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Jesus Creed

Areopagus.jpgPaul’s speech on the Areopagus is one for the ages, and I think we gain a glimpse into Paul’s strategy with Gentiles pagans when he “gospels” them.

Yesterday I posted the full text and today I want to make a few observations about Paul’s gospel when he speaks to Gentiles in such a setting as the Areopagus:
1. He’s empathic and seeker-sensitive in his opening lines: he begins where they are so he can lead them to Christ.
2. He’s clever: he jumps from the tomb of the “unknown god” to what they are groping for and to what he does in fact “know.”
3. He begins with a creation and universal theology: God is creator and God is creator of all, not just Jews but also Gentiles like the Athenians.

4. That God is invisible and cannot be cut down to size in a stone idol.
5. The Creator God made all humans through one man (Adam) and God’s intent was universal population. And God assigned each a place and he made each to long for and grope for God.
6. This Creator God is not far from us and here he draws wisdom from one of their lines: a kind of panentheistic comment that we all dwell and have our being in God.
7. The time has come to repent from idols and idolatry as sinful pollutions of God’s intent. Why repent? Because the Creator God is the Judging God and he will judge all.
8. God will judge all through one man, Jesus, whom God raised from the dead.
Paul gospel by telling the Creation story in Greek forms and with Greek connections but he tells the Story so that it leads to Jesus, the One whom God has raised, as the agent of God’s judgment.

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