Coming to grips with Christianity means coming to grips with Paul. There is no figure aside from Jesus himself who is more important to the history of this world religion, and no figure from the age of the early church about whom we know more or of whom we have a more rounded view.
Historian Luke Timothy Johnson, the best-selling author of The Real Jesus, offers a fresh and historically grounded assessment of the life and letters of Christianity’s “apostle to the Gentiles” in this 12 lecture audio series.
“One of the most fascinating, important, and controversial figures in the religious history of the West. Paul the Apostle continues to find champions and detractors, sometimes in surprising places,” says Professor Johnson.
The course addresses many questions concerning Paul’s embattled life and work:
· Is Paul the inventor of Christianity or part of a larger movement?
· Is he best understood from the Acts of the Apostles or from his letters?
· Why does he focus on moral character of the community?
· How do his supporters and detractors depict him?
You consider his letters to the Thessalonians, Corinthians, and Galatians. You explore his religious commitments as a member of the Pharisaic movement, his persecution of the Christian sect, the dramatic experience that changed him into an apostle, and his work as a missionary and church leader.
The series will be led by Reed Reavis beginning on Sunday, January 11th, 2015. The course outline follows:
11 Jan: Paul and the First Christian Missionaries (Professor William Cook)
18 Jan: An Apostle Admired and Despised
25 Jan: How Should We Read Paul?
1 Feb: Paul’s Life and Letters
8 Feb: Problems of Early Christianity
15 Feb: First and Second Thessalonians
22 Feb: Life in the World – First Corinthians
1 Mar: Life in Christ – Second Corinthians
8 Mar: Life and Law – Galatians
15 Mar: Life and Righteousness – Romans
22 Mar: Fellowship – Letters from Captivity
29 Mar: History and Theology