When the Church cannot condemn or kill a leader who upsets the status quo, it either canonizes the individual and controls his image (as with Paul) or pushes him off into relative obscurity (as with Barnabas). Paul and Barnabas started out as inseparable, close friends and colleagues until a conflict tore them apart. Barnabas of Cyprus faded into relative obscurity, while Paul of Tarsus became, apart from Jesus himself, the most influential figure in the history of Christianity and, arguably, the most maligned. By exploring their common journey, we can move beyond myths and assumptions. Theirs was a partnership that, quite literally, changed the world.
The book contains study questions for individual or group study.
"Through a careful and accessible reading of the Acts of the Apostles and Paul’s own letters, Canon Robertson helps us see Saint Paul as he was, a liberator who understood that the gospel brings those who are far-off and those who are near closer to one another. We must ever 'read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest' Holy Scripture. This glimpse into the lives and ministries of Paul and Barnabas can help us do that, as we learn from them and stand for the glorious liberation to which God calls us all."
--Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
“Popular perceptions of Barnabas and Paul are often misleading and prejudicial. In his readable and absorbing book, Robertson has restored the truth about these two Christian workers who--in their distinctly separate ways--cleared the way for the growth of the church and the advance of the gospel around the world.”
--Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, USA
"Do you have ears to hear and eyes to see? Leave your preconceptions at the door, and learn who Paul and Barnabas really were and what they actually espoused. Read Robertson’s account of early Christian struggles and see the parallels with your own faith community and its environs. Read and learn to be dangerous and reinvigorated for what you’ve been sent into the world to do and be!"
--The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, the Episcopal Church
"Saint Paul will never have a better apologist than Canon Robertson nor will there ever be a more insightful and thorough application of a Paulinian apologia to the practical work of the contemporary church than this one. One may not agree with all the lines and conclusions of Chuck Robertson’s argument, but no one can unsay his thoroughness, the ease and depth of his scholarship, or the sincerity and usefulness of its presentation here. This is an ideal volume for private reading as well as for group study."
--Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why