November 27, 2008

A Captivating Read

I am about one fourth of the way through Tom Schreiner's book
Paul, Apostle of God's Glory in Christ. This is the first time I've read a Pauline theology. I've hesitated to tackle works like these. I have been reluctant because I thought that an academic book like this could be quite dry. To my relief, I have found it to be an engaging work that is very hard to put down. Schreiner is a good writer. He hasn't kiln-dried Paul and made him dry as dust. No, Schreiner uses a broad Biblical brush and vivid life-tones to paint a very human picture of Paul. Paul's life is a source of both courage and encouragement. A book like this helps focus our attention on the different aspects of the Lord's ministry through Paul. Personally, I need help focusing. I'm thankful Schreiner put in the effort to write this book. I have several ideas to write about, as the seeds of Schreiner's work fall from the pages.

I think I will need to make a few passes through the book to mine all the gold out of it. This first time through I am reading it fairly quickly.

One thing is obvious in the first 100 pages. Schreiner makes a very clear case concerning Paul's suffering and the role it plays in his life and mission. For those of you who are Joel Osteen'ed to death, read this. Paul provides a much needed, and very obvious, correction to the 'successful life' model that is so terribly popular in evangelical circles these days.
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