Thursday, 26 March 2015

Christian Reflection on Acts

The latest issue of Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, is available online, this one devoted to ‘The Book of Acts’. The whole issue is available as a pdf here, and an accompanying Study Guide is available here. The main articles, with their abstracts, are as follows:

Robert B. Kruschwitz
The Acts of the Apostles is a hidden treasure in the New Testament. John Chrysostom found it “replete... with Christian wisdom and sound doctrine” to guide believers. Our contributors explore the book of Acts as a theological treasure that can engage and shape our discipleship today.

Steve Walton
A Spirituality of Acts
The book of Acts is focused on God’s mission, as God draws people into his orbit and brings them into his community, and so its spirituality is missional. God takes the initiative using a variety of creative means, and people respond in community to the awesome God who makes himself known in Jesus and by the Spirit.

Mikeal C. Parsons
Reading Acts as a Sequel to the Fourfold Gospel
Acts was intended to be a sequel to a plurality of Gospels, which Luke refers to as “many.” Thus, to read Acts for all it’s worth, it is necessary to attend to the connections not only with Luke’s Gospel, but also with those other narratives that recount the story of Jesus echoed in Acts.

Timothy A. Brookins
Paul and the Philosophers
Paul’s speech to the Areopagus Council is a paradigm for “cross-worldview” evangelism. The Apostle restates the good news in terms that maintain common ground where a similarity of viewpoints is at hand, but retains the distinctiveness of his message on points that allow for no compromise.

Terry W. York and C. David Bolin
As Christ and Church and Congregation

Allison Buras
Worship Service

Heidi J. Hornik
Spreading the Gospel “To the Ends of the Earth”

Other Voices

Andrew E. Arterbury
Warning to the Wise: Learning From Eutychus’s Mistake
The downfall of Eutychus is certainly, to modern ears, a strange story, but it would have offered moral guidance to ancient readers. It exhorts them to learn from Eutychus’s youthful mistakes and to avoid spiritual laxity at all costs.

Joshua W. Jipp
Philanthropy, Hospitality, and Friendship
The narrative of Paul’s sea-voyage to Rome – with a violent storm, shipwreck, and adventures on Malta – provides not only a glimpse of Paul as one who was open to fresh encounters with all peoples but also, surprisingly, a lasting impression of Gentiles as receptive, friendly, and hospitable.

Timothy Churchill
Repetition for a Reason
In the book of Acts, Luke emphasizes Paul’s unexpected encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road by repeating the story three times. Jesus’ message to Paul in that story deserves our full attention, for it contains the entire gospel in kernel form.

Chad Hartsock
The Ever-Expanding Gospel
The book of Acts re-calls us to a radically selfless gospel whose mission is to reach the ends of the earth. It reminds us that the “ends of the earth” can be in a land far away, or among the socially marginalized neighbors who live in our shadows every moment.

Holly Beers
A Story that Teaches: The Theology of Acts
What is Luke’s agenda, theological and otherwise, in the book of Acts? How is he shaping that agenda through the story he tells? How is he teaching the Church, from Theophilus to today? In the books reviewed here, three leading Acts scholars attempt an answer to these questions.

Kathy Maxwell
Studying the Book of Acts
The four commentaries reviewed here are well- researched, clearly written treatments of the book of Acts for the educated lay person or pastor and for the seminarian. They share a common interest in theological application that is carefully informed by the historical and literary context of Acts.

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