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At the very beginning of our faith, the Christian population numbered a few thousand, measuring only one percent of the world population. Today a single mega-church can boast a comparable number, and together, Christians now number more than two billion people. It all began with this little body of believers who knew a secret that needed to be shared. How did they do it? And what can we learn from them? Join best-selling author and beloved pastor, J. Ellsworth Kalas, as he explores the book of Acts to uncover the ministry motivations of the first followers—ordinary people who accomplished the extraordinary and who can serve as a guide for today’s believers to carry on. Because the work is not done. The story continues… This book contains a discussion guide.
Acts of the Apostles helps the preacher identify possibilities for sermons based on texts and themes in the book of Acts. While offering a basic exegetical framework for interpreting passages in Acts in their historical, literary, rhetorical, and theological contexts, this volume also suggests ways in which the preacher can relate passages and motifs from Acts to the congregation and world today. It also is useful in classes that seek to link text and sermon, and for congregational Bible study. Throughout his commentary, Ron Allen examines the relationship of Acts to the Gospel of Luke, discussing parallel passages between the two volumes and observing how themes in the Gospel carry forward into Acts. He notes how particular passages contribute to developing themes and to how the awareness of such a theme can contribute to the preacher's work with a particular passage.
The Acts of the Apostles is really the second volume in the two-part writing scholars call Luke-Acts. It continues the story begun in the Gospel of Luke, showing how the Good News offered by Jesus to the outcast of the people was eventually extended to the end of the earth," so that Gentiles as well as Jews came to share in the blessings of God. This commentary treats Luke-Acts as an apologetic history. It takes with equal seriousness both Luke's literary artistry and his historical interests, fitting his methods comfortably within the ancient standards of historiography. This perspective illustrates in particular that Luke's historical narrative serves a definite religious intent. Tracing that intent through the specific contours of Luke's story is the special contribution of this commentary. "
William Willimon combines the latest findings in Lukan scholarship with the pastoral, educational, and theological concerns of the local church to provide a new interpretation of Acts. He bases his commentary on the idea that the purpose of Acts was not to make Christianity acceptable to the Roman state but rather to preserve the integrity of the church against the onslaught of classical culture. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching is a distinctive resource for those who interpret the Bible in the church. Planned and written specifically for teaching and preaching needs, this critically acclaimed biblical commentary is a major contribution to scholarship and ministry.
This work illuminates the tension between divine empowering and the neglected element of the work of the Spirit in contexts of opposition. This lacuna, not addressed in previous Pentecostal scholarship, is at the heart of Mittelstadt's exegesis. Thus, Jesus not only lives and ministers in the power of the Holy Spirit, but also experiences opposition and persecution as a man of the Spirit. Further, the Lukan Jesus not only transfers the Spirit to his disciples, but also anticipates a similar fate for his followers. Finally, Luke forecasts that this divine enablement of the Spirit, also available for future witnesses, brings with it a similar anticipation of the same rejection and opposition as was experienced by Jesus and the disciples. While Pentecostals owe a debt of gratitude for the pioneering work of Pentecostal scholars, this book furthers their efforts by exploring the implications of Spirit-led witness in Luke-Acts.
What should the church look like today?What should be the focus of its message?How should I present that message?We live in as pivotal and defining an age as the Great Depression or the Sixties–a period whose definition, say some cultural observers, includes a warning of the church’s influence. The result? A society measurably less religious but decidedly more spiritual. Less influenced by authority than by experience. More attuned to images than to words.How does the church adapt to such a culture? Or should it, in fact, eschew adapting for maintaining a course it has followed these last two millennia? Or something in between?These are exactly the questions asked in The Church In Emerging Culture by five Christian thinker-speaker-writers, each who advocate unique stances regarding what the church’s message should be (and what methods should be used to present it) as it journeys through this evolving, postmodern era. The authors are:Andy Crouch–Re:Generation Quarterly editor-in-chiefMichael Horton–professor and reformed theologianFrederica Mathewes-Green–author, commentator, and Orthodox ChristianBrian D. McLaren–postmodernist, author, pastor, and Emergent senior fellowErwin Raphael McManus–author and pastor of the innovative and interethnic L.A.-based church, MosaicMost unique about their individual positions is that they’re presented not as singular essays but as lively discussions in which the other four authors freely (and frequently) comment, critique, and concur. That element, coupled with a unique photographic design that reinforces the depth of their at-once congenial and feisty conversation, gives you all-access entrée into this groundbreaking discourse.What’s more, general editor Leonard Sweet (author of SoulTsunami and AquaChurch, among several other acclaimed texts) frames the thought-provoking dialogue with a profoundly insightful, erudite introductory essay–practically a book within a book. The Church In Emerging Culture is foundational reading for leaders and serious students of all denominations and church styles.
"Complete biblical texts with sound, scholarly based commentary that is written at a pastoral level; the Scripture translation is that of the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms (1991)"--Provided by publisher.

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