The Theology of the Acts of the Apostles
Who are the people of God? Luke's purposes in the Acts of the Apostles are to identify the church, to establish the legitimacy of its gospel and to demonstrate that God was an active force in history. He wanted to show that the communities of Jewish and Gentile Christians are the true heirs of God's promises to Israel. He gives the history of the early church from the last decades of the first century as the communities become separated from their Jewish origins, and Paul plays the lead role. Acts offers an apologetic for the mixed mission of the church: to Jews and Gentiles. Luke was an eyewitness to some of what he reports, but his authorship and views have been questioned. This is a theological interpretation of the history of the church within history: Luke is an artist, a narrator rather than a systematic theologian, but writes about the roles of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, and of the church.