Monday, September 17, 2007

John 3:30 Geography

Luke records the missionary journeys of Paul in great cities such as Athens, Corinth, Philippi, and Rome. Obviously these are truncated accounts—he doesn't have the time or space to tell us everything Paul did or everywhere he went. Hence, the travel narratives are sometimes reduced to placing dots on a map. For instance, in Acts 17:1 Luke recounts Paul's trip through Amphipolis and Apollonia. After years of teaching through the book of Acts I was finally able to visit these Grecian cities that I had heretofore deemed insignificant. Hence, I was amazed to discover at Amphipolis a twenty-foot lion which stood at the city entrance even during the days of the Apostle. Such monuments, as you can well imagine, are reserved for cities of note. They must be places of wealth and reputation. Why, then, does Luke give this stop such short shrift? As I pondered this, it struck me that in Acts, the places Luke records are not always the largest, richest, or most famous. They are not always the sort of places that make CNN. Rather, Luke lists places where the Holy Spirit established a church. It is as if a place has little significance for Luke except through the presence of God's people in it. Perhaps our own estimation of significance should follow the third Evangelist. Spiritual demographics should accord value based upon the growth of the church rather than secular streams of economics, power, or entertainment.


Blogger Matt Sh'boiga said...

From Acts 29: I noticed a similar phenomenon in my own travels. Cost Rica is a quaint, little country and they often joke that Hitler would have invaded her had there not been a fly on the map blocking his view at the time. Yet for many missionaries to Spanish-speaking countries, it is a bit of a proving ground. One can find quite a shock of an introduction to the gross realities of life in the big world outside of suburbia (I had my introduction to it in Mexico in the summer of 2000).

A book to check out in your "spare" time: Twilight Labyrinth. Interesting thesis, even if the details get fishy.

Good paradigm shift to reflect upon! Also: We should be aware of when places are spiritually and secularly important overlap, yes?

September 20, 2007 at 2:09 PM  

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