Synopsis: The mission to the Gentiles and their conversion into the church gave rise to conflict in the early Christian community. Acts 11:1-18 indicates that there was clearly dissension over the issue of Peter going to the house of Cornelius and participating in table fellowship with him. The issue was no small matter, since it could have split the church. How then does Luke portray the resolution of the conflict? Instead of writing a long theological treatise, the author employs the art of storytelling. The study of Luke-Acts has long been dominated by historical-critical methods, focusing on Luke as a historian and theologian. This work, however, proposes a paradigm shift by looking at Luke as a storyteller. Since narrative criticism is concerned with the work of the writer as author and not simply redactor, and since it treats narrative precisely as narrative, the time has come to apply the narrative-critical approach to Acts 10:1--11:18. This approach explores a different set of questions: What is the story of Peter and Cornelius about? How is the story told? What effect does the story have on the reader and why? Endorsements: "Through his use of the fairly new narrative-critical method in biblical studies, Nguyen brings the powerful Peter and Cornelius episode alive in a refreshing way that helps us appreciate, not only the who, how, and what, but also the social context and theological significance of this 'turning point' in the church's understanding of itself and mission." --Roger Schroeder, Chair of Catholic Missiology, Catholic Theological Union at Chicago "By means of narrative criticism, Nguyen brings new insights to the understanding of one of the foundational events of the early church. His work is not only a signal contribution to biblical hermeneutics, marked by solid scholarship in both historical and rhetorical analysis, but also to the theology of Christian missions . . . I strongly recommend this book to people engaged in biblical and missiological studies." --Peter C. Phan, Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University "The author's thoughtful thesis of Luke the pastoral theologian is more in line with how the original writer regarded himself than the perennial view of Luke as the historio-theologian. Contextual to the original audience, Luke's powerful story inspires us to have confidence in the ancient art of storytelling to reveal the gospel to our contemporary, technology-savvy generation." --Robert L. Gallagher, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, Wheaton College Graduate School Author Biography: vanThanh Nguyen, SVD, is associate professor of New Testament studies and served as chair of the Biblical Languages and Literature at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois.