I just want to make you aware of a book called The Theology of St. Luke by Hans Conzelmann, who was an eminent scholar on Luke-Acts in the 20th century. I’ve been reading it since late Monday night, and have done two posts on just a few quotes from the book.  In any case its helped me realize by degrees that my opposition to Pauline theology is fueled by the fact that I believe in Lukan theology. Who would have thunk it.  Paul’s biggest buddy, as we generally think he was, disagreed with Paul (the Paul of the epistles anyway, not his own Paul that he features in Acts) on why Gentiles need not be circumcized, and on the terms of salvation.  The reason I can’t stand Paul turns out to be that I agree with Luke and Luke’s Paul against the fake Paul of the epistles.  Luke beleives that the reason Gentiles need not be circumcized is that the apostles determined this under the inspiration of the Spirit that Gentiles only need to keep the moral law, abstain from idolatry, abstain from blood and “things strangled,” and abstain from sexual immorality, and that none of the rest of the Law need be kept by them, whereas the epistular “Paul” (falsely-so-called) argues that the reason is because of a (false) dichotomy between faith and works.  My faith has always been deeply rooted in Acts, and I believe in Luke’s reason for why we need not keep the ceremonial law, as I also believe in Luke’s soteriology which heavily emphasizes repentance and baptism and maintains that salvation mainly consists in forgiveness of sins received upon the terms of forgiveness repentance and baptism, unlike the epistular “Paul” who maintains that salvation consists in a fictional category called “justification” which is based on thin air and a magical faith that God zaps us with like some kind of Calvinist sky fairy.

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