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Paul among the Postliberals Paperback – February 1, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

DOUGLAS K. HARINK is associate professor of theology at The King's University College in Edmonton (Alberta, Canada).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Brazos Press (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158743041X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587430411
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There will be times when conservative evangelicals (like myself) need to expose themselves to literature that go beyond the usual comfortable theological zone. Douglas Harink's book is a book that qualifies for that. It will either make you re-think Paul's theology or make you go into a fit for turning upside-down the traditional evangelical understanding of Paul. Harink's book is basically a combination of his own thoughts on Pauline themes and an overview of how well-known postliberal theologians have understood Paul. The book contains five long chapters: 1) Justification; 2) Apocalypse; 3) Politics; 4) Israel; and 5) Culture. All of these chapters are stimulating to read (some more than others). Here is an evaluation of all five chapters:

Chapter One: Justification. Harink provides some provocative conclusions on regarding Paul's doctrine of justification. He overturns the traditional Protestant paradigm by calling into question things like the pessimistic anthropology of Lutheran and Reformed theology, the "faith IN Christ" interpretation (cf. Gal 2:16), the negative view of the law, and the highly forensic nature of justification (he believes that justification has more to do with "empowerment" than "acquittal" [p. 44]). He then goes over the doctrine as it is understood by Karl Barth, John Howard Yoder, and Stanley Hauerwas. This chapter was very interesting and may open the reader's eyes on how justification is understood by postliberal scholars.

Chapter Two: Apocalypse. This chapter was the most enjoyable and thought-provoking in the book. Harink discusses Paul's understanding of the "apocalypse" as presented in Galatians and Hauerwas' writings.
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Format: Paperback
Paul Among The Postliberals: Pauline Theology Beyond Christendom And Modernity by Douglas Harink (Associate Professor of Theology at The King's University College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) seeks a dialogue between post-liberal theologians such as Yoder and Hauerwas and the testimony of the "original apocalyptic theologian", the apostle Paul himself. A thoughtful striving for insight that transcends millennia, and written with a close eye on the Scriptures and their impact on Christianity in the present and future, Paul Among The Postliberals is a welcome and recommended addition to Pauline Studies and New Testament Studies reading lists.
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Format: Paperback
It is hard to tell when reading this book. Paul sounds an awful lot like Barth, Hauerwas, and Yoder, or they look a lot like them. That said, it is a wonderful treatment of Pauline themes and postliberal theology. Each chapter alternates between the two poles. Harink treats justification as the work of God in Christ, as opposed to human work. The Apocalypse is a present reality in the cross and resurrection of Christ. Politics is about making the reign of God clear by communal living. God elects a group of people, Israel, onto which is grafted the church. This church is then a culture, which interacts with other cultures, calling them into the reign of God. If you are a postliberal thinker, chances are you will like this book. If you are not, you will have some significant reservations. All things considered, this is an excellent example of a Postliberal reading of Pauline themes.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent summary of several of the most important "postliberal" Pauline scholars and theologians. Harink is at his best when he focuses on Hauerwas and Yoder; he proves quite effectively that he understands each better than most critics (and critical readers). Unfortunately, when Harink turns to Wright, his examination falls apart and even turns into a vicous ad hominem attack at several points. Harink does not display a thorough understanding of Wright's work and, as one the previous reviewers on this page has noted, his summary is really a parody of Wright. Sadly, the weaknesses in the chapter on Wright betray further weaknesses in his scholastic aptitude, and his inability to comprehend the most important international "postliberal" Pauline scholar forces the reader to question whether he really has a grip on postliberalism (or Paul) at all.
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