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Steve Newell

Rev. Todd Wilken, of Issues, Etc., had an very interesting interview with 7 June 2005 with Dr. Schuller.

You will want to listen to Dr. Schuller's understanding of man's basic problem.

http://www.kfuoam.org/mp3/Issues5/Issues_Etc_Jun_07b.mp3

Tucker

HORTON: Of course we would say that that the dual nature of Christ is a mystery but not a contradiction.
SCHULLER: It is a contradiction, but you know what? Contradictions are ultimate points of creativity...

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of factual and ethical contradictions in the Bible. If the Bible is to be embraced in its entirety, I think you have to embrace the contradictions as "creative," rather than explain them away as "mysteries" (as if we were not intellectually capable of seeing the contradictions).

Douglas

"There are hundreds, if not thousands, of factual and ethical contradictions in the Bible.

Excuse me! No there's not!

Is the Bible Filled with Contradictions?

"People accept without hesitation the charge that the Bible is full of contradictions. Yet the charge is completely inaccurate and misleading. Why, then, if the charge is inaccurate, do we hear it so often repeated? Apart from the problem of prejudice, there are other reasons why this misconception is propagated. There is a problem not only of ignorance of what the Bible says. but perhaps even more so, a problem of ignorance of the laws of logic. The word "contradiction" is used all too loosely with respect to biblical content. That there are divergencies of biblical accounts, that biblical writers describe the same thing from different perspectives, is not in dispute. Whether those varied accounts are in fact, contradictory is in dispute.

It would be a serious overstatement to say all discrepancies within the biblical text have been easily and satisfactorily resolved. There are serious discrepancies that have not yielded full and satisfactory resolutions. But these problems are few and far between. To say that the bible is full of contradictions is a radical exaggeration and reflects a misunderstanding of the law of contradiction. For example, critics have alleged repeatedly that the Gospel writers contradict each other with respect to the number of angels present at the tomb of Jesus. One writer mentions one angel and the other mentions two angels. However, the writer who mentions one angel does not say there was only one angel. He merely speaks of one angel. Now if in fact there were two angels, it is mathematically certain there was also one angel. There is no contradiction in that. Now, if one writer said there was only one angel and the other writer said there were two, at the same time and in the same relationship, there would be a bonafide contradiction.

The problem of the loose use of the word contradiction came home to me in a discussion I had with a seminary student. He repeated the charge, "The Bible is full of contradictions." I said to him, "The Bible is a large book. If it is full of contradictions you should have no problem finding 50 clear violations of the law of contradiction in the next 24 hours. Why don't you go home and write down 50 contradictions and we'll discuss them at the same time tomorrow." He accepted the challenge.

The next day he returned bleary-eyed with a list of 30 contradictions. He admitted that he had worked long and hard into the night and could come up with only 30. But he presented me a list of the most blatant contradictions he could find. (He made use of critical books that listed such contradictions.) He went through his list, one at a time, applying the test of formal logic to each alleged contradiction. We used syllogisms, the laws of immediate inference, truth tables and even Venn diagrams to test for logical inconsistency and contradictions. In every single incident we proved objectively, not only to my satisfaction, but to his, that not a single violation of the law of contradiction was made.

Not every biblical discrepancy has been resolved. But the direction of the evidence is very encouraging. As biblical scholarship increases and our knowledge of language, text, and context increases, the problem of discrepancy becomes smaller and smaller. There is less reason today to believe that the bible is full of contradictions than at any time in the history of the church. Prejudice and critical theories, however, die a slow and hard death." - Reasons to Believe by R. C. Sproul pp. 24-26

Here you go, feel free to do some research to clear up your confusion:

Bible Contradictions and Other Bible Difficulties

Douglas

Tucker, you may want to embrace mysterious "contradictions" but I don't. Contradictions are what dead rocks dream of I reckon. One cannot solve a contradiction, so a dead rock has heaps of time on its hands trying to figure out contradictions. I have more "creative" things to do.

PARADOX, MYSTERY, AND CONTRADICTION

The influence of various movements within our culture such as New Age, Eastern religion, and irrational philosophy have led to a crisis of understanding. A new form of mysticism has arisen that exalts the absurd as a hallmark of religious truth. We think of the Zen-Buddhist maxim that "God is one hand clapping" as an illustration of this pattern.

To say that God is one hand clapping sounds profound. It puzzles the conscious mind because it strikes against normal patterns of thought. It sounds "deep" and intriguing until we analyze it carefully and discover that at root it is simply a nonsense statement.

Irrationality is a type of mental chaos. It rests upon a confusion that is at odds with the Author of all truth who is not an author of confusion.

Biblical Christianity is vulnerable to such strands of exalted irrationality because of its candid admission that there is much paradox and mystery in the Bible. Because there are thin but crucial lines that divide paradox, mystery, and contradiction, it is important that we learn to distinguish among them.

We are quickly confounded when we seek to plumb the depths of God. No mortal can exhaustively comprehend God. The Bible reveals things about God that we know are true in spite of our inability to understand them fully. We have no human reference point, for example, to understand a being who is three in person and one in essence (Trinity), or a being who is one person with two distinct natures, human and divine (the person of Christ). These truths, as certain as they may be, are too "high" for us to penetrate.

We face similar problems in the natural world. We understand that gravity exists, but we do not understand it, nor do we seek to define it in irrational or contradictory terms. Most everyone agrees that motion is an integral part of reality, yet the essence of motion itself has perplexed philosophers and scientists for millennia. There is much that is mysterious about reality and much that we do not understand. But that does not warrant a leap into absurdity. Irrationality is fatal both to religion and science. Indeed, it is deadly to any truth.

The late Christian philosopher Gordon H. Clark once defined a paradox as a "charley horse between the ears." His witty remark was designed to point out that what is sometimes called a paradox is often nothing more than sloppy thinking. Clark, however, clearly recognized the legitimate role and function of paradox. The word paradox comes from the Greek root that means "to seem or to appear." Paradoxes are difficult for us because at first glance they "seem" to be contradictions, but under closer scrutiny resolutions can often be found. For example, Jesus said, "He who loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 10:39). On the surface this sounds akin to a statement like "God is one hand clapping." It sounds like a self-contradiction. What Jesus meant, however, is that if someone loses his life in one sense, he will find it in another sense. Because the losing and saving are in two different senses, there is no contradiction. I am a father and a son at the same time, but obviously not in the same relationship.

Because the term paradox has been misunderstood so often as a synonym for contradiction, it now appears in some English dictionaries as a secondary meaning of the term contradiction. A contradiction is a statement that violates the classical law of noncontradiction. The law of noncontradiction declares that A cannot be A and non-A at the same time and in the same respect. That is, something cannot be what it is and not be what it is at the same time and in the same respect. This is the most fundamental of all the laws of logic.

No one can understand a contradiction because a contradiction is inherently unintelligible. Not even God can understand contradictions. But He can certainly recognize them for what they are—falsehoods. The word contradiction comes from the Latin "to speak against." It is sometimes called an antinomy, which means "against law." For God to speak in contradictions would be for Him to be intellectually lawless, to speak with a forked tongue. It is a great insult and unconscionable blasphemy to even suggest that the Author of truth would ever speak in contradictions. Contradiction is the tool of the one who lies—the father of lies who despises the truth.

There is a relationship between mystery and contradiction that easily reduces us to confusing the two. We do not understand mysteries. We cannot understand contradictions. The point of contact between the two concepts is their unintelligible character. Mysteries may not be clear to us now simply because we lack the information or the perspective to understand them. The Bible promises further light in heaven on mysteries we are unable to understand now. Further light may resolve present mysteries. However, there is not enough light in heaven and earth to ever resolve a clear-cut contradiction.

Summary
1. Paradox is an apparent contradiction that under closer scrutiny yields resolution.
2. Mystery is something unknown to us now, but which may be resolved.
3. Contradiction is a violation of the law of noncontradiction. It is impossible to resolve, either by mortals or God, either in this world or the next.

Biblical passages for reflection:
Matthew 13:11
Matthew 16:25
Romans 16:25-27
1 Corinthians 2:7
1 Corinthians 14:33
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by R. C. Sproul

Coram Deo

Robert Schuller = Abomination

Richard Knoll

People recognize contradictions in standards as well as literal verbiage. Anyone reading about contrast in methodology in scripture has, at some point, got to ask himself what it all must mean.
When I read about the killings and other madness in scripture, I wonder why other Christians (other than myself) don't want to acknowledge that there are any difficulties at all. If Jesus taught us that it is better to love your enemies rather than kill them, why would a part of the Bible describe God demanding His own children to kill each other. Vengeance is mine, was, vengeance is yours.
We are children of God. What simple message is God trying to teach? If Jesus taught, to know love is to know God, then we should be using this as a standard by which we should interpret all writings.
In my experience, I have learned how simple God can be with His relationship to us. Love answers all of the difficulties. If men believe that God is too big, or too high for us to understand, then we are being lied to by a deciever. The Bible doesn't have to be perfect for us to understand our creator. If He told us that he loves us in spite of our sins, He would not be the same one to accuse us of them too. If God brings love, then it is the devil who brings hate. If God sends simple answers to us, it is the devil working to distort that simplicity.
We live in a world of opposites. Love and hate have been in competition since the beginning. We CAN recognize the difference. We know how simple love can be. Even an infant can sense the warmth of it. How could anyone believe that our Heavenly caregiver would, at any time in history, be a destroyer? Is this the message that God wants us to learn from Him? Men learn by example. If we are firt taught to kill each other because we are sinners, how can we later accept the notion that "kindness" to other sinners is better?
You might say that God can do whatever He wants because He is supreme, But would He? He knows we have a limited ability to understand the infinite. He knows that we need simple explanations for confusing problems.
Rather than staying confused, lets state the obvious. A loving Father would never teach His own son that it is good to kill someone. If we see something in scripture about our Father asking someone to kill something for Him, this

has to be a lie. Remember, the devil was the murderer from the beginning. People wrote what they saw, not what they understood. If someone without understanding thought it was God telling him to kill, that person simply did not know that it was the "god of this word" telling him to do that. The authors honestly wrote what they saw, not what they understood. God can't be changeable. His standards have always been associated with love. Only men have not understood this totally in the past due to the lies thrown at them by the devil deciever.
I was reading about the account in 2nd Kings about the bald priest being teased by some children about his bald head. This priest gets upset and sends a curse on these kids. A couple of bears come out and kill 42 of them. Is this an example of patience or love? Of course it's not, thats painfully obvious. Was this man an example of God's love to humanity? Surely it wasn't. This is one more instance that demonstrates the activity of the devil in scripture.
Jesus gave us the truth about God's nature. Jesus never asked anyone to kill for Him. That should not be a surprise. That was new revelation to the world that God loves His enemies and wants them saved, not destroyed. There is no line in the sand that represents sin so bad, that if committed, deserves a death sentence. Jesus taught that there are no levels of sin. All of it is bad, and only love will redeem anyone caught in it.
This understanding of God has helped me deal with the unfairness and wickedness displayed in the old testament. I would never be proud to tell people that my Father could be a baby killer. Only a devil could do such a thing. Maybe you can understand why many people become atheists , and view the scriptures with disdain. For me, my personal testimony of God's love for me has helped me to resist the idea that He could be an enemy to me. He has worked many miracles in my life, and has shown me many wonderful Heavenly things.
Thanks for your time here. Post my Email address if you can. I love feedback on this subject. RDK. rickconnie1@sbcglobal.net

Shawn

Shame on all of you! God Bless Dr. Schuller and Joel Osteen. If it was not for them, I would not have been saved. Your view of Christ is no better than the taliban!

Heidi Sue

Okay, Shawn, let's not degrade into unsubstantiated mudslinging. I'm sure most folks that keep track of this blog would pray that God would bless Schuller and Osteen, and I'm sure most would thank God that He brought you into His kingdom through them. However, that does not negate their antinomian bent.

The concern here is that in avoiding the topic of sin or God's wrath, they avoid the very reason we need a Savior. If we aren't sinners, we don't need Jesus. Or put slightly differently, if we don't deserve the wrathful judgement of a just and holy God, we don't need anyone to redeem us or take our place. If Jesus is not a Savior, then He is merely a teacher, role model, or a prophet with a god complex--a view much more closely related to that of the Taliban.

The depth of God's love is shown in the very fact that He saved us from the punishment we earned ourselves, not the romanticized sort of love we get from picking and choosing the most comfortable parts of the Bible.

cynthia curran

Schuller is a better speaker than Warren. I agree he has had an influence on both Warren and Hybels. And Schuller claimed that Rick Warren was at a conferance at his church back in the late 1970's while Mr Warren claims he didn't come to Orange County until 1980. Also, Rick Warren like Schuller saw potential since lots of people prior to 1990 moved to Orange County from other parts of the Country rather than from other countries which is the case today. I kind of doubt if Garden Grove had the demographics that it has today that Schuller would have made it as well. Schuller admits that Garden Grove went from being middle class white in the 1950's to being a mixed ethnic and racial city today. One reason why Schuller attendance has dropped since he probably has only about 15 percent of his church which is non-white, Schuller and Chuck Smith and Chuck Swindoll have all had an impact on the style of Rick Warren. Robert Schuller's appeal to the unchurch and Chusl Smith use of modern music for the past 40 years and Chuck Swindoll's practical christian living message. Rick Warren would not be who he is today without them.

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