Racism Theology

Justice is a gospel issue: Opportunities for growth, miraculous and transformational outcomes (Acts 6:7)

So what was the result of the validation, engagement and empowerment strategy of the Apostolic team leadership? And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7) The rest of the chapter and Acts 7 deals with a specific example that is so laden with wisdom that it deserves a series of its…

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Theology

Justice is a Gospel issue: Spiritual and practical empowerment – Acts 6:6

“These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:6) Continuing the theme of empowerment that runs throughout Acts 6, verse six describes the apostles’ commission and ratification of the selection of those chosen to solve the presented problem. By definition, this is an example of Apostlic leadership, but we must not rush to assume we know what that means. Firstly, our understanding of apostolic leadership must be…

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Racism Theology

Justice is a Gospel issue: Affirmative action – Acts 6:5

And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. (Acts 6:5) If the opening verses of Acts 6 demonstrate the apostles’ listening and empowering approach to resolving the racial conflict that emerged at that time, verse 6 emphasises this approach. “What they said please the whole…

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Racism Theology

Justice is a gospel issue: Hands, feet and mutual submission in Acts 6:4

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Having established a quasi-congregational method of deacon appointment, the text now moves onto what this action means for the apostles. In the previous verse the apostles – who continue to speak in a single, unnamed corporate voice throughout the passage – explained that they “cannot submit” to “leave the word of God”. However, here – as a result of the…

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Theology

Justice is a gospel issue: Empowered problem solving in Acts 6:3

Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (Acts 6:3) Having set out their team leadership stall in the previous verse, the apostles continue their empowering approach by asking the gathered believers – which we know from Acts 6:2 was the whole assembly – to select “seven men” from “among you…whom we will appoint”. The people were…

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