Acts and Mission 9

What happens when Pentecost happens? Let us take Pentecost as a paradigm of what happens when the Spirit comes down, when God’s Spirit sways God’s People to be and do as they are supposed to, and I can’t see that assumption is anything but reasonable. What happens? Acts 2:42-27 tells us. They devoted themselves to [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 8

Peter’s sermon moves from Jesus’ miracles to Jesus’ death to Jesus’ resurrection. This is where many of us stop — in fact, many of us stop with the death and don’t include God’s raising Jesus in our gospeling. But for Peter there’s even more: there’s the ascending vindication of Jesus before the Father, from which [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 7

Peter’s “sermon” — which is more interpretation of event than anything else — explains that the tongue-speaking community, of which he is a part, is not some lunatic fringe but the very embodiment of God’s promises through the prophet Joel. But Peter goes immediately from Joel to Jesus, the “God-accredited” man through miracles, wonders and [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 6

The earliest followers of Jesus are empowered by God’s Spirit — we dare not forget that “Pentecost” is an act of God — to declare the wonders of God in languages they did not know (Acts 2:1-13). Event is followed by interpretation — and the interpretation is given by Peter who explains what is happening [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 5

We are looking at the Book of Acts, and we are looking at Acts through the lens of “mission,” and we are looking at the Book of Acts with the help of Beverly Gaventa’s commentary on Acts (The Acts of the Apostles (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries) ). We are in Acts 2, the Story of [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 4

This is the most important “mission” text in the history of the Church: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 3

The word “apostle,” by and large, isn’t all that important to low church evangelicals. It is far more important to the liturgical and creedal traditions, and it was very important to the earliest Christians. So important that Judas’ falling out meant someone had to occupy his seat at the apostolic table. That is what we [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 2

That opening sketch in Acts (1:1-11) is wide-ranging and cosmic in its theology. We return to earth with the next scene: the earliest followers of Jesus are gathered for prayer (1:12-14): Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, [Read More…]

Acts and Mission 1

We begin our series today on the book of Acts, a march right through this book from 1:1 to 28:31, and I anticipate it will take us months. As we march through this book, our emphasis will be on the theme of mission and what we can learn about missional theology in the Acts of [Read More…]