Jan 7Liked by Seumas Macdonald

Thanks Seumas for sharing your thoughts and helping us think through this hard topic. I particularly appreciate your point on how something can lose its “purpose and identity” from being all inclusive, which can often be ignored or disregarded when challenged. No doubt differences of opinion will always remain, but love that we are facing into the discussion.

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Dec 20, 2023·edited Dec 20, 2023

Thanks for sharing your reflections on this hard topic Seumas. What’s your read of 1 Corinthians 5?

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Yeah, thanks for asking. I don't think I can do full justice to a reading of that passage in a comment like this, but my general take is that in one sense this is the NT parallel to the OT death penalty. Whereas in the old covenant, judgment takes place under a civil code that results in death for this kind of immorality, in the new covenant the church doesn't form a civil body of this kind, but community exclusion is a sign of spiritual death. In that context, I do think what's in view is a form of social exclusion, with the aim of 'killing' the man's 'flesh', which I understand to be in line with Paul's broad use of 'flesh' - i.e. the purpose is the death of his proud, conceited, sin-nature. At the same time, the language in 1 Cor 5 also speaks to protecting the purity of the church there, who have so far been complicit in that sin.

I think I probably need to say more on this point but it would require a write-up of its own.

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