Logical Gal – distinctions lead to tension

14 Jul

Distinction

definition (Google) :  a noun indicating a difference or contrast between similar people or things

Distinction - pencils

To think through a concept in order to arrive at a more clear understanding requires grappling with distinctions.   I am VERY fond of distinctions because they tell me THIS and not THAT.  Knowing what something is not can lead to a more complete idea of what something is.

Today in Sunday School we were studying James, chapter 3.  Jesus’ half-brother warns against selfish ambition.  That caused me to wonder what OTHER kinds of ambition there might be!  I am beginning to ask more questions as I grow my logic and clear thinking skills.  This new habit encourages me!

We all know how concrete children seem to be, how they default to labeling the world either Black or White.  This tendency is forgivable in children, often the source of amused smiles in parents.  But for grownups to continue this view of life brings on smug criticism in others.  Moderns pride themselves in being ‘nuanced’.  Even entire nations criticize others for NOT living with ‘gray’.  The French accuse some American administrations of having been ‘Manichaean’ , that is dividing the world into ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’.

Ronald Reagan

Criticized or not, I truly believe that for some issues, there is TRUTH and non-truth.  But as I continue to read, study, think and grow, I realize that some concepts just defy being pinned down and categorized separately because it is WE who are finite and cannot get beyond our God-given limitations.

Hence, my fascination with DISTINCTIONS!  Here are the top 4 in Christianity, as I see them:

  • the Trinity – God is ONE essence but THREE persons.  So although God the Father, and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit each enjoys different roles – they are one and the same.  God is both/and and very real!   We see God the Father clearly as the ‘person’ in charge.  God the Son submits to the Father.  The Spirit works with them both – they are all one God.  Enough to keep us thinking forever!
  • Jesus – fully human and fully man!  How can that be?  We don’t know HOW, but we do know it is TRUE.
  • Christians – we live in the flesh here in this present world, and we live in the spirit in the Kingdom of God where we actually are seated at the same time that we are walking on earth.
  • Free Will and God’s Sovereign Control – Yes!  They both exist and we can see the differences, but one doesn’t exclude the other.  Yet even though we can KNOW this, we can also not understand it.

Only someone who is still immature will fight this tension and want to come down on one side or the other. They will feel the need to go PAST making a distinction and to actually cause a separation. And they will try to force YOU to do so, too!

Fish or cut bait

But you don’t have to.  Just remember that it does take a lot of patience and humility and a degree of wonder to live with the fact that we won’t sort it all out.  No matter HOW smart we become!

Who knows – maybe being willing to live with that tension of the both/and might lead to a higher plane of insight?

Question – What do YOU distinguish but can’t separate?

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: