‚ÄúFor Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel‚Äînot with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
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.‚Äù
(1Cor 1:17-18 NIV)
You can‚Äôt talk about the Cross and use human wisdom at the same time. Paul‚Äôs ‚ÄúMessage of the Cross‚Äù is the Gospel. In reading The Secret Message of Jesus, McLaren said that the Gospel is not quoting Paul, but should be what Jesus said, ‚ÄúThe Kingdom of God is at hand.‚Äù
I think the Kingdom of God IS at hand, and God has declared domination of this world‚Äôs kingdoms by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The only weapon any worldly kingdom has is rooted in death ‚Äì but now there are enemies of the worldly kingdoms that, after we kill them, they come back to life! The kingdoms and governments of this world HAVE FALLEN. The Government of God is at hand.
‚ÄúThe seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‚ÄúThe kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.‚Äù‚Äù
(Rev 11:15 NIV)
‚ÄúCaesar is lord.‚Äù Was a pledge in Paul‚Äôs day. To say ‚ÄúJesus is lord.‚Äù Is a parody on a common saying, like ‚ÄúI pledge allegiance to Jesus.‚Äù
Wow. Can you imagine some kids at a high school basketball game during the first Persian Gulf War doing that? They‚Äôd get beat up. They might even have gotten killed, only to rise again‚Ä¶