At verse 1, Paul begins what scholars have long called the “fools discourse.” Paul first seeks permission to engage in a little foolishness and then proceeds to give reasons for this fools rant. At the top of the list of this discourse is Paul’s concern for the nature and calling of the church. Mutually bound up with this concern for the church is a concern to defend the true ministry over against the Satanically motivated false teachers since without faithful preaching, the church will not live up to its calling and identity as the bride of Christ. Given this concern for the church and the true ministry, Paul engages in a fools discourse in order to promote the well being of both.
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