Paul's Theology of Sexual Practice - A Study of 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
Written by Dr. Kenneth Bailey   
Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:56
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Ken Bailey's Address to the PFR Breakfast at the 220th General Assembly of the PC(USA)

Ken_BaileyIt is a great priviledge to be with you this morning and to be able to reflect with you briefly on the amazing theological foundation that Paul lays for sexual practice in harmony with the Gospel.

Paul tells the Corinthians (4:6) that his intent in the letter is, (literally translated) "that you may learn in us not to go beyond that which is scripture..."  The Presbyterian Logo, as you recall, has a dove descending on a book.  Our reformed tradition rests solidly on sola scriptora.

Out of this heritage I am honored to be invited to reflect with you on what Paul has to say in I Corinthians 6:9-20.

My thirty-five years of concentrated study on I Corinthians has led me to the firm conclusion that Paul is deadly serious when he affirms in the opening of this epistle that he is writing "for the Corinthians" and for "all those in every place on whom is called the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  That is: This letter is for the Corinthians and all Christians.  From John Chrysostom in the 4th century, through Bishr ibn al-Sari in the 9th century, to John Calvin in the 16th century and beyond there is concurrence that Paul means what he says.  I Corinthians was indeed written to the Corinthians, but at the same time Paul was deliberately addressing the entire Church.

This long endorsed understanding is greatly strengthened when we note that Paul's letter presents five carefully constructed essays.

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