Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Paul in Athens ( Part 1) - 43 Pictures in a Photo Essay

Model of the Acropolis in Athens (Royal Ontario Museum)
The arrival of the Gospel in Athens took place at the center of the Hellenistic world. Paul's short stay there had long-lasting effects.

Paul's speech on Mars Hill, which is part of the Acropolis in Athens, became is a model for taking the Gospel into a culture where there are few overlapping concepts between the "worldview of God's Kingdom" and the "worldview of a contemporary society".

In order to read the photo essay with a few explanations about Athens and the challenge Paul faced: Read more

The statue of the goddess Athena
Pagan temples? there were plenty  scattered around the city. Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? There were none. Courageous proclaimers? One, exactly. Paul.

Paul and Silas had been sent to Thessalonica.

Athena, the goddess of the city, stood more than 30 feet high (some claim she was a 40 foot figure). Her strength had, according the historians of Athens, protected the city from the invasion of the Persians, 500 years before. Everything revolved around her statue and that of a dozen other Greek gods.

Yet, there was one tiny opening for Paul. He had seen a statue dedicated to the 'Unknown God." That was his starting point when he was invited to explain his faith to the most celebrated, most intellectual men of that time (in the Greek world).

Plato, Socrates and other Greek philosophers left their mark here
Instead of backing away because of "all the difficulties", Paul "reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace, day by day with those who happened to be there." Acts 17:17.
Those initial seeds, planted in the hearts of philosophers and people who loved to debate, yielded a great harvest.

Be encouraged. God's word never lacks for messengers. His truth can enter the most difficult of places.

"Whoever wants to save his life, living his own way, will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel, will find it." - Jesus.


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