Exemplary Life articulates Luke’s vision for life together in a local church using key passages from Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-35; and 5:12-16 (known as u201csummary narrativesu201d) as the starting point of reference. Although Luke is rightly acclaimed as the church’s first historian, he was a powerful writer and theologian as well. He also planted churches with Paul and had definite convictions about what life together in the church should look like. Yet, Luke’s theology of church life is underemphasized in modern scholarship, downplayed by issues rising from the historical-critical method.
However, when the summary narratives are studied through the lens of narrative and rhetorical criticism, Luke’s strategy is unmistakable. Those passages cast a vision for life together in an exemplary church, drawn from the historical circumstances of the church in Jerusalem. These narratives also serve as a starting point for studying church life throughout Acts. When the church planting movements in Samaria, Antioch, Ephesus, and Troas are examined, we find echoes of the narratives almost constantly. These amplify and drive home Luke’s message in the summary narratives.
Taking this path, twenty distinct characteristics of exemplary church life emerge. From repentance and Scriptural authority to praying together and earning the respect of neighbors, each one is thoughtfully presented here by author Andy Chambers to reassert Luke’s voice in 21st century conversations about the faithful formation of New Testament churches.
“Far too many approaches to the book of Acts treat it merely as authoritative church history. Andy Chambers firmly believes that the book of Acts is deeply relevant to the church and to the Christian life in our contemporary age. His thorough study of Acts will be of great benefit to the church and I warmly welcome the publication of this book.”—Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary