Read Along: Chapter Four—Our Athens
Today we begin Chapter Four 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 Four, 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 Four: Our Athens
Chapter 4 stresses the importance of Christians being intellectually engaged in our culture. The authors explain how bridges can be build that pave the way to the gospel using philosophical, scientific, historical, and cultural bridges. Some of the views of our day are explained and analyzed, such as postmodernism, relativism, emotivism, religious pluralism, syncretism, naturalism and scientism.
This is why studying Paul’s speech in Athens serves as a model for Christians: we must be aware of the leading, influential ideas that shape culture so that we can insightfully and winsomely engage them with the power, beauty and truth of the gospel. (Kindle 520-521)
What we are urging is that we, like Paul, attempt to uphold biblical truths indirectly—through appealing to philosophical, scientific, historical and cultural insights that reinforce the gospel and a biblical outlook. (Kindle 570-571)
…we must remember that a worldview is more than an intellectual belief system or grid for interpreting our experience. A worldview involves a heart commitment or orientation toward God or away from him. (Kindle 982-983)
- Why is it not always helpful to appeal first to biblical authority directly in conversation?
- What other cultural bridges can you think of that would be useful in engaging others?
- Of the views described in this chapter, which do you encounter most often?