Today we conclude our Read Along with Apologetics 315 project, ending with chapter ten of 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 Ten, 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 Ten: Going to Our Own Mars Hill
In chapter ten, the authors conclude by summarizing the case they have made throughout the book, distilling a number of the lessons from Paul’s example. They stress evangelism and apologetics as a process, and they offer practical suggestions on how to reach out to seekers and unbelievers.
In our day of true-for-you-but-not-for-me relativism, many assume that if you don’t accept their beliefs, you don’t accept them. (Kindle 2503)
Paul made an effort to build on what his audience already knew and embraced. Likewise, we too should look for ways to talk about the unknown God in contemporary culture. (Kindle 2513)
What if, just maybe, there is some unknown God who, if only we reached out and searched for him, could be found? Maybe this unknown God—whose presence can be detected in the universe’s beginning, vastness, energy and fine-tuning and in the moral awareness that we have—has actually done something more. Maybe this unknown God is less distant than we had thought. It would make sense that this unknown God could give greater clarity for us rather than leaving us with no guidance or hope at all. Maybe this God has taken the initiative to reveal and give hope in the midst of our miserable human condition. This was Paul’s aim at Athens, to point to Christ as the unknown God’s agent in the world to restore order, to offer forgiveness if we repent and to give us hope beyond the grave. (Kindle 2536)
We can be those who, through friendship and conversation, put a pebble in the spiritual shoes of our secular-minded friends to help them recognize inconsistencies in their philosophy of life and become uncomfortable with that way of thinking and then consider the Christian faith to be a viable alternative. (Kindle 2667)
- How might you distinguish between person and their beliefs in an apologetic conversation?
- What “arguments from transcendence” seem most persuasive to you?
- What practical steps can you take to build trust and credibility with your audience?