The Cincinnati/Dayton REC clergy, together with two friendly priests from TEC and the APA, have been studying N. T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God.
Here are the questions on chapter 1:
1. What did you think of Paul’s reading of Philemon? Any comments on objections? Appreciation for it?
2. What is the role of theology – of beliefs about God, Israel, and Jesus – in explaining why Paul urges Philemon to do certain things?
3. How does Paul in Philemon go further with “imputation” than Reformed theologians who insist that it is the core of the doctrine of justification? How might we do the same?
4. What does Wright think has gone wrong in Pauline studies in the past, especially with F. C. Baur’s history-of-religions approach?
5. What is the three-fold test of any interpretation (or of an exegetical “hypothesis”, as Wright calls it)?
6. What do you think of Wright’s opinions on the authorship of the Pauline epistles?
7. What is the role of history in Biblical scholarship? What effect does it have on interpretation?
8. What is the central thesis of Wright’s book, as stated in this opening chapter? How does it differ from other approaches to Paul that you have seen?
9. What benefits can you see to the church if we approach Paul in the way Wright recommends?