Tag: tension

Another Tension – Freedom and Holiness

Another Tension – Freedom and Holiness

Encouragment
A few years ago I wrote a series of articles on God’s intentional tensions. Those seemingly contradictory verses which are campfires for division. Instead of staking a claim for which side is right I staked out the middle-ground and found God’s truth in both sides. In that series, I compared this middle-ground to a guitar string that only sings when held in tension between two points. In this article, I’m adding an additional tension to that series, the tension between freedom and holiness. Getting this tension right has been an issue since the earliest days of the church. Consider Acts 15 and the Jerusalem council concerning what laws the Gentiles (non-Jews) should adhere to. Verse 7 begins by saying “after there had been much debate…” While the Jerusalem Council did arrive at a conclu
The End of One Thing, The Beginning of Another

The End of One Thing, The Beginning of Another

Encouragment
Metaphors break. They have their limits. Put too much weight on them and they snap like a power line in an ice storm. The problem with the guitar string metaphor we’ve been using to describe God’s Intentional tensions is that sometimes there are more than two truths involved. Sometimes the radical middle is not between two truths but between a multitude of truths. With that in mind we are going to do something that Lambchow has never done before, we’re going to pivot. We’re going to use the ending of one series to introduce a whole new series. This is perhaps a strange but fitting end to God’s Intentional Tensions. Where the five previous articles dealt with two seemingly opposing truths, this article mentions twelve truths. While the previous articles talked of guitar strings and tens
God’s Intentional Tensions – In but Out

God’s Intentional Tensions – In but Out

Encouragment
Hang around Christian circles long enough and you’re sure to hear several catch phrases. Some of them feel good or give us something to say when we don’t know what to say. Some of them sound right but are not found in the Bible or are grossly out of context. Some of them are compressions of longer passages. One such phrase is “in the world but not of the world,” a compression of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:13-21. “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the wo
God’s Intentional Tensions – Free Will

God’s Intentional Tensions – Free Will

Encouragment
Who is really in charge?  Who is responsible for my actions or the actions of others or the whims of nature? The second of God’s intentional tensions is the pull between God’s sovereignty and our free will. God is the ultimate sovereign. There is no one with more power or greater authority than God. Creation leaped into existence in obedience to His command. Paul reminds us that creation only continues to endure because of Christ (Colossians 1:17) Yet, in the midst of all that control is the anomaly of human choice. God gave you and I the ability to willingly act contrary to His command; the penultimate expression of free will.   Now, to be fair this tension has been and will continue to be debated in philosophical and theological circles forever. And there is no way to even begin t
God’s Intentional Tensions – Already, and Not Yet

God’s Intentional Tensions – Already, and Not Yet

Encouragment
My musical instrument of choice is guitar. Although I love the sound of a well over-driven Stratocaster or Les Paul, I choose to play a plain-old Martin acoustic. There’s just something about the naturalness of the tone that invites people to open their hearts in song and worship. All guitars, but especially acoustic ones are instruments of balanced tensions. A seemingly fragile body that is braced to handle about 175lbs of pull from the strings without losing the ability to resonate with the vibrations they make. The tension on each of the six strings is tuned and adjusted until it is pitch perfect and in harmony with the others. Would it surprise you that I see the same kind of balance and tensions in the Bible? People that love Jesus and are of good faith have argued and divided over