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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.”

Author Bio

Originally from Wales, Derek Thomas is the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Practical Theology at the Jackson campus of RTS. After pastoring for 17 years in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dr. Thomas returned to the USA in 1996 where, in addition to his work at the seminary, he serves as the Minister of Teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson. In addition to serving in the pastorate, Derek has served as editor of the Evangelical Presbyterian, a monthly denominational magazine. A graduate of RTS in 1978, he gained a Ph.D. from the University of Wales, Lampeter in Calvin’s preaching on the book of Job. He has written or edited 15 books and has contributed to commentary series by Banner of Truth and Evangelical Press. He also co-edited Give Praise to God: A Vision for Reforming Worship, (P & R) with Philip Ryken and Ligon Duncan. In 2004, Derek Thomas became Editorial Director for The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and the editor of its ezine, Reformation 21 (www.reformation21.org ). His interests include the music of Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner, and Gustav Mahler, and he has a passion for good coffee and blue cheese