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Preaching Luke-Acts (Preaching Classic Texts) [Paperback]

By Ronald J. Allen (Author)
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Item description for Preaching Luke-Acts (Preaching Classic Texts) by Ronald J. Allen...

The gospel of Luke and the book of Acts offer new perspectives on some of the deepest longings of our time: the search for a transcendent perspective on the meaning of life, yearning for community, and other issues that resonate with contemporary concerns. Allen raises up common motifs in Luke and Acts and shows how they can be used for effective preaching.

Publishers Description
The books in this series help preachers and students of preaching understand biblical texts in light of current scholarship. Each volume gives exegetical help, suggestions on how to preach important biblical texts, and sample sermons. The gospel of Luke and the book of Acts offer new perspectives on some of the deepest longings of our time: the search for a transcendent perspective on the meaning of life, yearning for community, and other issues that resonate with contemporary concerns. Allen raises up common motifs in Luke and Acts and shows how they can be used for effective preaching.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Chalice Press
Pages   148
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.49" Width: 5.53" Height: 0.49"
Weight:   0.48 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2000
Publisher   Chalice Press
Series  Preaching Classic Texts  
ISBN  0827229658  
ISBN13  9780827229655  

Availability  0 units.

More About Ronald J. Allen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ronald J. Allen is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He is author of many books, including Patterns of Preaching and Interpreting the Gospel, and coauthor of One Gospel, Many Ears and Listening to Listeners, all from Chalice Press.

Ronald J. Allen currently resides in the state of Indiana. Ronald J. Allen was born in 1949.

Ronald J. Allen has published or released items in the following series...
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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Criticism & Interpretation

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Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Preaching Luke-Acts (Preaching Classic Texts)?

A word in due season  Apr 26, 2003
This book is part of a relatively new Preaching... series put out by Chalice Press, which concentrates on books in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition (the same tradition that is the primary denominational support of my seminary, Christian Theological Seminary, in Indianapolis). The author, Ronald J. Allen, is on the faculty here. I have had the privilege of knowing him both in and out of the classroom, and used this book as part of an independent study project I completed with him a few summers ago.

`The gospel of Luke and the books of Acts tell the story of God's intention to restore the world community so that all relationships and situations embody the divine purpose of love and justice initially revealed in Genesis 1.' (p. ix)

First, a basic primer. The gospel of Luke and the book of Acts form two parts of a work by the same author. It is most likely that the gospel of Luke was first separated from its companion volume of Acts in early collections of the gospels. Both address the same person, Theophilus, although it is unclear that this was an actual individual, and may be instead a general name given to any reader who would be (translating the name into English) a 'lover of God'. Many scholars now refer to the gospel and Acts as Luke-Acts to show their connection and common composition.

`I focus on preaching themes in Luke and Acts. The designation 'theme' is not a technical category of biblical scholarship. I use theme to speak informally of ideas, images, associations, expressions, practices, or values that span Luke 1 through Acts 28, or significant parts thereof.' (p. 1)

This is not a book that goes through Luke-Acts with a verse by verse exposition. Rather, it strives to show broad areas of concern and connection for the author of Luke-Acts, so that this knowledge will enhance the understanding of individual passages. Those engaged in preaching can also find aid and material here for developing a sermon or sermon-series on thematic bases.

Allen uses literary criticism, rhetorical criticism, reader-response criticism, and historical criticism as tools. He also engages the hermeneutic of suspicion, that is, the assumption that writers will shape their texts in various ways to further the interests of their own community, social class, gender, race, etc. All these tools together provide a broad framework for interpretation and insight into the text of Luke-Acts.

Allen has put together the text for the average preacher - it does assume intelligence on the part of the reader, but does not assume that the reader will be a high-level academic biblical scholar. Allen gives clear and concise background to the issues addressed in accessible and engaging prose.

`Many Christian communities today do not know the content of the Bible or how to interpret it. The sermon that provides background material helps the congregation overcome these deficiencies.' (pp. 5-6)

Parts of this background include the authorship of Luke-Acts, the narrative structure of the text, the social and historical location of the text, the sources with which Luke was likely familiar, the relationship with the First Testament (see note below), and the theological underpinnings. Allen identifies in his chapter headings the primary themes he draws from Luke-Acts:

- Preaching on the Realm of God
- Preaching on the Holy Spirit
- Preaching on the Great Reunion of the Human Community
- Preaching on the Restoration of Women
- Preaching on Poverty, Abundance, and the Use of Material Resources

In each of these chapters, Allen draws on the tools developed in the introduction and the background information from the first chapter to show the ways in which these themes emerge from the text in many stories and passages.

Some churches are not free to develop sermons or a series of sermons based on self-selected texts because they follow a lectionary pattern (in America, most likely the Revised Common Lectionary or some close derivative). To aid the preacher in these situations, Allen has provided an Appendix which shows the passages of Luke-Acts in the lectionary keyed to the pages on which those particular passages are referenced through this book.

My only complaint with the book (and I am picky about books in this regard) is that there is no index. I would hope for an index in the next edition or printing of this book!

This is an excellent resource, particularly for next year (Year C of the Revised Common Lectionary, in which much of the gospel reading comes from Luke). It should find a welcome home on the shelf of any preacher, Christian educator, or student of the Bible.


My reference to the `First Testament' above is drawing from the work here at Christian Theological Seminary, which strives to work against supersessionism, the idea that Christianity has somehow made Judaism irrelevant, unnecessary, etc. To this end, the label Old Testament is taken by some to be too susceptible to derogatory interpretation, who have come to use the terms First Testament and Second Testament instead.


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