Friday, June 27, 2008

Contradictions in the bible

There are a few things that one must believe when studying the Bible. The inerrancy of scriptures is one of these things. If the scriptures contradict themselves then they are not perfect. If they are not perfect then they are fallible, written only by weak men, and are useless to save. Therefore to say that the scriptures contradict themselves is like saying God is all powerful and at the same time not all powerful. It just does not work.
Nevertheless some people like to play fast and loose with the scriptures, and give it the old "rapture" treatment when they come upon something horifically complex. When the going gets tough they turn their brain off and walk away. They then comfort themselves with the phrase, "Well God can't be expected to make the Bible perfect, there are things we cannot understand and the God is one of them." If that is so why study the Bible at all? Take Romans 9 and election as an example. There we see that God has personally chosen people irrespective of their deeds before their birth to receive his grace. How do we reconsile this with the passages that tell us God wants all to be saved? Do we give up? Do we write it off?

Never!

Romans is very clear, so we must start by accepting that, regardless of how much we may dislike the concept. Yes, even if we really really dislike it. Next we must ask ourselves if there is any other place in the Bible where the concept 'God wants all men to be saved' exists in a clearer context, because if there isn't then we have a contradiction and it's time to fall back into irrational faith, but if there is a passage then we can make better sense of the problem.
After looking we find Rom. 5:18, 1 Cor. 15:22, and 2 Cor. 5:14 all talking about "all men" being Christians, and we have our explination for the rest of the times we see the word all. Like 2 Peter 3:9 when it says God desires all men be saved. In light of the other three verses we see it is talking about Christians.
This is, I think a tough business. Its not easy to totally disregard what you want the Bible to say in favor of what it actually says. It's not easy, but it's essential.

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