Romans 1 - The Gospel, Man's Wisdom

Romans 1:8 - Imagine the news of the faith of a single church being reported all over the world and being rejoiced about in every church. In our fractured Christianity today, one group has a success and those within it rejoice, but most of the rest don't even hear. Of those that do, some dismiss it because they aren't doing it right or whatever. Back in the heydays of the ICOC, when we still thought we were 'The Church', I can remember news of things like the multi-racial church in Johannesburg or the success of the Moscow church and having the feeling that he describes here. Of course, no one rejoiced with us and we wouldn't have rejoiced with anyone else either.

Romans 1:15 - He's eager to preach the gospel to them. I think we tend to think that 'preaching the gospel' means evangelism, preaching to those who don't know. But Paul is writing to a church, people who not only knew Jesus but who had already been converted. And Paul was eager to share the Gospel with them.

The Gospel isn't only for those who've never heard, it's needed for all of us. We shouldn't tire of hearing it nor should preachers tire of preaching it.

Romans 1:18-23 - Although I think Paul is speaking here of men who worship things other than God, I can't help thinking of Darwin and his deliberate exclusion of God from creation. Now, I'm not a young earth proponent, nor do I claim that evolution is non existent. In fact, I suspect that there's a lot more truth in Darwin's theories than most evangelicals would like to allow. (And I find a God who can create a system like evolution, where species adapt to changing conditions yet the adaptations do not unravel the system, perhaps more compelling and awe inspiring than the creation of the Earth as we know it in one swoop. But I digress.) What stuck me in these past few weeks where the anniversary of Darwin's birth was celebrated, and the story of his developing his theories was revealed, was how he seemed to set out, laser focused almost, to remove God from the story of creation. "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things."

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