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Clarifying The Problem – Biblical Interpretation

Who knew that a four-hour statistical process-control review meeting would help clarify my struggle with aspects of the Christian faith? Perhaps it is inherent working within a chemistry/manufacturing environment to understand all of the known variables. One aspect of understanding the variables is safety related, of course. Another aspect of understanding the variables relates to the cost of doing business and ensuring that a quality product is the end-result. To that end, when process variables are in control, the outcome (in this case how well the final products works) can be accurately predicted and there will be a minimum of variance.

So, what’s the correlation (pun intended) of the day job with my faith? Part of my struggle revolves around divergent views as Calvinist, Arminian, open theist, or any other view for that matter. I presume that God has provided all that we mere mortals would ever need to know about Him through the Bible. So, how are fundamental beliefs so varied from one Christian to another? Why is my interpretation and understanding of Eph 1:4 entirely different from that of CJ Mahaney? Note: please see my previous post regarding CJ Mahaney’s sermon on sovereign grace and divine election. Is it possible, for instance, that I’m looking at the “mean value” while CJ Mahaney is looking at the “median value” within the same “data sets”? Is there more than one interpretation for this verse – or for passages within Lamentations 3 and Romans 9? Can we make sense of apparently conflicting passages of Scripture?

I’m paraphrasing a little: but if I hold to Christ’s teachings, I’ll know the truth which will set me free. Seems simple enough – and according to Bob George in his book, Classic Christianity, if the truth sets me free, then the opposite is true; error binds me up. Feeling conflicted about my faith; I suppose it would seem reasonable that I am in error. But am I?

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