We have misunderstood Paul…badly.
According to a ground-breaking new book by Rev Steve Chalke, failing to understand Paul in his own context has led to centuries of the Church falsely presenting the apostle to the Gentiles as the great excluder.
But what if ‘original sin’ was never part of Paul’s thinking? What if the idea that we are saved by faith in Christ, as Luther argued, was based on a mistranslation of Paul’s words and a misunderstanding of Paul’s thinking?
We have read his words through our own set of assumptions. We need to begin with Paul’s world view, to see things the way he saw them.
‘Over the centuries,’ writes Steve Chalke, ‘the Church has repeatedly failed to communicate, or even understand, the core of Paul’s message. Although Paul has often been presented as the champion of exclusion, he was the very opposite. He was the great includer.’
Steve Chalke MBE is a Baptist minister, founder and leader of the Oasis Charitable Trust, and author of more than 50 books.
WATCH: Steve Chalke discusses whether we have misunderstood Paul
WATCH: Giles Fraser interview Steve Chalke at the launch of ‘The Lost Message of Paul’