Peter vs. Paul

Lent Madness 2018 has officially begun! After months of soul-aching anticipation, “Ash Thursday” has arrived. Over the next (more or less) 40 days and 40 nights, you will have the opportunity to re-immortalize one of our 32 competing saints with the coveted Golden Halo.

Today we see two heavyweights facing off in the Apostolic Rumble. Will we rob Peter to pay Paul or will Paul get robbed to pay Peter? That, dear friends, is up to you and your single (we mean that and we have spies everywhere) vote.

If you’re new to Lent Madness, welcome! If you have any questions about how to participate, just let us know by leaving a comment. The Lent Madness community is both friendly and helpful, often answering questions before the Supreme Executive Committee arrives in their grand purple, if imaginary, chariot. You can view and/or print out the full bracket of saints by clicking here.

We urge you to take full part in the Madness. Leave comments here on the website. Read what others have to say. Enjoy the friendly rivalry and trash talk on social media. Do additional research. During the day, check in on the website often to see how each day’s contest is going. And above all, delight in seeing how each saint was a powerful witness of Jesus Christ.

Be sure to sign up for e-mail updates on our home page (upper right corner) so you never miss a vote, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and encourage your friends to jump into the fray.

We can assure you this will be a wild, joyful, educational, ocassionally gut-wrenching ride. We’re delighted to share this journey with you. Let the Madness begin!

Peter

PeterThe disciple who makes us all feel better about our failures, Saint Peter was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. Peter is traditionally considered the first bishop of Rome—or pope—having been ordained by Jesus who dubs him the “rock of the church.” Originally, Peter was named Simeon, often simplified to Simon in modern English. Peter was married and originally worked as a fisherman with his brother, Andrew. In fact, Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus and gave him the name Cephas (Peter), which means rock.

Peter was a leader among the disciples and witnessed events seen by only a few apostles, such as the Transfiguration and the raising of Jairus’s daughter. According to the gospels, Peter confessed Jesus as the Messiah, then denied knowing Jesus three times under threat of arrest, and then felt shame and remorse over his betrayal. After Easter, Jesus forgave him his failure and implored Peter to “feed my sheep.”

At the start of the Acts of the Apostles, Peter emerges as an effective leader of the early church. He preached with authority at Pentecost, began to work miracles, and participated in the council at Jerusalem. Historical witnesses confirm his later presence in Rome, although they do not verify the legendary story of his martyrdom. According to this tradition, under Emperor Nero, Peter was crucified upside down. He requested this unusual method of execution out of humility, not wanting to be killed in the same manner as Jesus. Hence, in Christian symbology, Peter is often represented by an upside-down cross, along with the keys to God’s kingdom. The Vatican claims Peter’s remains are housed beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica.

St. Peter’s feast day is June 29, and he is the patron of fishermen, net makers, and shipbuilders.

Collect for Peter
Almighty Father, who inspired Simon Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: Keep your Church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, so that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Amber Belldene

Paul

PaulBehind Jesus Christ himself, perhaps no person has shaped the face of Christianity more than Paul of Tarsus—the pharisaic persecutor of the church turned apostle and the primary writer for a majority of the New Testament.

Paul, as an ardent and educated Pharisee, was dedicated to what (at Jesus’ time) was a somewhat new belief—that the law given in Torah could be applied to everyday activities to sanctify the course of ordinary life. As such, Paul’s early interactions with followers of Jesus were as a persecutor, seeking to restore the norms of pharisaic dogma to the followers of the sect known as “The Way.” But Paul underwent a dramatic conversion experience along the Damascus road. He saw Jesus, who addressed him by his Hebrew name, asking “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Blinded by this vision, Paul’s sight was restored by Ananias, and a transformative ministry began.

Paul’s message in his epistles speaks to the transformative power of God’s grace, revealed in Jesus, crucified and risen from the dead. Having experienced grace in his conversion, Paul argues that the grace of God is extended to all—Jew and Gentile alike. As he writes in the Epistle to the Galatians, social distinction must break down when all become part of the body of Christ: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” As the Apostle to the Gentiles, he was at times in direct and fierce conflict with Peter; Paul argued with Peter for the inclusion of Gentiles in the table fellowship of the earliest church. Using the privileges Roman citizenship afforded him, Paul traveled widely to preach the gospel: His journeys took him across the Middle East, Asia Minor, and eventually to captivity in Rome. Paul died in Rome, still longing to travel to more communities with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Collect for Paul
O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

-David Sibley

UPDATE: At 7:58 p.m. Eastern time, the SEC removed 254 votes from Paul. We found that someone in Little Rock, AR had voted for Paul repeatedly. This is a reminder that you should vote — and tell your friends to vote — but once only.

Peter vs. Paul

  • Peter (51%, 4,842 Votes)
  • Paul (49%, 4,657 Votes)

Total Voters: 9,499

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Peter: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Paul: Public domain, via en:. Original source: The Hundred Greatest Men New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1885.

496 Comments to "Peter vs. Paul"

  1. Oliver--Ten Years Old's Gravatar Oliver--Ten Years Old
    February 15, 2018 - 8:01 am | Permalink

    I vote for Peter because he made mistakes and learned for them. And he was born with a pure heart.

    • Vickie's Gravatar Vickie
      February 15, 2018 - 8:33 am | Permalink

      Welcome back, Oliver!

    • Jacqueline Blake's Gravatar Jacqueline Blake
      February 15, 2018 - 8:36 am | Permalink

      Nice to have you back, Oliver.

    • Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
      February 15, 2018 - 8:39 am | Permalink

      Oliver, so nice to have back with us again!

    • Mary Katherine's Gravatar Mary Katherine
      February 15, 2018 - 8:47 am | Permalink

      Yay, Oliver! Love hearing from you 🙂

    • February 15, 2018 - 9:07 am | Permalink

      Peter is my favorite but for this vote I had to go with Paul because of the inclusion of the gentiles. Peter has taught be so much about picking myself up after a foot in mouth situation.

      • Margot's Gravatar Margot
        February 15, 2018 - 10:58 am | Permalink

        I love this comment as I am so often in this situation “foot in the mouth” and then have to pick myself up and sort out the pieces.

      • Dena Morris's Gravatar Dena Morris
        February 15, 2018 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

        I agree with you. I wanted to vote for Peter, because I totally identify with his struggles the night Jesus was arrested and I “respect” him as being “the Rock,” but . . .

        • Ann's Gravatar Ann
          February 15, 2018 - 1:43 pm | Permalink

          This was a tough one. I voted for Paul because he included Gentiles. Peter is inspiring because he kept going despite his mistakes. On an individual basis that is very laudable. However, Paul reached out to so many different people, beyond the Jews, spreading the good news. I think he was a more influential ambassador for Jesus’ message.

          • Laura Graf's Gravatar Laura Graf
            February 16, 2018 - 2:07 am | Permalink

            Also my reasons. Peter seems out of step with Christ’s statements vis-a-vis the good Samaritan.

      • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
        February 15, 2018 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

        What a hard choice this one is!! I’ve always loved Paul’s voice for inclusion (what Episcopalian doesn’t?). But in the end I went with Peter because of his willingness to be foolish for Jesus. He asked the necessary questions and got sometimes confusing answers. Jesus loved him anyway and always forgave him. This is so parallel to my own Spiritual journey that I had to not for him. So glad to be a part of Lent Madness this year. This is my first time.

        • Rebecca Christian's Gravatar Rebecca Christian
          February 15, 2018 - 3:55 pm | Permalink

          You make a good point about Peter…Like you, I, too, can relate to Peter as I reflect on my spiritual journey. I admire Paul for his eloquent, deep, and complex convictions of which he writes. Hmmm. For whom to vote??? 🙂

          • Pat Watson's Gravatar Pat Watson
            February 15, 2018 - 8:24 pm | Permalink

            Vote for Paul, after a Blue Candle (bible study) discussion with Dr. Vella leading I’m a fan of Pauls

        • Mary Beth Burns's Gravatar Mary Beth Burns
          February 15, 2018 - 6:16 pm | Permalink

          I love your observation about Peter’s willingness to be foolish for Jesus – we should all be so foolish! He got my vote for going beyond his mistakes, but Barbara put it so sweetly – Lent Madness gives us tough choices, but a wise community of sharers – We are very blessed . .

          Mary Beth

        • Margaret Long's Gravatar Margaret Long
          February 15, 2018 - 9:15 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My heart is always with Peter. However, this time I chose Paul for his passion for including those on the edges. This is my first online participation. I too am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this community.

        • February 15, 2018 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

          My first time as well. I voted for Peter too because of his “rock” status. I have a little picture that says, “My rock and salvation.”

      • Leslie's Gravatar Leslie
        February 15, 2018 - 11:24 pm | Permalink

        I feel the same way!

    • Putka Steven's Gravatar Putka Steven
      February 15, 2018 - 9:19 am | Permalink

      An excellent reason to vote for Peter. He got my vote, too!

    • Toni Ponzo's Gravatar Toni Ponzo
      February 15, 2018 - 9:31 am | Permalink

      hello Oliver, nice to hear your thoughts as always. This was a real tough but you clarified it nicely. It’s Peter for me too.

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      February 15, 2018 - 9:33 am | Permalink

      Hi Oliver, ice to see you.

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      February 15, 2018 - 9:52 am | Permalink

      OLIVER! You’re back! I voted for Peter for the same reason. He maybe wasn’t the smartest, but then through out the Bible it wasn’t the “best” who chosen.

    • Deborah Kaufman's Gravatar Deborah Kaufman
      February 15, 2018 - 10:30 am | Permalink

      Oliver – such a powerful reflection – failure is a great teacher, as long as we truly learn from our mistakes, and move forward in a positive Way. Peace to you, keep on learning!!

    • Mary E. Winston's Gravatar Mary E. Winston
      February 15, 2018 - 10:32 am | Permalink

      YAY Oliver!! You are back! I voted for Peter, just like you, because he made mistakes.

    • February 15, 2018 - 11:06 am | Permalink

      Oliver, So glad to see that you are voting! Welcome back!

    • Oliver-Ten Years Old's Gravatar Oliver-Ten Years Old
      February 15, 2018 - 11:15 am | Permalink

      Bruh bruh bruh peter

    • Hugh Matheson's Gravatar Hugh Matheson
      February 15, 2018 - 11:37 am | Permalink

      I vote for Paul, because he made mistakes, and kept pressing towards the goal.

      • Shirley Carr's Gravatar Shirley Carr
        February 15, 2018 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

        I too voted for Paul because he realized the error of his ways and because of him the faith began to be spread around the world.

    • Miss Jennifer's Gravatar Miss Jennifer
      February 15, 2018 - 11:38 am | Permalink

      Glad to see you in Lent Madness Oliver. I have been missing you. The church I am teaching at now just got the Saint stories for Godly Play and it made me think of your passion for the Saints. I hope you and your family are all doing well.

      • Karen's Gravatar Karen
        February 15, 2018 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Hi Miss Jennifer,
        So nice to hear from you. We are away from St. John’s for this school in. We are in Gaspe, Quebec, Canada for the winter where I am starting Godly Play in the community. Miss all those beautiful Godly Play items at St. John’s though! I hope you are doing well also. I will be looking out for your posts during this season.

    • Joyce Rush's Gravatar Joyce Rush
      February 15, 2018 - 11:43 am | Permalink

      Nice to see you back, Oliver! I chose Peter, too, because I can relate to making mistakes and learning from then.

    • Deborah Hays's Gravatar Deborah Hays
      February 15, 2018 - 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you Oliver. I voted for Peter.

    • Carole A Seeley's Gravatar Carole A Seeley
      February 15, 2018 - 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Happy birthday, Oliver!

    • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
      February 15, 2018 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Glad to see you back, Oliver.

    • Shan McSpadden's Gravatar Shan McSpadden
      February 15, 2018 - 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes, glad to see you are back. Good thinking also.

    • Jim Flexer's Gravatar Jim Flexer
      February 15, 2018 - 3:29 pm | Permalink

      HELP! My wife voted on her account and now I want to vote on this one and you won’t let me :- (
      After almost 65 years of marriage we don’t always agree and I want MY say too.

      • Jaime Franco's Gravatar Jaime Franco
        February 16, 2018 - 7:46 am | Permalink

        Are you voting on the same device? I believe the vote goes by your computer address. So, should be able to vote on line your cell phone and your computer or other type pad. Hope that helps and you are able to vote.

    • Grace Cangialosi's Gravatar Grace Cangialosi
      February 15, 2018 - 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Oliver, it is nice to see you here again, but weren’t you ten years old last year? If you have a recipe for not aging, I’d love to have it!!

    • February 15, 2018 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back, Oliver. And your logic about Peter learning from his mistakes was the same logic that decided my vote.

    • Mary Jo's Gravatar Mary Jo
      February 15, 2018 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Oliver – good to hear from you…..but you have to be older than 10 years at this point….Maybe you should change your “name”, so we can grow old with you.

    • Willo's Gravatar Willo
      February 15, 2018 - 5:33 pm | Permalink

      So glad you are back this year

    • Ellen's Gravatar Ellen
      February 15, 2018 - 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I vote for Peter because he too failed Christ and returned to his faith and upon that faith, Christ built his church. It gives me hope each time I stumble in my faith to recall Peter’s denial of Christ.

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      February 15, 2018 - 6:55 pm | Permalink

      So good to see you here, Oliver! I’m with you on the vote for Peter.

    • Susan Yearout's Gravatar Susan Yearout
      February 15, 2018 - 9:40 pm | Permalink

      That’s exactly why I voted for Peter. He made mistakes, but saw and repented.

    • Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
      February 15, 2018 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

      I remember a priest pointing out that Peter had to be told everything three times before he got it. I can be that way sometimes. That’s why I identify with Peter.

    • Abby Murphy's Gravatar Abby Murphy
      February 15, 2018 - 11:24 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you, Oliver!

  2. Carol Miro's Gravatar Carol Miro
    February 15, 2018 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    I love that Peter was able to fail, ask forgiveness and continue on. Gives comfort to one who often comes up short

  3. Julie Watt Faqir's Gravatar Julie Watt Faqir
    February 15, 2018 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    I am so excited about learning more about the Saints.

    Very pleased our Parish, St. Dunstan’s in Dover, MA is doing this this Lent.

    • Pamela Rieger's Gravatar Pamela Rieger
      February 15, 2018 - 9:37 am | Permalink

      Our parish, St. Dunstan’s in San Diego is doing Lent Madness for the first time too!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        February 15, 2018 - 9:51 am | Permalink

        Lenten greetings, Julie and Pamela, from St. Dunstan’s in Atlanta. Maybe we can organize and put our patron saint in next year’s bracket!

        • Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
          February 15, 2018 - 10:37 am | Permalink

          Paul has good hair!

          • Rhonda's Gravatar Rhonda
            February 15, 2018 - 11:19 am | Permalink

            So excited o be back. Lenten Love to everyone. I went with Paul.

          • Janice McLemore's Gravatar Janice McLemore
            February 15, 2018 - 11:28 am | Permalink

            Great to laugh! Love your comment

      • Simon Hartropp's Gravatar Simon Hartropp
        February 15, 2018 - 4:43 pm | Permalink

        I too was introduced to Lent Madness in San Diego. In my case, at Good Sam near La Jolla. Enjoy the saintliness of the season!

    • Sandia Tuttle's Gravatar Sandia Tuttle
      February 15, 2018 - 10:58 am | Permalink

      St. Dunstan’s, San Diego, has joined the Madness this year!

  4. February 15, 2018 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    As the rector of St. Paul’s, I am duty bound . . .

    • Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
      February 15, 2018 - 8:29 am | Permalink

      To resist!

    • February 15, 2018 - 8:31 am | Permalink

      No one has mentioned it but Paul is going to be burdened by the era’s patriarchy and his
      explicit discrimination against women. Vegas has factored that into the tote board and
      made Paul a 2.0% underdog.
      Take the ~50CE cultural understanding re: women’s place in the church out of Paul’s
      theology as well as his writings on homosexuality in Romans and we have a toss up.

      • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
        February 15, 2018 - 9:25 am | Permalink

        Although the arguments can be made that those passages don’t reflect Paul’s views (and some of those letters weren’t even written by him).

        I predicted Peter to win this one when I made out my bracket, but my heart goes to Paul. He’s also the patron saint of my church, but I’ve always liked him.

      • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
        February 15, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

        I’ve always thought that in Romans Paui was condemning the lasciviousness more than the homosexuality. As to women — He was trying to be celibate, and he wanted women to behave in ways that made that easier for him. Some of his letters do praise church women.

      • Susie's Gravatar Susie
        February 15, 2018 - 10:20 am | Permalink

        While Paul did many great things & was the product of the times he lived, his attitude towards women & others has always left me cold, plus have always loved St. Peter, so Go Rock!

      • Jim's Gravatar Jim
        February 15, 2018 - 11:18 am | Permalink

        There is an article by by Barbara Leonhard, OSF that was enlightening to me regarding St. Paul’s attitude toward women. The article starts by discussing Prisca, Phoebe, Mary, Junia, Julia, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Chloe, Lydia, Euodia and Syntyche. After a discussion of theses “examples of women who ministered with Paul and who were commended by Paul,” she asks “how are we to understand passages in which Paul sounds hostile to women?” She writes:

        “A friend of mine once told me she couldn’t understand why I would write about Paul, since he was so against women in the Church. The passage she had in mind was 1 Corinthians 14:34-35: ‘Women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church.’

        Most contemporary biblical scholars maintain that these verses could not have come from Paul. They contradict his acceptance and commendation of women’s leadership. They also directly contradict an earlier passage in this same letter, where Paul assumes that women do both pray and prophesy in the Corinthian community (11:5).

        How, then, did these verses come to be included in the letter? Most likely they were teachings from a later time that eventually were copied into Paul’s letter. Those who copied texts before there were designated chapters and verses at times confused someone’s marginal notes as part of the original document. The notes then became part of the newly copied text.

        The silencing of women does not make sense coming from Paul. Women such as Prisca, Phoebe and Junia could not have functioned as Church leaders and apostles if they were not allowed to speak in public.

        The teaching in 1 Corinthians reflects the attitudes found in 1 Timothy, a letter attributed to Paul but actually not written until the early part of the second century. By this time, at least in some local communities, there was more concern for order and specified positions. In the pastoral letters (1 and 2 Timothy and Titus), we find regulations concerning deacons, bishops and elders. The ideal here is a well-regulated household.

        While Paul acknowledges women’s ministry and leadership in house churches, 1 Timothy maintains that “a woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control” (2:11).”

        • Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
          February 15, 2018 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for your comments about Paul. I think of him being inclusive but do have trouble with some of his comments, so this is helpful. I did vote for Paul.

        • Jim's Gravatar Jim
          February 15, 2018 - 12:50 pm | Permalink
        • Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
          February 15, 2018 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

          That was useful information Jim. Thank you for sharing it.

        • Katrina Soto's Gravatar Katrina Soto
          February 15, 2018 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for the interesting insighf.

        • Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
          February 15, 2018 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for this. I am glad to have a new perspective on the writings of Paul, with which I struggle. Would you say that even in the very early church, we had non-constructive Fake (Good) News situations?

          I am still leaning toward Peter, because I feel that one of the characteristics that Peter possessed was humility, which Paul, regardless of his innumerable good works largely lacked
          . In today’s world, so many divisive and tragic events could be prevented if we all had a larger measure of humility.

        • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
          February 15, 2018 - 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Jim, thank you for this helpful review!

        • February 15, 2018 - 9:33 pm | Permalink

          Voted for Peter in that he had the “VISION” to recognize Jesus as the Anointed One. Whereas Paul had to lose his “vision” to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

        • Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
          February 16, 2018 - 12:10 am | Permalink

          Thanks for your helpful comments. Since taking a class on the letters of Paul a few years ago, I have been convinced that the admonishment about women keeping silent in church were not Paul’s words, but a later addition. I’ve been glad ever since not to have to hold that against Paul.

      • Donna's Gravatar Donna
        February 15, 2018 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

        I have to admit that, although it’s not mentioned in the summary, I could not ignore the misogynistic tone in some of Paul’s writings – so that’s why I ultimately chose Peter.

        • Jim Wiant's Gravatar Jim Wiant
          February 15, 2018 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

          Donna, The “tone” in Paul’s writing is likely not his. See other comments re. how later editors added comments to fit Paul’s teaching into the attitudes of the culture and the church.

          • Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
            February 15, 2018 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes, and theanks for the tip on “The Authentic Letters of Paul”. Go Paul!

        • February 15, 2018 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Though they don’t pursuade me with everything they say, I am going to let J.D. Crossan and co. convince me to vote for Paul this year. In their light, Paul was as much proto-feminist as he was pro gentile. Whereas, it is likely that Peter fell victim to the mentality of an apostolic “good old boys club” that laid a foundation for a new patriarchy.

    • Laure's Gravatar Laure
      February 15, 2018 - 9:38 am | Permalink

      Eric I agree with you … <3

      • Mary Sier's Gravatar Mary Sier
        February 15, 2018 - 9:47 am | Permalink

        As a member of Fr. Funston’s son’s parish — yet another St. Paul’s — I, too, felt duty bound, though my heart goes with Peter.

    • Richard Pulley's Gravatar Richard Pulley
      February 15, 2018 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      I wonder what how the poor staff at parishes named after Peter AND Paul are handling this.

    • February 15, 2018 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      Paul is one of the patrons of journalists. I, too, feel duty-bound.

      • Laura's Gravatar Laura
        February 15, 2018 - 10:25 am | Permalink

        I love journalists. Married one. Didn’t know this.

    • Sandia Tuttle's Gravatar Sandia Tuttle
      February 15, 2018 - 10:59 am | Permalink

      Good rationale!

    • Andrea Shortal's Gravatar Andrea Shortal
      February 15, 2018 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I voted for Paul because I love his conversion story and that he brought the Word to the gentiles!

  5. Cynthia Espeseth's Gravatar Cynthia Espeseth
    February 15, 2018 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Oliver, I’m with you about Peter. His pure heart and ability to put it all out there – whether he looked foolish or not — has been a source of strength for me. I find I often identify with his outbursts and questions.

    • TM's Gravatar TM
      February 15, 2018 - 8:18 am | Permalink

      I agree…Peter, the flawed hero, is my vote.

  6. Claudia's Gravatar Claudia
    February 15, 2018 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Peter, but am quite worried about Lenten point shaving. I am hoping none of these saints under-perform to throw the bracket. Who knew Lent could be so fraught?

    • Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
      February 15, 2018 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      I think that’s part of the fun of Lent Madness — sometimes the most unlikely saints go on to the next round, and even occasionally win. Not many people predicted the Golden Halo for Frances Perkins, for instance. And the SEC is good at finding any hanky panky in the voting.

  7. Ginny Berkey's Gravatar Ginny Berkey
    February 15, 2018 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    Paul’s message was inclusion of all not one special group. To me this battle is still ongoing in our society despite the many who call themselves Christians.

    • Deacon Linda's Gravatar Deacon Linda
      February 15, 2018 - 9:17 am | Permalink

      Hi, Ginny!

    • Emily's Gravatar Emily
      February 15, 2018 - 9:35 am | Permalink

      Well said

    • Laura's Gravatar Laura
      February 15, 2018 - 10:18 am | Permalink

      I am with Paul for inclusion. Tough Call this one.

    • Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
      February 15, 2018 - 10:33 am | Permalink

      I agree.

  8. Bob Challinor's Gravatar Bob Challinor
    February 15, 2018 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    This was the most difficult vote I have cast in the years since I joined Lent Madness. I finally leaned toward Peter, who I hope will gain the Golden Halo.

    • L. S. Graves's Gravatar L. S. Graves
      February 15, 2018 - 8:34 am | Permalink

      Very difficult indeed..both apostles flawed, and forgiven.

      • Yvonne Telep's Gravatar Yvonne Telep
        February 15, 2018 - 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Just like us…which is the point I guess!
        I’ve always had a bit of a grudge against Paul, but something about this write up made me wonder, where would the church have been without him! And in the end… he had my vote!

  9. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    February 15, 2018 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    Peter all the way because he was so human and gives me hope when I too stumble. I’ve always thought that people miss a big part of the point in the story where Peter gets out of the boat to meet Jesus who is walking across the lake. It seems like everyone always focuses on Peter starting to sink because he has doubts. It is more telling to me that Peter is the only one who got out of the boat.

    • Mary Sier's Gravatar Mary Sier
      February 15, 2018 - 8:36 am | Permalink

      That had never occurred to me, Michelle! Thanks for pointing out that it was Peter who left the boat!

    • Pat's Gravatar Pat
      February 15, 2018 - 8:54 am | Permalink

      I’m with you all the way, Michelle. Peter gets my vote also.

    • David's Gravatar David
      February 15, 2018 - 9:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Michelle! This tipped the scales for me.

    • Fran's Gravatar Fran
      February 15, 2018 - 10:15 am | Permalink

      Michelle, I never thought of that scene at the storm/water/boat that way. Thanks for that! I agree…the point being…Peter was the one that got out of the boat. That alone demonstrates great/tremendous faith! Love Peter! But Paul is a good example for all of us as well…any one can change!

  10. Larry's Gravatar Larry
    February 15, 2018 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    While I have great respect for Peter, Paul was a giant in moving Christianity beyond a Jewish sect.

    • Kate's Gravatar Kate
      February 15, 2018 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Christianity would not be where it is now without Paul.

    • Joan Dragolic's Gravatar Joan Dragolic
      February 15, 2018 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      We “gentiles” have Paul to thank. What if he had stayed home? He gets my vote and thanks.

      • John the other Verger's Gravatar John the other Verger
        February 15, 2018 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Yeah that is why my vote is with Paul.

    • Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
      February 15, 2018 - 11:57 am | Permalink

      I too voted for Paul. We need to be more inclusively minded in this day and time as well. That takes a lot of courage in many parts of the world and even in parts of the United States.

  11. Marcia Tremmel's Gravatar Marcia Tremmel
    February 15, 2018 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    I never stop learning from St. Paul, but St. Peter always gives me hope. So, Peter gets my vote today.

    • Audrey's Gravatar Audrey
      February 15, 2018 - 9:47 am | Permalink

      What a great summation of the way these two continue to speak to us

  12. Carolyn D. Mack's Gravatar Carolyn D. Mack
    February 15, 2018 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    both men made mistakes and learned from them, and perhaps it was hardest for Paul, the Pharisee, to do so. Paul saw the wrongs he had done in the name of his religion and committed to change, an important message in history and today. But Jesus chose Peter as the rock to build His church, so I followed and chose Peter also.

    • Laure's Gravatar Laure
      February 15, 2018 - 9:41 am | Permalink

      Carolyn I love what you wrote, but I have to disagree with you … <3
      Paul is the better choice imho …<3

      • Susan Parker's Gravatar Susan Parker
        February 15, 2018 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

        This is my first madness and my first vote. Very difficult! But ultimately I chose Peter. I see myself in Peter often, but I might have been too ashamed to return to the disciples and Jesus. He let himself be forgiven, an important lesson for me. Also, my parish is St. Peter’s, Kerrville TX!

  13. Diane MC's Gravatar Diane MC
    February 15, 2018 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I have to go with Peter. I, too, am one of those who will eagerly and enthusiastically jump into something without always thinking it through. I agree, his ability to ask forgiveness and move on is encouraging.

  14. February 15, 2018 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    I had to go with Paul. I’m going on a trip to Greece and Turkey in April to follow “in his footsteps”. I also think that Paul has been greatly misunderstood over the centuries.

    • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
      February 15, 2018 - 9:05 pm | Permalink

      How wonderful your trip sounds! Please share more…..

  15. Robert's Gravatar Robert
    February 15, 2018 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    Paul it is. With out him most of us in the church wouldn’t be here.

  16. February 15, 2018 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul because his message was that all of us are part of the body of Christ. We are all really one race, the human race, and no matter what our station here on Earth we are all equal in the eyes of God.

    • Laure's Gravatar Laure
      February 15, 2018 - 9:40 am | Permalink

      Jeff I agree with you … <3

  17. Jen's Gravatar Jen
    February 15, 2018 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Have to vote for Paul………he made his mistakes throughout his life and was called to conversion just as we are today. In a very tough pairing between two giants of the church, Paul is my choice!

  18. Pat Floerke's Gravatar Pat Floerke
    February 15, 2018 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Go, Peter, all the way! If I have a patron saint, it’s Peter, and precisely because, as Amber so wonderfully puts it, he is “the disciple who makes us all feel better about our failures” and because he really did love Jesus with his whole heart.

    • Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
      February 15, 2018 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Pat. I knew you would vote for Peter. I voted for him too, although I have to say (no offense to Amber, who has been a great celebrity blogger for years) that I preferred the write-up for Paul.

  19. Loretta Ishida's Gravatar Loretta Ishida
    February 15, 2018 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Paul was a terrible writer – have you ever read his stuff out loud? Run on sentences, overly repetitive. OK, he wrote A LOT. OK, he had good ideas, mostly… Peter was flawed and we love him for it.

    • Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
      February 15, 2018 - 9:05 am | Permalink

      One of my teachers in high school had the class diagram one of Paul’s sentences. It was quite a workout.

      • February 15, 2018 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I can’t get enough of Paul’s long, complicated sentences. A real turn-on! Thanks for reminded me of another reason to vote for him.

    • Donice Gilliland's Gravatar Donice Gilliland
      February 15, 2018 - 9:46 am | Permalink

      How much can Paul’s long, run-on sentences be attributed to English translations? Woukd they also be considered long and run-on as he originally wrote them? Just curious!

    • Carol Hessler's Gravatar Carol Hessler
      February 15, 2018 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes! Thank you for saying that. I hate reading Paul as a lector as it is so repetitive and convoluted, it is far too easy to lose your place in the reading.

  20. February 15, 2018 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    Paul gets my vote because of his ability to see past prejudice and include everyone in the Good News of our Lord. Today, and everyday, we need to mediate on the words of Paul and practice inclusion, love, and acceptance.

  21. Jason Louis's Gravatar Jason Louis
    February 15, 2018 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    As a Gentile, I have to throw my support behind Paul. I mean, it’s not just motivated self-interest or anything. No, not at all…

  22. Jennifer's Gravatar Jennifer
    February 15, 2018 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I feel that the women’s vote will bring Peter to victory.

    • Mary's Gravatar Mary
      February 15, 2018 - 8:42 am | Permalink

      What did Peter do for women? He led a Jewish male group of leaders!

      • Pamela Rieger's Gravatar Pamela Rieger
        February 15, 2018 - 9:45 am | Permalink

        I agree. Many women were praised in his letters, and were named as leaders …and what about his beautiful letter in 1 Corinthians about love? “Without love, I am nothing”?

    • Rachel's Gravatar Rachel
      February 15, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

      Peter certainly wasn’t a paragon of inclusion. Just because he didn’t write about women, doesn’t mean he saw them as equals (after all, look at how well he listened to Mary Magdalen, et al. after the resurrection). Paul had his issues, but was way ahead of his time in terms of inclusiveness.

    • February 15, 2018 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

      There are good reasons to vote for Peter but gender issues may not be one of them. I think if we could ask Thekla, she might say, “If you appreciate women’s leadership and teaching in the church, you’d better vote for Paul.”

  23. Judith Landry's Gravatar Judith Landry
    February 15, 2018 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Wow- slam it out of the park with this first match up!!

  24. Natalie's Gravatar Natalie
    February 15, 2018 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    What are you doing to us? What a way to start! But, if asked to make a choice between these two, it is Peter all the way.

    Go Peter!

  25. Steven Niccolls's Gravatar Steven Niccolls
    February 15, 2018 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. His inclusive message and his strong theological background was key to the advancement of the church universal. Maybe the fact that I am finishing a three week sermon series on Romans 11 might also play a role. That being said SEC should be severely flogged for bad seeding. These two should not be first round match up. Just my not so humble (I gave up humility for Lent) opinion.

  26. Pailet - age 6's Gravatar Pailet - age 6
    February 15, 2018 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Peter!! Because he’s not mean Paul and because he walked on water.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 15, 2018 - 9:56 am | Permalink

      Hi Pailet! Good thinking! I’m with you!

    • MR McKenney's Gravatar MR McKenney
      February 15, 2018 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      I’m with you Pailet! PETER DID GET OUT OF THE BOAT!

    • Beth's Gravatar Beth
      February 15, 2018 - 10:14 am | Permalink

      well said, Paliet

  27. Ann's Gravatar Ann
    February 15, 2018 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Well I do need to get through “Pearly Gates” sfter all

  28. Scott Elliott's Gravatar Scott Elliott
    February 15, 2018 - 8:30 am | Permalink

    Speaking as a well-meaning Doofus who says the absolute wrong thing ALL the time….

    • Sandy's Gravatar Sandy
      February 15, 2018 - 10:25 am | Permalink

      As a first year EfM student (Education for Ministry) studying the Old Testament… I vote for St. Paul – as he helps me see Christ who came for all people. St. Paul’s life starts in the Old Testament and ‘finishes the race’ in the New Testament. St. Paul also helps me see the whole Bible. Disclosure: my church is St. Paul’s Alexandria 🙂

  29. Betsy in Reston VA's Gravatar Betsy in Reston VA
    February 15, 2018 - 8:34 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul, because he managed to do such a strong about face, also because he did so much to spread the Gospel beyond the Jewish Community, and gave us insight into the lives of the earliest Christians (since the gospels in the form we know them came much later).
    While Peter is much to be admired for his many repentances, his behavior (as we read it in the gospels) at the time of Jesus’ trial was reprehensible given his closeness to the Messiah and insights into what were to become Christian beliefs. He strikes me as arrogant while Paul is more humble.

    • Mary Sier's Gravatar Mary Sier
      February 15, 2018 - 8:46 am | Permalink

      Reprehensible but completely human — and foreseen by Jesus. I always wondered if that wasn’t God’s way of keeping Peter alive to spread the Word. I’ve never been able to see much humility in Paul.

  30. Edward Haug's Gravatar Edward Haug
    February 15, 2018 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    Paul, because his letters had a greater influence on our Christian culture.

  31. Johanne Hills's Gravatar Johanne Hills
    February 15, 2018 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    What a terrible choice to have to make as we begin. I voted for Paul, even though I have rarely appreciated his dogmatism about women’s leadership roles in faith communities. He got my vote because of his idea that Grace is extended to all…those who live on the other side of the wall, those whose color is different than mine, and even to those whose political views seem the antithesis of faithful. He reminds me of the One I try to follow.

  32. Mary's Gravatar Mary
    February 15, 2018 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    Paul was an Outsider who is a role model of self-examination (what church still needs) and being humble enough to make an 180 deg turn regarding his christian-ism. He confronted the early church’s hierarchy about their exclusion of gentiles from God’s dream for church. Yes, he could have gone further for women, but he pushed exclusivity more than anyone else was doing back then.

  33. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    February 15, 2018 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    I cannot turn my back on Peter, who while a flawed human (but aren’t we all?), is a shining example of how we can all learn from our mistakes and still have the love of the Father. Besides, how could a sailor say no to the patron saint of shipbuilders?

  34. Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
    February 15, 2018 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    In honor of St. Peter’s in the Mountains, I vote for Peter.

  35. Paula's Gravatar Paula
    February 15, 2018 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    I’m with Oliver on this one. Plus, as a geologist, I understand the strength of a rock. . .

    • February 15, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

      Ah, but what KIND of rock? Shale? Chalk? Granite? We’ve got a lot of soft, permeable sandstone around here, melts when it gets wet…

      • Bill Loring's Gravatar Bill Loring
        February 15, 2018 - 11:41 pm | Permalink

        Well this happened at Caesarea Philippi where the biggest rock around is part of Mt, Hermon — pretty solid I’d say.

  36. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    February 15, 2018 - 8:39 am | Permalink

    A very tough vote today. I would have been glad to see one of these guys crowned with the Silver Halo, patting the shoulder of the other sporting his new Golden Halo. My gut says Peter will win; my heart says vote for Paul. Thank God for the light each provides our aching world.

  37. Wild Bill's Gravatar Wild Bill
    February 15, 2018 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Who was the crazy person(s) who had Peter & Paul face off in the very 1st round? Such heavy weights should have been on opposite sides of the brackets!

  38. TJ's Gravatar TJ
    February 15, 2018 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    Paul all day. Peter seemed too impulsive and chatty. Paul was flawed but a good example of both how God can transform us and how God can do great things with us even though we’re sometimes a hot mess. Besides, Paul is the patron of my parish so…

  39. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    February 15, 2018 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Peter reminds me of me…a flawed, klutzy person who survives despite him/herself! Praise for the clumsy people of the world, and I am one!

  40. Dianne's Gravatar Dianne
    February 15, 2018 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    In love with his Lord, even when he totally gets it wrong? Who else but Peter.

  41. February 15, 2018 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    This was an incredibly difficult decision…and it’s only Ash Thursday! I love Peter. I love his outbursts and moments of brilliance, his all-too-human flaws and the scene on the beach with Jesus at the end of John’s Gospel as well as his preaching at the beginning of Acts are among the most hopeful stories in the New Testament. But Paul’s conversion in Acts 9 is a powerful statement of conversion and God’s ability to reconcile bitter enemies (Ananis and Saul). And Paul reminds us in the letter to the Romans that there is nothing–absolutely nothing–that separates us from the love of God. The more I have read and learned, the more I realize that Paul has gotten a really bad rap and we project a lot on to the man. I won’t be disappointed whichever way this vote goes, but today, I’m siding with Paul.

  42. John's Gravatar John
    February 15, 2018 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    I love Paul’s story. To think that he once killed Christians only to become one of them. His story demonstrates the truth that we are not lost even when we commit bad crimes.

  43. February 15, 2018 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I voted for Peter since he interacted with Jesus whereas Paul worked under his own theory/revelation and basically took over Christianity in the long term

  44. February 15, 2018 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Peter. All the way. Peter walked on water, twice. After all, they had to get back into the boat.

  45. Carol Gyurina's Gravatar Carol Gyurina
    February 15, 2018 - 8:49 am | Permalink

    It’s a close race! Peter for me, mostly as his story is so meaningful for those of us who fall short sometimes.

    Plus some of Paul’s words are still used today to discriminate against women and people who are gay.

  46. Penny Gordon's Gravatar Penny Gordon
    February 15, 2018 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    I actually have Peter in my bracket, but this song about Paul is going through my head https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMNbxHqdKCQ

    • Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
      February 15, 2018 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Thanks. I shared the link on my Facebook page.

  47. Madre Liz Huskey's Gravatar Madre Liz Huskey
    February 15, 2018 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Seriously?! A #1 and #2 seed go against each other on the first round? Better Peter versus Voldemort or Paul vs. Swithin of the Swamp! I appeal to the Grand Executive Council poobahs. Bring back the loser of this round, for, perhaps a double elimination format! We are a people of redemption. The NCAA is not!

    • February 16, 2018 - 2:40 am | Permalink

      I bet you that regardless of who wins, they will not make it past their opponent in the next round.

  48. Susan Titus's Gravatar Susan Titus
    February 15, 2018 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    It’s Paul for me, though they both deserve golden halos. How are you going to top this matchup?? And by the way, Paul did NOT intend any discrimination against women. He said over and over that ALL were alike in God’s sight. Many, mostly? women headed his house churches and he gives thanks for them often. The idea that he was a woman-hater is seriously antiquated theology.

  49. DyLynn's Gravatar DyLynn
    February 15, 2018 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    …read Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chodren recently, so gotta follow that flow toward Peter. Although, I also recognize that transformative grace is embedded in this sometimes painful process of missing the easiest of play in the game.

  50. February 15, 2018 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Peter is the penultimate everyman (or woman) — Paul’s reputation precedes him, and while he may be the more intelligent (or educated) of the two, Peter shows time and again how God uses our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

  51. Harriet's Gravatar Harriet
    February 15, 2018 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    Hard choice! Went with Peter because he “messed up” and repented. True for all!

  52. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    February 15, 2018 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. I’m in year 2 of EfM and reading the epistles. I need all the help I can get understanding them.

    • Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
      February 15, 2018 - 10:03 am | Permalink

      Stick with it. As you go on in EfM, much will become clearer. “Now I see dimly, but then I shall see clearly.” (Translation by me). Understanding will eventually come, even when you don’t think you agree with Paul. It took him a while too. Blessings.

  53. Amy Clayton's Gravatar Amy Clayton
    February 15, 2018 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    I had to vote for Paul, even though I identify with Peter’s humanity. Peter makes me laugh and helps me get a sense of what it would have been like to be there then.

    But, after a life of being angry with Paul and the ways the church has used his statements, I have had a transformation of my perspective. Our Bp is facebooking the parishes he visits and I am amazed at the diversity of concerns, congregations, liturgies, and communities in our diocese. I can only imagine the letters and conversations Bp John might be having with the vestries of these parishes, and how they could be misconstrued if not contextualized in the lived experience of each community. Paul did not leave a digital footprint for us to piece the whole story together so we use what he wrote in our own situations, sometimes with oppressive results.

    My vote is for compassion as we all work in our own ways in our own places and times to bring about the kingdom of God on earth.

  54. Timothy J. Mannion's Gravatar Timothy J. Mannion
    February 15, 2018 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Ay, what a choice. The Blind Faith of the Rock, vs the misogynistic prognostications of the Great Lion of God. As much as I appreciate Paul’s extension of the New Teachings to the gentiles, whenever we have to endure his endless Epistles in services, I cringe at his theology. So in the end, I chose the Rock upon which the church was built, and against which the gates of Hell have yet to prevail.

  55. Mary O'Donnell's Gravatar Mary O'Donnell
    February 15, 2018 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Paul argues that the grace of God is extended to Jew and Gentile alike.

  56. Mike from Ohio's Gravatar Mike from Ohio
    February 15, 2018 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    It’s a toss up

  57. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    February 15, 2018 - 9:02 am | Permalink

    Peter, he is the rock

  58. February 15, 2018 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    As a journalist I have to vote for Paul and his letters although I’m sure Peter would have been easier to be around. But what a way to start! Throw us into the deep end right away. Oh and Hi Oliver.

    • Diane Roehl's Gravatar Diane Roehl
      February 15, 2018 - 10:49 am | Permalink

      I’m with Paul, too, because of his dramatic conversion. Sometimes it takes a knock up side the head to get our attention! Have a blessed day, my Lent Madness buddy!

  59. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    February 15, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    I thought this would be easy, because (like so many others today) I am so encouraged by Peters cluelessness. He really didn’t get it so often. It gives me hope. And Paul can be an arrogant jerk. But Paul’s message of inclusion and welcome is so important. So I think – after many years of struggling with him, I have to vote for Paul. The Lord moves in mysterious ways!

  60. Mary Rose's Gravatar Mary Rose
    February 15, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    Surprised myself by voting for Paul. It was his inclusive message.

  61. Gillian's Gravatar Gillian
    February 15, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    My first impulse was to vote for Peter, because his behavior makes me feel better about myself as an imperfect follower of Jesus. Then I remembered that Paul (among all his many writings) wrote one of the most beautiful passages in all of Scripture, 1 Corinthians 13. Both men were filled with the Holy Spirit, at least some of the time. I’m still pondering.

  62. Laura Clarke's Gravatar Laura Clarke
    February 15, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    I think of Peter as the Marx Brother of the Bible. He’s a great teaching tool for Adolescents, as He is loved despite every “Duh” moment. It’s Peter, Dude!

  63. Michael Cartwright's Gravatar Michael Cartwright
    February 15, 2018 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    What a start to this years competition. I’m going for Peter because he was so enthusiastic. OK, sometimes he had to have his excitement re-directed by God but then he would be off again, like a ball in a pinball machine.

    • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
      February 15, 2018 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I love the pinball analogy. 🙂

  64. Terie H's Gravatar Terie H
    February 15, 2018 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    I ave to vote for Paul, because he shaped the church and spread the Gospel beyond Jerusalem and the surrounding area on his mission trips. And, my church is St. Paul’s….

  65. Caroline Oakes's Gravatar Caroline Oakes
    February 15, 2018 - 9:09 am | Permalink

    That moment when Ananias came to Paul (after an initial “whaaaaa??” with God), lay his hands on Paul, and called him “brother.” The scales fell from Paul’s eyes. Paul could truly see.
    While Caravaggio’s hear-Jesus-and-fall-off-your-horse Damascus road moment certainly would have conversion power, I like to think Paul’s full conversion was when he experienced that transformative power of Christ’s Love through Ananias. Ananias = Golden Halo potential 😉

    • Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
      February 15, 2018 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I nominate Ananias for inclusion in Lent Madness every year. I don’t know if he officially counts as a saint, but he is one of my very favorite Biblical characters. Imagine — God told him, “Go see Saul.” He said, “Um . . are you sure? Isn’t he the one persecuting the whole church?” But when God insisted, Ananias not only obeyed, but greeted Paul as “brother.” What enormous faith.

  66. Peter Hall's Gravatar Peter Hall
    February 15, 2018 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Always partial to Peter!

  67. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    February 15, 2018 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    Although the text didn’t mention the Quo Vadis episode, I voted for Peter because of that.

  68. Grace's Gravatar Grace
    February 15, 2018 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I named my son Peter, so gotta go with that one.

  69. Jane's Gravatar Jane
    February 15, 2018 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    I am ecstatic that Lent Madness is back! It brings joy & light to these dreary winter days, teaches me stuff, & provides a good chuckle! Anyway, I voted for Peter. He has always seemed so HUMAN,to me , in his warmheartedness, impulseivness, loving nature, & weaknesses. Love him! Paul has always come across as rigid, colder & strict. (No disrespect to Paul.) Well, looks like my guy is a bit ahead; go Peter, go! Walk on that water!!

  70. jan's Gravatar jan
    February 15, 2018 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Went with Paul, the inclusionist. Will forgive his other ‘comments’ in light of when he lived – his basic message is what we need.

  71. February 15, 2018 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Thank you for getting us off to a powerful start with Peter and Paul. As a medieval art historian, I so enjoy and benefit from your Lent Madness posts each year. May I make one gentle and rather specialized correction? We in the field refer to the representation of saints and their symbols as “iconography,” and its study is “iconology.” Only in Dan Brown’s world is there a field known as “symbology,” and as you might imagine, we spend a lot of time clearing this up with students. Thank you again for the thoughtful posts, and if we at the Index of Medieval Art can ever help you with iconographic research, just say the word.

  72. Megan's Gravatar Megan
    February 15, 2018 - 9:16 am | Permalink

    Peter, because of all the reasons stated so beautifully above…..and the fact that my bracket is ruined if Paul wins 😉

  73. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    February 15, 2018 - 9:18 am | Permalink

    I found myself looking around for a coin to toss. This was a tough choice to make. I finally voted for Peter because I’m reading James Carroll’s book Christ Actually, in which Carroll describes how the writer of Mark’s Gospel uses Peter as the example of the extreme kind of sinner that Jesus not only forgives, but never stops loving.

  74. February 15, 2018 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Paul tends to be under-appreciated and even denounced for his radical views. Pretty ironic, eh? I vote for Paul because his work to spread the message of “the way” of Jesus. He inspires me because of his total embracement of the Holy Spirit.

  75. Peter's Gravatar Peter
    February 15, 2018 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the fierce opening! It shows up front that Lent Madness 2018 is not for the feinthearted! I’m so delighted that you are doing this again and that I’m offering it at my parish for the 2nd year!
    Go “Peter!” (We Pete’s stick together!)

  76. Rachel's Gravatar Rachel
    February 15, 2018 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Man, Paul gets my votes for several reasons: 1) his work convincing the Jerusalem patriarchy (ahem, Peter) to include the gentiles fully, and his writings to assure the gentiles that they were always God’s beloved children and not an after thought. 2) Telling Philemon to invert the slave/master hierarchy by welcoming Onesimus as a brother. 3) and regularly recognizing women as deaconesses, apostles, and fellow workers with Christ in his greetings.
    He waffled a lot about how this new inclusiveness should work. It SHOULD subvert the social order. Wait, no, it should NOT subvert the social order. That’s confusing, and some of his words have been used very damagingly. And yet, I see in the arc of work, a person who knew in his heart that we are all one in Christ Jesus but also one who had his own prejudices and social norms to over come. If he isn’t a role model for our times, I don’t know who is!

    • Laure's Gravatar Laure
      February 15, 2018 - 9:34 am | Permalink

      Rachel I agree with you.

    • February 15, 2018 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Amen, and amen. An excellent summing-up of Paul’s writings. I think those criticizing actually criticize a (relatively) modern interpretation; Paul was in fact shockingly ‘liberal’ to his first-century listeners. Witness Peter’s ‘backsliding’ into Gentile avoidance and Paul’s rebuke. I think I shall support Paul because he’s been so misunderstood! Not thatI disagree with all said about Peter, too.

    • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
      February 15, 2018 - 11:03 am | Permalink

      Rachel, I could not agree more! As to Paul’s “coldness”, remember that he wrote passionately about Christian life and love (see 1 Corinthians). As a clergy woman, I have to vote for Paul, who spoke out for all the rejected ones and fully accepted his women co-workers.

  77. Wendy Farone's Gravatar Wendy Farone
    February 15, 2018 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    I am Team Paul mainly because he was the transformed and the main writer of God’s words. Without him, we would have to wait for the New Testament to show up on Netflix. I prefer the Bible!

  78. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    February 15, 2018 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    New participant here! This looks like it’s going to be fun AND a wonderful Lenten discipline. Already just leafing through the booklet I’ve learned about several saints I’d never heard of. Looking forward to participating and watching how this all unfolds!

    • Donna Scarfe's Gravatar Donna Scarfe
      February 15, 2018 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Welcome! Each year you will always find saints you NEVER heard of!! That’s the wonderful mind expanding process of Lent Madness. Keep on voting.

  79. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    February 15, 2018 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    Peter, for the reminder of the power of God’s forgiveness.

  80. Teresa Edwards's Gravatar Teresa Edwards
    February 15, 2018 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    My initial bracket choice was Peter, then I read about Paul and almost changed my mind. The clincher was that Peter is the patron saint net makers and my grandfather made nets by hand. Peter it is

  81. Michael Fleming's Gravatar Michael Fleming
    February 15, 2018 - 9:23 am | Permalink

    Neck and Neck. What a great start to the Madness!

  82. Lauren R. Stanley's Gravatar Lauren R. Stanley
    February 15, 2018 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    I could have sworn I was going to vote for Peter, because believe you me, I make mistakes All The Time. And because he was brave enough to get out of the boat, and to speak his mind, even when he was way off base. But this morning, when it came time to vote, Paul was speaking to me boldly. And that is what decided it for me: He was peripatetic in his ministry, was bold, proclaimed a bold Gospel, and has been a model for my own ministry.

  83. Sr Perlarosa's Gravatar Sr Perlarosa
    February 15, 2018 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Peter is the best example of God’s love and forgiveness!

  84. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    February 15, 2018 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Dear friends in Christ and fellow pilgrims once more to Canterbury: Paul has my heart. While I identify with Peter’s warm heart and impulsiveness, I cannot imagine the church without Paul. I admire his rhetoric and passion. I appreciate his effort to think through the unthinkable. On Ash Wednesday this year we had yet another school shooting. “We” have become a nation that now regularly and implacably sacrifices its own children on the bloody altar of gun violence. Americans practice the slaughter of innocents daily. So for Lent Madness 2018 I am going to assess each saint in terms of how he or she would have responded to the ideology that personal ownership of a concealed arsenal equals “freedom.” I think Paul would have shredded that rotten logic as a heretical doctrine well before the councils got to it. So Paul has my vote. I had thought I had a spavined nag for the ride to Canterbury this year, what with the dismal political situation, but I see I have a spirited charger. I look forward to this year’s ride with you all. May all our hearts and minds be transformed, together, to help to usher in God’s kingdom on earth.

    • Laure's Gravatar Laure
      February 15, 2018 - 9:35 am | Permalink

      St. Celia I agree with you … <3

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 15, 2018 - 9:50 am | Permalink

      How nice to hear your voice.

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 15, 2018 - 10:13 am | Permalink

        Hi Davis! So glad to see you again. Have a blessed Lent!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 15, 2018 - 10:08 am | Permalink

      Ah, St. Celia and Davis, you’re back! And Laure, glad to meet you!

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 15, 2018 - 10:14 am | Permalink

        Hi Susan. I recognized your pre-Raphaelite avi immediately! Welcome back! Hugs!

        • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
          February 15, 2018 - 10:47 am | Permalink

          I can never remember from one year to the next what nom de plume I used before!

        • harlie youngblood's Gravatar harlie youngblood
          February 15, 2018 - 10:56 am | Permalink

          Hi Celia and Susan, so good to see you posting on this first day of Lent Madness! Hi Davis and Laure!

          • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
            February 15, 2018 - 11:21 am | Permalink

            Good morning, Harlie Young Curmudgeon! Happy Lent!

          • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
            February 15, 2018 - 11:47 am | Permalink

            Hello Harlie! Here we go!

    • Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
      February 15, 2018 - 11:06 am | Permalink

      Amen, sister!

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        February 15, 2018 - 11:47 am | Permalink

        Hello Lucy Porter!

    • February 15, 2018 - 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Oh, St. Celia! I like the way you think!.

    • Sally Clark's Gravatar Sally Clark
      February 15, 2018 - 9:23 pm | Permalink

      So happy to “see” you & read your warmly edifying posts!

  85. Ken Hull's Gravatar Ken Hull
    February 15, 2018 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    Both flawed characters, I can identify with aspects of both of them. Paul left an enduring legacy, but he must have been insufferable to be around. For me, Peter’s humility and dependence on God win the day.

  86. John of Concord's Gravatar John of Concord
    February 15, 2018 - 9:28 am | Permalink

    Peter, the early adopter, who lived with uncertainty, original disciple, his home the base of operations for Jesus Galillean ministry . . . Vs Paul, the later adopter and master organizer who single-handedly established The Christian religion throughout the Mediterranean basin, writing an operations manual at the same time (the Epistles)! Close, but I’ll go with Paul . . . Because like us, he never met Jesus during Jesus lifetime.

  87. Kim's Gravatar Kim
    February 15, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    Great matchup! and the 50/50 standing showing after my vote shows how great a match-up it is. Paul is a sine wave for me – some of his words are breathtakingly beautiful, but others leave me cold. Still learning, though! I voted for Peter.

  88. Gloria Bauer Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Bauer Ishida
    February 15, 2018 - 9:29 am | Permalink

    I guess I am prejudiced. Paul’s instant conversion bothers me because for my husband, brought up in a strict Zen Buddhist faith, took time, thought and study, when confronted with the Bible. No Paul, he. As a matter of fact, as an early convert he was referred to as Thomas, who had to be convinced. He became a well-known Lutheran theologian, both in Japan and globally. So it is Peter for me for many of the reasons others have mentioned.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 15, 2018 - 10:09 am | Permalink

      Lovely story…

  89. Sue Merritt's Gravatar Sue Merritt
    February 15, 2018 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Although I have had my difficulties with Saul of Tarsus regarding his misogyny, I had to vote for him as he allowed God to lead him throughout the ancient world to bring the Light (Jesus) to all peoples. I believe that Saint Paul was judged unfairly – I believe his message was more inclusive. A Saint who brought Christ to so many couldn’t have been that “petty”. Love St. Peter…but had to vote for St. Paul.

    • Sean's Gravatar Sean
      February 15, 2018 - 10:51 am | Permalink

      I’m with you. Without Paul, I wouldn’t have been welcomed into Christianity.

  90. Valerie O’Neill's Gravatar Valerie O’Neill
    February 15, 2018 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hi new to the group. I am excited to learn about these great saints. I voted for Peter because I can totally relate to him. I have been walking in Peter’s foot steps; then I think of the blindness of Paul I can totally relate. I will gain more faith from both. God Bless

  91. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    February 15, 2018 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Peter/Paul : Mounds/Almond Joy–Already thinking of the Godiva chocolate
    I’m giving up for Lent. Tough decision: As as member of the Lions Club, Paul’s being cured of blindness appeals to me, but I’ve had to read too much of his wordy writings as Lector to get my vote.
    So since I work in a Water Treatment Plant, Peter gets my vote today for walking on & being forgiven.

  92. Sally in Dallas's Gravatar Sally in Dallas
    February 15, 2018 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    This decision may be the most difficult in Lent Madness this year. I love both of these two apostles. But I realized this week as I prepared for this wonderful journey we Episcopalians call Lent Madness that would probably not even be contemplating such a weighty decision on “Ash Thursday” (much less have ever heard of the 40 Days of Lent!) if Paul had not had his dramatic conversion on that road in the Middle East. And how many times have I been “blinded” in my own life, only to have some new insight from God and Jesus that changed me and turned me toward God? And who else would have been a Roman citizen with the ability to move around the ancient world with impunity, taking advantage of the “Roman Peace” and citizenship to change history?? Thank you, Paul, for me being able to be an Episcopalian today in 2018!

    • Laure's Gravatar Laure
      February 15, 2018 - 9:36 am | Permalink

      Sally I agree with you … <3

    • Pat's Gravatar Pat
      February 15, 2018 - 10:00 am | Permalink

      Thank you, Sally, for this wonderful comment. I have already voted for Peter; however, you have made me realize how much gratitude I owe to Paul.

  93. Belle's Gravatar Belle
    February 15, 2018 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Go Peter!

    BTW, the Pharisees were already teaching the people to integrate holiness into their everyday lives. Paul was no pioneer there. The Pharisees in the scriptures represent a particular type of person, and as a symbol it’s very effective. But as real people the Pharisees were as diverse as any group; generally speaking, they were out among the people to teach and help them. The great Rabbi Hillel, a Pharisee and an older contemporary of Jesus, taught very much like him, and is remembered as saying that the whole of the Torah can be encapsulated in the phrase: “That which you do not want done to you, do not do to others.” The fact that the word “pharisaical” has come to mean “hypocrite” outside of the Jewish community is extremely troubling.

  94. Mike Bond's Gravatar Mike Bond
    February 15, 2018 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    In my early years I was a boatbuilder. Peter and his enthusiasm was a model for me. Quick to jumping something and then finding my faith challenged, sloping beneath the waves, being asked, “Why did you doubt,?”

  95. Jeanne King's Gravatar Jeanne King
    February 15, 2018 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. I find his ecumenical spirit enlightened for the times. He often mentions women. Also I am a Lector so I get read aloud Paul’s words and I think my preschool teaching helps with that because sometimes I think Paul writes like Dr. Seuss

    • February 15, 2018 - 9:42 am | Permalink

      Please don’t join the generalizers. Paul permitted a woman to be the first clergy-person in Europe IPhilippi), and did not object to her supervising worship in her probably-large home. Whatever “I do not allow a woman to speak” means, it seems to be an outlier among his many other words of praise for females in the early church.

  96. Deb Tabert's Gravatar Deb Tabert
    February 15, 2018 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    I voted Peter…epic fail, yet saved by grace! Looking forward to my first Lent Madness!

  97. February 15, 2018 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    Paul. Peter said that even though what Paul is writing, we should make the trouble to study it. Paul said no such thing about Peter.

  98. Heather from ky's Gravatar Heather from ky
    February 15, 2018 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    I agree with Oliver.

  99. February 15, 2018 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    We’re doing this each day in Lent with our Morning Prayer group, so my vote each day won’t actually be my vote, but the result of a vote taken in our group. Today, they picked Paul.

  100. Matthew's Gravatar Matthew
    February 15, 2018 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    Paul got my vote, because he reminds me that NO ONE is beyond the reach of Christ’s love and care. On a day we mourn the loss of students’ lives due to unspeakable evil, I think of Saul, hard-hearted evil-doer, cowering on the Road to Damascus, literally being thrown into the Kingdom of God!

  101. Mrs. Casey's Gravatar Mrs. Casey
    February 15, 2018 - 9:45 am | Permalink

    The Casey crew, well most of them, says #Peter for the win!

  102. Nora's Gravatar Nora
    February 15, 2018 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    What a way to start! Let the madness begin!

  103. Lisa's Gravatar Lisa
    February 15, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    I choose Paul because of the parallel stories where Peter/Paul is in prison and God looses the chains and unlocks the door. Peter runs off, leaving the jailer to be punished, while Paul stays behind and converts the jailer and his family. Based on their different reactions I have to go with Paul even though let’s face it he can be quite annoying at times.

  104. Henry Greville's Gravatar Henry Greville
    February 15, 2018 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Peter actually knew the carpenter’s son, as did the other disciples. Enough said.

  105. Revmnwillems's Gravatar Revmnwillems
    February 15, 2018 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    Over 2,000 votes already, and Paul is ahead by a fraction. I would have loved to see this as the final smack-down instead of the inaugural one. 🙂

  106. February 15, 2018 - 9:54 am | Permalink

    Even though Paul often makes me grind my teeth and weep for the church uncontrollably, I gave him my vote. I’m in it for the grace.

  107. Jim Coleman's Gravatar Jim Coleman
    February 15, 2018 - 9:57 am | Permalink

    How to decide between “Rocky” Peter and “Preachy” Paul. There is so much to argue against both of them. I go with Peter since he reminds us that we don’t have to be perfect. Paul writes so much bedrock theology, some of it interpreted to the detriment of the way.

    Of course, both are deserving in other ways.

    Do you ever wonder if Jesus actually meant that Peter was a rock head?

  108. Martha Webb's Gravatar Martha Webb
    February 15, 2018 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    I, too, thought this was a battle for the final rather than the start. Then again, it’s a great way to begin. Peter is my rock!

  109. Lynne Taleff's Gravatar Lynne Taleff
    February 15, 2018 - 9:59 am | Permalink

    Peter’s failings and”forgiveness” resonates with me, but Paul’s ministry was so passionately devoted to sharing the good news with All, that Paul gets my vote. (My church is also, St. Paul’s!)

  110. Mike Essig's Gravatar Mike Essig
    February 15, 2018 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    I came into this wanting to vote for Peter, but perhaps my vote was converted by the blinding light from my laptop. I went with Paul because he continues to spread the gospel to the farthest reaches of humanity. No one has done more to get un-churched college roommates to read scripture at weddings than Paul.

  111. Chris Bates's Gravatar Chris Bates
    February 15, 2018 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    Peter. Without him Paul would have had no reason to be Paul.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      February 15, 2018 - 11:49 am | Permalink

      Or Saul would have had no reason to be Paul? 😀

  112. Mike Saccoccia's Gravatar Mike Saccoccia
    February 15, 2018 - 10:04 am | Permalink

    I love them both, but I voted for Paul who wrote: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

  113. Diane Sawyer's Gravatar Diane Sawyer
    February 15, 2018 - 10:07 am | Permalink

    Happy New Year to everyone and so enjoy Lent Madness and learning about different saints
    Good to see your back Oliver❤️Your insight is
    Spot on
    I voted for Peter, apostle and given another chance

  114. February 15, 2018 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    This is my first year playing the game. I read about the contenders. Than I flipped a coin. I thought that would be fair. My wife survived cataract surgery today.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 15, 2018 - 10:16 am | Permalink

      Mazel tov. May she experience speedy healing and recovery.

  115. Megan Devlin's Gravatar Megan Devlin
    February 15, 2018 - 10:14 am | Permalink

    Wow, what a way to start things off! And at least now, the race is (understandably) closer than any I remember seeing.

  116. Ruth Mary's Gravatar Ruth Mary
    February 15, 2018 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    I am a life long Episcopalian so Paul is the one I am most knowledgeable about.He was so intent on teaching. But the one thing I remember most was when women were becoming priest for the first time in our church was that I found answers in his pro women writings. So Paul it is. Sorry John.

  117. Tim Seitz-Brown's Gravatar Tim Seitz-Brown
    February 15, 2018 - 10:19 am | Permalink

    1 Corinthians 13 led me to vote for Paul

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 15, 2018 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      I like gongs and cymbals. The percussion section is the best.

  118. February 15, 2018 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    These two could easily have been battling for the Golden Halo in the final if the contest had been set up differently. I frequently do one of the readings at my church on Sunday, and if I have a choice I pick one of Paul’s epistles. The man was a heck of a writer, and for that deciding factor, I pick Paul!

  119. Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
    February 15, 2018 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    Tough choice. I have a slightly different take. I see Pentecost for Peter and Damascus Road for Paul as AHA moments. Things suddenly made sense to them.

    Peter’s denial, I believe, was a matter of not understanding the type of Messiah Jesus was and is. The type of Messiah the first century Jews were seeking was someone who would come on a white charger leading an army and overthrowing Roman domination. Peter didn’t realize the full extent of who Jesus was until after the Resurrection and the infusion of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Conversion, no; dramatic understanding, yes.
    And lest we forget, Peter converted Gentiles long before Paul did (See Acts 10).

    As for Paul, he was a student of Gamaliel and knew the TaNak very well. He also had powerful witnesses to the transforming power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit prior to going to Damascus. On the road, he met the risen Lord and then began a three year study of the scriptures to see what he had missed and/or misunderstood. Both have their place.

    But I go with Peter, only because in spite of his blustering into truth, I sense a humility in him that seems to allude me with Paul.

  120. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    February 15, 2018 - 10:22 am | Permalink

    When I began my Episcopal journey 57 years ago, and for a long time afterwards, I found Paul tedious, turgid, and annoying. Gradually over the years I have become a fan notwithstanding. That’s due as much as anything to my personal experience of reading his words as an occasional lector in church.

    Public reading, like other forms of theater, asks one to get inside the heart and mind of the character. In trying to do so I came to understand The inner beauty that which shines forth in so much of what Paul wrote. It’s too bad about his cultural baggage, his easily misunderstood self-praise, his occasionally obsessive harping on a single subject, and yes, our own baggage (who among us can sit through the passage on circumcision we heard a few Sundays ago without squirming?j. And yes, there are those lengthy, tangled sentences (which, to be fair, are easier to compose and understand in a highly inflected language such as Greek). But for me Paul’s humanity, together with the account of his words and deeds in Acts, tips the balance to him.

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 15, 2018 - 10:23 am | Permalink

      Erratum: “the inner beauty that shines forth”.

  121. Laura's Gravatar Laura
    February 15, 2018 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    Paul argued for the inclusion of the gentiles. I’ll take the guy trying to include everyone every day of the week.

  122. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    February 15, 2018 - 10:26 am | Permalink

    Welcome back Lent Madness friends! I went with Peter.

  123. Daniel Nieciecki's Gravatar Daniel Nieciecki
    February 15, 2018 - 10:27 am | Permalink

    My vote goes to Paul. He gave us some of the most glorious religious writing ever composed and eloquently articulated the love of God and the hope of resurrection. It became fashionable to reject Paul because of the way his comments about women and various sexual practices have been misunderstood and abused, but without him the Christian faith would be unrecognizable and infinitely poorer. Also, with at least 7 letters unquestionably written by him, he’s the only person in the New Testament into whose mind we can get a direct and unmediated glimpse, and I’ve always felt a deal of affection for him. I don’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul, and this is not to diminish the Prince of the Apostles, but I can only pick one of them so I’m going with the one I feel the most connection to.

  124. February 15, 2018 - 10:29 am | Permalink

    There is nothing to say that has not already been said. But I must agree with all those who say that without Paul there would not be a Christian church, certainly not a Protestant church. And if one reads Paul’s epistles closely, there were clearly many women with leadership roles in the communities he established and wrote to. One of them is included in this year’s roster. Why do women keep insisting Paul did not like women!

  125. Barbara H.'s Gravatar Barbara H.
    February 15, 2018 - 10:32 am | Permalink

    I think the SEC just wanted a big smackdown for the first day but am sad that one of these great Biblical men will be shutdown the first day. Please promise a return next year for that one. I went with Peter because he comforts me when I too fail Jesus.

  126. Janet's Gravatar Janet
    February 15, 2018 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Speaking as a psychologist, I have diagnosed Peter with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Impulsive type. This diagnosis usually includes having a one track mind, great persistence and high energy. God took those characteristics and used them for good, and curtailed some of his impulsivity. Paul was a narcissist and although he changed his tune, he still remained rigid, judgmental and self absorbed. My vote for heroic virtue goes to Peter!

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      February 15, 2018 - 11:01 am | Permalink

      What about the Goldwater rule? 🙂

      • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
        February 15, 2018 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

        If only someone could diagnose self-absorbed narcissists before they enter the public sphere . . .

  127. Beth's Gravatar Beth
    February 15, 2018 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Although I always felt Peter sort of dumped his wife, (he had to, right?) and Paul was much more of a Damascus moment type of guy, I had to throw my hat toward Peter because he screwed up during his time with Christ so BADLY. And he understood the power of forgiveness. He dream led people to include Gentiles. This was a hard match!

    • Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
      February 15, 2018 - 4:41 pm | Permalink

      No biblical evidence that Peter dumped his wife — it was the church patriarchy that dumped her centuries later!

  128. Malinda Abraham's Gravatar Malinda Abraham
    February 15, 2018 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, but I like Paul’s stand on inclusion – it’s something I think is missing in today’s world and something we need to get back to.

  129. Marcia's Gravatar Marcia
    February 15, 2018 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    I vote Peter for the same reason Oliver gives so succinctly. Good to see you back in the game, Oliver! We all remember you when you were just 8 years old!

  130. Suzanne Wiley's Gravatar Suzanne Wiley
    February 15, 2018 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Paul tangled with the rea;ities of creating a fellwoship. He documented the thoughts and guidelines for thee followers who heard of Jesus and of the new word. He taught us the grace of forgiveness. Peter. who learned through failure continued his role of leadership but Peter needed Paul to find and expand the numbers of Christians while Paul needed Peter to establish the actual church in which the followers could express their newfound christianity. So the dilema becomes that Paul needed Peter and Peter needed Paul. If I must chooae, it is Paul. His writings and travels led us to the faith, love and hope of the trinity of Christianity. He was humble. dying in prison. But once again Peter took the stage and asked to achieve humility through his upside down crucifixion (not verified.)

  131. Melissa's Gravatar Melissa
    February 15, 2018 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Peter. He does make me feel better about all the times I have fallen down. I like Paul, too, but sometimes he is too much… Paul.

  132. February 15, 2018 - 10:35 am | Permalink

    Totally challenging and unfair first round!!!! Both! I voted for Peter, but both had significant roles !

  133. David Blake's Gravatar David Blake
    February 15, 2018 - 10:37 am | Permalink

    If the Pauline epistles are read in isolation, and then the gospels are read in isolation, you would have the impression of two very different religions. I very much prefer the latter. Although that is not all Peter, in my mind he aligns with the gospels better than with the Pauline epistles. In other words, I somewhat agree with Thomas Jefferson. And voted for the first bishop of Rome.

  134. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    February 15, 2018 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    My heart goes out to Peter…and so does my vote. I love some of Paul’s writings, but Peter is the emotional and passionate follower often reacting before he thinks. I can totally identify with that! And so the Madness returns! Woohoo!

  135. Violagirl's Gravatar Violagirl
    February 15, 2018 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    It was Paul for me. Shout out to my old parish – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Watertown, Wisconsin! Because of that wonderful place I am a better person & Christian. Love to you all.

  136. Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
    February 15, 2018 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    Voting today for Peter. While it’s true that the Christianity we have today is that of Paul, history is written by the winners, and Paul’s brand (with its focus on sin and atonement) was not the only brand out there in the first century. I am grateful for and amazed by the work Paul did in all his travels. And I agree that Paul gets short shrift for his supposed “attitude toward women,” as both his letters and the Acts of the Apostles demonstrate his acceptance of women as leaders in the church–Priscilla, Lydia, Euodia, Syntyche, Apphia, and Mary of Rome, for starters. But Paul was not the only missionary out there. When he got to Rome, Paul visited an already established church. Who started that community?

    Neither was Paul the only one advocating the inclusion of Gentiles. Remember Peter’s vision of the sheet coming down from heaven with kosher and non-kosher food? Remember Peter and Cornelius, and Peter’s baptism of the Gentiles in Caesarea?–all before Saul came into his own.

    Sometimes Paul takes all the oxygen out of the room. Peter gets my vote.

  137. Elisa Correia's Gravatar Elisa Correia
    February 15, 2018 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    This is my 4th year, but I didn’t receive an email notice this year. Somehow my name was removed from the list. Please add put me back on the list
    Thanks. Elisa Correia, Diocese of Chicago
    ewcorreia38@gmail.com

  138. Jane Trambley's Gravatar Jane Trambley
    February 15, 2018 - 10:46 am | Permalink

    C’mon, if it weren’t for Paul, none of us would even have Jesus. Go Paul! The ultimate conversion story. If Jesus can use him, Jesus can use anybody.

  139. Robert R. Chapman's Gravatar Robert R. Chapman
    February 15, 2018 - 10:47 am | Permalink

    Paul is the person who said that there is neither male or female, Jew or Greek. He greeted a female as a fellow apostle. Paul was probably writing against the worship of false gods (fertility religions), not same-sex intimate relationships (as homosexuality wasn’t defined yet). He treated Priscilla as the head of the first European church.

    Peter would exclude me.

    Both Peter and Paul had fallen short of the glory of God. Only one seemed to fully act on any person having an advocate with the Father. This choice is simple.

    Paul.

  140. Sandi's Gravatar Sandi
    February 15, 2018 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Back in my radical Roman Catholic days I wore a button that said, “St. Peter was a married priest.” Peter it is.

  141. Annie B's Gravatar Annie B
    February 15, 2018 - 10:48 am | Permalink

    Paul sometimes gets a bad rap as sexist. Yet, he proclaims that all are equal in the body of Christ. And I appreciate his reminding me to have a grateful heart and to give thanks in all circumstances.

  142. February 15, 2018 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    This gentile’s vote goes to Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles and missionary extraordinaire. I especially appreciated Celebrity Blogger David Sibley’s write-up on St. Paul, as well as the collect for Peter.

  143. Kit Mackenzie's Gravatar Kit Mackenzie
    February 15, 2018 - 10:55 am | Permalink

    Paul lived and preached the transformative power of God’s grace, extending this Grace to all. Had to vote for inclusion.

  144. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    February 15, 2018 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    what a tough matchup! But imagine the New Testament without Paul. Untold millions have been saved by his writings–which are beautifully written on both the theological and the literary level. So I had to vote for Paul.

  145. Sara P. Howrey's Gravatar Sara P. Howrey
    February 15, 2018 - 11:02 am | Permalink

    Faith without works is dead! Go, Peter, go!

  146. February 15, 2018 - 11:03 am | Permalink

    Paul, of course, because of his encouragement of women in ministry. (Yeah, yeah, all that patriarchal stuff is overblown and misinterpreted – if indeed he even wrote it.) And because he brought the faith to new cultures, even ones he wasn’t comfortable in (Philippi) as we are all doing in the 21st Century.

  147. February 15, 2018 - 11:04 am | Permalink

    As the grandson of two Newfoundland fishing schooner captains, the patron saint of fishermen has my vote.

  148. AnnE's Gravatar AnnE
    February 15, 2018 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    Paul, for several reasons. I love reading his letters when I serve as a lector; I love his insistence on equality and grace for all; and surely Jesus had him in mind when he told Thomas that those who haven’t seen him but yet believe are blessed.

  149. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    February 15, 2018 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Why do I suspect that the rather twisted sense of humor of the Grand Poohbahs was a driving force in the choice of these two well-beloved saints on day one? As one who for too long railed against a perceived misogyny in Paul`s epistles, I have recently found a change of heart (in me and in Paul!) and have today cast my vote in his favor!

  150. Lynette the Methodista's Gravatar Lynette the Methodista
    February 15, 2018 - 11:14 am | Permalink

    As usual, before I read the write ups – I was 100% sure I would vote one way. As I read the collects to the comments, I was not so sure any more. What a great forum to wrestle with the saints. Bless the SEC and all of you.

  151. February 15, 2018 - 11:15 am | Permalink

    As a volunteer crew member on Delaware’s Tall Ship, the Kalmar Nyckel, I had to vote for Peter, the patron saint of ship builders.

  152. Greg Ridenour's Gravatar Greg Ridenour
    February 15, 2018 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    My father’s name was Paul, my middle name is Paul and my second son’s middle name is Paul. But No. 1 son is Peter and his best friend in grammar school is Andrew. I voted for Peter. Would there have been an early church without him? True enough, Paul’s writings (whoever wrote them) spread the Gospel around the Empire. But a lot of his teaching has been interpreted in ways that allow mistreatment of others especially women. If he wants my vote he is going to have to clarify himself.

  153. cayden r's Gravatar cayden r
    February 15, 2018 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    peter is a savage vote him

  154. Bee Jay's Gravatar Bee Jay
    February 15, 2018 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    Tough choice, SEC!
    I vote for Peter. Here’s why. A friend does wonderful Ignatian Quiet Days. Using guided meditation, she asked us to consider the time Jesus asked Peter and the fishermen with him to put out again. As I imagined Peter listening to the request, he said to himself: All I want to do is go home, have a hot shower, and a jug of wine and a long nap. And this guy wants me to put out in the middle of the morning??
    So often we think, or are taught, that Peter was impetuous. My imagination saw him as thoughtful, and fully human.

  155. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    February 15, 2018 - 11:27 am | Permalink

    For three days Paul was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. After his vision was restored he turned his life around. Paul has my vote!

  156. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Lucy Porter
    February 15, 2018 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the celebrity bloggers and all you commenters as well, especially including Oliver! I always read all the comments before recording my vote. This time it didn’t change, but I enjoyed reading them, and feel so blessed to be a Methodist in this wonderful Episcopal community! God bless you all and give you a joyful Lent and Eastertide.

  157. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    February 15, 2018 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Paul deserves all lauds for his inclusiveness, and some of the more troublesome epistles that are attributed to him may not have been written by him at all. However, Peter’s always been my favorite, maybe because of his foibles, and I have to go with him.

  158. KatJoy's Gravatar KatJoy
    February 15, 2018 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    Newfoundlander. Surrounded by water, for my fisher ancestors as well as those who made their nets – had to vote for Peter. But more seriously, I appreciate Peter’s foot in mouth and impulsiveness, stumblings, the sheer humanity of his story. Also if Paul had been a bit more understanding of women and our callings and gifts to the church (not to mention his homophobia) I might have been a bit more understanding.

  159. February 15, 2018 - 11:32 am | Permalink

    I voted for Peter for a couple of reasons. First, I, too, love the way he is depicted as utterly human, and therefore prone to make mistakes, in the Gospels. It makes me feel closer to him. Secondly, my brother is named Peter (though he goes by Carl), my father was named Peter, my Grandfather was named Peter…..

    Nonetheless, this was a tough vote for me because I have developed a real respect for Paul over the last several years. He used to leave me pretty cold because of his attitude toward women, etc., but I’ve come to the conclusion that as a man of his milieu, it was a logical position to hold. And we must remember all of these saints are primarily human beings belonging to a particular time and place. And so much of his writing is so loving and at the same time so thought-provoking! I always love reading from his letters on church on Sunday. He has such a distinct voice.

  160. Irene L.'s Gravatar Irene L.
    February 15, 2018 - 11:34 am | Permalink

    I have always felt that when Jesus nicknamed Simeon “Rocky,” he had his tongue firmly in cheek, with the hope that impetuous, impulsive Peter would grow into it–as, according to tradition, he did. I recognize that there are good reasons for voting for Peter. But Paul has shaped my theology for years, and I am deeply grateful to him. (Whatever else Peter was, he was not a theologian.)

    The genuine Paul was not misogynist. The misogynist passages attributed to him are the product of later writers, including the few that are interpolated into his genuine letters. The business about women covering their heads when prophesying and praying is probably genuine Paul, but note that it doesn’t occur to him that women shouldn’t be praying and prophesying on the same basis as men, just that they should cover their heads. And when he tries to explain why, he ties himself up in knots and ends up saying “Because we’ve always done it that way.” The first Episcopalian?

    Paul expected the world to end next Tuesday, so these distinctions–male/female, Jew/Greek, slave/free, young/old, native/undocumented, black/white, straight/gay/trans–are utterly trivial and should be ignored by Christians, who should treat everyone with love. He didn’t think there was time to attack the systems supporting these distinctions. While he was clearly wrong about that, his analysis is ever more applicable to our polarized world today.

    • Sandy Magnavito's Gravatar Sandy Magnavito
      February 15, 2018 - 2:52 pm | Permalink

      I agree totally with your views! You expressed them as I would if I had your gift of eloquence!!

  161. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    February 15, 2018 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    This match-up in the first round shows that these brackets should be seeded. Peter v. Paul? That’s got to be a Faithful Four race.

    • Chris Moran's Gravatar Chris Moran
      February 15, 2018 - 11:53 am | Permalink

      Absolutely! You don’t put 2 number 1 seeds against each other in the first round !

  162. Jan Van Pelt's Gravatar Jan Van Pelt
    February 15, 2018 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    Enjoying Lenten Madness online, but I signed up to receive Lenten Madness via email. Nothing in my inbox today. A friend is having the same experience. What’s up with that?

  163. Sue Goodman's Gravatar Sue Goodman
    February 15, 2018 - 11:45 am | Permalink

    What a start to the Madness! How can we choose? But – “Look to the rock” and the answer’s Peter.

  164. February 15, 2018 - 11:50 am | Permalink

    Can I vote for Oliver instead of choosing between Peter and Paul?????

    I guess not… well then, Peter it is. He may be goofy and impulsive but he demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit working in us.

  165. Megan O Jones's Gravatar Megan O Jones
    February 15, 2018 - 11:52 am | Permalink

    What a strong way to start out this Lent Madness! I really had to think about my answer, and therefore consider these two giants more carefully than before. Thank you!

  166. February 15, 2018 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul, the guy no one ever thought would follow Christ. God does amazing thing, doesn’t he?
    (And, welcome back, Oliver!)

  167. Rev. Doug McLemore's Gravatar Rev. Doug McLemore
    February 15, 2018 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    My vote is for Paul for his inclusion. Also, I suspect that his struggle with the flesh is about his own homosexuality that there was no way he could embrace at that time in history.
    I also suspect that the negative writings about women are later additions.
    I love the madness of lentmadness.
    Blessings

  168. Meredith Penfield's Gravatar Meredith Penfield
    February 15, 2018 - 11:57 am | Permalink

    I am not happy with the seeding. Peter and Paul should be ranked #1 and #2 and be one at the top and the other at the bottom of the rankings. Had to go with Peter as I have worn his shoes too many times.

  169. Brenda McHenry's Gravatar Brenda McHenry
    February 15, 2018 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I had to go with Peter. Fishermen and boatbuilders in my ancestry. But mostly it’s the “rock” designation. Those who are steady and responsible are often called rocks, and (pardon the awful pun) are sometimes taken for “granite”.

    • St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
      February 15, 2018 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Sedimentary, my dear McWatson.

      • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
        February 15, 2018 - 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Oh, that’s a good one!

  170. Jane Bucci's Gravatar Jane Bucci
    February 15, 2018 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    A little late getting started today but absolutely thrilled to have seen Oliver starting off the comments. As flaw filled, stumbling and forgiven, Peter is my man today, but as should have been expected, a tug of war between Paul and Peter didn’t make this an easy choice. So happy the Madness has once again commenced!

  171. Rose Howell's Gravatar Rose Howell
    February 15, 2018 - 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I went back and forth on this one because I appreciate both of these Apostles. Peter finally won my vote because I can best relate to him – failures, forgiveness, and restoration.

  172. Peter Misiaszek's Gravatar Peter Misiaszek
    February 15, 2018 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Peter. Not just because he is my namesake. I find Peter to be model of humility. Paul is too zealous. Peter seems to have a gentle side. If find him to be more approachable. Paul sense very black and white in his thinking – a bit to arbitrary. I’d like to have a beer with Peter.

  173. anne adkins's Gravatar anne adkins
    February 15, 2018 - 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Fishermen and boatbuilders in my Norsk ancestry as well but got to go with Paul as the man of the times, preaching the transformation of God’s grace of which I am an unworthy and humble recipient and breaking down the walls of social distinction which so separate brother from brother in these days and times. Go Paul!!!

  174. Trevor Newman's Gravatar Trevor Newman
    February 15, 2018 - 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I just had to vote for Paul. He wrote a majority of the New Testement and argued with Peter to include Gentiles in the early church. The book of Romans and 1 & 2 Corinthians have done so much for me I feel almost indebted to vote for Paul.

  175. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    February 15, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Has there ever been a tie? I assume the SEC has a method for determining a winner in the event of a tie. Perhaps a controversial coin flip?

  176. Hazel Morgan's Gravatar Hazel Morgan
    February 15, 2018 - 12:17 pm | Permalink

    My husband, Paul, and I have been married almost 65 years. I must vote for Paul!

  177. Georgene Kruzel's Gravatar Georgene Kruzel
    February 15, 2018 - 12:18 pm | Permalink

    What a gut-wrenching choice! I had to vote for Paul. From persecutor to evangelist through a massive conversion event. I know that Paul stood on the shoulders of Peter (as a Catholic I am a believer in apostolic succession), but Paul’s persistent efforts for gentile conversion nudges out Peter in my heart by a sliver .

  178. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    February 15, 2018 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Evil decision as always as I visited the churches where both are buried over Christmas, but I ultimately had to go with Paul because of a personal experience of grace in the last few weeks, as well as his profound impact on the Church. Peter’s witnessed after denying Christ gives me strength though.

  179. Julia's Gravatar Julia
    February 15, 2018 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    This was a toughie. I was leaning toward Paul because of his conversion, but then went with Peter. Peter walked the road with Jesus and Loved him dearly. Peter shows me how to accept forgiveness with humility and sincerity; to learn the lesson and move on.

  180. Randy Marks's Gravatar Randy Marks
    February 15, 2018 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I forwarded today’s email to my church yahoo group to let them know about Lent Madness. I said: “The first match up (below) shows they don’t seed the saints the way the NCAA does.” I mean this match up is like Villanova vs Virginia in the round of 64. What’s up with that? Where are the patsy saints that the big ones can slay in the first 5 minutes so they can save their strength for the truly hard matches. Plus that allows for David vs Goliath matches where the improbable saint topples one of the big powerhouses (like Peter, Paul, John, John the Baptist, etc.). Another problem with the seeding is that this choice is hard. Having just gone to church yesterday (on a WEDNESDAY), why do I have to work this hard to discern the top saint? I thought our God was merciful. 🙂

  181. Jim Wiant's Gravatar Jim Wiant
    February 15, 2018 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. He always gets a bad rap for what people think he felt about women. New scholarship presents a much different picture. Many of things folks hold against Paul were added later to bring Paul’s teachings in line with the church. Read The Authentic Letters of Paul by or the short book on Paul by Karen Armstrong. We studied both in our group and members came away with a greater respect for this great apostle that brought the teaching of Christ to the known world.

  182. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    February 15, 2018 - 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Yay, Oliver!
    I’ve always leaned toward Peter because like him, I open my mouth to change feet, way too often. Rock on!!

  183. Lou Ritter's Gravatar Lou Ritter
    February 15, 2018 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Peter is always my “first saint” because I tend to blurt out things that come to mind and then think later “oops, not a good idea”. I live within the redemption and continuing to try to move forward–until the next “oops”–with Peter as my model.
    I do love the passage in Paul on inclusion and especially nothing can separate us from the love of God. But still have to vote for Peter.

  184. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    February 15, 2018 - 12:37 pm | Permalink

    What a hard choice this one is!! I’ve always loved Paul’s voice for inclusion (what Episcopalian doesn’t?). But in the end I went with Peter because of his willingness to be foolish for Jesus. He asked the necessary questions and got sometimes confusing answers. Jesus loved him anyway and always forgave him. This is so parallel to my own Spiritual journey that I had to vote for him. So glad to be a part of Lent Madness this year. This is my first time.

  185. Sue's Gravatar Sue
    February 15, 2018 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I see we are hitting the ground running!
    This is already tough, but I voted for Peter because he reminds us that redemption is not “one and done.” We need and receive God’s grace over and over again.

  186. john w miller's Gravatar john w miller
    February 15, 2018 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    This was tough for me…depends on the mood and circumstances in which I find myself. Paul was really a pioneer and an awesome theologian…and probably was the chief organizer of the church. But my heart is with Peter—sometimes clumsy, sometimes loud…but with all his faults he shows deep and brave love for the Lord (as indicated in some comments by others here

  187. Rhee's Gravatar Rhee
    February 15, 2018 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Woah! Vote is so close!!

  188. Chrissie's Gravatar Chrissie
    February 15, 2018 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Having to choose between Peter and Paul is like having to pick your favorite child–depends on the time of day, no?
    What a (mean) way to start the Madness!!

    That said, here goes nothing.

    • Jim Wiant's Gravatar Jim Wiant
      February 15, 2018 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

      It is “mean” To rule out Peter or Paul on day one?!

  189. Yol's Gravatar Yol
    February 15, 2018 - 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Paul because of his conversion from persecutor of the church to an evangelist to the world!!

  190. February 15, 2018 - 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Oliver, you read my mind! Voting for Peter at age 58.

  191. Marian Miller's Gravatar Marian Miller
    February 15, 2018 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    My husband and I share a computer but have our own email addresses. Does this mean that we can only vote once and have to negotiate which saint we support?

  192. LK Richardson's Gravatar LK Richardson
    February 15, 2018 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Peter was rock-solid, yet vulnerable. My kind of guy, my kind of saint.

  193. Ann B.'s Gravatar Ann B.
    February 15, 2018 - 1:01 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough opening for Lent. I didn’t get a chance to read all the comments, but there are many on Paul being more inclusive. I did not see any mention of Peter’s conversion of heart as told in Acts 10 when he is called to Cornelius the centurion’s home –
    “34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
    Peter does learn from his mistakes and is open to having his heart changed when he recognizes a message from God, even though he believed he had already learned what he needed to from Jesus himself.

  194. Anne Clayton's Gravatar Anne Clayton
    February 15, 2018 - 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The toughest vote in my Lent Madness Voting History. After eating a Lentil Cookie, it became clear – St. Paul. Tireless in his travels to spread the gospel he is an inspiration to me. His conversion is Amazing Grace material.

  195. February 15, 2018 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Paul’s words sustain me and I want them to do the same as my offspring grow and change. The Collect is great. I, also wish, that Peter and Paul had not come so early in the match up.

  196. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    February 15, 2018 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Such a hard choice. I voted for Paul because of 1 Corinthians 13.

  197. February 15, 2018 - 1:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s about 10:00am (Pacific Standard Time), and the results are neck and neck: Paul has 2,478 votes and Peter has 2,476 votes.

    Never thought that the tallies could be so close; but, it’s early yet, and there’s plenty of time for my pick (Paul) to further grow the lead.

    How can you not vote for Paul, the guy who penned 1 Corinthians 13?

    Blessings,

    Cynthia
    Trinity + St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
    San Francisco
    (1st time our congregation is participating in Lent Madness – very glad that it is!)

    • Jim Wiant's Gravatar Jim Wiant
      February 15, 2018 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Cynthia….St. George’s/St. Alban’s is doing this too. Go Paul!

  198. Charles Noell Marvin, Jr., M.D.'s Gravatar Charles Noell Marvin, Jr., M.D.
    February 15, 2018 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    CharMar
    I am a graduate of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.
    The conversion of Saul to Paul on the road to Damascus touches my soul.

    • Anna's Gravatar Anna
      February 15, 2018 - 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Fellow Paulie here! But in spite of many a Conversion of Saul evensong sermon, I had to go for Peter.

  199. February 15, 2018 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Peter. He’s not so wordy.

  200. Lynn Bonney's Gravatar Lynn Bonney
    February 15, 2018 - 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I vote from my phone. My husband votes from his laptop. Will our votes be counted?

  201. Dibbie Appleton's Gravatar Dibbie Appleton
    February 15, 2018 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Too bad these two BIG names are stacked against each other
    so early in the game. Love Peter, but how can I vote against
    Paul who reached out to followers, founded churches and even, from behind bars, continued to teach and strengthen the church.

  202. Gail Crouch's Gravatar Gail Crouch
    February 15, 2018 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Several friends in the Seattle area cannot seem to subscribe/join up with LM. Are you having computer issues?

  203. Margaret D's Gravatar Margaret D
    February 15, 2018 - 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Tough choice, but it was Peter who taught me that we can be forgiven, even for serious betrayal. So he gets my vote today.

  204. Roxanne Sawyerr's Gravatar Roxanne Sawyerr
    February 15, 2018 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I voted for peter

  205. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    February 15, 2018 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already commented twice as replies, but three’s a charm, right? I am GLAD that this round put Peter against Paul. Otherwise, both of them would likely have forged ahead over other worthy saints who wouldn’t have had a chance. I’m delighted that either Genesius or Quiteria will make it to the Saintly 16, even though I have no idea who either one is. I agree with an earlier comment — let today’s loser appear in a future Lent Madness.

  206. William W's Gravatar William W
    February 15, 2018 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Paul, because he wrote most of the new testament. No one has more direct influence on Christian thought and theology, second only to Jesus.

    Paul also was the one who made the case to Peter that non Jews have a place in God’s family. Peter also is well known as being critical of women leaders (evidenced in the Gospel of Mary), where Paul regularly upheld and celebrated women, such as the Acts of Paul and Thecla.

  207. Tammie Taylor's Gravatar Tammie Taylor
    February 15, 2018 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    My vote was easy – for Peter, bringing him within one vote of a literal tie with Paul. Is there overtime in Lent Madness????
    Why Peter – because of the faith it took for him to BEGIN his journey with Jesus. No blinding light, no voice from heaven for this simple fisherman. Just a word from his brother . . . a simple invitation to follow a new leader AND HE DID!

    • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
      February 15, 2018 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Great observation, Tammie. Loving today’s comments.

  208. Smikhail22's Gravatar Smikhail22
    February 15, 2018 - 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Paul is great he included the gentiles and he had great conversion story but I voted Peter he is chosen to be the rock he has a pure heart that could see Jesus the son of God he had his failures but he was still loved and forgiven we have our failures too but we know that God is merciful once we are sorry and start over

  209. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    February 15, 2018 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Starting off with a very difficult decision but I’m going with Paul. Not because I’ve ever fully forgiven him for the hate he spewed when he was Saul, but mostly because I love the openings he writes to the friends and new Christians he has met on his travels. Whenever I hear one of Pauls letters I feel the love he sends and the encouragement he offers.

  210. Lindsay's Gravatar Lindsay
    February 15, 2018 - 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Wow! A 50-50 toss up!

  211. February 15, 2018 - 1:50 pm | Permalink

    This was the hardest vote…. both being at the heart of our faith. I went with Peter only because he is my favorite saint as your writer put it precisely because he failed so before he got it right. Probably the story of most of our lives…. certainly mine.
    Blessings
    Len Freeman +

  212. Linda DelaCruz's Gravatar Linda DelaCruz
    February 15, 2018 - 2:05 pm | Permalink

    The very first match up and you didn’t make it easy! I voted for Peter beacause was so much like all of us, flawed, humble, sometimes arrogant sinners.

  213. Linda DelaCruz's Gravatar Linda DelaCruz
    February 15, 2018 - 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The very first match up and you didn’t make it easy! I voted for Peter beacause he was so much like all of us, flawed, humble, sometimes arrogant sinners. A very down to earth every day man who always kept trying to do better.

  214. Katrina Soto's Gravatar Katrina Soto
    February 15, 2018 - 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I have learned that not everything attributed to Paul was actually his work. He did so much to spread the teachings of Jesus. His actions were supportive of women, even though he purportedly spoke against them. But that may not have been authentic. Paul gets my vote.

  215. David Horwath's Gravatar David Horwath
    February 15, 2018 - 2:21 pm | Permalink

    THis was a difficult choice butI voted for Paul because he had had more influence within Christianity than Peter. Unfortunately we could not vote a tie.

  216. Therese Chaplin's Gravatar Therese Chaplin
    February 15, 2018 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Oliver, good to see you back! Today was a very tough vote but I had to go for Peter.

  217. Jean Abbe's Gravatar Jean Abbe
    February 15, 2018 - 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Peter changed his mind about inclusiveness. Remember his dream in Acts 10 about the “unclean animals”.

  218. Satori Susan's Gravatar Satori Susan
    February 15, 2018 - 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I chose Paul today for including Gentiles at the table. By reaching across the table and welcoming others may we eat in peace together.

    Glad to have you back, Oliver.

  219. Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
    February 15, 2018 - 2:35 pm | Permalink

    An idea for the SEC – It would me nice to have a widget or app that just shows the results so that we can keep up with them. Especially when the race is as close as today’s!

  220. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    February 15, 2018 - 2:38 pm | Permalink

    All who go with Peter, because he knew Jesus, well Paul believed and didn’t know him! Paul speaks to us all…. had to go with him.

    • Anita's Gravatar Anita
      February 15, 2018 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

      I did not think of that thank you

  221. Michael Backlund's Gravatar Michael Backlund
    February 15, 2018 - 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. While Peter had the good fortune to know the historical Jesus, Paul did not. Even so, he committed himself to the Jesus Movement when he became convinced of it, and had the saintly courage to speak boldly to authority and to insist on the inclusion of everyone without regard to status.

  222. Sandy Magnavito's Gravatar Sandy Magnavito
    February 15, 2018 - 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Paul argued with Peter about including Gentiles in their evangelist teachings. He fought for inclusivenes so I think he was ahead of his times!

  223. John the other Verger's Gravatar John the other Verger
    February 15, 2018 - 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Paul – man is this really close.
    Christianity is very Pauline. The legacy of his evangelism lives on!
    And he is hanging tough against ‘the Rock’

  224. Anita's Gravatar Anita
    February 15, 2018 - 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Peter was my choice although I was torn between them both. But because Peter demonstrates how we can not always walk the ways but are subject to mistakes I voted for him.

  225. Heather's Gravatar Heather
    February 15, 2018 - 3:02 pm | Permalink

    All of the above about Peter and Paul. I voted for Paul because he is more inclusive, he emphasized grace, hope, and love, he was good at helping the churches order themselves (think Corinth), he tried to keep early Christians from going off the theological rails (think the Galatians, Romans–ok, all of his epistles), and think of how many times he was given a drubbing and jailed by those who found him offensive. Travel was not easy in those days either. He had a day job, too! Finally, I serve at a church named St. Paul’s. Loyalty counts.

    • Tina Reich's Gravatar Tina Reich
      February 16, 2018 - 12:52 am | Permalink

      You said it Heather! Thank you. I agree wholeheartedly ❤️

  226. February 15, 2018 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Peter. As a second year EfMer, we are reading Paul’s letters and he has annoyed me to no end.

    • William's Gravatar William
      February 15, 2018 - 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Much of the nasty stuff attributed to Paul is actually redacted material added by others. He was pretty forward thinking and open for his day. Hopefully your EfM class goes over that.

  227. Grace's Gravatar Grace
    February 15, 2018 - 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I think the SEC sits around contemplating how to create maddening match-ups. Remember when they put the Wesley brothers against each other? Or the two Augustines?

  228. Jimmy Bishop's Gravatar Jimmy Bishop
    February 15, 2018 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. We know Peter was Roman Catholic, so Paul was obviously Episcopalian!

  229. evelyn dean casey's Gravatar evelyn dean casey
    February 15, 2018 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    why do we vote for the saint we don’t want to vote for when we want to vote for the saint we want to win?
    Come on people, vote for PAUL! Where would we be without his run on sentences and temptations of the flesh?
    Sure, Peter made mistakes and couldn’t quite grasp all that Jesus tried to tell him. But Paul had a conversion, was blind and could see what he had to do! What if he hadn’t taken that trip to Damascus? What if we choose not to vote for him? What will we not see?

  230. Gail Greene's Gravatar Gail Greene
    February 15, 2018 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

    This is my first lent madness. I’m excited to participate.
    I voted for Paul because of his inclusiveness. While I relate to Peter due to my failings and shortsightedness, Peter seemed to fail to grasp Jesus’ call to love everyone, including the gentiles. Paul seemed to grasp the broader scope of that redeeming love.

  231. Tom Coleman's Gravatar Tom Coleman
    February 15, 2018 - 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Dear SEC, this was not a nice thing for a couple of priests to do. Peter and Paul should not
    be in the same year, let alone the same day. Where would the Church be without Peter and
    Paul. I love them both. But chose I must. I will go with Peter simply because Jesus said that he
    was the rock upon which I will build my Church and I don’t want to start Lent arguing with
    Jesus. Also it means a lot to me that Peter seems to be the unofficial Patron of all of us
    screw ups. Paul also means so much to me, the way God worked with him to completely
    change and spending his whole life bringing people to our Lord and vice versa. WOW
    I sure wish I was a lot more like him.
    Tim and Scott I hope you are kinder in the coming weeks. [ it is Lent]

  232. Just Joyce's Gravatar Just Joyce
    February 15, 2018 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh – this was a tough one!

  233. Cindy Fleming's Gravatar Cindy Fleming
    February 15, 2018 - 3:31 pm | Permalink

    The SEC are truly nefarious!

  234. Constance Santana's Gravatar Constance Santana
    February 15, 2018 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

    And we’re off and running Will read the bios after voting this time because I am a Peter person from the get go. Go Peter!

  235. Mary-Theresa Anderson's Gravatar Mary-Theresa Anderson
    February 15, 2018 - 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Paul. His transformation gave him the grace to become the one who started Christianity. He also was adamant about inclusion of Jews and Gentiles.

  236. Keith Davis's Gravatar Keith Davis
    February 15, 2018 - 3:44 pm | Permalink

    The Madness begins like a jolt of espresso, black, no sugar, no cream. Love it!

  237. Melangell's Gravatar Melangell
    February 15, 2018 - 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t even gotten to the end of the comments yet, there are so many! I am definitely going with Paul. I used to be disturbed by what I thought of as Paul’s ant- woman bias but as I matured and read more widely, I came to appreciate the perspectives that many pro-Paul voters shared. Inclusivity and Love! Plus Peter was rather snotty about Mary Magdalene in some of the hidden writings.

  238. Kathi Tiltman's Gravatar Kathi Tiltman
    February 15, 2018 - 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I feel bad disagreeing with Oliver on the first day but I had to go with Paul this time as he is the first I know to declare we are ALL equal in God’s eyes ” he writes in the Epistle to the Galatians, social distinction must break down when all become part of the body of Christ: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Thanks for being back in our daily lives

  239. PaulaB's Gravatar PaulaB
    February 15, 2018 - 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I had to vote for Paul because I believe he was both Martyr and a saint. He lived as a Christian and was arrested and imprisoned more than once for doing God’s work. I see Paul at work in our society today. Vote Paul!!!

  240. Lois Strait's Gravatar Lois Strait
    February 15, 2018 - 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Two other reasons to vote for Paul. My son’s name is of course Paul and he was sent to Strait Street in Damascus

  241. Linda Morgan's Gravatar Linda Morgan
    February 15, 2018 - 4:12 pm | Permalink

    This was a very difficult choice. I can really relate to the Peter who says things that come out wrong and who gives in to fear and hides from the consequences of what he knows to be true. But then Peter receives the Holy Spirit and is completely transformed. He still makes mistakes, but he is no longer afraid. He speaks with power and authority and becomes the spokesman for the group. His sermon on Pentecost marks the founding of the church, but without Paul I suspect it would have remained a sect of Judaism.
    As a person, I find Paul much harder to relate to– always so sure of himself and what he is doing. Paul’s experience with Jesus made a complete change in the direction of his life, but it didn’t change who he was. For all of those reasons, I was leaning toward Peter, but in the end I had to choose Paul because whether or not we like the direction the church has taken his teachings, without him, I don’t think there would be a Christian church.

  242. February 15, 2018 - 4:13 pm | Permalink

    “Their grand purple, if imaginary, chariot…”

  243. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    February 15, 2018 - 4:23 pm | Permalink

    So glad you are back, Oliver. You were missed! For me it is Paul all the way. He may have been complicated, but “he persisted.”

  244. Adelaide Kent's Gravatar Adelaide Kent
    February 15, 2018 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    SEC- what happens if we have a dead heat?

  245. Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
    February 15, 2018 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Back and forth between these two, I finally chose Paul, because, as the prayer notes, “you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world…”

  246. Naomi's Gravatar Naomi
    February 15, 2018 - 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Adelaide – I was wondering this same thing. It is so close!

  247. Donna Kerry's Gravatar Donna Kerry
    February 15, 2018 - 4:46 pm | Permalink

    There’s a Rolling Stones song “Saint of Me” that starts with:
    “Saint Paul the persecutor
    Was a cruel and sinful man
    Jesus hit him with a blinding light
    And then his life began
    I said yeah
    I said yeah”
    I say yeah to voting for Paul.

    • Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
      February 15, 2018 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Yeah for this1

      • Peggy Hans's Gravatar Peggy Hans
        February 15, 2018 - 7:35 pm | Permalink

        That should be Yeah for this!

  248. harlie youngblood's Gravatar harlie youngblood
    February 15, 2018 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Peter and Paul both had faults, both made mistakes. But scripture doesn’t go into detail about Paul’s faults, aside from his persecution of the Church. This was a grave sin, but he committed it as (of course) an unbeliever. Peter, on the other hand, made his blunders while being a follower of Christ. This gives all Christians hope and comfort, that, even though we blow it many times in our walk with Jesus, he still offers us forgiveness and healing. So I voted for Peter.

  249. Beverly A Duncan's Gravatar Beverly A Duncan
    February 15, 2018 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    The joy of getting in on this late in the day is that there are so many comments to read. That is also the difficulty.
    Firstly- Welcome Back Oliver. It will be so good to have your reasoned comments again.
    Whew – the choices should all be easier after Peter & Paul. I was tempted to toss a coin, but that would be a coward’s way out. My heart goes with Peter for his capacity for putting his foot squarely in his mouth so often, but I eventually voted for Paul as he really got the early church rolling and off to a momentous start. I had no love for him for many years but after reading Marcus Borg’s books I took
    another deeper look at him, setting prejudice aside. Learning that he may not have authored the rules set down for women helped also! Peter and Paul are both such giants in faith it is totally unfair of the SEC to pit them against each other!!!

  250. Lisa Keppeler's Gravatar Lisa Keppeler
    February 15, 2018 - 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Though I suspect that Lent Madness would not be a thing if not for Paul, I do not suffer narcissists gladly and often annoyed by his convoluted boasts of his humility. For that reason, and because I need St. Foot-in-mouth-and-heart-on-sleeve, because he gives me hope that God might have use even of me, my vote goes to Peter.

  251. Marie Jones (Mama J)'s Gravatar Marie Jones (Mama J)
    February 15, 2018 - 5:02 pm | Permalink

    AAARRRGHH! Why do you do this to us?! I literally flipped a coin on this one and let the Spirit choose.

  252. Timothy Paul Tolar's Gravatar Timothy Paul Tolar
    February 15, 2018 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I went for Paul. His inclusiveness was a big factor… also he has my middle name.

  253. February 15, 2018 - 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Greetings from Australia!
    Why not have a super-heavyweight match-up in the first match??? But really???
    Voted for Peter, according to the same logic used by the noted Oliver, i.e. Peter “learned from his mistakes”.
    However, I hope Paul’s vote won’t be spoiled by some of the material written in the decades after Paul’s death by people using Paul’s name, i.e. the misogynistic stuff.

    • February 15, 2018 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

      As well, my main issue with Paul is his association with (at least) the beginning of the destructive notion that “getting your theology right” is a prerequisite to having a positive relationship with God. This notion has spiralled over the centuries, so that an idea that began as prayerful contemplation in Paul became poetry with the early Church Fathers, prose with the Reformers, legalism with the 19th century revivalists, and absolute gibberish in the hands of some “evangelicals” today. While I won’t totally blame Paul for the inanities of some contemporary Christians, nevertheless, the chain of ideas is present.

  254. Catherine W Huber's Gravatar Catherine W Huber
    February 15, 2018 - 5:22 pm | Permalink

    If you are facing a difficulty and a quote from one of Paul’s actual letters comes to mind, go look it up. The wisdom you need is on both sides of that quote every time.

  255. Dan Helming's Gravatar Dan Helming
    February 15, 2018 - 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Paul is the giant of wisdom of Christianity applied to eternity. Peter happened to be around.

  256. Charlie Huebner's Gravatar Charlie Huebner
    February 15, 2018 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

    VOTE FOR PETE HE DESERVES IT! HE IS LITERALLY THE ROCK OF OUR RELIGION!

  257. February 15, 2018 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I love Peter. He makes me laugh, and he gives me hope.

  258. Sudie B's Gravatar Sudie B
    February 15, 2018 - 5:59 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough one for me. Without Paul, I wonder where we would all be. But Oliver influenced my ultimate vote for Peter. He did learn from his mistakes. And I am married to a Peter who also is a rock.

  259. Lisa Leadley's Gravatar Lisa Leadley
    February 15, 2018 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Paul initially in my life was a source of great anger in me because of how I perceived his view on women. But I gradually came to look at Paul through more mature eyes and heart. My own Pauline conversion was aided by my little brother, who is an Anglican priest in Tokyo, Japan who boldly told me I wasn’t worthy enough to kiss Paul’s big toe if I held to my biases towards him…

  260. Teddy's Gravatar Teddy
    February 15, 2018 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I think that everybody has to vote for peter because peter is the best saint not Paul.

  261. February 15, 2018 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Hard decision! I think both have qualities that are great. I love many of the beautiful phrases in Paul’s letters and think his works really help spread the church for all of us. His stress on inclusivity is still important today. He still comes over to me as sort of cold and distant. I love the humanness of Peter–I can relate to him. The SEC asked the writers this year who they would pick to have a meal with. For this, would certainly pick Peter. However for overall impact, I had to vote for Paul. I think both add so much.

  262. Patricia Premo's Gravatar Patricia Premo
    February 15, 2018 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Most difficult decision I had to make today. But being a gentile and female Paul gets my vote.

  263. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    February 15, 2018 - 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Paul’s writing always calls to me. He seems to be clearer for me to understand.

  264. Person#2's Gravatar Person#2
    February 15, 2018 - 6:48 pm | Permalink

    #PETER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  265. Patricia White's Gravatar Patricia White
    February 15, 2018 - 6:49 pm | Permalink

    What time does voting end?

  266. Marge Trenkle's Gravatar Marge Trenkle
    February 15, 2018 - 6:51 pm | Permalink

    One of the things that has always struck me about Peter is that he obviously shared his weaknesses with others rather than trying to put on a false face or feeling that as a leader he had to pretend he was perfect. The church knows about all of the weaknesses and mistakes he had because he was willing to share them and really live out that his strength was in the cross not just his own virtues or personal strength. Paul had a huge impact on the church of his time and today but what Peter did in sharing his weaknesses has also formed who we are as a church.

  267. Tessa's Gravatar Tessa
    February 15, 2018 - 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I read the write-ups and wondered if Paul was the patron saint of any group. Yes, he is:
    St. Paul is the patron saint of missionaries, evangelists, writers, journalists, authors, public workers, rope and saddle makers, and tent makers.
    source: http://www.catholic.org/

  268. Dave Boy Burdetteson's Gravatar Dave Boy Burdetteson
    February 15, 2018 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Come on, people! The fisherman actually knew the Son of God enough to get over his shame at first denying him tto go to his death for the Good News. The former Pharisee convert’s intellectual arrogance infects way too much of his stuff!

  269. Alison Earles's Gravatar Alison Earles
    February 15, 2018 - 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Peter’s Denial (tune – A Froggy Went A-Courting)

    Simon Peter my beloved friend, um hm, um hm
    Simon Peter my beloved friend, um hm, um hm
    Simon Peter my beloved friend, You’ll deny me in the end.
    Um hm, um hm, um hm

    No Messiah, it’s not true, um hm, um hm
    No Messiah, it’s not true, um hm, um hm
    No Messiah, it’s not true, I will always stay with you.
    Um hm, um hm, um hm.

    Pete, before the roosters sing, um hm, um hm
    Pete, before the roosters sing, um hm, um hm
    Pete, before the roosters sing, three times you’ll deny your king.
    Um hm, um hm, um hm.

    Weren’t you with him yesterday? um hm, um hm
    Weren’t you with him yesterday? um, um hm
    Weren’t you with him yesterday? Your accent sure gives you away!
    Um hm, um hm, um hm

    Three times Peter swore “No way,” um hm, um hm.
    Three times Peter swore “No way,” um hm, um hm.
    Three times Peter swore “No way,” “I’ve never seen that man, I say!”
    Um hm, um hm, um hm.

    Then the morning rooster crew, um hm, um hm.
    Then the morning rooster crew, um hm, um hm.
    Then the morning rooster crew, thrice denied and cock-a-doodle doo.
    Um hm, um hm, um hm.

    Sing the Bible! Please feel free to sing and share this song I wrote in 2004. Happy Lent!

    • Joy's Gravatar Joy
      February 15, 2018 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Love, love, love it!

      • Alison Earles's Gravatar Alison Earles
        February 15, 2018 - 9:37 pm | Permalink

        So glad! I haven’t sung the songs I wrote in 2004 for years and years!

    • Michelle's Gravatar Michelle
      February 15, 2018 - 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the song.

  270. John Crittenden's Gravatar John Crittenden
    February 15, 2018 - 7:47 pm | Permalink

    PAUL
    I just thought he had a harder row with his faith , a more difficult conversion, so much to explain and to overcome. His life seems to be more in question, then and now. If properly quoted, Jesus asked slaves to obey their masters and to stay in their current situation. So as a liberal “Episcopalian” I have joy for liberation theology and wonder why The church, and our denomination have taken 2000 years to take issue formally with such Biblical interpretations.

  271. Isobel's Gravatar Isobel
    February 15, 2018 - 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Right off the bat I was faced with a difficult choice between Peter and Paul. I love Peter, he is so eager in his love for Jesus, rushing in, making mistakes, but repenting and being forgiven. It’s easy to identify with Peter. In the end, though, I voted for Paul because he was inclusive – and while it’s sometimes difficult to follow his run-on sentences in the NT, he also wrote some absolutely wonderful, uplifting passages.

  272. McKenzie S.'s Gravatar McKenzie S.
    February 15, 2018 - 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Had to go with Pete on this one. I identify with the way he whole-heartedly dives into screw-ups. 🙂

  273. Annie's Gravatar Annie
    February 15, 2018 - 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Paul: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

  274. RuthAnn's Gravatar RuthAnn
    February 15, 2018 - 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Are all of the pair-offs this close, or is this because it’s Peter and Paul????

  275. Andrew (age 6)'s Gravatar Andrew (age 6)
    February 15, 2018 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Paul because he teaches us that sometimes we have to change our ideas and listen closely to God.

  276. Margaret's Gravatar Margaret
    February 15, 2018 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Wise beyond your years, Andrew!

  277. Sue Merritt's Gravatar Sue Merritt
    February 15, 2018 - 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Looking over ALL of these comments is a joy! How wonderful that this match-up roster invites so many of us to share our Faith! Whether St. Peter or St. Paul is today’s winner…we all win by being involved. Thanks to Everyone

  278. Elizabeth Pennington's Gravatar Elizabeth Pennington
    February 15, 2018 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Paul scares me, Peter comforts me..

  279. Lucy's Gravatar Lucy
    February 15, 2018 - 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Paul got my vote.There are times when I think about him and how he was tried often.When I am going through trials I think of him praying that sometimes he did that which was wrong instead of doing good that he desired to do.I am thankful for Paul’s teachings.

  280. Susan's Gravatar Susan
    February 15, 2018 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I never thought I’d vote for Paul because he seems so egotistical at times, while Peter is more down to earth and willing to admit his faults. But I voted for Paul because of the beauty of his language and the impact he has made on billions of people through the centuries.

  281. February 15, 2018 - 9:01 pm | Permalink

    S0 somebody thought it would be fun to cheat on the first day of Lent Madness . . . I doubt that either Paul or Peter would be pleased . . . Both of them learned some very hard lessons about thinking they knew what was best . . .

  282. February 15, 2018 - 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Did Sarah Saunders Huckabee have the day off? That ballot stuffing did occur in Little Rock.

  283. Judy Bye's Gravatar Judy Bye
    February 15, 2018 - 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Peter, because I don’t like Paul Ryan who quotes the worst of St. Paul. Welcome back Oliver, you are the best!

  284. Wendy's Gravatar Wendy
    February 15, 2018 - 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Paul has always been a favorite of mine. He made huge mistakes by persecuting Christians but God chose him to spread the Good News to all Jews & Gentiles alike. He had a major impact on the Christian community across Europe & the Middle East due to his status as a Roman. If God used someone like Paul to spread His Word than I believe he’s also using a sinner such as I.

  285. Beth Rockwell's Gravatar Beth Rockwell
    February 15, 2018 - 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Choose between St. Peter and St. Paul?
    Impossible!!
    At a very low time in my life, I was overwhelmed by the way our Savior forgave Peter his sin of denial. I love his Holy Spirit-inspired speech at Pentecost. I love his restlessness to get back to fishing after the Resurrection and how our Risen Lord met them on the beach for breakfast after an unsuccessful night of fishing, and the huge haul they made after following His directions. For his humanity and his faith, Peter it is.

  286. Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
    February 15, 2018 - 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I remember a priest pointing out that Peter had to be told everything three times before he got it. I can be that way sometimes. That’s why I identify with Peter.

  287. LoisAnne's Gravatar LoisAnne
    February 15, 2018 - 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I have always been impressed that Jesus appeared to Paul and turned Paul’s life around. Also I think Paul’s writings have been so important to the church. Without them we would know so little about the history of the early church. So, although I can identify with Peter in many ways, I feel we are more beholden to Paul.

  288. Margaret Morrison's Gravatar Margaret Morrison
    February 15, 2018 - 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Both these men were critical to the formation of Christianity…it is next to impossible to choose one over the other…they both are the “Creme de la Creme”

  289. Evelyn Wheeler's Gravatar Evelyn Wheeler
    February 15, 2018 - 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Peter. He included gentiles, too, and he never told slaves to obey their masters.

  290. Judy from Cape Cod's Gravatar Judy from Cape Cod
    February 15, 2018 - 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Paul got my vote for his evangelism. He traveled far and wide to invite everyone to hear the good news of hope and indeed did “make disciples of all nations”.

  291. Sue Nixon's Gravatar Sue Nixon
    February 15, 2018 - 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Paul easily has my vote. Just reread the first sentence of this biography. That pretty much says it all.

    • Nola Crawford's Gravatar Nola Crawford
      February 15, 2018 - 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Jesus cured Peter’s mother-in-law,but what ever happened to Peter’s wife?
      Paul had a low opinion of women. Seriously Jesus transformed both men’s lives &
      Peter & Paul became faith- filled spiritual leaders. Isn’t it wonderful that God loves us
      flaws & all. Tough choice, but I voted for Paul.

  292. LYNN WILSON's Gravatar LYNN WILSON
    February 15, 2018 - 10:48 pm | Permalink

    If I can’t decide between Peter and Paul, can I vote for Mary? #CravingAMoundsCandyBarForSomeReason

  293. Suzanne's Gravatar Suzanne
    February 15, 2018 - 11:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m going for Peter. A humble fisherman who got a second chance. Also, my brother’s Name is Peter!

  294. Karen Gullett's Gravatar Karen Gullett
    February 15, 2018 - 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Paul. He was the subject of my first Sunday school class as a teacher and as so often happens, I know I learned more than my students ever did and his inspiration has kept me curious to know more about all of the Saints. What a welcome way to start Lenten Madness!

  295. February 15, 2018 - 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Although I belong to St. Paul’s in Alexandria VA, I have to not for Peter as my “little brother” is Peter!

  296. Peter Jensen's Gravatar Peter Jensen
    February 15, 2018 - 11:40 pm | Permalink

    I have to vote for Peter – He’s my namesake!
    Though, I often wonder how my parents were so prescient. How many times I have to extract my foot from my mouth.

  297. Bill Loring's Gravatar Bill Loring
    February 15, 2018 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Peter, because of my own failings, and because he was the first to go to the Gentiles and kept it up for the rest of his life.

  298. Bill Loring's Gravatar Bill Loring
    February 15, 2018 - 11:59 pm | Permalink

    PS. Luke, not Paul, was the largest contributor to the NT.

  299. James Lodwick's Gravatar James Lodwick
    February 16, 2018 - 12:06 am | Permalink

    Good write-ups, but I believe Jesus gave Peter the name Cephas (Rock), not Andrew, as the author of this bio implies. I love both these great saints. I voted for Peter because I love his impetuous enthusiasm for Jesus and his showing us by example how to repent and accept forgiveness (though of course Paul did so too in his own way).

  300. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    February 16, 2018 - 12:08 am | Permalink

    Tough match up, but it’s a great way to start Lent Madness! I’ve learned a lot from reading all the comments. Happy Ash Thursday!

    • andrea's Gravatar andrea
      February 16, 2018 - 12:11 am | Permalink

      I voted for Peter because he is the patron saint of shipbuilders.

  301. James (my true name, but no St. preceding)'s Gravatar James (my true name, but no St. preceding)
    February 16, 2018 - 12:11 am | Permalink

    To the S.E.C., My wife and I share this e-mail address (our only one), so you will likely see two votes per day – and they may not agree, so we’re not stuffing the ballot box!

  302. Jimmy Bishop's Gravatar Jimmy Bishop
    February 16, 2018 - 12:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks.

  303. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    February 16, 2018 - 12:33 am | Permalink

    While I appreciate and and learn from Peter, https://www.smp.org/resourcecenter/resource/1134/, how can I not vote for someone who wrote “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:3839

  304. Episcopal Tom's Gravatar Episcopal Tom
    February 16, 2018 - 12:52 am | Permalink

    Emily, my 10 year old, is asleep now, but I promised her I would vote for Peter. It was a hard choice for her, since we go to St. Paul’s in Salem, Oregon, but The Rock won her over! Our first year of on-line Lent Madness, though we had displays last year in the narthex and watched the results. What a great idea! How do we get pocket collectable cards of the Supremes and Distinguished Bloggers?

  305. Carole's Gravatar Carole
    February 16, 2018 - 1:25 am | Permalink

    Dear SEC, May we please have a “like” button? Wonderful to have the youth voice again – dear Oliver. Saw a 6 yr old, too? Hooray. Finally, Lent Madness is upon us again.

  306. Nancy's Gravatar Nancy
    February 16, 2018 - 1:50 am | Permalink

    I had a tough time with this decision until I thought, “Well, who would I want to meet first in Heaven?” That made it easy for me to vote for Peter, because I stumble and fall as much as he does!

  307. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    February 16, 2018 - 2:50 am | Permalink

    Alas, I’ve already forgotten who I voted for. Part of my difficulty with Paul is that there seem to be three of him, given the question of the authenticity of his letters–the first Paul ardent and mystical, the second concerned with deviations from less important practices, the third reactionary. There’s much to admire but also much to shy away from. As for Peter, his life is perhaps an even greater testimony to God’s grace than Paul’s. but so much controversy attaches to debates on his primacy that he’s an odd choice for a champion of Christian unity. But then maybe that’s a good thing? Well, maybe the next appearance of one of them will make it easier to decide on a way forward.

  308. Gary Lubin's Gravatar Gary Lubin
    February 16, 2018 - 3:31 am | Permalink

    I really wanted to vote for the wife of Peter for having to put up with him.

  309. James Oppenheimer's Gravatar James Oppenheimer
    February 16, 2018 - 4:58 am | Permalink

    Almost ten thousand folks participated in the voting. That’s pretty impressive.

  310. Laura R.'s Gravatar Laura R.
    February 16, 2018 - 6:31 am | Permalink

    I voted for Paul because, like him, my conversion to Christianity occurred suddenly and completely. It is a great and joyful Grace, and a little weird!

  311. Marguerite Mason's Gravatar Marguerite Mason
    February 16, 2018 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    I haven’t figured out how to vote. Would someone please enlighten me?
    I will be happy to pay for this assistance with a large chocolate rabbit to be delivered on Easter Monday.

  312. Doug's Gravatar Doug
    February 16, 2018 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    I would have voted for Paul had a received this message sooner. No one with the exception of Jesus Christ has had more influence on my Christian Journey than Paul – though Peter is certainly an important influence as well.

  313. Blanche Stevens's Gravatar Blanche Stevens
    February 16, 2018 - 9:42 am | Permalink

    I vote for Peter

  314. Doris Webster's Gravatar Doris Webster
    February 16, 2018 - 10:51 am | Permalink

    I vote for Peter, as he showed his humility as he failed his Christ, but he showed his strength as he moved forward in his newfound faith as he found forgiveness by his Christ.

  315. Christianne McKee's Gravatar Christianne McKee
    February 16, 2018 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    I voted for Peter, who generally spoke and acted before he really thought things through, but his heart was good and he always came back to Jesus.

    A correction to the biography: Andrew did indeed introduce Peter to Jesus, but it was Jesus, not Andrew, who gave him the nickname Cephas (Peter), which means rock.

  316. MELISSA CARNEVALE's Gravatar MELISSA CARNEVALE
    February 16, 2018 - 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Vote for Peter – a perfect human! One with foibles, flaws, leadership and communion!
    I like him (and that my father, Peter – also born on June 29th) had the same qualities. Paul’s inclusiveness was important.

  317. Nancee Deason's Gravatar Nancee Deason
    February 16, 2018 - 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Whoops missed the first vote!

  318. Chaplain Tom Chapman FSJ's Gravatar Chaplain Tom Chapman FSJ
    February 16, 2018 - 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Peter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Paul made most of what we know about traditional Christianity much of what is absurd in light of Real Scholarship we know today!!!!!

  319. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    February 16, 2018 - 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Such fun. Thank you

  320. Kristine's Gravatar Kristine
    February 16, 2018 - 9:27 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Paul as we are all one in Christ. It doesn’t matter race, sex, believe or not we were all create in his image(God). It is always harder to love those we don’t understand but to me that’s when we need to love and honor one another for our likes and differences.

  321. Joy Gimar's Gravatar Joy Gimar
    February 17, 2018 - 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Though 1st Corinthians is among my very favorite books, I do identify with Peter, the person, first and foremost.

  322. Mary Young's Gravatar Mary Young
    February 17, 2018 - 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Paul

    God’s grace is for everyone!!

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