The Rest of the Story: How the Book of Acts Continues the Gospel of Luke

October 30, 2009

The Fourth Fred B. Craddock Seminar on the Gospels
11/14/2009( 8:30:00 AM – 1:45:00 PM )
Northway Christian Church, Dallas

Ronald Allen, Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament, Christian Theological Seminary

Christians sometimes mistakenly think that the resurrection of Jesus is the end of the Gospel Story. But for the Gospel Luke, the resurrection is only the opening chapter. The next chapters are told in the Book of Acts, and the church after Acts (including the church in our day) continues to enact the rest of the story. This seminar will explore how the Gospel of Luke introduces Jesus as God’s agent of coming and present Realm of God, and of how the Book of Acts continues that story by showing how the Holy Spirit empowers the church to continue that ministry. To read either the Gospel of Luke or the Book of Acts in isolation is to hear only half the story. The Bible student can appreciate Luke’s full meaning only when following themes from the Gospel into the Acts (and by tracing themes from Acts back into the Gospel). We will follow several themes including: the Realm of God, the Holy Spirit, poverty and wealth, the Lord’s Supper, the gentile mission, relationship with Jewish people, and attitudes towards the Roman government. The story that started in the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts is not complete. These books can help us write our contributions into that ongoing story.
Ron Allen teaches preaching and Gospels and Letters at Christian Theological Seminary where he has been since 1982. Prior to that, he and his spouse, the Reverend Linda McKiernan-Allen, were co-ministers of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Grand Island, Nebraska. He has published 35 books most recently Preaching and the Other (Chalice Press), Thinking Theologically: The Preacher as Theologian (Fortress Press) and The Life of Jesus for Today (Westminster John Knox Press). A Faith of Your Own: Naming What You Really Believe (Westminster John Knox Press) will be published early in 2010. He and Clark Williamson have written a three volume commentary on preaching on the lectionary from the perspective of correcting anti-Jewish tendencies called Channels of Listening. He recently directed a study of people who listen to sermons to determine the qualities in preaching that encourage them to pay attention, including Hearing the Sermon: Relationship, Content, Feeling (Chalice Press, 2004).
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