Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Christ and him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2) is the simple and central message of the Gospel and our witness ... with a Fred Craddock story of Dr. Burghardt DuBois and Truth.

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 2:2 (TM)
I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did - Jesus crucified.

STORY as told by Fred B. Craddock:
Burghardt DuBois, the great black educator, sociologist, and historian, upon completion of studies at Fisk, Harvard and the University of Berlin, was convinced that change in the condition of the American black could be effected by careful scientific investigations into the truth about the black in America. So he proceeded. His research was flawless and his graphs and charts impeccable. After waiting several years and hearing not the slightest stir of reform, Dr. DuBois had to accept the truth about Truth: Its being available does not mean it will be appropriated.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. A lot of knowledge is explosive. Unused or under-used knowledge is corrosive.

Let’s be honest. We already know more about Jesus than we are using. We can shout biblical passages all day long. We can use the name of God effectively and eloquently. We can speak with high-sounding platitudes. We speak a better game than we practice.

Paul took his vast knowledge of Christ and made it simple so that all the more could come into a relationship with Christ. He had but one message and that was Christ and him crucified. Now place that truth over against the message and activities of the Church … and what is the result? Don’t we discover a lot of under-used knowledge and a message burdened by layer upon layer of unimportant background noise that drowns out the central message of the Gospel.

To simplify the Gospel message doesn’t mean to dumb-it-done. To simplify the Gospel message doesn’t mean to ignore the great truths found through the pages of the Bible. The reality is that many of the truths of scripture cannot be heard until the central message is heard and accepted.

The central message of the Bible is Jesus Christ and him crucified. The challenge is to trust the reality of that message in what we say and do. We need not quantify it nor authentic it … all we have to do is live it. God will do the rest.

Keep us focus on the mean thing today in all that we say and do. 

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