Confronting Paul’s Freedom in Christ

Samaritan's Song

Sometimes I wonder about Paul.

I’ve spent more time with his letters than perhaps any other part of the Bible except for the Gospels, and I always come away from them with a particular impression of their author.  I imagine him to be endlessly energetic.  Stern when necessary, but never cruel in his sternness.  Fair.  Passionate.  Driven by a sense of profound urgency.  Dedicated to spreading the word.  Honest to the point of awkwardness.  Demanding.

But I never think of him as being guilt-ridden.  Pathetic.  Anxious.  Inward.

The thing is, I always have some sense when I read through Acts that he ought to be.  That Paul ought to, in some way, perform guilt or sorrow in his letters for my benefit.  Because pre-Christian Paul (Saul at the time, but I’m sticking with Paul for the sake of ease) was a nightmare on two feet.  He was oppression and malice…

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