With Tom Yoder Neufeld; Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Peace Studies, Conrad Grebel University College, and author of Recovering Jesus: the Witness of the New Testament
God’s baffling decision to choose a fiercely radical Jewish Pharisee to be a prophetic messenger to non-Jews, to Gentiles, has brought immeasurable benefits to millions—including ourselves—but also a great controversy and misunderstanding. Paul is seen as a visionary, a model missionary, but also as an ethical and theological bigot and bully. Many today have an intense suspicion, even dislike, of Paul.
In this course we will explore selected texts from Paul’s letters that will open his thinking to us. We might well discover that far from being a rule-bound autocrat, Paul was a breathtakingly flexible and adaptive missionary, driven by his divine calling and trust in the often-unruly Spirit. Were it not for this stubborn Pharisee with a bottomless passion to get word of Jesus out to the very edges of the known world, we might well not have come to know the Jesus we wish to follow.