THE FOURTH DAY OF OCTOBER IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND FIFTEEN.
A gracEmail subscriber writes: “No matter what the question, you answer them all the same. In the first paragraph you say, lawyer-like, ‘It might be this way.’ ‘In the second paragraph you say, ‘It might be that way.’ In the third paragraph you say, ‘Joy, grace, Jesus, and little gray squirrels.’ Can’t you ever just give a clear, straight answer?”
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On some subjects, as least, I plead guilty as charged. For the record, I began preaching and teaching Scripture in 1961 and was not licensed as an attorney until 1988. However, for 27 years I was often accused of “talking like a lawyer,” even when I had no thought of ever becoming one. For me, the mindset preceded the profession. What some people call lawyer-like, I consider being balanced. What others deride as waffling, I regard as speaking exactly and with precision. It seems that some folks want everything in black-and-white. Unfortunately for them, the Bible contains a lot of gray.
These same individuals try to use the Bible as if it were a spiritual algebra book, full of precise formulas,and with exact answers in the back. But the Bible is instead a storybook — the stories of God and his people. The narrative in this eternal story is plain. God creates people in relationship with himself, each other, and with creation. People break those relationships by sin. God makes relationship with sinners through Jesus as a substitute and representative for People. People enjoy relationship with God through faith.
Although the Bible is not a mathsbook, it does give the big answer at the end. Revelation, the last book in the Bible, assures us that when earthly history is over, when all the smoke has settled and all the dust has cleared, God’s side wins and evil is forever destroyed! Those truths are examples of biblical certainties and we state them unequivocally and in absolute terms. Meanwhile, be kind to little gray squirrels.