Dying to Be the Church: 1 Corinthians 15 and Paul's Shocking Revelation about Death and Resurrection

Rob A. Fringer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul makes important theological claims concerning
the resurrection of Christ and believers. For this reason, it has been held in
high esteem by the church throughout the ages and has stood as a hallmark
of hope. However, many in today’s church, like those in the Corinthian
church, have sought inclusion in future resurrection without significant
contemplation of the implications of Christ’s death and its impact on believers’
identity and action in the present. For those seeking a trouble-free life in the present or a swift escape to a future celestial reality, Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians will be shocking. They are full of hope, but it is a hope that is only made possible through death and through fruitful participation in Christ’s mission in the present.

In this article, I will argue that this text is not just about future resurrection
but provides vital information on how believers should embody Christ’s
life, death and transformation in the present. After a brief examination of
the historical situation, I will explore the importance of the dual themes of
life and death found throughout this chapter. I will conclude with a brief
exploration of 15:1-11 and Paul’s profound example of death and life in the
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-184
Number of pages11
JournalEvangelical Review of Theology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Resurrection
  • Christ
  • Death
  • Corinthians


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