I have been following your conversation and find it very intriguing because I have weighed certain aspects of both of your arguments to some extent for quite some time and am still trying to settle the matter. I think the problem is that we are trying to use human logic to understand God's logic, and as I stated earlier, His ways are not our ways, so to think that everything He does necessarily must be logical to us is a mistake. There is sooo much in scripture that is "illogical" to human thinking, i.e.: is the Gospel itself even logical to human thinking? Is it logical at all to human beings that the great High King would come down from His throne and give His life for the GUILTY leper condemned to death? Like Paul said, it is very rare indeed that someone would give his life to save an innocent man, but what about one who would give his life to save a guilty man? There is nothing logical about that...in fact I would go so far as to say it is incomprehensible...But I believe it to be true...
Just because something appears to be a contradiction to us, by no means does it invalidate anything because we don't have the whole picture. The Bible does not contain all truth, although all of it is true, and to come to logical conclusions about all things pertaining to God, we would need all possible information pertaining to Him as well, which at this point, we certainly do not have.
Like I have said repeatedly, I still have much to learn, but have read the entire Bible and am leaning at this point to Lutheran thinking. All of the Bible is true and must be taken into account in understanding God; however, at this point, we are incapable of comprehending the fullness of God and His ways and there are certain aspects where we have no choice but to concede that it is a "mystery" and we may never fully understand it or make "logical" sense of it in this life. I believe God when He says that He does not desire that any should perish, and I also believe that, as the Bible indicates, many shall perish. Why do we have to conclude that either God is a failure and isn't capable of saving everyone, or that there is a difference between His desire and will? I think the best option is to take Him at His Word on all occassions and accept that certain aspects we may not fully comprehend, and may even dare seem inconsistent to us, but have faith that our confusion is always due to our own lack of knowledge and never due to His lack of perfection.
When you boil faith down, isn't it really the idea of believing the incomprehensible or the unexplainable or sometimes even the illogical? If it is necesssary that we boil it down to only that which makes sense to us, it is no longer faith in God that we lean on, but faith in our own understanding of Him.
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