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Paul, Missionary Theologian: A Survey of his Missionary Labours and Theology Hardcover – March 20, 2006
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... an excellent an inspiring book, and will probably become a standard work. It should be on the shelves of every minister, theological student, and missionary. (Churchman Journal)
... every element of Paul's theology is shown to have missionary significance. Reymond interacts with the most up to date scholarly views and provides a reliable conservative study of the great missionary theologian from which every serious Christian reader will profit. (David McKay ~ Professor of Systematic Theology, Ethics and Apologetics, Reformed Theological College, Belfast, Northern Ireland)
This book is like a breath of fresh air to those who want to seriously study Paul as a person, a man with a mission and as a theologian. It covers all three areas of his life in harmony, leaving the reader with an all round picture of Paul. We often think of Paul as the great Apostle, giant among the early writers of Scripture and yes he was. This approach does much to dehumanize the man. Within the pages of this book I found that the human element had been restored, I found myself identifying with the man, and not just the Apostle. It is thoroughly academic, it sometimes becomes a little bogged down with footnotes, but the structure, layout, are fairly easy to follow and after a few pages begin too become more accessible. The book follows a biographical note, starting with Paul's early history and working through to his final days of ministry. It is split into two sections - part 1 Paul's missionary labours which is biographical and part 2 Paul's missionary theology, which examines his theology. I can safely put it on my shelf next to FW Farrer and D Smith, such is its quality and depth. (CLC Reviews)
Those who have read and appreciated Robert Reymond's A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, will be delighted with this new volume on the apostle Paul... Reymond's biblical and theological exposition of particular themes, for example, on canonicity, imputation, justification and the Holy Spirit, is superb and stimulating. (ATB McGowan ~ Minister, East Church of Scotland, Inverness)
'This is quite a book! It tackles a big subject and grapples with it in a big way... Professor Reymond is both a New Testament scholar and a theologian, roles not always combined. He writes with admirable clarity and never evades issues, either exegetical or theological.' (Geoffrey Grogan ~ (1925-2011), Principal of Glasgow Bible College and well-respected author)
'This excellent volume examines Paul's theology and practice of mission. Its scope is wide and touches upon many areas of Pauline studies that have caused and continue to cause controversy. Dr Reymond seeks to bring the reader through these to a deeper understanding of Paul's missionary method and practice but, above all, to the world-changing content of his message... undoubtedly an inspiring and thought-provoking work.' (Paul Gardner ~ Senior Minister, Christ Church Presbyterian, Atlanta, Georgia)
'helps students of the Bible to grasp the historical sequence of Paul's missionary work and introduces the main themes of Paul's teaching about God's work in his Son... Of particular note is a serious defence of the now generally abandoned view that Paul was the author of Hebrews.' (Douglas Moo ~ Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois)
About the Author
Robert L. Reymond (1932-2013) taught for more than 25 years on the faculties of Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, Missouri) and Knox Theological Seminary (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida). He held degrees from Bob Jones University and did post-doctoral studies at Fuller Seminary, New York University, Union Seminary (New York), Tyndale House, Cambridge, and Rutherford House, Edinburgh.
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Professor Reymond divides Paul's letters into three groups. The first set, major letters written during his missionary journeys, includes Galatians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans. The second set is the prison letters: Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians. The third set is the pastoral epistles and Hebrews: 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Hebrews. The major letters were writing between AD 48 and 57. The prison letters were written from AD 60 to 62. The final letters were written around AD 65. Professor Reymond acknowledges being out of step with the mainstream by maintaining Pauline authorship of Hebrews.
Fair warning: this is Calvinism.
Part one serves as a walkthrough of Paul's life as recorded in Scripture. We first meet Paul as Saul where we meet a man that was present at the stoning of Stephen and as we continuing to get to know him we find a zealous persecutor of the early church. This is where Reymond begins to trace the apostle's life as he walks the reader through Paul's conversion and subsequent missionary journeys. Somewhat unique to this section is that Reymond attributes the Letter to the Hebrews to Paul. While this is not unheard of, it is unique enough to make mention of here.
Part two is a systematic theology according to Paul's writings. Here Reymond traces theological thoughts about sin, the sovereignty of God in salvation, the person of Christ, the work of the Father, Son and Spirit in the work of salvation, the Church, Eschatology and many other topics. This is a wonderful treatment of Paul's theology as Reymond brings together all of Paul's writings and systematizes them, something that would be a massive undertaking for the reader.
These two parts work together nicely as we see first, the grip that God had on Paul's life and the missionary effort that resulted from that grip and then the theology that drove that missionary effort. I was truly blessed by this volume and will definitely be referencing it for years to come. I highly recommend it.
I received a free copy of this book from Christian Focus in exchange for an honest review.
The first half of the book is five star quality, that is, the outline of Paul's missionary exploits through Acts. The second half, Reymond's systematic treatment of Pauline theology, is four stars. I went from reading Reymond's "New Systematic Theology" to this book, so in all honesty I was experiencing deja vu a bit. Had I not read the systematic before, I would probably give the second half 5 stars also.
The work of Reymond in this book is what you would expect from such an astute theologian. The various excursus' are insightful. And the amount of space given to them are neither too short nor too long; they are just right.
Bottom line: if you want a very readable, though challenging, book that will give you a great foundation of understanding for the missionary movements of Paul throughout Acts, this is your book. A caution is in order however... I felt convicted. The reader is challenged to really consider being a full-time, overseas, unreached people group, missionary.