Letters of Paul

1 Corinthians

From Flesh to Spirit – Discussion Questions

Questions for Discussion:

1. What do you think of Paul’s strategy, clearly at work in these chapters, to be “all things to all people”?

2. Are there examples today of behaviors that some members of your congregation find unacceptable that others find to be morally indifferent? Do debates over such issues cause tension in your community? Does Paul offer any help in dealing with them?

3. What do you make of Paul’s appeal to the Old Testament (chap. 10)? Does his “midrash” provide a model of how we should read the text?

4. Does Paul’s use of Christian worship practice have any contemporary force? Can we derive norms for our general behavior from what we experience “in church”?

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  1. Adrian Bruder

    1. What do you think of Paul’s strategy, clearly at work in these chapters, to be “all things to all people”?

    Yes, he is saying meat sacrificed to idols should have no power over us for we are free in Christ, but he is also saying that if eating that meat will adversely affect a weaker brother in Christ who still fears those idols, you shouldn’t eat it.

    He says you shouldn’t worry about where the meat you buy at the market comes from, but if you know where it comes from or it is made known to you that this is a meal that comes from food sacrificed to other gods, you shouldn’t in conscience do it.

    He says that someone who works in the church such as he should be entitles to be funded and provided for by the church.

    He also says that being a slave in Christ he refuses to take the Corinthians money. I think he has a lot of people looking to knock him down at any opportunity and he held himself to a higher standard than his contemporaries out of necessity.
    2. Are there examples today of behaviors that some members of your congregation find unacceptable that others find to be morally indifferent? Do debates over such issues cause tension in your community? Does Paul offer any help in dealing with them?
    I don’t really see Methodists speaking in tongues.

    Methodists don’t like to talk about powers and principalities of darkness

    Methodist worship never gets out of control. I think they like to be more moderate in general. I think they just want to cast a wider net than other denominations.
    3. What do you make of Paul’s appeal to the Old Testament (chap. 10)? Does his “midrash” provide a model of how we should read the text?
    Why would GOD include the failures of HIS chosen in HIS word if HE didn’t intend to use those failures as guidance to getting those who are called into HIS will while keeping their own free will?
    4. Does Paul’s use of Christian worship practice have any contemporary force? Can we derive norms for our general behavior from what we experience “in church”?
    I try to look at this from a cultural context. It was the cultural norm at the time for married women to cover their head. What would you say today if Sister Sharon or Brother Mathew went to church services with their wedding rings removed? I am not really sure if that’s how it related culturally back then, but a wedding ring is the closest thing I could come up with. I’d like to think Paul wasn’t as sexist as most men at the time.