For the Life of the World
The Multiplication of Simon Peter
In his previous book, Breakfast on the Beach, Rev. Dr. Johannes W. H. van der Bijl retold the gospel narrative through the eyes of Simon Peter, inviting us to experience Jesus’s life and ministry anew. Now, in For the Life of the World, van der Bijl continues the story, following the disciples on their journey as they become disciple-makers and fulfil the Great Commission, expanding the kingdom of God into every corner of the earth.
This book weaves together New Testament accounts from Acts and the Epistles with early church writings and tradition to give us a glimpse into the life of Peter in the aftermath of Jesus’s death, resurrection, and ascension. Once again, van der Bijl reminds us that the disciples were not storybook saints but flesh and blood men and women of faith, whose calling to obedience, transformation, and multiplication is no different than our own. This refreshing narrative approach provides an accessible introduction to the New Testament for seekers and new believers, while also providing church leaders and lifelong Christians the opportunity to re-encounter the transformative power of Jesus’s ministry and the calling to replicate it in our own lives and times.
Woven into this narrative is well grounded theology that centres upon Jesus, his words, and how the Scriptures are fulfilled in him. This is a wholesome read that will benefit old and young alike.
Mark Dickson, PhD
George Whitfield College, Muizenberg, South Africa
Johannes van der Bijl deftly weaves together the academic and the imaginative, teaching as Jesus did, through the power of narrative. This is a must-read for anyone who wishes to expand their view of Scripture.
Jessica Hughes, PhD
Uganda Christian University, Mukono
With his extraordinary flair for narrative and his faithfulness to the Scriptures, Dr. van der Bijl brings to life the apostle Peter’s transformation and multiplication to help us fulfil Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples of all nations and bring life to the world in our generation.
St John’s – St Margaret’s Church, Singapore
Some rigorous research, honest presupposing, and creative writing has gone into this very readable recounting of the experience of the apostle Peter as he learns to live and lead as a disciple of Jesus after the Lord’s resurrection and ascension.
Bill Musk, PhD
Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Johannes van der Bijl gifts his readers an inspiring, narrative exegetical training, providing a most accessible and illuminating way to learn about Acts, Peter, and the multiplicatory ministry of Christ. This is a commendable work.
Mario Tafferner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature,
Tyndale Theological Seminary, The Netherlands
Table of Contents
- Part One: “I will breathe my Spirit into you, and you shall live again” Ezekiel 37:14
- 1 Tying up Loose Ends
- 2 The Promise and the Power
- 3 The External Threat
- 4 The Internal Threat
- 5 Whom to Obey
- 6 Priorities
- 7 The Blood of the Martyrs
- Part Two: “We will not withhold the [lessons from the past] from our children” Psalm 78:4
- 8 The Seed of the Church
- 9 Sprouting Seeds in Samaria
- 10 A Dry Branch Blossoms
- 11 The Wolf Lives with the Lambs
- Part Three: “ . . . all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you” Genesis 12:3
- 12 Widening Circles and the Ripple Effect
- 13 To Rome and Back
- 14 Pastoral Writing
- 15 Capture and Release
- 16 Return to Rome
- 17 Return from Rome and Delicate Deliberations
- 18 Final Jerusalem Visit and Seasons of Change
- 19 Winning the Race
- Appendix A: Presuppositions
- Appendix B: Assumptions
- Appendix C: Thesis, Tradition, and Timeline