Monday, January 26, 2009

Reflections on St.Paul

Been going through Pauls letters of late … We owe to St Paul some of the most beautiful and profound reflections on the mystery of how God acted in Jesus and the meaning of that action for humanity.And who can skip over that 1 Corinthians 13 thing ….

And there are just those times when I intensely dislike the Apostle Paul — his wordiness, his tendency toward braggadocio, his schoolmaster scolding tone. There are times I think, if I met this guy at a church conference, I would do whatever it took to get away from him! He was intense to the point of creepiness; a little whoo-hoo for me , for a lack of a better word. I’m disappointed at times by what I read as his concessions to the mores of the dominant culture that seem to go against his own vision of the Reign of God.

On the other hand … Sometimes I admire Paul. I think he was probably much more socially radical than what he gets credit for. I admire his grasp on the concept of God’s grace, and his chutzpah in arguing for full inclusion of Gentile Christians in the Jewish/Christian community. I admire his relationships with female leaders in the Christian community; very revolutionary stuff for a former Pharisee. I admire his rhetorical skill … And sometimes, when I think about the things that annoy me about Paul, it occurs to me that many of them are probably the same things that annoy me about…me. Oh my … Just some thoughts …

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