The Mind of Christ: The Intellectual Virtue of φρόνησις in Paul's Letters
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The Apostle Paul
In Paul's letters, there is an epistemic difference between those who are in Christ and those who are not, characterized by the uniquely Christian practice of the intellectual virtue of φρόνησις, or practical wisdom. Over the course of his letters, Paul defines the intellectual virtue of practical wisdom as a part of the broader transformation of sanctification by the Holy Spirit. Practical wisdom is a quality of the mind of Christ, and since only Christians have the mind of Christ, only Christians can practice the virtue of practical wisdom. Paul makes it clear in Romans 1-7 that without the Spirit no one can know the will of God or practice φρόνησις. Then in Romans 8-12, 1 Corinthians 2:5-16, and 12-14, Paul models and exhorts Christians to practice practical wisdom. In 1 Thessalonians and Philippians, Paul calls believers to φρόνησις by holding up moral exemplars for them to imitate. By doing so, Christians in the churches can learn to practice φρόνησις.