Recently I read a book by a physicist trained at MIT. His intention was to convince his readers that the six days of biblical creation are exactly the same as the 15 billion years which some people think the earth has existed. He lost me in his discussion about the stretching of time and its super-compression. Definitely beyond my intellectual capacity. While it’s fascinating to contemplate the science behind creation, I can’t help but think we get a little lost in the details. Reading books filled with such theories makes me all the more thankful for the simplicity of the gospel.
But in an age when we have more and more complex technologies being unveiled almost monthly, I wonder if some people assume the gospel is too simple for our tech-savvy culture because it doesn’t have the ring of newness or complexity. With new information exploding all around us, I wonder if some people mistakenly consider the gospel to be “ancient literature” having little value for today’s sophisticated intellect.
The simplicity of the gospel doesn’t mean that it only makes sense to the shallow, uneducated, or simple-minded. Far from it! Many highly educated men and women have embraced its truth. In fact, many of the people who developed our scientific disciplines were brilliant men and women devoted to Jesus Christ: Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Louis Pasteur, and Johannes Kepler. These and many others believed that God created everything with such precision and consistency so that His works could be studied. A larger list of scientists who followed Christ is found at wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology. I’m glad you don’t have to check your brain at the door to embrace Christ.
Whether we consider ourselves to be very smart or only moderately so, we can still lose sight of the gospel’s simplicity. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, NASB). It’s possible to complicate the gospel or allow other things to barge into our lives and captivate our attention. God wants us to remain simply devoted to Christ.
Do you have a theory why some simple-minded people embrace the gospel, while some do not? Do you have an idea why some brilliant people embrace the gospel, while others do not? My personal theory is that it’s because the gospel exposes our greatest weakness: our pride. I don’t mean the pride that swells in your chest when your child succeeds. The kind of pride I’m talking about assumes I’m better than you. It says, “I don’t need God. I’m ok without Him. If He has a problem with that, He has a problem.” It’s the kind of pride that takes credit for anything good in my life and blames someone else for anything bad that causes me discomfort.
The simple gospel is this: We each want to be god of our own lives and run from the God who loves us. While He has every right to judge us for that attitude, He instead sent His Son to suffer our judgment so that we could be forgiven. Jesus came back from the dead and is able to live inside us when we choose to acknowledge His sacrifice in our behalf. He calls us, then, to a life of devotion and thankfulness.
Where are you? Have you asked Christ to forgive you and become the Leader of your life? Have you allowed other things to displace your love and devotion to Him? Maybe it’s time to simplify life and choose what’s most important. Don’t allow yourself to be robbed of being right with God and loving Him.