Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Conversion & Loyalty

Phil Harland notes that there is now an online review (by Carolyn Osiek) of Zeba Crook’s excellent book on Paul, “conversion”, and patronage at BMCR:

Carolyn Osiek notes that:

In sum, Paul was not converted because he had a psychological crisis brought on by a vision, but because it was made clear to him that his patron, God, was asking something new and different from him, and the loyal response of acquiescence was the only way to go.

This seems a rather interesting proposal, and I wonder how evangelical scholars will respond. I especially like the emphasis on loyalty that this model commends. For example, can we be more specific about Paul's patron? Along the lines of including Jesus in that identity? [Ala Bauckham in "Paul's Christology of Divine Identity"] Did Paul conceive, as part of his mission, that he should persuade others to grasp the vision God had given him? And therefore by implication continue in the work that he himself had pioneered? How exactly was it made clear to Paul that his patron, YHWH, was requiring something radically different from him? Was the Damascus event this crucial point, or was it the beginning of a series of crucial turning points...?
Very interesting... Please be aware of Zeba Crook's online article: The Divine Benefactions of Paul the Client.

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