Wednesday, March 24, 2010
McDonough's paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 8
Sean McDonough (Christ as Creator, 155-56) gives a helpful paraphrase of 1 Cor 8 about knowledge of the realities behind idols.
"Love, then, dominates the argument from 8:7 to 9:27. 'Let us assume,' Paul is saying, 'that your (not necessarily my) definition of the "nothingness" of idols is correct. Still, not everyone can operate at that level of theological finesse. Some of your brothers and sisters in the faith really believe that there are powerful forces in those idol precincts, and when they see you eating in there, they are going to assume that there is some genuine religious transaction going on. This is going to lead those same people - these brothers and sisters for whom Christ died! - to go and eat in temples also. But when they do it, they will actually believe that they are eating in the presence of another god. Such an act of spiritual adultery, such a level of betrayal, is going to pierce their hearts, and who knows whether their faith in Christ will ever be made whole again? Do you really want to be the one who sets that process in motion? Is eating some meat really worth the spiritual death of your family members in Christ? I would rather never touch another piece of meat if it meant destroying my brother'."