The Mind of Christ in Paul: Light from Paul on Present Problems of Christian Thinking

The Mind of Christ in Paul: Light from Paul on Present Problems of Christian Thinking

The Mind of Christ in Paul: Light from Paul on Present Problems of Christian Thinking

The Mind of Christ in Paul: Light from Paul on Present Problems of Christian Thinking

Excerpt

The differences and the likenesses between Paul and Jesus constitute a problem of peculiar importance and difficulty. There is a natural tendency to magnify the differences, and to hold Paul responsible for various departures of Christianity from Jesus. But Paul himself was much more conscious of the likenesses. Was he mistaken in thinking that likeness to Christ was the fundamental fact in his own and in every Christian's experience? Modern historians often express their sense of our good fortune in having the gospels in our New Testament, and not only the letters of Paul. To this no one would hesitate to give hearty assent, but not to the implication that we should have been still more fortunate if Paul's letters had not been there at all. For this would not mean that we should then have had no problem as to the difference and the likeness between the Christian and Christ. The gospels themselves present the problem; it is indeed involved in the nature of the Christian religion. But without Paul, or with only the Paul of the Book of Acts, we should have been without our greatest helper in truly understanding the problem and in working toward its solution in ourselves and in the new world in which we live. For Paul's problem and ours are fundamentally the same.

When therefore the faculty of Yale Divinity School intrusted to me the Nathaniel W. Taylor lectureship for 1929, since this is a lectureship on theology, I chose the subject . . .

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