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World Upside DownReading Acts in the Graeco-Roman Age$
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C. Kavin Rowe

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377873

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377873.001.0001

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World Upside Down: Practicing Theological Knowledge

World Upside Down: Practicing Theological Knowledge

(p.91) 4 World Upside Down: Practicing Theological Knowledge
World Upside Down

C. Kavin Rowe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with Paul's and Silas' visit to Thessalonica. This scene encapsulates the vision of Acts: the Christian mission is a witness to a world that is upside down (17:6). Thus, does cultural destabilization (Chapter 2) appear to Roman eyes as sedition but emerge in Luke's counter-narration as the light and forgiveness of God (Chapter 3). To read reality in this way is clearly to make a radical claim. Yet such a claim is not made at an abstract philosophical level but rather through concrete forms of life. Understanding this claim, therefore, requires examination of the most critical practices required by Lukan epistemology. Hence, the remainder of Chapter 4 focuses on three core ecclesial practices: the confession of Jesus as Lord (Kyrios), the mission “to the end of the earth,” and the assembly of the “Christians.” Seen together, these core practices constitute the practical-theological pattern that produces the tension inherent to Acts' apocalyptic vision. The dissolution of patterns basic to Graeco-Roman culture is nothing less than the necessary consequence of forming life-giving communities.

Keywords:   king, emperor, core practice, confession, mission, community, Christian

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