Paradoxology by Krish Kandiah
Highly-recommended book confronting the paradoxes at Christianity's heart
By Krish Kandiah
Hodder and Stoughton
Reviewer: Martin Poole
It is difficult to praise Krish Kandiah’s book too highly and its strong endorsements from a phalanx of significant Christian leaders that span six opening pages of the book is rendered unnecessary as the reader begins to turn its pages.
By way of definition Krish reminds us that a paradox consists of two true statements which appear to contradict each other. He cites as an example the 13 year old who has only had three birthdays. Illogical until you factor in a 29 February date of birth.
Krish contends that Christianity contains many paradoxes which Christians often file away in the “too difficult” box and in so doing miss the opportunity of deepening their understanding of God. The result is a faith that lacks resilience and the ability to cope with the many difficult situations that life throws at us.
Krish takes us through 13 Bible-based paradoxes starting with Abraham and considering the God who is all powerful, self-sufficient yet asks of his people costly worship. Moses, Joshua and a host of others including, predictably, Job, are examined in the way they deal with the extreme tensions provoked by a sometimes silent or even aggressively active deity.
Perhaps the most intractable paradox concerns Jesus – the God who is divinely human – whilst at the other end of the spectrum there is the Judas conundrum of free will and predetermined activity.
Sadly most of the paradoxes that we face are not as easily resolved as our leap year-born teenager, although there is a sense that the Apostle Paul’s contention that “we know in part but shall know completely” (1Cor 11 v 12) point us to an ultimate resolution of the mysteries with which we wrestle.
So what is the purpose of this book - to give us a thinking-Christians cryptic puzzle page? Krish is adamant that this is a faith-building book leading to a more robust faith which enables the believer to confront the soundbite arguments of the Richard Dawkins of our age and feel much more confident about the seemingly conflicting truths we hold dear.
The Revd Martin Poole is a retired Baptist minister having served the churches of Tabernacle Penarth, Godalming and Eastleigh