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Comparison of “Doubtful Things” in Romans and I Corinthians

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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

2 Responses to Comparison of “Doubtful Things” in Romans and I Corinthians

  1. I read with interest your paper. Many things I agree with you about, specifically that Rom 14/15 is referencing the change of status of clean and unclean meats and of "Holyday[s] (Col. 2)." You could not be more right in your assertion that Rom 14 and I Cor. 8-10 are referencing entirely different matters of meat.

    With that said, I do not think you went far enough in your exposition of the I Cor. passage. After looking at the matter for some time I am absolutely convinced that I Cor. 6-10, with particular emphasis on 8-10, is the apostolic application of Acts 15:20 & 29, and that Rom 14-15 is the apostolic application of Acts 10 (Peter's vision) particularly in light of those as represented in Acts 21:20-21. In that sense, I disagree with your conclusion that "…Very few, if any, direct parallels to the situations in Rome or Corinth exist in the contemporary church today…."

    Idolatry, which is what is being dealt with in I Cor 6-10 (along with its twin sister immorality) is alive and well in every place on the globe, though the specific worship of Aphrodite is not a significant issue. The incursion of idolatry into the life of the believer and the church will always be a serious problem. That issues represented by "meat" will be at the heart of that incursion is clear from Acts 15, I Cor 6-10, and Rev. 2:14 & 20. If incremental idolatry continues to be the problem, and "…flee from idolatry…(I Cor 10:14)" is still the command, then the instruction of I Cor. 8 and 10 involving matters represented by "meat" does, indeed, have direct parallel and implicit application to the individual believer and churches today.

    Respectfully submitted, DU

  2. Thanks for your comments, David. I think we are in essential agreement, certainly in spirit.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that 1 Corinthians 8-10 (and Romans 14-15 for that matter) have great application for us today. For me to say that they do not directly apply does not mean I don't think they have benefit; I simply mean that none of us are likely tempted to fall back to the Law of Moses, and neither do we have overt, immoral, localized worship of physical false gods in our society today.

    BUT, there are many, many ways that both passages can be applied to similar circumstances in our day. Thank you for highlighting that fact.

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