I met Mike over fifteen years ago at an SBL when I asked him to contribute to another festschrift I was co-editing. Little did I know then that that conversation would lead to the very close friendship I’ve had with Mike over the years. After reading Cruciformity
, I knew that I’d found a kindred spirit, someone who could clearly articulate the sort of participationist perspective on Paul that had been slowly taking shape in my own mind. The more I got to know Mike and watch his scholarship develop, I really appreciated how his scholarly instinct seemed to be more inclusive rather than exclusive. While he has always remained committed to participationist/covenantal readings of Paul, he has also seen the best in other approaches (e.g., apocalyptic) and incorporated their insights into his thinking. Those inclusive scholarly instincts are matched by his inclusive collegiality with others in the academic guild. Over the years, Mike has always gone out of his way to meet with, and encourage, young scholars as they begin their career. In short, his scholarship, collegiality, and academic leadership have been exemplary, a model to which the rest of us should aspire.