Dr. Don Fowler
Bibl 364 – B04 LUO
The book of Acts records the founding and spreading of Christianity and unlike many books in the NT this book is truly controlled by a set of themes that Luke rigidity follows as he unfolds this book for us. The greatest of these themes in this book is the theme of God’s sovergenity or God’s providence. As one reads this book it becomes clear early on to an intuitive reader that what happenings here is unstoppable and that God will see to it this new intuition as what we call the church is unstoppable it is indeed the product of God. All forms of opposition whether they be from within the community or outside the community such as the Pharisees all of those will be overcome as the gospel triumphs.
So the theme of God providence dominates the book and explains the closing of the book.
Secondly- this book is about the kingdom of God and that subject begins the book and it closes it. If you are thinking in terms of shelves of books with a bookend on each end holding the contents together that is the way the kingdom of God theme works in this book. So the book begins with the kingdom of God and it closes. But we need to be careful to understand when the book begins the kingdom of God theme the disciples soon to be apostles seem to think the kingdom of God is Jesus coming back to rule from Jerusalem and rule the world as the king of the world and they see themselves as the leaders as in the earthly kingdom. As acts unfolds that concept will clearly undergo change when we learn both Samaritans and Gentiles are part of this kingdom. So while the book starts out with a kingdom of God built around Israel and they think they are going to rule the world with Jesus that theme undergoes a different element. So by the end of the book the kingdom of God represents the preaching of the gospel and because God is provident that kingdom will indeed triumph. One of the reasons why the kingdom