I have posted a collection of proposals on Paul's theological 'center.' In Mike Bird's latest book, Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission, and His Message, the author notes how difficult it is to pin down Paul's theological 'center' while being overly specific. After mentioning various options (e.g. 'justification by faith,' 'participation in Christ,' 'salvation history,' etc.; p. 22), Bird offers his own take, writing:
While it is perhaps so general as to be meaningless, it may be better to say that 'Jesus Christ' is the centre of Paul's theology. Christ is central in Paul's religious experience, proclamation and pastoral care. If we wanted to pursue something more specific, we could legitimately suggest that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the main coordinates of his thinking, which would come close to identifying the central theological thread in Paul's gospel (22).
What do you think of Bird's reading? According to Thielman, this view may be too broad to do Paul's thought justice; according to Dunn, this view makes Paul a more of a concrete theologian than an abstract one. So readers what say you?