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I’m reading Ben Witherington’s commentary on 1 Corinthians titled Conflict & Community in Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. Witherington concludes his review of 1 Cor. 4:1-21 with the following words, which I have to agree with:

“It is sobering to compare Paul’s resume in 4:9-13 with what is usually presented to a modern congregation. One wonders how many congregations would hire someone like Paul, who touts his weakness in personal presence, his penchant to find or stir up trouble, his run-ins with the law, and his lack of the skills so often most valued today in a preacher, namely, good oral form, verbal eloquence, powerful delivery, and meaningful gestures.

“I suspect that all too often we evaluate our ministers using Corinthian, not Pauline, criteria. In doing so, we, too, have bought into the world’s dominant vision of what it means to be wise, powerful, and of great worth, and have, like the Corinthians, made void the preaching of the cross.”

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