Today we begin Chapter Eight of the Read Along with Apologetics 315 project. This is a chapter-by-chapter study through the book The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak. (Hear the introductory interview about the book here.) Below you will find an audio intro for Chapter Eight, a brief summary of the chapter, a PDF workbook with questions for the chapter, and some notable quotes. You’re also encouraged to share your comments and feedback for each chapter in the comment section below. Feel free to interact on the Christian Apologetics Alliance Facebook page here.
Chapter Eight: The Art of Persuasion
Chapter 8 describes the logic of Paul’s speech in light of his theology and the worldviews of his audience. The authors look at the biblical background of Paul’s statements and the way he expressed them in forms conducive to dialogue with his audience. They explore the content of Paul’s speech and the way that he used tools of rhetoric to persuade his audience with a Gospel message that built bridges.
Paul’s speech is fundamentally biblical, even though he uses terminology and quotations from Greek poets that many in Paul’s audience would find acceptable. (Kindle 2024)
Quoting Scripture to the Areopagus would have been as useful as it is now to quote John 3: 16 without taking time to help a listener understand what you mean by God, believing in Jesus, eternal life, perishing and more. One has to establish first that the statements of Scripture should be considered as valid proofs for arguments. (Kindle 2082)
Luke’s audience— and Christians today— can see from Paul’s speech the value of finding something that a listener to our evangelism would likely know about, if not wholly embrace. (Kindle 2112)
- How was Paul’s speech introduced in a way that would connect with a hostile audience?
- What tools of rhetoric do you think are essential for communicating the Gospel today?
- Does using the language, philosophy, and cultural context of the day change the message?