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Cascade Companions: Reading Paul
Publisher: Cascade Books
Category: Theology

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In this new introduction to the Apostle Paul and his gospel, written especially for lay readers, for beginning students, and for those unsure about what to make of Paul, Michael J. Gorman takes the apostle seriously, as someone who speaks for God and to us. After an overview not only of Paul's radical transformation from persecutor to proclaimer but also of his letter-writing in the context of Paul's new mission, Reading Paul explores the central themes of the apostle's gospel: Gorman places special emphasis on the theopolitical character of Paul's gospel and on the themes of cross and resurrection, multiculturalism in the church, and peacemaking and nonviolence as the way of Christ according to Paul. Gorman also offers a distinctive interpretation of justification by faith as participation in Christ--an interpretation that challenges standard approaches to these Pauline themes. Reading Paul demonstrates that the apostle of faith, hope, and love speaks not only to our deepest spiritual needs but also to the challenging times in which we live.

About the Author:

Michael J. Gorman holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He has published several other books on Paul, including Cruciformity: Paul's Narrative Spirituality of the Cross (2001) and Apostle of the Crucified Lord: A Theological Introduction to Paul and His Letters (2004; 2nd. ed, 2017).

Endorsements

This splendid introduction to the Apostle Paul is the best book of its kind: concise, wise, insightful, thoroughly conversant with the best recent scholarship yet thoroughly clear and readable. Against the numerous distorted preconceptions that occlude our reading of Paul, Gorman brilliantly sketches a picture of Paul's gospel as a gracious, world-transforming message of peace and reconciliation. I will assign this as required reading for students in my introductory New Testament course and put it in the hands of as many pastors and laypeople as possible.
Richard B. Hays, George Washington Ivey Professor of New Testament, The Divinity School, Duke University
I once had the chance to meet a famous person of whom I was in awe. We met through a mutual friend who was able to coach me on how to better understand this person and not be so nervous around him. That's what Michael Gorman can do for people who want to get introduced to the apostle Paul. As someone who has gotten to know Paul by deeply immersing himself in Paul's writings for many years, Michael can be the mutual friend who orients you and helps you relax in the presence of a truly awe-inspiring person. For committed lay people to seminary students and pastors, this well-written and intelligent book will become a standard resource for reading Paul.
Brian McLaren, author of A Generous Orthodoxy
Michael Gorman has given us an extraordinary gift. He has written an eminently readable introduction to Paul's message that neither diminishes the apostle's practical wisdom nor domesticates it. He communicates the profound depth of Paul's thought in ways that are as inviting as they are challenging. Reading Paul is that rare book that deserves the widest possible readership.
Joel B. Green, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Fuller Theological Seminary
An exceptionally excellent resource for understanding some of Paul's most profound and potent convictions. Fueled by important questions at both the heart of Paul and of our current culture, this book is a fine vehicle for enabling intelligently sensitive teaching and preaching.
L. Ann Jervis, Wycliffe and Trinity Colleges, University of Toronto
Michael Gorman, already established as a perceptive and creative interpreter of Paul's letters, now offers us a user-friendly introduction to Paul the person. Gorman's book aptly fulfills the Companions series goal. He makes Paul our contemporary 'companion' by introducing major themes from Paul's letters in such a personal way. I warmly recommend this book to pastors, seminarians, and anyone interested in getting to know Paul better!
Fr. Ronald D. Witherup, SS, Provincial Superior of the U.S. Province of Sulpicians
Reading Paul well means reading Paul specifically as Christian Scripture, 'the voice of God speaking to us,' to use Michael Gorman's phrase. In this book, Gorman not only reads Paul well, he exemplifies a passion for helping others in the Church to do so. He elegantly weaves historical, social, and political aspects of Paul's context into a powerful theological reading of the apostle's letters that reverberates with contemporary implications for the church in North America. His lucid exposition of justification as grace-enabled co-crucifixion and co-resurrection with Christ demonstrates keen exegetical and theological acumen and is worth the price of the book. Its clarity and engaging style make it easy to recommend for local church groups and classes where Paul is the focus.
Andy Johnson, Professor of New Testament, Nazarene Theological Seminary
An already established expert on Paul, Gorman now offers the eager but uninitiated reader an accessible and illuminating overview of the apostle's writings, theology and spirituality. Here is a 'big picture' perspective which invites and enables the reader to envisage, enter into, and enjoy Scripture speaking to us and for God.
S. A. Cummins, Director, MA in Biblical Studies, Trinity Western University