The book of Acts is packed full of theology, apologetics, evangelism, and God’s work in the early life of the Church. But one major aspect that I often don’t think about is the resurrection of Christ. What Brandon Crowe does in this book is examines the prominence and importance of the resurrection in the book of Acts and the life of the early Church, which in turn has major implications for us as believers today.
The resurrection, and the gospel and work of Christ in general, is called “The Hope of Israel” in Acts 28. What this phrase implies is that the resurrection was not a completely “new” thing in the New Testament, but was prophesied and longed for by Israel in history as a crucial part of God’s eschatological plan of salvation by bringing new life. As Crowe explains in his book, Acts simply testifies to this truth.
It is split into two parts. The first, we see where and how the resurrection functions in Acts. This section begins with a chapter on the importance and centrality of the resurrection in general. After this, we get an idea of how Luke presented the resurrection in the speeches of Peter (especially at Pentecost), the ministry of Paul, and other apostles in the book of Acts. It is clear that the apostles believed Christ’s resurrection to be central to the gospel and the life of the church.
The last half of the book dives into more theological understandings in the book Acts regarding the resurrection. We see how the resurrection falls into the accomplishment of salvation in history (Historia Salutis) and the experience of salvation personally (Ordo Salutis). The resurrection is also shown to be an apologetic for the Scriptures, as Paul uses his arguments for the gospel to enforce the validity of God’s Word in the Old Testament. We also see how Acts relates to the rest of the New Testament and the canon’s witness to Christ’s resurrection.
To believe in the resurrection is to believe in the message of the Scriptures; to resist the resurrection message is to resist the scriptural message.Brandon Crowe, page 174
This book really helped me to see the big picture of God’s plan of redemption and how the resurrection fits into this. If the apostles in the book of Acts held Christ’s resurrection so highly and so important to the life and experience of the believer, both now and in the future, then we should as well. This book has changed how I read the book of Acts and has helped with tricky passages concerning the resurrection that are difficult to understand.
If you want dig deeper into Acts and the Resurrection, pick up this book from Baker Academic.
*This books was graciously provided by Baker Academic in exchange for an honest review.
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