What Story Are We Living In?: The Confrontation of Easter, Luke 24:13-35

“What Story Are We Living In?: The Confrontation of Easter”
Luke 24:13-35
April 21, 2019 (Easter 2019)
Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service
Pr. Nicoletti

Our Scripture reading this morning is a continuation of the account we read together a few minutes ago – the Gospel of Luke, chapter twenty-four, verses thirteen through thirty-five, picking up right where we left off in our earlier reading. Please listen carefully, for this is God’s Word for us this morning.

24:13 That very day two of them [that is, two of Jesus’s disciples] were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

This is the word of the Lord.

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]

Let’s pray …

Today … Easter Sunday in 2019 … Easter Sunday in our particular time and place and culture is an odd sort of thing, if you think about it.

Today a significant portion of human beings around the world are gathered together and have proclaimed that today is a special day of remembrance of one of the most important events that have ever occurred in human history.

At the same time, a second significant portion of human beings are gathered with that first group … but the second group doesn’t actually think the thing being commemorated today actually happened … but they think instead that it’s a nice story to reflect on together … true the way a good fairy tale is “true.”

And still a third significant portion of human beings around the world today are not gathering at all, because they believe the story the first two groups are gathering to focus on is so far from being the most important event in human history, that it is instead utter nonsense – a story that not only never actually took place, but a story that as told has done more harm than good for the world we live in.

These are the kinds of divisions discussed by Charles Taylor, a philosopher at McGill University, in his work titled A Secular Age.

Taylor notes that while he might be committed to one view of God and transcendent reality, “there are others, including possibly some very close to” him, whom he can’t simply dismiss as “depraved, or blind, or unworthy,” who have a radically different view of God and transcendent reality than he does. [Taylor, 3]

Of course there have always been different ways of viewing God and transcendent reality, but people with such different views have never been so connected, and living so close together as they are today … and so, when we really know someone, in person, in real life (not just on social media) – when we have a personal relationship with people who view God and transcendent reality so differently than we do, this often leads us to question our own views more.

We cannot naively hold onto our beliefs … but we need to wrestle with those differences. And the extent to which that is part of life today is some of what makes our age so different from previous ages, Taylor argues.

“The main feature of this new context,” Taylor writes, “is that it puts an end to the naïve acknowledgement of the transcendent. […] Naïveté is now unavailable to anyone, believer or unbeliever alike.” [Taylor, 21]

Taylor’s last point there is important. The Christian who believes is surrounded by others – and often people he knows and respects – who don’t believe … and so he cannot simply hold onto his faith naively but needs to wrestle with the unbelief of those around him.

But Taylor is also pointing out that the reverse often tends to be true as well. The doubter, the non-believer, is surrounded by others – some of whom she knows and respects – who do believe … and if she takes them seriously, then she cannot simply hold on to her doubt naively … but needs to wrestle with the belief of those around her.

As James K. A. Smith has put it: “The doubter’s doubt is faith; his temptation is belief, and it is a temptation that has not been entirely quelled, even in a secular age.” [Smith, 9-10]

These realities are part of the world we live in, in a “secular age,” Taylor contends. The result, summarized by Smith, is “a situation of fundamental contestability when it comes to belief, a sense that rival stories are always at the door offering a very different account of the world.” [Smith, 10]

So, these very different accounts of the world coexist, with very different views of God and transcendence. What I find interesting is that contrary to religious conflicts in the past … in our culture today, it does not tend to be at the level of doctrine that these rival claims about what ultimate reality is come into conflict with each other. Instead, where we see that kind of conflict is at the level of how we should live.

Our culture is filled with competing voices on how we should live, and these competing voices form many of the clashes in our fractured culture.

So, one set of voices tells us that our life is all about achievement – that achieving our goals, climbing to the top, reaching success, this is to be the central orienting thing in our lives … while another set of voices decry the meaningless of such achievements, and the selfishness of the meritocracy it creates.

One set of voices tells us that our wealth is ours, and it is no one’s business but our own how we spend it, because we’ve earned it and we deserve it … while another set of voices tells us that much of what we have has been given to us, and perhaps we have an obligation to give what we have to benefit those who are in need – especially those who have not receive the same benefits we have.

One set of voices tells us that our sexuality is ours to do with as we like, and that human fulfillment cannot be found apart from sexual fulfillment … while another set of voices tells us that sex is so potent that it can only be rightly experienced in a narrow set of conditions, and that sexual fulfillment on our own terms is neither a human right nor necessarily an aid, in every case, to human flourishing.

One set of voices tells us that our personal freedom, our personal autonomy is one of the most important things we have, and it needs to be guarded against all sorts of rivals who would steal it from us … while another set of voices tells us to sacrifice our freedom for the good of others, and maybe even the good of ourselves.

In the realms of achievement, money, sex, and freedom, four areas of life that dominate so much of our lives, rival voices within our culture shout rival ethics, rival ways to live as human being. And even among those who agree on the desired outcomes, battle lines are drawn over the best means of achieving them. And a war wages across our culture on these issues … and despite all the words spoken on these topics, and all the ink spilled in the debate, surprisingly few minds are changed in these discussions of how we are to live our lives.

Why aren’t these questions of how to live more easily sorted out and resolved?

Different thinkers have given different answers. But the answer that I’ve been thinking about most this past week is one offered by Alistair MacIntyre. MacIntyre, discussing the questions we face about how we are to live, writes this – he says: “I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?’” [MacIntyre, 216]

“I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story […] do I find myself a part?’”

And that is why so many of our debates in our culture about how people should live end up being so fruitless … because those debates are not decided at the level of ethics, but at the level of story: “I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story […] do I find myself a part?’”

And while we don’t talk about it nearly as openly as we talk about other things, our culture is fractured on that prior question that asks, “What story am I living in?”

It is the story that dictates the direction of our lives … and we cannot agree on the story…

That is the state we live in in our culture today … and there is something of a parallel going on with the two disciples as we encounter them at the beginning of our text this morning.

These two disciples, Cleopas and another – we are not told who the second disciple is: it may be another male disciple, it may be, as some have suggested, Cleopas’s wife [Wright, 293]. Either way, these two disciples are traveling to Emmaus. But as we might suspect from verse thirteen, and as we have confirmed in verse thirty-three, where they are going towards is maybe less important than where they are going away from. They are traveling away from Jerusalem.

And the reason they are traveling away from Jerusalem is because of their answer to the question “What story am I living in?”

And we can reconstruct the story they believed they were living in based on some of what they say in our text this morning. They were looking, they say, for one who would “redeem Israel” – which to them at this point would seem to mean one who would free their nation, Israel, from Roman rule [Bock, 1913; Wright, 294]. And these two disciples thought Jesus might be the great prophet of God sent to free Israel from the Romans … but then the Romans crucified Jesus in Jerusalem. And their hopes were dashed.

In other words, the two disciples believed they were living in a story in which the most important identity of God was that he was the God of Israel, where the biggest problem they faced was that Israel was ruled by foreign pagan rulers, and where the solution they needed was a great leader and prophet chosen by God to throw off their pagan overlords so that Israel could be politically autonomous again.

That was the story they believed they lived in. And they had hoped that Jesus would be that great leader – which meant that he was supposed to crush the Roman forces that were occupying Israel. But instead the Roman forces crushed him – condemning him to death and crucifying him. And so, their hopes were dashed to pieces.

That was the story they believed they were living in. And if that is the story they were living in, then the logical thing to do now was to get out of Jerusalem. Whether out of fear that Jesus’s followers (including themselves) would also be hunted down, or out of a simple determination that there was no point in staying in Jerusalem if they had no leader to overthrow the Romans then and there, the two disciples leave. The direction of their travels, and with it the direction of their lives, is dictated by the story they believe they are living in.

But then they are confronted on the road.

Jesus appears to them … but they are unable to recognize him. It is a feature across several stories of the resurrection of Jesus that his physical body was both the same and transformed, so that his followers sometimes struggled to recognize him, and other times recognized him clearly. In any case, we are told in verse sixteen that their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

And Jesus comes to them and challenges their story. After they give their account of the story they believe they are living in, in verses nineteen through twenty-four, we read:
25 And he [that is, Jesus,] said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Now, there is a lot going on in those few lines, but the big picture point is this: Jesus is saying that they got the story wrong.

The two disciples were faithful Jews and they knew that the Hebrew Scriptures told them the story they were living in … but they had read it wrong.

And Jesus says just that, and then tells them the true story from the Hebrew Scriptures as a replacement for the alternative story they had believed. What was that true story he told them? We have it explained to us in a number of places throughout the Scriptures.

It is the story that begins by acknowledging that God is not only the God of Israel, but of the entire world – that the same God who had rescued and drawn close to his people again and again in the Hebrew Scriptures was the Maker of all people, and he both rightly ruled over all humanity, and cared for all human beings.

It is story of how humanity then rebelled against their maker, bringing sin and death into the world. Which means that that the greatest challenge facing human beings is not a foreign ruler or a frustrated desire for freedom, but our personal and communal rebellion against God, along with the death, destruction, and brokenness that our rebellion has brought into this world, shattering men and women’s relationship with God and with one another.

It is the story of how God’s deliverance would not take the form of sending a great prophet to defeat political enemies and provide political freedom, but that instead, God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, would come to earth in human form. He would live the life he had called his people to live, and then he would die the death his people deserved to die – taking all the death, destruction, and brokenness they had created and deserved for their rebellion, onto himself on the cross, on their behalf. And not only that. Far from the story ending in Christ’s defeat by sin and death, it is the story of how he would rise again from the dead, defeating the greatest enemies humanity faced: sin, guilt, shame, and death.

And from there, as Jesus said, he would enter into his glory. He would ascend to God the Father and offer to all who would come to him in faith, all who would trust him and call on his name – to them he would offer forgiveness, healing, and in the end eternal life.

Because one day he would come back, and when he did he would make all things new. And the dead would be raised. And all who trusted in Christ would live with God and God’s people forever, in a world without sin, brokenness, or death.

That is the big story written across the pages of the Scripture from beginning to end, and that was the story Jesus told the two disciples that they were living in. The cross was not the defeat of Christ, but it was part of his work of rescuing his people. And the resurrection was the defeat of all of the enemies of God’s people, and therefore one of the most important events in human history.

That is the story Jesus tells them, and as the two disciples say in verse thirty-two, their hearts burned within them while he told it.

And having heard it, that is the story, in verse thirty-two, that they come to believe they are actually living in. And so, what do they do in verse thirty-three? “They rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem.”


Because: “I can only answer the question ‘What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story […] do I find myself a part?’”

When the two disciples believed that the story they lived in was one where they had followed a failed political leader who had been condemned and executed, then the answer to “What now am I to do?” was to abandon the others who had followed that same executed leader and get away from the scene of the events.

But when they believed that the story they lived in was one where they had followed God incarnate, who had died for their sins, and risen from the dead to defeat death and hell, then the answer to “What now am I to do?” was to return quickly to others who had trusted in the same risen Lord, and to commit their lives to following him, whatever the cost.

The direction they would live their lives, both literally and metaphorically, was determined by their answer to the question “What story am I living in?”

Our culture is fractured on the question of how we should live, and it offers an array of directions to orient our lives.

Secular conservatives have one pattern they urge us to live by, secular liberals have another pattern they urge us to live by, various religions offer additional patterns to live by, and historic Christianity offers still another.

Each provides a different answer to the question of “What am I to do?” Each answer they give is rooted in their answer to the question “What story am I living in?”

So what story do you act as if you are living in?

What story do you claim to believe you are living in? And (since the answer is not always the same – even if it should be) what story do you actually act as if you are living in?

Is it that same story Jesus outlined for the two disciples?

Or is it a different one?

If it’s a different one, what is it? Where does it say that you came from? What does it tell you the biggest problem or threat you face in this life is? What does it hold out as the solution for that problem? What is the hope it offers you? And what reason do you have for believing that it is actually the story of the world and not a fiction – not a false or counterfeit story?

The two disciples, at the beginning, when they were walking away from Jerusalem were living their lives according to a false story of the world they lived in. That fact is meant to confront us with the reality that we may be doing the same thing.

Rachael Sheldon told us her testimony a few minutes ago – about how after living her life for a time believing she was in one story, she abandoned it for the story of the Bible, the story Jesus told the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

The two disciples similarly abandoned the false story they had believed for the story they heard from Jesus.

Do you need to do the same thing?

Maybe you claim to believe the story Jesus tells … you claim to believe the story of the Christian Scriptures. But if you look at your life – if you look at how you live, it quickly becomes clear that you are living more according to a different story of the world than according to the Christian story.

Or maybe you are not a Christian … you are consciously living according to a different story … a different story which calls you to a pattern of life consistent with it.

In either case, our text confronts you this morning. The story of Eater confronts you. Because the story of Easter is not just an optimistic fairy tale … it’s a claim that the story told by Jesus is the true story of the universe, and that every other story is a lie.

What is it that led Rachael Shelden … what is it that led the two disciples … what is it that has led countless men and women, boys and girls, to abandon one story of the world for the story told by Jesus? – to abandon one pattern of life for the pattern of Jesus?

We could say a number of things – let me briefly note three things this morning that often seems to lead to that change.

First, they began to notice flaws in the stories they were living their lives by. They began to see that the patterns their stories called them to live by did not work.

For Rachael it was a series of unmaskings in life. The story she thought she was living in told her that achievement would give her joy and peace … but it didn’t. The story she thought she was living in it told her that attention and approval in relationships would give her security … but it didn’t. The story she thought she was living in told her that she could build happiness and purpose and joy on her own … but she couldn’t. The story she thought she was living in couldn’t make sense of her own experience … so much so that it started to seem like it couldn’t be the true story of this world.

For the two disciples on the road, they had their alternate story unmasked directly by Jesus himself. He pointed to the Scriptures they had tried to root their alternate story in and showed them that they did not fit together the way they tried to make them fit together.

If you are living your life according to a story other than the one taught by Jesus – whether intentionally or unintentionally – where have the cracks begun to show? Where have the inconsistencies with the real world begun to emerge? Where has that alternate story failed to keep its promises after you’ve patterned your life according to it?

One of the first things that leads people to abandon an alternative story for the story told by Jesus and the Christian Scriptures, is that the flaws of their alternative story begin to emerge.

Second, what leads people to abandon one story of the world for the story of Jesus is that they receive testimony from other Christians.

For Rachael it began with her family, it was then picked up by her classmate Audrey, and next it was put before her even more pointedly by the pastor at Audrey’s church.

For the two disciples, it began with the women they described in verses twenty-three and twenty-four.

It’s interesting how we discount such testimony from others at first … especially because of the source.

For Rachael, the testimony of parents and grandparents felt unconvincing.

For the two disciples, it was the testimony of, as they put it, “some women from our company” that seemed so unconvincing to them.

Of course, it is a commonplace for adolescents in our culture to assume their parents are not worth taking too seriously, and it was similarly commonplace for people in the first century to assume that women’s testimony was not worth taking too seriously.

God seems to delight though, in bringing testimony to us from those we have trouble receiving it from.

We might look down on adolescents who think they know so much better than adults, and men from the first century who thought they knew so much better than women – but we do the same thing in our culture when we look at the Biblical stories and dismiss them because we are sure that we modern people know so much better than those pre-modern people.

As if pre-modern people were too dumb to know that when a person died, they usually stayed dead. As if they were too dumb to realize how stupendous the claim was that they were making about Jesus Christ rising from the dead. They knew it was a big deal! That’s why so many of them reoriented their lives when they came to accept it.

We should not be so dismissive of those God uses to tell his story.

In fact, God’s choice to use those to tell his story who would be so easily dismissed by others in their time and place is actually significant evidence of the truth of the Easter story.

As one author points out: “Each gospel states that the first eyewitnesses to the resurrection were women. Women’s low social status meant that their testimony was not admissible evidence in court [in the first century]. There was no possible advantage to the church to recount that all the first witnesses were women. It could only have undermined the credibility of the testimony. The only possible explanation for why women were depicted as meeting Jesus first is if they really had.” [Keller, 204-205]

In other words, if you’re going to fabricate an account in the first century of something stupendous happening, something you wanted people to believe but knew they would have a hard time believing, then the last thing you would do would be to make the primary set of witnesses women! And the prominent place of women continued to be a challenge in spreading the claims of the Christian story long after those early days. A century later, the Greek philosopher Celsus continued to mock how Christianity was a religion fit only for, he says: “the silly, […] and the stupid, [along] with women and children.” [Origen, III.44] That is how negatively women were viewed in the ancient world, and how negatively their testimony to the resurrection would have been received.

The only reason for saying that women were the first set of witnesses would be if that was what really happened.

The earlier author continues, writing: “There must have been enormous pressure on the early proclaimers of the Christian message to remove the women from the accounts. They felt they could not do so – the records were too well known. The accounts of the first eyewitnesses of the resurrection would have been electrifying and life-changing, passed along and retold more than any other stories about the life of Jesus.” [Keller, 205]

Despite how hesitant many have been to receive it from those God has chosen to use – whether an adolescent hearing from a parent, a man in the ancient world hearing from a women in the ancient world, or a modern person hearing it from a pre-modern person, God again and again uses testimony, historically reliable testimony that Christ has risen from the dead, testimony that Christ’s story is therefore the true story of the world we live in.

Whom has God used to bring that testimony to you?

So, people abandon their alternate stories for the story told by Jesus because first, they begin to see the cracks and flaws in their own alternate story, second, they hear testimony from others about the resurrection of Christ.

And then third: because they have a personal encounter with the risen Christ.

For the two disciples it was a physical encounter with the risen Lord.

Since that time Jesus has ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father. He will come again in bodily form one the day, when he comes to make all things new. But in between those days, he is no less active in the world, even if he is not physically present. He is alive, really and truly alive, and he continues to be active in the world through the Holy Spirit.

And countless Christians have spoken of their encounters with the risen Christ since that day. Rachael told us her story this morning. I could tell you mine. Others in this room could tell you theirs.

Like the two disciples, we may not have always recognized right away that it was Jesus who was working in our lives and confronting us as we walked along the road in the wrong direction – but we each came to have our eyes open and see it was he whom we were personally encountering.

Where might Jesus Christ be at work in your life?

God shows us flaws in the story we are trying to live in, he testifies to his truth, and he confronts us himself. And when he has done all that, and when someone abandons their alternative story for the story of Jesus, the dead and risen Lord, then the way they answer “What am I to do?” begins to change.

Rachael goes from trying to find her worth in achievements or relationships to finding it in Christ.

The two disciples go from fleeing Jerusalem, to hurrying towards it.

And so on with all the examples we spoke of earlier:

Seen in the story told by Christ, our achievements are no longer the most important things in our lives, but good things that we are still willing to sacrifice for Jesus, since he sacrificed so much for us.

Seen in the story told by Christ, our money is no longer regarded as ours, because we know not only that all we have is a gift from God our Maker, but because we know that that same God, who was rich in heaven, became poor on earth for our sake … and so how can we not be willing to give what we have for those in need, after he gave so much more than that when we were in need?

Seen in the story told by Christ, our sexuality is no longer something we can fulfill as we please, but it is an aspect of being human, designed by God, and to be used according to his purposes. Sexual fulfillment is no longer a right but a gift. And the sacrifices God may ask us to make in regard to our sexual desires are a way that we can give ourselves up to Christ and die to ourselves, just as Christ gave himself up for us, and died upon the cross for our sake.

Seen in the story told by Christ, our freedom no longer becomes the source of our hope, but we are willing to tie ourselves down to the kind of commitments that bring life, just as God tied himself down in commitment to bring life to us.

The pattern we live by is determined by the story we believe we are living in.

And the Easter story – the account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ – is one that confronts all other stories.

And it is a story that has to be dealt with. If it did not happen, if the resurrection did not occur in history, then the whole Christian story is nothing but nonsense, and we should be done with it already. If the resurrection did not happen, then according to the Apostle Paul himself, the Christian faith is worthless and should be abandoned at once. [1 Corinthians 15:13-19]

But if it did happen … then there is nothing to do but to abandon every other alternative story – every other alternative story that we live by, whether intentionally or unintentionally – and hold on instead to the story Jesus tells us: Of how he made all things. Of how when we rebelled against him and made a shipwreck of the world he had created, far from abandoning us to our fate, he came, and he loved us, and he died for us. Of how he rose on the third day and thus defeated sin and death. Of how he will save all who trust in him. Of how he will come again to make all things new.

The Easter story must be either adopted … or mocked. There is no in between.

So, consider the questions again this morning.

How are you living your life? According to what pattern? According to what story?

From that, what story do you believe, do you really believe, you are living in?

And from there: Is that story actually true?

If not … then where have the flaws in the alternative story begun to show in your life?

We have before us this morning the testimony of witnesses that Christ rose from the dead, that Jesus Christ defeated death, that Jesus Christ is the most important key to understanding the story of the world we live in. The testimony is before us. What will you do with it?

And whether we have eyes to see it or not right now, Christ, by his Spirit is present and active with us as well. Will you come to see that it is so … or will you avert your eyes until he no longer seems as present?

Like the two disciples in our story, the direction and the destination of your entire life hangs in the balance. The risen Christ stands before you this morning. Which story will you truly believe? According to which story will you live your life?


This sermon draws on material from:
Bock, Darrell L. Luke 9:51-24:53. Baker Exegetical Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1996.
Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism. New York, NY: Dutton, 2008.
McIntyre, Alastair. After Virtue. Third Edition. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.
Origen, Contra Celsum. Translated by Frederick Crombie. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0416.htm
Smith, James K. A. How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014.
Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.
Wright, N. T. Luke for Everyone. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.