The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
–1 Corinthians 1:25
In the 1990s, William J. Bennett, former secretary of education under Ronald Reagan, published a book about social and educational trends between 1960 and 1997. During that time, though government spending on education increased, there was also a 467 percent increase in violent crime, a 461 percent increase in illegitimate births, and a 200 percent increase in the teenage suicide rate, while SAT scores plummeted by almost 60 points.
That is the paradox of our age: even though we worship at the shrine of human education and philosophy, our society is becoming increasingly illiterate and morally decadent. Why is that? Because the so-called wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. Human wisdom cannot answer the problems of our day, and it certainly cannot answer the big questions of life. Remember, Solomon tried to find meaning in life by pursuing wisdom. But he found that apart from God, philosophy was meaningless. The apostle Paul explored this same theme in 1 Corinthians. The Corinthians, like other Greeks in that day, worshiped human philosophy.
What is philosophy? It is man’s attempt to provide answers to our origin, our purpose, and our destiny in life. In Corinth, there were a number of philosophical parties, and the Corinthian Christians were bringing their philosophies into the church. As a result, the church was divided over different human philosophical systems. But human wisdom is bankrupt to provide real answers in life. Yes, disciplines such as mathematics and science can tell us certain things about this world, but they cannot tell us why we are here or what happens to us after we die.
We are taught that we are just biological accidents, that we sprang from nothingness. Where does that kind of philosophy lead a person? Evolutionist William Provine said it this way: “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear. . . . There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. . . . There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”
That is the bankruptcy of human philosophy. Apart from God, philosophy is utterly worthless. In 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, we are going to see the limitations of human wisdom against the power of God’s so-called foolishness.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Foolishness of God” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
William J. Bennett, “The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators: American Society at the End of the 20th Century,” revised ed. (New York: Broadway Books, 1999), 4; William Provine, as quoted in “Darwinism: Science of Naturalistic Philosophy? A Debate between William B. Provine and Phillip E. Johnson at Stanford University, April 30, 1994,” Origins Research, Fall/Winter 1994, http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or161/161main.htm.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.