Over a century ago, John MacArthur reminds us, there was a movement that came about in Christianity called fundamentalism. This movement was a reaction against the downgrade toward liberalism that was taking place in Europe and America. Christian leaders from a number of different denominations were intent on reestablishing what were the fundamental truths of the Christian faith and recommitting themselves to defending these at all costs. Fuller seminary was original established under this greater movement. George Marsden wrote a book called Reforming Fundamentalsim: Fuller Seminary and the New Evangelicalism. The book shows how gradually Fuller Seminary abandoned it's fundamentalist evangelical roots and entered into an evangelicalism that questioned the full inerrancy of the scripture. MacArthur reminds us that this happened because a desire rose up from that seminary to be academically credible and acceptable to the world.
We Christians sometimes chafe at the idea that the world thinks that we are idiots. We are tempted to want to show them that we are not stupid and that our ideas are academically viable. What we forget is the principle that comes from 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NASB95) "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."
MacArthur unpacks this and the verses that follow and challenges us to remember that the wisdom that should captivate our thinking is not the wisdom of the world, but the wisdom of Christ. Only those who have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord can understand that "In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:6). We look at the world entirely through the lens of Christ. How can we expect the world to understand or appreciate our wisdom unless they turn from their sins to Him. How can we expect to incorporate a philosophy from the world back into our institutions or churches that is not subject to the wisdom of Christ?
MacArthur makes these profound statements derived form 1 Cor. 1. HUMAN WISDOM IS TEMPORARY; DIVINE WISDOM IS ETERNAL; HUMAN WISDOM IS IMPOTENT; DIVINE WISDOM IS POWERFUL; HUMAN WISDOM IS FOR THE ELITE; DIVINE WISDOM IS FOR ALL.
One of the greatest things that stood out to me was the fact that human wisdom has never solved the ultimate issues of life, but the wisdom of Christ gets to the heart of man's problems and provides a solution to everything. In Him we have salvation from our sin, the understanding from His word of how we got here, what our problem is, how God redeems us, what we are supposed to be doing, where we are going, and all of the other moral and practical issues of life! If we have all of the at from Christ, why do we we go back to the world for wisdom of acceptance?
The allurement of seeking to become more acceptable to the world always causes Christians to abandon Christian wisdom and replaces it with the worlds wisdom. This actually causes the world to evangelize the church instead of the church evangelizing the world!
MaCarthur closes with some quotes from Spurgeon. I share a brief one here:
Jesus Christ is made of God unto us wisdom. We look no more for wisdom from the thoughts that spring of human mind, but to Christ himself; we do not expect wisdom to come to us through the culture that is of man, but we expect to be made wise through sitting at our Master’s feet and accepting him as wisdom from God himself.
Let us always embrace the wisdom of Christ no matter what the world thinks of us, for it is the power of God unto salvation!