insightful essay in Engaging Economics: New Testament Scenarios and Early Christian Reception, "Is God Paul's Patron?: The Economy of Patronage in Pauline Theology" (129-156). Downs deftly demonstrates (How's that for illiteration?) that Paul does not use patron, broker, client language to conceive of divine-human relations; rather Paul uses kinship language to describe this dynamic. Downs states that one of his objectives in this essay is to:
...highlight the extent to which Paul tends to avoid the terminology of patronage in his discussion of both human and divine activity. Paul's primary metaphor for God is not 'patron'--a term he never applies to God--but 'father' (e.g. Rom 1.7; 1 Cor 1.3; 2 Cor 1.2; Gal 1.3; Phil 1.2; Phlm 3; 132).