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In Christian circles (as in any other realm), we have our own special jargon that communicates to us . . . but initially would seem baffling or contradictory. Christ specialized in encapsulating truth in difficult to understand parables or shorter oxymoronic type sayings. Here are just a few examples of our mixed metaphors and enigmatic expressions:

10. How can Christ be both the door of the sheepfold and the Good Shepherd who calls the sheep to enter? (John 10:7, 11)

9. How can Christ have been born in the year 4 B.C.? (see The Birth of Jesus Christ by Daniel B. Wallace)

8. How can Christ have been born of a virgin?

7. How can death be necessary for life? (John 12:24 “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.“)

6. How can the first end up being last and the last end up being first? (Matthew 19:30)

5. Many people consider “Christian scientist” to be an oxymoron. How is that any different than Christian mathematician, Christian doctor…? Yet check out Google for “Christian oxymorons” and that is the example that keeps popping up.

4. How can believers have been living in “the last days” since the first coming of Christ?

3. How can a person be born again? (Certainly baffled Nicodemus — check out John 3)

2. How can power be perfected in weakness? (2 Corinthians 12:9)

1. My oldest daughter just returned from a weekend retreat with her Christian young women’s bible study group. My question: If Christians are supposed to be marching to the beat of “Onward, Christian Soldiers, marching as to war…” why are we going on retreats instead of campaigns or offensives?