The Mind of the Spirit

Paul's Approach to Transformed Thinking

by CRAIG KEENER (Author)Craig S. Keener (Author)
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"An important book for anyone interested in the relationship of Pauline theology to its cultural context"

"In this richly documented study, Craig Keener shows Paul's affinities with ancient philosophers while recognizing that Jewish apocalyptic expectations also framed the apostle's thinking about the human mind. Like the philosophers, Paul held that fundamental convictions shaped character and behavior. And as an heir of the Jewish apocalyptic tradition, he believed that convictions should be shaped by God's action in Christ. In respectful but critical dialogue with an array of Pauline scholars, Keener applies his fundamental insight to illuminate individual arguments and Paul's overall theology. This will be an important book for anyone interested in the relationship of Pauline theology to its cultural context."
--Harold Attridge, Yale Divinity School

"Keener has filled a significant gap in Pauline studies as only he could do: with thousands of references to ancient sources to help us understand Paul's perspectives in context. The result is a work full of exegetical, theological, and even pastoral insight into the human mind according to Paul--especially the mind transformed in Christ."
--Michael J. Gorman, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore

"In Romans, Paul interacts more fully with the thought world of his day than in any of his other letters. Only someone who is wholly familiar with the richness of Jewish scripture and tradition; with the ancient philosophies of Stoics, Platonists, Epicureans, and others; and with the reality of human experience can fully appreciate why Paul argues as he does and the effectiveness of his argument. Keener is one such scholar, and his rich exposition of key passages in Romans--as well as in 1-2 Corinthians, Philippians, and Colossians--brings out the point and force of Paul's argument for his own time again and again, and in a way that reinvigorates Paul's argument for a very different time."
--James D. G. Dunn, Durham University

"Only a scholar with Keener's nous could write the most authoritative work to date on Paul's belief in the transformation of a person's mind from godless reasoning to possessing the mind of Christ. Keener describes the Pauline vision of the believing mind as one immersed in the Jesus story, freed by the Spirit's power, bathed in divine wisdom, and oriented toward heaven. This book will, quite literally, open your mind to Paul's theology of the mind."
--Michael Bird, Ridley College, Melbourne, Australia



Craig S. Keener, Author

Craig S. Keener (Ph.D., Duke University) is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is author of 25 books, 5 of which have won awards in Christianity Today. More than a million copies of his books are in circulation; the most popular is The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, which provides cultural background on each passage of the New Testament. Craig is also the New Testament editor for the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, which won the International Book Award for Christianity and Bible of the year in the Christian Book Awards. Craig is editor of the Bulletin for Biblical Research and in 2018 is vice-president of the Evangelical Theological Society. Craig's wife, Dr. Médine Moussounga Keener, was a refugee in her home country of Congo; their story appears in Impossible Love: The True Story of an African Civil War, Miracles, and Hope against All Odds (Chosen, 2016). His blog site is

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