Did Paul want his congregations to pick up the ministry of evangelism or did he envisage himself and other 'specialist' proclaimers continuing the ministry of the gospel? Dr. Keown begins by outlining the contours of differing responses to this question ranging from exclusively 'specialist' evangelism to believers' full participation in evangelic mission. He then explores the question through exegetical analysis of Philippians. He argues persuasively that one essential element of the rhetorical appeal of the letter is an injunction to the believers in Philippi to continue to preach the gospel with renewed unity and in the face of pagan opposition. He suggests that Paul envisaged 'specialist proclaimers' leading the evangelical mission and equipping 'general believers' to share the gospel as one dimension of living in the world.
Endorsements & Reviews-
'Careful readers of Paul's letters are often surprised to find no explicit, unambiguous commands to entire congregations to be involved in mission. Explanations of this phenomenon have usually not done justice to the large number of implicit commands scattered throughout these epistles and particularly in Philippians. Keown builds on several recent works that have begun to rectify this situation and provides the most detailed exegetical analysis yet of the call for the entire Philippian congregation to proclaim the gospel verbally whenever they can. While not every piece of evidence Keown marshals proves equally persuasive, overall his case is a highly convincing one.' --Craig Bloomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary
'This is a detailed case-study of Philippians that demonstrates carefully how the local congregation is involved in evangelism and thus provides important exegetical input to the continuing discussion concerning Paul's understanding of mission. The author's fresh examinations of some key texts deserve careful attention.' --I. Howard Marshall is Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Honorary Research Professor at the University of Aberdeen
Mark J. Keown
Mark J. Keown is a Presbyterian Minister and is currently Senior Lecturer in Theology (New Testament) at Laidlaw College, Auckland, New Zealand. He was converted in his early twenties and since his conversion has worked as a school teacher, evangelist, pastor and teacher. He is married to Emma, a Presbyterian Minister, and has three daughters.