Ministry & Leadership - Spring 2017 - 20
knew: Jewish custom did not allow them
to associate with anyone of another
nation (v. 28). Notice it says "custom."
Though your translation may read "unlawful" in v. 28, this is better taken in a
softer sense as "taboo," for there is nothing in the Old Testament that says Jews
must not associate with others. What
had happened throughout time was that
Jewish traditions about uncleanness
had raised the rightful boundary between Jews and Gentiles to stratospheric
heights. These heightened boundaries
- raised out of nervousness over ritual
purity - were accretions on God's Word.
Rules about table fellowship and not entering a Gentile home were seen as implications of laws on ritual purity, but the
strictness seen here in traditional practice went beyond what the Old Testament
said and had set a firm, unfriendly barrier between Jews (even Jewish Christians)
This barrier is about to be - in fact, already has been - removed.
Peter gets it. He enters a Gentile's home
and strikes a harsh note at the beginning,
only to set in relief what God has shown
him. By analogy, if God has said the distinction between clean and unclean animals no longer matters, then certainly,
20 Ministry & Leadership
Taking the Cross to the Nations
TS professors recently spoke at the latest installment in the Cross
series of student mission conferences. According to the Cross website, the conference "aims to mobilize students for the most dangerous and loving cause in the universe: rescuing people from eternal
suffering and bringing them into the everlasting joy of knowing
and worshipping Jesus."
Dr. Elias Medeiros, Harriet Barbour Professor of Missions at RTSJackson, and Kevin DeYoung (above, center), chancellor's professor of
systematic and historical theology at RTS and senior minister of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Mich., participated in main
sessions and breakout sessions at the December 27-30 conference in Indianapolis. More than 2,000 students, other young adults and campus
ministers attended Cross.
To learn more about Cross, as well to view videos of the sessions, visit