The Irony of the Cross
1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5
A fast-paced lifestyle is one determinant for the human eye's system of essentializing images and type -- drawing conclusions in mere seconds. Add in a culturally shaped upbringing singing church songs, and the mind would predictably fill in the blanks with mundane rhetoric. The dotted line at the end of "Old, Rugged ..." wouldn't be filled with "Electric Chair". That kind of irony wouldn't fit the narrative.
Dr. Don Carson incites our sensibilities towards the horrific:
"What would you think if a woman came to work wearing earrings stamped with an image of the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima? What would you think of a church building adorned with a fresco of the massed graves at Auschwitz? Both visions are grotesque. They are not only intrinsically abhorrent, but they are shocking because of powerful cultural associations" (in The Cross and Christian Ministry).
The cross is not just a symbol or Christian's good luck charm. It's a statement. It is the center of the Christian faith. We sing about it all the time. We preach frequently its message, and our "official" meal remembers it. We can never tire of knowing "Christ and him crucified." We can't and should never get over it. We should just "cherish the old rugged cross."
Listen as Pastor Will unpacks these themes from the book of First Corinthians.
A problem church. That was Corinth. And, the Apostle Paul carefully addresses each issue with clarity and conviction that suffices for churches of all ages and places. From division to immorality to marriage and divorce; from conscience to the Lord's Supper and spiritual gifts; the role of the resurrection... this first letter to the Corinthian church assures us nothing is beyond the Gospel's power to put a church on the path to health.
This is an ongoing "series" of individual expositions of First Corinthians. Hardly any of these talks are sequential but hopefully they are faithful and can seamlessly continue and pass the baton to their immediate contexts.