Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean. Acts 17:16-20
Apologetics has become a popular tool for ministry today, but Apologetics is not a new strategy or concept, in fact Paul used the same strategy in his ministry. While evangelizing to Greek philosophers and Jewish religious leaders, Paul used logic and reasoning based on their worldview. This is exactly what Apologetics is, using logic and reasoning to show God exists and that Christianity is true
Notice these philosophers heard of Jesus and the resurrection, but they didn’t understand how this fit into their worldview. Often Apologetics, when done correctly, creates a pathway to the gospel of Christ. And we are going to see how Paul accomplished this by explaining there is one true God and the resurrection of Christ is the evidence that Christianity is true
(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Acts 17:21-24
The Greeks worshipped many gods, including an unknown god , in case they accidently missed one. Paul pointed out their error as there is only one true living God. And the true living God does not live in temples or statues made by human hands. Next you will see how Paul builds a bridge to the gospel through this strategy
And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. Acts 17:30-31
Paul explained God has commanded everyone to come to repentance and affirmed He is the true living God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Remember the resurrection is the central theme of Christianity and our faith, if Christ wasn’t raised from the dead, then our faith is worthless
Good Apologetics should always lead to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Build a case for God then lead them to Jesus Amen!
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What I like about the Apostle Paul is how he quotes from the Stoic and Greek philosophers then rephrases it in a way for them to relate to the Judeo-Christian worldview. He was an expert in knowing several viewpoints. As Christians, we should strive to do the same. Blessings!
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Amen brother! God bless you!