Theology for the Long Haul

Saturday, August 28, 2010

You're Already An Idiot!

Me too

The Apostle Paul taught that the “Word of the Cross” was (is) foolishness to those who are perishing (I Cor. 1:18; see also 2:12-14). This statement, as I understand it, draws the logical implication that all Christians believe something that is and will always be illogical in the eyes of non-Christians.
As a seminarian, I have often been perplexed by teachers who confidently assert both the historicity and regenerating implications of Christ’s death and resurrection, while at the same time questioning and sometimes rejecting the historicity of miraculous Old Testament stories like the “global flood,” or “parting of the Red Sea”. When approached and asked to explain their lack of confidence in the biblical record, often the reply involves some reference to the number of scholars who don’t think it really happened, followed by a declaration that it makes Christianity “look foolish to assert such stories as historical.” The idea is… that by making Christian history more believable or reasonable, more people will believe in Jesus without having to be viewed as an idiot.
Here’s my thought… If we minimize the biblical stories of God’s mighty and miraculous deeds, how can we expect someone to accept that God is real, has a divine Son, that this Son came to the earth, lived a sinless life, died an atoning death for all of humanity, and rose from the dead. Doesn’t that seem like nonsense? I mean, either God is in the business of working miracles, or we don’t have any hope in Christ. So why do we draw conclusions like this? (My personal opinion is that scholars have caved under pressure from secular scholastic institutions, academic journal editors, and liberal peer pressure in trade for professional legitimacy). Since there is no substantiated (historical, scientific, or otherwise) argument against the old Bible stories, other than probability, I see no reason to question them. The Apostle Paul had a similar debate with some Jewish academic types… I think he had the right idea…

“Now, if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.”(I Corinthians 15: 12-14 NASB)

What’s more important, a “legitimate” profession, or a legitimate faith? That is the question.


  1. So true Phil! I've often thought that trying to explain most of the old testament away as merely poetry or some such nonsense just leads to the erosion of the validity of the Bible on the whole, and therefore the precepts of our faith. So sad. ={

  2. I've always blindly believed the OT stories, but I have definitely had my share of questions from others as to why I believe them. It always amazes me how some Christians claim that they believe what took place in the New Testament, but somehow can't believe that God created a flood or had a big fish swallow Jonah. He's God! He can do anything!

  3. the faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. Do all Christians really believe this to be true? The answer would be yes. But how can you believe that about faith but not about some of the greatest things god has done for the nations of the OT.

    How can one have faith and not believe in those great deeds. One would conclude that, that is impossible logically for one to believe in one but not the other. Def a question of faith for those individuals who play on the fence. I mean what about Creationism. Thats not really explainable either but most (would be) Christians believe in it. Very interesting.

    The Point: God is and will always be, everyone else needs to get over it. WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL.

  4. Ruth Anastasia JonesNovember 23, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Good post Phil. I agree.