The Bible’s Paradoxes and Seeming Contradictions

The Fascinating, Life-Altering Word of God - Part 11

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The Bible is not a simple book. It describes God who is, in many ways, a being far beyond our ability to understand. It contains dense eyewitness narratives about earth-shaking events during Jesus’s lifetime. All of this can lead some people to believe that there are contradictions in scripture. In this week’s episode, Gary Wilkerson and Joshua West discuss how to make sense of some of these seeming contradictions in the Bible. They also explore what paradoxes exist in scripture that Christians must make peace with through their faith. To mature as a believer, we must learn how to wrestle with these portions of the Bible.

Key Points from the Podcast

• The seeming contradictions of scripture can always be cleared up with close study of the entire Bible.

• God is not a being whom we can understand entirely because he is so ‘other’ compared to us. Many of the paradoxes in scripture are related to God and his nature which we simply will struggle to comprehend.

• Some people, typically those who are unregenerate, only want to find ‘proof’ that the Bible is flawed, but asking hard questions about the Bible in order to understand God better is a very important part of being a believer.

• An example of a seeming contradiction is how Paul writes a great deal about being saved by grace, not works; however, James writes that our salvation will manifest as good works. We are saved by grace, not by works, but for good works.

• A paradox of God’s nature would be the Trinity. Scripture clearly states that God is one, and yet it also describes the three persons of God. It’s not something that human would have any frame of reference to outside of God.

• Trying to be faithful to all parts of the Bible sometimes requires us to live with a certain kind of tension with the commands and mysteries of God.

Bible Verses Referenced in the Podcast

Ephesians 2:11, Romans 2:6

Episodes in this Podcast Series

About Joshua West

Joshua West serves as the Church Leadership Network Director at World Challenge helping equip and empower pastors all over the world. Joshua’s desire is to raise up ministers who will correctly and boldly preach the word with passion and integrity. The point of all his work and writings is to preach the gospel, glorify God and to teach sound doctrine.

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About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

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