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Western Seminary. Apologetics in Antioch. Living Apologetics. 1. 3. 2. A Gospel Community. A Gospel Heart. A Gospel Society. The best apologetic to the faith is to be a hermeneutic of the Gospel. 1. A Gospel Community.

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slide2

LivingApologetics

1

3

2

A Gospel Community

A Gospel Heart

A Gospel Society

The best apologetic to the faith is to be a hermeneutic of the Gospel

a gospel community

1

A Gospel Community

“The only hermeneutic of the gospel is a congregation of men and women who believe it and live by it.” (Lessle Newbigin, 1989).

a gospel society

2

A Gospel Society

The best apologetic to the faith is to be a hermeneutic of the Gospel

slide5

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.  22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. 25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.  27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 One of them, named Agabus, stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) 29 The disciples, as each one was able, decided to provide help for the brothers and sisters living in Judea. 30 This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

A Gospel Society

a gospel heart

3

A Gospel Heart

The best apologetic to the faith is to be a hermeneutic of the Gospel

slide7

Love

Justice.

Sacrifice.

Compassion.

slide9

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

Apologetics in Athens

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22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. 24“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

Apologetics in Athens

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28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]29“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Apologetics in Athens

he sees the visible idols as an invisible power and principality and system that controls the city
How does Paul come to this moment?He sees (θεωροῦντος) the visible idols as an invisible power and principality and system that controls the city.

Eph 6:12, Eph. 3:7-10

his faith takes shape and voice in the sacred spaces and market places
How does Paul come to this moment?His faith takes shape and voice in the sacred spaces and market placesσυναγωγῇ ~ ἀγορᾷ ~ ἌρειονΠάγον
slide15

“ stood in the midst of the Areopagus …”

What method does Paul’s apology take?

slide16

Aristotle’s Modes

Persuasive Speech

1

3

2

Ethos

Logos

Pathos

proved a truth

speaker’s character

audience emotions

normative effect of the gospel
three clear stages of the progress of the Gospel:

--”our Gospel came to you”—5

--”you welcomed. . .”—6

--”the message rang out”—8

1 Thessalonians 1:4-10

Normative Effect of the Gospel
paul s modified approach to persuasive speech
for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.. –1 Thessalonians 1:5 NASBPaul’s ModifiedApproach to Persuasive Speech
what disadvantages is paul up against
What disadvantages is Paul up against?
  • He is regarded as disreputable.
  • His core message is anti-Athenian
  • What element of persuasion does he have going for him?
cleanthes hymn to zeus
Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus

The incorporeal nature of God

God’s self‐sufficiency

The “oneness” or brotherhood of mankind

Providence over seasons and habitations

Humanity’s blind groping

Pantheism/Immanence

Zeus/Logos

Humans as God’s offspring

Divine nature, not gold or silver

Wisdom vs. ignorance

Justice

what apologetic strategy does paul take
Whatapologetic strategy does Paul take?
  • Subversion.
  • Narrative. Paul subverts the Stoic Narrative with the Story of God in Jesus (Gospel).

Subversion is the strategy of engaging oneself in an opponent’s story, retelling the story through a new paradigm and, in the end, taking the opponent’s story captive. An analysis of Paul’s preaching on the Areopagus reveals deliberate similarities to the Stoic narrative that go beyond shallow reference to mere popular culture. The apostle’s oration structurally reflects specific Stoic narrative. Paul subverts Stoicism by retelling the Stoic story through a Christian worldview, thereby leading it captive to the gospel.

stoic narrative
Stoic Narrative
  • Paul is going to retell their story with the Christian metanarrative.

They prove that the gods exists.

They explainthe nature of the gods

They showthat the world is governed by them

That the gods care for the fortunes of mankind.

apologetic strategy
Apologetic Strategy

“Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.

apologetic strategy1
Apologetic Strategy

24The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

apologetic strategy2
Apologetic Strategy

26 and He made from one every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’

apologetic strategy3
Apologetic Strategy

29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

apologetic strategy4
Apologetic Strategy

30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

slide28

Paul does not consider it unholy to expose himself to the godless media

  • It illustrates a redemptive interaction with those thought forms in service to the Gospel.
  • Some thoughts about Paul’s choice of sources and shift gears into the Stoic storyline:
slide30

Subversive

Story Strategy

1

3

2

Enter

Capture

Retell

the story

the retold tale with the Gospel

the challenger’s story

The truth is that each epoch of thought in history, whether Medieval, Enlightenment, or Postmodern, is a contest in storytelling. “The one who can tell the best story, in a very real sense, wins the epoch.—Curtis Chang

subversion examples
SubversionExamples

Exorcism of Emily Rose

slide33
in a postmodern world focused on narrative discourse we need to take a lesson from the apostle Paul and expand our avenues for … defending the faith. We need more Christian apologists writing revisionist biographies of godless deities such as Darwin, Marx, and Freud; writing for and subverting pagan television sitcoms; bringing a Christian worldview interpretation to their journalism … making horror films .—Brian Godawa
slide34

Subverting Narratives

With the Gospel