Two new reviews of Paul’s Divine Christology
I need to apologise for this horrendously self-promoting post. I’ll go and stub my toes a few times as punishment. But before that:
a) Johnny Walker has written a very kind review here. He concludes:
Tilling's defense of a divine Christology in Paul is the sharpest to date. He builds off the work of Hurtado, Bauckham, and Fee, while strengthening their individual arguments by filling crucial lacunae in their work. Similarly, he confronts the strongest opponents in such a way that avoids endless debates over exegetical minutia. The sheer range of data discussed and included will make any formidable critique a colossally demanding effort. Any future work on Paul's Christology will ignore Tilling's argument to its own peril.
I like the word “peril” and I plan to use it more! I was particularly glad to see that he understood something my critics have missed: "Paul's Christ-relation need not be identical to God-relation ... rather, it must only show a deep compatibility". Quite right! This is something I discuss in chapter 10.
b) Also now available is my friend, Dr Carl Sweatman’s Stone-Campbell extremely lucid and kind review, here. Carl’s own PhD, “The Spirit and the Cross, Divine Wisdom and Communal Discernment: A Critical Exploration of 1 Corinthians 2:1–3:4” is one to read and Carl a scholar to keep on your radar!
Tilling is to be commended not only for his ability to engage fairly and thoroughly with scholars on both sides of the debate but also for his patient exegesis and rereading of the primary and secondary sources, and allowing the data to direct the outcome of the argument. Tilling’s monograph serves as an example of how to do scholarly research in NT studies. In terms of weaknesses, one will be hard-pressed to find any, unless of course one wishes that Tilling brought in the disputed Pauline letters as a way for either comparison or contrast with the undisputed ones. Fortunately, at least for one disputed letter (Ephesians), Tilling has already addressed this concern in the 2012 Festschrift for Max Turner