1 corinthians

while i was in colorado this summer, i came to the realization that i had given the bible considerably little time and thought compared to the numerous works i’ve read for st. john’s and beyond. when i do read the bible, i typically pay attention to what makes me feel good, and steer clear of the rest. why? so i’ve set out to do a more thorough reading of the bible. reading whole books at once instead of excerpts, noting what makes me feel good or uncomfortable or confused. asking questions. re-reading. it gives me lots to think about.

here are some thoughts on 1 corinthians.

“has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?… for the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom.” (1:20, 25). certainly, yes. i encounter this in myself and with my more intellectual friends. faith does seem foolish at times, which is part of what makes it faith. if everything made sense, there would be no room for wonder, mystery, God.

chapters 5 and 6 are troubling to me. paul says to condemn the sexually immoral person in their group (he’s referring to a man who took his mother as a bride) and to not even share a meal with him. it’s a pretty hard line. he seems to change his tune a bit in 2 corinthians, though, which i’ll touch on later.

“i have become all things to all men so that by all possible means i might save some.” (9:22). paul is talking about how he meets people where they are, much like Jesus did. he says more about this, and there’s much to be learned from it, i think.

God always gives me a way out of temptation (10:15)… whether i chose to accept that way is up to me, though.

chapter 13, the famous love chapter. one of my friends used to get annoyed when chapter 13 was read at weddings, since the context of the chapter is actually dissention among the corinthians, not the harmony a marriage ceremony is to represent. he was encouraged, though, when a minister actually addressed that truth during the wedding. perhaps acknowledging the context of the passage actually makes it that much more appropriate to a marriage with its ups and downs. regardless, i think this definition of love is beautiful. “and now these three remain: faith, hope and love. but the greatest of these is love.”

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