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Acts 1:1-2:41

11.10.2010

I’m a little behind on posting, as usual, but in my defense, I’ve been way busy*.  The reading plan for today indicates that I should be posting on Acts 7.  What I’ve done is take the first seven chapters of Acts and divide them into three roughly thematic chunks.  The first one (here) draws from Acts 1 and 2 and focuses on the miscellany of the Ascencion and the Pentecost.  The second will draw from chapters 2 and 5, mainly, and focus on life in the early church.  The third will draw from chapters 4-7 and look at the conflict between the early church and the religious establishment.

1:7 | Do you think Jesus was different, somehow, after the resurrection?  Perhaps I’m reading this into the text, but the risen Jesus just seems more confident and upbeat and happy than the pre-crucifixion Jesus.  This wouldn’t be at all surprising if true, but I just wondered if anyone else noticed that, too.

1:9 | CS Lewis refutes the claim that modern science has turned the Ascension into an outdated idea based on a poor understanding of the universe where heaven is ‘up’ and hell is ‘down’.  His explanation is that Jesus willfully withdrew from the three-dimensional universe which we perceive with our five senses.  What language could even exist to adequately describe this?  As Lewis says, ‘If they saw a momentary movement along the vertical plane – then an indistinct mass – then nothing,’ who are we to challenge their description?

It reminds me of ‘Flatland’, an illustration created by Carl Sagan to describe the unintelligibility of greater dimensions beyond what we can sense.  If I were to stick my finger ‘through’ a two-dimensional world, inhabitants of that world would be unable to describe the phenomenon because they lack a concept of up and down.  This is the same tension that Lewis is describing.

1:26 | When the disciples cast lots to replace Judas, were they in error?  My wife maintains that they were, and that God corrected their mistake by clearly empowering Paul as the true divinely appointed apostle.  I think this does a disservice to poor Matthias.  I’m not sure which way the balance of opinion tilts on this, though.

2:4 | Just as a personal geek note, whenever I’ve answered the icebreaker question about what superpower I would most want to have, I’ve always gone with the ability to speak and understand every human language.  Most people go with invisibility or flight.  Not me!

2:9 | The fact that people from all of these nations are present at the Pentecost provides some explanation for the Jewish exile.  God allowed His people to be dispersed while still emotionally and spiritually connected to Jerusalem so that they could act as carriers of the faith to far flung lands in a short time.  Again, in what seems like His wrath, God displays His mercy.

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*  What?  The intenet isn’t going to idly browse itself!

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From → [admin], [cs/gk], [minor]

One Comment
  1. Wes permalink

    awesome blog. the map reminds me of our classic Risk games. haha.

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