Summary: Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them,
It was said of Abraham Lincoln that when his political opponent called him two faced he replied "If I had two faces I wouldn’t be wearing this one!" I presented you with my definition of evolution a while back which is a process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions. Including the ability for individuals to change in their understand, to progress, from one stage to another.
Some will say that Christians don’t believe in evolution, to which I will respond "yes and some never will grow up, they’ll be like Peter Pan, always a child. The Apostle Paul put it this way " That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Eph 4:14).
Paul seems to indicate that we are to grow up. And so Gentle reader I am going to suggest that is the very thing that Paul did and we should be able to find clues in the fourteen writings attributed to him.
To help us keep things in a semblance of order I will use these three terms to describe Paul’s evolution (or growing up) 1) Paul’s radical stage. 2) Paul’s liberal stage and 3) Paul’s conservative or reactionary stage.
The problem for me arises in that I want to give Paul credit for all of the fourteen books attributed to him. While other scholars will hold out that only seven (7) are actually written by Paul Himself ( There is a massive scholarly consensus that only these seven are certainly Pauline. Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, aand Philemon by reason of their judgment based on style, tone, vocabulary and context-whereas I use all of the afore mentioned factors as well as internal and external dating of all of the Pauline corpus to come to a different conclusion -see my previous studies on Paul the Apostle and the dating of New Testament literature ) and the other were penned by either one or more of Paul’s followers or those who wished to put a theological spin on Paul’s writings to follow an agenda of their own choosing. Now to be perfectly frank, I haven’t decided on which of these two positions I would prefer to land. However since those astute gentlemen have not garnered enough evidence yet to convince me yet. I will assume that all fourteen books were written by Paul and this will strengthen my argument that growth is not instantaneous but fact is an observable process. Which will also gentle reader explain why there are three types of Christian believers. The babies (those who desire the sincere milk of the Word). The spoon fed Christians (those who can feed themselves). And the fork fed Christians (those who can feed themselves and can also fed others).
So much for an introduction to the Three Phases (faces) of Paul. Next time we’ll begin to show you the Radical Paul and ultimately we see the differences in his growth process through the three phases.