A Misunderstood Man
Now that I've finished working through Paul's Spirituality (the MS is in the editor's hands now), I've come to a rather predictable (yet at the same time) startling conclusion: next to Jesus, Paul is one of the most misunderstood persons in Christian history.
I think he gets a bad rap for many things, accused of being a misogynist, intransigent theologian, impulsive missionary, pretentious apostle, incoherent thinker, and aimless rebel. (Those who think so have missed the essence of the man.)
Indeed, the more I think about him, the more I've come to the conclusion that Paul may have been the best example of what it means to follow Jesus than anyone else. And, the irony is, of course, that he never followed the historical Jesus. Amazing man. I wish we had someone today who took their faith as seriously as our St. Paul. I would love to see what that looks like.
Here's one Gentile who wants to say: "Thanks, Paul, for showing us what a life compelled by the love of Christ should look like--even today. I'm glad you're our apostle. I'll be standing behind you, with millions of your children in Christ, the day you present us to our Lord (1 Thess. 2:19)."