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. 19 For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength, (1 Corinthians 18-25).
"Knowledge is power, is a phrase many of us have often heard, coined by Sir Francis Bacon, the Renaissance genius responsible for advancing the quality of the English language and scientific thought to possibly being responsible for some of the world's greatest literature. And many people have used the power of knowledge to advance their respective causes and goals, and most folks believe this is a good thing. Obviously, no one can deny that knowledge of a variety of subject matter is essential to succeed in life. A combination of knowledge and the ability to articulate its message has not only opened the door to to achieve greater power, some would say achievement in any endeavor is impossible without its respective wisdom. Especially in mastering the language of the society one has to deal with.
Many individuals throughout history have been revered for not only their mastery of their respective language, but for their oratory and linguistic ability to influence millions to change the course of human history. In America, the names of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. instantly come to mind. Unfortunately, others have used those skills to wreak havoc on humanity, including Adolph Hitler.
Nevertheless, neither intellect, esoteric knowledge nor higher education can ever match the power of the Word of God, which reigns supreme not solely for its prose and literary astuteness, but because of who the word of God is. We are told clearly in the first book of John:
The Internet (for one) is providing the opportunity for many of God's disciples to emerge from the swampland of electronic evangelicalism, not due to their charm and charisma, and great eloquence, but by their willingness to be humbled and used of God to speak forth the convicting power of God's word alone.
The apostle Paul gave us a hint in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that reaching others for Christ would not be based on eloquence nor human wisdom: For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
Therefore, many who engage in debates, especially in regards to matters of eschatology, need to be reminded that it is the Holy Spirit who confirms truth, and all the rhetorical (and academic) dogma and inference being tossed into the mix, will not be enough to convince (and move) hearts to follow Christ. Much of these debates is centered on the egocentric nature that comes from academic achievement, social, cultural and economic status. But, a person's seminary degree nor even years of study will be able to match the words spoken by the most unlikely persons who have been chosen by God to deliver His message, regardless of their shortcomings in regards to physical stature, personality and or their inability to put two sentences together, much less two words.
These will be chosen because of their humility, their deep love and commitment for Christ, and a willingness to serve the Master rather than advancing their positional/community/economic status.
Some would call these servants unqualified fools based on their lack of academic achievement, their ethnicity, culture, and their lowly economic and social status. So be it! But God's true servants know who they are! They were told by God that these earthly achievements, gains and gifts would never be used by Him to bring people back into His Kingdom.
26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord!"