Doctor of Ministry
Number of Pages
Jeanine Parolini; Kate Scorgie
This study aimed to create a model to guide multiracial churches through a process of engaging effectively in the type of equity imagined in Scripture. Paul’s letter, 1 Corinthians, was examined to determine his response to the social systems, structures, and inequities created by status divisions in Roman first-century culture. A set of principles was distilled into a working model of how Paul addressed these situations, which created classes of social superiority and inferiority. This project traced the roots of status division in Corinth to the lie of superiority that first appears in Scripture with the serpent in Eden. The modern culture was then examined to reveal a similar dynamic surrounding racial superiority, complete with social systems, structures, and inequities to protect and perpetuate it. Evidence was provided to demonstrate how those inequities and systems continue to negatively impact society today as well as the Christian church in the US. A study was conducted to determine whether multiracial churches in the International Churches of Christ (ICOC) effectively followed the principles of Paul’s Corinthian model. The research determined that these churches have a high level of belief in the importance of diversity as part of the implications of the gospel and a strong belief that churches should engage in racial education and dialogue and make structural changes to address historic societal inequities in the church. Yet, although, they do have corresponding actions in the areas of education and dialogue, they do not take consistent action in making structural changes in the church to combat inequities. This was significant because it is the centerpiece of Paul’s Corinthian model. A simple model was then provided for churches to utilize Paul’s Corinthian model in the contemporary church.
Doctor of Ministry
Burns, M. R. (2023). Paul's Approach to Social Superiority in the Corinthian Church Applied to Racial Superiority in the 21st Century Church [Doctoral thesis, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/941