Standing Firm in Foolishness, and God Said That It Was Good
To the Christian, rejecting the saving power of the gospel is foolish. But sometimes it’s hard not to feel foolish when your faith is belittled, even if you’re normally secure with your convictions.
But the hecklers of today are not the first to dismiss the cross of Christ as foolishness. In the Book of Corinthians, the Apostle Paul acknowledges the ridiculousness of the gospel to those who do not believe:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Cor 1:18-21).
The Creator of all things knows that pride tends to swell in the hearts of his creations. Free will is one of the greatest possible gifts, but it also inflates our sense of power and intellect. Man has accomplished much during his time on earth, but our accomplishments pale in comparison to the works of a mighty God with the power to speak the universe into being and who literally knows everything.
But sometimes we think we know everything. We get a little too big for our britches.
It’s exactly when we get too smart for our smarty-pants that God likes step in and shake things up. Later in chapter 1, the Apostle Paul gives encouragement to his fellow believers:
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him” (1 Cor 1:26-29).
Author and apologist Ravi Zacharias in his book Walking From East to West quotes the 101st Archbishop of Canterbury:
“[The Archbishop] once said that the longest journey in the life of one’s belief is from the head to the heart.”1
An apologist removes obstacles which prevent seekers from investigating and embracing truths they discover during their worldview development. An apologist also presents good arguments to justify the beliefs they are sharing with others. In other words, they often minister to the head.
But as Dr. Zacharias mentions, to fully embrace a worldview, you must bridge the gap between the head and the heart. In reality, most people reject Christianity not for head issues, but for heart issues.
Studies in theology, philosophy, history, cosmology, archaeology, biology, and physics support the premises which build the argument for the existence of God and the claims of Christ. An objective investigator has more than enough to confidently embrace theism, specifically Christianity.
At the end of the day, people reject Christianity for heart reasons. They don’t want to:
- change the way they’re living
- feel the shame of sin
- acknowledge their brokenness
- give up the power and control in their lives
God’s revelation does deliver bad news.
- We are not the measure of all things after all.
- We are not perfect beings after all.
- We all miss the mark.
But God doesn’t leave us to drown in our shame, he doesn’t leave us broken, and he doesn’t want us to be powerless. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ means that our shame is covered, and our wounds can be healed.
You will have a more powerful impact in the world by teaching his wisdom than by trusting in your own.
God has made foolish the wisdom of the world. The world through its wisdom did not know him, and neither will you. But if you ask him to soften your heart, he will.
If you’re battling doubt, remember Paul’s bold declaration to his brothers and sisters in Rome:
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16)
When you believe in your heart and speak with your tongue that Jesus is Lord, you will be called foolish by the rest of the world.
That–is the beginning of wisdom.
And God said that it was good.
- Why Jesus? (Part 1) Ravi Zacharias Gives Answers
- Cultural Captives: Beliefs, Behavior, and the Future of America
- Apologetics: It’s Not About Saying You’re Sorry
1 Ravi Zacharias, Walking From East to West (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), Kindle ed., 171.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will help readers in developing their worldview. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About Jason B. Ladd
Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.