Praising Contradictions – Progressive Christian Writers

Christian ContradictionsThere is one thing that many scientists and orthodox Christians share: that is, a dislike of contradictions. That an electron can appear as either a particle or a wave is as disturbing to the scientist, as the mystical phrase You are God and not God is to the evangelical Baptist.

Literal Bible readers take extraordinary flights of fancy to erase the many contradictions of the Good Book, or simply ignore them altogether. Even Progressive Christian writers usually avoid contradictions while trying to build a logical edifice on which to hang their theological hats.

But there is no inherent shame in contradictions. Contradictions are not always antithetical to logic and reason, but often arise from the very nature of human reality, a direct result of the limits of human language and individual perception. This is the reason why neither Jesus nor Buddha wrote down their teachings and feared grammatolatry.

It is the tension of opposites (between good and evil, particle and wave, heaven and earth) that gives rise to the Spirit of Truth. It is through paradox’s window that we view the unity and diversity of Life.

George Orwell once said that “to accept an unorthodoxy is always to inherit unresolved contradictions”. That is the inheritance of Progressive Christianity, and one which we must embrace wholeheartedly. A contradiction need not be a sign of weakness but one of strength.

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes. — Walt Whitman

In the end, we just might see that there weren’t any contradictions after all: only apparent contradictions.


If you would like to read about why Progressive Christians do what they do, please go to: Why Progressive Christianity?

The Living Hour