Paul has been circling the same issue since chapter 8
Is it okay for Christians to eat food that has been devoted to an idol?
– Paul has two answers, one rational and other relational
• rational: idols have no meaning for us, so food is food
• relational: some Christians are convinced that food presented to an idol is contaminated
◦ take their concerns seriously and don’t “offend” them
◦ at times love requires us to act contrary to reason or our rights
– why did Paul give so much space to this issue?
• I suspect that he anticipated a negative reaction from the Corinthians
◦ he knew they were intelligent and enjoyed a good argument
(they had written him regarding a number of controversies among themselves)
◦ and he knew how difficult it would be for them to put others first
• some of them would think, “It doesn’t make sense for those overly scrupulous believers to worry about idols and non-existent deities. Maybe they just need to grow up!”
◦ so he labored to help them get a new perspective