1 Corinthians 1-4

Chapter 1

The Good: I didn’t find anything good in the first chapter. Will this book be any better than Romans?

The Bad: V 7-8: the familiar ‘Jesus is returning soon’ theme. Too bad these poor people, and millions since, wasted their lives waiting for Godot. V 10-12: Paul pleads for unity and harmony within the church. Epic fail – we’re still waiting, and it’s not looking hopeful.

The Ugly: V 18-25 is a rant against education, critical thinking, and science. It mocks those who ask for evidence for extraordinary claims and encourages church members to outright reject any criticism of their beliefs without even evaluating the criticism first. It encourages believers to be proud when the world calls them foolish. No wonder we are still fighting anti-intellectualism today!

Susan Jacoby

Quotes: None of this chapter is familiar to me, but Christians seem fond of v 10.

Chapter 2

The Good: V 14 – yup, that’s me! I admit it! It drives me crazy when people try to tell me that I must be spiritual even if I’m not religious. I view religion just like any other claim made without evidence.

The Bad: V 2 and 5 are a continuation of Paul’s anti-intellectualism rant – forget everything except Jesus, and don’t trust people, only god. The rest of this chapter is just ‘woo’. A lot of it could have been created by the Deepak Chopra quote generator – in other words, it’s just enlightened-sounding but meaningless phrases that leave the reader going ‘huh’?

The Ugly: But at least there’s nothing too terrible in this chapter.

Quotes: Christians really love v 9, even though it’s actually from Isaiah 64:4.

Chapter 3

The Good: sorry…

The Bad: V 1-3 Is it really necessary for Paul to talk down to people like this? It’s demeaning. No wonder pastors act like parents trying to control wayward children. V 4-9: more evidence of division in the church, with factions developing who each favor their particular leader/pastor.

The Ugly: V 10-15: Paul views all the believers as cooperating together on a building project (the church). On judgement day, god will decide whether or not their work was satisfactory. If they don’t measure up, their work will be burned in a fire. What a nice event to look forward to – sort of like a final exam that counts for 100% – no mercy or forgiveness for failure. And v 18-19: “If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” I think I’ve covered subject already – just color me disgusted.


Quotes: V 7 seems to be a favorite, but 11 and 16 are also popular.

Chapter 4

The Good: V 1-7, if taken out of the religious context, actually make a fairly good case for asking people to respect managers and leaders for the work that they are doing, not to pick favorites or judge them harshly or prematurely, and to realize that most are doing their best.

The Bad: V 10-13: Paul is whining and complaining about his lot. Boo-hoo! He chose it! Suck it up! V 14: “I am not writing these things to shame you” – yes he is! V 15-16: “I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I urge you to imitate me.” – said every preacher ever; and it’s led to a lot of trouble! Paul’s humble attitude from v 1-7 is gone.

The Ugly: nothing – well at least that’s good.

Quotes: nothing in particular.

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