Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission and His Message
Many Christians who know and love the Bible think they know the apostle Paul. He's a theological master, a pastoral mentor, a spiritual adviser and a missionary hero. Yet just when we think we have him in our grasp, he slips through our fingers. At the point where we suppose we have finally understood him, Paul again confounds us. But he also beckons us to explore God's ways more deeply. Michael Bird suggests that if the Paul we claim to know looks and sounds a lot like us, it's probably a warning light that we don't know him as well as we think we do. But if we let Paul be Paul, allowing him to speak for himself in his language, on his terms and for his purposes, then we stand a chance of meeting him anew. Introducing Paul is an animated and penetrating survey of Paul's life and teaching. It covers all the basics students need, while offering new insights with a light touch. Blending life and study, Bird aims to get us excited about reading Paul's letters, sharing his gospel and living the Christian life the way he thought it should be lived. For beginning students and laypeople, Introducing Paul is a valuable entrance into the contemporary study of Paul.
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This is a faithful, helpful introduction to the apostle Paul, his theology, and his epistles. Bird treats a broad range of important themes, including the essential content of Paul's gospel, the ... Read full review
Michael F. Bird is one of my favorite Pauline scholars. Also, my favorite quote from this book is:
However, we do not have the complete story on Paul by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, what we have through the letters is something like a clip of highlights from a film that played on the big screen long ago. . . . There is no solving him, no domesticating him by way of any theological system, however elaborate, and there is no end to the maze of interpretations about him.
Epilogue, page 169.