Introduction to Acts
Notice the language of Acts 1:8. It is a vision for world mission. It assumes that mission will continue in the area of the disciples’ current geographic reality: Jerusalem and the wider land of biblical Israel. These had been the areas in which Jesus himself had served. But now there is a push beyond these regions to the rest of the earth. The Gospel came to its initial fulfilment in the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. Now post-resurrection, it is time for the good news to spread to the nations in anticipation of the New Creation. This reconnects the Biblical story line with God’s universal mission to all Creation. This fulfils the original mission of humanity (1:26–31). Under the power of the Spirit, the Church re-engages this mission with the hope of reaching the nations with the Gospel.
This short quote is from Brian Russell’s summary of the book of Acts, which you can find here. This is an excellent short piece, which is well worth a read. However, it is also a very good introduction to the notion of reading the Bible with mission as its central theme (a missional hermeneutic, if you want to be technical). I’ve long regarded Brian as one of the best bloggers on the subject of the Bible and Mission. If you sign up to follow blogs, his should be on your list.
I’ve quoted from Brian numerous times over the years; you can find those posts which mention his work here.