ICEL Reaching out to the reaching out Paul’s proclamation before the Areopagus: Acts 17 24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord.
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Presentation on theme: "ICEL Reaching out to the reaching out Paul’s proclamation before the Areopagus: Acts 17 24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord."— Presentation transcript:
ICEL Reaching out to the reaching out Paul’s proclamation before the Areopagus: Acts 17 24"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
ICEL Acts 17:16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. Acts 17:22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. (Also women > Damaris) Acts 17:23 …now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
ICEL Paul “reasoned” (Men’s quest to know) In the synagogue with Jews and God fearing Greeks In the marketplace with: Epicureans (indulgence, food, nihilistic) Stoics (self control, moderation, pantheistic) Both: “ How can I be happy”, No developed concept of an afterlife Success formula for evangelism? (given the circumstances) A few men became followers of Paul and believed. Not a formula, but a passion. 1 Corinthians 9:16 … I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!
ICEL Which God does Paul introduce? No “soft” approach The “unknown” God…not a god in a row of other Hellenistic family of gods, but the only One and True God : The Creating and sustaining God, who determines time and space, and who is not depending on men. God, who has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed… He has given proof of this to all men by raising him (Jesus) from the dead
ICEL Paul’s first argument: God, Creator of heaven and earth “The book of nature” : Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Galileo’s conflict with the church :(letter to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany 1615) Church: Aristotle's worldview: The earth is the center of the universe. Galileo: Copernicus, (1473 –1543) Heliocentric worldview: Earth moves around the Sun. Galileo cited Cardinal Baronius (1598) "The Bible was written to show us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go “ “It still moves”
ICEL Why did God give us the perception of awe, wonder and beauty? To recognize Him, and bow before him. Psalm 8: 3,4 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Acts 17:27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him (they might feel after him KJV) and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. Blind…, feeling around…In darkness we cannot see.
ICEL God is not far … though he is not far from each one of us. Ps 139 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 23: 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…
ICEL Science: Knowing by comparison.. God is incomparable. Research from the wrong (dead) end. Science can be intimidating if you do not know its boundaries Paul: There is no excuse! He preaches creation, resurrection and judgment. Tough message! There are other ways to know: Different Epistemologies. “Epistemology of Love” = Knowing God through Love. Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart’…” Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
ICEL How do I know, what can I see? 1 Corinthians 13:12(NIV) Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; (or through a dim window ) then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. Our limited view requires Faith Epistemology of Faith: “Sure and Certain” Hebrews 11:1,2 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.