Reclaiming Paul Conference – Post 4

As I am learning in seminary, sometimes the best (or a better) way to tell a narrative is to not necessarily use a the actual chronology.   So I am skipping a couple things but at least I’m biblical.  

It was tough to choose between the workshops but this afternoon’s second series of workshops found me at John Franke and Daniel Kirk’s presentation of “Jesus I’ve Loved, Paul I’ve Hated?”.

How could you go wrong really with those two and a title like that?  Part of the reason I wanted to attend this one is that I must confess, that I am not sure I see such a problem.  Sure, I see Paul as being tough, maybe harsh, and every now and then, the thought of, “I probably wouldn’t have written it that way” goes through my head but that’s a little arrogant of me.  I also understand the seeming contradictions between him, Jesus and the spirit of the Gospel but I have never not appreciated him.  So I went to find out more.

I appreciated John beginning the time by going around the room and listening to people’s frustrations about Paul. Though it sounds a little harsh to my ears, I needed to hear it articulated.

Here are some of my notes below:

JF – Working through the story also reveals the identity of God. 

DK – What is this God supposed to do?

       Take these people who are exiled and flawed and bring them    back to Himself. 

   This is one of the questions that Paul is wrestling with.

JF – The church resisted the move to put all 4 Gospels into 1.

            The gospel cannot be reduced into one singular account.

            But we tend to do that with harmonizing Jesus, the Gospels and Paul.

DK – must consider who they are ministering to

            Jesus is ministering to jews in jewish context as a jew

It’s not a simple come as you are.                       

There is a transformational in the embrace (like the lepers)

Paul, angry like in Galatians, arguing with the Jewish powerbrokers  – you need to let them as they are bc Christ as let them in.  He’s saying you can follow Jesus without becoming Jewish. 

But he also urges the gentiles (which he is frustrated by).

Perhaps some have trouble with Paul because of the propositional packaging that he comes in.  (over against Paul as a pastor).

            Perhaps some of the propositional theology needs to be neutralized.

Are some of us more like Paul then like Christ?

            * I should spend some thinking about this.

DK – 2 cor. is helpful bc Paul is interpreting his life in light of the resurrection of Jesus.


JF – Eph. 4 – call for unity.  While sometimes Jesus splits family.

            Titus 3 – put some out bc of their sin to preserve the unity of the Church.  Sounds exclusionary but Jesus did this too. 


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