There are few matters more important than God’s mission in the world. This book offers a fresh contribution to a long-standing debate in Pauline and missional studies regarding the apparent absence of a missionary mandate for the churches of the New Testament. Through a literary and socio-historical study of 1 Corinthians, and in conversation with the emerging discipline of social identity theory, this book invites the reader to consider how Paul’s missional expectations may have been received and put into practice in first-century Corinth by the first readers. Along the way some new lines of enquiry are opened for certain texts which have remained for a long time in a state of scholary stalemate. But these technical discussions give way to a larger goal: to offer a missiology in action, in all its Corinthians complexity. Could such an approach inform a robust missional identity for the church of today? As the Western church searches for a new self-understanding in an increasingly post-Christian culture, the intention of this book is to cultivate the missional imagination of contemporary believers for their ongoing participation in God’s mission in the world.
“A text that is astonishing in its insights and practical applicability. A must-read for pastors and pastoral educators.”
“Salvific Intentionality in 1 Corinthians is a highly important contribution to both Pauline studies and contemporary church life.”
“Scott Goode’s fresh look at 1 Corinthians offers new insights into the ‘untidy’ social and familial worlds inhabited by Paul’s congregations . . . Pastors and teachers will benefit from Goode’s emphasis on churches today imagining themselves as missional communities.”
“This book makes an original contribution to the interpretation of 1 Corinthians. It composes a creative, cogent, and compelling case for Scott Goode’s conviction that, in various ways and by various means, Paul cultivated the ‘missional imagination’ of Corinthian Christ-followers.”
Do husbands hold an innate leadership role over their wives? Are wives to submit to their husbands’ authority? Those who answer yes to these questions often describe marriage as an expression of male headship, and they appeal to what appears to be a plain reading of such passages as Ephesians 5:21-23. In this article Scott Goode explores the sociohistorical background against which two significant New Testament marriage texts are to be read. Whereas in the ancient world the head-body image often described relationships of hierarchy and preeminence, in Ephesians 5:21-33, Paul turns the head-body metaphor on its “head” and calls the one who has the place of honour (the husband) to serve the welfare of the “lesser” (the wife). Moreover, in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, Paul gives to both spouses an equality of “authority” from which to serve each other and even assumes the believing wife may hold a position of spiritual leadership in her home (1 Cor 7:14-16).