Reveals the prophetic challenge in Luke-Acts for today's church
Christians chronically and desperately need prophecy, says award winning biblical scholar Luke Timothy Johnson. In this and every age, the church needs the bold proclamation of God's transforming vision to challenge its very human tendency toward expediency and self interest — to jolt it into new insight and energy.
For Johnson, the New Testament books Luke and Acts provide that much-needed jolt to conventional wisdom. To read Luke-Acts as a literary unit, he says, is to uncover a startling prophetic vision of Jesus and the church — one that imagines a reality very different from the one humans would construct on their own. Johnson identifies in Luke's writings an ongoing call for today's church, grounded in the prophetic ministry of Jesus Christ, to embody and enact God's vision for the world.
John R. Levison
-- author of Filled with the Spirit
"I wish every church leader, lay and ordained, would use this book as the spine for a year-long study of the prophetic church. Why? Because Johnson supplies ample exegesis that is rich and resonant, solid and serious, and extremely well organized, making this book an ideal basis for sermons and Bible studies. Yet Johnson also shows us, with consummate clarity, how Luke-Acts 'speaks to the church in every age' by challenging Christians to embrace and embody four characteristics of a prophetic church -- prayer, itinerancy, servant leadership, and voluntary poverty. . . . An indispensable read for churches that want to intensify their prophetic character and for Christians who are eager to sharpen their prophetic edge.
Joel B. Green
-- author of The Gospel of Luke (NICNT)
"Johnson reflects theologically with the evangelist on the nature of the church and its message, then and now, with the result that we find ourselves confronted with the radical nature of the gospel. Through these pages, Luke's voice continues to speak, inviting renewed contemplation and ongoing conversion."
Robert Walter Wall
-- coauthor of Called to Be Church: The Book of Acts for a New Day
"A book written for the church by a masterful teacher of the church. But Luke Johnson is also one of the world's leading scholars of Luke and Acts; his ideas, forged by careful study of the biblical narrative and honed in the seminary classroom, fund a stunning array of insights that readers will encounter in this challenging book. . . . This book really teaches!"
Review of Biblical Literature
"This is a stimulating and encouraging book, the gift of a senior scholar to a broad public."
Reviews in Religion and Theology
"This is vintage Johnson with his deep commitment to the Christian faith and his erudite and resilient scholarship. . . . This book is engaging and thought-provoking, a must read for every Christian, particularly those in ecclesial leadership."
"Impassioned and exhilarating, with not a footnote in sight -- this is a book to stimulate and challenge both preachers and congregations. . . . An excellent book both for individual and for group study."
"I recommend the stimulating book for theological students and for ministers and teachers in congregations; it would be an especially useful resource for an adult or young adult class."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"A useful resource for the church today. . . . An abundant source of stimulating material for application points in sermons and Bible study lessons. For a twenty-first century church that has too often neglected its prophetic calling, Johnson's work is a needed tonic, urging the church to action."
"A valuable resource for the church: for curious teachers and preachers alike."