The idea that a verse (or portion of text) in…
The idea that a verse (or portion of text) in isolation can present doctrinal problems when compared with another verse (or portion of text) raises the concern that the text as a whole is not consistent. When such problems arise it is the practice of some to cry out in defense of the text by saying that the different verses and portions of text are not being harmonized with each other. But some textual challenges are so difficult that there is no logical way to harmonize them, and we must fall upon faith in the text as God’s inspired and infallible word as the only satisfactory solution.
Ultimately we know that God is sovereign. That nothing really happens outside his control. And yet people are still held accountable for what they do. It’s a paradoxical dilemma.
“If God’s sovereignty and my accountability seem logically impossible, I submit my limited mind to the Bible.”
– John Piper
“It is really crucial that we understand this difference between two meanings for the phrase the will of God. Knowing the difference between these two kinds of the will of God in the Bible will be a key to unlock one of the biggest mysteries or the biggest perplexities in the Bible, namely, that God is absolutely sovereign over all things and disapproves of many of them. That is a very puzzling paradox. God governs and controls all that is and manifestly in the Bible hates much of what happens. That is an insoluble and, I think, contradictory situation unless the term the will of God in the Bible has more than one meaning which it clearly does. And you will be able to see it as I just take you to the various texts.
So we want a handle on how to manage this paradox or mystery that God forbids things he brings about. And God commands things that he hinders from happening. That in one sense something is the will of God and in another sense that same something is not the will of God. Without this category of thought, I don’t think you can make sense out of the Bible, the God of the Bible.”
– John Piper