Events and Hermeneutics


I remember the first time I entered my father-in-law’s workroom. It was not the typical workroom with drills, lathes, saws and hammers. It had a power tool of a different kind – a sewing machine. There were all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors of materials. There were plain colors and lots of prints. It looked to me like complete chaos. The organization of this tiny room made no sense to me. To
him the room was perfectly organized and everything he needed had been carefully placed in exactly the right place. Each day he worked and completed projects that ended up being great expressions of his creativity. When we come to the book of Acts it is very important to have the right perspective. Initially the book looks like a hodgepodge of people and activity. It can be very confusing. The Bible can appear to an observer like scraps of material with no rhyme or reason this way to a casual reader. The Bible has an overarching story-line. The purpose of the Bible is to reveal God and his plan for all of creation. There is an emphasis on God’s separation from mankind due to sin and the reconciliation of mankind through Christ’s sacrifice. Each section of the Bible gives us a unique part of the story. The Pentateuch has its own contribution. The historical writings of the Old Testament have their own contribution. Each book of the Bible adds its own information to give meaning and direction. The book of Acts must be understood from its perspective. It is not a selection of random stories. Rather, it is a carefully researched document. Through the inspiration of God, Luke wrote the historical progression and establishment of the first century church from Jerusalem to Rome. Each event is included because it is a part of a larger story. Each event contributes to the larger message. The overall message must be a composite of the individual events. It is only as we put these together do the events make sense and the book itself gains value in the entire Bible. As we progress through the book of Acts, my desire is for us to take carefully selected events and piece them together to understand the development of the message intended for us by God. My father-in-law carefully selected pieces of material to form a beautiful quilt and God has carefully selected events to form a beautiful message.

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