7 | Scars
This excerpt is from our chapter on controversy:
"When Paul says that one of the marks of his ministry was trials, he doesn’t mean flat tires or bad tacos or Shirley wanting to play the tambourine on Sunday. He means trials in the fiercest sense of the word. His reputation was trashed, his body beaten, his church plants sabotaged. There were literally times when he had to run for his life. We super-nice, suburban, postmodern, Starbucks-drinking, Ellen-watching, you-stay-off-my-lawn-and-I’ll-stay-off-yours Americans struggle with this. We have no enemies (other than that raccoon who keeps getting in our trash). We read these texts and our brows furrow. We immediately think: 'Well, Paul must have had issues. Some real problems. He was obviously doing something wrong. Why didn’t the early church send him to a PR class? Or to some sensitivity training? Or a yoga retreat? Or have him read Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People? Or coach him on nuance? Isn’t an above reproach minister of the gospel supposed to be well thought of by outsiders? Why all these controversies and trials?'"