Purpose of the Book
The authors of the book “Thinking through Paul: Survey of His Life, Letters and Theology” wanted to analyze the significance of Paul’s life to Christians. The book delivers powerful messages to the reader. Christians can imitate Paul’s life in order to achieve their religious goals (Longenecker and Still 18). The life of Saint Paul encourages believers to focus on the Lord. Paul’s “experiences occurred in order to advance God’s gospel” (Longenecker and Still 18).
The authors also wanted the reader to understand the life of Paul before his encounter with Jesus Christ. Paul’s religious practices therefore “encourage Christians to focus on God’s teachings” (Longenecker and Still 19). The book shows clearly that Paul’s message to humankind was delivered in a proper manner. People can therefore borrow numerous thoughts from Apostle Paul. This practice will bring them closer to God’s kingdom.
Strong and Weak Points of the Book
The authors have used strong points to make the book meaningful. To begin with, the verses included in the book explain why Paul represents the life of a true believer. The book explains how Christians “can experience a new spiritual growth if they think through Paul” (Longenecker and Still 25). The book gives a detailed description of different letters by Paul. The book analyzes the messages presented in each letter. This approach makes it easier for many readers to get the intended Biblical message. The book also explains why Paul has a high Christology (305). This description makes it easier for Christians to understand the meaning of every message.
The concept of faithfulness of Christ is also clearly described in this book (Romans 1:17). The authors have used powerful words to explain why Christians should read Paul as a missionary. Paul’s knowledge also supports the tradition of many Jews. The book also challenges believers to reexamine Paul’s teachings. This practice will make it easier for Christians to appreciate God’s promises and teachings. The authors explain why Paul’s works present two narratives to the reader. The apocalyptic aspect of Paul’s letter encourages Christians to live within the story of Christ. This practice will “ensure their lives are transformed by God’s Holy Spirit” (Longenecker and Still 302).
The book also describes some of the major forces affecting many believers today (Longenecker and Still 303). Death and sin are described as evil forces that torment mankind on earth. According to the authors, God used Jesus Christ to redeem mankind from these dark forces. These messages make it easier for Christians to realize their religious goals (Longenecker and Still 42). Some weak points are also notable in this book. For instance, the author focuses on Apostle Paul central narrative without categorizing it. This approach fails to categorize Paul’s work as either apocalyptic or covenant.
Major Issues Examined in the Book
According to Longenecker and Still, Christians should begin by thinking about Apostle Paul’s life. This approach will ensure every believer is aware of the messages presented in every Pauline letter. Apostle Paul is a great missionary who should be studied carefully. This practice will encourage many Christians to live in accordance with God’s teachings. Apostle Paul encountered many life-changing events. Christians can use such events to transform their thoughts. The book redefines the key messages presented in different Pauline letters. These messages can empower many believers in order to become part of God’s plan (Longenecker and Still 18).
The book highlights different issues to the reader. To begin with, the book identifies the faithfulness of Jesus Christ as something that can empower many believers (Longenecker and Still 362). Paul’s theology is also founded on Christ’s teachings (Longenecker and Still 362). Paul encountered numerous challenges in his life. His encounter with Christ is a testimony to many believers. This approach goes further to support the Trinitarian theology. Apostle Paul also goes further to analyze the similarities between Jewish Monotheism and the Holy Trinity. These arguments make it easier for Christians to embrace most of the traditions supported by the Jews.
A Critical Analysis of the Book
Longernecker and Still encourage Christians to examine Paul’s works from different perspectives. Believers can understand the meaning of God through Paul’s teachings. Such teachings support the position of Jesus Christ as God’s son. I have learned numerous lessons from this text. For instance, the book makes it possible for Christians to establish new foundations in their lives. The authors have selected the most appropriate verses and words. The book is written in a chronological order. The reader understands the life of Paul before his encounter with Christ. Paul saw the light and eventually became God’s message (Longenecker and Still 316). Paul’s spiritual journey can encourage many believers to focus on their religious paths. The practice will eventually support their religious objectives.
The book presents powerful tools that can support the needs of many learners. For example, the artwork is helpful to every visual reader. The diagrams and representations equip the targeted readers with clear messages. This approach makes the book more significant to different individuals. The reader can use most of the discussion questions in every chapter to advance his or her ideas. Such questions can be useful to many scholars and students of theology. The quoted verses can support the educational needs of many researchers. Every chapter also delivers a powerful message to the reader (Longenecker and Still 298).
These strengths explain why many individuals have found this book informative and meaningful. I have agreed with most of the issues discussed in this book. The text provides a detailed strategy that can support the expectations of many Christians. The paragraphs and chapters deliver specific messages to every reader. Christians should focus on Paul’s teachings in order to get God’s messages.
This book is appropriate for every Christian. The authors have used a simple approach in order to inform many individuals about God’s message. Students of theology will find this text helpful because it uses a descriptive approach to deliver the required message (Longenecker and Still 18).
Educators can also acquire numerous concepts from this book. Such concepts will make it easier for them to educate their learners. Scholars and researchers will also acquire numerous religious insights from this book (Longenecker and Still 32). Every person will benefit significantly from this fantastic book. This text can also become a guide for many scholars of the Holy Bible. Non-Christians and Jews can also acquire new concepts from this book. I am therefore recommending this book to every individual who wants to transform his or her religious foundation. The book will bring more people closer to the Lord.
Longenecker, Bruce, and Todd Still. Thinking through Paul: Survey of His Life, Letters and Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. Print.