servants/slaves or children/heirs
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