First-century Christians asked many of the same questions we ask today: Where does the church of Jesus Christ stand in the world? Where does the church fit in such a religiously diverse society? How should Christians respond to marginalization, ridicule, and insult? In Together for the World, Michael Wagenman reminds us that the book of Acts is about more than just the beginning of church history. It’s a story that reveals the ongoing means by which God is still transforming people to be his witnesses in the world.
In this lively and lucid little book, Michael Wagenman teaches the book of Acts under the conviction that God is a missionary God who intends for his people to be a missionary people. Under the leadership of Christ and the empowerment of the Spirit, we, his people, are called to bring our neighbors and indeed entire societies into a missionary encounter with the gospel. Highly recommended.
—Bruce Ashford, author of Every Square Inch and One Nation Under God
Fresh and refreshing—a new look at Acts for everyone from amateur Bible students to biblical scholars.
—Leith Anderson, president, National Association of Evangelicals, Washington, D.C.
Wagenman successfully displays the unique role of Acts within the Bible, rescues us from a tired reading of Scripture, and helps us to hear its message with fresh ears. Though [Acts is] a well-worn narrative in many churches, Together for the World brings [the book] to life in its ancient and modern contexts, helping the reader to behold Luke's magisterial aims—literally and literarily.
—Dru Johnson, professor of biblical and theological studies, The King's College
“Within the New Testament, Acts functions as the hinge between the Gospels and the letters.1 Acts tells the story of how Jesus’ ministry transitioned to the apostles, who, by the Holy Spirit’s leading, announced the gospel of the kingdom of God to the first-century world.” (Page 4)
“If the church doesn’t display Christlikeness in its common life together, the watching world will see very little evidence that the gospel is true. Without deeds, we have a religious club, not a church.” (Page 71)
“ The church is a witness to what God has done, is doing, and will do.” (Page 8)
“Christianity is public is because Christianity—believed or lived, alone or in community—is comprehensive. It touches all of life. Faith is not a private opinion but a public confession. The proclamation of the gospel is not only for the already converted, but for those living estranged from God. To be a Christian isn’t so much a religious or spiritual choice, but a public announcement about who truly rules the world.” (Pages 72–73)
God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.