V. George Shillington sees this letter as Paul's personal testimony about his ministry of reconciliation among the Corinthian Christians (chapters 1-9) and his ministry in defending the truth of the gospel (chapters 10-13). The thread that ties the two parts together is Paul's conviction on pastoral ministry under the banner of Christ. Paul insists that ministry is to be borne in affliction like that of Christ crucified. In raising the crucified Messiah out of the old creation, God has inaugurated a new creation, in which believers already participate. The only boast allowed is in the Lord, not in one's own achievements or elevated experiences.