Saturday, January 21, 2006

Quest for Paul’s Gospel

I started working through Doug Campbell’s Quest for Paul’s Gospel today, and I’m getting really quite excited as he is truly speaking from my heart on how one should understand ‘faith’ in Paul. His christocentric and participatory reading of the data is in many ways where I’ve been heading entirely independently, though I’d still use different language to describe the complex of Pauline themes. Absolutely inspiring! I’m really looking forward to reading this one through.

Here is one useful review. Does anybody have any opinions of this book, or know where I can find decent reviews?


At 1/22/2006 9:56 PM, Anonymous Michael F. Bird said...

Chris, I picked up Campbell's book at SBL for $10, and then 5 minutes later I bumped into him and got him to sign the copy I just bought. He's pretty useful for a Kiwi (unlike their cricket team). I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

At 1/23/2006 12:27 AM, Anonymous Chris Tilling said...

Mike, that is just NOT fair.


At 7/04/2006 7:45 PM, Anonymous Logan Dunn said...

I just finished reading Campbell's book for the second time. I was a student of his at Duke and had the pleasure of attending the celebration of the book's release at his home last April. I too have looked for reviews and have not come up with much other than blogs like yours. Due to its controversial nature it might be that serious reviewers are witholding their opinions until something like a consensus is reached. No one wants to strongly endorse a discredited work. And because of Campbell's strident position rejection is a real possibility - though eventually I hope and expect he will be vindicated. I think the jury will not return on this matter for some time.

Campbell is virually obsessed with figuring out Paul. He's in way deeper than the average theology student, which means his trenchant exegesis and argumentative logic are lost on most of us. For a book of this type he actually quotes scripture somewhat sparingly - and this because he knows it so well. As he says early on, he's making a big picture argument where his predecessors were myopic.

My not very profound criticism is that I don't think he's as chairtable or sympathetic with the JF reading as he could be (or as he thinks he is). Ultimately this does not affect the validity of his claims, only their reception. He relies on logic to be persuasive - in the long run the best tactic. However, I found myself on many occasions wondering exactly how I ended up in the position of having no choice but to conclude whatever he said must be concluded. This is largely due to my deficiencies as a reader, but he could have helped more.

I found his reading of Romans 1:18-3:20 to be the most cogent portion of the book - and one that could largely stand on its own.

I've found Campbell's thesis difficult to discuss in the church for several obvious reasons. I'm curious to see how it is received within the academy.


Post a Comment

<< Home