When is a Conversion Not a Conversion? Thoughts on the “Conversion” of St. Paul

Paradoxical Thoughts

By the Rev. Ken Howard

And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.
So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you
according to the wisdom given him,
speaking of this as he does in all his letters.
There are some things in them hard to understand,
which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

Peter – an apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ

(2 Peter 3:15-16)

conversion of st paul

A little over 20 years ago, while still in seminary, I had a preaching experience that profoundly transformed my opinion of the Apostle Paul and my thinking about conversion. I was a seminarian at the time – a senior, to be exact – and I had just been assigned my seminary preaching date (Virginia Theological Seminary, at the time, only gave its aspiring preachers one shot at the gathered seminary community). That’s right: my…

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