Theophilus is named after somebody we know almost nothing about.
Each of the Bible’s works were penned for a particular person or community at a particular time for a particular reason. Both of the Timothies were written to an ill-equipped under-aged pastor on how to keep the church he led from losing its mission and heart. Revelation was written to a number of churches for whom God had a specific message by an apostle named John while stranded on a distant island called Patmos. The first letter to the Corinthians was written to a church that had gotten caught up in some rather awkward sexual and dietary practices that made even their idols cringe.
Interestingly, the largest portion of the New Testament was written by a Gentile named Luke to some anonymous guy named Theophilus. All we know about Theophilus is his Greek name and his apparent willingness to fork up enough money to personally commission two major books in the Bible on very expensive papyrus: the gospel of Luke and Acts. Theophilus means two things: “lover of God” and “loved by God.” It’s a name that conveys reciprocity, like a two-way street. Other than this, Theophilus is a mystery. (see Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-2)
We liked the idea of some mysterious guy of anonymity who loved and was loved by God who desperately wanted to hear more of these stories about Jesus. So the name stuck.
Theophilus is a Christian community in southeast Portland, Oregon that meets in the Hawthorne district.
The mission of Theophilus is to believe, embody, and bear the good news of Jesus in the city of Portland.
And we’re still working that one out.