Luke-Act Primacy Exemplifies the Core Fundamentals of Apostolic Christianity
Luke-Acts Primacy is consistent with focusing on the core gospel message (the fundamentals) and for establishing what should be emphasized as essential doctrine. Luke-Acts and Paul’s early writings are not as susceptible to critical scholarship in casting doubts about historical accuracy and authorship but also are sufficient for conveying the essentials for one becoming a believer. We believe this methodology is the most viable approach for defending the Christian faith, defining what is essential doctrine, and for evangelism to atheists and other non-believers in this information age.
The Apostolic Unitarian position that Integrity Syndicate holds to Luke-Acts-Paul primacy represents a balance between traditional and non-traditional forms of Christianity. This core foundation of the apostolic tradition is clearly exhibited within the traditional canon is minimally speculative. Luke-Acts stands on its own as being sufficient to convey the core fundamentals of the Christian faith providing a reliable account that gives continuity between the ministry and preaching of Christ and the ministry and preaching of the Apostles. It is the only part of the New Testament that can be taken apart from everything else as providing such a wholistic overview of the essential testimony of Christ and his Apostles.
Later traditions, that emerged in subsequent centuries, represent a corruption to the early Apostolic tradition of the 1st century. These highly-speculative traditions with a heavy traditional bias include the Trinitarian tradition, the Oneness (Modalist) tradition, and the Arian tradition. Highly speculative forms of Christian thought that have a heavy anti-traditional bias include speculating about a Marcion text and canon, Hebrew Roots speculations, Gnosticism, and Islamic revisionist thought with respect to Jesus and the Gospel. Again, Apostolic Unitarian Christianity that affirms Luke-Acts primacy represents a balance between extreme traditional bias and extreme anti-traditional bias with and is minimally speculative compared to all other options.
Critical vs. Uncritical Spectrum of New Testament Thought
Luke-Act Primacy in With the boundaries between extreme traditional and anti-traditional speculation. Many theological camps outside of the core Apostolic Unitarianism exemplified by Luke-Acts and Paul either represent the extreme of traditional speculations or the extreme of anti-traditional speculations. We advocate relying on these resources and methodologies within the center region of the spectrum between the high-speculation zones. Within these boundaries are popular modern English translations (with some traditional bias) but based on a corrected critical Greek text. Within the boundary toward less traditional bias is including methodologies and approaches related to Christian critical scholarship in consideration of the full range of textual variants and identifying Luke-Acts as a witness of the first order with the highest level of accuracy and historical reliability for understanding Apostolic Christianity. We must be careful not to entertain highly-speculative and subjective forms of Christian thought that are outside of a balanced objective range.
Additional Considerations for Luke-Acts Primacy
In addition to Luke-Acts primacy position being more defensible from the standpoint of reliability and historical accuracy, with a balance between traditional and non traditional bias representing a less speculative basis for Christian thought, there are numerous other indications for considering a Luke-Acts primacy standpoint. These are listed below.
- Exemplifies the core essentials of the Gospel Message
- Exemplifies the Apostles teaching (the Apostles Doctrine)
- Exemplifies mainline Apostolic Christianity in the 1st Century (Matthew and John are written to appeal to more specific audiences)
- Exposes issues with the traditional canon and the appeal to the traditional canon
- Undermines Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox appeal to tradition and church authority
- Exposes the error of mainline protestant denominations – It could dislodge many from these corrupted traditions
- Undermines the basis for Trinitarian theology
- Undermines the basis for Oneness theology
- Demonstrates that Biblical Unitarianism is the most defensible theology
- Undermines Judaizers (they principally rely on Matthew)
- Resolves many Muslim objections
- Resolves many Agnostic/Atheist objections of skeptics
- It addresses the Holy Spirit more than Mark and Matthew – Emphasizes the Spirit filled ministry of Christ and his Apostles
- Provides simplicity – undermines those who would over-intellectualize the faith – against emphasizing theology more than living out the faith
- Undermines the modern day fundamentalist Pharisees who make everything about doctrine (i.e., their specific reading into Scripture)
- Undermines the Prosperity Gospel reliance on Mark and Matthew
Preferential Treatment Table
The table below shows how various sects or theological schools use a particular Gospel or Paul as a preferential authority.
Common approaches to Scholarship
The table below compares the common approaches to Biblical scholarship including blue, red and black pill categories. Arriving at a Luke-Acts primacy position is resultant from using critical methods in the pursuit of truth and faith. We seek to be unbiased in the face of tradition.