First, a big thanks to those of you who have already posted a response to my monster of a blog on 1 Thess 1:3 - I'm still chewing over your thoughts. And I think all will agree, especially insightful were Ben's piercing exegetical comments. Anyway, I'll post a reply to them all soon.
I didn't have time today as I was presenting and defending my history of research in Dr. Hans-Joachim Eckstein's Oberseminar in Tübingen Uni. What a delight it was, and I even managed to drag Anja along with me. As much as I enjoy discussions through internet media, there is nothing like an open debate with well educated folks who've actually taken the time to read your paper. Most enjoyable, and very encouraging as Eckstein really liked my approach and argument.
Here are the opening sentences of the paper:
The question, ‘Who is Jesus and in what sense is he God, if at all?’ is one born and raised in controversy. Almost ever since it has been asked it has generated a wide mixture of response, ranging from physical violence and vicious debate to worship and praise. And discussion has continued not only among theologians and clergy, but also lay-people, atheists, agnostics, the religious, politicians, historians, philosophers etc. Also within Pauline scholarship, for the last 20 to 30 years a lively debate has been underway concerning this very question. Should, indeed, Paul’s Christology be called ‘divine’?