Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review: The Spirituality of Paul by Leslie T. Hardin

Book Review: The Spirituality of Paul

by Leslie T. Hardin

The idea behind The Spirituality of Paul is a great one. The chapter titles draw the reader into the book. Who doesn’t want to understand “Paul the man,” aside from Paul’s theology? Even reading a little bit of “Paul the theologian” seems like a nice break from all the New Perspective/Old Perspective debates on his theology of law versus grace. One of the first titles that caught my eye was on “Paul’s Devotion to Scripture”; next was the chapter on spiritual gifts. I confess I did not find every chapter as compelling.
            What I didn’t like about the book was the way the author concludes the chapters, going beyond what the biblical explorations warrant to give too much of his own convictions, feelings, and theology. I read the book to learn about Paul’s spirituality, not the author’s. Whether you agree that gifts of the Spirit like tongues are in operation in today’s church or not. I was very uncomfortable with the author’s pontificating about it at the end of that chapter. Though pretending not to take sides and advocating a “let’s not judge each other” line, the author clearly does have a position and makes it clear while pretending to be neutral.
            Yes, that ruined the book for me and would not recommend it. I prefer to read an author who is upfront about his convictions and argues for them by exegesis, citation of other scholars, and logical argumentation.

2/5 Stars

Disclosure: The book was received for free from Kregel Academic & Ministry review program. The program does not require a positive review, only a truthful one.