The Greco-Roman world was shaped by ideals and abstract ideas. The Apostle Paul left them behind. But they continue to shape evangelical teaching and practice.
This picture contradicts the common impression of Paul as an abstract theologian, someone who wrestled with deep theological doctrine while hovering six feet above everyday reality. But in fact, it was the philosopher’s of Paul’s day—and even some of Paul’s Christian opponents—who traded heavily in abstractions, one-way rhetoric, and top-down hierarchies while depreciating the currency of common experience. By contrast, Paul the tentmaker was a conversationalist of God’s good news, a storyteller of Jesus Christ, an apostle who walked the avenues and back alleys of everyday reality. His passion was for communities of grace and conversation where the new reality of Christ was explored and embodied within the daily messiness of life.
Reframing Paul unveils this Paul in his original context and invites us to engage him on new terms. Courageously author Mark Strom draws Paul into vital conversation with contemporary evangelicalism. His book is for those who wonder why people leave churches for alternative spiritual paths—and who may even be tempted to do so themselves. More than anything, his book is for those who wonder what’s gone wrong and who wants to learn how the church can be an attractive community of transforming grace and conversation.
Logos Bible Software dramatically improves the value of Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace & Community by enabling you to find what you’re looking for with unparalleled speed and precision. The Logos edition is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred English translation and to the original language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of resources in your digital library.
- Illuminates the social and intellectual context to Paul
- Offers new perspective on the early Christian communities of the Pauline mission
- Paints a compelling portrait of what evangelical churches can—and should—be
Praise for the Print Edition
If you are concerned about the way the Bible is sometimes taught today and sense that something is not quite right with some parts of evangelicalism, this is the book for you! Carefully researched and penetratingly argued, Mark Strom brings Paul, his culture and the contemporary church into dynamic and unsettling conversation. He shows that too much that goes on among conservative Christians reflects the attitudes and practices of the culture of Paul’s day rather than of Paul himself.
—Robert Banks, director and dean, Macquarie Christian Studies Institute, Sydney, Australia
In Reframing Paul, Mark Strom brings Paul’s writings back in touch with life as the apostle intended. In doing so, Strom challenges much contemporary theology and church life. Interpreters of Paul and those interested in the future of the evangelical church need to read this important and engaging book.
—Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Westmont College
Mark Strom has done two things in Reframing Paul—he has set Paul in the philosophical and religious setting in which he lived and ministered, and he has critiqued the evangelical church from the point of view of what he sees as Paul’s intention. His presentation of Paul is a service to anyone interested in the New Testament, for it clarifies Paul’s message by putting it into its setting and gives one readable access to Paul’s world. His critique of the evangelical church is challenging and should be read and considered by anyone concerned with doing church in our postmodern world. . . . Important reading for those interested in understanding Paul and must reading for those thinking about how to do church in our contemporary world.
—Peter H. Davids, theological educator, Innsbruck, Austria
This wide-ranging book includes an extensive reading of ancient sources and their best commentators, hermeneutical considerations on how to relate Paul’s grappling with his setting to our analogous settings today, and a challenge to today’s church to rethink our values and models in light of Scripture. Strom challenges us to ask ourselves whether the way we’ve always done things is the only (or even a correct) biblical way—a challenge we need to always readily consider.
—Craig S. Keener, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY
- Title: Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace & Community
- Author: Mark Strom
- Publisher: IVP Press
- Publication Date: 2000
- Pages: 256
About Mark Strom
Mark Strom is currently the CEO of Second Road, a unique strategy and innovation firm based in Sidney, Australia. He was previously CEO of Laidlaw College in Auckland, New Zealand. Mark’s PhD explored the intellectual and social background of Paul and his place as a major innovator in western thought.