paradoxically speaking

It seems that the internet (and social media in general) is full of ‘profound’ statements that people ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘retweet’ and ‘post’ to friends and followers. Some examples from yesterday, posted on Facebook since my last bloggage, are:

Sometimes God calms the storm… sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.

The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence (Charles Bukowski)

Growing a beard is a habit most natural, scriptural, manly and beneficial (CH Spurgeon)

Be a good listener – your ears will never get you into trouble (Frank Tyger)

and the most profound post

Huge hail (by a FB friend, whom I won’t name unless she wants to be credited with this wise statement)

to which I commented

Enormous Caesar

Now I am not saying that there is no wisdom in any of these sayings. They are undoubtedly thought-provoking and perhaps even profound. I wonder what it would like like if you gathered them all together in one place? There’s probably a website that already does that, so I am not going to attempt it.

ImageBut if someone did, I suspect that there would be many profound statements that are actually contradictory. An example would be the proverbs, “Many hands make light work”* and “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” If we saw either of them on their own we might say that they are true, but when you put them together there is at least a creative tension between them, if not a conflict. We either have to decide that one is right and the other is wrong or be prepared to live with them as a paradox. For the most part we are very happy to do that. It’s like some optical illusions where the same picture can be seen in two ways.

So how come, when it comes to God, some people are unhappy with that? They can’t accept that a loving God would discipline those who serve him (don’t loving parents do that?). They can’t understand how Jesus could be fully God and fully human simultaneously. They won’t believe that followers of Jesus can disagree with one another and yet be united.

There are ways in which we can resolve some of these apparent paradoxes. But we also have to admit that we don’t and can’t have all the answers.

To pretend to be wiser than you are is arrogance, to admit the limits of your knowledge is wisdom.

Let’s see if that gets posted anywhere!

Be blessed, be a blessing.

*except in a power cut

3 thoughts on “paradoxically speaking

  1. Pingback: When Tweets Clash: Paradoxes of internet truth « —- Church for Kershaw

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