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Idol Food, Same-Sex Intercourse, and Tolerable Diversity within the Church

Jon C. Olson

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Proposing that Paul permitted idol food and respected fallible conscience, Kathryn Reinhard has argued that homosexual practice constitutes tolerable diversity within the church. Reinhard’s vision of interdependence and embodied difference is laudable. Problematically, she omits Paul’s disciplining of sin from her explication of toleration, and mischaracterizes the relationship of the “strong” and “weak.” Contesting assumptions about idol food, this essay argues that Paul never abandoned scripture or Judaism, and explores how Reinhard’s conclusions are based on four conditions, showing that if any one of them were to change, they would invalidate Reinhard’s argument.

 
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