Category Archives: 1 Corinthians

Love lived out in community

Mine! Mine!

Alternatively titled, “What you won’t hear the Apostle Paul say.”

I’ve been chewing on this for a little while as I work my way through Paul’s epistles. During this project, I’ve discovered a funny side effect of getting to know the biblical authors better: I get annoyed when people say things about them that I don’t think are true. In this case, I found myself chafing at a rather pervasive idea commentators seem to have have about Paul. Many of them consider him to be quite possessive of the churches he planted.

At one level, I can see how they could arrive at this conclusion. With texts like these…

Ga 4:16-17; 5:12 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? They zealously court you, but for no good; yes, they want to exclude you, that you may be zealous for them. …I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

2Co 10:13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us–a sphere which especially includes you.

2Co 11:5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles…

2Co 12:11 …I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles…

…it’s easy to walk away with the idea that Paul was a little jumpy about losing his ministry base. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on September 14, 2011 in 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians


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Real Life According to Paul: Your Conscience is My Problem

Some of you might remember that I’m on a journey of actively trying to make friends with the Apostle Paul. It’s going well. Paul is great. He’s spiritually deep. He’s got a servant’s heart. He has a really sharp wit. He loves to burst into praise of the greatness of God in the middle of his theological expositions.

I’m also finding that a lot of people have a wrong first impression of Paul. Over years of modern proof-texting, Paul has accrued the reputation of being a lofty spiritualist. While he certainly is godly, and has intelligence and spiritual insight to spare, he is not lofty. He’s very down to earth, and he knows how to grapple with the nitty-gritty of everyday life. His pastoral heart shines through in his epistles. He’s not just writing theory — he’s dealing with the real lives of real people. To him, Christianity doesn’t need to be reconciled with “real life” — he expects it to transform and dictate the way that life takes place.

Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in the book of 1 Corinthians. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on July 16, 2011 in 1 Corinthians, Bible


1 Corinthians 14 – “Let Your Women Keep Silent”

Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

This is one of the passages that is used as a deal-clincher in the debate about women in ministry. As we see, Paul clearly is saying that women should not be the speakers in church.

Or at least, that’s what he is “clearly saying” if we only read one verse and stop. Read the rest of this entry »


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