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There are people who insist the Bible is full of contradictions. Which I find absurd.
I’m always astounded at the consistency of tone and message about a God of justice and love held in a book written by dozens of people over a span of hundreds of years.
But the Bible is certainly not contradiction-free. This is particularly true in the Book of Proverbs. Not surprising, because proverbs in general are not supposed to be categorically true or false, but rather supply wisdom that can be applied to different situations. Many of us spout contradictory proverbs in different situations, such as “He who hesitates is lost” on one day and “Look before you leap” on another. In some situations, one of these will prove very true, in others, the reverse.
I don’t think the writers and compilers of the Book of Proverbs would be taken aback by any of this. In fact, when you come upon this couplet of verses in Chapter 26 of the book, the writer is very clearly providing a contrast of views for different situations:
Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
Okay, which is it, buddy? Answer a fool according to his wisdom or not, give us a straight answer here.
“Answering a fool according to his folly” seems like the epitome of conversation on social media these days. One could make a reasonable argument that verse four makes a case for never setting foot on Facebook, Twitter, Truth Social, etc. And really, if your goal is to come out looking like a boss, nothing is worse than diving in the pig pin of social media.
But if we want to change the world and not let, for instance, Social Justice Warriors rule public opinion, we might have to go forth and make verbal battle with folks.
It is a wonderful thing to have Ricochet as a place for intelligent and polite conversation. Sometimes, this is the place to be. But I believe the writers of Proverbs wouldn’t have us only conversing here.Published in