Strange Ideas — Part One
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Strange Ideas — Part One

Acts 17:16–21  (ID: 0125)

When Christians face idolatry in our culture, we often feel contrasting impulses either to run away or to condemn false religion. Alistair Begg considers another way: when the apostle Paul witnessed idolatry in Athens, he chose to reason with others in the public marketplace of ideas. Like the Athenians, our neighbors may still be confused by our bizarre beliefs. Yet if we are transformed by Scripture to declare the Gospel with rationality, we can engage our cultures for Christ’s sake.

Paul in Athens

16Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.