James D.G. Dunn on Pauline Disposition to Slavery
|August 4, 2012||Posted by Rick Hogaboam under Christ & Culture, Slavery|
It is also a reminder that “the rules of the game” were (as always) dictated by the powerful. Christians who wanted as much freedom as possible within these structures to pursue a Christian calling as members of the church were wise to carry out their responsibilities as slaves with all diligence. This should not be criticized today as merely social conformism; those who live in modern social democracies, in which interest groups can hope to exert political pressure by intensive lobbying, should remember that in the cities of Paul’s day the great bulk of Christians would have had no possibility whatsoever of exerting any political pressure for any particular policy or reform. In such circumstances a pragmatic quietism was the most effective means of gaining room enough to develop the quality of personal relationships which would establish and build up the microcosms (churches) of transformed communities.
 Dunn, J. D. G. (1996). The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A commentary on the Greek text. New International Greek Testament Commentary (253). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle: William B. Eerdmans Publishing; Paternoster Press.
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