Paul: An Apostle’s Journey

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I have been reading Douglas Campbell’s masterful book on St. Paul.  The following two paragraphs speak rather loudly and I wanted to share them.  

“Graeco-Roman cities loved appearances.  They loved what people looked like, how much money they had, their connections, and how they spoke.  Fully trained rhetorical professionals could captivate audiences for hours. They were the rock stars of the ancient world, and they commanded huge fees for their performances.  They looked beautiful and spoke beautifully.

In one of the most profound passages he ever wrote, Paul points out that the Christian God revealed in the crucified Jesus could not be more different from this (ICorinthians 1:18-2:16).  By journeying down into the human condition and ultimately accepting a shameful death, Jesus revealed that God was a reaching God, and inclusive and gentle God, who valued everyone, including the most despised and marginalized.  Those whom society looked down on, God was especially concerned about and eager to reach. . . This is what a Christian leader should look like.  It could hardly be more dramatically countercultural, and Paul lived this leadership style out in person” (Douglas Campbell, Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub., Co, p. 98).
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