Monday, February 11, 2013

Is the Message of Foolishness Gaining Influence over the Power of God?

Is the Message of Foolishness Gaining Influence over the Power of God?
First Corinthians 1:18 18 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.”
There is a side to Christian Scholarship that seeks to prove the inconsistencies and fallacies of the claims of Scripture.  These scholars are professors of religion at some of the top institutions in the country.  They have written New York Times Bestselling books.  They lecture all over the world, giving “incite” about the “truth” of Jesus of Nazareth.  Their claims use textual, historical, and contextual criticism of the New Testament.  They list problem texts and give long arguments about why the manuscripts of the New Testament cannot be trusted.  And many evangelicals have no idea they are out there.
For example, UNC Professor Bart Ehrman, graduated from Moody Bible Institute and then Wheaton College (two of the most conservative evangelical Bible Colleges in the country).  He grew up a fundamentalist conservative.  However, throughout his doctoral studies, he denounced the faith he had previously claimed.  Now, as the head of the religion department at UNC, Ehrman seeks to enlighten young, impressionable students who simply want to learn more about the Bible.  Like a wolf in sheep’s clothes, he leads the class through “reasons” why Jesus was never meant to be seen as God. 
Ehrman is only one of many of these scholars around the country, proclaiming the foolishness of the message of the cross.  Yet, they are making a lasting impact on today’s college students.  The Church must be become proactive. 
For those being saved, the message of the cross is the power of God.  As Christians, we should not cower from hard discussions.  Rather, we need to become educated and teach the next generation to truly understand what the message of the cross is.  Television loves to promote the agenda of skeptics.  However, when an evangelical has something of substance to say, they are willing to listen.  I used to love to listen to my professors Darrell Bock, Daniel Wallace discuss these topics because they always noted that it was in the study of God’s Word that their faith was strengthened.  I believe that sometimes, we want to simply look to Scripture as our “How to” guide instead of looking at it for what it is: the revelation of God. We therefore neglect to see it in its original context.  Then, when critics come, we have no answers.
We cannot bury our heads in the sand any longer.  We must study the text of Scripture, with the historical setting in mind.  We must read the verses in their correct context.  We must become familiar with what opposing views are surrounding us and then come to an understanding about what the truth is.   
For an article about Bart Ehrman, please click the link below.