Human Achievement and Divine Vocation in the Message of Paul

Human Achievement and Divine Vocation in the Message of Paul

Human Achievement and Divine Vocation in the Message of Paul

Human Achievement and Divine Vocation in the Message of Paul

Excerpt

The central problem of Pauline studies is the recovery of the meaning of justification by faith. Easily lost or legalized, this base of Pauline faith must be newly perceived in each new situation of the Church. Penetrating studies of Paul in our own time have grappled with this central issue from various points of view, and have done much to make the meaning of Pauline faith accessible to our time. The present study is concerned to explore an aspect of Paul's thought which is often overlooked--his intense concern for human achievement. It attempts to indicate some implications which Paul's insights may have for contemporary Christian theology, and to set forth in Paul's own terms his high sense of the work to which man may be called by God. To Paul it appeared that the achievements of the apostle or the believer were not set over against justification by faith, but were rather the fruit of the same divine purpose which is met in God's forgiveness. Thus the theme of this study is not to be set in opposition to the central Pauline theme of justification but is to be seen as a consequence or complement.

The author is indebted not only to the many scholars whose work can be only inadequately acknowledged in the notes, but also particularly to his father, and to Professor Amos N. Wilder, under whose guidance an earlier study of the topic was prepared as a dissertation at the University of Chicago, as well as to several colleagues and former colleagues at Emory University. He also desires to express his appreciation of two grants by the Emory University Research Committee and to thank Mrs Martha McKay for the preparation of the indexes.

W. A. BEARDSLEE

Emory University

June, 1960 . . .

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