This engaging book guides readers through one of the most colorful books of the Bible, illuminating passages from Acts that show the Christian gospel expressing itself through the lives, speech, struggles, and adventures of Jesus’s followers. The book emphasizes the disruptive character of the Christian gospel and shows how Acts repeatedly describes God as upsetting the status quo by changing people’s lives, society’s conventions, and our basic expectations of what’s possible.
Suited for individual and group study, this book by a New Testament scholar with a gift for popular communication asks serious questions and eschews pat answers, bringing Acts alive for contemporary reflection on the character of God, the challenges of faith, and the church.
Matthew L. Skinner (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He frequently contributes to popular Christian magazines and blogs and is a featured writer for ON Scripture (a weekly column carried by Odyssey Networks), the Huffington Post, and other online outlets. He has written for WorkingPreacher.org, where he can be heard on weekly Sermon Brainwave podcasts, and for EnterTheBible.org.
Praise for Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel:
“Matthew Skinner probes the book of Acts in an impressively effective way. He successfully negotiates the vexed issue of history and theology and offers a concise, accessible theological twist to every text he considers. His study shows the way in which the narrative text of Acts continues to be compelling for the church’s self-understanding and mission.” – Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
“The book of Acts tells an exciting story that warrants the sort of engagement it is afforded here. Skinner takes us beyond the pedantic concerns of academia to experience the power of the story itself, to participate in its transformations and discoveries. Anyone who is spiritual and/or religious will benefit from this disruptive encounter with ‘absurdly good news.'” – Mark Allan Powell, Trinity Lutheran Seminary
“There is no doubt that Acts is an entertaining read, full of the stuff of legend and tall tales. But what is a twenty-first-century Christian to do with such an unusual collection of stories about the early years of our faith? Enter Matthew Skinner, an internationally renowned scholar of Acts who has, for decades now, immersed himself in Acts–studying, writing, teaching, and preaching it. In this book, Skinner grips our attention, all of it, as he honestly, artfully, judiciously, concisely, and consistently connects our experience with the book of Acts. Chapter by chapter, Skinner teaches us, raises crucial questions–the raw, complex questions that we real readers have–and then offers bold conclusions born from his observations as both a scholar and a Christian.” – Jaime Clark-Soles, Southern Methodist University