If a book about Jesus and Paul could ever be a page-turner, this is that book. Daniel Kirk invites us to learn from Paul as a faithful interpreter of Jesus, dispelling frequent misinterpretations of both the Lord and his apostle. As Kirk himself says, the heart of this volume is the claim that both Jesus and Paul tell the story of Israel’s God as a narrative that includes you, me, and the whole created order. If we listen to his wise counsel, we will become more faithful communities of the cross-shaped, life-giving gospel.
Michael J. Gorman
The Ecumenical Institute of Theology
St. Mary’s Seminary & University
The day I started this book, a friend said to me, “I can’t stand the Apostle Paul.” Now that I have finished the book, I couldn’t be more eager to give it to her, as well as to many others I know. For a book to wed careful New Testament study with clear and challenging pastoral application makes it noteworthy. What makes this book exceptional is that Kirk goes far beyond even this. He addresses a complex and commonly felt set of controversies about Jesus, Paul, women, sexuality, and homosexuality, and does so in particularly careful, unflinching ways. He earns the reader’s trust by demonstrating an interpretive manner that both honors Scripture and wrestles with it. Any opinionated reader sure about Jesus or Paul needs to listen again and will find this book to be a gift that speaks to the academy, to the church, and to those far beyond the walls of both.
Mark A. Labberton
Lloyd John Ogilvie Associate Professor of Preaching
Director of the Lloyd John Ogilvie Institute of Preaching
Fuller Theological Seminary
Former Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, CA
The perceived tensions between the presentation of the life and message of Jesus contained in the Gospels and Paul’s account of that message are well documented and have been the subject of much historical and theological wrestling. In this volume Daniel Kirk outlines a narrative approach to Pauline Christianity that deconstructs some common and problematic assumptions as well as presenting a compelling vision of Paul’s gospel that is in deep continuity with the message of Jesus. In so doing he renders a Paul who speaks powerfully to the church of the twenty-first century and world to which it is called to bear witness.
John R. Franke, DPhil
Theologian in Residence
First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, PA
J. R. Daniel Kirk http://jrdkirk.com