As It Is Written

The Wretched Man

by Patrick Henry Reardon

It is not uncommon for the Apostle Paul to employ the first-person pronoun when he intends to designate either human beings in general or Christians in particular. We recognize this usage, for example, when he writes, "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have agape, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal." When Paul declares that, without agape, "I am nothing," we discern that he is speaking for all of us (1 Cor. 13:1–2).

It seems likely, too, that Paul is appealing to this rhetorical reference when he writes, "If a particular kind of food (broma) causes my brother to stumble, . . .

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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