Why write a post like this? Not to be negative or contrarian, but to get us thinking. Modern Christians, especially conservative Protestants, tend to consider Paul the authoritative voice on Christian theology and church life. His letters have been read by each passing generation as if they were explicitly directed at that time, place, and audience. It’s easy to forget that Paul inhabited a unique ancient world of thought and practice, that he did not think like us or understand the universe like we do, and that he assumed his audience shared his worldview. We are not smarter or better than them, but we simply cannot imagine that we have the same interests and presuppositions as any Bible author or ancient person.
And so, five things that Paul asserted or taught in his letters which reflect a point of view completely foreign to modern people, including Christians. Continue reading