Thursday, May 24, 2007

Paul: Theology, Prayer, and Worship

Find below a quote about Paul's theology, a prayer about Paul, and a worship hymn about Paul.


Paul’s theology is not systematics; instead, he is grasped best when at least the following seven Pauline principles are kept on the table as we proceed through his letters. First, the gospel is the grace of God in revealing Jesus as Messiah and Lord for everyone who believes; second, everyone stands behind one of the twin heads of humanity, Adam and Christ; third, Jesus Christ is the centre stage, and it is participation in him that transfers a person from the Adam line to the Christ line; fourth, the church is the body of Christ on earth; fifth, (salvation-)history does not begin with Moses but with Abraham and the promise God gave to him, and finds its crucial turning point in Jesus Christ – but will run its course until the consummation in the glorious Lordship of Christ over all; sixth, Christian behaviour is determined by the Holy Spirit, not the Torah; seventh, Paul is an apostle and not a philosopher or systematic theologian. These principles spring into action when Paul meets his various threats (circumcision, wisdom, gifts, works of Torah, ethnocentrism, flesh, rival leaders, and eschatological fights about the Parousia or the general resurrection).
- Scot McKnight, Jesus and His Death: Historiography, The Historical Jesus, and Atonement Theory (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2005), 374.


O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having this wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Book of Common Prayer, January 25.


Lord of glory, in our darkness
shine upon us with your light
as, when walking to Damascus
Saul beheld the vision bright:
filled with fear he learned your gospel,
then proclaimed it with delight

He who served you in the Spirit,
preached to Roman, Greek, and Jew,
and with burning love and passion
lived a message that was true;
Paul, apostle to the nations,
held the whole wide world in view.

Now, rejoicing at his memory,
in this consecrated place;
we recall the truths he taught us
and the hope of saving grace.
So, we worship you, Lord Jesus,
reigning King of time and space.

- Michael Saward, 'Lord of Glory'.

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