A Tale of Three Conversions (Acts 10-11, 15)

May 15, 2010

We often call it the “conversion of Cornelius.” And, indeed, that is a significant moment. Cornelius was a Roman centurion—the commander of 80 men (sort of like a Captain of a company, though centurions could rank much higher in a Legion—stationed in Palestine. This was no honored placement. It was like soldiering on the Eastern […]

Profiles in Character: A Look at Shepherding and Spiritual Leadership III

July 15, 2009

[This is a brief small group/Bible class series that parallels the sermons of Dean Barham at Woodmont Hills Family of God in Nashville, TN, for the month of July 2009. You may listen to Dean’s lessons here.] A Shepherd Model Acts 20:17-38 Paul had spent several years in Ephesus ministering among God’s people in that city. […]

Fearless and Free during Economic Storms IV

May 20, 2009

Note: This is the second of six small group studies that are coordinated with a sermon series by Dean Barham, the preaching minister at the Woodmont Family of God. Eventually, his sermons will be available here. The first small group study lesson is here. John Mark presented the oral lesson on this topic, “Living in Community,” Woodmont Hills […]

Missional Table

March 29, 2009

One formerly unchurched person recently told me about his first experience with the Lord’s supper. He had grown up in the inner city where a gang was his family. Befriended by “good Samaritans” in a time of need, he attended “church” for the first time and sat on the second row with his new friend. […]

Breaking Bread in Luke-Acts VI: General Observations

March 28, 2009

The previous posts in this series (listed in the Serial Index under “Biblical Texts”) have focused on exegetical detail within the framework of Luke’s two volume narrative (Luke and Acts). This final post in the series will serve as a summary of what I consider some of the more significant theological ideas embedded in Luke’s […]

Breaking Bread in Luke-Acts V: Acts 27

March 26, 2009

Acts 27:35 is the last use of “breaking bread” in Acts.There is a broad consensus in the history of interpretation that this text cannot refer to the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper. The reasons have generally been two-fold.  (1) The meal involves the consumption of “food” (trophes) and therefore it cannot be the Lord’s Supper because the Lord’s […]

Breaking Bread in Luke-Acts IV: Acts 20:7-12

March 26, 2009

On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the […]

Breaking Bread in Luke Acts III: Acts 2:41-47

March 25, 2009

Acts 2:41-47 has long been a focus of discussion in the history of the church, especially in the Anabaptist as well Bristish dissenter traditions. It is particularly important among “restorationist” streams for obvious reasons. My interest in this post is the meaning of “the breaking of the bread” in this narrative description of the early […]

Breaking Bread in Luke-Acts II: Narratival Context

March 22, 2009

My first post in this series summarized and lightly critiqued a piece by Justin Rogers at the FHU lectureship in 2008. Here I turn my attention to the flow of Luke’s narrative which offers us the “big picture.” With Justin I recognize some level of ambiguity, especially in terms of the specific texts themselves. However, […]

Breaking Bread in Luke-Acts I

March 19, 2009

My interest has recently been rekindled in thinking about “breaking bread” in several ways.  Recently, I have received several emails asking questions, seeking more information and wanting deeper reflection on the exegetical as well as theological dimensions of what Luke describes as “breaking bread.”  More specifically, in recent months I have read Justin Rogers’ piece in the […]