Athens was the center of education and culture in the ancient world, think Oxford but without any competition. When Paul gets there he wants to convince the Athenians that he has something better to offer them when he speaks of his faith in Jesus. To do so, he decides to speak their language, the language of philosophy, of poetry, of art. “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious.” I like to think of this as his Fredo moment (for all of you Godfather fans.) “I’m smart.” He fails miserably. Despite all of his erudition and eloquence people do not respond to his preaching. He takes as the lesson from that to change his style of preaching. Instead of trying to out argue someone or have an effective PR campaign he decides that his only focus will be “Jesus Christ, and to preach him as crucified (1 Cor 2:2). Christ crucified, the ultimate outpouring of God’s love, becomes the effective message leading to changed hearts.
By Church Staff