The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Who’s afraid of the big, bad book of the Acts?

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Rich Barcellos, who blogs here and is planting a church in California, has just published in one block his interesting discussion of the extent to which (or not) the book of the Acts should be read as normative, prescriptive, paradigmatic for the church today. Taking Acts 2 as a test case, and drawing out some additional helpful thoughts, Rich reaches the following conclusion:

The book of Acts records for us what Christ did through the apostles and early Christians upon his ascension into heaven. Pentecost is unique, a one-time event in redemptive history, and so are the immediate effects it produced in Jerusalem. For nineteen centuries, the Christian church understood this. It was not until the early twentieth century that Pentecostals started to read Acts prescriptively. Now it appears that others are falling into the same hermeneutical trap. Acts 2 is neither a paradigm for ministry nor a canon for success. It is the record of the power of Christ working in and through his apostles and fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. We should marvel in it and adore Christ for it, but expecting to reproduce its effects will lead us down a path of error and discouragement.

The whole piece is at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 24 January 2012 at 11:04

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