WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED: A STUMBLING BLOCK TO THE JEWS AND FOOLISHNESS TO THE GENTILES

Resurrection of Christ by Hans Memling (from here)

From time-to-time ColorStorm gets a bit aggravated with Atheists, and he writes a post like this one: Some harsh words, necessary though. Blind to the Truth, atheists do not see what  sees. So  tries to help the blind see what he sees. Yet until the blind want to see, they will not see. Nevertheless, there is a very logical argument that the Bible contains the Truth.

What is the critical fact that proves the authenticity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? That is the certitude that Christians have that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The Apostle Paul stated as much.

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
12 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? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

What is ‘s approach? tries to breach an emotional barrier. He strives to make the idea of God both conceivable and obvious. In series of posts, Mel Wild does something different, taking the next step. offers a logical explanation for why Christians believe in such a seemingly impossible thing as the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

If you want a short explanation, check out Revisiting the Minimal Facts Argument: A Hypothetical Discussion Between a Skeptic and a Christian.
If you are willing to invest more time and effort, then please consider the following posts.

Even if it makes logical sense, is the whole idea that Jesus Christ is God is not something we find easy to accept. No. Why?

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Wisdom of God

18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.”

20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Who in this world would choose to believe in a crucified savior? So it is that  writes.  writes about the savior we need, not the one we want. Still, God only gives those who ask — those who realize their spiritual poverty — the grace to believe.

34 thoughts on “WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED: A STUMBLING BLOCK TO THE JEWS AND FOOLISHNESS TO THE GENTILES

  1. Awesome,Tom! I appreciate reading those two very much,both Colorstorm and Mel.

    “The grace to believe,” that is well put. I believe we invite Him into our hearts and He then begins to reveal Himself,to give us the grace to believe. Sometimes that happens with the bible, where it just suddenly starts making sense and comes alive for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post. Problem with atheists in my opinion is they have to much vanity in the wisdom they perceived from worldly knowledge rather than Spiritual knowledge.

    Might be their knowledge keeps them up all night or they become deprived from “sweet sleep” that people obtain through Spiritual Wisdom.

    Perhaps they need to read this wise King Solomon observation about people who have too much knowledge of the wrong kind keeping them awake all night?

    https://rudymartinka.com/2017/08/11/king-solomon-a-good-night-sleep/

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Like

    1. Great post! I thoroughly enjoyed the picture you chose for a related post: https://rudymartinka.com/2017/03/07/king-solomons-advice-on-making-choices/.

      Just an observation. I make it because some in my former profession do not sleep well.

      When the country is in danger, the military’s mission is to wreak destruction upon the enemy. It’s a harsh and bloody business, but that’s what the military’s for. As George Orwell pointed out, people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. (from => http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/11/07/rough-men/ )

      I would imagine many of those rough men also sacrifice their peace, wondering: am I doing the right thing?

      A babe sleeps well because it is a babe and is not in pain. Some adults are also innocent and healthy, but most of us have concerns. Even the best of us are at times weary, but we cannot find rest.

      The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. — Robert Frost (from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42891/stopping-by-woods-on-a-snowy-evening)

      Although it is certainly related, I doubt the sleep of a babe is the signal that tells us when we have attained to true wisdom. If there is a word that tells us we have attained to wisdom, then that word is “peace”. Of course, we only sleep well when we are at peace.

      Isaiah 57:14-21 New Living Translation (NLT)
      God Forgives the Repentant

      14 God says, “Rebuild the road!
      Clear away the rocks and stones
      so my people can return from captivity.”
      15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity,
      the Holy One, says this:
      “I live in the high and holy place
      with those whose spirits are contrite and humble.
      I restore the crushed spirit of the humble
      and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
      16 For I will not fight against you forever;
      I will not always be angry.
      If I were, all people would pass away—
      all the souls I have made.
      17 I was angry,
      so I punished these greedy people.
      I withdrew from them,
      but they kept going on their own stubborn way.
      18 I have seen what they do,
      but I will heal them anyway!
      I will lead them.
      I will comfort those who mourn,
      19 bringing words of praise to their lips.
      May they have abundant peace, both near and far,”
      says the Lord, who heals them.
      20 “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea,
      which is never still
      but continually churns up mud and dirt.
      21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
      says my God.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well one thing is certain CT. If it were left to us, we would NOT choose a Saviour such as God and scripture presents. The one we WANT and the one we NEED is a fine distinction as you suggest. God is not a pez dispenser such as the golden calf, accepting adulation from raucous crowds, and passing out candy.

    I say that redemption is a far more difficult topic; creation now? Heck, that is easy. Takes no effort and causes no sweat. There is a price to pay with the gospel as you write. Time and effort. Facing our deepest quest for truth and admitting God is God and we are not. The gospel is pure genius, impossible to fabricate by man.

    ‘He who knew no sin was made sin.’ Yeah, an idea written by fools. Not!

    ‘Raised again for our justification.’ Yeah, Plato could have said that. Not!

    I’m chucklin a bit because you say I get aggravated every so often by our atheist friends. Ha! Doesn’t take much to point out the fact that bones have no wherewithal to attach themselves to skin!! I love pointing out the obvious facts of nature and God, and the sheer stupidity of not using the brain inside the skull to see and know that apart from the Creator, there is nothing.

    As usual, your knitting of posts and carrying the thoughts further is spectacular, and I appreciate your being moved to do that by something you read. It’s a gift I tell ya, and you use it well. Awesome, and tkx for the heads up.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We know from the New Testament that the Apostles were articulate and able to present arguments for the teachings of Jesus to the Jews and the pagans.

    And though most of today’s modern Christians are good at expressing the doctrines of their religion, precious few are able to cobble together at least two coherent thoughts into an argument which presents Christianity in a favorable light.

    I believe that this is the primary reason that Christianity has been driven out of the public square.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most people have not read the Bible. They know what it says second hand. What they understand is what some people have to say about the Bible. Frankly, I don’t think most Christians actually understand either Christianity, the history that pertains to it, or the history surrounding it.

      Like

        1. @silenceofmind
          There is a difference between tearing down a person and correcting a misunderstanding. If you have some disagreements with ColorStorm, I expect he is willing to discuss them, but it is not Biblical to tear someone down.

          Jesus Christ is a our model, correct?

          John 1:14-18 New King James Version (NKJV)
          The Word Becomes Flesh

          14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

          15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

          16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

          Who is Jesus? He is the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He gave us the truth, but He gave us the truth with grace. Evil we may be, but He is willing to make those of us who repent His brothers and sisters — His friends, friends of God.
          Do you have the truth? Are you more qualified than Jesus to speak the truth? Is it your place to treat another to the truth without grace?

          I am slowly becoming an old man. As I have grown old, I have had time to consider all the dumb things I have done. The thing I regret most? I did not have the sense — still don’t have it all the time — to be kind before I am right. Too late I have discovered how wrong I can be. Too often I did not even have the excuse of being right.

          You have the truth of the Bible? How many ways are there to interpret the Bible? And you have the correct one? No disputing that fact?

          The original copies of the books of the Bible are long gone, and those were the only copies that were incontestably correct. Even if we had the originals, only a small number of people can read the Bible in the original language. Therefore, we depend upon scholars. You are the best of the those scholars?

          So what do we have going for us. We have a plethora of copies. Because of those copies, we can ascertain that we have the Bible fundamentally as it was written. We also have lots of translations and commentaries. Therefore, we can compare the various translations and commentaries and generally arrive at the correct notion of what the Bible is saying. Still, people differ on many fundamental points. Why? Why do people have so much trouble agreeing about anything?

          What is the problem? This is not heaven. In heaven we will probably be able to get Jesus to referee our disputes. Here? It seems He expects us to exhibit both grace and truth. When our neighbor has a different opinion, we can politely correct him, but our neighbor belongs to Jesus. If we are right, and our neighbor refuses to listen, let Jesus take care of him.

          Also, please hope your neighbor has the patience to let Jesus take care of you.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Citizen,

          Your insipid preaching is not an argument.

          It is the very thing that is killing Christianity in the West just as I said.

          Bible thumping and spitting scripture is not a substitute for the art and craft of rational thinking.

          Like

        3. @silenceofmind

          I am perfectly willing to discuss most topics, but judging someone is above our pay grade. So as you say, I will continue to preach insipidly.

          What is killing Christianity in this country? I think it is the fact most Americans don’t know what Christianity is or how to practice it. Solving that problem puts Bible thumping and spitting scripture front and center. It makes teaching people why it is rational to believe what the Bible says so important. It makes showing people what makes the wisdom of God superior to the wisdom of man, something we can only do by living as Christians.

          Is the art and craft of rational thinking important? Yes, but do you know how to do that as a Christian? If you don’t, then please back up and start over. Cause you are going down the broad path, not that that narrow one.

          Like

        4. 5 sighs SilenceoM, and a couple of head shakes.

          I’ll not defend myself and waste valuable blog space in the home of another as a guest. I do not have to answer to such an absurd charge. If there is a valid charge, make it, and maybe, just maybe some one else can point you where spiritual and common sense abides.

          I presented by the way, 5 lectures on the book of Romans. maybe you should read them, before you make fools appear as geniuses.

          ‘Never read the bible?’ oops, how we putteth footeth in moutheth.

          And good stuff CT, derailing a potential argument over nothing.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Storm,

          This is the Internet where I know people only by their ideas.

          Surely, in real life, if I were to ever get into trouble on say, a lonely highway late at night, it would be you, Citizen or Insanity who I would want to come and bail me out.

          Like

        6. @silenceofmind

          In real life you believe you can count upon ColorStorm, Insanity, or myself, but you cannot count upon us on the Internet? Well, you may not have intended as such, but I think that is highly complimentary of what we have posted on the Internet. Thank you.

          Perhaps I have also begun to see the problem. We tend to compartmentalize things, but that is a bad idea when it comes to ethics. What happens on the Internet is just a subset of “real life”. The Internet is not a world apart where we can apply a justifiably different set of ethics.

          Google “ethical compartmentalization”. What people try to do is have separate ethical systems for home, work, friends and so forth. Consider an extreme example. Imagine being a guard at a concentration camp run by Nazis or communists. Would you treat your own children the way you treat the children at “work”? But could you truly separate work and home?

          The Internet is just a kind of public highway for words, pictures, and various types of data. Our blogs are like coffee/tea houses where people come to enjoy their favorite beverage and donuts while they discuss the topics that interest them. If we don’t strive to make our discussions germane to “real” life — if they are based upon fantasies — then they serve as much purpose as an Atheist blog written by a Democrat Liberal. If we don’t display the same beliefs and ethics on the Internet that we display in “real life”, then we risk the possibility of saying or writing just for the effect upon our audience.

          Consider.

          Matthew 7:21-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
          I Never Knew You

          21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

          Too many think it is the show — what we do for show — that matters. Our Savior considers our heart. If we do not actually love Him and our neighbors, what we say or do in His name does not matter.

          We have to make the Kingdom of God real, even on the Internet.

          Like

        7. @silenceofmind

          You are something of a philosopher. Seem to be well read. So you should know that it is okay to find someone else disturbing. You should also know that as long as IB, ColorStorm, and I do not advocate anything that should be illegal, it is also okay for us to be disturbing.

          Some people found Socrates very disturbing. What is far more horrifying is that some people found Jesus disturbing.

          If we value our constitutional republic, then what we should pray to be a people who can tolerate the disturbances created by people like Socrates and especially Jesus.

          I live near Charlottesville, VA. I can drive there in less than a couple of hours. When my eldest daughter went to college at UVA, I was a regular visitor. I suspect I find the demonstrations there far more disturbing than you find IB, ColorStorm, or myself.
          => http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/12/emergency-declared-ahead-unite-right-rally-in-virginia.html

          I wish Democrat Liberals would just leave Confederate statues alone. Removing those statues is not going to change history, and it is important we remember the foolish things over which people fight.

          Now we have bunches of the highly disturbed fighting over the silly things. Bigots wanted to remove them. Bigots protest their removal, and so more bigots arrived to counter-protest.

          Like

  5. Thanks for weaving these thoughts and approaches together, Tom. You pretty much nailed the problem with the title and 1 Cor.1:18-25. I would add Rom.1:20-21 about darkened and futile thoughts.. Atheists can’t see the proverbial forest for the trees because they don’t want to see. With their naturalist worldview it’s, “I won’t believe it until I see it,” but with the Kingdom of God we won’t see it until we believe it. Everything about it, including our crucified Savior, is counter-intuitive to man’s wisdom. But at the same time, it makes our wisdom look like foolishness. It’s hilarious to me when skeptics say the disciples made it all up. Who would make up such a thing! 🙂
    Blessings to you, brother.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you.

      Romans 1:20-21 certainly applies and so does the rest of the passage that contains those two verses. Not something some people are willing to read or hear without taking offense, however. The Truth can be beautiful, but our pride can be an ugly thing. Until we see the futility of doing otherwise, who will admit that?

      I know from experience that putting our thoughts together on a blog can require consider time and effort. When someone does a good job, I just do what I can to encourage the folks who stop by my blog to visit. Thank you for your posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love how you tie in posts from multiple, talented sources in to your own well thought out pieces. I think all of us struggle at times with doubt and putting our own “truth” above God’s, I know I have. Christians and other truth seekers know, or should know that the beginning of all knowledge comes from admitting there is much we don’t know and that putting our faith and trust in God as the bearer of truth will light the way. Most atheists are too invested in being right to see this, or even entertain the thought.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for such a kind compliment.

      You are quite correct. We all struggle. As Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit. Given the differences between us and God, it is preposterous that it should take quite a bit humility to admit God’s wisdom is so different from our own,, that we in fact cannot do anything worthwhile with Him. Yet such an absurdity is perfectly true.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I rely on what I call “Stubborn Faith” — Stubborn faith that every word of what God says is true — stubborn faith that if I cling to Jesus Christ with all my might He will not let me down — Stubborn faith that if I just place my every confidence in God, in His Son and in His Word that nothing can ever really harm me (The real me, not the physical me) and that His Word, His Promises, His Plan and His Spirit are all that I ever need to meet any challenge that Life has to throw at me either in this present world or in the world to come. You have couched the Promises of God in real usable terms that feed the soul and I am much appreciating your work here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      Stubborn faith has its place, but the word “stubborn” has a lousy connotation. Hebrews 11 most certainly speaks of a faith that is steadfast, a faith that perseveres. Stubborn? I suppose that too. We are what we are. Who would do what those heroes did with just a reasonable faith?
      😀

      What must form the basis for a faith that allows us to cling to Jesus Christ with all our might? Reason and experience tells us our faith is based upon something real. We don’t just believe because we believe; we believe because reason and experience has confirmed our faith.

      The Bible is a history book, a record of true events. The Bibles also contains a theological explanation of those events, it contains the prayers of those who lived those events, and it gives us some idea of what is to come.

      When we approach the Bible with the thought that God inspired men to write the books of the Bible to Jews and Christians of past times and that we can understand it as they understood it, then we have something solid upon which to rest a reasoned faith. Moreover, when we apply Biblical wisdom, we will discover the wisdom of God is better than the wisdom of man. But why?

      The Bible tells us God loves us with love beyond our understanding. When we love Him in return, our faith is no longer reasonable; our faith becomes stubborn with the wisdom of a God who is love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Tom — God gives to every man a measure of faith …and to the extent that we might decide that our faith is insufficient we can always say to Jesus, “Lord I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.” He is our source for everything … faith included.

        Liked by 1 person

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