CHAPTER XVIII SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS ATTITUDES

There are other interests of Luke that are more significant and more familiar than those mentioned in the preceding chapter. He is thought not only to have shared the secular viewpoints of the Greeks, but to have been like Paul specially interested in their acceptance of Christianity. Acts shows a sympathetic understanding of the gradual process by which God "opened a door of faith to the Gentiles." Central to the book both in thought and in position are the words, "God visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name." Paul's mission to them is told in a way that quite matches Paul's own sense of special call as revealed in the letters. Like Paul the author is interested in Old Testament passages that point this way, and inserts similar predictions into his own lyric passages.1

An attempt has sometimes been made to show that his gospel is more universal in this sense than the others, but the illustrations are often far-fetched and the evidence not all on one side. It is true that he alone quotes the Vox clamantis prophecy from Isaiah far enough to include the words, "All flesh shall see the salvation of God," but "salvation of God" rather than "all flesh" may well be the phrase he wanted. In quoting from another part of the same roll, "My house shall be called a house of prayer," he stops short of the words "for all the nations" (found

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1
Acts xiii. 47; xv. 17; Luke ii. 31 f.; Acts ix. 15; xxii. 21; xxvi. 17 f., 23.

-254-

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