The Paradox Of Faith, Or To Resolve Is To Lose

How can you sum up the gospel in two sentences? Most people would use an abridged version of the Romans Road. I’d probably piece together incoherent sentence fragments trying to say something about God’s love and restoring broken hearts.

To me the Christian faith is one of intrigue and mystery and seeming contradictions that both somehow stand. Christianity seems to live in a shade of gray where different and opposing worlds collide without shattering the other.

These things make it very difficult to sell Christianity. It’s a faith full of contradictions. Some sectors of Christianity train their soldiers to always have answer ready when asked, though sometimes the most appropriate response is shrugged shoulders and blurting out “yeah I don’t know anything but that I am transformed.” 

Jesus was a man, undeniably, and was/is God.

Christianity is about a God who is ever-present yet in a way absent. The God who was here and ascended to heaven but is still with us.

As they say we are aliens here, yet we were made for this earth. I believe heaven will be a restored earth, yet we don’t quite belong here.

Jesus spoke of a kingdom that is here and yet continually coming.

We have been redeemed and made new, yet we are broken still. I know I am have been transformed and I am also painfully aware of how I can mess things up.

Fellow believers are our brothers and sisters, yet in a sense all of humanity is in our family.

I think one of the damaging things the apologetics movement has done is attempt to clear everything up and resolves all of these riddles, when in fact Scripture doesn’t attempt such a thing. For to resolve is to lose integral parts of both, and neither was meant to be cast aside or explained away.

Are you experiencing any paradoxes of faith? What is one that still baffles you? Which are you comfortable with? 

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8 Responses to The Paradox Of Faith, Or To Resolve Is To Lose

  1. Hey Charlie! You have written a thought-provoker here. At the risk of sounding shallow (which I have been told I am), I must admit that I have never had one of those “dark nights of the soul” where I question everything I believe in. I have had down times and bad times where I have questioned God’s love and timing but can honestly say that I have never struggled with issues of apologetics. Mainly because i have just always believed and trusted. I know that may mean I am shallow but there are just some things I have come to just not challenge. Am I making myself clear or muddying the water? I am currently preaching a series on Unmasking God and it has been really rich for me, as it has brought me clarity on the magnificence of God, my inability to grasp totally who He is, but cement my belief in Him. It raises questions for sure but not the kind of “Do I believe in Him?” but “How much further can I go into understanding and knowing Him?” I do agree with you in that sometimes attempts at clarifying often make things worse. Sorry for going on so long. Hope you are doing well.

    • thanks Bill. I truly think it comes down to personality types. Apparently we are not twins separated at birth. And that’s fine, though I do get a bit of a kick out of questioning so much I wouldn’t necessarily say everyone must do the same. I think some like to focus on the absolutes and some like to hang out in the gray. Both are valuable areas to explore.

  2. I have a lot of paradoxes. Are you really up for hearing all of them? 🙂 ‘Twould probably really derail your post here.

    Perhaps my biggest one, though, is that we as Christians “advertise” that Jesus is the answer, and yet my life is an absolute mental wreck of things that I cannot answer.

    • I could easily see that. Though I hesitate to say that Jesus is the answer that solves everything – if anything he has a track record of messing stuff up in his quest for restoration of your heart. But nonetheless I see your point, good one.

  3. David says:

    I love the paradoxes – “hang on”, “let go” it is how our spirit understands them. I guess they bother people because they seem to be contradictory. Jesus, he knew what they all meant. Me, I accept them, and the ones that he shows me clearly, I incorporate into my life.

    I think the stuff that more folks have trouble with is stuff like healing, casting out demons and that sort of thing.

  4. I have learned to live with most of the paradoxes that Christianity offers. In fact, I think I prefer for there to be paradoxes rather than pat answers. What I am having trouble with lately is the idea of the trinity. God-The-Three-in-One: fundamental Christian paradox.

  5. Pingback: I Am But A Pile Or Garbage Rotting In The Desert Sun, Or The Dichotomy Of Moving Mountains | Charlie's Church of Christ

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