Paul is considered Christianity’s first and foremost theologian
What is not always recognized–and is an embarrassment to some pastors–, Paul was also a mystic
- this was Albert Schweitzer's assessment in his work The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle
Schweitzer, “. . . when all is said and done, Pauline personal religion is in its fundamental character mystical. . . . its own essential life lies in the mystical."
"Paul is therefore a mystic.”
• I see this too – how could Paul not be a mystic, given his conversion encounter with Jesus Christ?
◦ his letters are as mystical as they are theological
◦ he fills them with the message of what had been revealed to him
- this is why Paul can guide Corinthians into a deeper experience of God
• they had a certain kind of religious experience and spiritual knowledge,
◦ but still, Paul could not address them as spiritual people (1 Cor. 3:1)
• what they needed was not more information or new information
◦ but a new awareness, a new consciousness of God
◦ he opens some of those doors for them in this chapter