Paul the Apostle

. . . is the topic of my latest Trade Tripper column in this Friday-Saturday issue of BusinessWorld. Excerpts:

"What’s so interesting and enjoyable about St. Paul’s writings is his incredible mental quickness — you could literally feel off the page not only his excitement while he composed the letters but his anticipation of probable questions to the points he raised. He wrote his letters as a chess player would, with solid foundations, logic, and calculation. But he also had marvelous spontaneity and wit (2 Corinthians 11:22-28 — 'I must be out of my mind to talk like this'). He was an intriguing combination of humility and utter self-assurance. He was so confident of his skills and his intellect (see 2 Cor. 11:6) that he even refused to back down when confronted by the other apostles, not even to Peter. Thus, in Galatians 2: 11-14, 'when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong.'"

"So why write about St. Paul? Because I see in him, in this year, this Pauline year which weirdly became also the year of global economic uncertainty, the embodiment of Jesus’ instruction to us to 'be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.' (Matt 5:48). Because we see in him this brilliant intellectual, a multilingual lawyer, urbane and cosmopolitan, who, instead of being self-satisfied, unrestrained, vulgar, corrupt, needy for others’ approval, and greedy for power like so many we see in our country today, admitted his weaknesses and followed Christ."