In part one (0:00-13:30), Tim and Jon discuss the motives Paul had for putting himself in harm's way. Tim says that Paul's priority was to show a unified world between Jew and Gentile through belief in Jesus.
Tim then outlines Paul's time in Jerusalem and his arrest. Tim points out that there are six cycles that begin with Paul being arrested, then Paul is given a platform to speak, then the authority figure saying that Paul doesn't deserve death, but he is never released.
Tim says Luke is portraying Paul as a model for how Christians should relate to the powers and cultural structures of the world. Christianity is not a movement that is political, or social, or anything else, but it does encompass those things. It is an entirely different movement of an entirely different nature.
In part two (13:30-30:00), Tim continues to outline Paul's trials.
Tim quotes from Kavin Rowe: "The Christians are not out to establish Christendom. A new culture, yes, a new political movement, no." Tim points out that Paul submitted to the Roman authorities despite the flaws. It's a stance of loyalty and subversion.
Tim points out that Luke is laying Paul's story on top of Jesus' story of also being on trial by the Jewish and Roman authorities.
Luke wants the reader to think intelligently about how Christians should relate to the government. God's Kingdom is not a human kingdom; it is a vision of a new and better humanity. There is no such thing as being a Christian in private in the ancient world, nor should there be that option today.
In part three (30:00-35:00), Jon points out that Christianity is a movement that doesn't need the same type of power that the Romans had. It's a groundswell, not a top-down approach. Tim says that Luke is trying to communicate that the Jesus movement is its own thing that doesn't fit any other type of movement in human history.
In part four (35:00-end), Tim points out that Paul always seemed to interact with corrupt Roman politicians. But when he did, Paul encouraged that official to follow the road of high integrity that they aspire to.
World Upside Down: Reading Acts in the Graeco Roman Age by Kavin Rowe
Show Produced by:
Dan Gummel, Jon Collins