Observation from 1 Corinthians – The stupid Gospel

I’m putting together my exegetical notes for 1 Corinthians for the end of year essay. Currently I’m doing 1:1-2:5. The main theme here is that the Corinthians are obsessed  with following and identifying with leaders who display the standard leadership requirements of a 1st century Corinthian public speaker – human wisdom, powerful speaking, self confidence etc. So Paul spends a whole bunch of time showing that God’s wisdom seems foolish to human wisdom etc.

But the thing that struck me is this: the nature of the message shapes the nature of the messenger.

We really have a spectacularly stupid message. The executed conquerer who saves and rules the world. In fact, it gets even more stupid when we add “2000 years ago”

This effects our concept of apologetics.  This effects the Sydney Evangelical confidence an a securely put-together and founded message that is really quite sensible if only we could get the chance to tell people about it. Tell it stupid, tell it proud, let God’s spirit do the work.

I wrote this in 2 minutes. Anybody got better-thought-out thoughts on this?


One thought on “Observation from 1 Corinthians – The stupid Gospel

  1. Column 8, Wed 1st July Two church billboards in same small town. One, “Jesus died for YOU”, the other “Jesus lives!”

    The first chapter of “That incredible Christian” by A.W.Tozer, makes a similar argument abut the contradictions inherent in the message of Christianity.

    “The current effort of so many religious leaders to harmonise Christianity with science, philosophy ad every natural and reasonable thing is, I believe, the result of a failure to understand Christianity and, judging from what I have heard and read, failure to understand science and philosophy as well.

    “At the heat of the Christian system lies the cross of Christ with its divine paradox. The power of the Christianity appears in its antipathy toward, never in its agreement with, the ways of fallen men. The truth of the cross is revealed in its contradictions.”

    His point seems to be that apologetics done in human reasoning empties the message of it’s power.

    But this is good news!

    If learning theory is right, we learn when what we are exposed to can be connected to something we already know. Christianity is a system in tension, a newcomer always has a ‘way in’ they can be expected to know at least one of the two truths held in tension. The key to successful teaching is helping them grasp the other.

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