Amid conflicting ideas about what the church should be and do in a post-Christian climate, the missing voice is that of Paul. The New Testament’s most prolific church planter, Paul faced diverse challenges as he worked to form congregations.
In The Church According to Paul, leading biblical scholar James Thompson examines Paul’s ministry of planting and nurturing churches in the pre-Christian world to offer guidance for the contemporary church. He also addresses contemporary (mis)understandings of words like missional, megachurch, and formation.
“Always with one foot planted firmly in the academy and the other in the church, James Thompson has given us a highly insightful, theologically rich, and timely study of the apostle Paul’s view of the church–one of the best Pauline ecclesiologies in print….This excellent volume should be studied not only by students of Paul but also by all who are (rightly) concerned about the identity and mission of the church today.” – Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary’s Seminary & University
“Diagnoses of the church’s problems and prescriptions for its flourishing abound. As James Thompson wisely observes, however, most contemporary discussion of the church shows little evidence of engagement with the letters of Paul. In this careful volume, Thompson studies the church in Paul’s words and his work, in the hope that Paul’s rich wisdom might have its rightful place in contemporary Christian reflection.” – Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Baylor University
“According to Thompson, the crisis facing the Western church is not its survival but rediscovering its purpose. Probing the theological depths of Paul, this book offers a model for the contemporary church….Essential reading for those seeking a model for the contemporary church that is scripturally informed.” – Graham H. Twelftree, Regent University
James W. Thompson (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is scholar in residence at the Graduate School of Theology at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas. He is the editor of Restoration Quarterly and the author of numerous books, including Moral Formation according to Paul, Pastoral Ministry according to Paul, Preaching like Paul, and Hebrews in Paideia: Commentaries on the New Testament.
For more information on The Church According to Paul, click here.