Amid conflicting ideas about what the church should be and do in a post-Christian climate, the missing voice is that of Paul. The New Testament’s most prolific church planter, Paul faced diverse challenges as he worked to form congregations. Leading biblical scholar James Thompson examines Paul’s ministry of planting and nurturing churches in the pre-Christian world to offer guidance for the contemporary church. The church today, as then, must define itself and its mission among people who have been shaped by other experiences of community. Thompson shows that Paul offers an unprecedented vision of the community that is being conformed to the image of Christ. He also addresses contemporary (mis)understandings of words like missional, megachurch, and formation.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Looking for more Pauline theology? Check out Paul’s use of the Prophetic Tradition in 2 Corinthians (2 vols.)
Always with one foot planted firmly in the academy and the other in the church, James Thompson has given us a highly insightful, theologically rich, and timely study of the apostle Paul’s view of the church—one of the best Pauline ecclesiologies in print.
—Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies, St. Mary’s Seminary & University
James Thompson’s The Church according to Paul is as challenging as it is clever. It is clever because Thompson takes contemporary visions of the church and replaces the language of their proponents with Paul’s own language, thereby upturning today’s categories. It is challenging because it virtually dares those who are concerned with the state of the church today to rethink the church according to the mind of Paul.
—Raymond F. Collins, visiting scholar, Department of Religious Studies, Brown University
As James Thompson wisely observes, most contemporary discussion of the church shows little evidence of engagement with the letters of Paul. In this careful volume, Thompson studies the church in Paul’s words and his work, in the hope that Paul’s rich wisdom might have its rightful place in contemporary Christian reflection.
—Beverly Roberts Gaventa, distinguished professor of New Testament, Department of Religion, Baylor University
James W. Thompson is scholar in residence at the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is the editor of Restoration Quarterly and the author of numerous books, including Moral Formation according to Paul, Pastoral Ministry according to Paul, Preaching like Paul, and Hebrews in Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament.