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!


This is a brief development of the Thesis which underlies THEOparadox . . .

The Bible is entirely true, accurate, and authoritative. The Bible is clear in its essential teachings, but does not comprehensively explain everything it describes, and remains silent on many issues which are of deep interest and curiosity to the human mind. 

Some of the clear teachings of the Bible lead to logical paradoxes. These paradoxes exist only in the mind of man, due to his finite knowledge, limited understanding and lack of divine logic - and their perplexing nature is magnified by our fallen, sinful condition. 

Logical paradoxes are in the Bible by divine design. They are left unresolved in order to humble human pride and call us to trust God's wisdom, adore His incomprehensible greatness, and submit to His revealed will. 

The failure to accept and properly interpret Biblical paradox has resulted in numerous theological errors and heresies* throughout Church History. An over-emphasis on paradox, to the exclusion of a rational Biblical epistemology, has led to other errors**. Historic, Orthodox, Moderate*** Calvinism strikes the balance and provides the most accurate handling of Biblical and theological mysteries, enigmas, tensions, paradoxes, and antinomies.

Where possible, paradoxes should be resolved Biblically and logically, to the fullest extent possible. Theoretical philosophy and creative thinking provide possible explanations for some Biblical paradoxes. However, if there is no explicit Biblical warrant for a particular explanation, it has to be considered less authoritative than Scripture itself. The Bible alone is the Word of God, and we are advised not to go beyond what is written. Speculation and hypothetical reasoning can be helpful, so long as they are kept in careful subjection to the authority of Scripture. The primary focus of a Christian thinker should be affirming what is clear and revealed, rather than developing theories to explain what can only be mysterious.

*Some of the heresies would include Pelagianism, Open Theism, Unitarianism, Universalism, Modalism, Nestorianism, Docetism, Arianism, and Socinianism. Sometimes the rejection of paradox in particular areas leads to less abominable errors, such as Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism, as well as a host of confused approaches to sanctification.

**Neo-Orthodoxy and Postmodernism both lead to irrational affirmations of paradox which are not rooted in a rationally valid Biblical epistemology.

***By "moderate" Calvinism I signify that strain of essentially Reformed theology which recognizes the Biblical accuracy of Calvinistic soteriology, but aggressively strives to elevate the Bible above the Reformed system of doctrine and refuses to press the logical implications of divine sovereignty so as to diminish, deny or mitigate what is revealed in the Scriptures concerning human responsibility. Moderate Calvinism unequivocally embraces, at a minimum, the doctrines of Pervasive Depravity/Total Inability, Unconditional Election, Effectual Call/Irresistible Grace, and Preservation/Perseverance of the Saints. Concerning Limited Atonement, the "moderate" view is represented by some lower Calvinists who emphasize the universal aspect of the Atonement (for example, Richard Baxter and Randy Alcorn); some higher Calvinists who emphasize the limited aspect of the Atonement with the inclusion of certain universal benefits in Christ's atoning work, such as the purchase of common grace (for example, John Piper and R.C. Sproul); and some, like me, who emphasize both the universal sufficiency of the atonement and its particularistic efficiency with redemptive results limited to the elect (I believe this was the view of Calvin, who would never have called himself a 4- or 5-point Calvinist, and it is also represented in substance by R.L. Dabney and William G.T. Shedd). In my view, there is more of a limit on our ability to understand the atonement than there is in its inherent sufficiency, extent or intent.