BOLIVAR – Southwest Baptist University (SBU) professor of biblical
study Rodney Reeves has released a new textbook on the Apostle Paul’s Christian walk, Spirituality According to Paul: Imitating the Apostle of Christ.
The new book, published by IVP Academic, charts the Pauline themes of spiritual life based on Paul’s initial invitation in I Corinthians to “imitate” him as he follows Christ. In examining the arc of spiritual union with Christ through His crucifixion, burial and resurrection, Reeves connects our contemporary lives to the life of Paul and challenges readers to follow the apostle’s spiritual path.
Reeves, who also serves as the dean of the Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry at SBU, singles out what makes Pauline spirituality so unique.
“Paul was the only [New Testament] author to suggest that, somehow,
we participate in the burial of Christ through baptism,” he said. “I explore what it means to experience the full sweep of Paul’s gospel. For Paul, the death, burial and resurrection of Christ is the essence of the gospel – a narrative of spirituality. Paul believed that every experience in his life was an opportunity to participate in the cross of Christ, the burial of Christ and the resurrection of Christ – lessons he tried to pass on to his converts.”
Reeves said the motivation for the book came from student questions in
class about how to apply Paul’s advice in his letters today.
“Critical issues in Pauline studies do not excite college students today,” he said. “They want to know whether Paul’s view of the world in Ephesians – we are ‘seated in heaven’ with Christ in order to overcome malevolent powers – is true today. Often, Paul’s instructions are based on his experience of the gospel, and he expected his converts to have the same experiences. Does Paul’s invitation to ‘imitate him as he imitated Christ’ apply to us as well?”
The paperback book is now availableon Amazon.com for $13.32.