At Mars’ Hill, also known as the Areopagus, Paul used an inscription to an “unknown god” as a starting point for proclaiming the good news of Christ to the Greek. He confronted widespread idol worship by declaring the true identity of the Creator. Using Greek worship and poetry, Paul articulated God’s demand for repentance and His provision of salvation through Jesus: “Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said… ‘What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you'” (Acts 17:22, 23).
 Hubbard, Shiloh, Elliot Ritzema, Corbin Watkins, and Lazarus Wentz with Logos Bible Software and KarBel Media. Faithlife Study Bible Infographics. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012.
Paul’s Classical Apologetics on Mars Hill in Acts 17:22 – 34
Natural Theology Centered on the Sovereignty of God
Acts 17:22 – 34 is a Paul’s sermon to the philosophers in Athens. In this passage, as Luke describes, Paul stands in the midst of Areopagus and delivers a remarkable sermon to Athenians. As we sum up the Paul’s Areopagus speech, instantly we notice that his basic message remained unchanged but his approach to Athenian audiences was changed from other speeches. He framed his message within the given cultural and philosophical paradigm that befitted his audiences. Although we are living past two millenniums after this poignant event in Athens, the psychological, methodological, and theological aspects of Paul’s message is still relevant as an evangelistic model to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to pagan culture of our time. Continue reading Paul’s Classical Apologetics on Mars Hill in Acts 17:22 – 34||Natural Theology Centered on the Sovereignty of God||
In her essay “Preaching for Mission: Ancient Speeches and Postmodern Sermon”, Mary E. Hinkle raises a practical and today’s relevant issue of preaching the sermon from the book of Acts. She illustrates how the speeches dominate the actions in the Acts. In another word, the long speeches in Acts have also drawn the hearers in and engaged them with the speakers. Therefore, the author herself being a preacher and teacher, she presents her main idea how the speeches also can communicate powerfully like stories and can reveal the reality they have not known before. In addition, the author discusses about the significance of contextualization of the speeches for preaching in a postmodern world.
To begin with her biblical material or biblical themes in Acts, Hinkle introduces varied collection of speeches from Acts. By hearing or reading these speeches, we can see how they change agreeing with the context or remain the same while the elements of preaching event like the speaker, the setting, the audience, and the audience’s familiarity with the scripture change. The author further states that the apostles in the Acts narrate the story from Israel’s scripture in their speeches. At the same time, they also contextualize their speech with their own experience with Jesus and welcome the response from other people regarding the resurrection of Jesus. In fact, the objectives of the apostles’ speeches are to include narrative stories of God’s interaction with his chosen people and his creation, along with the Promised One, Jesus Christ to save his people. And the apostles immediately encompass the hearers also as a part of that story. Continue reading Journal Review:Preaching for Mission: Ancient Speeches and Postmodern Sermons
In this passage from Galatians 2:11-21- Paul presents his biblical and theological argument in response of Peter’s unacceptable behavior. Peter, the one who God had chosen to share the gospel to a gentile, Cornelius (cf. Acts 15) was behaving in a way that was against the true gospel. Earlier, Peter was eating with the Gentiles but as soon as the Judaizers or circumcision group arrived; he snuck out from the gentile group and joined the latter group. This behavior also led Barnabas astray.
Paul was astonished at his hypocrisy and opposes him though Peter was a senior apostle. Paul says that Peter was not adhering to the true gospel, and though he was a Jew did not behave like one and so was unqualified to ask Gentiles to live like the Jews. Paul then presents his argument. Certainly Paul and Peter were Jews by nature and not ‘sinners from among the Gentiles’ (v. 15b). Gentiles were called sinners because they were believed to be born outside the Law, yet Paul added that Jews like Gentiles were saved or justified by faith in Jesus Christ and not by works of the Law. By writing this, Paul does not mean to suggest that Jesus was a promoter of sin since Jesus had made possible for Gentiles, the people outside the Law to come to faith without the Law. Paul absolutely does not want people to think this way. Continue reading Galatians 2:11-21-Justified by Grace through Faith
Chuck Lowe in his article “There is no condemnation” has tried to answer the question he has raised in the beginning of his thesis: Why is there no condemnation for those who are in Christ? He felt a danger in merely drumming to new believers that there is no condemnation because Christ has justified us before God. Whereas commentators have struggled with this answer, Lowe has given his readers a result of his study of the text of Romans and answered clearly why there is no condemnation. The theme of Lowe’s article is that people have not escaped condemnation through Christ’s justification alone but the fruit of the Spirit that leads to righteous living looms larger as well.
Nonetheless, Chuck says that ‘no condemnation’ certainly retains its forensic and eschatological sense. He works his way through the ambiguities of whether ‘condemnation’ refers to the eschatological judgment due to sin or to the enslavement of sin experienced in this age. Further he also clarifies whether ‘condemnation’ is averted by the alien righteousness or by transformational righteousness in union with Christ.
Continue reading Journal Review: There is no Condemnation