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John Chrysostom on Divine PedagogyThe Coherence of his Theology and Preaching$
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David Rylaarsdam

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715382

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715382.001.0001

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The Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul

(p.156) (p.157) 4 The Apostle Paul
John Chrysostom on Divine Pedagogy

David Rylaarsdam

Oxford University Press

Paul is the most accomplished imitator of divine adaptability. Although Paul lacked formation through classical paideia, he persuaded far more people to a higher way of life than any Greek philosopher did. Reflecting God’s use of corporeal images, Paul offers himself as a concrete model for others to imitate. Moreover, he becomes all things to all people, taking on the language and customs of the Jews in order to lead them to higher spiritual realities. The apostle was even willing to appear deceptive—observing types in order to abolish them, concealing truth, or implying falsehoods—in order that fuller truth could eventually be revealed. Chrysostom defends the apparent inconsistencies in Paul’s content by appealing to his virtuous trait of adaptability. He also praises the apostle’s constantly varying tone, arguing that such psychagogy or a mixed method of exhortation is characteristic of a mature spiritual guide and a true friend.

Keywords:   psychagogy, persuasion, imitation, inconsistency, adaptability, type, deception, friend

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