Are Romans 10:14-15, 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 and Philippians 1:14-18 contradictory?
In Romans Paul seems to be saying that the only ones who can preach the gospel and stimulate faith in the hearers are the apostles:
Rom 10:14 How, then, can people call on someone they have not believed? And how can they believe in someone they have not heard about? And how can they hear without someone preaching? Rom 10:15 And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are those who bring the good news!"
In 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 Paul seems to say that his effectiveness in his preaching serves as divine credentials for his apostleship:
2Co 3:1 Are we beginning to recommend ourselves again? Unlike some people, we do not need letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? 2Co 3:2 You are our letter, written in our hearts and known and read by everyone. 2Co 3:3 You are demonstrating that you are the Messiah's letter, produced by our service, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 2Co 3:4 Such is the confidence that we have in God through the Messiah. 2Co 3:5 By ourselves we are not qualified to claim that anything comes from us. Rather, our credentials come from God, 2Co 3:6 who has also qualified us to be ministers of a new covenant, which is not written but spiritual, because the written text brings death, but the Spirit gives life.
But both the authentic believers and the pretenders of Philippi seem to be welcomed by Paul for their "confirmation and defense of the gospel":
- he reports happily that "the brothers" are boldly and courageously speaking the message:
Php 1:14 Moreover, because of my imprisonment the Lord has caused most of the brothers to become confident to speak God's word more boldly and courageously than ever before.
- he shows little concern whether the people preaching are even believers:
Php 1:15 Some are preaching the Messiah because of jealousy and dissension, while others do so because of their good will. Php 1:16 The latter are motivated by love, because they know that I have been appointed to defend the gospel. Php 1:17 The former proclaim the Messiah because they are selfishly ambitious and insincere, thinking that they will stir up trouble for me during my imprisonment. Php 1:18 But so what? Just this—that in every way, whether by false or true motives, the Messiah is being proclaimed. Because of this, I rejoice and will continue to rejoice.
To my mind this seems to mark a shift in viewpoint in Paul from an apostle-centric one to a message-centered one.
Did Paul evolve in his views about the necessity of being an apostle to preach the gospel?