True wisdom and true power – Great Reversal

By Dave Henning / January 20, 2022

“The Great Reversal is both true wisdom and true power, and it shows, ironically, that the world’s understanding of greatness is a weakness which leads to continual wars and conflicts.  And that the world’s understanding of wisdom  — reason without God — is the most fruitless thing possible.”- Timothy Keller

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 5 of Hope in Times of Fear as he cites Cambridge scholar Simon Gathercole.   After Gathercole looked at several Pauline presentations of the gospel, he identified three recurring ideas.  As a result, Simon observes, there is the good news of:

  1. who Jesus is – Jesus, the eternal Son of God, humbled Himself and also became a human being, the Messiah.
  2. what Jesus has done – Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.
  3. what Jesus brings – in His rising from the dead, Jesus brought in the new creation and power of the Spirit.

Above all, Pastor Keller underscores, Jesus’s death and resurrection brings more than salvation.  It also serves as the ultimate refutation of worldly wisdom.  Therefore, Pastor Keller asks us to think about Jesus following the advice of the world’s greatest consultants:

“And consider how greatly [Jesus] would have failed if he had followed the world’s advice for becoming successful.  What if he had come as a philosopher with a great intellectual system of thought?  Then the only people helped by him would have been the intellectuals.  What if he had a powerful movement of moral teaching with himself as the living example?  Then only the people strong, able, and accomplished enough to imitate him would have benefitted. . . .

This is why the gospel message is good for everyone and its transforming power continues to grow across the face of the earth.  It’s not just for the moral, the strong, the brilliant.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done.”

In conclusion, Pastor Keller notes, you must admit weakness to accept certain gifts.  For example, you must make such a radical admission to accept the ultimate gift of the gospel.  Thus, you need God’s help to produce the humbleness and willingness to cede control of your life.

Today’s question: What Scriptures give you true wisdom and true power?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The historicity of the resurrection”

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Dave Henning

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