A single-volume treatment based on the eschatological center of Paul's message
Paul's life, letters, and theology are unified by the theme of the overlapping of two ages: this age and the age to come. With the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the age to come (i.e., kingdom of God) broke into this present age but didn't end it. Where other important doctrines such as justification by faith, reconciliation, and the cross of Christ were key players in Paul's theology, Marvin Pate compellingly demonstrates that the overarching theme driving the Pauline corpus was indeed Paul's inaugurated eschatology. In fact, Paul's apocalyptic framework was only one of a number of other rival eschatologically focused religious perspectives of the day, such as the Imperial Cult, Hellenistic/syncretistic religion, and the merkabah Judaizers. Paul's vigorous debates with the churches he served centered on the exclusivity of the gospel of Christ that he preached: the nonnegotiable apocalypse of Jesus the Messiah. Apostle of the Last Days will be welcomed in the classroom as a one-volume treatment of Paul's life and letters as well as his theology.
From cover to cover, Pate offers an always cogent and often compelling case for his reading of the Jewish apostle to the Gentiles. This well-organized, clearly written volume will prove valuable to students and scholars alike. It is a helpful primer that will repay and reward readers in their quest to think the apostle's thoughts after him.
-Todd D Still,
George W Truett Theological Seminary
In Apostle of the Last Days, we find once again the type of robust engagement with the biblical text that we've come to expect from Marvin Pate. Grounded in an admirable familiarity with both the ancient world of the New Testament and contemporary Pauline scholarship, Pate offers a wonderful introduction to the life, letters, and theology of the apostle Paul.
-Paul Rhodes Eddy,
Paul's inaugurated eschatology was the determining factor in how the apostle understood the gospel, why he evangelized the world, and how he instructed his converts to live "in between the times". In clear and concise terms, Pate takes us through the thicket of first-century ideas about the end of the world and explains why reading Paul apocalyptically not only helps us understand his letters, but also reveals why Paul's opponents attacked him. Pate masterfully reveals why we shouldn't make the same mistake as Paul's opponents, thereby missing the heart of the gospel according to Paul.
Southwest Baptist University