‘The Vision Thing’

So how did he do it? Based on an exhaustive analysis of relevant texts, Esler’s definitive answer is that Paul “turned himself and [his would-be followers] into an ‘us’ in relation to their identity as Christ-followers, thus gaining their commitment to a sense of self from which they would derive meaning, purpose and value" (p.223) 

In short, then, the secret of Paul’s success was that he understood that in order to propel his mission forward he needed to build with his followers a sense of shared social identity. Without this, his charisma would have gone unrecognized and his vision would have been just another dream. Without this, the road to Damascus would have been just another road.


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