Rediscovering Paul, by Capes, Reeves, and Richards

A former college professor of mine, David Capes, coauthored a book on the apostle Paul entitled Rediscovering Paul: An Introduction to His World, Letters and Theology.  While on vacation last week, I completed this wonderful introduction to the apostle’s letters and thought. 

Rediscovering Paul is a good introduction to Pauline theology and current Pauline issues.  The writing does not bind the reader with over-technical and scholarly-entrenched jargon.  The authors make a concerted effort to introduce us to Paul while not confusing and/or boring us in the process. 

The book is filled with helpful questions, illustrations, anecdotes, contemporary applications, all presented in an engaging writing style.  The authors cover Paul’s world and background (chapters 1-2), an approximate timeline of his life and ministry (chapter 3), his letters (chapters 5-9), his theological legacy (chapters 10-11), and his relevance for contemporary churches (chapter 12). 

Especially helpful is an 8-page glossary of terms such as amanuensis, diatribe, kerygma, quire, and soteriology–all of which are terms used in discussions of Paul’s writings.  For any reader of Pauline theology, coming across an obscure term can hinder effective reading.  A glossary like what is found at the end of this book is a great help. 

Though the book contains great strengths, the authors seem influenced by the New Perspective on Paul that calls into question certain Protestant convictions that were affirmed during the Reformation days of Luther and Calvin.  I was also unconvinced that “election” in the New Testament does not pertain to God’s choosing individuals.  Despite my few qualms with the book, Rediscovering Paul is a helpful read to the serious church member, the fresh seminary student, and even the inquiring unbeliever.  I am thankful for this book, and recommend it enthusiastically.  Happy reading. 

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