Inconsistency and Idol Food
This raises several questions:
1. Why do Christians teach that we should avoid sexual immorality, yet say nothing about idol food, even though both are prohibited with the same force, in the same texts (Acts 15; 1 Cor 5-10; Rev 2-3)? Is that not inconsistent?
2. How should prohibitions against idol food be reconciled with other New Testament statements: that all foods are clean (Mark 7), that no food is unclean in itself but that some should be avoided so as not to offend weaker brothers and sisters (Rom 14-15), and that all foods from the market and/or in private homes can be eaten, as long as they do not offend the conscience of others (1 Cor 10:23-10:31)?
3. Can Christians eat halal food? If not, what do we do with the last ten verses of 1 Corinthians 10? If so, what do we do with all the other references in the New Testament?
4. Most centrally: what on earth is idol food?
On Wednesday, I’ll post a section of my PhD thesis on this whole thing, which will hopefully shed some light on it. Then, on Friday, I’ll try and answer these four questions.