Every serious student of the New Testament and of Christian theology must come to grips with the apostle Paul. In Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ, Thomas R. Schreiner gives us a sound and insightful exposition and assessment of Paul’s theology that is well-geared to the needs of seminary students and working pastors.
While thoroughly informed by the issues of contemporary Pauline studies, he offers an account of Paul’s theology that is relatively unburdened by scholarly trappings but deals directly with the matter. “The goal of writing a Pauline theology,” he writes, “is to unearth Paul’s worldview and to present it to contemporaries. Our task is not merely to reproduce Paul’s thinking on various topics but to rightly estimate what is most important in his thinking and to set forth the inner connections between the various themes.”
Like most writers of a Pauline theology, Schreiner discerns something at the heart and soul of Paul’s theology. As Schreiner puts it, “The passion of Paul’s life, the center and foundation and capstone of his vision, and the animating motive of his mission was the supremacy of God in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.” Schreiner has stitched this theme into the fabric of his book, and the result is a Pauline theology that is not only informative, but spiritually uplifting, as well. Here is a Pauline theology eminently suited to the needs of theological students and preachers.
In light of the considerable body of scholarship on Paul, writing a theology of the apostle is a daunting task indeed. Taking his methodological cue from Schlatter’s maxim of ‘seeing what is there,’ Schreiner admirably succeeds in his task by providing a highly competent treatment that is distinctive in at least three ways: focusing on Paul as a missionary; identifying ‘God in Christ’ as the center of Pauline theology; and affirming all 13 letters attributed to Paul as authentic. While not quite as extensive as James Dunn’s recent The Theology of Paul the Apostle, Schreiner’s work breathes a more conservative evangelical flavor, which is sure to make it the preferred text in many classes on the subject.
—Andreas Köstenberger, professor of New Testament and biblical theology, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dr. Schreiner has produced a deeply exegetical study of Paul’s theology. Even those who disagree with some of his conclusions will benefit from his careful analysis of the text of Paul’s letters and his fair-handed treatment of alternative positions. The book will be especially useful to students and pastors, but scholars will also profit from its thoughtful exegetical discussions and its persuasive case for the centrality of God’s glory in Christ to Paul’s theology.
—Frank Thielman, Presbyterian Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School
Tom Schreiner’s abilities as a skilled exegete and a good writer come together well in this superb volume on Pauline theology. Schreiner not only presents the major themes of Pauline theology with exceptional clarity but also provides illuminating insight into the difficult issues in Pauline studies today and numerous applications to the life of the contemporary church. In light of the current critical tendency to discount the Pauline authorship of Ephesians, Colossians and the Pastoral Epistles, it is refreshing to read a volume on the theology of Paul that gives these letters their rightful place in the representation of his theology.
—Clinton E. Arnold, professor of New Testament language and literature, Talbot School of Theology
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Thomas R. Schreiner is James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and associate dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.