The Bible is filled with truths that appear on the surface to be paradoxical. Here are some examples:
- To live, you must die.
- Salvation is through faith alone; but, faith without works is dead.
- The first shall be last.
- Man has free will; but, God is controlling all things.
- Jesus is fully God and fully man.
- Our strength comes through weakness.
- Exaltation comes through humility.
- We are free by being a slave to God.
- We are sinners, but God sees us as righteous (through His Son).
- We are worthless servants; but, we are His workmanship.
- Blessed are those that hunger; but, no one who comes to Him will ever be hungry.
- His yoke is easy and His burden is light; but, how difficult is the road that leads to life.
- The Father judges impartially according to everyone’s work; but, the Father has given all judgment to the Son.
- Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works; but, be careful not to practice your good works in front of others (don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing).
- Jesus is called the “Prince of Peace”, but, He also said, “Don’t assume that I came to bring peace.”
- We are told not to judge; but, we are also told to judge according to righteous judgement.
- Jesus states that He did not come to judge the world; but, He also states that He came into this world for judgement.
There are many others. These truths seem to contradict one another.
At first glance to the casual observer, this might seem to disqualify Christianity as truth. That would be a hasty conclusion, especially when considering the nature of the laws that govern our existence: the laws of quantum physics.
You see, the laws of quantum physics reveal a world where paradox is the defining characteristic of all time, space, energy and matter. The quantum world exists in a state of constant and pervasive contradiction.
In quantum physics, it is quite possible for a particle to exist in a state of spinning in a clockwise direction while simultaneously spinning in a counter clockwise direction.
A particle can be in two different locations simultaneously.
A particle can exist in two different energy states simultaneously.
A particle can interfere with itself and cause itself to disappear.
In fact, the laws of quantum physics led Schrödinger to create a thought experiment that demonstrated that a cat could be both alive and dead simultaneously. (Schrödinger’s Cat)
In fact, this ability of the quantum realm to exist simultaneously in mutually exclusive, paradoxical states is what gives rise to the power of quantum computers, where a Q-bit can exist in a state of being on and off at the same time.
Therefore, we see that the very substrate upon which the entire universe lives is inherently paradoxical. In fact, paradox is the very hallmark of the rules that control our existence.
If we start with the assumption that God created the universe in such a way as to parallel spiritual truths, then it makes sense that the spiritual world and the physical world are governed by paradox. In other words, if the physical universe is a physical metaphor of sorts for the rules that govern the spiritual realm, then it’s no surprise that both are riddled with the incomprehensible tension of paradox.
To me, this elevates the confidence in truth of the scripture to a new realm. Instead of viewing the apparent paradoxes presented by the teaching of scripture as evidence for its inaccuracy, we should instead see this as compelling evidence that the same God who designed the functioning of the universe is the same God who created the words of scripture.
It would be a fool’s errand to go about inventing a false scripture where the premise is paradox, because it would be painfully obvious to the writer that such a methodology would result in the loss of authority of the scripture due to the inherent contradictions.
Any thinking person would construct a scripture where everything agreed on the surface perfectly. Who in their right mind would embed the narrative with *apparent* contradictions that would cause it to lose credibility and believability? And how would multiple writers spanning over thousands of years all agree to such a doomed approach? The truths of quantum physics weren’t known at this time.
Fast forward to the modern day where we have only unravelled the paradoxical nature of the universe in the last 100 years. To say that no one expected that quantum world to function by these rules would be an understatement. Einstein rejected quantum physics outright because he couldn’t accept its ludicrous terms. Physicists are still baffled by it, and are hopelessly trying to explain what it means philosophically.
These truths presented in scripture are not contradictions. A paradox and a contradiction are two different things entirely. A paradox only appears to be contradictory until our understanding is enlightened.
I don’t claim to understand all of the paradoxes presented in Scripture, but I think we can learn some profound truths:
The same paradoxical God who created the universe is the same paradoxical God who is the subject of scripture.
And this same God wants us to know something.
He wants us to know that the first will be last.
He wants us to know that to be lifted up we must humble ourselves.
He wants us to know that even though we are sinners, we are completely pure in His sight.
And He wants us to know that to live we must die.
This is a section of my book, “Comfort in the Chaos – Deep Thoughts on God and Faith” which you can get a copy of here –> CLICK HERE
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