I’ve just posted a reflection on 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 over on Political Theology Today.
Paul’s representation of his ministry in these opening chapters of Thessalonians dramatically challenges many of the assumptions that we bring to acts of communication. While our understanding of communication is commonly shaped by a series of oppositions between sender and message, sender and messenger, messenger and message, message and recipient, and messenger and recipient, Paul systematically unworks each of these in relation to the gospel message.
Drawing the minds of the Thessalonian Christians back to the founding events of their church, Paul speaks of the gospel as God’s self-communication by the Holy Spirit, of God working through and in his messengers, of the emissary of the gospel as one borne along by the message he bears, of the message as something that is powerfully at work in its recipients, and of the recipients as children of the message, begotten and nourished by the messenger. At each point, Paul reveals that the oppositions that can serve as occasions for deceit, perverse motives, and distrust are destabilized by the very character of the gospel.
Read the whole thing here.
Read past posts of mine in the Politics of Scripture series and on other websites here.