Determined to Know Nothing | Sarah Keller: Determined to Know Nothing


Determined to Know Nothing

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should me made of no effect. {1 Corinthians 1:17} I am struck by the power of this passage. There is something that can make the cross of Christ "of no effect", or "powerless" {as the ESV renders it}. And what is it? "Wisdom of words"- an obvious quality of most intelligent debaters- and something that is prized and praised in American culture. And this is for obvious reasons, who isn't taught to want the skill of intelligent reasoning and persuasion? This is part of what makes us strong, independent, and successful people according to the standards of our culture. But it doesn't stop there. In the next chapter, he makes another similar statement: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." {1 Corinthians 2:1-2} So here we have it a second time. And this not only references speech, but knowledge- what you might call a clear stab at modern day apologetics {the branch of theology concerned with the defense and rational justification of Christianity}. So, while Scripture does honor and praise the pursuit of knowledge {Proverbs 15:14} and while it does command us to be ready to give a defense of the hope that is in us {1 Peter 3:15}, it tells us that these things are not what win souls for Christ. It is the message of His cross, the clear truth of His gospel, and nothing more. If Paul himself was determined to lay aside his high pedigree of intelligence and wisdom for the sake of knowing nothing but Christ crucified, then we must as well. This is Christ's call to throw away our fancy arguments and cling to the cross. That's where the true power to save the human soul lies, that it might be His work and His alone that is praised and glorified in all of salvation. And I praise Him for that!

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