continuing on in lukes gospel, kind of, the book of Acts is a sequel to luke and continues his pastoral and theological look at history and salvation in particular. this may be a new view for you because most churches teach that Acts is a historical reference work about the start of the church. while Acts certainly contains that, it is more of a theological work. so what we need to come to the book of Acts with is not, what is the church? but instead what is the function of the church? this is a radically different way of looking at the book of Acts and the church. in Acts 1:1, luke tells theophilus (which is interesting in and of itself) that he is continuing to tell the story of "what Jesus began to do (RSV)" this translation picks up the greek imperfect much better than other translations. what he is saying is, jesus began the work of salvation and the story of acts will continue the work of salvation. what luke is doing here is that he is tying the church and salvation together. this brings to light i think it was Hans Kung that said there is no salvation outside of the church. so these are my two biggest questions. what is jesus' role in salvation? and what is the role of the church in salvation? and how will those two work together? part of it i think is that the church (body of christ) continues the work that jesus began (i.e. healing the sick, raising the dead, exorcising demons, challenging imperialism, proclaiming good news, etc). salvation seems to be much more about living in a certain way in the present, than believing certain propositions that get us into heaven in the future. any thoughts?