Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Speaking the lingo

Acts 17 is a very interesting chapter to read every now and then when we tire of the "talking-head" culture in which we live.

Paul is visiting Athens; he sees a city full of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers who like to shoot the breeze on virtually every wind of intellectual discourse. Joy Sawyer says in her book The Art of the Soul: Meditations for the Creative Spirit "The same people today would hang out at the local Starbucks, sipping lattes and arguing over the validity of deconstructionism and postmodernism."

As Paul continues to talk all over the city about the resurrection, these learned Athenians ask him to speak to them. He seizes the opportunity by using the Athenians' own philosophy, poetry, religion and basic logic in order to help them understand God. He actually compliments them on their own interest in religion, treating them respectfully. And then he proceeds to tell them about "The Unknown God."

Some sneered; some said they wanted to hear more; and several believed, including a woman Demaris. (I wonder if she was one of the Athenian philosophers?)
At any rate, Paul did not shirk talking to people who were "of the culture." How often do we do that? Maybe it would not hurt us to bone up a little bit on deconstructionism, postmodernism, and the emerging church--we might save a few more of our young adults and those who are dallying with other forms of religion.

Father, help us to be more like Paul and less like the folks in Laodicea.

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