Old Joshua faces down the elders among God's people as he looks to step aside in leadership. He doesn't like what he's seen among them since they adopted or adapted idol worship into their devotions. He goes back and forth with them in a contest of wills, demanding that they declare their allegiance or denial of the One God who led them out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into possession of the Promised Land. They hedge, they protest, they seem to get whiny. Accommodation to local gods and their local traditions has likely proven beneficial. They don't want to give up anything. They want to have their cake and eat it, too.
Paul has had a report of problems of division at the church in Corinth which he had helped establish and where he had ministered. Paul is dismayed by the ease with which they've been distracted by personalities and other aspects of belief and practice that have little if anything to do with the good news gospel.
If you consider the teachings of Jesus found in scripture, and consider the radical demands that they make, it may have been easier for folks in the church to focus on distractions than the actual, difficult teachings of Jesus. Let's face it, a lot of that stuff in the Sermon on the Mount, for instance, would be regarded as nutty in worldly terms.
Paul reminds them that the power of God is in foolishness, not in the wisdom of the world. The gospel isn't meant to be a popular message, an easy message, or confrom in any way to what we might assume or expect. As Paul will focus on as he goes further in his response, the notion of a Savior being one who was executed by the government seems loopy. Yet that is God's foolishness which brings new life for the faithful, and scorns the wisdom of the world which offers no new life.
There is a lot of foolishness to work through, so check out the sermon video below, and the downloads below the video panel.