My Latest Book Is Now Out
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians contains both emphatic warnings and strong statements of assurance, and the relationship between them has often puzzled interpreters. Did Paul warn Christians that they might forfeit their salvation? Or did he assure them that they would not? The answer, as Andrew J. Wilson puts it in this study, is: both.
If that piques your interest, here’s one paragraph from the book that essentially summarises my findings:
This book has established the presence of a warning-assurance tension in 1 Corinthians that has not been sufficiently recognised, or explained, in contemporary scholarship. After an introduction to the scholarly discussion so far (chapter one) and a survey of some important introductory issues in the letter (chapter two), we established that both Paul’s warnings and his assurances are genuine, as opposed to rhetorical, conditional or directed at unbelievers, through careful exegesis of all the relevant passages (chapters three to nine). We saw that Paul both assures believers of their eschatological salvation, both in brief summaries (1:8-9; 10:13) and in extended arguments (15:3-28), and at the same time warns believers against being destroyed (3:16-17), destroying others (8:11), forfeiting the kingdom (6:9-11) and falling into idolatry, judgment and destruction (10:1-13). Drawing all of these threads together, we then showed that a tension between warnings and assurances is the only way to account for all the evidence, and sketched how this tension exists elsewhere in Paul, before demonstrating how, though puzzling, it is in fact coherent, with Paul seeing his own warnings as a God-given means of ensuring human perseverance in faith (chapter ten).
The bad news is that it’s very expensive on Amazon (£80 new, £50 used), so I’m not expecting a rush of people to buy it. But the good news is that, if you would like a review copy (and think you might actually review it!), then I’ll happily send you a free one, so do get in touch.