Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace  Community, By Mark Strom

Reframing Paul

Conversations in Grace Community

by Mark Strom

Reframing Paul
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Published: October 12, 2000
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 1570
  • ISBN: 9780830815708

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The Greco-Roman world was shaped by ideals and abstract ideas. The Apostle Paul left them behind. But they continue to shape evangelical teaching and practice.

This picture contradicts the common impression of Paul as an abstract theologian, someone who wrestled with deep theological doctrine while hovering six feet above everyday reality. But in fact, it was the philosopher's of Paul's day--and even some of Paul's Christian opponents--who traded heavily in abstractions, one-way rhetoric and top-down hierarchies while depreciating the currency of common experience. By contrast, Paul the tentmaker was a conversationalist of God's good news, a storyteller of Jesus Christ, an apostle who walked the avenues and back alleys of everyday reality. His passion was for communities of grace and conversation where the new reality of Christ was explored and embodied within the daily messiness of life.

Reframing Paul unveils this Paul in his original context and invites us to engage him on new terms. Courageously author Mark Strom draws Paul into vital conversation with contemporary evangelicalism. His book is for those who wonder why people leave churches for alternative spiritual paths--and who may even be tempted to do so themselves. More than anything, his book is for those who wonder what's gone wrong and who want to learn how the church can be an attractive community of transforming grace and conversation.



1. Reframing Our Conversation with Paul

Part 1: Primary Reality Everyday Reality: Ancient Frames for a Split World
2. From Homer to Plato
The Shape of Primary Reality in Early Greek Literature
The Emerging Intellectual Consensus on Primary Reality
Plate Sets the Pattern for Primary Reality
3. From Aristotle to Seneca
Aristotle on Abstractions as the Key to Primary Reality
Hellenistic Philosophy and the Framing of Primary Reality as Moral Idealism
Platonist Revivals of Transcendent Reality
4. The Inadequacy of Ideals
The Inadequacy of Primary Reality
Fate, Fortune and Everyday Uncertainties
The Everyday Manipulation of Primary Reality
5. Rank, Status Convention
Ideas and Social Conformity
Social Order and Convention
A Tale of Two Realities

Part 2: Paul on Jesus Christ: Frames for Telling the Story
6. Social Frames
Framing the Story of Jesus Christ
Respect and Frustration Toward Jerusalem and the Law
Reconciliation of Jew and Gentile
Radical Social Relationships Within the Ecclesia
7. Historical Frames
In the Fullness of Time
Adam, Christ and the Shape of History
In Christ
8. Personal Frames
The Antithesis of Flesh and Spirit
Dying and Rising with Christ
Perspectives on Paul

Part 3: Meeting of Two Worlds
9. Paul Philosophy
The Rationalist-Irrationalist Tension Within Greek Philosophy
Paul and the Renewal of the Mind in Christ
10. Paul Theology
Theology and the Constraint of God
Paul on the Areopagus at Athens
Paul and the Free Mercy of God in Christ
11. Paul Religion
Awe and Intimacy
Paul, Local Religion and the Imperial Cult
Paul and the Presence of God in the Ecclesia
The End of Religion in the Ecclesia
12. Paul Morality
Moral Philosophy and the Pathway to Progress and Perfection
Honor, Obligation and Virtue
Paul and the Transformation of the Person in Christ
Meeting of the Three Worlds

Part 4: Frames for Grace Conversation
13. Dying to Rise
The Experience of Knowing Christ
The Experience of Strength in Weakness
The Experience of Social Humiliation
The Freedom of Slavery to All
The Shape of Dying to Rise
14. Frames for New Community
Ancient Assemblies and New Communities
Graeco-Roman Desires for Community and the Shape of the Ecclesia
The Centrality of the Meal and Conversation
The Reframing of Human Relations
The Reframing of Leadership
15. The Rhythm of Conversation
Coherence in Improvisation and Conversation
Improvising and Conversing from the Old Testament
Improvising and Conversing Within Graeco-Roman Culture
Galatians: The Freedom of the Spirit Versus the Tyranny of Law
1 Corinthians: The Priority of Love over Prestige
The Cutting Edge of Conversation

Part 5: Now Then: Reframing Grace-full Conversation
16. Living in the System
The System Is What the System Does
The Priority of Preaching in the System
The Absoluteness of Theology and Preaching
Preaching as Therapy of the Soul
Idealism and Authority in the System
Professionalism in the System
Maintaining System Boundaries: The Biblical-Unbiblical Game
17. When Meaning Breaks Down
The Burden of Being Right
The Power of Ideals and Rectitude
Seeds of Disaffection
Piety, Idealism and Rectitude
When Meaning Breaks Down
An Invitation to Conversation at the Crossroads
18. Frames for Grace-full Conversation
Journey into Conversation
Finding a Rhythm for Grace-full Conversation
The Group with No Name
When the World Fell Apart

Select Bibliography


About the Author


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Mark Strom

Mark Strom is currently the CEO of Second Road, a unique strategy and innovation firm based in Sidney, Australia. He was previously CEO of Laidlaw College in Auckland, New Zealand. Mark's PhD explored the intellectual and social background of Paul and his place as a major innovator in western thought.