“Be in the world but not of the world.” Jesus was fully God and yet full man – how does that work? Be good stewards and apply Proverbial wisdom in your finances, but be liberally generous in distributing God’s resources. Confront sin in a brother, but forgive freely. Speak the truth boldly without compromise but in all things show love or everything is worthless. The life Jesus gives us and the “Way” He invites us to walk in is peppered with seeming paradoxes – A vs B tensions that are often contrarian in their very claims. Great divisions and quite costly cults have resulted from well-intended people encountering one of these impasses and cheaply resolving the tension by choosing to cling to one tenet they most resonate with at the neglect of the other(s). The mystery of God’s wisdom is too beautiful and too powerful to be compromised by easy yet tyrannically shortsighted A/B shortcuts.
Tertium Quid (“TQ”) is a Latinphrase meaning a third thing, another way, a synthesis or alternative without exclusion of the other parts. In ancient debates about the deity of Christ it was used to address the tension of Jesus being divine and yet human. In the 1800s Thomas Jefferson founded a political party in the Commonwealth of Virginia called “the Quids” out of belief a polarized American political system would undermine our democratic republic and there was need for a third, moderate party. Most simply, when a dichotomy (2 alternatives) is unacceptable then there is likely a TQ to be discovered. If we have to turn a blind eye to an inconvenient truth, that uncomfortable text, a fact that would mess up the clean picture of reality we want to inhabit, the true dichotomy we are then facing is cosmic foolishness or courageous honesty.
TQ Living is intended to be a place where devotional reflections, challenging propositions and useful resources can be shared for those interested in living in the tension of God’s calling on us and our context, the teachings of Jesus and our tendencies, the common understanding of things and the invitation of our Father to press in for the transformation of a renewed mind and resurrection-infused life. For an audience of leaders I would exhort all of us to realize our capacity to lead is a direct byproduct of our followship of Jesus. Let’s follow well!