Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? by Daniel Kirk

Yesterday I received a review copy of Daniel Kirk‘s Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity in the mail courtesy of Baker Academic (you can learn more about the book here). I will be part of a blog tour running from the 9th to the 20th of January that is full of quality reviewers. We will be taking a chapter each, but I am sure that I will be sharing more of this book than my allotted chapter.

I am excited about Kirk’s book for three reasons: (1) I have gained much from his “storied” approach to hermeneutics and Christian theology. (2) I was influenced by his first book Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God. It led me to trust Kirk as a quality exegete and thinker. (3) While I struggle at times with some of the things found in the Pauline corpus  I disdain attempts to radically split the Apostle’s project from that of Jesus. I think this is the result of a misunderstanding of Paul, the Evangelists, and the core of the Gospel found in both the Pauline Epistles and the canonical Gospels.

These are some excerpts that have caught my eye already:

“I take it as a sign of the significant cultural shift to postmodernity that innumerable evangelicals are holding on to their core evangelical convictions (including the Bible as the Word of God) without feeling the compulsion to embrace the notion of the inerrancy of Scripture.” (p. 7)

“Jesus as we meet him on the pages of the Gospels is not living out a self-contained story. He is acting out a final, climactic scene in the ongoing drama of Israel that stretches back to creation and comes to its promised resolution with his death and resurrection.” (p. 15)

“If it is faithful to the Gospels to say that Jesus proclaims God, it is equally true to say that in these same Gospels God proclaims Jesus. There are only two or three times in the Gospels when God’s voice literally sounds from heaven, and in each the heavenly witness is testifying to Jesus’ identity as God’s Son.” (p. 18)

“Resurrection is not about flight from creation but about new creation.” (p. 20)

“The story of the kingdom of God is one in which humanity rules a world that is, in its entirety, subject to God through the faithful work of God’s people.” (p. 34)

I hope that peaks your interest a bit. If you can get the book (maybe from someone for Christmas?!) I recommend you do. If you are skeptical make sure to follow this blog and the blog tour in January so we can change your mind!