Focus: Cor 11:16-33
Paul uses a literary scheme to appeal to the people of Corinth. In Paul's writings, Paul says that he was all things to all people in his attempt to get them to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In today's passage, Paul says that he is not speaking the way God speak, but speaking to them in their own way (a fool) so that they may get his point. There is a reason that God chose a well-trained, well-traveled, passionate, Roman Jew to take His message to the Gentiles. Greek was the world language of this time so Paul, being learned, would have known Greek and the ways of Greek life and business. There is a debating technique called "reductio ad absurdum", which has its roots in classical Greek philosophy and which argues extremes to make a point. Paul takes the opportunity to recite all that he has been through in the defense of the Gospel of Peace as extremes to get the Corinthians to see their own folly! As Greeks, the people in Corinth were well versed in debating and logic, which they called wisdom. This wisdom of the world was foolishness to God and it still is today. Any culture will take Truth and shade it with their own cultural bias, so it was no surprise that many of the new Greek converts began to mix their cultural habits with this foreign Gospel. It is impossible to remove cultural biases from Truth unless one understands the nature and Will of God and the move of the Spirit. Since certain Corinthians boasted of their smartness, Paul uses their style and recounts the extremes of his life to put them in their place - under God! So what we learn is that God does allow us to take license as long as we do not change the message! This fits since God is not surprised at what humans will do! He created them and He knows Satan! Praise Him!