Recycled Book Review #2: Childs, The Church's Guide to Reading Paul

I remember reading this book because when I read it because I worked as an overnight counselor in a facility for adolescents that functioned as an in-between for juvenile hall and group homes. Why do I remember this? Because the book didn't make me sleepy, which was often the trial and tribulation of reading while waiting for the residents to fall asleep. What do I think of Brevard Childs' The Church's Guide to Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus today? Well, I haven't given much thought to the prescriptive dimensions of his argument (i.e., if this is how the canon was outlined, it must mean "the Church" wanted us to formulate Paul's contribution to Christian theology in this order, so that is what must be done), but I have pondered the descriptive aspect (this is what was intended, so it tells us a bit about why Christians ordered the New Testament as they did). 

The real question is this: What did I think of Childs' argument in 2009 when I wrote the review? Here's a sample:

Although I am not sure exactly how I feel about Childs attempt to move from the “historical” Paul to the “canonical” Paul I do agree with Ellen F. Davis who wrote on the back of the book that, “This book will remain part of our conversation for years to come”. If anything it will cause Pauline scholarship to ask itself whether or not the search for the historical Paul is as important as the canonical Paul that has been handed down to us.

Sounds like I was as ambiguous then as I am now! If you want to read what I thought of Childs' final book when I reviewed it on April 18th, 2009, you can read the full review here: Book Review: Brevard S. Childs, The Church's Guide to Reading Paul.