Thursday's Theology Thing: Foolishness
Hehe, when I started to write for today's Theology Thing, the first thing that popped into mind is how I like to tease my 9 year-old nephew. Whenever we visit, him and I usually wrestle with either for fun. Since I have him beat by about 100 pounds and many years of experience of wrestling my older brother (ie. I know what moves hurt ;) ), I will almost always get in some type of submission hold that he can't get out of. The only way I release him is if he says the magic phrase: "Darryl is the coolest, Cameron is the foolest!" Don't worry about his self-esteem getting hurt, he knows it's all in fun and that I think he's a great kid.
So anyways, back to foolishness. Here's Hypervine's take on it:
1. [adj] (informal) having or revealing stupidity; "ridiculous asinine behavior"; "a dopey answer"; "a dopey kid"; "some fool idea about rewriting authors' books"
2. [adj] devoid of good sense or judgment; "foolish remarks"; "a foolish decision"
If you look futher down the page you see the 1913 Webster's take on foolish: void of understanding.
There are a few verses that I want to look at, all in I Corinthians.
I Cor. 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, it is the power of God.
I Cor. 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
I Cor. 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, "He takes the wise in their own craftiness."
If you read I Corinthians, you see the words "foolish" or "foolishness" a total of ten times, and eight of those times are in the first three chapters. Read I Cor. 1-3 to get the whole theme.
I thought it was odd that there is a lot of things being considered foolish out there; namely, the non-Christian's view of Christianity, and God's view of the wisdom of this world.
Consider wisdom for a minute, arguably the opposite of foolishness. Wisdom is the most cherished possession (more so than strength or power or riches), because it is through wisdom that all of these other characteristics are obtained (read about Solomon in II Chr. 1:7-12).
To the Christian, I would say that the ultimate wisdom that we have ever received is the truth about God, and what it means to be a Christian. In the eyes of the world, however, it is all foolishness. If you are unashamed to be a Christian in public, I am sure that at some point you were mocked for your beliefs.
To the non-believer, I can understand why Christianity would come across as foolishness (or rather, I can understand their logic in thinking so). For example, how can we become more by making ourselves less? How is that we become elevated when we lower ourselves to serve others? How is it possible to consider ourselves free when we claim that we are slaves to Christ? How is it possible to claim to "die daily", yet at the same time be alive in the Spirit?
On the other hand, take the wisdom that the world has accumulated from the beginning of time. When that wisdom lacks God, it is all foolishness in God's eyes.
Let's look at some examples of the world's wisdom. The most important things are wealth, fame, and power (through God's wisdom, we see them for the unsatisfying things that they are). It is through our own efforts that we become better people (we as Christians understand that it is Christ's work in our lives that make us more complete as people). The world cherishes freedom, and most consider themselves to be free (but the Bible shows us that everyone ultimately serves God or Satan. The difference is that in not serving God, you end up being slaves to many things at the same time, such as your job, addictions, and the burdens of the world in general).
There are several examples of wisdom vs. foolishness that you can see in the comparison between Christianity and the world. This week, try to think of some (from either the world's viewpoint of serving Christ, or vice-versa).