Save Jesus of Nazareth, no one has had more lasting influence on the shape and character of modern Christianity than the Apostle Paul. It is precisely Paul’s formative influence on modern Christianity, however, that makes it difficult sometimes to “let Paul be Paul;” that is, to hear him and understand him in his own religious and cultural context (first-century Judaism), rather than making him a 21st century Gentile Christian with 21st century values and views. That is to say, Paul’s historical and religious context affects how we understand and interpret him and his writings.
In Zondervan’s Counterpoints series, Michael Bird contributes the volume titled Four Views on the Apostle Paul in which four leading Pauline scholars present their views on the best framework for understanding Paul’s central theological perspective, his view of salvation, the significance of Christ, and his vision for the Church.
Having read Bird’s Four Views on the Apostle Paul, compose an executive summary of the book. An executive summary typically summarizes a longer work in such a way that readers can gain a sense of the work without having to read it all themselves. It typically contains a brief statement of the problem, background information, concise analysis of the central arguments, and main conclusions.
Include in your executive summary the following:
- A brief statement of the problem the book addresses.
- A brief description of the contributors.
- A concise summary of each contributor’s central argument.
- A concise summary of what you consider the chief “takeaways” from the book.
- Length of assignment: 500 words or less. NB: Do not use all your words describing the contributors at the expense of the other parts of the assignment.
- Sources Required: The student is required to work directly only with the Bird volume, though they are free (but not required) to consult additional sources if they so choose.
- Format of Assignment: Turabian, current edition. References to the biblical text and the Bird volume may be included in the body of the paper with parenthetical citations, but if other sources are used, they must be cited with footnotes and a bibliography of sources cited.
- Acceptable sources: Bible, textbooks and course presentations. If the student chooses to use sources other than course materials, recent scholarly sources must be used. Internet sources require the instructor’s prior approval.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.