Most studies of Paul concentrate solely on his theology. This book breaks new ground by focusing on the source and nature of Paul’s spirituality. Taking his cue from Paul’s express desire to “know nothing but Christ crucified,” Michael Gorman shows how Paul’s personal experience of God constantly intersects with the story of the cross, an event that both reveals the cruciform character of God and shapes believers into a community of “cruciformity” (conformity to the crucified Christ). Expertly combining biblical studies and theological reflection, this noteworthy volume presents a model of the Christian life marked by faith, love, power, and hope.
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Interested in more? Be sure to check out the Eerdmans Pauline Studies Collection (15 vols.)
“If on the cross Christ conformed to God, then God ‘conforms’ to the cross.The cross is the interpretive, or hermeneutical, lens through which God is seen; it is the means of grace by which God is known.” (Page 17)
“Fourth, Paul experienced his initial encounter with Jesus as a revelation of the gospel of God’s Son and thus of Jesus’ true identity.” (Page 28)
“Second, this experience of grace constituted for Paul a conversion: not a change of religion (he remained a Jew19) but a complete reorientation, what the Hebrew prophets themselves had called shuv.” (Page 26)
“‘narrative spirituality.’ By it I mean a spirituality that tells a story, a dynamic life with God that corresponds in some way to the divine ‘story.’” (Page 4)
“Paul conceives of identification with and participation in the death of Jesus as the believer’s fundamental experience of Christ.” (Page 32)
This is a good read, and not only for those interested in Pauline studies or Christian spirituality. . . . In an undemanding style without assuming detailed knowledge of Paul’s letters on the part of the reader, it makes a good general introduction to the apostle’s theology.
This scholarly work would make good reading during Lent and Holy Week.
Michael J. Gorman holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland. A highly regarded New Testament scholar, he has also written Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness and Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers.