Because of the Apostle Paul’s dramatic testimony concerning the after-effects of his conversion—“Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:16)—unknown to many of us is the fact that he did subsequently make two purposeful and seminal visits to two giants of Christianity, Simon Peter and James, author of our Book of James (Galatians 1:18-19). Instead of understanding the Apostle Paul solely as the mysterious Christ-mystic receiving multiple revelations from God in the Arabian desert, this book considers him also as a developing mentality from the Christian-humanistic perspective, that is, as a man jostled by others who like himself had beheld the Son of God, most significantly, one whom we regard as his diametric opposite—James, “the brother of the Lord” and “apostle of works.”
Surprising influences of James’ outlook and writings show up in Paul’s subsequent thought.
Paul in this book is studied as he is seldom discussed in our churches—meeting with many kinds of mentalities far and wide and impacted by everyone he encountered, especially James.
Charles W. Schaefer, “disciple and humanist,” spent his earlier years as a collegiate educator in Christian and secular universities, and later entered the nondenominational pulpit. His previous works include Christianity Without Religion, The Short Stories of Jesus Christ: Interpreting the Parables, The Great Evangelical Dilution, Expanding the Frontiers of Christian Consciousness, First Century Christianity in the Twenty-first Century, and Mountain Apocalypse: The Sermon on the Mount Restored.