This post I suppose is the 2nd in a series about paradoxes and balances. One of the most annoying buzzphrases to be adopted by Chrisitians lately is “live in the tension.” Though this phrase arose out of necessity, as our world has become less and less black and white, for some reason it irks me. However, this accidental series sees us living in the tension.
As I wrote about last week, lately I’ve been fascinated by the myriad of paradoxes and delicate balances I find in Christianity. The apologetics movement that hit my church youth group tried to make simple that which is naturally nuanced.
One thing that is very present in Christianity is the idea of total depravity, that we are all inherently wretched and that our works are about as worthwhile as the pies that cows create (except those are actually useful for the soil, so we’re worse than even that). And so we should not put too much emphasis on what we do, for it is worthless rags.
Yet, Jesus was quite adamant that we can move mountains. And he famously said that we’d do even more than he did himself – which is to say a lot. So – are we worthless or are we practically on par with Jesus?
Inherent in Christianity is this dichotomy of being humble yet carrying a capacity to raise the dead. We must keep both around, for if we do great things and lose our humility we are likely to become blown up & arrogant, exploiting what power we have (oh whoops, we may have already ventured there). Or, we may keep our humility and find ourselves impotent, as we don’t see our very own supernatural potential.
Do you tend to emphasize one side or the other? How does a Christian go about living out two seemingly conflicting ideas that are both somehow true?