May 8

Acts 17:22-25

“For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” vs. 23

The ruins of the Parthenon in Athens are spectacular. Every year millions of tourists come to gape at the wonder of its columns and the delicate beauty of its carvings. When Paul came to Athens on his first missionary journey this temple dedicated to the goddess Athena was already nearly 500 years old, and at the height of its splendor. But Paul was not impressed. Standing on Mars Hill in the shadow of the temple he engaged Greek philosophers in debate. He had observed an altar dedicated to an unknown god in the city, and used that experience as the basis for a lecture on the one true God, the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth, the one who brought all things into existence and who gives life to all living things. He didn’t make any mention of the Hebrew scriptures but instead uses references to Greek authors and writers to make his point. He knows that God is bigger than any religion or philosophy and is accessible from an amazing variety of perspectives. That truth is worth remembering! Sometimes not using religious language is the best way to communicate the gospel.

Thought for the Day: Why does religious language sometimes turn people off?

2 thoughts on “May 8

  1. Years ago Don Richardson wrote the book Peace Child which deals with redemptive analogies. It was a wonderful book about him as a missionary trying to reach cannibals in New Guinea (I think) and how tribes offered one another a “peace child” to stop conflict. He used this to point them to the child God gave and they became Christianized. I believe he now has a book out called Redemptive Analogies.


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