The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World
Title: The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas Paul's Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World
Publisher: InterVarsity Press (IVP)
Our world is multicultural, multireligious, multiphilosophical. It ranges from fundamental monotheism to do-it-yourself spirituality to strident atheism. How can Christians engage in communicating across worldviews in this pluralistic and often relativistic society?
When Paul visited Athens, he found an equally multicultural and multireligious setting. From Jews to Gentiles, elite to poor, slaves to slave owners, from olive-skinned Gentiles to dark-skinned Ethiopians—the Greco-Roman world was a dynamic mix. Religious practices were also wide and varied, with the imperial cult of emperor worship being the most prominent. Many also frequented the temples for the traditional Greek pantheon, and participated in the secret rituals of the mystery religions.
Seeking to embolden the church's witness in today's society, philosopher Paul Copan and New Testament scholar Kenneth Litwak show how Paul's speech to the Athenians (found in Acts 17) provides a practical model for Christians today. They uncover the cultural and religious background of this key episode in the apostles career and they encourage believers to winsomely challenge the idols of our time to point contemporary Athenians to Christ.