Saturday, May 28, 2011

preaching to pagans

Good morning friends,
I've been unable to post these for a few days due to a problem with blogger. Hopefully we're back on track now. We're jumping around a bit here in the Book of Acts. We were last hearing about how Saul approved of Stephen's death and began persecuting the church. Not long after that Jesus appears to Saul and Saul becomes Paul, the great evangelist. From the fifteenth chapter on, Acts tells the story of Paul's travels to spread the word. We pick up the story with Paul in Athens, the center of philosophy. He's distressed with that city's idolatry but uses not only the synagogue, but also the marketplace to share the good news of God's love in Jesus. Tomorrow we'll read how he preaches to pagans with a philosophical mindset. One thing I appreciate is that even though the gospel is always the same, different settings suggest different ways of presenting the story.

Weekend blessings,

Acts 17:15-21

15Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and after receiving instructions to have Silas and Timothy join him as soon as possible, they left him. 16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.

18Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities.” (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 19So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means.” 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.

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