I used to think St. Paul was a jerk. I couldn't stand him or what I perceived to be his theology. After my 'Paul and the Early Church' class taught by Greg Carey, i'm now having second thoughts. I used to think Paul as a lot like this picture (photographed by yours truly from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on the corner of Walnut and Nevin here in Lancaster) just giving people the bird and telling them they're going to hell. i've come to think a little differently of Paul but still am trying to articulate that thought. for your help, i'd love to know what you make of Paul! who was he?
To help, here are the 4 legacies usually assigned to Paul by today's scholars. Was he:
The Preacher of salvation by grace from the burden of the Law?
The Preacher who proclaimed God's reign by breaking through in Christ the Messiah of Israel?
Was he a social conservative that opted for celebacy and temperance based on the teachings of Christ?
Was he a social radical that opted for a new, liberative lifestyle based on the teachings of Christ?
I'll hold my opinion until after i write this paper! but i'd love to hear what y'all think, so rawk and roll!!!