Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Compatibilism - a Term for Biblical Balance and Paradox

It's always encouraging to find examples of thoughtful Christians humbly embracing paradox in a way that gives honor to God and holds to His Word in an uncompromising way. Recently, Barry Wallace did this on his blog, Who Am I?

Check out this post on Barry's site for a great discussion of "COMPATIBILISM" - a Biblical approach to the dilemma of human responsibility and divine sovereignty.

Compatibilism differs strongly from Neo-orthodoxy's dialectical theology and the Hegelian concept of THESIS-ANTITHESIS-SYNTHESIS. If we take the Scriptures seriously, the dialectic method of producing a "synthesis" becomes unacceptable. Dialectical theology requires us to take something away from each side in order to find a working alternative somewhere in the middle. This forces us to deny some of the things God has said in His Word. Such an approach should never be called paradox. It would be better described as reducing Biblical truth to the lowest common denominator (a.k.a. "liberalism"). Compatibilism, on the other hand, assumes that everything taught in the Word of God is completely true. It refuses to reduce any of God's revelation. It resists the temptation to rip pages from the Bible to make our own paper-mache truth. Instead, it declares the human mind incapable of reconciling all that God has said. This conclusion exalts God, and in this way theological paradox becomes the best friend of orthodoxy - not a path to liberalism.
God is TRUE, and every man IS a liar until he surrenders to the Truth of God.

1 comment:

  1. Your distinction between a compatibilist and a liberalist approach to Scripture is really helpful. And your paper-mache illustration is hilarious (and right on target)!


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