Read Along: Chapter Nine—Acting on the Truth

Today we begin Chapter Nine 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 Nine, 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.

[Audio Intro] – Paul Copan introduces this chapter.
[Chapter 9 Study Questions] (with kindle locations) – PDF study guide.
[Podcast Feed RSS | Podcast in iTunes] – Click to subscribe to the audio.

Chapter Nine: Acting on the Truth
[pages 135-145]

In chapter nine, the authors show how Paul presented biblical truths in a manner which was adapted to his audience, all the while challenging them to come to repentance and stop serving idols. They show how Paul’s method specifically targets the false beliefs of his audience, yet doing so in a way that is intelligent and uncompromising.

Notable quotes:

Paul first used the language of the philosophers and poets to challenge his audience’s beliefs and then challenged them to act on this new knowledge concerning the unknown God. (Kindle 2314)

While the word repent in our day has negative associations with street-corner preachers threatening passersby with hell because of their sins, Paul is simply telling the Athenians that they do not in fact know the truth, that the one true God is now holding them accountable for their ignorance and that they need to change what they think. (Kindle 2373)

While everything that Paul says is grounded in the Old Testament, he did not hesitate to present much of it with terminology familiar to the philosophers present. He also used the appropriate approach, classical rhetoric, which would be expected of someone who was truly educated. (Kindle 2465) 


  1. What sort of example does Paul give us in calling our audience to repentance?
  2. What do you think can be learned from how Paul structured his presentation?
  3. How would you respond to Christians who would advocate a sort of anti-intellectualism when it comes to sharing the Gospel?
Next Week: Chapter 10—Going to Our Own Mars Hill
Written by

Brian Auten is the founder emeritus of Apologetics315. He is also director of Reasonable Faith Belfast. Brian holds a Masters degree in Christian Apologetics and has interviewed over 150 Christian apologists. His background is in missions, media direction, graphic design, and administration. Brian started Apologetics315 in 2007 to be an apologetics hub to equip Christians to defend the faith.

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The mission of Apologetics 315 is to provide educational resources for the defense of the Christian faith, with the goal of strengthening the faith of believers and engaging the questions and challenges of other worldviews.

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