The Corinthian correspondence and the community it reflects are exciting and exasperating, interesting and complex. The letters offer us a window of opportunity to view Paul's personal and pastoral presence in his growing relationship with this church. Struggling with his own history, the history of the community, and the newness of the Gospel he preaches, Paul identifies an approach that balances tradition and innovation, theological foundations and principles of action. The passion, persuasion, and purpose of the apostle permeate these letters, and no one is unaware that the Lord Jesus is the center of his Gospel message and of his life. Paul offers insight into the commitment of early apostles, disciples, and ministers in the Corinthian community. He personally experiences the dying and rising of Christ in his work with this community, giving a ring of truth to his own assessment of Christian life and ministry. Only faith transforms adversity into an opportunity for growth, and Paul's faith and perseverance offer hope to those of us who continue to experience the paradoxes of Christian life and ministry.