New Honor-Shame Book on Galatians
This post is an short excerpt from Mark Baker’s new book, Freedom From Religiosity and Judgmentalism: Studies in Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. The book interprets Galatians through the lens of charis (grace/gift), honor-shame, and centered-church theory, all topics he has examined in previous books.
The letter as a whole presents a contrast between a gospel rooted in God’s initiative and grace and a religion rooted in human striving for status with God and other humans. The issue of religion is particularly clear in certain parts of the letter. For instance, 6:12-13 offers a picture of the teachers seeking to increase their status through success in the religious realm—the success of persuading others to follow their religious standards. It is also clear that the other missionaries are under pressure to measure up to religious standards themselves. Fear of persecution motivates their actions. Another example is the number of times that emphasizes the gospel he proclaims is not of human origin. Here we can say that Paul is contrasting the gospel to religion—a human construct (pp. 45–46).