James W. Thompson is a New Testament scholar whom I have admired and appreciated for many years. He is an excellent researcher and writer, and he also cares deeply about Christian formation and the life of the Church. Perhaps my favorite Thompson work is his Pastoral Ministry according to Paul. I also appreciate his recent Philippians contribution to the Paideia commentary series.
This new book, Apostle of Persuasion, is Thompson’s magnus opus, a guide to his overall approach to Paul’s writing ministry. As the title and subtitle suggest, Thompson is keen on drawing out Paul’s intentional use of rhetorical devices in his letters. One of the key takeaways of Apostle of Persuasion is that Paul’s goal for his churches was not just intellectual education, but whole-life formation.