Saturday 4 July 2015

Defying the wisdom of our age

This is exactly Paul's point in 1 Corinthians 1. In the face of those who demand a decent argument or evidence - either one that is rationally satisfying (the Greeks) or one that is miraculously impressive (the Jews) - what we preach is a cross, a message that is palpably foolish and weak. And Paul did this quite deliberately, according to God's plan, so that the surpassing power of salvation might belong to God rather than to us.

The equivalently shocking message today would be to say something like: Americans seek freedom but we preach slavery; Australians seek prosperity but we preach poverty; Brits seek security but we preach danger. There is something unavoidably counter-cultural or counter-intuitive about the message of the cross. It defies the wisdom of our age, and shames the wise and the strong.

Excerpt from "Four Ways to God" by Tony Payne (pages 29-30 of "Let the Word do the work: Essays in honour of Phillip D. Jensen", published by Matthias Media)