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Book: Acts

The Sound of Many Tongues

This is what it means to be speaking in tongues: not what the empires and the sub-empires of today want to hear—the sound of one voice, one language—but the vulnerable dissenting in their own—the sound of many, the sound of chaos, the sound like the “rush of a violent wind” (verse 2).

Resisting Colonial Logic in Christian Thinking

As tempting as it might be to assign murderous impulses to so-called former colonial times, Christians would do well to pay attention to how such logic continues to operate today in theological and political thinking.

Heroism is a Fatal Disease

We love heroism; we may even be addicted to it. But what happens when our addiction breeds a “heroism” that’s twisted, dangerous, and a disease?

The Habitation Made Desolate—Acts 1:15-26

The gory fate of Judas is an unsettling feature of the narrative of Acts for many modern readers. Yet recovering the New Testament authors’ sense of the fearful consequences of opposing the reign of Christ is a necessary task for political theology.

Don’t Just Stand There!—Acts 1:1-11

Rooted to the spot after the Ascension, the disciples needed to be told, not primarily what to think, but what to do.

A Dry Tree Made Fruitful—Acts 8:26-40; 1 John 4:7-21

In both Luke’s account of the Ethiopian eunuch and John’s discussion of love, the New Testament holds out the promise of a chastened yet real utopian vision, founded in God’s self-gift in King Jesus.

The Politics of Charlottesville and the Canaanite Woman—Matthew 15.21-28 (J. Leavitt Pearl)

Through his encounter with the Canaanite woman, Jesus undergoes a conversion experience from his ethnocentrism. In the ugly shadow of recent events in Charlottesville, we must follow his example.

The Politics of Traversing Difference—Acts 2:1-21 (Amy Allen)

Pentecost does not present us with the ideal of the uniform, homogeneous community, but with a divine power that traverses all of our differences. God’s will is to unite us in our diversity, not to extinguish it.

The Politics of Faithful Waiting—Acts 1:6-14 (Fritz Wendt)

The story of the Ascension in Acts alerts us to the task of faithfully waiting and witnessing.

The Politics of Nations and Boundaries—Acts 17:22-31 (Richard Davis)

Paul’s statements concerning the peoples in his Areopagus speech in Athens have historically been used as justification for racism and Apartheid. There are, however, other ways to understand his claims.

The Politics of a Sheepfold—Acts 2:42-47; John 10:1-10 (Amy Allen)

God is calling us to life in God’s world together. We are to live as those who recognize our Shepherd, who heed and follow Christ’s call.

The Politics of Language—Acts 2:1-21 (Amy Allen)

Beyond mere understanding—which we can arrive at with languages not our own—God’s communication in people’s native tongues at Pentecost manifests a deeper commitment to the recipients of revelation. The Holy Spirit addresses us in the language of our hearts and our dreams.