Monday, April 17, 2006

1 corinthians chapter one

it has been a couple of weeks since our study of romans. i have agreed to have you all tramp through here for a study of first corinthians as it provides an amount of temperance to the freedom we have been discussing. for any who have not participated before, chapter headings will be posted and you simply leave your thoughts on each corresponding chapter as well as any thoughts of others you may want to discuss or clarify. easy? you bet. one small change. instead of doing our breakneck speed of a chapter a day as we have done in the past, i will leave each chapter up for a few days before moving on to provide for more in depth discussion and development of ideas, as well as providing for those who cannot be here everyday to not get behind. groovy?

"when you hear this sound (bing), turn the page. ready? let's begin." (bing)


Susan said...

Sounds good. I read the chapter about a week ago and now can't remember a thing I read but I will re read it and get back to you.

I'm also going away in a few days time for a week or so. Hopefully I'll be able to find an internet cafe or a friendly library to keep track of the conversation. So I'm glad it will be at a slower pace than before.

Herschel said...

so im glad we are doing this again...

as far as the section on division in the church, i appeal to all you prayer warriors out there. my good friend geoff was just recently ordained and hired as an asscociate pastor of a church in a larger town. hes been there since january and now, after a couple years of strife, the church is splitting. He is trying to see where God is leading him. he and the lead pastor covet your prayers as well as the church members and the people they hope to minister too. this is not a pastor sanctioned split, the elders did it on thier own because of a group of people who didnt want the church to grow. its a crappy situation.

on a stranger, more positive note, God has really been making known to me my weaknesses lately and then reading the last part of this chapter somewhat encourages me, that there is definitly hope and certainty that God will use me because of my weakness. good stuff

Susan said...

"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong" v.27. I think it is interesting, in the light of this verse, to consider that Jesus chose uneducated fishermen, quick tempered brothers and a dodgy tax collector to be the leaders of the church. It makes me think we ought to give more opportunities to young Christians (either spiritually young or physically young). By the time a person is 14, 15, 16 it is usually beginning to be apparent where their interests, gifts, talents may lie so why don't we give or create more opportunities for young people to be involved in music, lead, teach younger children or whatever. It seems to me older, more mature Christians often control these positions because they seem to think they have "earned the right" to do them.

jON said...

1CO 1:17 "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void."

i have to admit that i really have no basis for understanding this statement. not pointing fingers at any person here, but my impression of apologetics has always been that it is all about cleverness of speech. i could be wrong, but that was my impression when i used to be deep into that sort of thing. oh yes. at one point this brain was set upon proving the truth of the bible and christianity to the masses in just that way. i'm sure you can imagine what that was like.

but paul says that to preach in that fashion will actually make the cross void. any thoughts on this, people?

1CO 1:23 "...but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness..."

from what i get out of this, jews can't handle a gift coming at them. a salvation that is free and not of works. and gentiles don't understand their need for a savior. what a challenging position indeed.

so what are we then to do? what are we then to say? how are we to approach this task of sharing jesus with the world around us?

jON said...

hersch, will do. i'm sorry to hear about the pain and i will pray. but of course, though painful, it could be the birth of sometihng more wonderful taht we can't see with our eyes. i hope and pray that it is that.

and i am glad to know that god is breaking and reshaping you, though it is not a pleasant experience. it is nice when you get the breath. the little glimmer of the future. knowing that god has plans for you...and they are good. that you are not useless, whether or not you feel that way. big thing for me as well. big thing.

and yes, susan, i do agree that i would like to see a much more intensive acceptance of the young in the church. not just a misdirection of all of that energy, but a harnessing of that energy in a way to further the kingdom.

i just thought today about a quote from singer billy corgan, "youth is wasted on the young." and how much truth comes through in that. but what if we were to encourage our young people in their adventures and to give them help and offer wisdom when asked for, and spent more intentional time drawing near to them and being common with them. not just trying to cram them into a mold of our own choosing.

simply helping to water and see what god gives birth too. i think it could be a world changing experience.

Susan said...

Thoughts on 1 Cor 1:17: "cleverness of speech" perhaps meaning any form of preaching that encourages people to rely on the preacher or the preaching rather than God is in danger of making the cross void. Generally speaking I don't think that means apologetics unless it is being used in a way that makes people think that they can't hear from God without it. I get more concern about bringing business/marketing principles into the church (except where the principles were taken from the church in the first place).

Thoughts on 1 Cor 1:23: it seems to me that we still have those same two groups. Those who realize they are not "good enough" but think if they do good works that will be enough; and those who think they are "good people" and therefore don't need a Saviour. I wonder if we need to emphasis the holiness and majestic of God more than we do. In order to make people realize that the gap (between my goodness and God's goodness) is way bigger than they think.

Herschel, I too am sorry to hear about the pain. Unfortunately I think I have become numb to the pain of church splits having heard about so many. I pray that good will come out of this situation.

jON said...

hmmmm. have you ever had those times where you were talking with someone who does not know christ fully? and you just keep talking? and you think that the more you talk that perhaps the next thing you say is going to be THE ONE? but it never is. at least it hasn't been for me. maybe that's a little bit more of what paul is hitting at here. thinking that it is through the amount or persuasiveness of our words that a person will see and hear.

Heather said...

Hey Jon,
Remember me? HH from NWB? I just came across your blog today and I tried to email you, but your jonperes account at hotmail wouldn't take my email! Is there another address I can write to you at? And, I must say, excellent blog.

Paul said...


Three things:

1. " have been eager to receive his gifts during this time of waiting for his final appearance." [v8] To think that they were saying "even so, come Lord Jesus" - anticipating his return, much like we do today. That blows my mind.

2. "All together you should be achieving a unity in thought and judgment." [v10b] Can you IMAGINE the power behind THAT kind of unity. UGH! We suck! ;-)

3. "The preaching of the cross is, I know, nonsense to those who are involved in this dying world..." [v18] What is he saying? Why would he say that the gospel is useless to the world? Aren't we commissioned to preach the cross?


jON said...

of course i remember you HH from NWB! i was at your wedding for crying out loud! and i did try to leave a comment on your blog last night, but was unable to bring up the comments page. it just wouldn't load for some reason. but it is good to hear from you all the same. feel free to share here and jump in at any time. we're all about openness and love and connecting here, so if you're craving that sort of thing, please don't feel like you have to be shy. it's not like you're breaking in on some kind of closed group here. we've all just kind of found each other and have built relationship across the globe to grow and then impact our local communities with our learning and understanding and growth in the lord.

paul - verse 10 is really kicking my ass. i don't even know quite how to respond to it. what if we, in our modern day, have become removed from what paul wants us to have unity about? i certainly am not for schisms, but what if there are things your congregation holds to that you just can't jive with after prayer and meditation on the word? how do we handle such situations? i'm asking for help because i've just encountered some major issues and would like advice here.

v. 18 - i know you are a big fan of the message and i assume that's what you are quoting. most other translations i have run across translate the word "useless" as "foolishness". which has always been my understanding. and yeah, it is foolishness i would say from both angles once again. foolishness to the religious who cannot see how the cross could actually be it. no more rules, no law, just forgiveness. and foolishness to those who did not even know that they needed saving. which i guess would be the same as making this information useless.

and to tie the two thoughts together, what are we to do in the face of a church that has little time for grace? i'm not saying that is your experience, but it has become mine. how do i keep from "schisming" when i believe the cross was it. that we can believe christ when he said, "it is finished." and yet others within the walls of the church would maintain that the cross was all well and good, but in order to be saved you must do this and this and NOT do this and this. now, of course, this is not what is explicitly said, but i think we've all run into this and have heard this message underlying the surface because when straight grace is preached, man does it get rejected!

sorry if i come off a little disturbed this morning. as you can see, i am grieved to the depths of my soul over this. please pray for me and my family for wisdom and humility in this!!!!!!

Paul said...

Whoa - deep stuff - I think I need a couple more days to contemplate it all - and you've already moved on to chapter two!! Argh!


[The version I'm quoting is the J.B. Phillips translation - an old school translation]

Heather said...

Hey JN,
I left a little note on my blog. I'll write more later after I read the Corinthians material.
I didn't think you wouldn't remember me - it just feels very like a very long distance from Fargo to St. Paul, both in distance and memory. If that makes sense.
HB aka HH

jON said...

nope. still right here. as you can see, there is nothing under chapter 2 yet. i'm just going to see my brother at his home in athens, georgia for the first time since he moved down there almost 3 years ago. i leave 4am on sunday morning and return wednesday evening. prayers for safety for the whole clan, please. and i thought if you guys wanted to move on, i would give you the key to the next room while i was gone.

my parents have used phillips in the past, but i have never taken the plunge. i think i just might.

so whose turn is it to bring snacks? unless i am wrong, i brought a whole mess of krispy kremes and coffee last when we were studying romans over at a booklook.

much love, folks. keep praying for me and my situation. which is probably going to end up with me not being welcome in my home body, as far as i can see. but the lord is gracious and can do amazing things. i feel like i've had the wind kicked out of me.

oh, and hersch. i believe i've come to the conclusion that the more weak and the more broken you are is the more strong god gets to be and the more cracks that you have will spill out what he puts in you all over the world around you.