Faith Bible Blog

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The Foolishness of God

IBM Blue Gene P supercomputerWe humans have a thirst for knowledge. We have a passion to expand our understanding of the nature of things. For example, we have developed numerous satellites that probe the mysteries of the physical universe.[1] We’ve walked on the moon and placed robotic data gathering “dune buggies” on Mars.[2] We now have imaging machines that can examine the previously unseen world of molecules—the smallest building blocks of the material universe.[3] We have developed a super computer that can process quadrillions (e.g. 1,000 trillion!) of data per second.[4] Wow, if we keep going we will figure out everything, right?

While we humans have come to understand much that is true about life, and science and technology have developed things that bring tremendous value and help millions of people, there is one thing we humans will never truly figure out on our own—what life is ultimately all about. What is its true origin? Where is it going? What does it mean? Why is the world like it is? What is our purpose? Why am I the way I am?

We humans have made gods of education, science and human ideologies in an effort to try and find answers to those nagging questions. But have you noticed human ideas are constantly changing? There was a “big bang” and now there wasn’t a “big bang”? Many astrophysicists now believe “nothing” has always existed as “something.” Pre-creational stuff? Eternal nothingness isn’t really nothing but the precursor to everything.[5] Even the basic tenets of the theory of evolution continue to be hotly disputed.[6] Human ideas are constantly changing, appearing then disappearing, being tested and then found wanting, conflicting and contradicting each other. Amazingly men keep putting faith in them!

The church was and is not immune to this kind of humanistic thinking. In 1 Corinthians chapters 1-2 the apostle Paul was dealing with disputes amongst the body, driven in part by the heavy influence that Greek philosophy had upon many in the congregation. Here’s how Paul, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, responded to man’s attempt through human wisdom alone to answer the ultimate questions of life: Is there a sovereign creator God? What is He like and how can I know Him?

For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling–block and Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Corinthians 1:21-25)

What Paul is saying to us in this passage is the single most important bit of knowledge every human needs to know! In the wisdom of God, human learning and wisdom alone cannot and will not lead us to ultimate knowledge: to personally know the one true and living God!

Sadly, human history shows us that the increase in human-based knowledge and philosophies tends to increase our problems, not solve them! It tends to obscure and distort the ultimate truth about God and the questions of life. Look around! With all of the increase in human knowledge and achievements, hatred, crime, mental disorders, family breakdowns, and hosts of other personal and societal ills are increasing! It’s obvious, with only a cursory look at human history, the more we depend on human wisdom alone the more our personal and societal problems grow in extent and severity. God is telling us through the simple, “foolish” message of the gospel that we cannot figure out the nature of ultimate reality on our own!

christian cross in brick wall1 Corinthians 1:18-25 tells us we can never truly know Him through the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 1:21). Scripture tells us from the beginning of human history the “good news” has always been that faith and trust in God alone and not our efforts was and is His plan for us to know and be right with Him (Romans 4:1-5; Luke 18:9-14). The one who is ultimate knowledge and reality has established that the only way to know Him is by the “foolishness of the cross.” We are all born with an internal perception flaw on the hard-drive of our hearts, preventing us from truly embracing and understanding ourselves and who God is! Everyone is born with a spiritually dead, sinful heart that separates us from a living, personal relationship with God (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13). No amount of human inquiry or scientific study will ever uncover the wisdom that supersedes all wisdom—the message of the gospel of the grace of God found in Jesus Christ alone! (Colossians 2:2-3)

Paul tells us the one and only God, who has revealed Himself in nature, in our conscience and the Bible, and most powerfully in the person of Jesus Christ, has made a way for us to know Him and accurately answer those ultimate questions of life: “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become foolish that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18).

What is this “foolishness” that makes us wise? Humble, dependent belief and trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).

 Accept or reject it, here’s the bottom line: The only way to truly understand and answer the ultimate questions of life, know God and be right with Him is through embracing the “foolish” message of the cross.

“Christ the power and wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 2:24-25)


 

[1] Voyager Leaves The Solar System: Space.com

[2] Curiosity Lands on Mars: www.jpl.nasa.gov

[3] Molecular Imaging.com

[4] Extremetech.com

[5] String Theory Predicts A Time Before The Big Bang: www.scientificamerican.com

[6] Scientific Dissent on Darwinism: www.discovery.org

Author: Peter Spiers

Peter is an executive with CFA, a national healthcare consulting firm, and invests all his off-work time into his church and his family. He is faithful to invest his life into men and loves to see people transformed by God’s Word.

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