Answering The Atheist
January 1, 2006 / Volume 6, Issue 1
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Is God the author of confussion? Some verses (Genesis 11:7-9; 1 Corinthians 1:27) indicate yes, while others (1 Corinthians 14:33) say no. Is there a contradiction?
The context of a verse will always aid us in understanding the meaning of the verse. In both Genesis 11:7-9, we are witness to the Lord foiling the wisdom of men. The people conspired together to build a tower into the heavens, and thus make a name for themselves. God confused their languages, and thus thwarted their plan. The end result was that the people dispersed from that place throughout the whole earth, according to their languages.
So far as 1 Corinthians 1:27 is concerned, I looked in 12 versions of the Bible, and not one uses the word "confusion" or anything remotely related to it. In the context, Paul affirms that God's wisdom is greater than man's foolishness, and thus, God has chosen the things which human wisdom holds with disdain to put to shame the wisdom of men.
In 1 Corinthians 14:33, Paul states, "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints." In the context, the apostle is speaking about the use of and cautioning against the misuse of spiritual gifts within the assembly. Thus, he gives specific instructions about how the gifts are to be used, so the assembly be held "decently and in order" (v 40). It was not the will of God that the gifts be used to disrupt the assembly, but for edification (v 3, 4, 5, 12, 17, 26, 31).
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible