April 13th, 2017
Acts 17:16-21, 32-33
The Athenians were well-known for learning. The title “philosopher,” a “lover of wisdom,” was coined by them. Their heritage included Pythagoras, Socrates, and Plato. The “Academy,” founded by Plato, had existed for nearly five centuries by the time the apostle Paul arrived in Athens.
Paul attracted the attention of “a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers” (Acts 17:18). They took him to the “Areopagus,” a rocky outcrop where trials and public lectures were held. The term was also applied to the council of learned leaders who met there.
Paul delivered a masterful sermon. He began with an Athenian altar dedicated “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD” and concluded with the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:22-31). Paul’s sermon had a mixed result: Some scoffed, some believed, and many wanted to hear more.
Learning need not become a barrier to faith. Yet, learning by itself cannot come to a full understanding of God. That requires revelation.
Author: Duane Brush