Unlimited: Human Limitations
Oct 28, 2022 181
I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations (Romans 6:19a).
Many modern people are easily offended by Paul’s talk of slavery. Why does he use this horrendous example? Even in his culture, although it was part of the fabric of society, slavery was a terrible thing. Even within his own culture, Paul recognises the limitations of his use of the metaphor of slavery, and here he explains why he uses it. He doesn’t want us to take the metaphor of slavery too far, because as he explains elsewhere, there is joyful freedom in following Jesus.
This is an example of accommodation, which refers to the way in which divine truth is explained in human terms. The truth that is explained is greater than what human words can encompass. God uses human metaphors and analogies to accommodate the truth of God to people in a particular culture or circumstances, otherwise the recipients could not begin to understand it.
Because of our human limitations, God uses human metaphors and analogies to communicate truth to us.
What God communicates therefore isn’t absolute in the sense of being everything that we can know about God. The alternative would be to consider that our limited human minds could perfectly understand every divine truth, and that could never be. That’s why we find throughout the Bible that God uses many rituals, analogies and metaphors to reveal truth to humanity in a progressive way. This is all because of our human limitations.
What is something you don’t understand in the Bible? Could it be an example of accommodation?