I was reticent including Paul in my favourites list as I felt sure if I were around in his day we might not have got on and I might have reacted against his self-assuredness, or to put it in another way – his perspective was the only one that truly mattered. The parting of ways between him and Barnabas suggests it may not just be me! Yet it is also easy to see why Paul should be included, if for no other reason than, if you are on my theological wavelength, your understanding of the glorious gospel likely owes more to the writings of the Apostle Paul than to anyone else. After all, having set out his store: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” Romans 1:16, he then meticulously provides the most powerful argument as to why the gospel needs to be proclaimed, received and lived out that I have ever come across. His writings virtually dominate the NT – 13 of its 27 books were written by Paul and in one other (Acts) Paul is the major player. And there are so many more strings to Paul bow, beginning with his conversion experience. No one is born a Christian and to become one you need to be converted. As for Paul, his conversion experience was as dramatic as it comes, encountering the risen Christ on his way to Damascus to arrest the very Christians, who he was persecuting. From that point onward he was whole hearted in discharging the commission Jesus had given him, by way of his various missionary journeys, culminating in his imprisonment in Rome and likely execution. The variety of approaches and methods Paul used is a text book stuff when it comes to carrying out the Great Commission. “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” Philippians 1:21 and “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” Philippians 3:14 are two of many memorable, profound Pauline quotes. Paul will be forever remembered as the great apostle, serving the Church that Christ himself had founded and His cause, yet was also Christ’s humble servant, who could say: “by the grace of God I am what I am” 1 Corinthians 15:10. Christians down the ages owe Paul a huge debt.