Should We Too Preach like the Apostles and Prophets in the Acts of the Apostles?
Dr. Osvaldo Padilla, professor of New Testament at Beeson Divinity School, will be our speaker for the next Robert Smith Jr. Preaching Institute "Day with a Beeson Author." Join Dr. Padilla as he speaks on preaching like the apostles and prophets in the book of Acts. These lectures will be based upon his book, The Acts of the Apostles: Interpretation, History, and Theology. The cost is $25 and includes lunch, refreshments, and a copy of Dr. Padilla's book.
The central message of the Acts of the Apostles is that Jesus is the Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel’s Scriptures. As modern readers and preachers, we read with great joy and excitement as Peter, Stephen, Paul and others preach the gospel in Jerusalem, Caesarea Maritima, Athens, Rome and other places. We too want to preach Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit. But then we encounter an aporia, an impasse: granted that we should preach the gospel—but should we preach it in the same way as Peter and Paul and the apostles?
How is it that Peter in Acts 2 uses Psalm 16 to prove the resurrection of Jesus? How does he know that this ancient text about David was referring to Jesus Christ? Why does Stephen, in Acts 7, spend the majority of his sermon on the temple and OT prophets when he wants to show that Jesus is the Christ? And why does Paul quote from Habakkuk 1:5 to apply it to an audience in Antioch Pisidia (Acts 13:41)? How does Paul know that this prophetic text applies to this situation?
In short, the aporia we face as preachers of Acts is this: The message the apostles preached we should preach; but is the method they used one we should also use today? In other words, is their manner of preaching that Jesus is the Messiah something we should emulate today, or was that only for the apostles? Should we too preach like the apostles and prophets in the Acts of the Apostles?
Osvaldo Padilla is professor of divinity with a concentration on the New Testament and Christian dogmatics. He teaches courses on the Gospels and Acts, New Testament theology and Greek exegesis (Pastoral Epistles). Padilla came to Beeson in 2008 after teaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of The Speeches of Outsiders in Acts: Poetics, Theology and Historiography (Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008) and The Acts of the Apostles: Interpretation, History and Theology (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2016). His commentary on the Pastoral Epistles for the Tyndale New Testament Commentary Series (IVP) releases in fall 2022. Padilla has been a pastor of a Hispanic congregation in Chicago. With his wife Kristen and son Philip, they are members of The Cathedral Church of the Advent (Episcopal).