Bringing the Text to Life
Paul yearns to help the Thes-salonians "strengthen your hearts in holiness." Although they have responded to the gospel with faithfulness, he knows that a converted Christian is not a completed Christian. Paul longs to return to the Thessalonians so that he may begin helping them in their lifelong task of growing a Christian soul. The first lesson in soul-crafting Paul offers here is that they "abound in love for one another and for all" (v.12). This is the first step in "strengthening [their] hearts in holiness."
Most of us have come to think that the soul is a relic of some bygone age _ or at best a luxury available only to those few who choose to live a life of constant monastic retreat. Recently, even scientists have begun to reconsider the existence of the soul. The emptiness and anxiety that grow at the edges of a consumerist, postmodern life demand that we acknowledge the need for something more than the "self."
Psychotherapist James Hillman was among the first to rediscover...