The CAA is participating in Apologetics 315’s weekly Read Along program. We are reading “The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World” by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak.
These are my initial thoughts:
This “context” topic has come up recently in my own circle of apologetics buddies, in terms of the tension between speaking German (“Christianese”) to someone who speaks Chinese on one extreme, and whispering sweet nothings to tickle the ears of the seeker on the other extreme.
We need to communicate the Gospel in a meaningful way without:
- coming across as a resounding gong or clanging cymbal, or
- watering it down
How do we do that?
This book zeroes in on Paul’s Mars Hill address in Athens, recorded in Acts–and I’m predicting that I’ve read something similar in Don Richardson’s “Eternity in their Hearts”–but Richardson covered many different cultures. I’m looking forward to a more in-depth treatment.
On today’s multiculturalism: Interesting things are going on as ISIS gains ground (even in Gaza according to some reports), out to destroy both Jews and Christians. There is no denying that a) how the media covers, b) how the politicians address, and c) how you feel about what’s going on–all are influenced by each person’s worldview.
Will this book motivate us to become more familiar with the teachings of Islam, non-Messianic Judaism, and other religious beliefs held by our neighbors, foreign & domestic, so that if our spirits are provoked within us, we are ready to communicate the Gospel in a way that is meaningful to them? Who else would benefit from our listening to and learning from their language and how it is culturally situated, *before* attempting to communicate?
How many of us even dare to make the attempt? How multicultural are we *really*–or don’t we just flock with birds of our own feather?
I’m praying for the Alliance as we study through this book–for fear to be lifted, love for others unlike us to be kindled, and hearts to be open to the Spirit’s provoking.
May God use us to do some pre-evangelistic table-clearing <3