In anticipation of the book’s release in 2014, I am going to offer a series of excerpts on this blog. I hope these selections wet your whistle; may you be like my son, Sam, who knows the word, “more”!
paradoxically appears to be foolishness to the world (1 Cor
1:18–25). The point is that the wisdom of God can challenge
the assumptions of our culture. For example, Matthew’s
Sermon on the Mount and Luke’s Sermon on the Plain are
full of “advice” that most successful people in our modern
world would consider outright lunacy: turn the other cheek
(Mt 5:39; Luke 6:29); if anyone wants to sue you for your
coat, give your cloak as well (Mt 5:40; Luke 6:29); love your
enemies (Mt 5:44; Luke 6:27).
These ethical commands seem illogical–even offensive–
because we place such a high value in our culture on
individualism: A penny saved is a penny earned. Pull yourself
up by your own bootstraps. No pain, no gain. God helps
those who help themselves. While nowhere to be found in
the Bible, these “scriptures” are used by many people to interpret
the parables and teachings of Jesus. But might our
wisdom actually be foolish in the long run? Does our attitude
of individualism create a foundation of love?
Copyright Andrew Taylor-Troutman, 2014; Wipf & Stock Publishers