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Leading the Church

The Paradox

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
A paradox is an apparent contradiction that under careful study reveals a deeper truth.

"The Paradox" is from the Greek, "to seem to appear". For example, Matt. 10:39, on the surface it is a contradiction, but careful study reveals that it means, in once sense you will lose your will, on the other sense you will gain freedom. Because in logic finding and losing are two different sense's, thus no contradiction. A paradox is an apparent contradiction that under careful study reveals a deeper truth. The theologian Gordon Clark said, "It is a charley horse between the ears". A true paradox is not nonsense, such as a lot of "eastern mysticism ", such as the sound of one hand clapping, it sounds profound, but under careful study it is just plain nonsense. In Scripture, the paradox or "Mystery" is the deeper insights found under careful study that do not contradict other Scriptures (Matt. 13:11; 16:25; Rom..16:25-27; I Cor.. 2:7; 14:33). Or it can mean something we just do not know now, but will be revealed to us in time, such as the timing of the "Second Coming".

You can understand a mystery, but not a contradiction. A contradiction is two opposing views that cannot be resolved with carful study. Solid Reformed Christianity can be vulnerable to such thinking. As irrational ideas creep into the church that seem good on the surface, but under scrutiny are nonsense. It is a thin line that divides a paradox and a contradiction, and we must be well versed in Scripture and study to determine the truth, or we will have badtheology in the church!

© 1992, 2001 R.J. Krejcir, Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership,

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