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When in Athens - Communicating the Christian Worldview in a Post-Christian Culture (14 of 14)
Today we will be journeying to Athens, Greece. Well, not literally, but we will look at Acts 17 where Paul has journeyed to Athens. This passage may be the best example in Scripture of how to communicate the Christian worldview in a post-Christian culture. By post-Christian I mean a culture in which Christian values are no longer the dominant view, a culture in which the default position is no longer Christian.
We identify this post-Christian trend in our society today when we wonder why basic Christian teachings and morals are so easily discounted, or when we wonder why people don't come to church like they once did. Almost all organized expressions of Christianity are trending downward. But the silver lining in this dark cloudy condition is that our post-Christian culture looks a whole lot like the pre-Christian culture we find in the New Testament. We can learn how to impact our culture with the Gospel by looking at how the early Christians brought the Gospel to their culture. The way forward is by going backwards.
Distressed and Broken (17:16) Situation
While he was waiting for his friends Timothy and Silas who were in Berea, Paul takes a little sight seeing tour of Athens (v.23). And what he sees breaks his heart for he notices that the city is "full of idols." One writer said that Athens had so many statues of gods that you had a better chance of meeting a statue than you did a man.
It's tempting for us to look at our society and wish things were different and long for the "good old days," although it's debatable when those were. Or we can be broken over the condition of our culture and do something positive about it. What changed Paul's outlook was he got close enough to see, to feel, to hear. The danger as Christians of isolating ourselves from the world, is that we can build a cocoon around our heart. We keep ...
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