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The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke's Account of God's Unfolding Plan

(New Studies in Biblical Theology #27)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  37 reviews
When the book of Acts is mentioned, a cluster of issues spring to mind, including speaking in tongues and baptism with the Holy Spirit, church government and practice, and missionary methods and strategies. At the popular level, Acts is more often mined for answers to contemporary debates than heard for its natural inflections. Instead of using Acts as a prooftext, this Ne ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by IVP Academic (first published July 15th 2011)
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Tim Sheppard
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This really is an excellent book that I can heartily recommend.

Like many other authors, Alan J. Thompson sets up Acts as the continuation of Luke's former work (Luke's gospel), and he particularly draws attention to the ascension of Jesus and the inauguration of his kingdom as the controlling theme of the book. It is, after all, the way the book begins - and the central theme of Peter's famous sermon in Acts 2. However, I struggled to see the significance of this observation at first. Nonetheles
Peter Krol
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentaries
The valuable-insight-per-page ratio of this book is through the roof. It's not a verse-by-verse commentary on Acts, but it has helped me to understand and preach the message of Acts better than some verse-by-verse commentaries. Thompson paints a compelling image of the book's big picture.

A few examples:
• Understanding Jesus' answer to the disciples' question about the kingdom not as a digression or distraction but a real answer. This book is very much about the inaugurated kingdom of God.
• The
Daniel Mak
Jan 15, 2022 rated it really liked it
Main point: Acts is Luke's continuing account of the risen Jesus' reign

Helpful bits:
-Emphasis on God's continuing purposes [rather than it being a mere human account of historical events], as seen in Luke's frequent use of 'dei'- 'it is necessary'...
-Structure on p69
-How Jesus' answer in 1:8 is actually an answer to the disciples' question about restoring the kingdom, rather than Jesus changing the subject [p105-106]
-Apostolic leadership being the new authority for believers rather than the law
Andrzej Stelmasiak
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Read it within a day.
Recommended by Kevin DeYoung and I kinda agree with what he says there (not on the commentaries though, Bock is boring and flat as a pancake).
Very decent theological overview of the book of Acts. To go in tandem with 'The message of Acts in the history of redemption' by Dennis Johnson.
Steve Nation
Jul 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentary
As I've read and then preached through Acts, I think this has been the most helpful book I've used. The big picture of the Acts is made so clear, and the sheer number of eye-opening insights is a gift. Highly recommended ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it liked it
This is my 5th book to read in the NSBT series. After first reading "Dominion and Dynasty" several years ago, I have relished every opportunity to read one of the volumes. After hearing this book, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus, recommended widely, and also wanting to read a nice single volume book on the theology of Acts, I decided to pick it up last week.

Alan Thompson explores the theology of Acts through the lens of inaugurated eschatology and then shows a variety of issues in the peripher
Nate Claiborne
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
On the one hand, this book is almost like a mini-commentary on the book of Acts. On the other hand, it is very self-consciously theological and explores Acts through the lens of an inaugurated eschatology. The value of the books lies in the ability of that lens to make sense of the overall narrative flow in Acts and help interpret areas that may not fit as well within other paradigms. Rather than being a "system" of theology imposed on the text, Thompson does the upfront work in the introduction ...more
WTSreads -
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to WTSreads by: David Briones
Who is the main character of the book of Acts?
The name “The Acts of the Apostles” might infer that it is an apostle, perhaps Peter or Paul. Maybe you believe the Holy Spirit is the main character of Acts, having been poured out at Pentecost. In his book “Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus”, Alan J. Thompson lays out a case for the main character being none other than the Risen Lord Jesus Himself.
Thompson notes that in Acts, the eternal kingdom promised to David finds its fulfillment, and its king i
Laurent Dv
Excellent commentary on Acts through the study of different themes (the law, the kingdom of God, Jesus as the risen reigning Lord, the Gentiles, the temple) in Acts (and Luke also). Like all volumes of NSBT, it takes all the best from other books and offer numerous useful insights. Such as : the conversion of Samaritans as the fullfilment of the promise of the reunification of northern and southern Israel, the arguments that Acts presents itself as the fullfilment of the restauration of Israel, ...more
Anthony Locke
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thm-reading, 2019
Really enjoyed this biblical-theological summary of Acts. Thompson does a great job introducing significant themes that run through the book (and the Bible). I especially appreciated his Christ-centered approach, since I often have thought of the book as the Acts of the 1) apostles, 2) Holy Spirit, 3) God to accomplish his mission.
Andrew Forester
Nov 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent overview of the theology of the book of Acts. I read this for a seminary class on Acts and found it beneficial in grasping the overall message of the book and how it fits within the storyline of the Bible.
Spencer R
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My full review can be found here at:

Thompson moves through the book of Acts and shows how it continues both Luke's Gospel narrative and the OT narrative. Luke shows that Jesus fulfills God's promises to Israel, and that those who put their trust in Christ are grafted into true Israel. Rather than being a book about travel tales and a bunch of preaching, Acts is packed with the continuing promises of God, and how God's work, seen in the life, death, resurrection, and ascens
Eric Molicki
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical-studies
Helpful study of the major themes running through Acts aimed at pastors.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
In the course of reading this book, it suddenly occurred to me that there needs to be a Steve Jobs for theology books. This book is meant to be a theology of Acts, which means that we should come away from the book understanding the main theological themes around which Luke shaped the narrative, why he shaped them that way, and why he emphasized what he emphasizes. This book does do that, which is the good thing, the bad thing is that the book lacks elegant simplicity.

Here is what I mean. On on
Mitch Bedzyk
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another first-rate contribution to the New Studies in Biblical Theology series. Rather than bog the reader down in debates of secondary importance (tongues, church government, etc.), Thompson focuses on the themes Luke develops, namely, the fulfillment of God's salvific plan that is rooted in the OT and inaugurated eschatology. He argues that Acts is about the risen Lord Jesus, reigning at the Father's right hand, between the inauguration and consummation of the kingdom of God.
Chapter 1 deals wi
Craig Hurst
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Studies and discussions on the book of Acts are often the breeding grounds for debates between Dispensational vs. Covenant theology, cessationist vs. non-cessationist theology, Baptist vs. Reformed polity and a myriad of other controversial theological debates. Of course everyone thinks the book of Acts is on their side. When these kinds of discussions become the focal point of the book they reduce its redemptive-historical message of the book. Thus, Acts is turned into a theological billy club ...more
Keith Pinckney
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Inaugurated Eschatology. If i could i define it in two words. This book shows that Acts is a major point in redemptive and salvation history. I love the heavy theological emphasis of promise/prophecy and fulfillment. I think he does a faithful job of interpreting and drawing conclusions. Also the already and the not yet aspect of the kingdom was helpful, how he deals with the major themes such as Jew/Gentile issues over food with blood, the temple, the law, the eschatological community etc all h ...more
Dec 10, 2021 added it
This was required reading for my Acts-Romans class, and if it wasn’t required, I probably would have quit reading early on. However, I’m glad I had to keep reading because some of the ideas in the second half of the book were interesting to consider.

The book is about the framework of Acts and the emphasis is on the inaugurated kingdom. It is not a verse by verse approach.

This might be (?) the first book on Acts I have ever read from a non-Pentecostal perspective, so that might be why this book
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
I read this for class as Alan was my lecturer.
I enjoyed the biblical theological approach to Acts, focusing on the main ideas which helps bring out the main ideas and themes of Acts drawing our attention to the risen Lord Jesus as the title states.
Having the framework present in this book helps the reader to understand the book as a whole and its structure and movement.
I would recommend reading this before studying the book of Acts.
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
this book is great! it is like a commentary that highlights certain themes, while also giving a narrative approach to certain events that happen in the book of Acts from the perspective that Jesus is an active agent within the book. to those who would appreciate a nuanced, and fresh perspective on this ancient historical manuscript.
Jonathan Hoffman
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: commentaries
An absolute must-read for anyone doing interpretive work on the Book of Acts. Thompson gives insightful biblical theology to coherently weave the interdependent themes of Acts, which are often treated disparately.
Ray Clendenen
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology-bible
An important book on the theology of the book of Acts.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had good info, but it just wasn't a very easy read for me. ...more
Timothy Decker
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Good enough to use as a textbook!
Brian Bement
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, great help as I was preaching through the book of Acts. Phenomenal perspective
Aaron Pompura
Feb 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
Theologically sound textbook to help us understand how God is working in the book of Acts. Keeps focus on God and not the men through whom he is accomplishing his plan.
Joe Fogarty
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus is the 27th book in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series, and the second book I've read in the series thus far (Dominion & Dynasty by Stephen Dempster being the first). I enjoyed this book almost as much as I enjoyed D&D, and found Dr. Thompson’s approach to Acts helpful. As stated in the introduction, the book of Acts is regularly used to answer disputes concerning speaking in tongues, baptism, and many other controversial issues, which Dr. Thompson right ...more
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Alan Thompson's “The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus” is one of the books in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series from IV Press. Thompson demonstrates that the primary theological message of Acts is that God is fulfilling his promises to Israel in Christ. Rather than being a purely historical account, the focus of Acts is really on what God is accomplishing in Israel now through Christ, which is made possible by the resurrection of Christ and made evident by the pouring out of the Holy Spiri ...more
Susan Barnes
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus is a theological study of the book of Acts. The subtitle is Luke's account of God's unfolding purpose. I was drawn to this book because Thompson discusses the kingdom in terms of the 'the now' and the 'not yet'. This is a concept I find very useful in understanding the Bible and God's purposes.

Thompson's aim is to give a framework for studying the book of Acts. He wants to highlight the various themes and show how these themes develop in the overall book. It is n
Matt Moran
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this in preparation for preaching through Acts.

Outstanding. Very helpful orientation to the book.

Author does a great job connecting major themes of Luke with Acts.

Emphasizes the location of Acts in redemptive history. Helpful in the descriptive vs. prescriptive questions that run throughout Acts, as Thompson locates them inside a salvation history framework.
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