Best way to reach the world for Jesus?

2 thoughts on “Best way to reach the world for Jesus?”

  1. Another thought-provoking post Derek!
    I’m not sure however that you can legitimately draw a distinction between a “clear understandable presentation of the gospel” and preaching Christ crucified.
    I would suggest that preaching Christ crucified can only “make sense” in the context of a clear presentation of the gospel, and that what Paul is distinguishing in 1 Corinthians 1:22-23 is not sharing one’s faith in God’s purpose of redemption in Christ, but contrasting human wisdom (“sophia” from which get the word “philosophy” or intellectual argument, so beloved by the Greeks) with miraculous signs and wonders.

  2. Hi Ian, Thanks for the comment. What you are saying is clearly the commonly understood reading of the text. So, I recognise that I am being a bit controversial here. My thought stems not from looking at the immediate verses around, but at the whole chapter. Paul is writing into a situation where the church is splitting into camps, each one supporting a different church leader – including himself (v12). He in no way contradicts any of the messages of these leaders. They are undoubtedly preaching the gospel, just as a ‘clear presentation of the gospel’ is evidently a presentation of truth. The challenge here is where the attention is focused. Paul is drawing attention to the fact that when the attention is put on the church leader, then it is not being focused on Christ. So, when it comes to v22-23 he is bringing up two means through which attention can go to the leader – The cleverness of the proclamation or the amazingness of the miracles. In saying this he is not seeking to undermine the fact that the source of these is God. Rather, he is pointing to the fact that each of them has an Achilles heal found in the fact that we are following Jesus to his cross. It is in upholding this ‘foolishness’ and ‘stumbling block’ without embarrassment that we demonstrate that we are not trusting the message or the miracles for the Lord to bring about salvation but Jesus himself.

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