Q & R: Jesus and Paul

Here’s the Q:

I am a raving fan of your books, as is my family. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to read your new book yet as I am busy with college (I’m an English Literature major). I recently came across a very negative review of your new book, located here:
Of course, I strongly disagree with the ideology behind the review, and I believe the writer was unfair. However, I would like to see you respond to main question at stake: how different do you see Paul and Jesus’ gospels? Or are they the same beneath the language and metaphors used? Obviously Paul had his own constellations of metaphors he used to communicate the gospel, different from many of the ones Jesus would have used (considering Jesus was a Jewish rabbi, and Paul aimed to communicate to non-Jews quite frequently). I would love to hear your thoughts on how different or the same Jesus and Paul are.

Here’s the R:

Wow – thanks so much for asking this. I hadn’t read this review, and it’s really one of the most passionate and the least accurate I’ve seen. It appears that the writer of this review only read A New Kind of Christianity in a hurried and careless way, or perhaps only read excerpts pulled by someone else, or perhaps was so eager to find fault that he lost his normal sense of fairness. It’s almost humorous, because my point is the very opposite of what he suggests. It’s fine for him to disagree and think I’m wrong, but why misread so carelessly and why bear false witness against his neighbor?
So – to answer your question – my goal is not to drive a wedge between Jesus and Paul. It’s rather the opposite – to show how Paul is actually reinforcing rather than reinterpreting Jesus’ gospel of the kingdom of God. Here’s how I conclude “The Gospel Question” (p. 157):

As in his letter to the Romans, Paul (in Acts 28:23, 30-31) does not preach a different gospel; he is still carrying the same gospel he received from Jesus Christ in a vision, the gospel of the kingdom of God. Whether in person or by letter, he calls people everywhere to be reconciled in the kingdom of God – reconciled to God by grace through faith, reconciled with themselves, reconciled with others whatever their class, ethnic, cultural, or religious background, and reconciled with all creation … Paul is a “Jesus and the kingdom of God” guy from first to last. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and of his servant/apostle Paul: the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news Be reconciled.

Pretty clear, eh? The polar opposite of what this fellow asserts. Obviously, he disagrees with me on a number of levels, but it’s hard to imagine how anyone could say what he said in light of my concluding paragraph above.
Which leaves me with a fascinating challenge and opportunity: how can I seek to live out the gospel of peace and be reconciled to this brother and neighbor in the kingdom of God? That’s a growth opportunity I face whenever reviews like this are brought to my attention. So – on many levels, thanks for your inquiry!
[By the way, I’ve addressed this question in a number of my books – The Secret Message of Jesus, The Last Word and the Word After That, Everything Must Change, and A New Kind of Christianity. So one would hope that folks who know the writer of the blog you referenced might help him see that although he is free to disagree with me – and passionately – he shouldn’t misrepresent my views.]