Following on the Way explores the Acts of the Apostles as a guide for spiritual formation. While noting some key issues in the interpretation of Acts, Karen E. Smith enters into conversation with Scripture to elicit themes related to spiritual growth and development. In reflecting on Scripture, Smith has drawn from Christian spiritual guides from across the ages to serve as conversation partners in the quest to discover more about being a disciple of Christ. Included at the end of each chapter are questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
Readers will have to range far and wide to find a commentary on the spirituality of the Acts of the Apostles that equals this exceptional book. Dr. Smith has highlighted and elucidated key texts throughout Acts, but she has enriched and expanded them with a remarkable array of insights gleaned from twenty centuries of the Christian quest to live out their faith. Well-framed questions at the end of each chapter will inspire and stimulate the continuing life of faith in today’s world.
—E. Glenn Hinson
author of A Serious Call to a Contemplative Lifestyle
This highly accessible commentary on Acts is a trove of insights enabling readers to develop their spiritual formation through deep reflection on the biblical text. Karen Smith is a knowledgeable guide, adeptly sharing her familiarity with the terrain. Her probing questions at the end of each section enable every reader to engage personally with the texts discussed, applying them to their own contexts. The volume will be invaluable for preachers and laypeople alike. Strongly recommended!
—Dr. Christine E. Joynes
Fellow in Theology and Director of the Centre for Baptist Studies
Regent’s Park College, Oxford
Drawing on her years of experience in preparing people for Christian ministry, Karen Smith has provided us with a reading of Acts that allows us all to grasp what it means to be formed and to mature as Christian disciples. Her gentle sensitivity as a pastor, together with her evident love of Scripture, shines through this book. Karen explores such vital themes as the experience of conversion, life in community, the importance of waiting, attentiveness to God Spirit, and the cost of discipleship. And throughout she draws on the riches of the Christian traditions to deepen our understanding and enrich our spirituality. It is a book to guide all of us who are “on the Way.”
—The Revd. Graham Sparkes
President, Luther King Centre for Theological Education
Similar to Luke’s engaging story as penned in the Book of Acts, Karen Smith has written a well-suited companion for that narrative journey for all followers of Christ. Like a map for faithful discipleship, Following on the Way offers insight, instruction, direction and encouragement, pointing readers toward growth in Christ through the community of faith, the church. The various chapters of this spiritual formation commentary provide readers with the foundation and also the tools needed in their journey of faith—following the contours of the book itself. This commentary is a rich resource for any follower on the way.
—Scott M. Gibson, D.Phil
David E. Garland Chair of Preaching
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
With passion, depth, skill, and imagination, Karen Smith’s creative commentary on Acts encourages today’s Christian disciples to embark on a quest of discovery alongside the first followers of Jesus, as together we are spiritually formed into the body of Christ. Through spiritual themes such as remembering, waiting, and journeying—together with whole-hearted reliance on the Holy Spirit—we are urged to grow into the likeness of Christ, as individuals and communities. A thoughtful and challenging book, brimming with faith, wisdom, and lived experience.
—The Revd. Catherine Williams
Anglican Priest, Writer and Spiritual Director