When the Gospel is Opaque

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“Rationalists consistently maintain that a truth need not be accepted if it makes no sense to ‘reason.’ But does this not excuse those who are perishing? The gospel makes no sense to them. ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’ (1 Cor. 1:18). The unregenerate are in need of the gospel, but the very thing that provides the only hope of salvation is nonsense to them. The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing (2 Cor. 4:23). The reply may be that the gospel makes no sense to the perishing because their thought processes are distorted by sin, and they are unwilling. This is correct — that is their problem. But this shows us how human thought processes, clouded as they can be by sin, cannot be the court in which we settle what is true and what is false. If our reason has been renewed by the Holy Spirit, it becomes possible for us to see in Scripture, with the eyes of our reason, what God has revealed to us. Prior to this work, the Bible remains spiritual gibberish because the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit; they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). This blindness does not excuse unbelievers. The gospel makes no sense to them. We may therefore conclude that the court of autonomous human reason is a worthless court when it comes to spiritual things. The wisdom of man is God’s stupidity (1 Cor. 1:18-25)” (“Foundations of Exhaustive Knowledge” in Bound Only Once, pp. 138-139).

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