A phenomenon of biblical revelation that has provoked unending confusion and controversy is the penchant of the biblical writers to make assertions, clear and intelligible in themselves, that seem inconsistent with, if not the virtual contradiction of, assertions made elsewhere in the same Bible. What is more, the Bible essentially never acknowledges the paradoxes and never seeks to explain or resolve them. Readers of the Bible encounter such "contradictions" at every turn: in its theology, its description of Christian experience, and its ethical teaching. These unreconciled emphases lie beneath the theological disagreements that have long separated Christians from one another. Therefore, coming to terms with this feature of biblical communication is of great importance.
While the existence of these many paradoxes in the Bible has long been recognized, rarely have Christians been taught to expect them or what to do when confronted with them. This brilliant feature of the biblical pedagogy is an accommodation to the limitations of the human intellect, serves to grant us access to the truth so far as we can comprehend it, forces us to face facts we would otherwise prefer to ignore, and makes of Christians themselves a unique complex of opposites.