In the most recent Themelios 37.2 (2012), 178-181, D. A. Carson writes in his editorial of “The Beauty of Biblical Balance.”
Carson’s main thesis is, “the Bible depicts the importance of balance along quite a few different axes, and it is important not to confuse them.”
He then nuances this a bit:
Before I list some of these different axes, I should acknowledge that balance is not always a virtue. For example, when Scripture commands us to love God with our whole being (Deut 6:4-5; Mark 12:29-30), it does not add, “Of course, all things in moderation: one must balance love for God with other priorities.” Applied in the wrong contexts, the appeal for balance may be a mask for moral indifference and spiritual compromise. But let me assume that we have heeded the warning and turn to some of the different axes around which we need to maintain balance.
The five theses are as follows:
- Balance In the Use of Our Time, While We Attempt to Be Faithful to Scripture
- Balance in Integrating Complementary Biblical Emphases
- The Balance of a Healthy Biblical Diet
- Balance as the Product of a Spiritual Diagnostician
- Balance in Integrating Complementary Truths That Lie on the Edge of Great Mysteries, Not Least Complementary Truths about God
It would be easy to add more axes where Christians need to achieve biblical balance. For example, the Bible itself establishes something of a hierarchy of truths, so part of maturity in pastoral ministry is tied up with maintaining a similar sense of proportion and priority, aligned with the Bible itself. Moreover, it would also be easy to expand each of the five points listed above into an entire chapter replete with examples and pastoral applications. What should be clear even from these short paragraphs, however, is that biblical balance requires thought, self-examination, ongoing study of Scripture, humility of mind, and a continuing resolution to bring every thought captive to Christ.
This is excellent pastoral insight and wisdom. May God give us the grace to be appropriately biblically balanced.