In lieu of an abstract, below is the essay's first paragraph.
He has…rescued [us] from the hands of our enemies, [so that] without fear we might worship him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
- Luke 1:74-75
This statement, spoken by Zechariah at the birth of John the Baptist, serves as a forecast of where the story of Jesus and his early community will end up. Acts 28:30-31 reports its accomplishment when, talking about Paul’s lodgings in Rome, it says, “He remained two full years in his lodgings. He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” The narrative of Luke-Acts begins in Jerusalem (Lk 1:5-25), moves to Galilee (Lk 4:14-15), returns to Jerusalem (Lk 19:28), then ventures throughout Asia Minor and ends in Rome (Acts 28:14). The movement of the story is also the movement of the church, at least the movement of the church as Luke wanted to present it. With the Gospel of Luke terminating in the heart of the Roman Empire and the missionary call strong in the hearts of his main characters, the question arises as to how Luke reconciles the demands of the Christ event with the reality of imperial rule. It will be the goal of this paper to suggest that Luke-Acts presents a view of Christianity relating to the Empire in a way that is mutually beneficial. Luke does not maintain anti-imperial sentiments, nor does he see the church as diametrically opposed to the surrounding culture.
"Pro-Secular? Luke's Relationship with Roman Imperial System and Culture,"
Verbum: Vol. 15
, Article 7.
Available at: https://fisherpub.sjfc.edu/verbum/vol15/iss1/7