Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Allen: Paul not individualistic

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
    Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—
    —Galatians 1:1 (NIV)
    There is one ... aspect of St. Paul’s preaching which is often taken for granted, but is certainly not true—that the Gospel of St. Paul was purely individualistic. To the heathen crowd St. Paul addressed himself as to a mass of souls from amongst which he was to gather the elect children of God. But he did not approach them as an isolated prophet: he came as an Apostle of the Church of God, and he did not simply seek to gather out individual souls from amongst the heathen; he gathered them into the society of which he was a member. He did not teach them that they would find salvation by themselves alone, but that they would find it in the perfecting of the Body of Christ. Souls were not invited to enter into an isolated solitary religious life of communion with Christ: they were invited to enter the society in which the Spirit manifested Himself and in which they would share in the communication of His life. [Continued tomorrow]
    ... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 76 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, make me know my bonds to the brethren.
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