Choose to Explore Contradictory Concepts

April 7, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)


Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren


There is no denying we live in a world where something good is referred to as bad and something can be so hot it’s considered cool. We have become adept in accepting things that sound illogical. That’s why the oxymoron is so common today.

Oxymora are phrases where words that seem to have opposite meanings are used together for a special effect. It’s a contradiction in terms. One example would be “pretty ugly.” How can something be “pretty” and “ugly” at the same time? Who knows? But in the English language, it is commonly accepted.

The word “oxymoron” is an oxymoron in itself. It comes from the ancient Greek. “Oxus” means sharp or keen; “Moros” means dull or foolish. Therefore, we have a word which means sharp dullness or as some like to say, “a foolish wise.” I guess some things we’ll never understand, but in all its incongruousness, the oxymoron permeates everyday communication.

Here are a few and I’m sure you could come up with many more. The list is endless.

  • same difference
  • living dead
  • virtual reality
  • sweet sorrow
  • limited lifetime warranty
  • original copy
  • authentic reproduction
  • definite maybe
  • local long distance
  • genuine imitation
  • pail volunteers
  • non-dairy creamer
  • new classic
  • honest thief
  • quiet noise

Some oxymora have become so laughable you rarely see them anymore. Who can say honest politician without smirking? Anyone using those words together must be terribly nice or standing fast on bittersweet memories of days gone by and unaware of the constant changes in our society. Good grief! But I digress…

So adept have we become at accepting this way of communicating that I’m amazed people have trouble believing the Bible. For at first glance, it appears to have many contradictory concepts as well. We have the virgin birth which many would consider an oxymoron. We have the long awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ, coming to earth as a baby not a warrior. After He convinces everyone He is the Savior, He is crucified and dies. Then He is resurrected and goes off to heaven. God just doesn’t seem to do things in what we humans would call a logical way.

There are other things God mentions that may seem illogical to us:

  • Jesus is the beginning and the end. (Revelation 1:8)
  • God became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
  • If we want to get, we must give. (Ecclesiastes 11:1; Luke 6:38)
  • We must forgive others even if they don’t forgive us. (Matthew 6:15)
  • If we want to live forever, we must die. (Matthew 16:25)
  • Freedom means serving others. (Galatians 5:13)
  • God uses the foolish to confound the wise. (I Corinthians 1:27)
  • To be exalted, we must humble ourselves. (Matthew 18:14; 1 Peter 5:6)
  • God loved the world so much He sent His Son to die for it. (John 3:16,17)

Consider this… On the surface this list may seem like a contradiction of concepts. However, just like oxymora are used for special effects, God uses Biblical phraseology in the same way. It deepens our understanding of salvation and enhances our relationship with God.

Perhaps if we gave the Bible the same consideration we give our everyday language, these concepts would not seem so foreign to us. In a world where good can be bad but really be good, it should be easier to accept the concept that Jesus lived and died but can really be alive!

One final thought… Just because we can’t see a physical image of God, doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. And that’s the long and short of it!





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