Monday, May 14, 2012

A Couple of Helpful Analogies

In an article entitled "Understanding Antinomy: A Key to Peace in the Calvinism Debate?" commenter Doug Hibbard shared an analogy he's heard:

I’m sure this analogy breaks down along the way, but I was once told to view the two sides in this argument as you view a railroad track: both rails are there, both are necessary for the train to run smoothly.
Of course, one would have to view that concept without elevating the “man’s responsibility” rail to saying that man is equal to God–it’s an analogy. They don’t come perfectly, do they?

 I added a couple that I came up with:

There are many decent analogies that can be used. A couple that I use from time to time:

1. The Opposable Thumb: In order to pick something up, we employ two opposing forces. We have fingers that all move in the same general direction. But God has designed us with thumbs so that move in opposite the fingers on a hand so that we can pick something up. In the same hand one force from the thumb moves against the force of the fingers so that something can be grasped and manipulated effectively. This is the way it is with theological tension.

2. Here is a picture of God:
You can see that He is portrayed as white for His purity on a white background because He is His own context. he is so perfect that there is not even any shadow because even the light comes from Him. The thing is that this picture illustrates is that we have a problem discerning God without some contrast. So God provides something that is not Himself so that He can be seen clearly by His creatures whose minds are limited by the logic of this world.

Dave Miller rightly reminds that all analogies break down at some point, so don't use beyond the surface meaning. But these are helpful for conveying an understanding of theological tension, such as what is found in the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism to people who tend to think metaphorically.

No comments:

Post a Comment