Another important issue for Flemming’s Wesleyan approach is Paul’s self-description as one of the “perfect” (τέλειος) in 3:15. He rejects the common suggestion that Paul is speaking ironically and argues instead that the apostle has in mind the adoption of the mind of Christ. Flemming expresses his dissatisfaction with the common translation of this term with the English “mature,” which falls short of the comprehensive wholeness that Paul has in mind, a sentiment shared by this reviewer. Drawing on the writings of John Wesley, who is well-known for his doctrine of Christian perfection, Flemming argues for an understanding of perfection that is not static and absolute but dynamic and relative and that corresponds to Paul’s insistence on describing the present experience of some Christians in terms of perfection. This portion of the commentary is immensely valuable for its articulation of a Wesleyan distinctive that is faithful to Pauline thought and that needs to be discovered afresh among present-day Wesleyans.
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