For years now there have been three major staples on my bookshelf: Darrell Bock's two-volume commentary on Luke and and his one volume commentary on Acts from the BECNT series. Bock has established himself as an expert on Lukan-source material. So I eagerly was anticipating his synthesis of Luke's theology in his Gospels and in Acts in A Theology of Luke and Acts: God's Promised Program, For All Nations which is a part of Zondervan's Biblical Theology of the New Testament series. I was not disappointed.
The first four chapters of this 500+ page resource are devoted to introductory matters and take up less than 1/5 of the book. The real meat and potatoes are found in 19 chapters where he absolutely breaks down the theology of Luke. I spent my time with chapter 5 in Bock's work which was devoted to a narrative development of the "Plan, Activity and Character of God." Bock walks the reader through virtually every chapter tracing how God's plan of introducing the "already not-yet of the kingdom" works itself out.
As Bock so eloquently displays in his narrative approach to the chapter, often the acts of God are placed out in the open and later are explained by the characters themselves. These sort of helpful insights are scattered throughout Bock's text and shed helpful light upon the text as a whole.
As a youth pastor, I am constantly looking for the application for my teens and for myself. Some commentaries leave me with a lot of research and a breathtaking amount of information, but with little I can really nail down and make practical. However, each of Bock's chapters is just loaded with application. I will fully admit that as I read through his book, I found myself praise God and his infinite wisdom.
That is the kind of writer Darrell Bock is--he is a theologian in love with God. I highly commend A Theology of Luke and Acts: God's Promised Program, For All Nations.
*Thanks to Zondervan for providing me a review copy of the book in exchange for a fair and balanced review.*