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Acts 4:21–22

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1. The Resurrection Offends

The Resurrection offends the powerfully religious because it says that Jesus is the only way.
The Resurrection offends the powerfully pagan because it says that Jesus is the only way.
The Resurrection offends those whose strongest desires are power and control but is attractive to those who have no power or control.


2. The Resurrection Reorients

QUOTES

The Roman world at that time was officially pluralistic, in that the Romans said, “You can worship your god. Everybody has their own god. You have your god. Every town, every people, has a god. That’s fine. Worship your god. That’s great. But you must also worship the emperor. You must say, ‘Kaiser curios,‘” which means Caesar is Lord. “You can worship your god, as long as you also worship Caesar.”
Now what’s disingenuous about saying, “Oh, you can have your own religion, as long as you worship Caesar too” is if you worship your god and Caesar, that means by definition you can’t be claiming that your god is the supreme god over all. Of course, Christians couldn’t do that. They couldn’t say, “Kaiser curios.” They could only say, “Christos (Christ) is Lord.” That brought them into tremendous conflict with the Roman government.
— Tim Keller
…why it is that Acts 4:12 has been so unpopular within the politically correct climate of the last few generations in the Western world. ‘No other name’? People say this is arrogant, or exclusive, or triumphalist. So, indeed, it can be, if Christians use the name of Jesus to further their own power or prestige. But for many years now, in the Western world at least, the boot has been on the other foot. It is the secularists and the relativists who have acted the part of the chief priests, protecting their cherished temple of modernist thought, within which there can be no mention of resurrection, no naming of a name like that of Jesus. And the apostles, in any case, would answer: Well, who else is there that can rescue people in this fashion?
— N.T. Wright, Acts for Everyone
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
— CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
The whole class stared at the little girl who had spoken so confidently.
‘How did you learn all that?’ asked Jennifer. ‘We’ve only just started studying Australia today! Did you read a book about it?’
‘No,’ said the girl, tossing her head with a mixture of pride and embarrassment. ‘It’s just that we used to live there. My dad used to run a cattle farm with several thousand cows. I knew all about it from as soon as I could talk.’
There are, in other words, more ways of learning things than studying them in books. Book-learning, in fact, is often a poor substitute for first-hand experience if you want really to get inside a subject or have it inside you. And that was what was so striking about Peter and John.
— N.T. Wright