Brian Rosner on the Missionary Character of 1 Corinthians

Brian Rosner on the Missionary Character of 1 Corinthians August 8, 2012

I’m slowly (oh so slowly) getting through the Howard Marshall festschrift New Testament Theology in Light of the Church’s Mission, and next chapter up is Brian Rosner on “The Missionary Character of 1 Corinthians.” Rosner comments on many illuminating things like Mission-Commitment in Corinth and the link between Church and the Mission of God. This quote about mission and God’s glory stood out:

In large measure 1 Corinthians is Paul’s response to a congregation plagued by the residual Gentile vices of sexual immorality and idolatry. Paul tells the church to “flee” both, in 6:18 and 10:14 respectively and instead to “glorify God” in sexual purity and proper worship … The theme of bringing glory to God actually pervades the whole letter, using a range of synonyms. Along with these two pivotal commands, the Corinthians are to boast (or glory) in the Lord (1:31), not human leaders (3:21); worship in a fashion that brings glory and not dishonor to God in 11:2-16; and, in ch. 15, to await their resurrection and glorification, which leads to “the glory of God, even the Father, who freely gives to this mortal immortality, and to this corruptible incorruption” [from Irenaeus]. Rather than teh glory of God serving other doctrines (whether the purity of believers, church leadership, worship or the resurrection of the dead), such subjects serve to explicate the ultimate aim of all of creation rendering an appropriate response to the God of glory. As the goal of Christian existence both now and in the age to come, the glory of God, “that God may be all in all” (15:28 NRSV), is essentially an eschatological and missiological theme. It is the end to which the mission of God is leading.

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