Paul APB 7

Paul APB 7 January 17, 2020

In this Apostle Paul APB, Rob Orlando asks what Paul was on trial for, and how the message of Paul differed from that of James and Peter, who were tellingly not hauled before the same Jewish authorities for comparable accusations to Paul.

This connects in interesting ways with another topic that has been in the news lately, namely the use of Romans 13, in particular by conservative Evangelicals, to insist that one should not criticize the government. It is obvious to everyone, presumably including those who appeal to this text, that this is applied selectively – Obama was criticized left, right and center, while Trump is defended.

Stephen Mattson wrote for Sojourners:

Partisans use Romans 13 to baptize their politics as being “ordained by God.” But Christians who reference Romans 13 typically do so using an us vs. government relationship. But unlike the first century when Roman rulers were mainly determined by heredity, lineage, or brute force, today we are the government. There is no us vs. them because we play an active role in how our government works and is run.

We the people vote, support, and help decide who our leaders will be. We can’t disassociate ourselves from being responsible for a government we directly influence, control, and put into power.

Suggesting that God put the government in place and President Trump should be exempt from any sort of religious criticism is usually a partisan ploy to excuse the words, actions, legislation, and executive orders that are often callous and cruel.

Jon Rowe shared a couple of examples of fundamentalist sermons on the text.

There’s also a lot of Paul, and letters attributed to him, in the discussion of Pete Buttigieg’s faith and statements he has made, discussed here:

Is David French or Mayor Pete Right About Christian Salvation?

See also:

Online Resources about the Corinthian Epistles

Paul’s Use of Isthmian Games as Illustration

Four Views of Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Episode 23: Paul, the True Founder of Christianity

Daily Gleanings: Paul (16 December 2019)

St. Paul among Friends

Daily Gleanings: Romans (27 December 2019)

Pauline Dogmatics: The Triumph of God’s Love

Chosen in Christ

This lecture by Craig Keener focuses mostly on Paul and writings attributed to him:

Finally, do also check out Rob Orlando’s website for more from him!


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