“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.’” Acts 17:22.
In many ways we are living in the Athens of the 1st Century today. Whether those around us who worship at their altars will admit to this or not, our culture worships many gods.
There are the gods of hedonism (pursuing sensuality), materialism (pursuing stuff), and egoism (pursuing self). And then there are the postmodern (each is his own god) gods of human secularism (man is man’s savior) whose doctrines are evolution, tolerance, and militant intolerance towards truth.
We could proclaim the same thing today: “Men of America! I see that in every way you are very religious.” The difference is that while the 1st Century Athenians were curious about Paul’s “preaching of the good news about Jesus and the resurrection,” the 21st Century Athenians believe it old news, outdated … and disproved by science and the advancement of human intelligence.
Just as Paul was able to connect with the men on Mars Hill by proclaiming the “unknown god” to them, we must seek and fill the needs of those in today’s Aeropagus, never changing the gospel message, but repackaging it for our audience so they can see its enduring relevance.
Will you stand up or shrink back?
Plattsburgh church of Christ
author of Kin of Cain
a Christian historical fantasy