Paradox, Choice & the Elect (Featuring John MacArthur)

I was doing some research recently for a sermon, wondering how do address issues such as Christ coming that "none should perish" (2 Peter 3:9) yet also choosing us "before the foundation of the world" (Eph 1:4). I found an online forum that addressed this specific question.

John MacArthur states
"Every major doctrine in Holy Scripture has that same apparent paradox because you can not reduce the inconceivable realities of the mind of God and push them into the human brain. It’s impossible...the fact that I can’t resolve them proves that I’m not God and that’s comforting. And that’s all it proves, it doesn’t prove anything about God, it only proves something about me..."
I'm comfortable with paradox: I make my own choices in life and sometimes choose to sin rather than embrace holiness.  My life is also guided by God, and He's set out a plan (plans?) for me in His Kingdom.  At the heart of it, these ideas are mutually exclusive but also true. Our faith seeks understanding that we'll never fully achieve, but our lack of understanding does not diminish our faith.

What do you think?  Can we embrace paradox as Christians? Does paradox undermine your faith?  Can we be chosen yet also choose?

(Image: Choose Your Own Adventure books from


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