Ken Casillas, The Law and the Christian: God’s Light within God’s Limits (Biblical Discernment for Difficult Issues; Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 2007), 1–2, 24:
It’s funny what you remember from your childhood. Personally, I find it difficult to recall specific conversations, events, and experiences. But of all the positive things I would like to remember from my years as a missionary child in Puerto Rico, for some reason the sad story of Karl Wallenda has stayed with me. Wallenda was a German entertainer who became famous for doing extremely dangerous tightrope stunts without a safety net. His family act was dubbed the Flying Wallendas, and their signature performance was a seven-person pyramid topped by a woman standing on a chair. The Wallendas performed internationally through the middle of the twentieth century. Though the group survived catastrophes such as the 1944 Hartford circus fire, in 1962 Karl lost his son-in-law and nephew in a major fall in Detroit. Overcoming a cracked pelvis, Karl continued his death-defying stunts. At sixty-five he traversed a distance of 1200 feet above Georgia’s Tallulah Falls Gorge, doing two headstands some 700 feet in the air.
Wallenda walked for the last time at the age of seventy-three. For a promotional event, a wire was strung about 120 feet high between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Some believe the problem was the high ocean winds. The family says that some guy ropes were misconnected. Whatever the case, Karl Wallenda plunged to his death on March 22, 1978. The entertainer once said, “Life is being on the wire; everything else is just waiting.”
Perhaps I find Wallenda’s story memorable because of my own vocation. I regularly walk a tightrope. It can be a thrilling experience, yet I live in fear of falling. I’m not an acrobat, though. I’m a professor of Bible and theology. In studying the Scriptures, sometimes I find a truth that does not seem to fit with another truth, and my mind tries to find a way to correlate the two without denying or diminishing either of them. How can I hold onto both of them at the same time? How can I keep from tipping too far in one direction or the other?
Bible students have wrestled with this problem for millennia. Sometimes our efforts leave us breathless at the edge of mystery. For instance, the Bible teaches plainly that there is only one God. But it also speaks of a Father, Son, and Spirit Who are God. Precise theological terminology helps us package the various strands of truth, and we end up with “three Persons in one Being.” But we must admit that these words do not provide a full explanation. They only summarize a reality that we cannot understand this side of heaven and that we must accept by faith until then.
Not all biblical tensions are incomprehensible, however. Often there is a logical resolution, and it is found in noting different senses of a word or multiple aspects of a single truth. I believe that this is the case with the age-old tangle over law and grace. . . .
[Casillas then describes the views of Reformed theology, theonomy, dispensationalism, and Lutheranism on the law.]
If your mind is whirling among all the different views and sub-views, now you understand what Edwards meant when he said that integrating the Testaments was the most difficult theological issue—and why I live on a tightrope!