Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Great Dilemma

The election/free will debate - I just read this in John MacArthur's commentary on Ephesians and think it is very explanatory.  I had to look up this definition in the Free Online Dictionary:

an·tin·o·my ( n-t n -m ). n. pl. an·tin·o·mies. 1. Contradiction or opposition, especially between two laws or rules.

From The MacArthur New Testament Commentary - Ephesians, pp. 11-13:

"God's sovereign election and man's exercise of responsibility in choosing Jesus Christ seem opposite and irreconcilable truths--and from our limited human perspective they are opposite and irreconcilable.  That is why so many earnest, well-meaning Christians throughout the history of the church have floundered trying to reconcile them.  Since the problem cannot be resolved by our finite minds, the result is always to compromise one truth in favor of the other or to weaken both by trying to take a position somewhere between them.

"We should let the antimony remain, believing both truths completely and leaving the harmonizing of them to God. . .

"Because we cannot stand the tension of mystery, paradox, or antinomy, we are inclined to adjust what the Bible teaches so that it will fit our own systems of order and consistency.  But that presumptuous approach is unfaithful to God's Word and leads to confused doctrine and weakened living.  It should be noted that other essential scriptural doctrines are also apparently paradoxical to our limited capacity.  It is antinomous that Scripture itself is the work of human authors, yet the very words of God; that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man; that salvation is forever, yet saints must remain obedient and persevere to the end; that the Christian's life is lived in total commitment and discipline of self, yet is all of Christ.  Such inscrutable truths are an encouragement that the mind of God infinitely surpasses the mind of man and are a great proof of the divine authorship of Scripture.  Humans writing a Bible on their own would have attempted to resolve such problems. . .

"We should be satisfied simply to declare with John Chadwick,

'I sought the Lord,
And afterwards I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him,
Seeking me!
It was not that I found,
O Saviour true;
No, I was found by Thee.'"

No comments: