The Supremacy of Christ and Truth in a Postmodern World
(by Voddie Baucham)
(Voddie Baucham is dean of the seminary at African Christian University and previously served as Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, TX. He has authored numerous books, academic journals, and magazine articles. He is married to Bridget and they have nine children. They currently live in Lusaka, Zambia.)
This message appears as a chapter in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World.
Friends…this will be a 9 Part series. Please, please, take the time to work through this series. dh
Part 7: (Today’s ‘truth’ and ‘light’ is wonderful and powerful…read and re-read… dh)
What Is Wrong with the World?
Obviously there is something wrong with the world. Let’s look at the next part of the text for the answer in relation to Christ’s supremacy.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds . . . ()
What is wrong with the world? You are. “Hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” Despite the fact that you are the crowning glory of the creation of God, created to live and bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are instead hostile toward the One by whom and for whom you were created. That is what’s wrong with the world. In short, sin is what’s wrong with the world.
Many of the students who want to engage me in conversation are first-semester philosophy students. (As an aside: there ought to be a rule. You should not be able to talk about philosophy unless you’ve had more than a semester of philosophy. If you haven’t had any, that’s fine — you can talk all you want. But if you’ve had only a semester, you are messed up. You’d be better off just not taking a philosophy course at all!) These amateur philosopher-students love to catch me alone and ask me standard questions such as, “I just wanted to ask you if you believe in a God that is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, and if so, how do you reconcile those beliefs with the issue of theodicy?” to which I respond, “You just took a semester of philosophy, right?”
“Well, yes. How did you know?”
“Because if you hadn’t, you’d have just said, ‘If God’s so powerful and so good, how come bad stuff happens?’ But I’m not going to answer the question until you ask it correctly.”
“I worked on that all week! What do you mean, ‘ask it correctly’?”
“You’re not asking the question properly.”
“What do you mean ask the question properly? It’s my question. You can’t tell me how to ask my question.”
To which I patiently respond, “I will answer your question when you ask it properly.”
When they are ready, I tell them how to ask that question properly:
Look me in my eyes and ask me this: “How on earth can a holy and righteous God know what I did and thought and said yesterday and not kill me in my sleep last night?” Ask it that way, and we can talk. But until you ask it that way, you do not understand the issue. Until you ask the question that way, you believe the problem is out there somewhere. Until you ask the question that way, you believe that there are some individuals who, in and of themselves, deserve something other than the wrath of Almighty God. When you ask me the question that way — when you say, “Why is it that we are here today? Why has he not consumed and devoured each and every one of us? Why? Why, O God, does your judgment and your wrath tarry?” — then you truly understand the issue.
The problem with the world is me. The problem is the fact that I do not acknowledge the supremacy of Christ in truth. The problem is that I start with myself as the measure of all things. I judge God based upon how well he carries out my agenda for the world, and I believe in the supremacy of me in truth. As a result, I want a God who is omnipotent but not sovereign. If I have a God who is omnipotent but not sovereign, I can wield his power. But if my God is both omnipotent and sovereign, I am at his mercy.
Who am I? I am the crowning glory of the creation of God, knit together in my mother’s womb. Why am I here? I am here to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ. What is wrong with the world? Me. I don’t do what I was meant to do. (Breathe 😊Part 8, con’t tomorrow)