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The Problem with Paul: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict [Paperback]

By Brian J. Dodd (Author)
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Item description for The Problem with Paul: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict by Brian J. Dodd...

Paul is one of the most respected figures in church history---and one of the most controversial. Now Pastor Dodd gives you a fresh perspective on Paul that makes sense of the man and his message. Discover how Paul's ideas were shaped by his culture and whether he really was an anti-Semite, an advocate of slavery, and a chauvinist, as his opponents believe.

Publishers Description
Was Paul a chauvinist? Was he a prude? Was he anti-Semitic? Why did Paul condone slavery? How might he have fared on the Oprah Winfrey Show? People outside the church have often found Paul hard to stomach. His views on women, sex and marriage, his failure to attack the institution of slavery, and his verbal attacks on his opponents have all come under fire. Regrettably, Paul hasn't always fared that much better among believers. Like the apostle Peter, many wonder what to make of Paul and his confusing, controversial--and sometimes apparently contradictory--teachings. Put simply, Paul just isn't politically correct. Brian Dodd offers a fresh look at the perpetually enigmatic and misunderstood Paul. Combining pastoral insight and scholarly rigor, he helps us bridge the gap between Paul's ancient world and our postmodern setting. Here is much-needed perspective for making sense of Paul--the man and his message.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: IVP Academic
Running Time: 298.00 minutes
Pages   180
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.26" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
Edition  ng of God  
ISBN  0830818715  
ISBN13  9780830818716  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > New Testament
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Commentaries
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament > Study
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > New Testament
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Paul

Christian Product Categories
Books > Bible Study > New Testament Studies > Paul & His Writings

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Problem With Paul?

Brian Dodd Is Right On  Jul 4, 2004
I found this book most helpful in crossing the bridge between today culture and the time of Paul. Brian clearly helps the reader in showing us that knowing about the times and customes of Paul's day helps us better to understand the NT writtings of Paul and gives us a clearer light of the truth of God's word. This book is good both for the preacher and lay persons. Worth every penny. thank you Brian for another well written book.
The problem with Dodd  Jan 9, 2001
In "The Problem with Paul," Christian author Brian J. Dodd attempts to "rehabilitate" the image of Paul, the apostle who authored many of the letters of the New Testament. Dodd's book is an uneasy blend of "politically correct" posturing and neo-conservative rigidity. Ultimately, Dodd seems to defend an approach to biblical interpretation which allows the believer to continue to wallow in convenient prejudices.

Throughout history, the New Testament writings attributed to Paul have been abundant sources of "proof-texts"--that is, texts used to justify one's position--by racists, anti-Semites, sexists, anti-gay bigots, and other supporters of destructive ideologies. (Jim Hill and Rand Cheadle have documented some of the "Pauline problem" in their book "The Bible Tells Me So: Uses and Abuses of Holy Scripture.") Dodd addresses some of these controversies and tries to re-paint Paul as a misunderstood guy with some genuinely forward-thinking ideas.

But I find Dodd's approach to be contradictory and unconvincing. He asserts, for example, that Christians need not follow Paul's restrictions regarding female headgear (1 Cor. 11:5-6) and female leadership in church (1 Tim. 2:11-15), and accuses Christians who take these verses literally of an "interpretive naivete" which Dodd deems "unhelpful." But then he turns around and asserts that Christians must adhere to an anti-gay interpretation of other Pauline passages. Although he performs ample verbal gymnastics in order to justify his positions, it seems to me that Dodd is picking and choosing which verses he wants to read "literally," and which he wants to write off as culturally bound. And woe to anyone who disagrees with Dodd's personal likes and dislikes; in his view, they are obviously wrong!

Particularly ridiculous is his chapter about Paul's comments on the institution of slavery. A large part of his argument seems to boil down to the equation that ancient Greco-Roman slavery was good, and American slavery was bad. Does it follow that, as long as Christians follow the allegedly benevolent ancient model, it is perfectly all right for them to hold their fellow humans as slaves?

Some of the ground covered by Dodd is dealt with in a much more thoughtful and morally consistent manner by Peter J. Gomes in "The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart." While Dodd has some interesting ideas, and is clearly a skilled writer, "The Problem with Paul" as a whole is riddled with problems.


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