We are so excited to have received our print copy of the First Nations Version of Luke & Ephesians (and patiently awaiting the rest!).
Because the Gospel of Luke is written with the goal of persuading people (with the help of the Holy Spirit) to understand the story of Jesus and follow Him, and because that is also the goal of Lutheran Indian Ministries, we will work our way through Luke (with the help of scholarly friends).
What is the main point of these four verses? Luke is writing to persuade this Roman official [Theophilus] (and probably others like him) that the Christian teachings which he has heard are true.
The question, then, is: Is it important to persuade someone of the truth of Christianity?
The answer is, "Yes, it is important to try to persuade people that Christianity is true." At least, Luke thinks it is.
Luke does not merely pray for God to tell Theophilus it is all true. He undertakes a very heavy intellectual task: he writes a fifty-two chapter book! All for the sake of certifying to Theophilus the truth of the Christian teaching he has heard.
He was eager to encourage just the opposite of a blind leap of faith. According to Luke, Christ was very concerned to give proofs… in the sense of fully adequate evidence in their experience. Therefore, Jesus did not want to encourage a blind leap of faith. Otherwise, he wouldn't have lingered forty days.
This does not rule out the Holy Spirit; without his work no one would ever own up to the truth of the gospel. But the Holy Spirit does not replace persuasive words, he empowers them and removes the prejudices that keep people from giving heed. So it is important to try, like Luke, to persuade people of the truth of Christianity.
So, it is necessary to persuade people of the truth of Christian claims. Luke aims to do this by means of his gospel and Acts. First, to see that here is a witness that can be relied on to present us with the Christ who really was, and second, to see in the teaching and life of this Christ a reality that helps make sense out of our experience and fill our deepest longings. (Excerpt from John Piper's "The Aim of Dr. Luke")