This is a paper I wrote as a requirement for a class on Isaiah I took my senior year (Fall semester) at Maranatha Baptist Bible College. The introduction to the paper is as follows:
“Seminaries should train their students to preach sermons that will cause their listeners to become spiritually numb.” If one was to make such a claim, he would most assuredly be ridiculed, disregarded, and considered as absolutely ridiculous. However, a similar concept seems to exist in the words of Isaiah 6:9-10. In this passage God commands Isaiah to preach a message in order that the recipients of the message might be hardened. Should this be taken literally? Is something missing that would clarify these verses? How can one explain this? Some attempt to handle these verses by discarding or explaining away their paradoxical nature all together. However, in light of various sound explanations that will be presented, the apparent paradox in Isaiah 6:9-10 should be taken seriously.