The Gospel vs. The gods of the Elite

God has not arranged things so that the foolishness of the Gospel saves [only] those who have IQ’s in excess of 130. Where would that leave the rest of us?  Nor does the foolishness of what is preached transform [only] the young, the beautiful, the extroverts, the educated, the wealthy, the healthy, the upright. Where would that leave the old, the ugly, the introverts, the illiterate, the poor, the sick, the perverse? 

[On the other hand…] The gods of the rich are not gentle with those the rich dismiss as poor; the gods of the wise are not kind to those the wise reject as stupid; the gods of the social elite are not patient with outcasts.

D.A. Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry 

3 thoughts on “The Gospel vs. The gods of the Elite

  1. Dennis,

    I think I understand what Carson is trying to say here. But I hope (not to be missunderstood) That the Gospel is for everyone. The rich, the poor, the old and the young the sick and the well..etc…
    I also understand that arrogance is an enemy of the cross no matter who it is that set himself or herself above others. Arrogance is never kind to anyone.
    For me, I have to say, I’m not a real fan of what Carson has said in these two para’s. It’s probably out of context a bit with what he was trying to say overall…so I fear to make to harsh a judgement here.

  2. David, I assume it is the context, but i’m curious what makes you uneasy about what Carson says here? As I look at it again, I guesss I could see that someone might think he is omitting those with IQ’s above 130 and the rich and beautiful from heaven… But that is not his intent. (If it was, I suspect he would be omitting himself from heaven… I don’t know about the beauty part, but Carson is highly intelligent.)

    Is there anything else that concerns you?

  3. I guess you can say I’m surprized that anyone, (even the highly intelligent) would say or at least imply that the preaching of the cross isn’t able to transform those that happen to be rich, beautiful, young, etc… and even arrogant.
    Using Carlson’s measure, even your Preaching of the cross would eleminate many from the power of the Holy Spirit to Transform. As they are either, too rich, too beautiful, too healthy, too something & even too arrogant to hear. I know there are such people no question, but I am not smart enough or insightful enough to know their hearts. I think Carson here is making a distinction between those that may be meek in spirit, as well as the poor, unhealthy, ugly, down trodden and those of lower IQ are somehow more affected by preaching and thus have hearts more open to Gods Spirit than others. If I read this correctly (I may not have) but after reading it over and over I find myself leaning to the same conclusion. This may be better thought by Carson than written down. Just seems odd to me thats all….I would, or hope I would never dismiss a person from the power of the Gospel simply based on such criteria.
    Now having said that, he may just mean the Gosple is open to all and that you don’t have to be of high I.Q. or rich or beautiful etc. to embrace the Gosple….If so, it’s at least confussing to me at best. But then my I.Q. is well below no worries!

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