Monday, August 19, 2013

How to Like Paul Again


The Apostle You Never Knew

Conrad Gempf
Authentic Media Inc.
Authentic Media
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Description

You know you're supposed to like him, but you just don't. Maybe it's the authoritarianism, maybe it's the arrogance, maybe it's the views he seems to hold, maybe it's the way that he drones on and on until you're falling asleep. Well ... you're not the only one. None of that is new. Not even the last bit (see Acts 20:9).

But there's a secret to liking an initially unlikeable person like Paul: walk a mile in his moccasins. Or three. This small book aims to take you inside three controversies that Paul faced. Would you have advised him to do anything differently? Would you have done as well as he did? This is a quick and entertaining introduction to the letters of Paul, from which you'll also learn about yourself.

My Review:   

This was a quick, fun read that guided me through the works of Paul in the New Testament. Gempf covers the books of Galatians, Corinthians, and Philemon and uses the Book of Acts to begin our understanding of Paul. Paul is one of those guys you love to hate and hate to love. He reminds you of yourself is the problem.He comes across as self assured, haughty and at the same time gentle and compassionate. He is a tough guy to get your head and heart around. I always wonder what his crutch in life was that he struggled with, but nevertheless Paul is real. He lives life on Gods terms and makes no excuse for the gospel or his love of it. I really adore books that have a great discussion guide or questions to help really dig into the topic and I was not let down. The discussion questions were tough and really made you sit and think before you could respond to them.  Parts of the book were entertaining and made you chuckle and parts really engaged you and made you evaluate your own life. I think most people seem to forget that although they allow us to take a glimpse into the days and times of Paul and the happenings and events that surrounded his life these "books" are actually letters wrote to elaborate on a specific issue that the people/church were facing.


Since I am a home educator I am always searching for books that we can use as part of our biblical studies. My older children (18, 16) were able to follow along pretty well on their own and engage in the discussion questions,  but my younger two (13,6) really needed more guidance and explanation into the reading and study questions. This being said, I would highly recommend this book to use in a church setting as a bible study, or in an education setting with high school students.

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