The mission of making people happy

“But I determined this within myself, that I would not come again to you in sorrow. For if I make you sorrowful, then who is he who makes me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?” (2 Corinthians 2:1-2 NKJV).

Paul had a tumultuous relationship with the church in Corinth. He apparently wrote at least three letters to them (1 Corinthians 5:9), one of which he described as being produced “with many tears” (2 Corinthians 2:3). While writing the letter we know as Second Corinthians he mentions plans for a third physical visit to them (2 Corinthians 13:1). At least one of his previous visits seems to have been confrontational, producing grief (2 Corinthians 2:1). Continue reading “The mission of making people happy”

Wasted ink?

by Barry Newton

We Americans thrive on practical checklists and how-to guides. Keep it simple. Make it practical. Cut to the chase. These ubiquitous phrases provide proverbial guidance for weeding out the immaterial from the valuable.

Are biblically literate Americans tempted to rush through or even skip over the first three chapters of Ephesians to arrive at the really good part—the practical advice on Christian living? Except for a few proof texts, might some Christians functionally treat the early chapters like wasted ink?

How might Paul respond to such thinking? Continue reading “Wasted ink?”