going to hell:
the book
by rick morley

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    Cheryl Reagan

    I'm thinking about the slave relationship the master has toward his slave such that it limits the master's freedom. It seems to me that Paul, in his efforts to get freedom for Onesimus, is trying to free Philemon from the role of master, too. Paul models this with a loving openness in his request rather than command.

    Fr. Rick Morley

    Cheryl - a very intriguing insight. I'll have to ponder that one. My initial thoughts are that Onesimus probably wasn't Philemon's only slave, and Paul doesn't ask him to relinquish all control as a slave-master. Paul doesn't even say that he would 'free' him, just that he would take charge of him. What is interesting though is that Paul's 2nd favorite title for himself is (after 'apostle') "slave." He's constantly identifying himself as a slave of Christ. And, in the Philippians' Christ Hymn he identifies Christ as a slave. Paul is always calling all of us to be slaves to One Master. This would certainly be his call to Philemon too. Thanks!

    TJ

    I see this also as an allegory for the relationship between us,(man, the runaway slave),Christ,(our intercessor and our advocate with the father), and God,(our rightful Lord.)

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