Michael Gorman on Justice in Paul

Excellent quote from Michael Gorman’s new book.

Faith Improvised

I’ve encountered resistance from Christians in speaking about Paul’s conception of churches as communities of justice. I think that fears of a “social gospel” have made many readers of Paul’s texts blind to the sorts of social behaviors and intentionally-cultivated community dynamics to which Paul calls his churches.


In his new book, Becoming the Gospel, which I’m having a difficult time putting down, Michael Gorman addresses this crucial aspect of Paul’s vision:

The theme of justice has become increasingly central to my interpretation of Paul. Some readers, however, become nervous when they hear “justice” language associated with the apostle Paul. They fear that he is being turned into an advocate of nonpersonal, nonspiritual, progressive, or “liberal” theology that detracts from Paul’s true intentions. …[S]uch fears are misplaced. Paul’s theology and spirituality are a legitimate and substantive continuation of the prophetic ministry and message of the Hebrew prophets and of Jesus…

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