Don’t Mention the Tension: STTA!

Beth Moore, a teacher who is tossed about by every wind of doctrine, recently cited “tension” between the books of the New Testament that—through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—recorded Jesus’ earthly ministry (Matthew-John) and the epistles that were also inspired by the Holy Spirit. In the context in which she jumped headlong into inevitable heresy (i.e. Jesus and Paul disagree or, better stated, the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit disagree) it was appropriate to call out her use of the word tension. There are not irreconcilable tensions about gender roles anywhere in the New Testament. The Bible has no contradictions because God cannot lie.

Yet there is tension that is quite palpable in the Bible. The easiest example is between God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. We know that God is completely sovereign and does things according to His will. He is immutable and good and no one directs His steps. We also know that man is fully responsible for the decisions he makes. We know that men are volitional creatures and will be held accountable for things they have done. The Bible speaks clearly about God choosing people for salvation in accordance to His will and not in response to men. The Bible also speaks clearly about man’s need to repent and believe and to “choose this day whom to serve.” This is a tension that’s a result of my finite mind and my inability to comprehend our infinite AND holy God. It’s most definitely not discontinuity from verse to verse or book to book.

This isn’t an argument for Calvinism. This is about carefully correcting errors and doing so using a principled method. Calling out Beth Moore for using the word tension is not a sustainable measure because by that same measure we’d have to call out John MacArthur or RC Sproul for speaking of antinomies. Those men aren’t above correction but none of us would argue they’re in error for explicitly or implicitly saying there is tension between particular doctrines.

Think about whether the critique you’re making you’d be willing to make against Bible teachers we all trust. Think about whether or not you’re merely disagreeing with the person or with their idea.

See all posts in the Something to Think About! series:
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