Book Proposal

By George H. Martin

Rembrandt painted a well-fed Paul sitting in prison. He would look different had he read my book.

Major Premise

Paul Found is not the Paul of Acts. The real Paul did not magically emerge from prisons or perform miracles known to amaze others. He wasn’t constantly harassed by Jews out to see him arrested. Images of Paul holding his own against Roman authorities in Acts do not match up with his letters from prison. Paul Found reveals the story behind his adopted name which means “small.”  He was not immune to tribulations, disappointments, or troubles that would easily lead ordinary souls to despair of life. This Paul rejoiced in his sufferings, allied himself with the one crucified, and discovered his friends in “low places.” His story of faith is one of downward mobilitysculpted from the faith of Christ crucified. We find this Paulonly by focusing on the seven letters most scholars agree came from him. Except for a few notable 2ndcentury documents, most commonly, Paul’s story has been told through the lens of Acts and the Pastoral epistles. He would not have recognized himself in those accounts. We need to set the record straight! Paul Foundargues that all of Paul’s references to his story in hisletters are fundamental to theological and ethical principles essential to the story of all who would follow Christ. What would it mean if following Christ also meant to follow Paul? This is where the real challenge comes!

This book extends the insights of George Lyons in his book titled Pauline Autobiography: Toward a New Understanding. His focus was restricted to Galatians and 1 Thessalonians. Using all sevenof his letters we discover a Paul who aligned himself with the “nobodies” of his world—and ours!This fully Jewish Paul worked side by side with women in ministry, and lived with a vision of unity among all peoples. What mattered was unity—not uniformity! Standing on the edge of history with change just around the corner, this is the subversive apostle who offered an ethic for living with expectant hope. What ultimately mattered for Paul was God’s justiceembracing the most vulnerable and least respected. He would die for this faith!

I have written eight chapters:

  1. The Introduction
  2. Paul in Arabia
  3. Paul: What’s in your Name?
  4. Paul the Storyteller
  5. Paul Lost in the Crowd
  6. Paul Sent to the Nations
  7. Paul in Community 
  8. Paul Found in Letters Heard
    Chapters I plan to write
  9. Paul an Unmanly Man
  10. Paul Slave of Christ
  11. Paul in Trouble
  12. Paul the Mystic
  13. Paul’s Watch
  14. Paul for Our World

The Intended Audience. As a pastor I know how many people struggle to understand the letters of Paul. Those long troubled by Paul—and they are many, including this author—will find in this book a challenge to the most egregious false assumptions and interpretations of Paul.  This is a St. Paul most people thought they would never meet. 

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