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Paul's Message to the Intellectuals | Is Evangelicalism Reaching the Intelligentsia of Our Culture?

March 14, 2021 Speaker: Scott Slaughter Series: Acts, Continuing the Work of Jesus

Topic: Children, Kids, Evangelism, Gospel, Great Commission Scripture: Acts 17:22–17:34

Athens, the city of the philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and the adopted home of Zeno, and Epicurus. Home to one of the ancient world’s few and famous libraries. The cradle of the art and literature that helped build Western Civilization. The birthplace of democracy. It is hard to give this ancient city too much credit. It was without competition the most enlightened place in the Western world. This is the place in which the Apostle Paul finds himself in chapter 17 of Acts. It is true that by the time Paul appears on the scene of Athens, the city’s influence and power paled to it former glory. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church: “By the 1st cent. A.D. Athens had become a province of the Roman Empire, important only for its schools of philosophy, to which upper-class Romans went to a university.” p. 103. But make no mistake, that Paul was asked to share his teaching before the council of the Areopagus was no small matter. 

What about the Athens of our day? Where is it? What city or cities might be the place where our society and culture are being shaped? And, are we boldly preaching the Word of God to them? Could you name one or two? Perhaps New York, Washington DC, Hollywood California, just to name few. 

Where might you speak the truth of Christ with love to confront idolatry and sin against God? What about the university where your children and grandchildren attend? The college campuses, even the community colleges? Perhaps the public schools, city councils, and halls of government just to name a few. 

How did Paul speak to these people who had prejudged the Jewish religion and ignored the Hebrew Scriptures? Was he afraid of them? Was he intimidated by their learning? Did he assume they were right and the Bible was wrong? Did he compromise his beliefs in order to win a hearing? Did they accept him as an intellectual? Did he impact them and many others for Christ in the long view?  Let’s looks at what the Apostle of Christ witnessed before these important and brilliant men.