>Williams on Paul

>The following quote is From Charles Williams’ unique and fascinating book, The Descent of the Dove: A Short History of the Holy Spirit in the Church (1939). He is remarking on the conversion of Paul.

It was, in every way, a very remarkable event. For first, it was the beginning of that great train of conversions and illuminations which form part of the history of Christendom—Augustine, Francis, Luther, Ignatius, Wesley, and the rest. No doubt all creeds are so accompanied; this is not the place to discuss others. Such conversions cannot be supposed to prove the truth of a creed. Second, it turned, of course, a strong opponent of the Church into a strong supporter; but here it did more—it produced a kind of microcosm of the situation. It exploded an intense Judaizer into an anti-Judaizer. It united, as it were, Paul the Jew to Paul the man, and it gave the manhood the dominating place. But also it united Paul the man with Paul the new man, and it gave the new manhood the dominating place. It did all this in a personality which possessed, with much other genius, a desire to explain. In order to understand and to explain the convert produced practically a new vocabulary. To call him a poet would be perhaps improper (besides ignoring the minor but important fact that he wrote in prose). But he used words as poets do; he regenerated them. And by St. Paul’s regeneration of words he gave theology to the Christian Church. (pp. 8-9)

If you are not familiar with Williams (and I am only just getting to know his work), he was a brilliant author in more than one genre, a member of the Inklings, and a friend of Lewis, Tolkein, et al.

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Filed under Church History, The Early Church

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