Monday, November 16, 2009

The "Wednesbury Unreasonable" Gospel

Lukas Lim has kindly sent us this article he wrote amidst his busy schedule doing law in Cambridge.

"… but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…" - 1 Corinthians 1:23

Every now and then, people decide to do things that are so utterly bizarre or misguided that others can only conclude that they have lost their minds. With exasperation, they throw up their hands and ask, "what were these people thinking?"
The legal term for such irrationality is "Wednesbury unreasonableness". As Lord Diplock notes in Council of Civil Service Unions v. Minister for the Civil Service Respondent :

[i]t applies to a decision so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who applied his mind to the question to be decided could have arrived at it.
While His Lordship said those words with the executive in mind, I must admit that I read this case with God at the forefront of my mine. Turning to creation, for instance, I often wondered why God created us. What prompted Him to create human beings whom He knew would fall into sin, such that He could only save them at the highest possible cost to Himself?

The gospel did not make any sense at all; in fact, it appeared to be foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18, 23). What was God thinking?

An Outrageous Defiance of Logic?
It might be argued that God’s reasons are beyond us; that they defy all attempts at a logical explanation and that we should not attempt to make sense of the divine mystery of the unknowable God. The Biblical authority that is often quoted in support of this comes from Isaiah 55:8-9:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts... "

On the other hand, we believe that we are rational beings, capable of logical thought. Any acknowledgement that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours must therefore also be an admission that God possesses a logical and rational mind that is far superior to ours. He must therefore have had good logical reasons for the creation and redemption of humanity.

While we should accept that an infinite God will always be beyond our grasp, it is no use saying that God’s rationality is somehow beyond reason for that would be a contradiction in terms. It may certainly be beyond us as human beings , but we can at least rest assured that it is not beyond reason. However outrageous God’s decisions appear, they are not in defiance of logic. So what logical reason lay behind God’s decision to create us?

Read the full article below:

The Wednesbury Unreasonable Gospel

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