Sunday, November 20, 2016

Conflicting dispositions within God?

There are two sentiments or dispositions within God that are in tension and appear to be in conflict. 

One is God's patience, compassion and understanding of our shortcomings and frailties. 

The other is God's disapproval of the harm and destruction our shortcomings and frailties cause us and others. 

To say it another way, God loves us with no strings attached while at the same time hates the rebellion (distrust) within us that causes us to stray from him.

The irony is, it is because God loves us so much that he hates whatever causes us and others harm.

The solution? 

These two conflicting and contrary dispositions meet and are resolved in Christ and his work on our behalf.

Psa 85:10  Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Rom 3:26  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


  1. In the first verse you use the word "appear" which I like. Because appearances can be wrong when it comes to understanding, such as judging anything and then find out it was not what we thought. When you state "These two conflicting and contrary dispositions" makes it sound as if they are "conflicting and contrary". For me the reality is they are not, that is why you used the word "appears". If I follow your logic from the beginning then I cannot see them as conflicting and contrary but both are united in purpose to bring about our salvation in Christ. When I look at something as "conflicting and contrary" that represents opposition. God's purpose never opposes His design for us which you clarify in the sentence about "irony". You showed how they are not opposing dispositions but only appear to be. Thanks for the post.

    1. I totally agree. My goal is to take some common questions and address them in a common way, if you will, and not so much in a technical way (which has it's downside as well). If you read much on my blog you will find posts that seem to contradict each other. So this one post should be taken in the context of all my posts. I am learning to use illustrations more to accomplish this so as not to dilute theological accuracy. But don't always, for brevity sake.

      I have found there are many apparent (there's that word again) contradictions in scripture as well, which are not contradictions at all. Many of my posts touch on this tension. Many of the most profound truths in scripture are in those paradoxical truths such as to live you must die. Once we get what this (and other apparent contradictions) are saying, it is obvious to us what scripture means. I have found however there a many who don't "get it." It is this group I target.

      Thanks for the feedback. Feel free to peruse my blog and raise any other concerns or comments. It helps me get a better feel of if and how my posts are landing.

      Just curious as to how you stumbled across my blog. Always looking to find out how to get more exposure. Thanks again.

      Grace to you


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Grace to you
Jim Deal