Blog Tour Starts Today!

The blog tour for J.R. Daniel Kirk’s Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul? (Baker) begins today (Monday) and I am part of the kick-off! My official post will appear at 9AM (Pacific Time Zone). See you then!

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3 thoughts on “Blog Tour Starts Today!

  1. Nijay, thanks for this review, and for the important questions you raise. You’ve situated the book well within the world of NT scholarship and summarized accurately what I’m up to. And, I hope that folks who do love already Paul will find much food for thought in the book as well.

    “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote…”

    The huge issue of church versus kingdom of God is taken up in ch. 2, “New Creation and Kingdom of God.” There I argue that Paul’s theology of new creation corresponds to Jesus’ proclamation of the kingdom of God. Moreover, with the church’s most basic confession being, “Jesus is Lord,” according to Paul’s letters, he is claiming for Jesus what Jesus claimed for himself: to be the figure entrusted to rule this new creation order that God is bringing about.

    The issue of loving the nice Jesus is one that I tackle throughout the book. Often the way that I find myself bringing Jesus and Paul closer together is to say, “Jesus isn’t as nice as you might think!” The chapter where I address this most directly is that on judgment and inclusion (ch. 5). The Jesus who says, “Do not judge,” goes on to issue commands about not casting pearls before pigs, commanding that we enter through the narrow gate, and promising catastrophic judgment for those who do not heed his words.

    I did not specifically elucidate the connection with missional readings in any self-contained discussion, but the book does contain statements such as these:

    At its heart, the mission of Jesus, and the mission of God, is active and participatory. Jesus, as the leader of this this band, and those called to follow him are all active agents in bringing the reign of God to expression on earth. (36)

    Following Jesus means being part of the people who are living into the promises of restoration, the people through whom God is on mission to the nations. (57)

    I confess, I’m finding the word “missional” a bit tired these days, but the idea that God is on mission in Christ, and that we are swept up into God’s mission, runs through the book like a read thread. So yes, a missional angle would augment the book, and highlight much of what is already there.

    Thanks again for your engagement, Nijay!

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