I love studying different viewpoints on the Bible. I love finding ways to deepen my relationship with God. And I love looking for new perspectives that make me think more broadly. It’s a true joy to follow the writings and teachings of fellow pastors and leaders, and the content available today is vast. If you take the time, you can learn so much from Christian thinkers like C. S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Eugene Peterson. But although these men’s writings show incredible wisdom in their biblical understanding, even they would likely tell you, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom” (1 Cor 1:25 niv).
No matter how deep and insightful Christianity’s best minds may be, they pale in comparison to God’s wisdom. While theology and academics can help enrich our understanding of God and his word, scholarly wisdom should not be the sole object of our pursuit. These are only signposts on our chase for the main goal: Jesus. Building our spiritual houses on top of human-made foundations will surely lead us to eventual destruction, but building upon the beauty and omnipotence of God will surely keep us standing tall generation after generation.
We’re reminded in 1 Corinthians 1:18–30 that God didn’t hone his message for the wise, influential elite. Instead, he “chose the foolish things of the world” (v. 27 niv)—the weak things, the lowly and despised. He did this, Paul writes, “so that no one may boast before him” (v. 29 niv). We can’t claim to “get” God’s love on any account of our own. It’s not something that we just happen to be smart enough to understand or forward-thinking enough to implement. It all comes from God. All we can do is chase after him, looking to the cross for whatever ounce of knowledge or experience of God we might gain.
Theology, worship music, devotionals, small groups—these can be wonderful tools for enhancing our relationship with God. But on their own, they’ll never be enough to provide a true and enriching relationship with God. On their own, they will always fail to live up to the true depth that is the gospel. Examine your heart and ask whether you’re pursuing God or pursuing the things that serve as signposts on the way to him.