The Conversion of Paul

   
  
    
  
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  The American Chapel in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.  At the east end of the Cathedral behind the High Altar is the American Memorial Chapel, also known as the Jesus Chapel. This part of the Cathedral was destroyed during the Blitz and as part of the restoration it was decided that Britain should commemorate the 28,000 Americans stationed in the UK during WW2. 

The American Chapel in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.  At the east end of the Cathedral behind the High Altar is the American Memorial Chapel, also known as the Jesus Chapel. This part of the Cathedral was destroyed during the Blitz and as part of the restoration it was decided that Britain should commemorate the 28,000 Americans stationed in the UK during WW2. 

The Apostle Paul received his conversion on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus.  The Jewish leaders had heard that a Christian community was organizing in Damascus and Paul volunteered to travel to Damascus to collect the Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem for trial.  The conversion story is told in the Book of Acts 9:3-21.  As the group traveled to Damascus, Paul was struck blind by a light which drove him to the ground with the voice of Christ ringing in his ears asking, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  When Saul asked whose voice it was, Jesus identified himself and told Saul to go to Damascus and await directions.

In Damascus Saul was directed to the home of a believer named Ananias who had been directed by Jesus to heal Saul.  After Ananias laid hands on Saul and his sight returned Saul was renamed to Paul and became one of the most important of the Disciples.

   
  
    
  
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    The images that adorn the american addition are wood, metalwork and stained glass, include depictions of the flora and fauna of North America. The windows feature the American state symbols and the limewood paneling incorporates a rocket - a tribute to America's achievements in space.

The images that adorn the american addition are wood, metalwork and stained glass, include depictions of the flora and fauna of North America. The windows feature the American state symbols and the limewood paneling incorporates a rocket - a tribute to America's achievements in space.

While the other Disciples focused on reaching out to and converting the Jewish community to Christianity it was Paul who carried the message of Christ to the Gentile community.

Paul is also recognized as the first of the Christian Theologians. Paul is credited with writing 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament, all probably written before the general sharing of the Gospels (Mark was probably the only Gospel written before Paul’s death and it is not mentioned in any of the Pauline Letters).  Unfortunately the closest document we have telling us what Paul really believed is the Book of Romans, thought to be a sermon.  The other 13 books accredited to Paul were written in response to issues which arose in the churches Paul had planted in his journeys. While we see Paul’s response to the problems, we do not have a general dissertation of Christian Theology. 

The conversion which happened about 1985 years ago marks a moment when the Christianity took one of it turns.  Looking back we can see where Christianity suddenly moved in new direction, away from being a Jewish cult to become a worldwide religion. It was a vital step which has brought us to where we are today.  It is the belief of nearly 2.4 billion people, about a third of our world.