Philosophy of Christianity
This belief was expressed in a desire to seek contentment and satisfaction and to avoid pain and discomfort.
Stoicism contended that the physical universe is empowered by a reasoning force known as logos, which connects the divine with the material. Ethically, stoics attempted to live in accordance with the natural laws they observed and systematized.
vs. 21 - Doing nothing else but telling or hearing some new thing!
“recognizes the philosophical cast of mind of his audience and presents his message understandably to them in terms of the three great questions of philosophy: ‘Whence,’ ‘What,’ and ‘Whither’; or otherwise stated, ‘the origin,’ ‘the nature,’ and ‘the end of all things’ ” (Carter and Earle, The Acts of the Apostles, Zondervan). In his exposition Paul quoted, not from Scripture but from Greek religious poetry!
A Personal God
See Paul at Athens before the council of the Areopagus, as he meets science with science, logic with logic, and philosophy with philosophy. Mark how, with the tact born of divine love, he points to Jehovah as “the Unknown God,” whom his hearers have ignorantly worshiped; and in words quoted from a poet of their own he pictures Him as a Father whose children they are. Hear him, in that age of caste, when the rights of man as man were wholly unrecognized, as he sets forth the great truth of human brotherhood, declaring that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.” Then he shows how, through all the dealings of God with man, runs like a thread of gold His purpose of grace and mercy. He “hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” Acts 17:23, 26, 27.
The author speaks of fitting the methods used to present the Gospel to the patterns of communication that are present in a society. Have your group members evaluate: which of the following approaches does not “fit” today’s world as an effective method in evangelizing?
1. Passing out tracts on a street.
2. Holding revival meetings in a church building.
3. Putting evangelistic sermons on TV.
4. Holding a debate on a college campus.
5. Busing children to Sunday School.
6. Sponsoring a Divorce Recovery Workshop in the community.
7. Holding Bible studies in homes.
8. Doing house-to-house visitation.
9. Plastering your car with “Jesus saves” bumper stickers.
10. Organizing a mayor’s prayer breakfast.
Discuss each, giving reasons why it does or does not fit contemporary culture. For each which does not fit, ask your group members to suggest alternatives.
Then share: “What was the most important influence in each group member’s own conversion? How was the Gospel presented to him or her? What conclusions can be drawn, if any, about how to best communicate the Gospel in our modern world?”