Paul didn’t just sit around and pontificate lofty theological ideas from a chamber flowing with the finest wines and grains of abundance. Not even close. Paul, although an intellectual, was a practitioner. For him, theology is always practical.
In Paul’s short letter to Philemon, he challenges power structures of the day by contending for peace between a slave owner (Philemon) and a runaway slave (Onesimus). According to our friends at The Global Immersion Project, peacemaking in the way Jesus involves several practices: SEE, IMMERSE, and CONTEND—with the dream of eventual restoration. In this letter, Paul has clearly taken time to SEE the humanity of both of these men, he has IMMERSED in their stories, and now must contend for the life of Onesimus. This letter is peacemaking 101, folks! So good!
In light of the current challenges we see in social media land, family relationships, and church dynamics in the aftermath of the Orlando mass shooting of 49+ LGBTQ persons, peacemaking couldn’t be more relevant today. Listen along as we learn from Paul how to enter spaces of conflict.
This episode is sponsored by Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. They are excited to announce the launch of the new Master of Arts in Ministry, Leadership and Culture. This online program, designed for practicing pastors and ministry entrepreneurs, will help you understand and integrate sub-cultures, theology, and leadership into practice. Guest faculty like Bruxy Cavey, Greg Boyd and Brian Zahnd model practical integration of Anabaptist theology and 21st century kingdom work. Learn more at fpu.edu/mlc.
*Show sponsors do not endorse every word or idea discussed on The Paulcast.
Author: Kurt Willems
Kurt Willems is a pastor, author, and spiritual director. His first book, Echoing Hope: How the Humanity of Jesus Redeems our Pain, releases in March 2021. Kurt is also the host of the Theology Curator podcast. He has a master of divinity degree from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and a master of arts in comparative religion from the University of Washington.
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