Logos Bible Software
Sign In
Products>Transformation: The Heart of Paul’s Gospel

Transformation: The Heart of Paul’s Gospel

ISBN: 9781577995852
Logos Editions are fully connected to your library and Bible study tools.


Print list price: $15.99
Save $2.00 (12%)

The Power of the Gospel

The Apostle Paul found the gospel message so compelling that he became a rootless wanderer and endured hardships and deprivation to spread this good news throughout the Roman Empire. What was the “gift of righteousness” that Paul was so eager to share? David deSilva argues that it was far richer than the “get out of hell free” pass that some Christians have unintentionally reduced it to today.

In Transformation: The Heart of Paul’s Gospel, deSilva guides readers in expanding their definition of the gospel message as presented in Paul’s letters. He succinctly demonstrates that the gift of righteousness that Paul speaks of in Romans is nothing less than the means to transform and renew all of creation—including ourselves. Join deSilva as he explores Paul’s message of change and renewal, and prepare to be transformed in your own thinking in the process.


Praise for Transformation

Sadly, too much of what passes for Christian theology puts the gospel in a straightjacket and imagines salvation as little more than cosmic paperwork. deSilva’s approach in Transformation, exegetically cogent and carefully argued, bursts with power and possibility appropriate to the life-changing purpose of the work of God in Jesus Christ. The Snapshots series is off to a great start!

— Nijay K. Gupta, Assistant Professor of New Testament, George Fox Evangelical Seminary

In Transformation, David deSilva opens up for us the life-changing gospel of Jesus that Paul preached but that many have reduced to a kind of easy-believism with little substance. Readers will benefit from David’s careful reading of Paul’s letters, his in-depth knowledge of Paul’s culture, and his understanding of Paul’s interpreters (and mis-interpreters). The result is an insightful re-introduction to the apostle and his message of transformation for individuals, communities, and the entire creation.

— Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary & University

Christian interaction with the world has long been hobbled by a stunted picture of what it means to be a Christian. We fail at what we are called to do, because we have far too narrow a picture of what we are called to be. David deSilva seeks to broaden our picture of the good news through a close reading of the Apostle Paul's writings. But do not misunderstand, deSilva's no revisionist. He is not rejecting traditional approaches to Paul, he is refocusing our attention on the big picture: The Christian life is about transformation. And I can think of no more timely and important message than that. A must read for any Christian who desires to take seriously the call to be salt and light in the world.

— Jim Beilby, Professor of Theology, Bethel University

Top Highlights

“In this moment, Paul reveals that his mission is not essentially about ‘winning souls’ or ‘getting people off the hook at the Last Judgment.’ It is primarily about working with people to surrender themselves to this work of God, this deep and fundamental transformation whereby their lives cease to be what they were and begin to be an extension of Christ’s own willing, being, and doing.” (Page 12)

“The giving is free and uncoerced, but the receiving creates a relationship of obligation.” (Page 40)

“The existence of justification and sanctification as distinct categories threatens to rend asunder what Paul joins together in his vision of a single, great process of God’s intervention in the lives of human beings.” (Page 9)

“Paul is setting conditions on entering into the ‘life’ of the resurrection: it is necessary to allow God’s Spirit to become the driving force in one’s life and to cease to live for oneself. Continuing to feed the passions and drives of self-centered, self-directed living (what Paul speaks of as ‘the flesh’) shipwrecks God’s work of transformation and deliverance.” (Page 20)

“This description of the justified life is a description of a transformed life. The person brought in line with God’s righteousness is the person whose flesh Christ himself has taken on.” (Page 11)

The Snapshots Series

The Snapshots series, edited by renowned scholar Michael Bird, engages significant issues in contemporary biblical scholarship, making them accessible to busy students of the Word and applicable in the life of the church.

Learn more about the other titles in this series.


  • Introduction: Hearing the Whole of Paul’s Good News
  • Foundations for a Broader Understanding Paul’s Gospel of Transformation
  • The Gospel Means the Transformation of the Individual: You Are Free to Become a New Person in Christ
  • The Gospel Means the Transformation of Community: You Are Free to Relate to One Another in New Ways
  • The Gospel Means the Transformation of the Cosmos: You Are Free from the World’s Rules to Witness to God’s Rule

Product Details

  • Title: Transformation: The Heart of Paul’s Gospel
  • Author: David deSilva
  • Series Editor: Michael F. Bird
  • Series: Snapshots
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 160
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781577995852
David A. deSilva

Dr. David A. deSilva, PhD, is the Trustees’ Distinguished Professor of New Testament and Greek at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio, where he’s taught since 1995.

He’s written over 20 books in the areas of New Testament and Second Temple Judaism, including Unholy Allegiances: Heeding Revelation's Warning (Hendrickson, 2013), The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude (Oxford, 2012),Seeing Things John’s Way: The Rhetoric of the Book of Revelation (WJKP, 2009), An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation (IVP, 2004), Introducing the Apocrypha (Baker Academic, 2002), and Perseverance in Gratitude: A Socio-rhetorical Commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (Eerdmans, 2000). He’s also interested in spiritual formation, having written Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation through the Book of Common Prayer (IVP, 2008) and Praying with John Wesley (Discipleship Resources, 2001).

He’s ordained in the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, and serves as director of music and organist at Christ United Methodist Church in Ashland. He and his wife, Donna Jean, have three sons.

Sample Pages from Transformation


9 ratings

Sign in with your Faithlife account

  1. Taylor Peace Towne
  2. Peter Chen

    Peter Chen


    deSilva is departing from Christian understanding of justification into a justification “by making us just in his sight so that we can be rightly acquitted.” [4:25] Confusing justification and sanctification.
  3. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    I really enjoyed this small book from deSilva - a good examination of transformation, a look at what it means to be "a new creation". I'm not saying I agree with all the Author has to say - for example I don't fully agree with his approach to Romans 7. But his argument for Transformation is very akin to Luther's on Good Works - not that Good Works get you into heaven, but that surely Good Works are a result of what Christ has done and is doing inside our lives, and our Christian communities. I do like that the author covers both the individual as well as the corporate side of transformation - so often in our Western World today, the latter is either ignored or tacked on. This is an easy read - recommended for any who want to go a bit further into Paul's theology - ie it is a good place for them to start. I'm quite enjoying the books that are coming out in this Snapshot series - whilst they are reasonably short, they pack a lot into them and they are good reading - make you think. This one as others is highly recommended.
  4. Edward Anton

    Edward Anton


  5. Robert J Smith
  6. Charlie Nason

    Charlie Nason


    Regeneration: the Source of Transformation in the Gospel I am a LOGOS user. Recently, LOGOS advertised a book on PrePub that interested me because of its focus on the gospel—Transformation: the Heart of Paul’s Gospel by Dr. David A. deSilva. I ordered and downloaded the book. I began reading it and started a dialog with the author. He has been kind and gracious as I have questioned and scrutinized his work. The book is an attempt to bring about a holistic understanding to the often fragmented views of justification and sanctification. Dr. deSilva is re-examining these concepts under the guiding principle of Transformation. Although, I applaud his efforts to focus the Christian community on a transformed lifestyle moving toward the likeness of Christ, I am concerned about some of the theological implications of his view. In my dialog with him regarding the theological categories, he replied that he was not attempting to be a theologian building theological categories but is being an exegete examining current positions in theology by the Scriptures. He is reexamining the strict theological distinctions asserted by the categories in theology (especially justification and sanctification)? As I examined the basic positions he held and the Scriptures he used to support his views, I found that my exegesis did not allow the same theological positions he asserts in his book. Who am I to question this academic professional and seasoned author? I am a pastor of a local church who is concerned for the glory of Christ and the good of his people in the preservation of the gospel of Christ. The gospel, in its purity, is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16). The position I find wanting in this book, in theological terms, is the absence of regeneration or the merging of the concept of regeneration with justification. Christ asserted that regeneration by the Spirit was the entry point and ground of salvation (John 3:3-8). Jesus says one cannot “see” the kingdom of God unless (and I would say this includes until) he is born again. The new birth (Eph. 2:4-5) results in faith/belief (Eph. 2:8-9). Further, the new life of belief granted by the re-birth is the catalyst into transformation (progressive sanctification—good works, Eph. 2:10) that takes place in the Christian life. I believe Dr. deSilva confuses regeneration with transformation (merely progressive sanctification). He then makes transformation a requirement for a final justification. This makes the believer have a part in the transformation process to secure his/her justification. This is not so! A. W. Pinks says, “Popery includes under justification the renovation of man’s moral nature or deliverance from depravity, thereby confounding justification with regeneration and sanctification. On the other hand, all representative Protestants have shown that justification refers not to a change of moral character, but to a change of legal status; though allowing, yea, insisting, that a radical change of character invariably accompanies it” (The Doctrine of Justification--2nd paragraph of chapter 1). I agree with Pink. Dr. deSilva challenged me to examine the Scriptures. I, therefore, left the theological discussion and examined the Scriptures he used starting from the beginning of chapter 1 (Gal. 5:6, 1 Cor. 7:19, Rom. 2, Gal 2:19–20, and Phil 3:8–11). In this chapter Dr. deSilva is laying the foundation for his view of transformation. It is the only section I am reviewing here. I found that these passages did not support his assertions but showed Dr. deSilva is doing what Pink warned against. Dr. deSilva’s view does not mention regeneration but confused regeneration with justification and sanctification. He views transformation solely as the progressive nature of the Christian life with weight toward a final justification if not pursued. I would caution the reader of this book on this point. This view is not a historically protestant view but catholic and some (like Luther or Pink) might argue it is not evangelical at all. Upon request, I will put my notes into a much larger review. Mind you I have nothing against Dr. deSilva. He has been kind, patient, and willing to dialog. My desire is to guard the integrity and purity of the gospel message. I would challenge readers of this book and review to read both discerningly “to see if these things are so.” The 2 star rating is because I believe the merging of theological these distinctions is too dangerous to consider helpful.
  7. Jim Wait

    Jim Wait


  8. Bill Shewmaker

    Bill Shewmaker


  9. Mikel DeSilvis

    Mikel DeSilvis


    the email says that my account was charged $6.95 for this book but for some reason it won't upload to my library. And I was wondering why I can't have access to a book that I've already purchased I'm not very impressed and I hope its not a terror or problem on your server
  10. Albert Cooper

    Albert Cooper



Print list price: $15.99
Save $2.00 (12%)