Leftover texts are outliers; they are incongruous and glitchy. For whatever reason, they are uncomfortable for the believers of the paradigms for which they are anomalous. . . . those that are anomalous for one paradigm often turn out to be core texts in a different paradigm. What is leftover to one framework is fundamental to another (Christian Smith, “The Bible Made Impossible,” p. 44).
In other words, whichever system one adheres to (Calvinism, Molinism, Arminianism—or any other “ism”) there are multitudes of verses and/or passages which do not seem to “fit” within the system—leftovers.
Unfortunately, folks who become intellectually and even emotionally committed to a specific theological framework, tend to ignore, downplay, explain away, or “shoehorn” leftovers in the name of systematic consistency (this is affectionately dubbed “sola systema”).
I’m presently at a place where I don’t feel compelled to “synthesize” or “reconcile” every single text to other texts or to any particular theological paradigm. I’m increasingly comfortable with letting the texts of scripture speak for themselves.
Said another way, I feel no compulsion to (as my friend, Charlie Harris, says) "flatten" scripture. I'm trying to purposefully let the sacred text speak in its own bumpy terms, with its own unresolved tensions. I'm not concerned to try to tame the text or to wrap everything in a nice, neat little bow. Life isn't like that. Neither is scripture.
We have to deal with antinomy in the biblical revelation . . . An antinomy exists when a pair of principles stand side by side, seemingly irreconcilable, yet both undeniable. There are cogent reasons for believing each of them; each rests on clear and solid evidence; but it is a mystery to you how they can be squared with each other. You see that each must be true on its own, but you do not see how they can both be true together. . . . Such a necessity scandalizes our tidy mind, no doubt, but there is no help for it if we are to be loyal to the facts.
. . . An antinomy is neither dispensable nor comprehensible. . . . It is unavoidable, and it is insoluble. We do not invent it, and we cannot explain it. . . . What should one do, then, with an antinomy? Accept it for what it is, and learn to live with it. . . . This is how antinomies must be handled, whether in nature or in Scripture. (J. I. Packer, “Evangelism & The Sovereignty of God,” p.p. 18-19, 21).
Thus, the Bible leaves us with tensions. It puts forward antinomies. It has been said, "A religion without mystery is a religion without God." I think this is true.
So rather than solving mysteries I’m savoring antinomies—and the leftovers ain’t bad.