The church in our time easily loses sight of her mission to witness to the resurrected Christ. Studying Acts identifies us with the early church and the way the gospel shaped her as she began witnessing in Judea and continuing, in concentric circles, “to the end of the earth.” Acts reminds us that the story of the church remains incomplete—that there continues to this day an “Acts 29.”
We face relentless opposition as our postmodern world mirrors the world of the apostles. Planting and growing churches in such an environment poses particular challenges. Nevertheless, Acts clearly demonstrates that no obstacles can withstand the power of the Holy Spirit. As he did in the early church, the Holy Spirit teaches us in Acts to “expect great things.”
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Somewhere along the way the idea developed that commentaries are supposed to be a resource, but are not supposed to be all that readable. Derek Thomas and his treatment of Acts defies convention. Here you have a tremendous resource for pastors and students. And here you have a most readable, insightful, and enjoyable book for all. . . . a great gift for the church.
—Stephen J. Nichols, research professor of Christianity and culture, Lancaster Bible College
Biblically thorough, theologically accurate, pastorally sensitive—here is a rich feast set before God’s people. As Derek Thomas feeds us from the book of Acts, not only do we find ourselves satisfied, we are compelled to love Jesus more today than we did yesterday. And isn’t that the goal of all biblical preaching, writing, and living?
—Sean Michael Lucas, senior minister, First Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, MS
The church of the twenty-first century desperately needs to know her first-century history. With pastoral care and thoughtful scholarship, Thomas gets to the very heart of Acts. . . . A much-needed resource for believers of all ages who desire to more fully know God’s sovereign history in the early church.
Derek. W. H. Thomas is professor of systematic and historical theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and the minister of teaching at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS.