Introduction to Preaching the Bible versus The Wisdom of the World (Theology)

1 Corinthians 1:21-31 King James Version (KJV)

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Apostles and Prophets or the Foolishness of Preaching (Proclaiming) versus the Wisdom (theology and philosophy) of the World.

Preaching the Bible versus The Wisdom of the World (Theology)

1.  Research, Bible Study, and Writing Commentaries as the basis for Preaching Thru the Bible started right here with Apostles and Prophets, or Prophets and Apostles depending on whether you wish to highlight the OT or the NT in a Bible development of a Bible outline based as a starting foundation on the OT quotes in the New Testament.

When this All Scripture Method and Movement starts with the very internal structure of the Bible that God the Holy Spirit used to write the Bible, you begin to get the secret to being able to confidently Preach thru the Bible in one year.  It is something that can be done by any preacher that is an avid student of the Bible.

2.  In the jargon of today it would be called Homiletics and Bible Commentaries versus Theology and Philosophy.

“Preach” of “Proclaim” in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology:

“The word for “preach, ” “proclaim” in the Greek New Testament is kerysso [khruvssw]. It is used thirty-two times in the Gospels, but about half of these are parallel occurrences within the Synoptic Gospels. “Proclaim” is complementary to the more specific term “evangelize” (euangelizomai) or the phrase “announce the good news, ” which contains within its meaning the object that is announced or proclaimedthe good news. However, usually when “proclaim” for the Greek word “kerysso” is used the context includes its object, which in the majority of instances is the gospel or Jesus. The noun proclaimer, herald (keryx), refers to one who proclaims news publicly.”

keryssso means to proclaim the word, the Bible cover to cover, for the All Scripture method and movement!

3.  And the best or most famous Scripture on Preaching Bible versus Theology and Philosophy is, of course, I Corinthians 1:21:

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

Maybe a little strong but necessary to say and paraphrase a bit:  The plan of God was to chose preaching over theology and philosophy.  To the secular world, the majority, preaching the Bible appears a foolish way to learn about God, yet that is the method by which God Himself (the very postulated subject of Theology) chose to proclaim the Gospel in order than humanity might be saved, or experience salvation. The average Seminary student has experienced this choice of God when, after the weekly struggle of delivering a message of salvation from God and the Word, are forced to choose for a degree program more courses on Theology than on specific Bible courses, sometimes thinking or saying, “This won’t preach”, or “I can’t preach this to my people”, until the pressure of big churches to be a Dr. Somebody leads all the way to Doctoral training, and then it becomes a matter of the means justify the ends, and they go down the rabbit hole of Theology more than Bible.

W. B. Riley, generally acknowledged as the father of fundamentalism, wrote in 1947 about PREACHER AND HIS PREACHING, the following words:

“There is a lamentable ignorance of the Bible on the part of many ministers and of students preparing for the ministry. Theological seminaries founded for the purpose of training men in the knowledge of God, His Word, and His dealings with men, discuss deeply the question whether God is knowable, spend much lime in deciding whether the Bible is, after all, the Word of God, and study minutely every heresy that has sprung up since Christianity was established, while Cod as manifested in Ills Word, and the Word as giving God’s idea to men, are ignored.”

The emphasis in education, personal or formal is what is paramount:  75 % Bible, Bible, Bible, 20% Homiletics and Hermeneutics, 5 % Pastor Duties, Church Administration and Teaching for Results. {The rest can be obtained by the reading and study of good conservative books in which it have gained confidence like Oates, Dobbins, etc.}  A better program of Bible study today would be to first go through the 17 commentaries of B.H. Carroll for a solid foundation in sound doctrine, then perhaps the newer New Testament Commentaries and Barclay.  It is true what Spurgeon said in his Lecture to My Students (the second recommended book on Homiletics to Riley’s Preacher and His Preaching):  “Be not such a wiseacre to think that you have nothing to learn from the past.”  Of course, the best is Preaching from the Bible by that grand Methodist Andrew Blackwood and throw in his book on Leading in Public Prayer.

Southwestern Baptist Seminar was founded by that grand man of the Bible and history, Dr. B. H. Carroll with the simple program to teach through the Bible in English, and we are grateful that his lectures have been re-printed in the form of a word for word set of commentaries, called “An Interpretation of the English Bible”.  In other words, they studied Bible and only Bible at the beginning.

4.  Theology versus Bible

Graduates of Dallas Theological Seminary do not even realize that they have turned more to Theology than Bible for their source of sounds, what suckered them into this was both fundamentalism and Scofieldism, especially non-biblical concepts of dispensations in the Bible (much more a matter of isogesis, the reading into the Bible of meaning rather than exegesis, the reading out) lead them down theosophical paths with the necessity to justify Theology over Biba with a false literalism. Even when men strive to pool the wisdom in and of the world directed toward God, it still remains the collective wisdom of men that leads students down the path of what Peter Marshall said, “Stand for nothing, and fall for anything.”

5.  The Bible is the Word of God:  Christ and One, Top 1-3 of 12

The place of this chapter is to outline the whole Bible in brief from the quotations in the New Testament from the Old Testament, and does it surprise you that most of the quotes of the Old Testament in the New Testament come from the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul; and furthermore that it is this chief editor of the New Testament, which more than the Old Testament is a story of Christ–that by much more, by the way,  is the same Paul who wrote, “For to me to live is Christ.”  For Paul to live was for Christ to live, and for the Bible to live today is for Christ to live through the words and Word of the Bible.  (You will see before you finish this volume, if you can since it is large, and if you do not see Christ already in the Bible.)

Unless you still the veil over your eyes which is done away in a personal experience with Christ, or unless  “blindness in part is happened to” you as part of the nation of Israel “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and in either case all we can do, you and us, is pray that the veil or blindness be removed in order that you can see!  Of course, when this happens, world history as we know it is almost over!

Someone tells the story of a certain large Bible so designed that when you stood back to look at any page, you would see outlined around the text an image of Christ.  So it is with the story or message of the Bible.  Christ is the Bible, and the Bible is Christ. How appropriately the Apostle John first received in Revelation the proper word of “Word” to represent the Lord Jesus Christ, then later in the writing of the Gospel of John started the story of the Life of Jesus  with the “Word made flesh” as a proper label for Jesus.  The word “Word” for Jesus and the word “Word” for the Word of God are more closely related than we will ever know this side of eternity. (Karl Barth has made a contribution here in his book on the Word.)

Each of us must interpret Christ for our own generation.  The accuracy of that interpretation can be measured in terms of our faithfulness to the Bible as the Word of God.  There are many official and un-official interpretations of Christ even as there are many man-made religious organizations which claim to properly interpret Christ for our times.  Rather than sling mud about which ones and how many of them are really part of the body of the Christ of the Bible, and incidentally of the presently living Christ who is the only head of the real body of Christ…that is, I say, rather than trying to separate who is and who is not a member of the real body of Christ, the more positive approach is to get back to the Bible with good Bible-based principles of hermeneutics, or Bible interpretation, setting forth the real Christ of the Bible and what it is to Learn the Christ of the Bible.

If forced to select two verses from the Bible to represent a single focus for THE LEARN CHRIST COMMENTARY, it would have to be Ephesians 4:20,21.

“But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus…”  (Ephesians 4:20,21 NJKV)

Let us face up to realities:  Even as some church members in the church at Ephesus, the church where the Apostle Paul had labored the longest, had not really heard Christ and had no really been taught by Christ, even so many more in American religious organizations, having lesser leaders than Paul and Christ, have not heard Christ and have not been taught by Christ.  (You will learn more about this focus later.)  Right now, we need to relate the “Preview of the Bible”, the subject of this first chapter, to that focus.  The claim is that the story of the whole Bible is ultimately a story about the learning of Christ.  If you look at the outline of the Bible below, you will notice the Gospel of Christ as number 8 of the complete 12 of  the subject outline of the Bible.  You will also find Christ dominating roman numerals 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 as well as an integral subject matter of each outline division.  The reason is simple:  The Bible is a story about the Lord Jesus Christ!  And if you don’t learn Christ, the Christ of the Bible and the Christ of God the Father, the Creator of the Universe, then you do not learn the Bible!

6.  Subject Outline of the Bible.         

I.          The Living God of the Living  

II.        Righteousness of God and Man   

III.       The Composite Witness of the Bible        

IV.       God, Man and the Son of Man  

V.        The Resurrection  

VI.       Wisdom from God  

VII.      The Gospel  

VIII.    Listening More Important Than Sacrifice

IX.       What Happened to the Jews as the Chosen nation?  

X.        The Salvation of God  

XI.       The New King of Israel  

XII.      The Living God Wants Others to Live

What is amazing is that the whole Bible of 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament, can be outlined under 12 major subjects!  I will tell you upfront why that is possible: because of the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament, and because the New Testament provides the proper interpretation of those Old Testament quotes.

“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”  (John 17:1-5)

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