PREACHING THE GOSPEL IN PAGAN CULTURE—AGAIN!
(The Significance of Jesus and the Resurrection)
Scriptures: Acts 17.16ff; Romans 1.16ff; I Corinthians 1.18ff
It is not known how long Paul was in Athens; he was in Corinth 18 months (Acts 18.11); he stayed in Ephesus for two years (Acts 19.10; I Corinthians 16.9).
Inclusivism – God’s grace is as wide as human need.
Exclusivism – In His name only.
Syncretism - Checks against syncretism.
Normativity of Scripture
Knowledge of God – Nature of man – Need for Salvation – the Way to Salvation
Audience Analysis – Stoics
Resurgent Paganism in our Post Modern Culture. Four lessons learned from Acts 17. (Life Pillars)
The Inevitability of Progress
The Perfectibility of Man
The Animality of Man
Nature is Ultimate Reality
Humanism: the Loss of God
Secularism: the Loss of Shame
Pluralism: the Loss of True Truth
Narcissism: the Loss of Meaning
The Transcendent God vs. Stoic Pantheism. It is not an unknown God but He is a risen Christ with whom we have to do.
The Process of Devaluating the Gospel to make it acceptable to audiences (I Cor 1.18; 15.17) i.e., “marketing” Jesus
Gnosticism (the first to fourth centuries): Salvation to fit oriental dualism (resurgent New Age Pantheism and Myth).
4th Century: Arianism aspired to remodel Christology via Greek Philosophy (Jesus is not divine).
18th Century: Deists wished to remodel providence. The universe was a self contained machine; therefore we have an absentee landlord—God.
19th Century: Liberals’ use of Evolution remodeled the doctrine of Man – Sin – and Grace. The Church is moving to inevitable perfection; nothing supernatural, no miracles.
20th Century: Resurgent Paganism, Agnosticism, Pantheism.
Evangelistic Style for our Post Modern Culture: Witnessing in our pagan culture:
I. Be Observant
II. Be Concerned
III. Be Prepared
IV. Be Tactful
V. Call for a Verdict
Men must be committed and prepared
The Method—invite people to Church or meet them in the market place
The Message – The Risen Christ – True Truth – Relevance
Idolatry is the starting point
“no other gods” – Old Testament
“no other name” – New Testament
We must still face Christ and His Resurrection
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