Review: The Spirituality of Paul

29011657Leslie T. Hardin is professor of New Testament at Johnson University, Kissimmee, Florida. Hardin has received his D.Min. in Spiritual Formation from Ashland Theological Seminary and has authored articles in the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care, as well as several books, including The Spirituality of Jesus: Nine Disciplines that Christ Modeled for Us, Letters for Micah: Navigating the Internal Dynamics of your First Ministry, and the present volume, The Spirituality of Paul: Partnering with the Spirit in Everyday Life.

The Spirituality of Paul is a follow-up volume to Hardin’s previous work on the spirituality of Jesus. Hardin approaches the spirituality of Paul through ten prominent characteristics of Paul’s life and ministry: (1) the participation of the Spirit, (2) devotion to the Scriptures, (3) prayer, (4) disciple-making, (5) the proclamation of the gospel, (6) corporate worship, (7) holiness, (8) the spiritual gifts, (9) building one another up in faith, and (10) suffering. Hardin is easy to read and does and exceptional job bringing the reader into the life and ministry of Paul while remaining as theologically neutral as possible. That said, because of the nature of the study and the material at hand to conduct such, the content of this book is likely to follow with disagreement from some readers—especially those who are less sensitive to the New Perspective on Paul movement that has saturated the last few decades. Nonetheless, Hardin does an excellent job keeping readers focused on the life of Paul and provides a unique and practical contribution to the current wave of Pauline studies.

It was Paul himself that exhorted the Corinthians to, “imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). The Spirituality of Paul: Partnering with the Spirit in Everyday Life by Leslie T. Hardin offers a fresh pair of lenses for modern readers to view Paul’s life, and ultimately, to imitate him as he imitated Christ. Hardin offers practical insights into Christian spirituality through on of the most familiar Christians in the New Testament—the Apostle Paul. Christians of all walks of life would do well to engage with Hardin and earnestly reflect the Pauline principals that he assesses throughout. It comes highly recommended!

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