The theme of the Fall 2010 issue of Word & World is Paul. Tonight I’ve been enjoying Arland J. Hultgren’s 2009–2010 Word & World Lecture, titled “Paul as Theologian: His Vocation and Its Significance for His Theology.” I especially like this early paragraph:
Although the anthropological, individualistic approach continues to have an appeal, it is one-sided. It also tends to be overly anthropocentric, placing so much emphasis upon the human being, particularly the self, and failing to take into consideration those accents in Paul’s work concerning the work of God for the redemption of all that God has made. The point that will be made in what follows is that Paul’s theology is first of all theocentric, not anthropocentric, and that it is corporate and cosmic, not just individualistic, in its scope. The question for Paul is not how the individual person “gets in and stays in” the company of those who are saved. The primary question is theocentric: How can God reclaim the creation? And in regard to human beings: How can God get us in and keep us there? To go in that direction, I think, is to go back not only prior to the Reformation, but also prior to Constantine, when there were so very few Christians.
The remainder of the articles look quite interesting. I’m eager to tear into “What Every Christian Should Know about Paul’s Letters” by Matthew L. Skinner; “Paul and Real Women” by Sandra Hack Polaski; “‘Freedom on your head’ (1 Corinthians 11:2-16): A Paradigm for the Structure of Paul’s Ethics” by Robert E. Allard; and “Texts in Context: Apologizing for Preaching Paul” by Brad R. Braxton.