II Corinthians 3:1

The first two chapters have left us an impression that relations between Paul and the church in Corinth had become strained. We go on with 3:1:

“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?”

Obviously kind of astringent! rhetorical questions with an obvious answer in the negative!

Do you understand this, Jo? tell me yes or no.
Anyone? If I go on I’ll need some comments.

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4 responses

  1. 3:2–"You yourselves are our letter (of recommendation) written on our (your) hearts … a letter of (to?) Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the Living God."A reference, I think, to the prophesy (Jeremiah or Isaiah?) of the law written on our hearts in the messianic age. Also I think– a witness to a doctrine of co-operant grace–that we cooperate in our own salvation by cooperating with the work of God in our lives. A notion most Protestants may find a bit offputting, don't you think?

  2. David, I don't know where you got that impression. I know many Protestants (of several denominations) who find that verse very helpful.Can you explicate what led to your comment?

  3. Yes many find the verse helpful; yet the history of the Reformation–indeed prior to starting with Augustine–is a radical denial that we can save ourselves–its all on God's side. Pelagius is deemed a heretic.And a fair number of folks get uncomfortable applying thsi apssage to present reality rather than some far away escatological event.

  4. A certain flavor of theology tends to be produced and promulgated as a tool for human political ends.It isn't a matter of "which" theology, but of how that theology is written, read, or used… attempts to stuff and mount God, to render God frozen and usable via human logic.A true theology (I think Blake would agree) is paradoxical, seeing out of the tension between seeming opposites. If you want to kill people over an ancient poem, it's difficult. Translate that poem into a modern language, treat it as an academic expounding of complete truth, and you end up with something fit for executions and massacres.Hence Luther, Calvin, & their Catholic opponents…

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