Conversion: Reading the Biblical Story Anew

Noah saved from the flood

“Within the speeches of Acts, Jewish people might hear the familiar stories borrowed from their Scriptures, but these stories have been cast in ways that advocate a reading of that history that underscores the fundamental continuity between the ancient story of Israel, the story of Jesus, and the story of the Way. Israel’s past (and present) is understood accurately and embraced fully only in relation to the redemptive purpose of God, and this divine purpose comes to decisive expression in Jesus’s ministry, crucifixion, and exaltation, and through exegetes operating in the sphere of the Holy Spirit. The coming of Jesus as Savior may signal the fresh offer of repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel (Acts 5:31; 13:38-39), but the acceptance of this offer by Jewish people is dependent on their embracing this interpretation of God’s salvific activity…calls for conversion. And what is conversion, but transformation of the theological imagination, which includes incorporation into the community of believers and concomitant practices? Conversion as Luke develops it entails a reconstruction of one’s self within a new web of relationships, a transfer of allegiances, and the embodiment of transformed dispositions and attitudes. That this conversion is to a particular reading of that ancient story – a reading that insists that the only genuine line tracing the actualization of God’s purpose passes through the life, death, and the exaltation of Jesus, Messiah, and Lord.”

(Joel B. Green, Seized by Truth, pg. 47-48)