"No Little Disturbance": Depictions of God and God's Activity in the Acts of the Apostles

Team Members/Contributors

Matthew L. Skinner Luther Seminary Contact Me

About this project grant for researchers

Congregations and seminarians often experience Acts as a foreign or confusing book. Wondrous episodes in its pages strike some as bizarre; others find its portrait of God and the divine plan as disturbing or outdated. This research project addresses that situation by creating, for a Christian readership, an accessible book about how Acts can prompt people to think creatively about God and God’s presence. Sparing its readers from academic jargon yet conveying rich insights gleaned from critical biblical scholarship, the book speaks honestly about the theological challenges that Acts presents, even as it insists that Acts calls readers to think boldly and imaginatively about a God whose good news produces “no little disturbance” (Acts 19:23) in societies. It suggests that the most important theological contributions of Acts come from readers’ experiences of the story Acts tells rather than from speculation about the history behind the text or the circumstances that encouraged its composition. Attending to selected passages from the biblical narrative, the book reads Acts with a theological eye, focusing on how its stories of encounters between people and God can shape readers’ expectations about God and God’s ways of operating in connection with the church’s life and work.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
Intrusive God, Disruptive Gospel: Encountering the Divine in the Book of Acts 2015 Book Matthew L. Skinner